Blogging For Dollar$ — Part One

So, it’s been two weeks (13 days) since I signed on to paid blogging.  Am I rich yet? No.  However …

My very first Sponsored Conversation (that’s what the advertisers call the posts they pay for when they Advertise On Blogs) was about PayPerPost v4.0 (PPP), so you’d all know what I was up to.  That ad, and most of the others I have taken, are Cost Per Click (CPC) campaigns.  That means I get a set amount for every viable click.  I received two viable  $0.27 clicks and earned a whole $0.54 for them.  (In order for a click to be viable, the reader has to actually scroll through the site and spend however many seconds it has been determined it would take to actually read the offer.)

It didn’t take me but that one ad to figure out a person could wait a long time for a decent paycheck doing things that way and it would be a long time before I could afford my dream ROKU Digital Video Player, let alone one of those Typically Swiss Hotels, so I wrote a few paid posts.  A paid post is where the advertiser says, “Okay, I want you to write about XYZ at the set rate of $7.00 plus a penny per word for 200 words”;  which means they’re offering you $9.00 to write their post and they expect it to have at least 200 words.  To date I have written $32.25 worth of ads for Pay Per Post.

The PPP service offers only paid posts.  The payout is in whole dollar amounts rather than nickels and dimes.  That’s a good thing.  Plus, the writer has control over setting his or her own base price, which is another good thing — sort of.  You see, at PPP, advertisers are shopping for writers.  If they like your blog and your writing style, they contact you through your PPP dashboard — providing they don’t like someone else just as well who’s cheaper.  After you’ve been contacted, you have 3 days to write the post and contact the advertiser.  The advertiser then has three days to review the post.  If the post fits all advertiser criteria (listed up front on the ad) then it passes inspection and goes into the pay pending queue.

If the post does not pass inspection — this hasn’t happened to me yet — the advertiser must give an explanation of what needs to be fixed.  The blogger then has 3 days to comply.  Once the post is fixed as requested, then the agreed upon dollar amount goes into the pay pending queue.  If the advertiser and the blogger cannot come to terms over the post, moderation — under set criteria — is provided by PPP.  This is a rare thing.  PPP has proven procedures which help advertisers and bloggers come to terms before the post is written.  PPP also keeps stats which both bloggers and advertisers can use to judge the other’s reliability.

On the not so plus side, if a blogger does not write every PPP article he or she is offered, the refusal counts against his or her credibility (as far as the advertisers are concerned).  However, my first concern is for my readers.  I will not write a post for a product just to get money.  If the product isn’t something I would be willing to use or think my readers might be interested in, I won’t accept the offer.  (I have my ratings set to “no adult content” so I won’t even receive ad offers that aren’t suitable for a general audience.)  I have turned down two offers — not because I didn’t approve them, but because I received too many at once and I do want there to still be some ME here, or I know there won’t be any YOU!

Also on the not so plus side, there’s the pay pending queue:  PPP doesn’t pay out until earnings reach $50.00 and the post has been up — all links functional — for 30 days (which means they wish the posts to be permanent).  It means, among other things, your first payday is 30+ days out.  So I figure it’s going to be awhile before I can take advantage of any of those hot stock picks!

Stay Tuned for Part Two — Tweeting For Dollars
Part Three — Sparking For Dollars

DO NOT go to O’Ceallaigh & The Quill and read Amoeba’s takes on my paid blogging! The Delphic Keyboard or Dude & Dude: Post Office

This was a paid post.  The links were removed on 10.12.09

Code Of Ethics

OC ‘n’ Quilly Shopkeepers!

A number of people approached me this week and told me I should try to sell my photos. This surprised me greatly, but I did some looking and discovered … I am a fairly talented amateur photographer, but there are plenty of other folks with cameras who are much, much better than I!

Still, it seemed I was being offered an opportunity. How best to take advantage of it? I began by having a chat with OC. Let me tell you something now, I love the man, but he does not bow to my vanities. He told me under no uncertain terms that while I might have the talent to compete with the pros, I didn’t have the education (neither formal nor experiential) or the equipment to enter the fray at any level above 10th sub-basement. Ouch.

Still, there are people who like my stuff, so there must be a market. All I had to do was find it. And I did! Yay! You can find it, too. Just click here.

If you don’t see what you want and have a suggestion, leave it in the comment box or click the email link to the left of the blog just under my photo. Thanks!

Oh! And thanks to Sauer Kraut, OC and I may soon be running a contest that will allow you to win store merchandise! Stay tuned for further developments!

[To my loyal readers: no purchase necessary to enjoy the same great blog content you’ve come to expect from, Just Another Day in … Paradise?]

I’ll Take That As a “No”

A girl-child climbed the three flights of stairs to my apartment on Monday afternoon. She knocked on the storm door and tried to peer through the screen into the house. I stood up from the couch and said hello, startling her. She hadn’t noticed me sitting there.

I walked to the door and asked, “What can I do for you?”

She looked up at me through the screen. Judging by her size, her cunning and her complete lack of guile, I’d say she was about 8 years old. She asked, “Would you like to buy a candy bar?”

I looked down. She had a Nature Valley granola bar in her hands. I was curious. “How much?” I asked.

She said, “Three dollars.”

I said, “Whoa! That’s a lot of money. So, why are you selling the granola bar?”

She looked at me like I was nuts. “For money!”

“Yes,” I agreed. “But is it for something at school or at church?”

She looked confused. “No,” she said.

I decided to try again. “Where did you get the candy bar?” I asked.

“The kitchen,” she answered.

“Hmmm,” I said. “And does your mom know what you’re up to?”

Her eyes grew big and her mouth dropped open. “I gotta go now!” She shouted over her shoulder while clattering down the stairs.

Checked, Not Operable

[Go over to O’Ceallaigh and The Quill.  That post is much more fun then this one.]

I am online with my own computer.  I have been since yesterday afternoon.  I hesitated to say anything because I am not certain how long this will last or what will go wrong next.

Some of you will recall that the hard drive died on my brand new computer when it was just a few weeks old.  The crash took with it a truckload of awesome photographs, some of which were posted online, thankfully!  Those not posted are with Clemintine, “lost and gone forever.”

So, I sent my computer back to Gateway and in just 11 days they returned the machine to me with a new hard drive and a notation on the invoice (no charge) saying all systems had been checked and were operable.  Except when I plugged the machine in and started it up, it said I had no wifi.”No wifi!”  I shrieked, “Why not?!”  And the utility quite happily told me that my machine had been returned sans drivers. 

Checked and operable my ass!  If all systems were checked, then my wifi would have drivers, right?

So I called Gateway.  Some dude answered the phone.  Probably a stoner judging by the amount of brain cells he employed in my aid.  I told him I had no wifi drivers.  He told me to go online and download them.  Hello?!

So, I read to him the little paper about all my systems being checked and operable.  He responds, “Well, if that’s what the paper says, then that’s what was done and your machine is in optimal working order.  Thank you for choosing Gateway.”  Click.

What the — ?  I went to bed.  Time enough to haggle on the phone in the morning.

So, the next morning I again call Gateway.  A young woman answers the phone and walks me through the system utility.  We try to reinstall the driver.  No go.  She transfers me to a gentleman who takes me through the same steps she just did, plus several others.  No matter what we do, we get a “Code 10” message — which I was told, means there is no driver to access.  After several attempts this gentleman says, “We need you to make a back up system disc.  Do you have any CD’s?”  I tell him I have 4.  He tells me I need 7.  I ask what good backing up the system is going to do.  He tells me that we will use the system disc which I make — from my system — to reinstall the drivers.

Uhm, hello?!  “My system has no drivers!”  I said it right outloud — loud being the operative word.  He said, “It only seems that way.  They’re in there.  Your machine just doesn’t recognize them.”  I want to know, “So how will it recognize them on the disc?”  He says, “Trust me, it will.  I know you don’t understand this stuff but I am a pro.”

Okay.  I get CDs and call back.  Oops.  I don’t need CDs.  I need DVDs.  Lovely.  I call my sister Jackie and ask her to bring DVDs to the island when she arrives for her visit.  She arrives having forgotten the DVDs.  She said she’d mail them as soon as she returned home.  No problem, I was going camping anyway and wouldn’t be needing net.

I returned home from camping and found a phone message waiting from Jackie.  It seems there are several types of DVDs and she didn’t know which one my machine needed.  Neither did I — and without net I couldn’t even look in my online users manual.  So — again — I called Gateway.

A young woman answered. I thought I heard gum popping as we talked, but in retrospect I am thinking it may have been her brain misfiring.  I brought her up-to-date on my trials and tribulations.  She told me my machine would work with either type of DVD, plus or minus.  She also told me I need 7 DVDs.  I said, “Why so many?” She said, “You are copying your entire system.”  “Well, yes,” I answer, but my comp only has a 1 gig memory and a DVD is 4 gigs.  Shouldn’t I need only one?”  She answers firmly, “You will need 7.”  Okay.  It doesn’t make any sense, but okay.

I then ask her the missing driver question.  I still do not understand how a driver not in my computer is going to miraculously show up on a disc made by my computer.  The girl tells me, testily, “Before we can do anything else you have to make the back up disc.  Without that, we can’t help you.”  She assures me the driver will be on the disc and that she knows what she is talking about.

So, I make the back up disc — one, ONE DVD – and try the reinstall.  No go.  I still get a code 10 error.  Big surprise, huh?  I call Gateway.  Yet another tech answers — named Mike — I brought him up-to-date on my trials and tribulations.  He immediately said, “Of course the disc didn’t work.  You didn’t have the drivers in your system in the first place!” 

Well, duh.

I said, “I mentioned that to the other techs.”  Mike tells me one of them actually noted that in the log!  He also said, “They were following the proceedure manual, not using their brains.  If they had actually stopped to think … oh, never mind.”

Then he asks for my address and says he is sending me an email with a link to the necessary drivers.  I tell him that without wifi I can’t check the net.  I ask if I can download the drivers onto a disc.  He tells me I need to hook my machine up to a land line.  I explain that we don’t have such a critter.  He says, “Look, you’re at a college facility, right?  Go to the computer lab and ask their tech for a land line.  Access your email, click the link, and your driver will reinstall inself, no problem.”

He was correct.  I followed his instructions and here I am online.  So, where was he three weeks ago?  Charley says they don’t haul out the intelligent trouble-shooters until you’ve called in about seven times …

As we ended our conversation Mike said, “Thank you for choosing Gateway.”  I responded, “You know, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t.”  He said, resigned, “I understand.”