Tuesday, April 23, 2013

List of NOT-Recommended Money Earning Sites For Small Publishers

There are really lots of money earning sites in this internet world. However, it takes time to find out which of them are not worth joining especially for small publishers. We, Quick Money Saver, would like to build and maintain a list of money earning sites that small publishers should avoid to join (if you are large publishers, you know you do have more options and bargaining power). They are probably not scams, and they can still be legit. If you read their rules carefully, you may not say they are scams because their rules protect themselves fully and they do it openly. However, some of their terms can be UNFAIR to most users.

Here we have two not-recommended lists: one for money earning sites that you should avoid, and another list for money earning sites that are under-performed or have better alternatives.

Money Earning Sites That You Should Avoid

(1) Clicksor:

Clicksor is quite a special advertising platform. Their TOS (Terms of Services) states:

No publisher payments will be issued eventually for any amounts less than USD$50. Any publisher payment that remains unclaimed for 6 months after the payment issue date will not be compensated. Affiliates must have more than 50%+ US, GB, CA traffic or else will result in account suspension.

You may also feel the above Clicksor TOS terms are not fair especially for small publishers, mainly because of their USD$50 minimum payout or their 6-month payment un-claim period. Even for relatively larger publishers, they can hardly control their website traffic sources that must come mainly from the U.S., U.K., or Canada.

In addition to the above Clicksor unfair terms, some users also reported that Clicksor does not have enough advertisers so that their ads are untargeted and hence can result in poor CTR (Click Through Rate). That is why many publishers find that their Clicksor earnings are so low due to low eCPM (effective cost per 1000 impressions). Furthermore, Clicksor platform generates pop-under ads that are mostly caught by common anti-virus softwares as dangerous security threats. Many publishers also said that Clicksor has a poor traffic detection system. Clicksor might suspend accounts with large sudden traffic surges, or might suspend accounts with high number of pages views (PVs) per unique visitor.

(2) Knoji (was Factoidz):

Knoji (was Factoidz) is a writing platform but quite a well-known scam for many publishers. You may simply search for 'Factoidz rip-off', 'Factoidz Shills' or 'Factoidz scams' via Google. You may see lots of complaints, negative comments or warnings, and then you will easily find out why.

From Knoji TOS (Terms of Services) terms, publishers will not have copyright of their own articles. Once they publish them on Knoji, their articles immediately become Knoji's property instead.

More importantly, user level of publishers must be no less than level 2 contributor in order to be eligible for any revenue. Many publishers who originally get paid for a short period found their user level suddenly downgraded from staff writer or contributor to just level 1 member, and they could never get paid again. All unpaid earnings were then 'stolen' and kept by Knoji (was Factoidz). Also, all their previously written articles were not deleted and were just confiscated by Knoji (was Factoidz). Some publishers even consider Knoji (was Factoidz) as a kind of Ponzi scheme that revenues from confiscated articles are used to pay the site owner, shills, as well as other remaining writers. These revenues may also be used to overpay some new comers but their earnings will drop significantly after their first few articles. When the new comers continue to write more articles, they will be likely demoted to level 1 member as well and will also become the next batch of victims.

Furthermore, many publishers reported that Knoji (was Factoidz) keeps changing its TOS (Terms of Services) constantly to benefit Knoji itself. Knoji also states in its TOS that it is the responsibility of publishers to read the TOS and abide by it. Some publishers even reported that once they questioned about any term in the TOS, Knoji would demote them to level 1 member and thus they would no longer get paid for their outstanding money.

(3) Smowtion:

Smowtion is quite a secret advertising platform. It seems that Smowtion may have some hidden rules for publishers. Since we have already published the related details in our earlier post about Smowtion Questions and Answers (Q&A), so we do not repeat all details here again.

(4) Commission Junction:

Commission Junction (CJ) is a popular affiliate earning website but it may not be good for smaller publishers because it will charge you for dormant account. If you have not generated a sell in the last 6 months, Commission Junction (CJ) will deduct a monthly service fee of $10 from your account until all your previous earnings are gone. This policy is clearly unfair to small publishers. Another well-known disadvantage of Commission Junction (CJ) is that it does not offer PayPal option for payouts. Smaller publishers can try Skimlinks or VigLink (sign-up for free here) if you want to escape from such monthly dormant fee or if you prefer receiving money via PayPal (sign-up for free here).

Money Earning Sites That Are Under-Performed or Have Better Alternatives

(a) Wikinut:

Wikinut is probably the worst-paid writing site many publishers have ever heard of. It was reported that it required 300K views to make £5.00 for you to start getting payout. This revenue level is just not reasonable, clearly not fair to any writers, and will take forever for small publishers to start cashing out their money. Another key problem is, you can also find in their ToU (Terms of Use), once you sign-up you have already authorized Wikinut to debit a monthly service fee of £0.5 from your earnings if your account is inactive for 365 days. However, one big advantage of wikinut is that it allows re-posting of articles you already published elsewhere. It probably is the reason why this website does not have good advertising partners to offer writers better payouts. You just cannot complain too much about the poor earnings if you are just submitting your 'second-hand' articles. Wikinut is an under-performed money earning site, but if you just like re-posting you may still sign-up for free here.

(b) Squidoo:

Squidoo is a well-known writing platform for earning money. It is hard to say Squidoo is a scam, but it has a tier system which is too complicated for beginners. And the main problem is, if you understand the tier system correctly, it is actually not fair to low-traffic lens owners. Since every lens that is rated as tier 4 (if its average monthly lens rank is more than 85K) cannot share any Google AdSense revenues from Squidoo, these lowest tier lens owners cannot get paid and their earnings are in fact 'eaten' by the other top players in Squidoo. That means the lowest tier lens owners are subsidizing the top players in Squidoo. Such kind of tier system is obviously unfair to small publishers. You cannot say it is a scam, because this unfair tier system is clearly stated in their TOS (Terms of Services) terms. If you are confident to write top quality lens, you may sign-up for free here.

(c) Bukisa:

Bukisa is another writing platform for publishers to earn some money. It was reported that Bukisa has been quite a good paying website. However, Bukisa has added 'nofollow' tag (rel="nofollow") for all outgoing links, which means that you cannot get any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits from this website. Bukisa is not a scam, it is just not good enough because we think writing sites basically should not carry 'nofollow' tag (that means should 'dofollow'). As these outgoing links are recommended by writers there, they of course want their visitors to 'follow' these links and this is the actual meaning of 'dofollow'. By this definition, perhaps Bukisa is just abusing the meaning of 'nofollow' and hence we trend to consider InfoBarrel should be a better alternative (sign-up for free here)

[UPDATE: our recommendation for InfoBarrel is now withdrawn. Instead of making links 'nofollow', InfoBarrel has begun refusing articles with backlinks which were previously approved by its editorial team. Therefore, we have to conclude that InfoBarrel is now no better than Bukisa. Too bad~ ]

(d) Xomba:

Xomba is also a writing platform for earning money. However, Xomba has implemented 'nofollow' policy for all outgoing links similar to Bukisa. We did have a few articles in Xomba, but then we had no choice but already moved them to Infobarrel as a better alternative (sign-up for free here).

We, Quick Money Saver, will continue to maintain and update this not-recommended list, although we do hope we can remove all sites from this page one day (that means all websites can become fair to their users). If you have any other website(s) you want us adding into this list, please add via the comment section below (no scam please) to let us know.

Here we, Quick Money Saver, must make it clear that the above are NOT our own comments, they are just summary of what everyone can find somewhere else on the internet. We only want sharing with our readers what other publishers feel about the above money earning sites, and we have zero intention to oppose or support any money earning site mentioned here. We trust our information may help saving your time and effort to join any unfair or under-performed money earning site. As always, do study carefully on your own prior to making decisions for whether or not you should sign-up for these money earning sites.