Blog Rush Update

Just a quick update on Blog Rush.

My traffic stats show that yesterday I received 6 visitors from other sites running the widget. Those visitors show as being referred from “”.

That was the first day I’d received traffic. Presumably it took a day for me to build up enough credits from showing the widget to get enough exposure for my own posts to show. I’ll let you know how the traffic changes in the next few days, but 6 visitors on the first day of traffic is better than I’ve seen with most of these sorts of programs.

DealDotCom Preview

Betshopboy turned me on to DealDotCom.

The site itself is still in prelaunch, until tomorrow. What will it be when it launches?

Basically, DealDotCom is setting itself up to be an outlet for Internet Marketing guides and tools. Have an ebook you want to get out to a larger audience? Sell it there. Have a terrific service that you think would help someone running an online business? Sell it there.

The catch is that you only get 24 hours for your product or service to sell, and you have to give DealDotCom buyers a huge discount over your regular pricing. Think in terms of making DealDotCom a JV partner in your business. Oh, and you can only sell a limited quantity at that price.

The possibilities are good, since the members are primed to want Internet marketing materials, and good prices. The 24 hour window and limited quantity provides time pressure for people to want to buy quickly if they’re at all interested in your product. They’ll know that the price is likely to be the lowest they’ll get it at anywhere.

When you sign up for DealDotCom you also become an affiliate. They have a two-tier program, so you earn from your referrals’ purchases (35%) and from their referrals’ purchases (15%). Once you get someone to sign up under you, you earn on any purchases they ever make at the site.

The only way to join DealDotCom right now is through an invite from an existing member, so click here to join.

Blog Rush Added

I’ve added the Blog Rush widget to the far right sidebar.

Blog Rush is, basically, a traffic exchange for blogs. We’d talked in the comments on a previous post about there being a market for something like this. You show the Blog Rush widget somewhere on your blog. Every time it shows, you get credits toward your posts appearing in the widget on someone else’s blog.

When you join Blog Rush, you specify a category for your blog. There are thirty some categories to choose from, and that category controls the blog posts that appear in your widget. So you’re earning credits from and showing your posts in blog that have similar topics. That’s a nice feature, since it means your gardening blog posts won’t be showing up on an automotive blog.

Unfortunately, there’s no “make money online” category. I tried Computers & Internet, Marketing, Career & Jobs, and Business. Business seemed to get the least irrelevant posts, so that’s what I ended up choosing. You can change your blog’s category in Blog Rush and then refresh your blog to see headlines in the new category.

Picking the right category is important. That way you’re more likely to attract interest from the people seeing your headlines, since they’re already reading a blog on a similar topic.

Blog Rush has just launched this weekend, so it’s a good time to get involved to start building up credits. There’s also a referral program of some sort, although the site is low on documentation right now. The rumor is that it’s a ten level referral tree, so you’ll earn credits from ten levels below you. Quite a lot of bloggers will be involved in this, so getting the widget on your blog early increases your chances of getting referrals to it through the widget.

What I like most about this is the set and forget nature of it. You don’t need to surf a traffic exchange, instead your normal blog visitors generate credits for you. You run the risk of losing some traffic to the widget, but that’s offset by the increased exposure you have on other people’s sites.

They do need to expand the category list a bit, to allow more highly targeted traffic, but that will no doubt come in time.

Click here to get started with Blog Rush.

Project Payday Pays You To Join

I’ve been digging more into the Project Payday website.

They have a section titled “Free Offers” in the member’s area. There’s a mention in there about shipping and handling fees in the offers that reads like this:

On this page you’ll find various free offers and resources that are all highly recommended by the staff here at Project Payday. Some of these can help you make even more money online, and some are just great free offers.

Many are 100% free, but some do charge a small S&H fee since they’ll be sending you valuable free stuff in the mail. If you get some of these just let us know – we have special arrangements with them and we can rebate you DOUBLE the fee.

So you sign up for an offer that requires a $2 shipping and handling fee, and Project Payday pays you $4 for doing so.

My big question was, does this apply to the offer you need to do when you activate your membership? So I contacted their customer support, and the answer was “Yes”.

The effect is that Project Payday is a site that actually pays you to join it. You join, complete an offer to activate your account, and get double the shipping and handling back once you join.

You do have to use the contact form in the members’ area (look in the “Free Offers” section) to request your rebate. It isn’t an automatic process.

Also, note that the “Free Offers” section shows other offers you can do to receive a rebate.

Don’t do them!

Some of those offers are the same ones that people looking for referrals at free item sites will need you to perform, and they’ll pay you far more than you’ll get back from Project Payday as a rebate.

So, to summarize:

1) Join Project Payday.

2) Complete an offer to join, and pay the required shipping and handling fee. Pick one with the highest shipping and handling fee.

3) Once you’re into the members’ area, go to the “Free Offers” area and click the “Contact Us” link to request your rebate.

You’ve now gotten paid to get access to a site that will tell you how to make even more money completing offers for other people. And Project Payday received a commission from you completing the activation offer.

It’s nice to find a site that truly does have a win/win offer these days.

How To Not Pick A Program To Promote

I’d done my post about How To Make Your First $30 At Inbox Dollars as an experiment.

I picked Inbox Dollars because it was the first GPT site I’d come across, so in my mind it was the GPT site. I wanted to see if a nuts and bolts explanation of how the program worked ended up converting more visitors into referrals than a simple review.

And it did. I currently have 55 referrals at Inbox Dollars, many of those people who came to the post through Yahoo Answers, others who found it through Google searches.

The experiment was a success, but ultimately the program turned out to not be the best choice.

Oh, you can make money at Inbox Dollars, no doubt about it. But their referral program isn’t that great. You make money from your referrals in two ways at Inbox Dollars.

First, when they get paid for reading an email, you get a percentage of it. They don’t say how much you get, but my referrals have read over 740 emails and I’ve made $1.13 from it. So clearly the percentage is not high, since they make around $0.03 per email they read.

Second, when each referral is mailed their first payout check, you get $5 credited to your account. At a $30 payout, that’s about 16% going to the sponsor. That doesn’t sound bad, except that apparently very few people actually follow through and get the payout. Out of my 55 referrals, only 1 has received a check. If they’d all followed the instructions in the post and immediately requested a payout, the number should be closer to 20 by now (checks take about 45 days to be mailed).

So my total income from the experiment so far is $6.13.

On this side of it all, I realize that I should have picked the program based on the referral benefits. Cash Crate would have been a far better choice, where you earn 20% of what your referrals earn, regardless of whether they ever make payout or not. Although, with payouts being a low $10, the chances of anyone not making payout are slim. But you continue to earn from your referrals there, unlike at Inbox Dollars.

I’ll probably rerun the experiment with a post targeted at how to earn a payout at Cash Crate, just to see if the results can be duplicated in an environment that is a bit more earnings friendly.

The moral is, don’t promote the first program you come across. Look for similar programs that might provide better benefits for getting referrals.

“Systems Work, People Fail”

I’ve seen that headline on a site that’s making the rounds of traffic exchanges.

The implication is that people can only make money online with the right system, and that with the right system, anyone can do it.

I don’t like the headline, because it’s designed to appeal to people who lack confidence in themselves. The “system” mentioned will invariably turn out to be something that a new member must pay into until they start making a profit. Often the system involves one or more MLM programs.

So you take a person who doesn’t think they can succeed, and ask them to spend money until the “system” gets them into profit.

Well, this post is turning into more of a rant than anything else. But as part of research for the blog, I see so many systems that are thinly disguised ways to make money for the founders of the system. They’re all based on the idea that people can be sucked into the system in ever increasing numbers.

Ultimately, the system fails because people are only getting into it to make money, and it takes longer and longer to get each person into profit (since they’re all based on MLM programs).

How much harder would it be to offer a program that people truly need, and are willing to pay for, and also teach them how to use the program to improve their own Internet marketing efforts? And, as a bonus, help them get into profit faster than they might on their own.

One of these days I’d love to see a headline on a traffic exchange that reads, “Systems Fail, People Empower People”.

Project Payday Review

I’d intended for this to be a more comprehensive review, but picked up the flu over the weekend. So I’ll follow up with posts next week that cover more detail.

Project Payday‘s website says it can provide “Realistic Extra Income for the Average Joe”.

It’s refreshing to see a website that doesn’t claim to tell you how to make a million dollars in 30 days or double your money back. The slogan at Project Payday makes me feel like anyone can do this. It isn’t clear, though, what this is from reading the front page. There is an interesting guarantee, though…if you follow the instructions they give you, and don’t make money within 24 hours, they’ll pay you $100.

Project Payday is free, as long as you complete a sponsor offer. Those of you who have been around the Get Paid To (GPT) industry will recognize this as you performing an action that provides Project Payday with an affiliate commission. This is the first site I’ve seen that provides this alternative to simply paying for access.

Once you get in, there’s the predictable OTO (one time offer). You can upgrade and earn higher commissions from your own referrals to Project Payday. Again, you can upgrade by simply completing an offer. The standard commission is $1.50 per referral. Upgrading raised that to $2.00 for me.

One of the nicest things about Project Payday’s referral program is that they pay you for leads, not for activations. You get paid when someone fills out the form on the front page, regardless of whether that person completes an offer to activate their membership or not.

So what is the way that Project Payday gives you “realistic extra income”?

As you might expect from how the site uses GPT offers, the income comes from the GPT industry. But not the side of the industry I’d expected. I’d expected another site like Cash Crate that pays you to complete offers, essentially splitting the referral commission with you.

Instead, Project Payday includes an impressive set of training articles and videos that teaches you how to make money from the various “free item” sites. You’ve probably seen them around, the “get a PS3 for free” sort of site. What you generally have to do is complete one or more offers at the site, and refer some number of friends who do the same.

Project Payday shows you how to make money from these sites in three separate ways.

1) Get paid to help others get their free items.
2) Find sites that will give you cash in place of an item, and then pay others to help you get it
3) Pay others to help you get an item, and then sell it on Ebay

They also offer a mentoring program, where you can request a couple of mentors to be assigned. Mentors must be using the system successfully, so you know that you’ll get good advice.

Click here for the Project Payday site.

Update: See Project Payday Pays You To Join for more info on this program.

The Wall of Blogs

I figured I’d plug Enkay Blog‘s latest project (better late than never!)

The Wall of Blogs is a way to get a permanent link back to your blog, and to get some advertising at the same time. You can see the original announcement here.

This is similar to the pixel purchase sites that pop up now and then. I typically stay away from these sorts of projects for a few reasons.

1) The amount of space you get isn’t really worth it. You get a tiny space to fit a blog logo into, so the advertising value is almost non existent.

2) The sites themselves need to gain PR to give you much value for the link, and there are a lot of clone sites out there competing for attention.

I did purchase three blocks on The Wall of Blogs, though, for these reasons:

1) Well, it’s done by Enkay, which makes it cool!

2) You get a lot of space, plenty to show a blog logo so it’s actually readable.

3) I expect all the blogs that buy space will post about it and link to The Wall of Blogs, because of #1 and #2, so in the next PR update a link from it could be a nice boost.

I found out about The Wall of Blogs late, since I’ve been neglecting my RSS reader again. So I ended up with the first set of blocks on level 2 of the site. The plan is to rotate ads, though, so every ad will display above the fold for at least a few days during the month. This is a great move, and provides continuing value even to late adopters.

At $5 a block, this is one of the best values in pixel advertising I’ve seen.

Go get your blocks now!

Squidoo Earnings Update

Squidoo has just released its latest earnings update.

This update covers the month of July. My total earnings for July were $13.26, compared to $9.49 for the previous period.

Some highlights: Computer Game Making For Kids earned $4.12, up from $3.80. Roleplaying With Kids also earned $4.12, up from $3.80. My personal lens, Who Is Jay Shaffstall? earned $.04, down from $.65.

The main factor in these earnings figures is traffic (this is all Adsense sharing revenue). I’ve basically allowed Google to send me what traffic it wanted, without doing anything in the way of traffic building.

Will this continue to rise? With the additional lenses I’ve created, I imagine so.

How does this compare to running your own blog with adsense? Poorly. Your earnings from a blog running adsense will be higher, because you’re not sharing anything with Squidoo. But, a blog that covered as many diverse topics as my lenses cover probably wouldn’t get much in the way of regular readers.

Plus, creating a Squidoo lens is dead simple and free, while starting up a blog does have some overhead and cost associated with it.

If you have a topic about which you’re passionate and plan to generate a lot of content about, start a blog.

If you have a topic you want to put up a quick single page about, create a Squidoo lens.

Yuwie First Month Report

The month of August has come and gone, and the first set of earnings are available at Yuwie.

I ended up with a total of 22,879 page views between myself and my referrals. The amount paid out per 1,000 page views was $0.47. Depending on what level a page view was generated on in the referral tree, I ended up with some percentage of that $0.47.

Here’s a screenshot that shows the percentage and amount earned at each level:

Yuwie August Earnings

Now, $0.66 for the month probably doesn’t seem like much. Some points to keep in mind.

1) Most of my referrals were not active. Many people signed up to have a look around, and then apparently decided Yuwie wasn’t right for them at the time.

2) Since they weren’t active, most of my referrals did not get referrals of their own. So my referral tree is more of a pole, with relatively the same number of people at each level. At each level, very nearly one person is responsible for all the referrals on the next level.

3) In a single month, my referral tree grew down to level 7.

4) In the first six days of September, I have nearly half as many page views from referrals as in the entire month of August.

5) You earn three times as much from your level 10 referrals as you do yourself.

So, my conclusions from this are that you have to be in Yuwie for the long-term benefit. To get to the point of making serious money, you need active referrals all the way down an expanding tree. You can’t really do much about referrals being active or not, but for those that are active you can help them to build up their own set of referrals, and encourage them to do the same for their referrals.

This will help to expand the tree, which is where your earnings potential lies. If the tree expands all the way down to level 10, you’ve suddenly got a pretty nice income.

Luckily, getting referrals to Yuwie is pretty easy, as shown by #3 above. Most of my referrals come from online efforts, but most of their referrals come from friends and family they’ve told about Yuwie. Those are the people who will tend to be more active, because you know them outside of Yuwie.

Here’s a guide I wrote about getting the most out of Yuwie. It’ll give you an idea about what’s required to get results.

Click here to see what Yuwie is all about.