Paid Online Survey Income and the UK Election

Apologies for those readers from outside the UK and those who don't take part in paid surveys - this article deals specifically with the UK election and it's effect on my survey income (although for those of you outside the UK it may still be relevant if you have elections where you live).

As you probably already know, I am a user of online paid surveys and have even written reviews on online paid surveys to assist others.

You may (or may not) also realise that, at the time of writing, there is an upcoming election in the UK. This is the first election since 1997 when at such a late stage there is still uncertainty over which party will win the election, or indeed if there is a need for a coalition government. As a result, it seems that every day every major national paper releases another opinion poll which gives an idea of the voting intention for the UK. One such poll company, Yougov, releases at least one poll every day of which over 1000 people are polled in each which results in over 7000 survey responses per week. Assuming that a number of people don't respond to survey invitation for whatever reason we could almost assume that Yougov sends out over 10,000 survey invitations a week just related to the upcoming general election. And this is just one polling company - there are a many active so since the election had been called I wouldn't be surprised if each and every week there are over 50,000-100,000 online paid survey invitations which are linked to the UK general election.

I myself have taken part in several such surveys - some which are directly asking which party I would vote for and others asking other questions which are nonetheless linked to the election eg Would I feel more or less financially secure if the result of the election was a hung parliament?

Considering all the facts, I would estimate that the election has increased the amount of online paid survey invitations by at least 20-30% which would be a fair amount if I filled in every survey I was invited to (due to time constraints I tend to pick and choose my surveys). I would estimate I receive enough survey invitations to earn £30-£40 a week and so the election would be responsible for about £5 per week.

I am assuming this is a national trend for those who complete online paid surveys although I do live in an unusual area in so much as anyone of the three main parties potentially have a reasonable chance of winning in this seat and so this may have resulted in me being more significant in the eyes of the polling companies. Whatever the reason I don't mind as it means I should manage to earn a little bit extra over the next few weeks from online paid surveys.

Backlinking using Redgage

As I am sure you are all aware the only way to earn from an online website depends on getting traffic. The earning potential of this traffic can vary but possibly the best way to earn a residual income online is by getting good quality search engine traffic. To improve search engine rankings backlinks are required. I have previously mentioned several such websites including backlinking using She Told Me.

I have recently discovered a new website called Redgage. This is another website where it is possible to create backlinks and earn at the same time. Unlike She Told Me though earnings aren't done through Adsense revenue share. Earnings are instead accumulated through views to posted content on the site and it is this which earns the money. Payment is made using a pre-paid Visa card and happens once the accumulated amount reaches $25. Unusually Redgage posts how much every user has earned and some people have earned hundreds and I think I saw someone with lifetime earnings in the thousands.

Many different things can be posted to Redgage, but for the purposes of backlinking we are primarily interested in links, which are fortunately dofollow. However, I have experimented with submitting photos, which whilst not necessarily the best have still earned a couple of cents in the couple of days they have been on the site (one of the Honda Balloon at the Chateau d'Oex Balloon Fiesta and another of me on Astakos Beach).

In terms of submitting backlinks it is very quick. There is no need for long descriptions and I reckon the entire backlink could be done in under 30 seconds. I think it is even possible to set up automatic backlinks using RSS readers etc but I haven't done this myself. The best bit is there is earnings are made from these backlinks which is double earning potential (not only does it hopefully increase earnings on the linked to site it makes earnings on Redgage). Whilst so far I have only earned a few cents from my links I have only posted about 6 links and hopefully over time they will earn more (links posted so far include what time does evening begin?, Amazing Dance Party Songs and Cribbs Causeway).

Another way of earning money is by getting paid bonus amounts for submitting good content. Whilst the bonus amounts are often only a couple of dollars, it all adds up!

So far I have only begun to scratch the surface of Redgage but I have found it to be a very comprehensive site which has the potential to contribute to my (and your!) online income.

Have you used Redgage? What are your experiences of it? If you are a member feel free to add Bristolboy (me) as a friend.

The importance of adding trackers to all Hubpages links

Hubpages is my primary online revenue source at the moment. Hubpages is an online revenue sharing site - you post articles on whatever you want and in return your adverts are shown 60% of the time (giving you a chance of earning 60%) of the total profits. Hubpages also run a scheme where it is possible to earn money from referral trackers and this is what this blog post is concerning.

As has been said 60% of adverts are attributed to the writer of the article, with the remaining 40% going to Hubpages. However, it is possible to get you adverts shown by setting up trackers, which are small pieces of code which can be set up in links to any pages on Hubpages, whether they be the web addresses for individual hubs or the Hubpages homepage. The earning comes in two ways:

1) If you signup a new member to Hubpages your Adsense, Amazon etc code is shown 10% of the time on all of their pages automatically.
2) If you link to an individual page your code for Amazon, Adsense etc is shown either 12% or 9% of the time. It is automatically 12%, but if the hub author signed up through a code and is therefore subject to 1) it becomes 9%.

In both of these cases the person who wrote the hub continues to get 60%, the 12%/10%/9% comes out of Hubpages share of the earnings!

I have been adding trackers to all of my links on Hubpages, and up until now I have sort of ignored the earnings from trackers. However, using Adsense I track every individual hub URL and recently noticed that the sum of all of these individual hub URLs was only 95% of my total Adsense earnings from Hubpages. There are two areas where this remaining 5+% could have come from. Firstly it could have come from slideshow views (since I don't bother setting up individual trackers for each image in the slideshow this could be the case). However, I investigated further using Analytics (I have linked both accounts) and it appears that slideshow views only account for about 2% of my total hubpages earnings - which means that 3% has come from trackers. Whilst this may not seem like much at all, when you consider my total earnings, it is a not insignificant figure.

In addition, I am continuing to get people to click through using one of my trackers and so I am still getting the chance of earning from one of the two ways mentioned above. I decided to look at the traffic going to hubs of the people I have signed up to Hubpages, and over the last three days it has averaged out at approximately 70 page impressions per day allocated to me. If this trend were to be continued this will lead to just over 2000 page impressions a month, so with $1eCPM I would earn $2 per month, a $2eCPM I would earn $4 a month etc. This may seem like small change, but this is truly income for practically no work - other than inserting a small tracker (which takes literally five seconds) in every link I did nothing. For this reason I would definitely recommend everyone else uses trackers wherever possible.

Does anyone else use trackers on Hubpages? Noticed any serious traffic/earnings?

More information on Hubpages trackers and how to set them up

Monthly Update - March 2010

During March I continued the work which I started in february with regards to backlinking my articles using sites like SheToldMe. I was unable to write as much as I would have liked, but still managed to write one article on Infobarrel on the UK transport company First Great Western, an article on Hubpages also on First Great Western and a further article on Hubpages on The English Defence League (EDL).

I also discovered a couple of new online money making websites. The first is called Webanswers which works in a similar way to Yahoo answers, but those who answer get finanically rewarded for answers in the form of revenue share. The second website I have discovered is Top Cashback which claims to be officially the most generous cashback site in the UK. I reckon I am likely to earn quite a bit from this.

Here are my earnings for March 2010, for Hubpages, Infobarrel and Xomba as well as the new revenue source: Webanswers.

Hubpages - $61.35 (24% increase over January 2010)
Infobarrel - $1.38 (7% increase over March 2010)
Xomba - $0.31 (78% decrease over February 2010)
Webanswers - $0.44 (New this month)

I expected to see a slide in Xomba earnings since last month I was relatively active on Xomba, especially compared with this month when my activity on Xomba has been zero. There has been a modest increase in earnings from Infobarrel and a larger (both in percentage and amount) increase from Hubpages. This may be due to my backlinking. However, a large part of the Hubpages increase is due to getting lucky with the selling of items using the Amazon affiliate scheme - hopefully my first payment will be coming up soon.

I did hit my targets which I set in my February 2010 monthly update, which was to earn $50 from all sites and if possible earn $50 from just Hubpages and I have achieved both of these goals. For thc coming month I would like to keep my earnings from Hubpages above $60 and get the combined earnings from all other sites combined above $5. Whilst this may seem ambitious, I hope I can do it.