As I and many visitors to this blog have noticed, some website creation platforms claim they are free but have a catch. On January 17th 2015 I discovered this with the website creation platform SimpleSite and had to tell everyone so that they didn’t get suckered into thinking SimpleSite was as free as it claimed. You can read my review here for more details, but the short version of events is that it was a one month free trial before requiring the user to purchase a premium account for additional access. I wasn’t impressed and decided to move on. Since then, I received an email from SimpleSite letting me know that they were making a basic version of the website free. I ignored it at first because I was still hurting from being misled the first time.
So what changed? Today I sorted through my list of comments that I needed to approve for Freelance Writing Whisperings and I saw that many visitors have left comments thanking me for letting them know updates on websites they are curious about. This is a source of pride for me, feeling like in my unique way I can help others. I decided that I owe it to all of you to keep you updated on new developments.
Given that I felt misled by the original SimpleSite, I was not ready to take the above email at its word. What I had to do was compare the explanation of the original SimpleSite to the explanation of the new SimpleSite.
The new SimpleSite is arranged in a heirarchy of features, where the free version gives you limited features while each additional paid level offers extra benefits. At first glance the paid levels seem expensive but if you are an active visual blogger or online marketer, I (and the SimpleSite creators) recommend purchasing a level that will let you post unlimited images. If you aren’t sure how many images you’ll use, start with the 300 free image website and see how it progresses from there. Helpful hint: If you want to stay with the free SimpleSite option, get a free blog from Blogger to archive posts that you can’t keep on SimpleSite but want to hold onto.
The ultimate question, of course, is “Is the new SimpleSite really free?” To clarify, this is referring to the “free” level that used to only be free as a month trial. My response is that I need to wait a full month before I can definitively answer this question, but right now my impression is that yes, the new SimpleSite’s lowest level is free. I advocate creating a SimpleSite website with caution because it’s probably free but since the old SimpleSite was so misleading I refuse to steer anyone in the wrong direction.
Full disclosure: I haven’t cashed out at NeoBux yet, so I will not be speaking to its validity as a money-making website in this post. I will absolutely write about the first time I cash out and if I receive the money, but today’s post isn’t about redemptions.
So, let’s talk about NeoBux. It was the first paid to click (PTC) website I joined and so far I would say I have a good relationship with it. I haven’t cashed out yet because I want to hit at least $10 and that’s a long way away, but it’ll happen one of these days. I keep returning to NeoBux because it’s the easiest PTC website to use and there’s a guarantee of making at least two cents a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but keep in mind that this is two cents a day that you didn’t have to do physical labor for (unless you consider clicking a mouse physical labor). Back when I worked my retail position, I had to bust my butt for two cents. When I say ” let’s talk about NeoBux”, don’t take this the wrong way. Sometimes we have to have a serious talk about good things too.
NeoBux is considered the king of PTC websites. If you’re familiar with other PTC websites, maybe you’ve seen the advertisements for NeoBux calling it such. It’s been around for at least six years according to the FAQ and it’s been paying members for all six years. It’s one PTC website that is considered legitimate in “Is this site a scam?” websites. I still have questions about the definition of being king of PTC websites. NeoBux may be legitimate but it’s not a quick money-making option. My favorite PTC website is ClixSense and I’m currently up to 5.19 there. On NeoBux I’m only at 2.65 and that was my first PTC website (as I said in the previous paragraph). If NeoBux isn’t a quick earner, that makes it like any other PTC website in my book.
I’m not telling you all this to warn you away. More than anything, I just want you to know that if you aren’t already using NeoBux and you want to join, join knowing that it might take time or you to accumulate enough money to cash out.
Can you use blogging and article writing platforms to make a living? As a freelance writer who wants to see other freelance writers’ thoughts on maintaining their platforms and earning money from it, I’ve searched, read, and come to the conclusion that there’s mixed reviews on this point. Most, if not all, freelance writers will tell you that if you’re writing online, you need more than one paying website for your work. I’ve seen the quote “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” way more times than I care to count. Clichés aside, it’s excellent advice. Should an online writer stick to one website for making income? No, it’s too much of a risk. Can an online writer make money from blogging and article writing on various platforms? It’s been done before, so apparently they can.
My question was prompted by a very frustrating non-announcement announcement from Arvind Dixit, the moderator and co-creator of Bubblews. In his blog post “Clarity” he “explained” that Bubblews was never a way for freelance writers to earn an income and in fact it was intended for those who love to write and would write for free but through Bubblews would be compensated for their writing as a hobby. It was frustrating, it was jarring, and it confirms my earlier idea that Bubblews has lost all sense of legitimacy. With the changes in payment at Bubblews, there’s no way a freelance writer could earn an income (short of giving up sleeping, eating, and probably breathing). That wasn’t always true. I was a member of Bubblews when they had a horribly amateur layout for the site but they also paid a full penny for every view, comment, and “like”. This was back when you could request redemption at $25, just to show you how long ago that was. If you were a freelance writer who wanted an income solely from Bubblews, you were still out of luck. However, it was possible to make substantial supplementary income. While it’s true that Bubblews is not profitable anymore, it used to be one of many options a freelance writer could use.
I admit to having a tendency to throw all of my writing into one website, and that’s dangerous. I have a trail of sorts of all the online writing websites I’ve used for my posts. As a “baby” freelance writer I gave Triond a go. It was fun from what I remember, but the website filters sorted your articles into the most appropriate category and sometimes the sorting algorithm landed your article in the worst category ever. Around that time I also tried a blogging platform known as RedGage, but I quickly lost interest in it. I did have an account on Squidoo, back when they existed and weren’t completely ridiculous, but I did not like creating “lenses” and being forced to promote all sorts of products. I had a series of Blogger blogs, but I wasn’t able to make them profitable because I couldn’t figure out how Google AdSense worked. I turned to Daily Two Cents and actually I still occasionally check out their newest posts because the two moderators are really helpful and it’s a WordPress script. I would use them more if, like on BlogJob, we could have very specific blogs rather than writing all sorts of posts in a jumbled mess. Still, it’s one of my “baskets”. For a time I also had an account on ChatAbout, which was more conversational than article writing but was a good place to make decently quick money. The censorship bothered me and eventually I had it. I wasn’t siteless for long. If you’ve seen me on Blogjob, you know the rest of my story. Right now I’m dedicated to BlogJob.
I know that being so loyal a risk given my history with other writing platforms and seeing how quickly websites come and go. I’m not going to say that I don’t care about the risks involved, but I feel like it’s worth the chance. Of all the websites I’ve used for writing, BlogJob has been the one that I know I can earn supplementary income from because I’ve personally experienced it. To answer my own question, yes, blogging and writing platforms can assist in making income. I would add the disclaimer that like other freelance writers have said, it’s not a sure thing.
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.