Sunday, December 29, 2013

Writing For Postloop

cc from flickr.com
   For the last couple weeks, I've been working at Postloop and want to share my experience. Postloop is a forum posting site, which hires writers to post comments in clients forums. Simple enough concept, and writing there is fairly simple as well. So far I have mostly good things to say, but I will share a couple cons as well.

   Signing up is a but confusing if you don't pay attention, but if you take your time the process will go smoothly. After posting 10 comments in their own review forum called the Postloop Portal, your application is finished and you'll wait for Postloop to email you. They will give you a rating and tell you if they want you to write for them. They got back to me after I applied within a full day, and I was giving a 4out of 5 rating, so I was accepted to work there.

   You can request payout once you make only $5, and they pay through Paypal. So, you'll have a profile with your Paypal set up, and from there you can subscribe to other forums through their list of clients. They have a variety of forums to choose from, something for everyone really. I signed up initially for three different forums and started writing comments. Now I'm subscribed to six different forums and still writing comments.

   The amount you'll get for each and every post is from .05-.12 cents. The amount depends on your rating, which every once in awhile you'll get from the forums you post in. If your rating is say, 4.8 out of five, then you'll get paid nearly .12 cents per post. This adds up quickly, and even though you won't be able to make a living, it will give you a payout every other day if you work at least an hour a day. Basically you can make $3-$4/hour if want to look at it that way. Part that I like, is most of the time your writing about things your interested in and learning.

   The only cons I have so far, is the rating system could be a problem for you. I've received three ratings and two of them were 4 and above, but one was a 3, so my rating is 3.8 now. The catch here is, you have to have a rating which is better than the average Postloop user, to receive a payout. The average rating of Postloop users is 3.7 or so, which means I'm one bad rating away from not being able to get my payout. 

   Since the ratings are random, if I did get a bad rating making my rating dip below the average user, I may have to write for weeks trying to improve my rating and not be sure I'll get paid for it. That's the con about it, and it seems the ratings are subjective as well, so if someone disagrees with your belief you may get a bad rating, even though your writing and interaction is good.

   One more thing to know is Postloop gives you points, which can be converted to cash. The rate of the points is .05 cents for every point. You have to have 100 points before a payout, so $5.

   So far I've made $13 on two payouts. I have about 50 points credit now, working towards my next payout. The payouts have been granted quickly within a day. So far, I'm happy with Postloop, but getting the bad rating has taken some of the wind out of my sails. Before I got the 3 rating, the 4.4 rating bumped my pay up to .09 cents, but now it's about .05 cents. I've looked around at other forum posting sites and they seem to have gone out of business, or I've heard bad things about them. If you are looking to give forum posting a try, try Postloop and see how it goes. It's got my approval.  




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Working in The Service Industry

cc from flickr.com
   The service industry is the main sector of jobs for the younger generations, as manufacturing and production have gone away to cheap labor countries. There are many different types of jobs in this industry, yet they're usually low paying and involve dealing with the public. This can be a brutal factor today when the economy is down and having to deal with a culture disconnected with reality.
   Honestly, the service industry isn't made for everyone, yet some people find it hard to escape. Maybe they dropped out of college to become a musician or go on a road trip. There are many people who have degrees from college, yet they're working as a waitress. So college isn't a "get out of the service industry for free" card. Whatever reason a person finds themselves there, they might relate to what I'm going to say.
   I want to call it the slave industry as most of the jobs ask a person to give 100%, yet give just enough for them to survive. Now we could get angry about the wage, or the cost of living, or the government regulating everything to kill profit, but the fact is: this sucks. Try being a cab driver, working at a gas station or even being a cashier at 7-11- and see for yourself.
   Being part of the system means you have to be conformed to the companies standards. This involves watching training videos made for idiots, wearing ugly outfits, and getting along with co-workers. Not all of these jobs have co-workers, yet most do – and they can be the biggest challenge of all. I can do the job even though it's banal, but dealing with the clique at the new job is the hard part. Maybe you get along everywhere you go, but for those that are consistently unique, it's tough.
   Those who get along everywhere they go are generally chameleons, that is, they are good actors. The service industry is not made for honest people really, the first time you honestly tell the jerk customer they are a jerk, you'll be fired soon and for good reason.
   So between the banal cookie-cutter work, the lame-brained co-workers and the jerk customers- the service industry employee really has their work cut out for them. And for all their efforts they're given a wage that barely pays the bills.
   Seriously, this whole service industry has been created for us to get used to servitude for the elites. They have taken away the middle-class jobs, in which, a man could make a living for his family. Replacing them with inadequate jobs, taking all our time and giving us an insult for a pay check.
   Many people are trying to escape this service industry system even as we speak. People are saving, scheming, hustling, bustling, and brainstorming to escape. I feel for you and wish you the best. I'd like to say it gets better, but I don't want to be a lame brained optimist. In reality, the forecast looks dim with Obamacare on the horizon and living expenses going up. There is a chance though; always a chance.
   I will keep plugging away, looking for a way to escape this service industry servitude system. Until then I have to rationalize and validate my worth through other means rather than financial success. This may just be the point my maker is trying to get across to me anyway. As hard of a lesson it is to learn, I may even be grateful one of these days – for having a job at all.






Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Making Money Writing Online


   This is a whole new world we live in, isn't it? The accessibility to the internet is greater and easier than ever before. The possibilities are seemingly boundless and are re-shaping individual lives and societies on a whole. In what way are we being changed though, and is it for the better? I want to give you insight on some methods of making money through writing online. Ultimately though, I want to give you the right perspective dealing with this venture.
   As part of the X generation I should be more versed in the tech side of the web, but I'm not. Really, I'm like an old man in a younger body. Having access to the internet and a working computer is fairly new to me. You may relate to this, or not, but first impressions can be profound.
   Fifteen years ago I wanted to become a writer, so I wrote and wrote. I never did anything much with it, but the desire has always been there to create. If you like to write you may have found, like me, all these sites here on the net which give you a forum and even pay you for it. Isn't that awesome! Yes, this can really get the old wheels turning upstairs, thinking about how to quit the day job and become a seasoned pro. This naive ambition can lead to disappointment if not careful.
   For many of us we are just trying to get by, working jobs in the service industry. We don't have much money saved up and likely have someone to support, like a family. The time required to learn all the ins and outs of making money online can be so consuming; you'll neglect other aspects of your life. The internet can be a dangerous distraction from the ones you love, and even house repairs.
   So first of all, don't proceed with blind ambition thinking you will beat the system and make enough money to support your family in a month. The likely-hood of a beginner to the internet making money is more of a slow progressive achievement. More like six months before seeing a significant amount of money with hard work. For some people who are single and don't have to work much outside of their efforts online, this can really be great.
   Mostly I'm talking to writers cause that's what I am. Those who are highly competent with computers and digital media have a big advantage making money. I'm talking to people who aren't professional journalist or writers, yet love to write and express themselves through words. I want to share a few sites that are good places to start off and tell you a bit about them.
If you like the idea of citizen journalism and want to report news then check out:
- Allvoices.com
- Digital Journal.com
- Newsvine.com
- Infobarrel.com
- Examiner.com
   All these sites are free to join and they'll pay you to write for them. Mostly they pay by the amount of views you receive. Anywhere from .50 cents to $10 per thousand views. Personally, I write for Allvoices, and have for about a month. Check out the sites and see which one you like the best. A little research about them will help you know if they are worth putting effort into. These are all legitimate sites though where there is potential to make even full-time wages after time.
   There are also sites where you can do assignments and/or put your writings on their site, letting them sell it. These sites don't publish themselves, but your work goes out to different places to be published. They pay one time payments which are anywhere from $3-$100 per piece.
- Odesk
- Constant Current
- Text Broker
- Demand Studios
- Writers Access
- Content Authority
- Constant Content
- Elance
- Noozdesk
   These sites aren't as much for news (except noozdesk), but website content and professional writings. Usually you'll have to apply to work there, then apply for assignments that are available. These work for many people, but you'll sometimes have to give up all rights to your work.
   Then there are sites which are a mix of the two, sites in which you can write news, short stories, how-too, opinion pieces and creative writings. These sites pay in different ways including: ad revenue shares, performance pay (pay per view), and up-front payments for assignments. These sites can make you money long after you publish them depending on the views it gets over time. These include:
- Yahoo!Contributors
- Squidoo
- Hubpages
- Zujava
- Bubblews
- Xomba
- Wikinut
- Wizzley
   These sites are great places to write on specific niche topics, but also anything else you can think of.  
   Personally, I write for five different outlets: Allvoices, Bubblews, Squidoo, Hubpages and Textbrokers. This gives me places to put all my ideas; they all have their own unique attributes. With sites like Allvoices and Bubblews I can publish right after I write them. With Squidoo and Hubpages it depends on if there is something that needs to be fixed, usually within a day will be published.
   I haven't been impressed with the views at Squidoo, I really enjoy making the lenses (pages) but traffic is paltry. Also my rankings, which I get paid by partly, are getting worse and worse every day. I might stop putting effort there, and put it elsewhere. Maybe you'll have better traffic?
   I wanted to give this information to help you in your search, to guide you through this maze. My final thoughts here though are the most important.
   Don't loose your integrity as a writer, conforming to what is seemingly going to make you successful writing on the net. In the end you'll find you may make more money (maybe), but your unique ability is drained. Then you'll just have to follow the crowd and your writings will have little purpose besides making some money – this isn't worth your integrity.
   This will be tempting as you are navigating this maze. Personally, I have been consumed by the initial phase of this venture and had to pull myself back from being sucked into the vortex. For me, I want to serve my Lord Jesus Christ ultimately.
   This means I want to help people with my writings come to the truth about the world we live in. Knowledge is power. As for this article, I wanted to give you some insight; hope it helped. God Bless.