Thursday, February 26, 2009

Site Building

I'm going to be moving this blog to its own domain. One of the reasons this has been updated so slowly has been my inability to get the darn thing the way I want it. Blogspot can do just about anything you want it to, but I really need an easier category interface. I'll keep this site (never delete a blog), and you should keep checking here for awhile. Actually, whenever I update the other site, I'll update this site, too, so you can keep this bookmarked if you like.

Topics coming up include running a site that makes money, a few more click to read and some survey site reviews. The real money news is coming soon ; )

The new site address is here: Make Money Online, but there isn't much there, yet.

Monday, February 23, 2009


So this isn't really a way to make money online, but rather a way to efficiently waste time on line. Efficiently waste time? That's not actually an oxymoron, and I'm a moron so I should know. ; )

A few weeks ago I signed up at Here's the theory: every day, most of us who spend a great deal of time working on our computers also use a little bit of computer time to unwind. Some people look up celebrity news. Some people fiddle with Facebook. Some send around funny emails. And some people, myself included, like to spend a few minutes each day unwinding by playing simple computer games like "Turbo Solitaire" or "Collapse." If you are one of those persons who uses a few minutes of gaming to unwind, why not do it at and turn your unwinding time into a chance to win money and prizes?

Playing free games, including spinning the prize wheel, gets you coins that you trade in for chances to win contests. They have a daily sweepstakes that is $100. Weekly is $500. Monthly is a $1000 equivalent prize. Annual is up to $1 million. And for extra excitement there are all sorts of side prizes you could win while playing the games.

The games come in several forms: cash games (always stay away from); free online games; and free to download games, which are full games that used to be available on store shelves. These in the latter category don't win you any coins, and I have no idea about the cash games. As I've said before; there's nothing there to see...move along. The free games are where it is at, and there are tons of choices. Almost anyone should be able to find something that they can enjoy.

But here's the deal. We've talked about efficiency before, and some of these games are very addictive. It's okay to go there for a few minutes a day to unwind, but be careful that you don't accidentally end up spending vast quantities of time. And don't get carried away spending your winnings, either. I've been playing for about a month and haven't won anything, and from chatting to various people while playing, about the most I've found that someone has won was a logo water bottle. Remember this rule of thumb: a chance to win is barely better than no chance to win, so never expend great effort on contests. Just enjoy them for what they are, small distractions from the mundane.

There are a host of other things to do at, including joining a team and competing not only for yourself, but also for the charity of your choice. Go check it out.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

InboxDollars: Initial Review

Please also note that I have neither requested or nor received money from InboxDollars, so the final review will rest upon that. After all, we don't want imaginary earnings, right?

So here is the deal: Most of the time when people talk about making money online they are talking about earning a good living, getting rich quick, etc. But making good money isn't as easy as all these websites would lead you to believe, and sometimes we shouldn't be thinking big, but small and efficient. This is where InboxDollars seems to fit.

Signing up is harmless. You pay no money, and you only receive the spam you request (and get paid to "read").

Cash out comes at $30, but they start you with $5 for signing up.

Ways to earn: There are seven ways to make money at InboxDollars and we'll go over each in order: Cash Emails, Cash Offers, Cash Surveys, Cash Games, Cash Shopping, Insurance Center, Referral Center.

Cash Emails: This is what most of the reviews online are furious about. InboxDollars usually sends you 2 to 3 emails a day, and you make 2 cents for each one you open. This drives people absolutely nuts. Apparently they want thousands of emails a day. This simply isn't realistic. But 2 to 3, and sometimes more, is actually fantastic because of the efficiency of it. I don't check my InboxDollars emails every day, so I build them up to 10 or so and finish them all off in about 20 seconds. That equals out to earning 1 penny per second or $36 per hour. Maybe that's not pro sports money, but that's good, efficient money. You aren't going to get rich quick opening 10 emails a week, but you are earning a small amount efficiently, and that's a good thing.

Also, some emails will offer you extra money, say $1, to sign up to the advertised service, which sometimes is nothing more than providing your name and email. For instance, I made $1 by giving Norton AntiVirus my email. How slick is that? I have no problem giving a major company my email, and I can always opt out of their mass mailings whenever I like. For the record, they have yet to send me anything emails at all, but my $1 is already credited to the account.

Cash Offers: Please note that this is only beneficial if used properly. This is where you can sign up for different things, like the Disney Movie Club or LifeLock and get money back. Disney gets you $6 and LifeLock, for instance, $8. You're probably asking, but don't you have to pay more than that to Disney and Lifelock in the end? Sure, but if you were going to join one of the many opportunities on this site anyway, why not do it through InboxDollars and get a little money for doing it?

One thing that my family likes to do is join up to the book and movie clubs as we get close to birthdays and Christmas. That way, we can get a ton of gifts for practically nothing, saving a fortune, get paid back on InboxDollars and then just buy a couple more books or movies that we would want anyway (or as more gifts), and we're done.

PLUS, some of these don't actually work as a negative sum game. For instance, I got $4 for signing up to Flicker, which I needed to do anyway, and only had to spend $3 there for a little profit of $1 for doing something I already needed to do. Which is better? Just sign up at Flicker and pay three dollars or sign up via InboxDollars and get a dollar back? Easy choice.

Cash Surveys: This is a total waste of time. The vast majority of surveys take forever to complete and many of them finally end by telling you that you don't qualify. As an experiment for the site, I tried over and over to complete surveys and ended up spending over an hour to make $.50. Now that's a far cry from the $36 per hour I was making opening emails. Every now and then I'll take the surveys that are guaranteed money, but, overall, I avoid this section like the plague.

Cash Games: Speaking of the plaque, here it is. If you are the type of person who wants to deposit their own money to compete with online players in games like Turbo Solitaire then you go ahead, but this blog is about making money online, not blowing money online. Stay away from "cash games."

Cash Shopping: Much like "cash offers," this is really only beneficial if you use it for things you were going to buy anyway. For instance, I needed to make a purchase of a hard to find item off of ebay, so I just went through InboxDollars and got some cash back. There are a lot of stores available, but the most notable are: ebay, Borders,, DisneyShopping, Dell,, Apple Store and Old Navy.

Not too shabby.

Insurance Center: You can shop for auto, home, health and life insurance through InboxDollars, but due to regulatory stipulations, you won't earn any money back if you decide to purchase. The broker that InboxDollars uses is Netquote, who I actually used to broker for many years ago. They are a very strong company that might just save you some money if you are interested in giving it a try. A penny saved is a penny earned, right?

Referral Center: You get 10% of the qualified earnings of anyone you refer.

In the month since I signed up to InboxDollars, I've earned $13.96, though that includes the $5 I got when I signed up. All in all, of the places I've reviewed so far, InboxDollars is easily the most legit. You won't get rich at InboxDollars, but if you use it wisely, you can both earn money and save money. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 Scam - The Final Review

I know that I said during my initial review of that I knew it was taking a long time for them to pay and that I was going to wait it out for a good long time before writing a final review. I also said, however, that I suspected that they are a ponzi scheme. After having more time to think about it, I believe that calling them a ponzi scheme is a bit generous, and I'm ready to make my final review.

Here's the situation. They are luring people into buying ads and referrals. By my calculations, if people are paying for the ads that are on the site, then should earn $7.25 with every $19.95 ad purchase. This would be an enormous profit percentage for a product. Toss in that they are charging people up to $500 to get a group of referrals (something many members do), and you'll see that these folks should be making a killing so long as everything is being run properly. So why is it that it takes them about a year or more to pay (when they pay at all)?

Simple. Either they are taking the money and running, or it is a ponzi scheme at the tipping point. To be certain, claims that the reason for the delay in payment is that you have to be audited to be certain that you have not broken the terms of the agreement. But a year to audit it, to make sure you didn't use an automated program to earn your ten cents a day? Because that is all that they have in their ability to audit based on the terms of service. My wife audits a billion dollar company in a couple of weeks. So what exactly is their process? They claim it is proprietary. That means, knowing, that there isn't one, and they really aren't looking at the accounts because there is no money anyway. They've either spent it or didn't have it to begin with. More than likely, they didn't have nearly enough, and then they spent it. is a scam. It won't get you rich, but it probably made the guy who set it up quite wealthy. I'll still let you know if I ever get paid, but that won't change the fact that they are a complete and utter scam.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Final Review -

Okay, so this is a little embarrassing. Last week I signed up for and promised a review this week and here it is: The site is dead.

My first hint was when I didn't get an initial flood of spam, which almost always happens when you sign up to one of these places. I really have too much to do, so I didn't pay that much attention, but after a few days with no emails of any type, I began to get suspicious. Going back to the site, I looked around a bit and clicked on the "News" tab. The last update was from 2003. So much for getting paid by these guys.

I have found, in fact, one decent site which I will try to post an initial review on in the next few days. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Trial Start -

Starting a trial today, 6 February 2009, with

This appears to be another site that pays you to read emails. There is a strict earnings minimum of $10 per month, which lends a little credence to the site. I will get more familiar with it over the next few days and do an initial review next week. My thoughts upon signing up to the site were that it might something one could use for advertising purposes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ZoomPanel: Final Review

So here's my philosophy. I don't care if a money-making opportunity doesn't make me a lot of money so long as it also doesn't take a lot of my time. ZoomPanel screws up, for me, all the way around. One would really have to have a deep love of sharing your opinions in survey form and a tremendous amount of patience for this to be worth it to you.

First of all, there are no payments involved. It is, rather, a reward system like what you may find with your credit card. And the points aren't exactly tossed around liberally, either. I got fifty points for the sign up survey and then I got ten points for the one survey that I was able to complete. That left me with "only" 940 points needed to get to the first redeemable point level of 1000. So what do you get for 1000 points that would take forever to get to? You get to select a prize from the $10 or less bucket, things like paperback novels or music downloads or $10 donations to charity.

The major problem with this (actually, just one of the many) is that to get your $10 prize it would take about 24 hours of constant survey taking. That equals out to a few pennies per hour, and then you end up with a product you probably don't really want.

I can't even begin to imagine the thought processes that would inspire someone to sign up for ZoomPanel and start shooting for the 10,000 ZoomPoints it would take to get the "48 Piece Cutlery/Kitchen Combo Set," but the word 'ignoramus' pops immediately to mind.

Even if you love taking surveys, I would find somewhere a little more useful than ZoomPanel to get your kicks. Stay away from these useless loons.