Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SpotWinner - Get Paid to Watch Ads

Now, this 'get paid to watch ads' business is not normally the sort of thing I would go for. To me, there are different categories of 'making money online' and different ways to make money. Websites that make you do things like read ads for 10 seconds each for a penny are really not my cup of tea, though they may work wonders for some people. I think the way that those types of sites probably pay off well is if you can convince 90 of your friends to join. This site is not like that.

SpotWinner is not even a website that I would have tried based on the looks of the ad. To me, it does look like one of those sites that makes you do ridiculously boring things for very little pay. I wouldn't have looked twice. I did, however, hear about this from a friend on Gather, a social networking group that I have joined. She has apparently won a PSP and a digital picture frame, and a friend of hers signed up only recently and has already won a portable DVD player. Now, there's no need for fabrications, as the 5 bonus entries you receive for referrals aren't worth all that. So.....

I signed up, expecting to get an inbox full of spam, and be done with it before I even started. How wrong I was! Though this might not be for everyone, I'm finding SpotWinner to be a whole lot of fun. I stay very busy with all the writing of articles and updating of websites and blogs that I do. I like video games a lot, but I choose not to make the time to get sucked into playing something for hours on end. I have been looking for something that I could do for 10-15 minutes every day, just to give myself a break. SpotWinner does that for me. Basically, you have 5-8 TV commercials (not ads like you're thinking ads) to watch. These ads are super fun, well most of them, funny, original and enjoyable. You earn Spot Cash for watching. You just rate the ad at the end and you're done. If you want more prize entries you stick around and play the short, fun little games about the ads you just watched.

I seriously haven't gotten one piece of junk mail in my inbox. I have this setup on a different email account just for that reason. No spam. And though it could take around 3.5 years to earn enough SpotCash for a $100 Walmart card, (or you can cash out for the $10 Walmart card MUCH sooner!!!), you also get random bonus SpotCash, so it will be fun to see just how soon I can rack up enough for that $100 Walmart prize. I'll likely still be on the internet by then, so you gotta start somewhere. As for the entries for prize winnings, I already know two people who have won, so I'm guessing chances are pretty good. I play all the games I can, and refer anyone who might be interested.

Interested? Click the ad below. I promise it's better than it looks!!!

BrandPort Sweeps

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Turn your blog into a Viral Widget

If you're on the quest to make money at home, it's likely you have a blog. If you're posting away, diligently, at least 3 times per week, you're doing great! Keeping fresh content in your blog will help attract people looking for what you have to say, and people who share your common interests.

Of course, when you begin to get visitors to your blog, you'll want ways to earn money from that blog like Google Adsense ads, affiliate links, and other targeted advertising. If you've got all that, great! Now it's time to make that blog into a viral widget, that anyone can grab and post on their MySpace, Facebook, blog, or other pages. It makes it easier for people to keep track of what you're doing, saying and writing.

Widgetbox has a great little feature that is SUPER EASY to use! This feature creates a very attractive widget with your picture or logo, your headline, your most recent posts, and a GET THIS WIDGET button at the bottom. That means whoever sees your widget and likes it, can grab a copy of the code and paste it wherever is most convenient for them. Let's say JimBob 'grabs' a copy of your widget. He posts it to his MySpace. 14 of JimBob's friends notice it and really like what they see. They grab a copy as well, also to post in the most convenient place. Keep going with those numbers and suddenly you're popular!

The other great thing about Widgetbox is they have a network. You can sign up your blog to be part of that network, in your chosen category, and for the simple price of displaying the network widget on your own blog, you've got free advertising wherever someone else in that category displays the widget.

Example: you display the network widget on your blog. All blogs from your network cycle through this widget, meaning yours shows up randomly. Your blog will also show up randomly on everyone else's blog who has the network widget.

So here are the instructions to get your own viral widget from Widgetbox; called a Blidget.

1. Sign up for a free account at Widgetbox
2. At the home page, on the right side about mid-way down, there's a box that says 'Make a Blidget, turn your blog into a widget and attract more visitors'. Click there.
3. The next screen will ask for your blog URL. Example: my blog url is Click continue.
4. You'll be able to see your widget already at the right hand side. From here you can customize colors, images, text, description, and other exciting details.
5. Click 'Save Blidget' at the bottom and scroll back to the top, read the guidelines and check the box. Click 'Save Blidget' again and you're done. You are now the proud owner of a fancy Blidget containing your blog!
6. A pop up window should now come up inviting you to join the Widgetbox Network. From here, if you'd like to join, and I highly suggest it, you'll click join and select a category on the next screen. Make sure to select the most appropriate category for your blog. You'll get better targeted readers that way.
7. Once you've selected the appropriate category for your blog, you'll generate your network widget and post it to your blog for the world to see. Remember! Everyone else is displaying this widget on their blogs and now your blog will show up all over!

Congratulations. You should receive more traffic now. Plus you still have that fancy Blidget of your specific blog to post at MySpace, Facebook and other places that allow this type of code. (There's a great list inside the Widgetbox code when you click to get the code for your widget. It includes places like Bebo, Wordpress, Blogger, iGoogle and more.)

Here is an example of what my Widgetbox Blidget looks like. Feel free to grab it for your page:

You will also see the Widgetbox Network Widget near the bottom at the right-hand sidebar. This is the widget that allows your blog to be displayed on hundreds of other blogs in your network.

As always, if you have any questions, leave me a comment!

Gather - a Social Networking Grown-up

I LOVE Gather. I hesitated for a little while after joining because I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with too many things going on. As you know, I write a lot of articles for many different sites, as well as Zany Zodiacs horoscopes once a week, so my free time is limited.

Gather boasts the 'best conversation online.' Here is a blurb straight from their website: "Gather's different from other social networks. Instead of talking about "who's hot," members here discuss the day's hottest topics. You can have smart conversations about the world around you, and keep up with friends and family, too."

Gather advertises to the over-30 crowd. It's a great and laid back social networking community with a twist. For every contribution you make to the site, you get points. Points can be cashed in for gift cards to popular websites and stores, or my favorite thing ever...Paypal cash!

Post poems, blogs, thoughts, articles, suggestions, helpful hints, stories, dreams or whatever the heck you want! Despite the fact that I am very new, Gather has a great community of people and someone generally always comes along to leave a nice comment on something that I've written.

Whether or not MySpace or Facebook floats your boat, you'll probably love Gather. I really, really do. This is one of those places that I would enjoy participating, even if there were no points involved. I can post links to my articles, or say a quick goodnight. I can post poetry, random thoughts, ask questions or just chit chat. I can't stress enough how much fun it has been already.