Monthly Archives: January 2015

Opening My Blog

If you actively follow me on BlogJob, then you may have come across a status update where I revealed that I need to open up this blog to more than just reviewing the latest online freelance writing opportunities.  I’d already done this when I started reviewing various PTC (paid to click) websites and offering tips and tricks for writing/successful use of PTC websites, but I want to make it official.  I can’t change the name of my website and honestly I don’t know that I want to scrap all of my previous posts and start fresh, but I think I could justify using the name Freelance Writing Whisperings while increasing the content of this blog.

Posting about freelance writing websites was the initial goal, but there’s a lot less of them than I thought.  When I get bored I like to Bing search or Google for online freelance writing websites to see if I can discover a new option to research and blog about.  I’m not afraid to go twenty or more search pages to find what I’m looking for.  The problem is that if I have to go twenty or so search pages in, I’m not going to find what I searched for.   I’m torn between blatantly saying that the websites I’m looking for don’t exist and that they do exist but I’m not Googling the correct search terms.  On one hand, I’m not the greatest at knowing what string of keywords would bring up new-to-me paying freelance writing platforms.  I could very well be searching for the wrong terms.  On the other hand, really?  You would think searching “paying freelance writing websites” would give you some decent results!  In the end I don’t want to neglect a blog just because the content doesn’t exist or isn’t easy to find.  This babbling doesn’t justify keeping the name Freelance Writing Whisperings, but it explains the main reason I need to expand my blog to include other moneymaking opportunities.

More importantly to me is that once you cover everything you can think of about one paying website (such as BlogJob, though I’m not sure I dedicated a review to it), what else is there to discuss?  I can always write short status updates about BlogJob (or whatever websites), but as for a substantial 300+ word article, that’s next to impossible!  In order to keep having material to blog about, I need more websites to offer first impressions and experiences about.  The way I can justify using the title Freelance Writing Whisperings is that I’m writing about moneymaking websites of all types for part of my freelance writing project.  It’s a loose connection I admit, but I think it works for me and that’s what counts.

So all that out of the way, if you’ve heard of any interesting websites that pay you to use them in some way but you’re cautious about getting an account, send the name my way and I’ll use them and review them.

Does Grammar or Spelling Make or Break a Website For You?

There’s something that’s been bothering me for quite some time.  I enjoy discovering new websites, especially websites that pay you for articles or blogs and paid to click (PTC) websites.  Don’t get me wrong, I also love finding new-to-me news aggregates that cover a little bit of everything, since I’m an eclectic reader myself and get easily bored with only one subject area.  I’m definitely a reader+writer+online moneymaker, in other words.  Then one thing I am not is blind to grammar and spelling errors.  I don’t have patience for poor grammar, spelling, or bad writing.  I should clarify that I see a difference between wanting to help others improve such things as grammar, spelling, and writing in a professional setting (such as my career goal to become an English, composition, and reading tutor for high school students) and reading professional writers being not-that-stellar.  Once you’re in a setting where writing should be your strong suit but you don’t deliver on it, I have problems with misspellings and poor sentence structure.

Errors I’ve Seen:

  • Finnaly=Finally
  • Monney=Money
  • Depodit=Deposit
  • Refferals=Referrals
  • The wrong use of you’re and your.
  • People who get apostrophe-happy and add apostrophes where they don’t belong.  For example, one website wrote “This is a perfect opportunity for newbie’s”.
  • This one just makes me weep.  A writing website had this slogan “Place, where writers earn good money”.  I actually am curious about researching this particular website further, but what in the world?  Shouldn’t your slogan be error free?

Am I too hard on website creators?  I expect a semblance of professionalism but when I’ve discussed this topic with my folks over and over and let’s just say they think I’m nitpicky and persnickety.  By the way, I would forgive a person for misspelling “persnickety” because it’s not that common of a word.  Back to the main subject, I don’t believe I’m alone in questioning the legitimacy of websites when simple words are misspelled but sometimes I wonder.

What about you?  Would you question the legitmacy of a website if it was dotted with simple spelling and grammar errors?  Are you more forgiving and think “Mistakes happen”?  Finally, do you think I’m too nitpicky and persnickety?

Bubblews Has Lost All Sense of Legitimacy

When I blog about paid freelance writing opportunities on this blog, I actively avoid calling something a scam unless it’s proven to be a scam.  For all I know, the website is legitimate and I’m just a picky consumer angry that it doesn’t offer little things that I want.  I’m tempted to change this when discussing the “new” Bubblews.

First of all, what exactly is Bubblews?  If you’re new to blogging for pay you may have heard extreme positive and extreme negative reviews of the website but haven’t heard anything about what the site actually is.  Admittedly, who knows anymore?  I’ll get to that point in a few paragraphs; for now I’ll give you a brief overview of what the site advertises itself to be.  In “Write“, Bubblews co-creator and moderator Arvind Dixit’s new post about the state of Bubblews, Bubblews is a place for professional writers to share their best and most “verbose” writing with the world and the website will “attract, retain, and harness the spirit of writers around the world”.  Bubblews is a writing community “for writers, by writers” that allows free expression (or as Arvind claims, “focus their life’s anxiety, woes, and joys” for other writers to “absorb and learn from”).  Eh, I’ll pass on the pretentious language thank you very much.  Basically, Bubblews is a blog website.

With all Arvind’s blustering about how amazing Bubblews is, I had one question-Are you going to pay your writers?  I was a member of Bubblews once upon a time and they counted every view, comment, and like of an article towards payment.  Thankfully their new platform has done away with the dislike button, which didn’t count towards points and didn’t technically hurt you except for looking ugly in your profile.  It’s a different system now.  Money is accumulated from every view, comment, and like, but the amount you get paid is based on your country of origin.  You can only redeem after hitting $50 and you can’t redeem more than once every 30 days.  In theory, once Bubblews stops being in debt they will still pay their writers, but longtime users of the website are losing faith.  After being told that payments redeemed after August 11th would not be counted towards redemption (presumably as a way to punish the spammers of the website) it seems like writers no longer know if payment still exists.  There’s whispers of Bubblews becoming a non-paying platform.

In short. “Write” says very little about the new direction Bubblews as a paying (or not?) platform is headed.  This is concerning and very much a reason I feel comfortable saying the website is no longer legitimate.

SimpleSite: Free With a Catch

I’m pleased to announce that after an absence of new article posting or blogging website reviews, I found a new website to review.  I’m not so pleased to announce that I wouldn’t recommend using SimpleSite unless you have $10 to shell out every month.  Free?  Ha!  Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s return to my discovery of www.simplesite.com and the SimpleSite website services.

I am going to blow your mind when I say that I’m highly impressed with the SimpleSite homepage and description of the product, at least from an aesthetic standpoint.  I am a sucker for beautifully designed websites even if they’re questionable.  Check out “Getting Started With Your SimpleSite” here to see what I mean.  Under the heading “How it Works” there’s bullet points explaining the key benefits of Simple Site and below that there are categories that go into more specific detail.  It’s such a clean layout!  But, and it is a huge but, do you notice that something’s missing?  No guesses?  Excellent!  Let me explain the kicker about using SimpleSite.

SimpleSite is not free.  I know, I know, they said it was.  It’s quite easy to get excited and think “Oh hey, I can’t wait to build my awesome new website!  Why haven’t I discover them sooner?”  Just me?  On a more serious note, it’s problematic at best that SimpleSite is and isn’t up front about the free website only being a 30 day trial period.  Underneath the category “Getting Started With SimpleSite” it has a clickable link stating “Make your free website today.”  There is no mention that your “free” website is only free for 30 days.  Once your trial period ends, you have to pay a subscription fee.  Check out the “SimpleSite FAQ” here for the hidden details.  There are three levels of subscription fees.  If you want to keep your website up and running on a monthly basis, your fee is only $10.  This is relatively reasonable for a subscription, but you’ll see where it could be problematic for you later.  If you’d rather spend $25, you can purchase a three month subscription.  If you’re loaded and plan to be frequently active on your SimpleSite, you can buy a yearly subscription for $80.  The thing is, you need to decide early on what kind of subscription you want.  If you don’t purchase a subscription when your old one expires, SimpleSite’s moderators will delete your website and it’s just gone.  This is probably me thinking of users being broke college students who can’t afford frivolous websites, but SimpleSite does not sound like such a good pursuit.  If you’re going to be spending serious money on a website hosting service, wouldn’t it be better if you could keep your old work that you did pay a subscription for?

I may have been able to overlook SimpleSite being free with a catch, but I’m not impressed by the hoops I had to jump through to find out that information.  SimpleSite is a beautifully designed web and as you know, I give credit where it’s due.  That isn’t enough for me to say I am not impressed it doesn’t tell you the entire story on the homepage.  Use caution if you want to pursue SimpleSite.

Jessica’s Advice For Using Paid to Click (PTC) Websites

I promise I’m not going to turn this freelance writing blog into a singing the praises of paid to click (PTC from here on out) websites. I haven’t had much success in finding new or new-to-me paid article posting or blogging websites, so for the time being I’ve turned to searching out paid to click (PTC) websites. For anyone who would prefer freelance writing or blogging (like myself, believe it or not) you may be in for a dry spell. If you’re willing to supplement your freelance writing with PTC, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been learning some important, good-to-know information about PTC websites that I wish I had known when I first started looking at supplementing my online income with that method. If my learning experiences can help you, I feel like I’ve done my job as a responsible blogger.

First of all, anytime I talk about PTc websites, I need to tell you about the potential to make money using them. It’s…supplementary…at best. While I would never tell someone to avoid PTC websites just because it takes more time to accumulate points, coins, or money, I will always caution anyone who wants a make-money-fast method about using PTCs. Here’s the scoop from my own experience using NeoBux and ClixSense. As of this writing I am sitting at 0.376 (soon to increase as I do my daily mass ad clicks). I’ve been using NeoBux for about a week now and it looks like I’ve made very little progress. Just for your information, the cash-out requirement is $10 or greater, so yeah. NeoBux is a fun way to accumulate a little extra income online while contributing minimal effort, but the trade-off is of course that minimal effort equals minimal income. I haven’t even checked my ClixSense balance yet. If you want a somewhat quicker way to make money online, you’re better off using the Perk family apps on your smartphone.

With a basic warning out of the way, let’s talk a little about finding a quality PTC website. You could Google “PTC websites” but do you want to know a secret? I haven’t done any discovery of PTC websites on my own. The first time I really considered the benefits of experimenting with PTC was after BlogJob user “Dick” posted about his experiences with various PTC websites. In addition, I read non-BlogJob accounts of legitimate PTC websites. User feedback is your best friend. I mean, if I’m going to spend my time experimenting with something, I want to know that there’s a semblance of it paying off for me (literally if possible). Of course, if you’re feeling bold and want to jump into a random PTC, that’s totally your business. If it pays off for you, feel free to let me know about your success.

Finally, I’m telling you how great it is to use PTC websites to boost online income so you might be surprised to learn I actually hate viewing advertisements. I would even feel safe saying I loathe it. When an advertisement pops up on my computer, I will briefly consider smashing the screen to avoid seeing it. My secret to making PTC websites not entirely irritating (you know, even though I’m benefiting from them) is to alternate between clicking on advertisements and doing an activity on one of the Perk family apps. For example, I’ll switch my attention from clicking on NeoBux advertisements to playing Perk Scratch and Win. It gives me different things to focus on so I’m not glued to the thing I hate/loathe. And although I shouldn’t have to say it, I’m making money/”money” from NeoBux and Perk Scratch and Win or Perk Pop Quiz.

NeoBux, a New-to-Me Pay-to-Click Website

While this blog is intended for websites that allow freelance writing and pay-to-click (PTC) websites are about clicking on advertisements and downloading apps for points that can eventually be redeemed for money, PTC is another way to potentially make money.  Because the end result of freelance writing websites and PTC websites are the same, I think it counts.

Today I’ll be offering you a brief review of the PTC website NeoBux (www.NeoBux.com).  Since I like to give credit where it’s due, shout-out to BlogJob user “Dick” for linking to the website.  I have heard about NeoBux before, back when I was a member of ChatAbout.  Until ChatAbout put the kibosh on chatting about websites that weren’t ChatAbout (a problem to discuss in a separate blog post), users loved sharing their moneymaking websites with each other.  When ChatAbout deleted the topic for PTC websites, I don’t know if other users remembered the different websites, but I know I forgot all about NeoBux.  I definitely appreciated being reminded of them by “Dick”.

So, what exactly is NeoBux?  Well, how do I put this tactfully and honestly?  I plan to use it because I want to increase my online moneymaking ability quickly and easily outside of the more challenging and serious blogging I do.  I am not dead set on it being “my” site.  Of course, you probably want to know the basics of it before knowing my opinion of it.

NeoBux is primarily a website where you visit advertising websites (usually other PTC sites) and collect points for the views.  First you have to create an account, which is easy enough.  Once your account is verified, you’re ready to go.  Click on the “View Advertisements” tab to go to the advertisements page.  There are three categories, one called “Fixed Advertisements”, one called “Micro Exposure”, and one called “Expired Advertisements”.  You can ignore the expired advertisements for obvious reasons.  Start with “Fixed Advertisements” because in my one day of using this website, that’s the section with the most advertisements.  You never technically leave the NeoBux page; as soon as you click on a red dot inside an ad that looks interesting to you, the screen opens to a new tab with a strip running across the top that says NeoBux, intended to track your point collection the advertiser’s website, and all you have to do is stay there for a short amount of time until you see “Advertisement Validated!  *Such and such amount* credited in your account” on the strip.

NeoBux offers other pay-to-click activities for earning points.  If you go to the “Offers” tab, you can click on “Points”, “Coins”, and “Mini Jobs”.  If you click on “Points” you’ll get a long list of activities you can do for points.  They vary from day to day but in most cases they involve downloading some software of signing up for some websites.  If you click on “Coins” you have different links to websites that you can click on, where you’ll get a list of that website’s earning activities.  For example, tonight I’m checking out the activities for the website TrialPay.  They involve signing up for accounts on various websites, making monthly donations to charities, playing trivia online, and joining book clubs.  I highly recommend that if you choose to sign up for accounts or book clubs, you only sign up for ones that genuinely interest you.  You’ll probably get a lot of spam email from partners of the website you sign up for and it can become more of a nuisance than a help.  At least you can limit the spam emails and frustration by being selective about the websites you get an account with.  If you click on “Mini Jobs” you’re taking to a page with listings of short/”short” jobs you can potential complete and get points for.  The job website is CrowdFlower, which I’ve never heard of.  I wouldn’t mind researching that website later on, but right now I’m going to ignore the section completely since I don’t know anything about its legitimacy.

My first impressions of NeoBux is that it can become a way to make supplemental income, but it takes a long time.  Your money is based on the decimal system as such-0.000.  I finally made it up to 0.040 today, which is an accomplishment even though it doesn’t seem like one.  It’s definitely not a way to get rich quickly.  On the other hand, I appreciate another place that I can do some relatively easy online moneymaking.  The only reason I can’t see NeoBux becoming “my” site is that I prefer blogging and creating a substantial final product.  Unlike some of the highly negative reviews I’ve had about other websites, I’m not immediately opposed to NeoBux or other PTC websites.

First Impressions of CGP Gallery

CGP Gallery is a part pay-per-click writing platform, part social networking website.  Users of the website claim that CGP Gallery uses the same script as Bubblews (another part pay-per-click writing and part social networking website that is highly not recommended).  I decided I needed to learn about CGP Gallery directly from the creators themselves.  According to the FAQ, the goal of CGP Gallery is for users to be “compensated for these types of information that they share on social networks where the users will be benefited.”  In other words, users of CGP Gallery will in theory receive money for the writing they post to the website.  The FAQ is a mess grammatically speaking, but it is useful in telling potential members how soon they can cash out, what the daily limit for posting articles is, and what content is prohibited.  As of this posting, users of CGP Gallery can cash out at $20 unless they require Bank Wire, at which point they can cash out at $50.  The daily limit for how many articles a user can post is ten articles.  Essentially the prohibited content is you standard prohibited content-all work must be your original work and you can’t post anything obscene, defamatory, or pornographic.  In addition, you can’t post articles that are segments of a larger article (for example, you can’t write Article: Part One and Article: Part Two) and you can’t post about your payout issues.  Any author that violates the rules will be punished without notice.  At least CGP Gallery says that up front, but it also means that you can’t challenge a punishment.

After reading the FAQ for CGP Gallery, I do not have a positive first impression of the website.  Granted, it feels like the creators of CGP Gallery learned where the Bubblews creator went wrong and thoroughly publicizes the “Thou shalt not…”s of using the website so there’s less user/owner misunderstandings.  At the same time, I am not okay with the poor grammar and spelling used in the FAQ and the potential for dropping users for no reason and then claiming it was because they broke a rule (without explaining what rule was broken).

Now, everyone is bound to make typos because it’s so easy to make typos.  With autocorrect being more of a curse than a blessing and fast typing on the internet, bad grammar and spelling mistakes do happen.  The writing on CGP Gallery’s FAQ is inexcusable.  There are extra spaces between words where spaces shouldn’t be, words are capitalized where they shouldn’t be, and some sentences are repetitive and redundant.  When a company’s creators don’t spellcheck for simple errors, the legitimacy of the site is called into question.

Furthermore, CGP Gallery’s notice to potential members about prohibited content is fine the way it’s written until you get to the bottom where it says the piece about author violations not being notified.  Everyone deserves a second chance for minor violations but CGP Gallery isn’t allowing that.  In fact, what if an author didn’t violate any of the rules but CGP Gallery didn’t want to pay them for their work?  Bubblews is currently under fire for doing that exact thing.  If CGP Gallery is going to be a long-lasting paying platform, they need to be fair to their users.  Maybe they will be, but just from reading the FAQ I have my suspicions.

I would be careful about jumping on the CGP Gallery bandwagon.  Take a look at the website CGP Gallery to see what you think.  If you still want to sign up for an account, I wish you luck.

ExpertsColumn Looks Spiffy But Doesn’t Allow Blog Creation

I have a gripe about ExpertsColumn that anybody interested in writing for them needs to hear.  Bear in mind that the more I check out the features of ExpertsColumn, the more I’m interested in writing at ExpertsColumn.  If you read my earlier blog about my first impressions of the website home page and the dashboard, you might be surprised.  Yes, I had concerns about the site’s home page layout including the multiple spellings of ExpertsColumn, but the profile page layout is quite spiffy and blogging on ExpertsColumn would be worth pursuing.  I dislike the fact that in spite of going through the process of creating a blog and the website seemingly accepting my information, no blog is created for me and I can’t find information to guide me.

Before giving you the downer news, I want to talk up ExpertsColumn’s awesome points and give credit where credit is due.

First of all, I had reservations based on the cluttered dashboard and that writing contests on the website were heavily promoted, turning blogging into a competition.  I wouldn’t recommend that anyone goes into blogging with a competitive mindset, first of all.  Write for quality and write blog posts that are appealing to your target base.  If you do decide that you want to submit content for a blogging contest, bear in mind that you have to negotiate winning the competition with appealing to your audience(s).  ExpertsColumn definitely promotes competition, but the great thing is that you can ignore the dashboard posts by looking only at the left side of your screen to your blog creation and article publishing icons are.  I’ll be difficult to ignore the calls to competing in their monthly contests, but it’s not impossible if you decide to focus on quality blogging.

Second, today I visited a new location-my profile page.  I don’t know if I expected much, but actually I love what ExpertsColumn did with the background image and the ease of posting messages to the profile.  Right now the background image is what I consider “fire colors” (yellow, orange, and red) and black snowflakes and stars.  I’ve used the word spiffy at least three times now, but let me use it again.  There is nothing I adore more than a profile page that uses colorful and eye-catching backgrounds.

Unfortunately, I had no success in creating my first blog so that I could write my first article.  I went straight to the icon for “create a blog” and filled out my blog domain name, my blog title, a description of my blog, the niche my blog would fit into, and selected “I want to earn from ExpertsColumn revenue” instead of the pre-selected “I don’t want to earn”.  Everything was completed and I hit the “submit domain” button.  I’m used to immediately getting my blog so that I can fix it up and write my first article for it.  Sometimes instant gratification doesn’t happen, but I expect a quick “blog has been created” message to show up.  On ExpertsColumn, I got no such feedback.  It may as well be like my blog proposal was rejected, because my blog isn’t there.  It wasn’t there yesterday and it wasn’t there this morning and it also wasn’t there this afternoon.  To be fair to the support staff of ExpertsColumn, I did submit an email asking them how I can fix the problem I’m having last evening.  I’m still waiting for a reply.  In the meantime, I can’t recommend or not recommend ExpertsColumn because I can’t use them.

My First Impressions of ExpertsColumn For Niche Blogging

ExpertsColumn is very new to me and honestly the only way I can give you a substantial review of it is to write an article and see what the end results look like. I have neglected blogging today so exect a more thorough review of the act of blogging on ExpertsColumn within the next day or two.  For now, enjoy my first impressions of the home page layout and website descriptions and see if it’s a blogging website you’d like to blog for.

First of all, you can tell a lot about a website, blogging platform, news aggregate, or social ntwork from the layout of the home page and how the content is described.  I admit I wasn’t impressed with the way in which ExpertsColumn described their blogging advantages and need-to-know information.  I wouldn’t normally harp on grammar understanding very well that everyone makes typos, but I’m concerned about the legitimacy of ExpertsColumn based on the multiple ways they’ve spelled their own name.  I assume that the website is called ExpertsColumn at www.ExpertsColumn.com but it has also been spelled Expertscolumn at Expertscolumn.com.  Folks, I don’t know how much typos you’re willing to tolerate, but it’s not a good sign when the site has typos spelling their own name.  In addition, the layout is cluttered and pop-up based.  Whenever I visit the home page, I am immediately greeted by a pop-up tlling me that ExpertsColumn is now on Facebook.  The news of them having additional locations to promote blogs reassures me about the website’s legitimacy, but I’d rather not learn it through a pop-up.  Also, there is useful information on the home page about how you can earn money from ExpertsColumn (Cool point: You earn through posting blogs and communicating with other bloggers.  No AdSense acount required!).  You have to click on images to drop down the information.  It’s not hard or user-unfriendly, but the website home page would look so much better if the images were gone and you could just read the how-to information right on the home page.

In spite of my shaky first impressions of the ExpertsColumn home page, I continued by signing up for an account.

My first impression of using website is a mixed bag as well.  Signing up is super easy as long as you remember your email name and password.  The profile creation is quite helpful, actually.  The filter will tell you whether your username and password are available or not.  This may not be significant to all users, but it helped me with the immediacy of accepting my chosen username and password.  Once you sign in, your dashboard is a little more cluttered than what I would say is ideal.  However, it has a strong social networking feel.  My own dashboard alerted me to monthly writing contests and who the bloggers to beat were.  I don’t blog for competition but if thats an interest of yours, definitely check out ExpertsColumn.  My biggest concern is that the website doesn’t always accept actions you take.  I created my first blog and when I hit the “add domain” button to accept it, the screen sent me back to my dashboard.  I assumed that meant my blog was accepted, but when I searched for my blog, nothing showed up.  In addiion, when I clicked on the tab for “write blog” I got a notice that I needed to create my frst blog before I could make a post.  Expect a learning curve with ExpertsColumn.  I won’t give up until I officially create a post and can tell you about that process but I definitely have concerns about content security.

Happy blogging (if you’re interested)!

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