Swagbucks Valentine cutesiness

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Hey, you can get bonus Swagbucks as this Valentine’s Day promo right now. When you win your random Swagbucks for searching, they’ll give you these Valentine’s Day designs — and if you win all five in the course of your searches, you’ll get a bonus 50 on Feb. 16.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, playing games, completing “offers,” watching videos, and so on, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Most people redeem for Amazon.com gift certificates, since a $5 Amazon certificate runs you 450 Swagbucks.

Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

Swagbucks 8 point code and reminder

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Free 8 point code on the Swagbucks blog this afternoon, good til 5PM CST.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, playing games, completing “offers,” watching videos, and so on, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Most people redeem for Amazon.com gift certificates, since a $5 Amazon certificate runs you 450 Swagbucks.

Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

New — Swagbucks games + signup bonus

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Swagbucks is launching a new free games section. To celebrate, sign up for Swagbucks through 11:59 PM PST January 14 using code SBGames and you’ll get an additional 30 Swagbucks for signing up — so a total of 60 Swagbucks to start for new users. If you want to play the games, you’ll see the link on the left-hand side of the Swagbucks home page.

You can randomly earn Swagbucks for playing free games now — from one to five per win — and can win multiple times a day, just like for search. In addition, you can use your existing Swagbucks to buy into game tournaments for the chance to win much bigger. Enjoy! (I just wasted waaay too much time playing Word Chain Plus!)

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me. Use SBGames through Friday for extra Swagbucks to start.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Most people redeem for Amazon.com gift certificates, since a $5 Amazon certificate runs you 450 Swagbucks.

Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

Work-at-home Saturday: Swagbucks

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As long as we’re doing work-at-home Saturday stuff, let’s talk about Swagbucks. Since we’re now at the end of the Christmas shopping craze for this year, it’s time to start thinking about next year (don’t hit me!). What I mean by this is: Let’s start thinking about using sites like Swagbucks to add to our holiday funds with minimal effort for the next year, so that next holiday season you have a bunch of free money sitting in your Amazon account to spend on gifts for your family.

Swagbucks, it is silly, and people get sucked too far into it and spend too much time hunting down the codes. But if you can avoid that nonsense and simply use it for everyday activities, and enter the free codes as they come to you, points can add up. (I often post these codes here or on the Mashup Mom Facebook page.) Think: If you only make $20 a month in Amazon gift certificates, which is a very reasonable goal, by the end of 2011 you’ll have $240 in your Amazon account — and that’s nothing to sneeze at, if they have the same excellent deals we saw this year. :)

So…

  1. Sign up for Swagbucks here. Use code JoinIn2010 to start with 60 bonus Swagbucks instead of 30.
  2. Existing Swagbucks folks (or if you create an account today): There is also a 9-point Christmas Swagcode on their blog, good all day. If you’re newer to Swagbucks, you simply copy the code, then paste it into the “enter your swag code” box on their home page.

Searching

I do not use the Swagbucks toolbar, because I find it both intrusive and annoying. What you can do, though, is instead add their search plugin to the built-in search in your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser. Scroll down the page here under the toolbar download, and you can download a plugin.

What this does is add Swagbucks to the list of search engines in your built-in search at the right-hand side of the top of your screen. You can use Swagbucks to search for things you already know where they are, like, say, “mashup mom” — I use it to go to my own site and to other sites I commonly visit. In this case, I don’t have to worry about their craptactular search capabilities, because I already know where I’m going and can easily scroll through the junk sponsored results to get the one I want.

Now, if you want to do a real search, what you’ll want to do is switch your search engine back to Google. You can either just go to Google.com in your browser, or very quickly click the little arrow next to the Swagbucks logo in the search box in the upper right and pick Google from the list.

Use Google for your important searching, then you can switch back to Swagbucks when you’re done.

Why is Swagbucks search worse?

Well, they have to make their money some way, and one way they make money is by “sponsored” searches. Sponsored searches means someone paid Swagbucks to have their site show up in the top results when someone searches for given keywords, regardless of whether it’s actually relevant to that search. Let’s see, for instance, what happens when we search for “mashup mom.”

In Google, if you search for “mashup mom,” I’m the first result. (As well I should be — there’s only one me! lol) In Swagbucks, I’m the fourth result, and mixed in with other irrelevant sponsored results… Williams Sonoma, sexy mommy quiz, Polish pottery direct (?). If you’re searching for something simple like mashup mom, OK, that’s easy enough to weed through. If you’re searching for something important, like, let’s say, information on a medical condition, Swagbucks is not what you want to use.

Then why do you use it yourself?

I wouldn’t be talking about Swagbucks at all if I didn’t use it myself. I do use it, and keep it as my default search engine in that search bar in the upper right of my screen. But I use it almost exclusively to visit my everyday sites, rather than using it for real searches.

I continue to use Swagbucks because I do earn for my searches, and do like having money in my Amazon account. The trade-off is worth it to me, but I think it’s important to be aware of Swagbucks’ limitations and to realize that they’re not going to give you something for nothing; they’re making money off of this too!

Other stuff

If you have extra time, you can do “trusted surveys” and “no obligation special offers” on their site for additional Swagbucks. Be very careful of anything that asks you to download software or make a purchase in order to earn. Like anything else, you’ll make more Swagbucks the more time and effort you put into it — but like anything else, it’s important to be aware and to protect yourself online.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Most people redeem for Amazon.com gift certificates, since a $5 Amazon certificate runs you 450 Swagbucks.

Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. You’ll see a lot of people very uncritically promoting Swagbucks with lots !!! of exclamations!!! Why is this?

The very best way to make money on Swagbucks is through other people.

If people sign up under your referral link (either when you email friends or post that link on, say, a blog), you earn matching Swagbucks for those they earn from their searches, up to 1000 Swagbucks. Even though I post seldom about Swagbucks, and post warnings whenever I do, I still earn more from referral searches than from my own. Now, think how well some sites can do by pushing it uncritically and often.

Whenever you see someone pushing Swagbucks or anything else online, stop and think: What’s their motive? That’s not to say that Swagbucks is inherently bad (again, I do use it myself), but it’s important to be aware and to take anything you read online — here or anywhere else :) — with a grain of salt. Use it, but use it in the right way, and know that most non-blogger people earn between $10-$20 a month for light everyday searching, not hundreds of dollars a month.

Swagbucks Black Friday code

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I haven’t done a Swagbucks post in a while since I’ve just been sharing the code locations on Facebook, so thought it was timely since it’s supposed to be Mega Swagbucks Friday, where you can win extra bucks all day.

Also, check the Swidget for a 7 point code. (Don’t know what time it expires!) Click “Swag Codes” and then “Check if there’s a Swag Code” to see if it is still there, then copy and paste it into the Swagbucks.com home page if it is.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Most people redeem for Amazon.com gift certificates, since a $5 Amazon certificate runs you 450 Swagbucks.

Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

Work-at-home Saturday (OK, Sunday) experiment — Swagbucks

Search & Win

Next installment in our ongoing work-at-home earn-a-bit-on-the-side experiment: Swagbucks.

Again, I’ve been a Swagbucks member for quite some time now, so no sign up bonus or anything in this segment of the experiment. Here, I’m not counting Swagbucks earned from referrals — again, I’m trying to compare apples to apples and see what the average person might earn from these things, not what someone with a blog who has a wider referral reach might earn.*

  • 9/11 — Did 15 searches, earned 26 Swagbucks from searching (6, 11, 9). Entered trusted surveys, got one Swagbuck for that. Tried three surveys, qualified for none, took two minutes doing that. Did a poll for one Swagbuck (30 seconds), and went through no obligation special offers (30 seconds) for another one. Total: 29.
  • 9/12 — Did 12 searches, earned 25 Swagbucks (8, 6, 11). Total: 25.
  • 9/13 — Did 12 searches, earned 30 Swagbucks (11, 8, 11). Got one for opening the toolbar and a 5 Swagbuck toolbar code. Total: 36.
  • 9/14 — Did 11 searches, earned 21 Swagbucks (7, 7, 7). Got a 12 point code from their blog. Total: 33.
  • 9/15 — Did 13 searches, earned 12 Swagbucks. Got one for opening the toolbar. Total: 13.
  • 9/16 — Did 12 searches, earned 26 Swagbucks (8, 7, 11). Total: 26.
  • 9/17 — Did 9 searches, got 23 Swagbucks (12, 11). Total: 23.
  • 9/18 — Did 14 searches, got 26 Swagbucks. Got one for opening the survey page. Got 7 from a code on their blog. Tried two surveys, qualified for none. Total: 34.

So my total Swagbucks for 8 days of very light searching and no serious messing around (I didn’t play much with the surveys, only took one poll, didn’t do any of their special offers, etc.): 219 Swagbucks. Now if I were going to cash out, I’d do the $5 Amazon gift card, which costs 450 Swagbucks. At this rate, it would take me about 16 days to do so, so I’d earn about two $5.00 gift cards a month.

This is not making anyone money fast, but it takes very little effort. I do my searches from my own toolbar, not their crap one. I just added Swagbucks search to it — I use it to search, for instance, “Couponers Wanted” whenever I go to that site, and it keeps the phrase in there so I just need to click to go. If I were to put a bit more time into the surveys, special offers, polls, etc., I’d earn a bit faster.

What I like — Easy peasy. Good way to just save up gift cards all year to use over the holidays — even at $10 a month, that’s an extra $120 a year to help avoid credit card bills in January.

What I don’t like — Their assertion that their search is just like searching Google, because it’s absolutely not. The spammy nature of some of the “special offers,” if you go in there.

Will I keep doing it? — Yup. The opportunity cost is almost nil. If I need to do serious searching I can switch to Google with just one click. I’d keep doing Swagbucks even without the extra referrals, but see below for…

* Why I’ve been fascinated with Swagbucks in particular

As a former librarian, the assertion by Swagbucks (and blindly repeated all over the Interwebs) that their search is as good as Google bothers the heck out of me, as does the implication that you too can earn fabulous prizes (buy a Wii on Amazon after just a few months!).

I see a lot of people hyping the heck out of Swagbucks, and here’s why they do so. Through their referral program (full disclosure: this is my own referral link), you can earn up to 1000 Swagbucks per referral. Swagbucks matches whatever your referrals win through their searches, up to 1000. (They don’t match Swagbucks earned through codes, surveys, or other methods.)

Do the math on some of the larger blogs. Let’s say you refer 20 new people to Swagbucks this month, and each of your referrals earns … oh, say, around 300 Swagbucks in the next month from their searches. That’s 6000 Swagbucks for you just from referrals that month, or enough to cash out for a $50 Amazon gift card (cost: 5900 Swagbucks) instead of a $5 one.

What have I actually been making on Swagbucks? I’ve been cashing out for $50 Amazon gift cards, and have earned about one a month for the past few months (except in August… I think I didn’t post about them in August… and have been mostly posting the codes on Facebook instead of here). So, about 80% of my Swagbucks income is coming from other people’s searches (thanks!), and I don’t even hype it all that much.

So I obviously do post about Swagbucks on occasion (and always with the disclaimers about the quality of their search), because it’s something I’d participate in even without the referral income. But as always, it’s interesting to think about why a particular service is promoted so excitedly and so often.

Oh, and here’s a way-back-when little post about their search quality and how to add them to the built-in search on your toolbar so you don’t have to use theirs.

Work-at-home Saturday — Swagbucks experiment day one

Search & Win

I’m doing some experiments on these little ways to make money online. Next up, Swagbucks. I’ve been a Swagbucks member for quite some time now, so no sign up bonus or anything today. For the next week, I’m going to keep track of the number of searches I do a day, how many Swagbucks I earn from these searches, and any “bonus” Swagbucks I earn from codes etc. Next Saturday I’ll report back with the total.

So far today: Three searches, six Swagbucks.

I’m not going to count Swagbucks earned from referrals — again, I’m trying to compare apples to apples and see what the average person might earn from these things, not what someone with a blog who has a wider referral reach might earn.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

Mega Swagbucks Friday 9/10/10

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So Swagbucks is supposed to offer Mega Swagbucks Fridays where you earn more Swagbucks than normal for your searches. Have you guys ever found that to be true? I did win 50 last week (where it’s usually 6-15), but wouldn’t say it happens often.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

12 point Swagcode through 3:30 CDT 9/7/10

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Check the Swagbucks blog for a clue as to how to find a code worth 12 Swagbucks through 3:30 CDT on 9/7/10. (Hint: last page.) Sorry, I can’t just tell you where it is because they kick you off for doing that, but this one isn’t too hard to find.

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here. 

Groupon/Swagbucks mashup — GONE

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Sorry, this offer disappeared since this morning!

So I just read on Couponers Wanted that if you go to Swagbucks Special Offers and click on the TrialPay tab, you can purchase a $25 Groupon gift certificate and earn 360 Swagbucks for doing so. (That gets you a good chunk of the way to a $5.00 Amazon gift card, which costs 450 Swagbucks.)


Then use the $25 gift certificate to buy your $50 Gap certificate on Groupon today, or save it for another deal of  your liking. I know nothing about TrialPay, but thought I’d pass it on!

What is Swagbucks and how do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here. This is a referral link, so I will earn some points for the points you earn from your searches if you sign up under me. You get 40 for signing up.

Not familiar with Swagbucks? It’s a “search to win” site — you get random “swagbucks” for searching, which you can add up and redeem for gift cards and other prizes on their site. Note that their search is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR as good as Google, no matter what they claim, because it only includes a few results from Ask and Google mixed in with sponsored (paid) links, so I use it mostly for things that I already know where they are — type in Mashup Mom, for instance, when you want to come here.