Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why Haven't You Started Using Swagbucks Yet?


You've seen people talk about Swagbucks.  You've even sort of looked into it but you just never got started.  Why?

I have made over $300 in amazon gift cards just by using Swagbucks as my search engine.  I'll also answer the random poll question.  It takes less than five seconds and I also "watch" the videos.

What are Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a site that lets you earn Swagbucks (points) by literally just searching the web… something we do on a daily basis anyway! They also have an excellent referral program! If you refer someone over to Swagbucks and they earn a Swagbuck, you will earn a Swagbuck too–up to 1000 Swagbucks! So you could potentially earn 1000 Swagbucks from each friend you refer! Plus, once you accumulate enough Swagbucks, you can cash them in for various rewards, including Amazon.com gift cards (my personal favorite)!

How do you get started?
  • Go here and register on Swagbucks by creating an account
  • You will get some Swagbucks just for signing up!
  • After registering, you can immediately start searching for anything you want on the web just by using the Swagbucks search engine!
  • Periodically, while searching, you may see a pop up that says you’ve won anywhere from 1 to 10 or more in Swagbucks. I usually "win" swagbucks twice but sometimes three times a day.
  • Another way to earn Swagbucks, is by entering a Swagcode that is released almost everyday. This is a special code that you can enter in the swagcode box and you will instantly earn Swagbucks without having to search for them! How do you get this special code? Go to the Swagbucks homepage, click on “Ways to Earn” in the top left, then click on “Special Offers” and then click on the “No Obligation Offers” blue box on the right.
Once you get to this page, it will state this:
Welcome to Swag Bucks Special Offers. Sign up for the free money-saving offers you like,
feel free to skip the rest, and find a special swag code reward at the end.
Skip ALL the offers by clicking the skip button or the See Next Offer button beneath the advertisement. Finally after about 7 pages you’ll be awarded with a Swagcode! Enter the code in the box provided on the homepage to see how much you’ve earned.
  • After you’ve earned enough points, you can click on the upper tab labeled “Prizes”. Scroll down and under the categories section on the left hand side you should see “Gifts and Rewards”–click there. Now you can start scrolling through all the gift cards they have available. The Amazon.com gift card is by far my favorite reward! You can score a $5 Amazon.com gift card with just 45 Swagbucks, so literally in a month (possibly less) you could earn a $5 Amazon.com gift card!

Will you make your living on Swagbucks?  No. Will you make some money? Yes. Is it easy and free?  Yes and yes!!

So far I have earned over $100 in Amazon gift cards.  This won't pay the mortgage but it is something. Get mom and dad on board.  Get your friends on board.  Remember you get matched buck for buck until they reach 1000.  There are tons of other prizes.  I just find that Amazon gets the best bang for my swagbuck. Did you know you can buy groceries on Amazon?  I recommend saving up enough so that you have free shipping. I think your purchase has to be $25 or more.

Here is a recent screen shot of $120 in Amazon gift cards that I have redeemed.

Let me know if you decide to swagbuck!

Check out the Swagbucks rules before doing anything.  I do not break any rules and I earn on a consistent basis.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Change Your Thumbnail Picture on Facebook

 My new buddy at Bubblews (Bubblerian) just made a new blog and has been trying to figure some of the ins and outs of how the blogger blogs work.  He asked me a couple questions that I never thought about before and I didn't have answers for him.  :.( 

One of the problems that he was having is that he couldn't figure out how to change the thumbnail picture that comes up on Facebook when you share the web address.  We had some ideas and they almost worked but then he finally figured it out.

If you want to know how to choose the thumbnail for your blog when it is shared on FB check out his post here.

Oh and right now Amazon has a free kindle book titled Facebook Marketing That Doesn't Suck  It is a good read and you might find some good stuff there.

Go ahead and leave a comment!! : )

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Alexa Ranking Debate: Ignore it or Not

 I have known for a while that there is some big time debate out there as to whether or not you should pay attention to your Alexa rank.  If you own a website or blog you want people to see you as credible. If my Alexa rank helps confirm with them that my site is credible I have no problem with that.  There are a lot of people who might look at your blog or site and then check it against Alexa.   Is your Alexa rank the end all be all of your site?  No, but like I responded to a comment on a recent silly post on Bubblews, Alexa "is a tool" and "Like everything you need the right tool for the right job."

If you are running a review site in which companies send you products to review, Alexa is probably going to be important.  It is just a fact that businesses and marketers look use this tool regardless of anyone's opinion.

If you run a site that talks about "how to make money online," having a nice low Alexa rank is probably going to be important.  Here's why.  You can have your own opinion about Alexa and think it is absolutely worthless.  That's fine. Maybe you're right and maybe your wrong but your opinion and my opinion do not matter when it comes to this.  You want to know who's opinion matter?  Your viewers. 

Now let's say your site has no rank or a rank of about 7 million or so.  If I do a google search and I have my little Alexa toolbar up and running and I believe that Alexa rank has a lot to say about a site then let me tell you  if I had the choice between your site and the one right next to yours with a better rank I'd choose the better ranking one every single time.  Now I might go back and take a look a your site too if I don't find the information I'm looking for but I might not.

So ignore it or don't but don't base your decision on your own opinion base it on your potential viewers.  You don't use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail.

Here's another simple tool you might page rank checker 
want to use:  a free
If you haven't checked your Alexa rank I wrote a post on it here.

You might also be interested in...

Wordpress or Blogger?

Some of My Online Experiences Making Money

Facebook Strategy


Friday, July 26, 2013

How to Write Your First Post on Bubbajuju "Like a Boss"

Photo Credit: Like a Boss

You may want to check out my other posts on "Bubba" before you continue.

Bubbajuju is Going to Become the Next Great Online Writing Site
Before You Write Your First Post on Bubbajuju

If you don't want to know why I'm writing this series go ahead and skip the next paragraph.

You may be wondering why I am taking all this time to go over how to get started at "juju".  What is in it for me?  And the answer is...I am a teacher.  That's it.  I like to learn things and then teach what I know to people.  So am I going to get some sort of bonus for referring you to a new site?  Nope.  Is there a referral system.  Nah-ah.  I keep thinking...I should be doing the stuff that I know will make me money because quite honestly...a post like this will probably not make me diddly squat.  So...yeah...I just had to share that real quick...   : )

This is a kinda long post.  If you're looking for something in particular you can always press crtl f and enter what you're looking for.

Now...Let's get you to your first post!

You are going to want to have the getting started forum up in a different tab.

Even though there is a guide it can still be a little overwhelming. I have a few tips that I accumulated for along the way.

First Things First...

Did You Edit Your Profile Yet?

If not go to your profile, change your password, (in the welcome email you were given a password) and check to make sure that you have changed your gravatar (you can wait but why not take care of it right from the start.)

While on your profile page make sure that you have your user name, nickname and display name filled out.

The only required contact info is your email but it is beneficial to have everything filled out there.  If you don't know where to find your google+ number just go to your g+ profile. Then in the address bar (the box where you see the url) you'll see some numbers.  Those are the ones you want to copy and paste it into the Google+

*Did you change your password yet?

Finally if you have an adsense account make sure that you add your ID to your profile.  It should start with "pub-" 

For Signature I just put my user name: Elaine K.  But you can do whatever you want.  If you need visuals there are pictures and arrows here, on the quick start guide.

Now You Are Really Ready to Write Your First Post...Well Almost

Bubbajuju uses Wordpress to write articles. If you are familiar with WordPress you will probably be able to skim through most of this.  If you haven't worked much with WP this will probably be a big help.  You can think of it as a how to wordpress guide as well as a Bubbajuju guide.


I titled my first post History for Kids.  You can leave the custom title tag blank if you want or add more like I did.  I put History for Kids for Homeschoolers in the custom title spot.

Meta Description

This is an SEO thing. Choose 2-3 search phrases that you think someone might use when they are searching (most likely on google) to find the information on your post and write your description based on that.  For me I put This article has history resources for elementary kids that are useful for homeschooling or anyone wanting some ideas to make history fun for kids. I'll devote more on SEO in a future post.

Meta Keywords

Similar to the description only not in complete sentences.  My keywords for my first article are: History for kids, kids history websites, history for first graders, History for elementary kids, and  Homeschooling history ideas.

Photo Credit: http://bubbajuju.com/forums/topic/quick-start-guide/
Meta Robots

Don't freak out about those guys.  They're Robots and they're Meta but just ignore them altogether for now.  If you are someone, like me, that likes to know the ins and outs of things check out this site.  It has some good definitions there. Or do a google search.  Here's a quick example...(I just can't seem to stop myself)...ok.  noindex tells search engines not to allow your post to show up in their results.  Does that sound like something you want to do?  Um... Not so much.  There is a time and a place for everything.  Now is not the time to check those boxes!

Canonical URL Override

This is another one of those things that you can totally ignore for now.  Basically if you wanted to you could change the way your URL would look.  But this is already SEO optimized so that you really don't have to worry about it.  I ignored it and my url came out like this: http://bubbajuju.com/history-for-kids/  Nice and clean with the pretty little dashes in between the words just like they're supposed to be.  And I'll make this part short and sweet. https is used instead of http in online banking and when you need to make sure the site is more secure.  That's all I'm going to say about that!  Go here to learn more if you're a nerd like me.

Ready to ignore some more stuff?  Good!  It's getting late and I'm ready to post this thing!

Ignore the following...cuz you don't need to worry about these and if you ever do you can leave a question in the comment section...

Ignore: Custom Body Class and Custom "Read More" Text

Now you should be at Thesis post image.
Upload the image that you want to feature for your post. By the way Dwayne (creator) emphasizes that ALL articles must have a featured image. Post the URL for it if it has one.  Add the alt text.  Alt text is basically a description of the photo.  It is supposed to be used for the visually impaired.  Here is what I used for my featured picture:  "Cover of the Book History Stories for Children.  Men in a boat at night dumping tea in the water."  Always make sure you credit your image even if the image is yours! : )

Post Image Caption

Here is how mine reads "-- Photo Credit <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932971076/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1932971076&linkCode=as2&tag=essquidoo-20">History Stories for Children</a>"  This is a place where you can add html coding.  See the screen shot below.

Leave "frame this image" unchecked. I tried it both ways on a picture and it didn't seem to change anything.  Maybe it would be different on another image.  Play around with it if you want.  You can always go back and change things.  Nothing is final.

For now leave the alignment "as recommended."  Again, if you want to mess around with it go ahead.  I get it.  It's a new toy.

For thesis thumbnail...quite honestly?  I left it blank on my first post and right now I suggest you do the same.  Since then I have gone back and added it and to be completely honest (cuz I'm cool like that) I'm not really sure what this does.  If you want to get the thumbnail done right now just do the same thing we did for Thesis Post Image above.

You can leave the "301 Redirect"  blank.  Here's what google says about it.

Now...for the moment you've been waiting for...

Fill in your article's content at the top and press the blue "publish" button on the right.  If you are editing a post it will say "update" instead of "publish."

Woo Hoo!!  You did it!  By the way...my high school basketball coach used to say "If it were easy, everyone would do it."  I hope I made it easier for ya.

Please and I say please!  (I can do that cuz this is my blog!  My blog.  My rules!)  Feel free to leave the link to your FIRST post in the comment section.  Can't wait to see what you all do!  I'll leave mine in the comment section first.  I'm rooting for ya!

If you just want to comment go ahead.  I love comments!

PS.  You can leave HTML coding in your comment section.  It's ok!  I did it like this:  <a href="http://bubbajuju.com/history-for-kids/ ">History for kids</a>

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Before You Write Your First Post at Bubbajuju

If you haven't read my first post on Bubbajuju you might want to check it out here.

By the way, I like calling it "juju" or "bubba" for short. : )  You can see where the name originated in my post mentioned above. I like the meaning behind it.


If you haven't signed up yet you can go here.  This is not a referral.

There will be a learning curve.  This applies to every writing platform though right?

If you are coming from Bubblews this is a Whole.  Lot.  Different.  It is like having your own site but not having to necessarily do ALL the leg work to get it up and running with built in SEO.  You'll still have to do some learning of course.  I did and will still be learning.  That's part of the beauty of writing online right?

Over at Bubblews people were starting to take advantage of the fact that you can just write a 400 character nothing post, have enough connections to get views and watch the money roll in. The problem there is partly that the site is WAY too easy to post crap on. This is a dream come true for a spammer or someone that is trying to cheat the system.  In my opinion it is probably those guys that are ruining the site. (ok that and the fact that the CEO needs better communication and business skills) but I digress...

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "content is king."  Well...Content Is King!  You want to own each post that you make "like a boss" (couldn't help myself).

Get Yourself Acquainted With the TOS and Check out the Forums

As with any online writing site you'll want to make sure you know the terms of service.  These are  pretty straightforward but you'll want to go check them out.

Also go check out the forums.  I love a site with forums.  This site has a getting started forum, and a help forum among many others.  Browse.  Don't spend too much time there yet.  (Unless you want to.)

I know you're wondering...How do we get paid?  On "juju" you get 70% of the adsense revenue generated for YOUR post.  You can also use your affiliate links from places like Amazon, Ebay, Zazzle...etc at 100% of your affiliate income.  See the screen shot below from the "join us" page on the "juju" site.

Ways to Earn at Bubbajuju
How You Get Paid at Bubbajuju
Here's a freebie:  If you are blogging or writing somewhere online and have a long quote that you want to use from a site on the internet it is better to do a screen shot of that quote than to copy and paste the words.  Why?  Some sites, probably even Google, might think you are plagiarizing even if you have quotation marks and site your online source.  Robots aren't perfect.  Take my word for it.

Did I own my first post at "juju?"   I was just trying to figure out how to post.  Dwayne ("juju" creator) liked it. : )  For a first post I think I did just fine!

Did you miss my first post on "Juju" It was titled Bubbajuju is Going to Become the Next Great Online Writing Site

Are you finding that it is a little more of a process to get started at Bubbajuju than at Bubblews for example?  I like that and here's why.  I think that it will help weed out the junk, the spammers, the ones that we don't really want spoiling a good thing. Those are my two cents anyway.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bubblews Might Be Saying Buh-Bye...

Updated:  Check the bottom of the post.

Bubblews might be saying buh-bye unless they change their ways...  If they can figure out how to get their act together the site might make it but I'm not sure they can do that.  They need to learn some communication skills and how to deal with people and maybe even attend a business class or two.

Here's The Good, The Bad and the Ugly regarding my experiences with Bubblews Buh-bye.   

The Good

After 12 days at Bubblews I reached my first payout redemption ($25).  I got really immersed in the Bubblews community, commented on a lot of posts and got fairly addicted pretty fast.  I joined some pretty great Facebook groups and am now connecting with more online writers.

Before starting there I did a little research and you can definitely find some unhappy people talking about Bubblews. I decided to give it a go anyway because I was seeing a few of my online writing friends sharing a lot of posts.

I got started and was hooked pretty fast.  It is pretty fun making a post and watching the pennies turn into dollars!  That doesn't happen on any other site that I've tried.

After 19 days there I have made 173 connections and I found out early on that some of those connections were people that I had connected with on other sites like Alrady.   She and I originally connected when we were writing on Ehow (stay away!).  We continued to connect in places like List My Five and now we're both on some of the same Facebook groups like The Profit Prophets and Let's Blog Together.  I'm sure I'll keep seeing Alrady around.  She and I both love writing online.

After 3 days of waiting after hitting the redemption button I received notice that I had a payment pending from Bubblews in my paypal account.  This is probably the fastest online money that I will have made if the payment goes through tomorrow...I'm not so sure it will. Keep reading. 

The Bad

After being on Bubblews for a few days I connected with Bubblewssupport1 and Bubblewssupport2 as well as Avi (Arvind) Dixit, the creator/ CEO and that's where I started seeing a lot of people asking why they weren't being paid.  I thought, well, maybe there's some rule they broke.

Then I started seeing some of my good connections, the ones that I always see writing legit posts, that are playing by the rules talking about missing one, two or several of their payments.  This was alarming but not alarming enough for me to stop yet.  I had to see for myself if I would get paid.  After all...I was playing by the rules.

The Ugly

I haven't written on Bubblews since the 19th of July.  Before that I was averaging 2-4 posts per day.  It was either on the 19th or the day before that Bubblews decided that they would DELETE all the posts in which the author had used html code with no warning.  Let me just say that I had zero posts with html coding.  I had been thinking about it but just hadn't gotten around to doing it yet.  Then I started hearing about these authors on Bubblews and on other groups that these posts had been deleted and that their account now showed a negative balance!

No where and I mean no where on the rules or TOS (Terms of Service) of the site does it say anything about it not being ok to use html coding.  But and this is a big but...Avi uses the phrase "alteration of" from point 3. in the disclaimer to cover what he and his company did.

Here's the way that part of the disclaimer reads.

 3. Disclaimer


"Please check the terms of use for this section as you were in clear violation by editing html."
Arvind said "Please specifically notice 'alteration of. ' "

See for yourself in the screen shot I took of the comments that Arvind made to an author in regards to this issue.  (If you can't read this click on the picture and press ctrl + to make it bigger.)

I am not on a mission to destroy Bubblews. (They're doing a good enough job on their own.)  I just want people to be aware of what's going on.  Do you want to write for a site that might delete your posts with no warning?  Do you want to write for a site that might not pay you? 

If you want to start writing on Bubblews or you want continue writing at Bubblews do so at your own risk.  I might test the waters here and there with a post or two and I'll try to stay connected with some of the writers there but the site has issues.  If you decide to keep pouring all your online writing time into this site just don't whine about it when things go wrong because right now that's the way things are going there...wrong.

P.S.  I just read a status that said that someone's pending Bubblews payment suddenly cancelled clearing with instruction to contact good old Avi.  Paypal did not issue payment from Bubblews because the account had no funds.  Oh boy.  My payment is due tomorrow. Crossing my fingers...

Update: My payment cleared today!  The first screen shot is from my notice that I had a payment pending and the second screen shot is what I saw today letting me know that my payment cleared. Well that is definitely a step in the right direction.  I still am not going to spend large amounts of time there for now.

This is my last post about Bubblews for a while.  I tried it out to give it the benefit of the doubt and you might see me posting there on occasion (as ElaineK) but I am not going to devote a lot of time there.  I'm on to a new adventure.  I'll be on Bubbajuju (VERY new site) and Examiner and here.  Let me know if you'll be trying either of these out and we can say hi to each other there. 

So...Now what do you do instead of Bubblews
Need some Bubblews alternatives?

The Next Great Online Writing Site
You Might Need An Adsense Account.  Here's how to get one approved quickly.
Try Squidoo

Here are some others I have not tried but that people seem to do well with:

Where have you had the most online writing success?

Bubbajuju is Going to Become the Next Great Online Writing Site

At least I think it has that potential.  From what I have read and seen so far the creator seems like someone I would want to work with.  He seems to have good people skills which is incredible important in a site like this. (At least I think so.)

This is my first post on Bubbajuju.
#2  Before You Write Your First Post on Bubbajuju
#3  How to Write Your First Post on Bubbajuju "Like a Boss"

I first heard of Bubbajuju a couple days ago and I started doing some research to see if this would be a good place for me to take some of my online writing.  I decided to visit the site and join.

By the way, in case you were wondering, because I know I was,  Bubbajuju is in no way affiliated with Bubblews.  Phew!!! 

I am impressed with the site so far. It is very professional looking and has a good vibe.  The site is very new, launched in December 2012 I think.

After being sent a confirmation email I decided to reply with a couple of questions.  My first question was if Bubbajuju was connected with Bubblews and I was happy to hear that it was "not at all" affiliated.  I was also happy to have the response come directly from the creator of the site, Dwayne. The site is young and I am sure that he does the majority, if not all, of the work on this site.  He does, however take into consideration the thoughts and ideas of the site's contributors and says that he will have the authors vote on something before he makes any major changes on the site. Pretty cool right?

I emailed him again and I asked him a few other questions. "Can you tell me when you started the site, why you started it and your other online experience?  I think my readers would like to know that.  Oh, and how did you come up with the name Bubbajuju?  I noticed it is your name on squidoo as well."

Now let me back up a little here.  Can I just say how happy I was that he was taking the time to respond to my questions?  I got these answers within hours.  When "Bubba" starts to gain more authors, exposure and traffic I'm sure he'll be even more busy but he seems like the kind of person who will be very receptive to the thoughts and ideas of the contributors on the site.  I think he'll be wise and make good decisions when the site starts growing even more.  Did I mention that in his forum one of the topics that he started was Hi, my name is Dwayne and I thrive on constructive criticism.  Does that sound like someone you might want to connect with?

Here is Dwayne's profile picture at Bubbajuju
(Image credit: http://bubbajuju.avatar.yuku.com/squidu)
He is the creator of Bubbajuju.  I think you'll like where he came up with the name.

He says, "Bubbajuju has been my internet alias for quite a few years now.  It got it’s origins in Fairbanks, Alaska around 12 years ago when I was contemplating a name for my one man band.  I don’t know how it popped into my head, but I associated it with “Magic Brother”.  Someone who comes along and helps others, fixes things and spreads good juju."

I like that.

If you're looking for a place to write online give this a shot. Dwayne (founder of Bubbajuju) really seems to know his stuff.  If you are overwhelmed with how to start a website or blog on your own this might be a good place to start.

All that being said I do want to give you a warning.  There is a lot of technical online blogging stuff that you'll have to learn but you can learn right on the site.  The site walks you through it in the getting started forum.  And if you are still confused about any of it you can either ask a question in the forum or just google it.

It is always a little overwhelming when starting on a new site.  There's always a learning curve.

Here's what I've done so far...(not much. I'd have done more but I got into doing this post.)

I signed up and was approved within the next day.  Today I logged  in and went to my profile, changed my password and added my adsense ID.  If you don't have an Adsense ID yet you don't need one to start but check out my tutorial on how to get approved with an Adsense ID super fast.

I also changed my gravatar. This took less than five minutes.  I learned how to do this here.

Some important things I want to remember...

  • You need to have a featured picture for your posts (They like these to be at least 300 pixels wide but aren't stickers on the size.)
  • You need a caption for your photos, a great place to leave your photo credit.  If the picture is yours you still need to say so.  It accepts html coding here like this:
  • Image Credit: <a href=”http://www.wikipedia.org”>Wikipedia</a>
In Dwayne's own words... What is Bubbajuju?

I am hoping I can get some of my online friends to join me in this.  I think it'll be more fun that way.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you are going to join me here.