Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earnings for March

Considering just how dismal my earnings have been over the last few months, March has been reasonably good in comparison. So here are my earnings for this month (bearing in mind I only count what I actually receive):

Surveys: £56.10 (£37 Global Test Market, £10 Valued Opinions, £5.10 Ciao, £4 from another survey panel I can't mention here!)
Ebay: £8.21
Blogrolled: £6.43

Total = £70.74

Now, regular readers will know that my target is £300 per month by July! Still a long way to go to achieve that, but heading in the right direction at least.

However, what I have done this month is get myself a number of free books from publishers for reviewing on A Smallholder's Diary - a neat trick I picked up from Problogger. The total value of these books is £74! Not bad at all I think!!

Looking forward to next month, I have a few payments pending, a large pile of stuff to sell on Ebay and I have a new project coming up................. But more about that next time. Bring on April!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Save Money by Cutting Your Credit Card Interest Charges

In these difficult financial times many of us are looking to cut down on our debts. One good way of doing this is to take a good look at what we are spending on interest on our credit cards. It is easy just to continue paying the bills and not to look at whether we could actually be getting a better deal elsewhere. Despite the credit crunch, there are still good deals out there and many companies continue to offer 0% introductory deals.

Applying online for credit card offers some considerable advantages. In particular this means that you can apply for instant decision credit cards and avoid waiting for several days like you would have to in the past with paper applications. Also searching online gives you the opportunity to compare a number of different cards ensuring that you get the very deal possible.

This post has been brought to you by your friends at http://www.credit-card-comparison-online.co.uk/articles/instant-decision.html.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Things are Changing at Entrecard

I have been a member of Entrecard for a few months now and it has helped me "meet" other bloggers and has brought traffic to my blogs. I have been a little concerned about the bounce rate of visitors from Entrecard, but I have stuck with it because enough people have actually taken the time to read my blogs to make it worth my while. Previously the way it would work is that you could earn credits by visiting other blogs in the network and "dropping" on them and by "selling" an ad spot on your Entrecard widget. In turn you can redeem your credits for ads on other blogs in the network. However, it has been announced recently that changes are afoot. These will remain, but with a few changes.

The key changes are:

  1. Up to 50% of the ad impressions on Entrecard widgets will be 3rd party ads.
  2. The Entrecard widget has to be placed "above the fold" or within one keystroke of the page down key.
  3. You will be able to trade in your Entrecard credits for CASH!
These changes have brought a mixed response from the Entrecard community and there has been a bit of an exodus of some bloggers who are concerned that the ads they purchase with their credits will effectively be diminished in value. I have decided to stick with it for the moment and see how it works out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Make Money with Surveys at Ipsos


Ipsos surveys are a well respected and well established survey panel. They have separate panels for the UK, US and Germany. The surveys are on a range of consumer topics and are very regular - you can expect 2 to 3 per week. For each survey you earn points which can then be exchanged for vouchers at a good range of high street shops. They also have a low payout threshold (just £2 for the UK panel) so you can get your hands on your vouchers quickly. I have had a number of payouts from Ipsos and personally I put the vouchers towards our Christmas fund, but with such a large choice of vouchers to choose from you can spend them as you like!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Money Making Opportunities at Today.com

There have been some recent changes at Today.com. I have previously posted about how you can make money with a blog at Today.com. Previously you could not add to your earnings by incorporating affiliate and referral links, but now things have changed. Today now allow you to incorporate some specific affiliate links - there are quite a large number to choose from and you do not need to sign up with an affiliate company. You have the choice of just putting banners into your sidebar or incorporate links into your posts. I am hoping that this will create opportunities to increase my income from Comments of Nobody.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Definitive list of Alternatives to Squidoo

Over recent weeks I have been reviewing a number of Squidoo alternatives. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with Squidoo, it's just that sometimes it's good to diversify and to have options. So, in order to make the list the site concerned must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. You must be able to publish your own content
  2. You must be able to include a link back to your own website, blog or whatever else you want to promote
  3. There must be some opportunity for making money - either directly through revenue sharing or via affiliate links.
Within the list I have included links to the sites themselves, links to my reviews and an indication as to whether links are "dofollow" or "nofollow". So, in no particular order, is the full list:

  1. Hubpages [See Review] -links are nofollow initially, then become dofollow once your hub has reached a score of 75.
  2. Knol [See Review] - links are initially nofollow, then become dofollow after a while.
  3. Oondi [See Review] - links are no follow
  4. Bukisa [See Review] - links are nofollow
  5. Zimbio [See Review] - mixed - links in your articles are nofollow, but when republishing blog posts as articles, then link to blog is dofollow.
  6. eHow [See Review] - links are nofollow
  7. Qassia [See Review] - links are dofollow
  8. Launchtags [See Review] -links are dofollow (if you can get it to work!!)
  9. Infobarrel [See Review] - links are dofollow
  10. Xomba [See Review] - links are nofollow

So there you have it! I am sure there are more out there and I will add to this list as and when I find them. Do you know of any others? If so, you could let me know and I add to the list and will review.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Squidoo Alternatives #8 - Launchtags

This is the last of my series of alternatives to Squidoo for the time being. Launchtags is yet another site where you can write your own content, link back to your own site/blog and earn money. The interface has a similar structure to Squidoo and Hubpages in that you have various modules to construct your own "Mini-Page" (as they are referred to here). This includes text, images, video, and affiliate banners/links. You can also earn money from Adsense on your Mini-Pages.

This all looks absolutely great and should offer a number of flexible opportunities including using Mini-Pages as landing pages for an affiliate marketing campaign. Except, THE DAMN THING JUST DOES NOT WORK!!! I have spent ages trying to put together a Mini-Page, but every time I hit the Publish button everything disappears except my introduction and thumbnail picture. I thought it was just me, but if you look at other recent Mini-Pages they look look the same. It seems that it was not always this way as the older Mini-Pages seem to be just fine.

I have e-mailed via the "Contact Me" tab to make this point, but had no response. I have also left a message on the forums, but again, no response. In fact the forums look pretty much dead - the "Help Me Please" forum has just 8 threads on it and 2 of those are mine!!!

Launchtags feels like it has been abandoned by its owner. Either that, or someone is working away behind the scenes to get it working and they are just far too busy to respond to queries. But as I posted my Mini-Page several months ago and the site still isn't working properly, this seems unlikely!

N.B. If at some point in the future I should find that Launchtags is functioning properly, then I will of course amend this review accordingly.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Squidoo Alternatives #7 - Qassia

Continuing my reviews of alternatives to Squidoo brings me to Qassia. Remembering that this series focuses on sites that where you can post your own content, include a link back to your own site/blog and where there are opportunities to make money, I will cover each of these in turn. Qassia allows you to create your own content (known here as "Intel") about pretty much anything. The only things that are not allowed are adult content or duplicate content. People participating in Qassia can earn Qassia Dollars - this is not real money, however, this is actually just a rating system relating to the visibility of your Intels. The interface is pretty basic (text and images), but is easy to use.

Associated with each Intel is a link back to your website, blog, Squidoo page or whatever else you are looking to promote. In fact, Qassia promotes itself on the basis of being a means by which you gain useful backlinks, and all links are "dofollow". You can't, however, use Qassia to promote your affiliate links or indeed any dubious looking money making schemes.

In terms of making money, Qassia offers a revenue sharing model where you can receive 100% of Adsense revenue from your Intels, although you do not receive any revenue from any other pages.

In conclusion, Qassia offers primarily a useful means of building backlinks to your website or blog. There is some opportunity to make some additional money from Adsense, but unless your Intels receive a large amount of traffic you should not expect to make large sums.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Earnings for February

My monthly posts giving my total online earnings have become a regular feature of Extra Cash Challenge, but over the last couple of months I have been thinking seriously about whether I should continue posting them. This is primarily because the totals have been so poor. I considered inflating my earnings so that I could portray myself as some sort of guru, but this just did not feel right.

So here are my earnings:

Ebay: £12.03
Paid posts: £8.44 (Smorty)

Total = £20.47

My aim of earning at least £300 per month feels a very long way away. Part of the issue is about how I use my time - the question is, do I use my limited time to concentrate on things that I know will generate income (such as surveys and Ebay) or do I concentrate on other things that are less certain (such as income from my blogs, Squidoo, affiliate marketing, etc), or do I try something else altogether? Also, part of the issue is how I count my earnings - I only count what I have actually received in my Paypal or bank account. I have continued to earn throughout the month, but have not reached payment thresholds in a number of different accounts. I have a few payments pending though.

The quest continues........