Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Picky Domains Review: For Creative Minds

Do you ever come up with catchy names for websites? Do you want to get aid for it?

That essentially is what Picky Domains is all about. It’s a site that gives you the opportunity to provide unique domain names for companies willing to pay you for it. If they choose it, they’ll pay you from $27.50 up to (from what I’ve seen) $68.75. Even if they simply “Like” it you can earn a few cents here and there. The higher your ranking, the more opportunities you have.

What do I like?

It lets you be creative. As long as you can find domain name that haven’t already been taken you can let your creative juices flow and keep on making name suggestions. This site is all about being creative. Companies need someone else to provide the ideas and that could be you.

Earn $30 for reviewing the site. I haven’t been able to sign up for this option, given that I don’t meet all the criteria (and as a result this review is probably more balanced than most). But if you do, it could be an easy $30 for you. 

What is more challenging?

No guarantees of being selected. You can suggest as many times as you want but if the company doesn’t like it all that effort is wasted. Let’s face it, all the best .com names are already taken so you may have to scramble around for names that might interest the client.

You can’t cash out until you make $20. Imagine that you’ve offered up hundreds of different ideas but none of them are taken up. Frustrating right? Yes. But if some of them are liked but none of them are actually converted into full on sales, you won’t be able to cash in until you reach $20. They pay $0.15 to $0.38 per each “Like”. So to cash out, that’s a lot of “Likes”.

Payout may take a while. In the Terms and Conditions it mentions that contributors get paid within 30-45 days after payment has been requested. But under “Payout changes” there is a mention from 2013 of all payouts to contributors being done within a 14 day period, so I’m not entirely sure. It’s a bit confusing and I can’t remember as it’s been a while since I had the opportunity to get a payout. They do pay through PayPal, which is a plus, but if it is 30-45 days that’s a bit of a long waiting period.


To me, this is a site you should treat as a bit of fun. You won’t be able to make a lot out of it (unless you are a complete creative wordsmith). I’ve only managed to sell one name so I realize the limitations with it. Still, if you have a few spare minutes here and there, you can simply do it while watching television.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

PeoplePerHour Review: Another Marketplace

I've recently tried my luck with PeoplePerHour, so while my interest is still hot I thought it would be worth putting down a few thoughts.

The interesting thing about all of these marketplace-type of sites for freelance talent is that they reflect the new world we live in. Companies and individuals simply want to outsource whatever they can, and rest assured there is someone out there willing and very able to provide the service. As a result, if you don't get lucky on this site, there are plenty of others out there to help you out.

Well, this site is another provider of this kind of service. You’ve seen it before: buyers looking for sellers, sellers looking for buyers, you get rated for the job you do, payment is done via PayPal.

So what do I like?

Targeting quality. One good thing about this site from the perspective of the buyer and the seller is that you have to be approved to join and I’m guessing the filter system is far more stringent than, say, Fiverr. That in turn means that (in theory) a buyer of a service will get better quality service providers, while service providers can charge a little more.

There are plenty of jobs. It’s maybe not exclusive to this site at all, but having fished around in categories that I’m not very familiar with it does look like there’s a wide availability of tasks to do across the board.   

Options of fixed prices or hourly rates. Depending on what type of tasks you want to undertake, you can sell your services on a fixed price basis or base it on an hourly rate. It’s great to have this flexibility. So far I’ve only looked into the fixed rates.

Affiliate program. You can earn $45 each time you invite a friend and they start their first project on the site. Along with that your friend will get a 5% discount voucher too. This has to be done via providing email details as opposed to using an affiliate link. 

What is more of a challenge?

It’s competitive. Getting rid of some of the lesser-quality service providers is a good thing in many ways. Unfortunately, that means you’re likely to be competing against some individuals with decent quality portfolios and lots of experience. That said, it’s probably not a bad thing or anything different to a lot of other marketplace sites.

Not everyone gets accepted. As mentioned before, PeoplePerHour does have a filter system which ensures that not everyone is accepted as a seller on it. In fact, once you have signed up you are also given a set period of time in which you can “qualify as a trusted member of our community”. To achieve that goal you need to make two sales receiving an average 4+ rating over the period. I’m currently on one 5-rating sale (which is why I thought I’d get this comment in now in case I don’t make my second sale…).

Anyway, I’m going to keep this review brief because: 1) I haven’t really worked hard on building any business on the site so far and haven't navigated around a great deal, even though I intend to; 2) If I don’t sort something out in coming weeks I’ll fail my probation period and I’ll be gone anyway…


Watch this space.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Clickworker Review: Click Your Way to a Few Dollars

There are plenty of sites online worth reviewing that offer “micro jobs” for people wanting to earn a quick few extra dollars here and there. These are essentially simple online tasks commissioned by various companies but hosted on specific sites. 

Many of these tasks require little or no form of expertise and can vary from anything from providing a “like” on Facebook pages, checking search engine results for a topic, or gauging the quality of a voice recording. There are dozens upon dozens of variations on this theme.


One site I’ve dabbled a fair bit with is Clickworker. It's based out of Europe but accepts people from direct geographies (though not all geographies). On the site there are plenty of really low-paying $0.01 per click type of gigs. I'm sure they are fine to do. But if you are willing to take a few tests you can qualify for some of the higher-paying options.

So what are the good bits and the challenges?

Good bits:

Not overly taxing. You don’t need to have particular qualifications to do most of the tasks. Simply read the instructions and make sure that you apply yourself. Sometimes you need good judgement, sometimes you need good hearing. If your quality falls, Clickworker might stop you doing the task. So you have to be consistent.

If there’s plenty of work you might make a bit of money. The best I made in any given day was $60. Ok, it’s not as if you can put your feet up and retire on this money but it’s something you can earn sitting in front of the television.

There’s a good affiliate program.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I want to be transparent when I direct people to an individual site where there’s an affiliate program in place. When you recommend Clickworker to a friend or acquaintance, for each newly registered clickworker who earns 10.00, you earn 5.00.  So if you do decide to join this site, I would be very appreciative if you do so via the link here: Join Clickworker

Challenges:

Some of the tasks are, well, dull. Because it’s not overly intellectually taxing it can be dull, dull, dull. I don’t want to pretend that it’s all rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes I have a low boredom threshold. Strangely enough the $60 task I mentioned was actually fairly interesting, qualifying some data on a number of websites. So it’s about picking on choosing those tasks.

Sometimes there aren’t tasks available. I would say that if I’m lucky there will be at least a couple of dollars for me to make two out of every three times I check. To be fair, I would be able to do task virtually every day if I tried to qualify myself for all the tasks available. But I don’t really want to be dragged into the really lower-end tasks.

Some of the tasks are, errr, obscure. So, a lot of the time you are asked to critique the essence of a website. It could be asking whether the site is aimed at adults or children. Or men or women. But be warned: for those of a sensitive nature, some of the sites can contain adult content. Clickworker does warn you about this in advance, but not all tasks are created equally  

How have I done?

I’ve made a bit of money out of it. The copy-paste below is from the last few months, though I've been earning through this site since the beginning of the year. 

Give it a go (Join Clickworker). It pays through PayPal every 30 days. It quotes a lot of stuff in dollars but it generally pays in euros. So there's currency conversion for you to consider. Unfortunately, they don't accept workers from all geographies.

My Report

Summary
Judge ID:
Judge alias:
Report date: from 2015-06-01 to 2015-08-08
Judging rate: 222.2 hits/hour
Total time: 19.58 hour
(Refreshed every 20 minutes)
Show/Hide Details

Incentive History
Top of Form
Start Date:       End Date:       
Current time: 2015-08-08 02:15:29 AM PDT      
Report generated: 2015-08-08 01:55:16 AM PDT      
Template:

Hitapp
Judgments done
Valid judgments
Judging hours
Judgments/hr
Potential earnings
Incentive Earnings
Raffle Tickets
Total
    Headline SBS
   
   

38
31
0.15
257.8
$1.24
$0.00
0
$1.24
   
   

26
22
0.20
132.3
$0.88
$0.00
0
$0.88
   
   

57
46
0.54
105.5
$1.84
$0.00
0
$1.84
   
   

5
5
0.07
69.2
$0.20
$0.00
0
$0.20
   
   

3604
3489
12.97
277.9
$139.56
$0.00
0
$139.56
   
   

37
37
0.89
41.7
$7.03
$0.00
0
$7.03
   
   

29
29
0.72
40.2
$5.51
$0.00
0
$5.51
   
   

2
0
0.05
40.7
$0.00
$0.00
0
$0.00
   
   

47
23
0.75
62.3
$3.45
$0.00
0
$3.45
   
   

1
1
0.05
20.0
$0.50
$0.00
0
$0.50
   
   

128
124
0.60
213.9
$8.68
$0.00
0
$8.68
   
   

1
1
0.01
78.7
$0.04
$0.00
0
$0.04
   
   

31
18
0.10
311.2
$0.90
$0.00
0
$0.90
   
   

345
340
2.49
138.7
$34.00
$0.00
0
$34.00

Monday, 3 August 2015

Fiverr Review: Buy and Sell Marketplace

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Fiverr. That's why I wanted to provide a review. 

For those that aren’t familiar with the site, Fiverr is a marketplace that links buyers looking for specific services with those willing to provide those same services. Graphics and design, online marketing, video and animation, business services and so on are all part of the mix. And all of these services are provided for $5.

Strictly speaking, you are charged a bit more than $5 (something like $5.50, I think), but the very essence of it is that if you are a buyer you can get something very cheap.


From a money-making perspective, anyone can look to sell their services on the site. If you have a talent of some sort you might have found your marketplace. You could offer to write blog comments, create a logo, do a voice over and so on.

So what do I love?
Well, as someone that has their own business interests there are a lot of things I either don’t want to do or simply can’t do. So if I want to outsource something really basic (like the design of my business cards) it’s actually pretty cheap to use someone like Fiverr.

From an income-generating perspective, you can stick some “gigs” on the site and earn money when a client wants your services. It’s that simple. You can also offer supplementary services and increase your revenue. For example, you could offer to review someone’s resume and your supplementary service could be to review their cover letter as well. You get a rating from the buyer based on the quality of your offering and speed of response. A good rating can enhance your reputation and allow you to sell more products.  

So what do I not like so much?
As you can imagine, if you’ve got a great service to offer, you may end up really underpricing yourself. Some of the services on there really don’t make sense to me. Offering to write 500-word articles for $5, for example, really does seem cheap – and particularly as you actually get closer to $4 once Fiverr takes its cut.

Admittedly, some sellers use it as a way to attract clients to other higher-price services. A "bait and switch" approach, if you will. But a lot of people on there don’t. Some are willing to work really hard for not a lot of money.

You’ve got to remember that you’re only earning (less than) $5. So if you’re putting a lot of time and energy in to complete a job, you've got to justify it to yourself somehow. If you are in a low-cost economy maybe it makes sense. For a lot of people it doesn't. In many ways the pricing structure is a race to the bottom. 

Those that do best on this site either manage to get buyers to buy plenty of supplementary gigs or have gigs that don’t require much additional work at all (e.g. I have a “white paper” on there which I simply sell to people for five bucks without doing any extra work).

Another problem as a buyer of the services is that the quality isn’t always the best. The business cards that I mentioned earlier weren’t great. The seller took ages to respond and kept on delaying. I guess he was doing dozens of others at that low price so probably wasn’t that bothered.

How have I done?
It took me a few months to see any traction at all on my two gigs. One service is related to career guidance, the other to do with personal finance coaching. To date I've made about $30. It's not a great sum but this income generator sits in the background as far as I'm concerned, particularly if I can sell more of my white paper for no extra effort. 

Admittedly, I haven’t been as active as I should in marketing the services on social media either. Still, in recent months I have seen some take up on the offerings and I look forward to this idea being a sleeper for me.