Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making Money With Twitter: Review of Tweet Tank

 In the last couple weeks, as a result of boredom with what I was doing, I have been experimenting with making money from Twitter. This led to me purchasing Tweet Tank. I did this after vowing to myself that I would not buy any more make money online products for the time being.

What is Tweet Tank?
Tweet Tank is a system for adding more followers on Twitter and making money through selling products as an affiliate. Basically, your one off payment buys you access to the website where you can manage your Twitter activities. Unlike other membership sites you are not expected to pay month after month - just one payment buys you lifetime membership.

How Does Tweet Tank Work?
There are eight videos for you to watch which walk you through the process (you can watch six of these without actually making a purchase) and do really help in understanding how it all works.

Firstly, you need to add your Twitter account to Tweet Tank and select keywords. It will then go off and find people to follow based on your keywords. You can set how many people to follow per day - it is best to start with a fairly low number so as to avoid getting your Twitter account suspended. You need to check on your followers regularly and use the Friend Follower screen to unfollow people who are not following you.

You can then set up a number of automated updates with links to your affiliate link. You can set up to 24 per day and use different affiliate links per update if you like. It is a good idea to change these from time to time to give a bit of variety.

So as to avoid posting solely updates that are selling stuff you need to add some useful content as well. You can do this automatically with Tweet Tank by giving it some keywords and it finds some related stories to post. However, I find it more effective to use Twitterfeed and add various related news feeds. I personally get my news feeds from Moreover.

Is it Right to Have an Automated Twitter Account?
This is something that I wrestled with for a little while before paying my money. However, how I rationalise it is that most of us are subscribed to e-mail lists that provide us with a mixture of useful content and selling messages. If we want to stop receiving these then we just have to unsubscribe. Twitter accounts are no different. People have a choice as to whether to follow you or not. I personally throw in some manual updates, some retweets and generally respond to whatever going on at the time.

Can You Make Any Money With Tweet Tank?
The pitch page suggests that you could be making $500 per day. You can set up as many Twitter accounts as you like and link them to your Tweet Tank account, and I guess you would have to have a large number of accounts with a large number of followers to make that kind of money. However, I can see that it is entirely possible. My own experience is that I have been using it for three weeks and set up five accounts (just added another today), one of which has already passed the 1,000 followers mark. And, most importantly, I have already made four sales!!

I am also using it to increase my followers for the @XCashChallenge Twitter account and I have seen a marked increase in traffic as a result.

I think that Tweet Tank is well worth it and has shown that it works well for increasing Twitter followers and making money.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Paid Surveys: Survey Panels to Avoid

To round off my look at paid surveys I thought I would talk about some survey panels that I think are best avoided. These are my opinions and I am sure there are other people who have differing views.

Vindale Research
Vindale advertise themselves as being a genuine market research company, but there are not entirely upfront about how they work. They claim to offer a high reward for many of their surveys, but what they don't tell you is that to participate in many of the surveys involves paying a fee to sign up with a company that you are giving your views on. The reward quoted includes the refund for the fee that you signed up with, which is why the figures are so high. I am not saying that you cannot make money with Vindale, because you clearly can, but I object to the fact that they are not entirely honest about what they do and how much money you can make. My personal view - avoid!!

Cashcrate is possibly a rather contraversial inclusion as many people speak highly of them. However, I am not one of them. This is a site that is often described as being a survey site, but actually is about being paid to complete offers. For example, sign up for a free trial of X company a receive a reward. Of course, you have to remember to unsubscribe when the free trial period ends. There are also some "surveys" to take, but these seem to be about giving your e-mail address to various companies, so you can expect your spam count in your inbox to increase if you do any of these. Again, I personally would avoid!

A. W. Surveys
At this point I find myself breaking one of my golden rules by talking about a site I have never actually tried myself. However, a quick search on Google and browsing various forums and you will find that the word "scam" is frequently used in connection with A. W. Surveys. The consensus seems to be that after the welcome surveys, you don't receive many more. And of those people who do manage to reach the $75 payout, very few are actually paid. As I have said, I have never tried this site, but given their reputation I don't intend to!

Do you have any bad experiences with any survey sites? Leave your comments to share.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Paying Post is Now Blogadvertisingstore

Review us

The paid to blog site, Paying Post has now become Blogadvertisingstore. I can't see anything else that has particularly changed; the layout appears to be pretty much the same as it was previously and features similar opportunities. The sponsored posts tend to be reasonably well rewarded ($10 is fairly typical for low PR ranked such as this one).

The whole issue of being paid to write blog posts can evoke strong reactions from bloggers and others alike. The main benefit of writing such posts is the money of course, but there are hazards - in particular that writing such sponsored posts can affect you PR as Google may penalize you. Some people tend to feel that writing such posts only damage reputation of blogging as medium and can have the affect of skewing the content.

I personally thought long and hard before signing up with paid to blog sites I came to the conclusion that it is an income stream that is worth pursuing, although it at first feel like I was selling my soul. I have decided on my own particular moral code in that I will only write paid posts about stuff that is relevant to my blogs and that I am comfortable about supporting. Most opportunities do not expect you to write a positive review about a product you have not tried, and I would not write these type of posts anyway. I have been offered all sorts of opportunities that have no relevance to my blogs whatsoever. Some paid to blog sites are offer lots of opportunities for gambling and adults which are not things I wish to promote - I feel you have to draw a line somewhere otherwise you start losing readers pretty quickly. I tend to find that Blogadvertisingstore offers a range of opportunities that I am happy to take and fit well with my blogs.

What do you think about being paid to write blog posts? Is it a good opportunity for bloggers to make a bit of extra cash, or is it a case of bloggers selling their soul and compromising the medium?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reviews of the Best Survey Panels - The Best of The Rest

Now that I have reviewed my top five survey panels, I thought I would give a mention to a few others that I like. I apologize for the UK bias to this, but this is where I live and I can only review from my own experience: research community    

Panelbase offer a consumer related surveys for which you are rewarded in cash. Payout is at £10 which is paid directly into your bank account. The only downside is that surveys are not that frequent (monthly on average). They are one of quickest panels to payout - you will receive your money within 7 days of requesting it.

YouGov is an international survey panel who offer surveys based on political opinions, social attitudes and views on various brands. Rewards are in the form of cash, although some are for an entry into a prize draw. Surveys are rather infrequent (monthly on average).

Opinium is a UK based survey panel that offers short surveys on politics and social issues. Surveys are usually monthly on average.

One Poll
One Poll is UK based panel and is quite unlike any other survey panel that I have ever come across. The surveys are very short - they are always on a single page so you can see how long they are before you start. The rewards are in cash, although very small for each survey. Having said that there are new surveys daily and it only takes a couple of minutes per survey. They are generally based on a variety of social attitude type topics, so more interesting than the usual consumer related ones.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monthly Total for October

This month has been considerably better than the previous few months, although I am still not making as much progress as I would like. I feel that I have lost a little momentum with my internet marketing efforts - I had hoped to get another couple of campaigns up and running, but I have not achieved this. I started one; I identified my niche, found some great keywords, but then realised that I know nothing whatsoever about the subject. I am happy to learn, but in my present stlightly de-motivated state the learning curve is just too big. I will come back to it I think but I need to do some serious reading first. I have now identified another niche which I feel more comfortable with and made a tentative start.

It is frustrating that I have not yet had a payout from Clickbank as I have not satisfied the payout criteria - you have to make at least five sales with at least five different credit cards. I have made the required number of sales but some of these have been paid with Paypal which they don't count for meeting payout criteria.

Also I have managed to be distracted by (a) changing the template of this blog (which did need to be done) and (b) playing with Twitter and exploring money making opportunities there - not made anything yet!

I have also got back to selling a few things on Ebay which has boosted my total - not great timing though with the postal strike!

So, here are the totals for October:

Private advertising: £40.86/$67.50
Quickpenny: £26.23/$43.33
Squidoo: £2.94/$4.93
Ebay: £30.55/$50.47

Total = £100.58/$166.23