Aug 272007
 

The Get Paid To Read/Click/Surf Carnival is my first attempt at running a blog carnival, so please bear with me as I work the kinks out. The idea is to collect links to the month’s best articles and blog posts about the GPT/PTR/PTC industry into one location. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Wikipedia does an excellent job of describing just what a blog carnival is-

A blog carnival is a type of blog event. It is similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly. Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks links to other blog articles on the particular topic.

There are many variations, but typically, someone who wants to organize a carnival posts details of the theme or topic to their blog, and asks readers to submit relevant articles for inclusion in an upcoming edition. The host then collects links to these submissions, edits and annotates them (often in very creative ways), and publishes the resulting round-up to his or her blog.

Communities of blog readers, writers, and edition hosts form around specific carnivals. The carnivals provide a nice aggregation of recent posts by the community on a given topic, and the host provides a level of editing and annotation that helps readers find posts they are interested in. Writers who submit their articles to blog carnivals are rewarded with traffic (if the host decides to give them a link and, perhaps, a positive review).

The home page, or hub, for the Get Paid To Read/Click/Surf Carnival is at BlogCarnival.com. It is there that you can always find links to past (and future) editions of the carnival as well as where you can submit your posts.

Da Rules-

  • All posts must be in English. English does not need to be the blog’s primary language, though.
  • Submitted posts must have been written since the last Get Paid To Read/Click/Surf Carnival was published.
  • All posts must be original content.
  • Posts must be submitted either via the hub at BlogCarnival.com or via email to the Carnival host (currently philaahzophy@gmail.com)
  • Posts should be focused on helping people succedd in the GPT/PTR/PTC/PTC arena.
  • Posts on other earning opportunites (ForEx, HYIP, Paid To Write, MLM, affiliate marketing, etc) will not be accepted. there are plenty of other carnivals for such posts.
  • While referral links and in-post advertising are permitted, posts focused on promoting specific programs will not be accepted.
  • Although not required at this time, links back to his post (either on your page itself or in a blog post will help build the carnival and readership for all involved.

Please comment with any questions, comments or concerns. This post will be updated as necessary.

Jul 292007
 

I first started working GPT programs back in 2000. I spent about a year as a hardcore GPT user, doing it all: Paid To Surf, Paid To Read, Paid To Click, Manual Surf, AutoSurf, Traffic Exchanges even bubbles and HYIP. The few “profits” I made were basically dumped back in to advertising and membership upgrades. Profits needs to be in quotes because I was spending 70-80% of my online time working these programs. And that time wasn’t exactly trivial. Then, as now, I was online an average of 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I learned a quite a few lessons in that year. Unfortunately, I never learned how to actually make any money.

I came back into the GPT world in June. This time my expectations are much lower and the community itself is a lot different. Very few of the programs I worked years ago are still around, which shouldn’t really be surprising. Many of the same scams are being run, though, which also isn’t surprising, though it’s just as sad. The biggest change is the near absence of Paid To Surf or PTS programs. Sure, traffic exchanges still exist, but they’re more about promotion then about revenue generation, which is how it should be. Pay per click/read/etc is also MUCH lower then it was then. Very few companies now offer even $0.01 per ad, where the standard price back then was closer to a nickel.

The largest change, though is in payout levels. Average payout back then was around $10.00. even at $0.05 per click that was a VERY long haul. These days, there are numerous programs without a minimum payout at all. Some pay weekly, others monthly, but finding legitimate programs with payout minimums under $2 isn’t difficult.

The other large change is in referral levels. When I was active in the past the move was towards more and more levels, with smaller percentages at each level. I clearly remember one program that offered referral earnings for 35 levels of downline. These days you’d be hard pressed to find a new program offering more than 3 referral levels, and most programs only pay at a single level. However, those programs are offering much higher percentages on those levels. ShadowPTR and Myster-E-Mail, who have paid me consistently, offers 25% of your referrals earnings and Fishing4Mails offers an astounding 50%. This means that if you are a good promoter, you no longer need to count on your downline being good promoters as well. And if you’re not a good promoter (as I am not) then you can still make significant profits from your downline.

Other things haven’t changed at all. The GPT world is still one of the most incestuous I’ve ver seen. 99% of the ads you’ll be paid to read are for other programs looking to pay you to read their ad. This has always been, and will continue to be, the GPT community’s Achilles heel. Real advertisers aren’t interested in incentivized views. They know that the viewers are more interested in getting paid then in spending money.

Given my negative past with Get Paid Programs, why am I stepping back in at this point? Well, that’s a question for another day.


Mar 262001
 

The Bottom Line A (hopefully) opinion-free look at what exactly ‘Pay To’ programs are. For my opinions, see my advice in Explaining Online Paid To Programs.

Advertising is everywhere on the internet. Now companies are willing to pay you to invite even more advertising on to your monitor in one way or another.

‘Pay To’ Basics

Pay To sites are essentially specialized advertising companies that pass on a part of their revenue (not their profits as so many disingenuously claim) to you in order to view the ads/visit the sites of their clients. These companies get paid by various websites to have their advertising banners or messages passed on to people that fit certain demographics. Additionally, users are encouraged to gain referrals (people who join the program after hearing about it from them) for which they also receive a portion of their referrals revenue.

The ‘Pay To’ concept apparently began with Pay To Surf programs (AllAdvantage [now defunct] is generally accepted as the first of these companies) and has since expanded into Pay To View, Pay To Read Email, Pay To Send Email, Pay To Instant Message, Pay To Listen, Pay To Click, Pay To Join, Pay To Search, Paid Surveys, Pay To Write/Review, and now, Pay To Bookmark.

While affiliate programs (where webmasters are paid to provide advertising space on their websites) are often mixed in with PTS programs, they are truly a separate beast and should be examined separately.

Pay To Surf (PTS):

PTS programs require that you dedicate a portion of your monitor’s space to their AdBar (or SurfBar). These bars generally display the PTS company logo and one (or more) banner or button ads. These ads are rotated every 30-120 seconds depending on the program and how many advertisers they have. Some also include such ‘features’ as realtime statistic updates, streaming headlines, streaming audio, or anything else the PTS companies can think up to entice new and dedicated users.

Most AdBars are small programs that must be downloaded and installed on your computer, though several companies now offer server-side AdBars that are accessed via the PTS company’s website and open a small window on your computer.

AdBars can be “docked” – locked in a specific place (usually either the top or bottom) on your monitor – or “floating” – similar to a minimized window that can be moved wherever you like on your screen, including behind other windows.

All that is required of you is to run their program and let the ads take up space on your screen while you surf the ‘net.

Each company has different methods of confirming that you haven’t simply started the program and walked off or gone to sleep however. These range from requiring mouse movement or page changes every so often (as frequently as every 30 seconds) to requiring that you click a button every 15-20 minutes to requiring that you enter a code displayed in the banner ad space when prompted.

Pay To View (PTV):

These programs are the closest thing to PTS programs. The only difference here is that you are only required to have an active internet connection (so that the bar can contact the company’s server for new ads), not to actively surf the internet. You can use PTV programs while writing email or correspondence, doing taxes, working on graphic design, or even watching a DVD movie on your computer.

You still must click the required area or respond o the occasional prompt to ensure you’re paying at least some attention.

Pay To Read Email (PTREM):

While the business model of these companies is similar to PTS programs (in fact many PTS companies offer PTREM as well) the delivery method is very different.

When you sign up with a PTREM company you generally select a number of categories that interest you. When the PTREM company has an advertiser in a category you selected an email is sent to you with the advertiser’s message and/or banner ad. You must click on the link in the email to confirm that you have read the message/visited the site.

How much email will you receive? That depends on the company you sign up with and the categories you’ve selected.

Pay To Send Email (PTSEM):

These companies are essentially web-based email programs (like hotmail or yahoo mail) that share their advertising revenue with you. Hence every time you log-in, read a message, send a message, access your address book, etc, you see a banner ad (just like hotmail or yahoo mail) and the company splits a portion of the profits with you. This concept is very similar to the epinions Content Partner Site program.

Pay To Instant Message (PTIM):

These are essentially PTREM companies that operate through various Instant Messenger programs (ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, etc) or proprietary IM software.

Pay To Listen (PTL):

Closest in nature to the PTS or PTV companies, these companies have a tuner (similar to an AdBar) on which you can select a streaming audio ‘station’ to listen to while surfing the net or working on your computer. Ads are served as banners/buttons on the tuner and/or embedded in the audio stream (ala commercial radio).

Pay To Click (PTC):

Pay To Click companies require that you visit their website and click on ads placed by various companies. You get paid a portion of what the advertisers pay the PTC company to display their ads.

Pay To Join (PTJ):

Pay To Join companies are essentially more involved PTC companies. You visit the company’s website and click on the ads there. However, unlike PTC programs you must also join or sign-up for the services of the company being advertised.

Pay To Search (PTS):

Pay To Search companies are search engines that charge websites to be listed. In return for using the search engine, thus generating revenue for the company, you are paid a portion of that revenue on either a per search or per click basis.

Paid Surveys (PS):

Paid Survey companies are marketing or research companies that will pay you for taking the time to complete one or more of their surveys. They then sell the survey results to various interested parties.

Most PD companies require you to complete extensive demographic information when first joining and then contact you by email when they have a survey that requires your particular demographics.

Pay To Write/Review (PTW):

Epinions is a Pay To Review company. These companies essentially pay you (typically on a per view basis) to provide content for their sites. What you need to/can write varies from company to company. While consumer reviews seem to be the most common, there are several companies that will pay for your stories, poetry, new ideas, or rants as well.

These companies generate their revenue by selling the advertising space on their sites.

Pay To Bookmark (PTB):

Although there are numerous sites on the web that allow you to store your bookmarks with them for remote access (mybookmarks, webfavorites, BaBoo, and Blink) only one, that I know of, shares their advertising revenue with users: Peppy’s Pointe (at http://www.paidbookmarks.com ). If they are successful (and they have been so far) others will surely follow.

Essentially, they let you store your bookmarks (or favorites) on the web, so that they can be accessed from any computer. Peppy’s Pointe then shares their advertising revenue with its users. Unlike most Pay To programs you get paid from a pool of revenue based on a ‘secret formula’, similar to how Income Share works here at Epinions.

Summation:

That covers the majority of the current ‘Pay To’ companies on the internet. A number of companies offer more then one type of service and there are a number of hybrid companies appearing as well.

I hope this overview has been seen useful.

Feb 052001
 

I joined Clickdough December 3, 2000. Only they weren’t Clickdough then, they had joined forces with About.com and changed their name to MoveAbout. I used the service for 45 hours, 25 minute, 29 seconds during the month of December. Then, January 1st they’re gone, saying they’ll be back on January 15th. On January 15th even the page saying they’ll be back is gone. Then, on February 1st, they’re suddenly back as ClickDough once again. Oh, and my total pay for those 45+ hours? $0.00! If you’re confused, imagine how I had felt after devoting a full work week’s worth of time to this thing!

What It Is/How It Works

ClickDough is a Pay To View (PTV) program that pays you to view banner ads. Unlike most PTV and Pay To Surf (PTS) programs you do not need to download a SurfBar program to your computer. Rather, you simply go to the ClickDough website and open an additional browser window that will server their ads. The primary benefit of this no download system is that ClickDough can be used on any platform regardless of operating system.

The ad window can be placed anywhere on your screen, minimized, or hidden under other windows. However, whenever a new ad is served up (about every 30-60 seconds) the window will pop up to the top and become your active window. This means that if you were typing in another window and looking away from the monitor (as I do when I type) you will now be typing (ineffectually) in the ad window. Very annoying.

Every 15 minutes or so instead of a banner ad popping into the personal window a set of numbers will appear. When this happens you must click on the indicated number in order to verify that you are viewing the ads. Other then this you can do whatever you want on your computer as long as you remain connected to the internet.

The Name Game

Apparently last October ClickDough aligned itself with About.com in order to increase ad sales and changed their name to MoveAbout. When I joined in December I joined under the MoveAbout banner.

According to a letter from Chris Yeh (ClickDough Founder) dated February 1st this relationship was terminated in January as there was an actual decrease in ad sales. Additionally Mr. Yeh states in the letter that About.com is witholding payment and therefore there will be no payout for November or December. (The site was down for all of January so that means no payment for then either). This means that my 45+ hours of time peering at ads has netted me absolutely nothing.

Mr. Yeh does encourage all of us users to hang in there, as he sees prosperity on the horizon. However, the only prosperity I see is his own. According to other Epinions my 45+ hours would only be worth about $1.00 anyway were I to actually receive it.

Additionally, ClickDough has ended their relationship with the companies that were handling their payouts. So, International payouts have been cancelled altogether while the minimum for U.S. payouts has been raised to $100.00 (it was $20.00). So, if I were to continue dealing with Clickdough at the same rate of use I would be eligible to receive a payout in about 9 years!

I don’t think so. I’m sticking with Desktop Dollars and my various GPTREM programs. Pay To View/Surf just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Feb 032001
 

I’ve used about 30 different PTS (Pay To Surf) AdBars in the last six-weeks or so and Desktop Dollars (DD) is far and away the least obtrusive thus, IMHO, the best.

Summary of Service:

You sign up at DesktopDollars.com, complete a lot of demographic info and then download a 1.44meg file which will run an AdBar at the top or bottom of your screen. This AdBar is the entire width of your screen and has a search box, streaming headlines (you choose the news service(s)), and optional streaming radio (with around 100 stations to choose from) and a standard size banner ad. The banner ad is rotated every 30-60 seconds and DD pays you 45% of the advertising revenue.

Benefits:

While you DO need to be CONNECTED to the internet for the adbar to be active you DON’T need to be actively SURFING the internet. I run DD while working in Photoshop, reading/writing email, watching DVD movies, etc. The program does not track mouse movements, keystrokes or pagechanges as most PTS AdBars do. Instead every 20-90 minutes a small box appears somewhere on your screen informing you that you will be logged out in 45 seconds unless you click continue. This is to keep you from simply starting the AdBar and walking away or going to sleep.

There are NO LIMITS on how many hours you can use the AdBar or how much total money you can earn.

There are also NO LIMITS on how much you can earn from your referrals usage. If you only use the AdBar 20 hours a month, but on of your referrals uses it 100 hours a month you will be paid for your referrals full 100 hours. In fact you don’t need to use the bar yourself at all to earn from your referrals usage, making this a great revenue generator for webmasters.

Drawbacks:

If you’re going to play the PTS game you’re going to lose a little screen space. That’s what they’re paying you for. But other than that, I’ve seen no drawbacks to this program.

Update 2/3/01 – Now whenever you open the Audience Bar a pop up ad appears. I hate pop-up ads and the lack of them was one of my favorite things about Desktop Dollars. Additionally it seems (though I may simply be more focused on other things) that it now occaisonally will log me out without giving me the countdown. This requires that I log back in (one click, no big deal, except…) which produces another pop-ud ad. ARRRGGHHH!!!

It may well be time to find a new program again {sigh}.

Recommended:
Yes

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Also posted to epinions.com