Everyone’s an expert on something. And on Fiverr, you get paid for it, $5 at a time.

In March 2010, online entrepreneurs Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger launched Fiverr.com, the world’s first “microjob” site.  The microjob concept is simple and yet immensely appealing:  Spend a few minutes working  and get a small payment.  Work many such jobs and suddenly Fiverr starts to look like a genuine income stream.

The key to success on Fiverr is planning.  Make sure the task you want to perform will take less than an hour and that your schedule can accommodate many small  tasks if need be.  That last is important as some Fiverr users have found success beyond their expectations.

Once such freelancer is writer fluffybunny (Fiverr encourages anonymity).  She has a full-time job and a family of eight, with six children between 5 and 15 years old, so for her, getting a second job just isn’t an option.  Her offer, writing 300 word articles for websites, is so popular she processes 10-20 orders a day, writing after the kids go to bed or whenever she can spare a moment.  While it’s true that Fiverr keeps $1 out of every $5 and PayPal transfer fees are typically 8 cents, that’s $39.20-$78.40 per day she wouldn’t otherwise earn.  For the first time last Christmas fluffybunny was able to pay cash for gifts and avoid the dreaded January credit card bills.

If writing’s not your forte, how about crafts?  Do you create handmade and distinctive jewelry?  Several Fiverr sellers specialize in making small food objects out of modeling clay.  Make photo collages, origami roses or greeting cards.  $5 isn’t the limit here; you can also set a reasonable amount for shipping your finished creation.

Listing your task or craft (Fiverr calls it a gig) is free.  So what are you waiting for?

Charleen Larson is Senior Editor of the Best of Fiverr blog, which features gig reviews and actual work samples from Fiverr users.  Contact her to learn more about publicizing your gig.

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Google Adsense Alternative Fizzles and Dies

When Affiliate Programs go wrong could have been an even more appropriate title. But, before I get too deep into this I just want everyone to see the education in this post rather than me ranting about how much I do not like Shopping Ads. It’s not a deep hatred for this adsense alternative but rather a simply notice of a poor excuse and a poor way to treat affiliates in general.

So in a nutshell here’s the story of how NOT to treat affiliates. For around 1 year I stayed as one of the top Shopping Ads affiliates and in fact I even wrote an e-book that taught people some clever ways to make money with their program. In fact, over the course of a few months I even built up a good standing with their CEO and they featured my E-book Easy Shopping Ads Profits on their blog. However, they began to make changes within the company and at one point I wasn’t even sure who the CEO is or became or if it was still the same person. They began making many mistakes like: not paying affiliates on time, not notifying affiliates of changes, ads not displaying correctly and support was very slow for this Google adsense alternative. Keep in mind they always had issues with uptime for ads and slow response rates but they continued to seem very reactive rather than proactive.

A quick flashback: back when I originally started with Shopping Ads I had lost my password and for some reason their automated system wasn’t re-sending my login info as they had many other issues. So I contacted their help desk asking how to get my password reset and after days and multiple emails I still heard nothing back. So I ended up setting up another account with nearly all the exact same information, paypal address etc. You’ll see the importance of this paragraph later in this post.

In early spring of 2009 Shopping Ads went through even more changes that they never really explained to the affiliates. Many of these changes stemmed from shady affiliates who were inappropriately using their service. Many of these affiliates were probably signing up for multiple accounts and signing themselves up on their second tier. Those type of actions all always frowned upon and I am not sure any affiliate network would be OK with that. Shopping Ads notified users of the changes by simply putting a message on the inside of the account of the user. Interestingly enough they never sent emails out to affiliates though, which seems odd. I immediately contacted their support desk asking them about the changes and if everything for my account looks OK In typically fashion, I received no answer yet again. A couple months went by and all looked well, my links continued to generate hits and sales for their network, they continued to pay me but all the while I still received absolutely no email from them.

At the end of April I logged into my account only to find the account had been banned because of having 2 accounts with the same email address. Now, don’t get me wrong I wasn’t at all shocked seeing how their support has been non existent and wouldn’t think this would be something out of the ordinary for them. There was a brief note in red in my account saying that I’d been banned and that I need to contact support to inquire about my future payments from them to discuss the situation. However, at the bottom of the page there was another little box saying that it basically wouldn’t do any good to contact support as they will not fix anyones account. I of course emailed them since there is no other way to contact them and still have yet to hear from them anyways. However, due to their statement I am sure I will not hear back from them.

OK, now there reason for this post isn’t to rip on Shopping Ads and tell people to leave them. In fact, I’m not even mad. However, the purpose of this post is to point out things you should watch for if you’re an affiliate and things to not do if you have affiliates promoting your network, products or services for you.

If you’re an affiliate for a network and their support seems to be non existent you might start to raise a red flag. Now, keep in mind I don’t mean if you send them an email on Friday and you don’t hear from them until Monday. I understand lack of support over the weekends. Where I would and should have raised a red flag myself is when support failed to respond to me on a regular basis.

As an affiliate late payments should start to raise a red flag as well. If a network starts paying extremely late on a regular basis or continually mispaying you then there could be more problems. This should hold especially true for someone that should be a top alternative to adsense.

If you’re an affiliate and you also notice a lot of downtime with a company’s website, affiliate program and overall problems with the system this too may raise a red flag. Of course, it all comes down to your patience and what you’re willing to go through but most of all you’re going to want paid. If the program is flawed you might be missing out.

Now, affiliate program owners and product owners who rely on affiliates to help promote you pay special attention. Your affiliates are the lifeblood of your system. Without affiliates you have much less to show for your work. Cherish your affiliates and make sure they know how much you appreciate them. If you cannot demonstrate that why should they stay?

Here are a few things affiliate networks and product owners who have affiliates should always do.

#1. Answer support. If you are an individual product owner and don’t have the means to pay for support yet do it yourself in a timely fashion. If you’re getting the same questions over and over either fix the problem or make an FAQ sheet that everyone should read before emailing you. However, even if you make a FAQ sheet the ultimate goal should be to fix whatever problem was going on to avoid this in the future and avoid alienating your affiliates.

#2. Make sure everything is working. Nothing is more frustrating to an affiliate trying to promote your product or service but the links or system aren’t working. Resorting back to my previous point : If it is broken fix it.

#3. Listen to your affiliates. Sometimes it’s impossible to please everyone but if you have hundreds of people clamoring about the same thing, listen. This will help you or your company not only avoid problems but it will also win the respect of your affiliates.

#4. If you make changes that effect your TOS make the affiliate AGREE to it. This is important as all affiliates in the Shopping Ads issue originally agreed to a totally different Terms of Service and we were never given a chance to place our signature on the line, so to speak. A simple email being sent out telling people of the changes will be good but make sure to state that if they do not agree they need to exit the program and quit.

#5. Pay your affiliates. This is a no-brainer but I have to say it. If you tell your affiliates they will be paid by XX-Date, pay them. Now, circumstances could cause this to be a day or 2 late but in most cases it should be easy to pay on time. Imagine a regular job where the company never paid on time? That would make life a bit frustrating. Simply put yourself in your affiliates shoes for a moment and that should help you figure out if paying them 1-3 weeks late continually is OK.

There is a lot more that I can go into here but this is all I have for the post at this time. I think everyone is wise enough to make their own opinion about what are good business and bad business practices. Remember if you’re an affiliate for someone and you start noticing the type of inconsistencies I mentioned in this post it may be time to jump ship. Another so called Google Adsense Alternative bites the dust in my opinion.

To your everlasting marketing success,
Michael S. Brown

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Make Money Posting Links On Google Scam

Over the last year alot of buzz (mostly negative) has came out about sites that claim you can make money posting links on Google.  A word of warning straight out of the gate:  Do not fall to the temptation to even try programs that tell you you’ll make money by posting links on Google.

Let me explain this in a little more detail.

There are 2 ways to get links to show up on Google’s search engine and that’s it.  The first way is organically.  The second way is to pay for a link using Google Adwords.  If you’ve ever seen those advertisements at the top and right side of the screen on the Google search engines, those are Adwords links.

Let’s first talk about Google Adwords.  This is the paid way to get links to any website listed on Google.  It’s also the easiest and the fastest way.  However, it cost money and I do not recommend doing this for beginners.  The object is to show up on the first page of Google.  Most beginners who try to market using Adwords fail and end up spending alot more than they make.

There are many factors that will help you rank when doing PPC (pay per click – a.k.a. Adwords) marketing on Google.

#1.  Quality Score: This score is a combination of several factors that include your landing page and more importantly the title and keywords that are on your landing page.  There are other factors that are involved but those are the basics of it.

#2.  Price: How much you’re willing to pay per click.  Some words cost more, some less.  If your quality score is low you’ll spend more for your clicks.  If the keywords you’re bidding for are very competitive you’ll spend more as well.  If you’re quality score is low and you’re in a competitive field, Good Luck!

So that’s one way to get links on Google.  The next way is organic.  This means to rank you’re site naturally in the rankings without paying for the clicks.  It would be impossible for me to sufficiently explain how to get and profit from free search engine traffic (visitors) in this post. If you like that idea better than the idea of paying to get traffic from Google and other search engines you might consider taking a look at a system like  Niche Blitzkrieg that guides you step by step and has a helpful forum for you in case you get stuck.

Organic is a much cheaper route to go unless you are having someone do all the work for you.  As I mentioned earlier in the post if you’re a beginner you should steer away from PPC until you know what you’re doing.  Once you understand how to rank organically in the search engines and understand the concepts PPC shouldn’t even be an option.

I want you to keep in mind that these are the only ways to get your links in Google.  Any system out there that is being promoted that all you have to do is post links on Google to make money is, in my opinion, not worth even looking at.  Systems like Niche Blitzkrieg teach new folks how to rank organically and make money.  Once you’ve mastered a course like that and learned how to design your site and get found in the search engines you can consider starting a PPC campaign.  Getting your links posted on Google can actually happen but not the way many programs are telling you it can.

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