Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Internet Scheme to Avoid

In my never-ending quest for income I discovered a new money making scheme on the internet to tell you about.  I’m not going to give the name of the website because I’m going to tell you to avoid this scheme and I don’t want to drive any traffic to their site. 
The scheme is that people will pay you to click on their affiliate ad links and sign up for free trials.  For those who don’t know about affiliate ad income I’ll explain;  you arrange for companies to advertise on your site, they pay you when someone clicks on the ad and purchases something.  Apparently some people are paying others a cut of that income to click on the ads they place on their websites.  There are a lot of websites that have nothing on them but affiliate ads, I assume it’s the people with those sites that are running this scam.  I call it a scam because it is the advertisers that are being scammed in this case, they aren’t really getting any revenue from the clicks on their ads.
You should not participate in this kind of scheme for 2 reasons:
1.       It’s unethical (see, Libertarians do have ethics).  When you sign up for the affiliate ad program you agree that you will not click on those ads yourself AND you will not ask anyone else to click on them.  So when you participate in this scheme you are helping someone violate their contract.
2.       It’s dangerous.  When you sign up for the “free” trials you will have to give them your personal information and a credit card number.  You will have to remember to cancel your free trial before the end of the trial period or your credit card will be charged.  Most importantly, the more of your personal information is out there on the internet, the more chances there are of it being stolen by nefarious individuals and causing you hours of work and frustration to clean up your identity theft problems.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Make Money from Home with Leapforce – A Review

Updated for 2013

Use this link to apply: https://www.leapforceathome.com/qrp/public/jobs/list?uref=f16e8eb5ab8dea5fccd319d7d970c6e7
Rate of Pay:  $13.50/hr  paid once monthly
Terms of Employment:  Independent contractor – 6 month contract

What is Leapforce?

Since I started working for Leapforce a lot of people have been asking me about it, so in this review I’ll tell you what I can.  I’m limited in how much detail I can go into by the contract I signed, but I can give you the basics.

Leapforce is a company that conducts evaluation services for search engine providers like Google and Yahoo.  The search engine providers use the data Leapforce collects to refine the algorithms they use to generate search results.

What does the job entail?

You will be given the search that someone typed into the search box, and you will be given 2 pages of results to compare.  You will first need to determine what the user meant by that search, that may be difficult depending on your knowledge of the search terms.  If you don’t understand it you have to do some web research to figure it out.  Then you will click on the results links and evaluate (on a 5-pt scale) how well the results respond to the search.

Sounds like fun doesn’t it?  It’s like you are being paid to search the internet.  Well, yes and no, actually you don’t have time to do much searching or reading what you find.  Leapforce has performance standards that you must meet or be terminated, so you will be working and not exploring the internet.

Want to apply for a job with Leapforce?

It seems that Leapforce is always looking for new agents.  I think between the stringent entrance requirements, a tough qualification exam and their performance standards there is a lot of turnover.  So chances are that if you want to apply there will be openings.

Fill out the online application on the home page listed at the top of this post.  You will need to have a resume to attach to the application.  They are looking for people with a college degree and with some analytical skills.

A few days after applying you will receive an email letting you know if your application was accepted.  If so you will also receive instruction about the qualification exam you must pass.  Once your exam period starts you will receive a link to the General Guidelines, this is your training manual that you must read and learn in order to pass the exam.  You have 7 days to complete the test.  The first part is a multiple choice test to see if you have understood the information in the guidelines.  If you don’t pass this part you cannot finish the rest of the exam.  Also its important to know that if you do not pass, you can NOT take the test again. So be careful when taking the exam, read the questions carefully, many of them are not easy.

After you submit the first part of the test and you pass, you will receive instructions for the practical part of the exam.  This part consists of simulations of the type of work you will be doing.  This exam is actually part of your training and it allows you to decide whether this is actually something you would like to do.  NOTE:  Leapforce provides simulations on your rater page that you can use to practice and get feedback, this is valuable in helping you pass the exam.

Also see my advice for taking the exam.

A few days after you submit your completed exam you will receive an email letting you know whether you have passed.

What happens when you are accepted?

Once you have been accepted as an agent you will be required to “virtually” sign some employment documents online.  When they have processed those documents you may begin working.

Once you begin work you are being evaluated on both speed and quality of your ratings.  Your standards are lower when you first start working, but after three weeks you have to meet the same standards as everyone else.  Pay attention to your evaluations and do what you can to bring your work up to standard.

There are other types of tasks that you will have to work on that you did not train for.  There are guidelines for these other tasks on your rater page, you will need to read and learn these guidelines before you work on those tasks.

You enter your work time on their invoice generator on your rater page.  You are expected to keep track of your time to the minute.  You submit your invoice once a month on the first day of the month.  You will be paid around 25 days after that.  Payment is by direct deposit only.

My Review – Is it a good job?

When you are new at the job you will have some frustrations getting used to the procedures and using the site.  Those frustrations will decrease as you become more experienced at the job.  But as a newbie it can be very stressful trying to meet the performance standards.  I am working on writing a new post for 2013 with advice for new workers, check back later in July for that.  Overall the job pays well, has flexible hours and is usually fun to do if you love spending time searching the internet.

Things to consider:

Initially you will spend a lot of time in unpaid training so your initial pay will amount to much less than $13.50/hr.  However, once you have been working for a few months your training time will be much less.

The performance standards can make your first couple of months very stressful.

The good aspects of the job are the dependable income and flexibility of your work hours.  You can pick both when you work and how many hours you put in.

So those are the facts.  If you think you might like it, the only way to know is to apply and give it a try.  

Also, see my latest update after working for Leapforce for 2 years.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lesson Learned

I've learned my first lesson in blogging today.  I was going to put this new blog on WordPress, just to try it out...until I read the ad policy.  WordPress does not allow you to place ads on your blog unless you pay their hosting fee or your blog gets 25,000 visits a month.  That is a goal of course but in the meantime I'll be missing out on ad revenue.  To add insult to injury WordPress also will place ads on your blog if they feel so inclined but you will not receive any share of the revenue from them.  So here I am on Blogger where Google is only too happy to place ads on your blog and share ad revenue with you.  Ah capitalism, gotta love it!