Monthly Archives: December 2014

Some New-to-Me Blog Websites

I am unbelievably frustrated in my search for other awesome blogging platforms!  I love BlogJob but I wonder what else exists in the dark corners of the internet (which honestly should probably remain in the dark corners of the internet for good reasons), at least where blog creation is concerned.  The most important thing to me is that users need to be able to easily customize their blog(s) and make money from it, either using the point system like on BlogJob or through posting affiliate links.  It’s a difficult task just searching for blogging websites, never mind blogging websites that allow their users to post affiliate links!  After much gritting and grinding my teeth and griping, I found a few promising websites.

Bravenet.com

I had never heard of Bravenet.com before yesterday, but it seems that the company Bravenet Web Services Inc. has been around for a decent amount of time.  The Bravenet.com website copyright information says 1997-2014.  This is significant to me.  If you’re active with any money-making website, you know it’s a risky business.  Terms and conditions change frequently.  Some websites start out promising but then become censorship-friendly.  Growing pains affect websites just as much as people.  The good news about Bravenet.com is that it’s been in business for close to 17 years.  That alone doesn’t guarantee legitimacy, but it says that the company must be doing something right in order to stay around when other companies are going out left and right around it.

There are other positives of the website in addition to it being a long-lasting blog hosting website.  The homepage is visually appealing overall.  Some of the icons leading to more information are a little tacky-looking, but I’m referring more to the clean layout and color images that show an example of blogs that you can create on Bravenet.com.  If you’re a beginning blogger, you get to use all of the website’s free services.  It seems like they have some good options for you.  If you’re the owner of a business and you’re interested in buying a domain, the website states that prices start at $12.95 per year.  As it turns out, Bravenet.com can either be used for creating a simple blog or for going all out with a website.

One concern that I have with Bravenet.com is that the only way you can contact the staff for help and any questions you have is if you are a registered member.  Maybe there’s nothing sinister about this.  It could be an excellent way for the staff to cut back on pointless emails and respond to valid emails quicker.  I would just feel better if anyone who has questions can easily contact a staff member.  I wanted to know if Bravenet.com users could put affiliate links (for example, Amazon links) on their blogs and make a little extra money that way.  To my knowledge the only way to earn money from Bravenet.com is through referring potential users.  If I want an answer to this question, I will have to register as a member.  I know it won’t take longer than ten minutes at most to create an account, but I firmly believe that the staff should be more available to ask legitimate questions without you having to be a member.

Heatbud.com

Heatbud is beautiful!  From the logo of a mini fire that vaguely takes the shape of a leaf to the main page’s gentle sea green and white colors, this is what I consider visually-appealing.  Of course, appearances don’t necessarily equal finding the information you need if you are interested in becoming a member that hopes to make some money from the blog.

The FAQ page on Heatbud.com leaves a lot to be desired.  On one hand I feel terrible saying this because I would absolutely use the website if making a little extra income from blogging wasn’t my goal.  On the other hand, it’s my responsibility as a blogging-about-blogging blogger to give the full scoop.  If you are someone who wants to blog because it’s your hobby and you find releasing your thoughts semi-anonymously therapeutic, the FAQ is sufficient.  If you want to know about posting affiliate links or if Heatbud.com has their own method for monetizing your blog, you are going to be sorely disappointed. You will have to contact the Heatbud.com staff to get information to your questions about if earning money from your blog is possible.  At least in theory the contact page delivers your message and they reply promptly.  I’m still waiting for a response to the question I sent about blog monetization yesterday.  To be fair to the staff, if one hundred or more people have sent in questions, it’s not their fault if they can’t respond immediately to mine.

I would not completely write Heatbud.com off yet.  I want to give the staff a fair chance to read and respond to my inquiry.  If I do get a response, I’ll do a more in-depth look at the website whether or not it allows blog monetization.

Weebly.com

I didn’t actively look into the benefits of using Weebly.com, to be honest with you.  It’s more of a website creation than a blog creation website.  I am going to link it to you anyway because while the name is so weird it’s memorable and will readily show up in the search engines for you, I didn’t go through hours of frustrating searches only to give up completely on a new-to-me site.  One cool fact I’ll share with you:  Apparently the staff of Weebly.com created the information about Weebly.com using the Weebly.com script.  If you like what you see or think you’d like to use the platform and improve on what the Weebly.com staff did, it might be worth checking into.

In addition to these new-to-me websites, I’m curious about WordPress.com’s blogging options.  BlogJob uses the WordPress script so it seems like you have a bunch of freedom to blog and you can post relevant affiliate links.  I would absolutely have to run it by the WordPress staff because in reading the terms and conditions of use, I wasn’t entirely sure what affiliate links were allowed versus what affiliate links would be prohibited.  The appeal of WordPress over these other websites is that having used the WordPress script before and knowing a bit about the layout options, I can vouch for the blog customization aspect.

Bitlanders May Not be a Scam, But I Don’t Recommend Them

First of all, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to BlogJob user Henry for introducing all of us to Bitlanders, a social networking website that pays for your content (microblogs, blogs, and videos) about a month ago.  I would never have been able to find it on my own and I think it’s important to give others credit when they point you in the right direction.  So thank you Henry for your information on Bitlanders!

Now we can address the Bitlanders website directly.  First, you can check it out by going to this link: https://www.bitlanders.com/.   It’s relatively easy to remember and straightforward for finding, which is the most positive thing I can say for the website.  Maybe I’ll add that if you remain faithful to posting content on the website you might get paid for it.  I can’t promise payment because I haven’t reached that point yet, but the promise of the website is that with enough points you can exchange them for various online gift cards and bitcoins (whatever those are).  Someone who’s more active on the website would be a better voice on whether you get paid or not.  For now we’ll go with the idea that you do get paid.  The third thing that’s nice about the website goes hand-in-hand with payment, so maybe we’ll call it Positive Point 2.5 or some catchy term like that.  Check your account every day.  You’ll likely find a “bonus” of some amount of points.  This is the reason I personally keep coming back to the website.  If we didn’t get bonuses, I wouldn’t bother.

Negative Points:

  • The content is shoddy.  Now, to be fair to Bitlanders, this isn’t the fault of the website moderator.  If users were more serious about posting quality content and acting as community moderators, this problem with one to two word comments or meaningless gibberish would clear up considerably.  The only user that I can honestly point to and say “This man knows what he’s writing about” is “LarryOliver”.  Most of the content is microblogs (which admittedly is my go-to activity) and people posting images that are enticing (um, visually appealing) but not of themselves and trying to get as many views as possible without posting anything of substance.  If you are a serious blogger, I would not recommend spending your time and dedicatedly written articles on Bitlanders.
  • The avatars are creepy.  So, Bitlanders as a social network needed to brand itself in a noticeable way.  The method chosen is to use animated men and women full-body avatars.  They are…um, how to say this nicely?  They look tacky and poorly-drawn!  Yes, that actually is putting it nicely.  The clothing and accessories are admittedly neat.  If you enjoy playing online dress-up, Bitlanders is right up your alley.  Since Bitlanders partnered with Indonesian pop star Cinta (not sure who she is, but she must be famous in that part of the world) as an avatar clothing designer and the face of Bitlanders you do have some really nice outfits.  If Cinta hadn’t been involved, I don’t know that the outfits would be so plentiful and so appealing.  That doesn’t change the fact that the avatars themselves are a total turn-off!
  • The search button functions to a point (in which you can type in a word or a phrase and it’ll return results that are kind of what you were looking for), but there’s no good way of searching for specific content in microblogs, blogs, and videos.  If the purpose of this website is that you are interactive with users and their content, you would expect that you could easily find their content.  You can’t.  The best way to check for new content is to repeatedly return to the website.

In short, I don’t recommend Bitlanders if you’re serious about posting content.  It is purely for mindless social networking and playing dress-up.  Maybe you do get paid, but right now I couldn’t tell you that either way.  I don’t believe it’s a scam, but I wouldn’t recommend something to others that I’m not 100% feeling.

The Search For Good Freelance Writing Websites

I had big plans for my first-ever blog on Freelance Writing Whisperings.  I planned on providing my readers with a list of websites that pay for freelance writing.  I planned to divide my list into “articles”, “blogs”, “lists”, and “reviews” for extra clarity.  Beyond that, I know that a lot of writers want to find a niche and won’t bother with anything that doesn’t work with their niche.  As someone who would never have discovered my own websites without using other people’s lists, I thought it would be the perfect way to give back to the up-and-coming freelance bloggers.  I was unbelievably excited to create this list…and then I started searching for the freelance writing websites.

Did you know that for all the joys of the internet and the world wide web, there never seems to be good search results for the items you really want to find?  I can just hear the dissenters calling “Not true!  You’re just lazy and didn’t Google hard enough!” but in fact it’s unfortunately much more true than I wish it was.  I am lazy, but not when it comes to important tasks such as Googling (or Bing-ing) for potential freelance writing websites.  My primary search engine is Bing, but I’m quickly learning that it isn’t the most reliable for bringing up websites that you already know exist.  It’s even worse bringing up new websites.  In order to find what you’re searching for, you have to use very specific key words.  Good luck figuring out what they are!  If you find an effective way to search, let me know!

Well, my plans for independently finding excellent article publication, blog, list, and product reviews have fallen through.  I will leave you with a (very) short list of websites that I’ve personally used to get you interested along with a brief description of what they are and then I will have to post a follow-up article on websites that others have recommended once I’ve also checked them out for content and if they even exist anymore.

Websites I Already Use:

  • DailyTwoCents-Do you like residual income (essentially income that occurs when you create and post content and then leave it alone while it continually generates money)?  Maybe you’ll like DailyTwoCents.  It uses a standard WordPress layout for clean, professional-looking articles.  While you can’t select your own layout and background image (at least to my knowledge) or have multiple websites for very specific content, it is an excellent option for quick and easy blogging.  In my experience, the two moderators are super nice and will promptly respond to any questions you have.  Be sure that if you email them, tell them directly what your problem or concern is.  They’ve always been helpful for me, so don’t be scared to communicate with them.  As for payment, payment is done through PayPal on the tenth of every month.  Definitely set up a PayPla account before joining DailyTwoCents.  The first threshold for redemption is 5.00.
  • BlogJob-I have a sense of humor for talking about BlogJob on BlogJob, but I have good things to say about it so I think it’ll be okay with the moderator.  The thing I find so enjoyable about writing on BlogJob is that I can create an unlimited amount of blogs so that I can get very specific about topics that are of interest to me.  Say you want to write about books, movies, music, TV shows, podcasts, videos posted online, and any other form of entertainment media imaginable.  You can create blogs for each topic.  Every activity that you perform on the website, whether it’s creating a blog post or posting a status update will earn you points.  Eventually you’ll earn enough points to buy gift cards or to deposit into PayPal.  Just be careful that you don’t spam the website advertising companies that you profit from.  Content that educates, persuades, or amuses is best.

 

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