Is Helium.com (Helium) a scam?


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Your Articles Earn CashHelium.com is a website that pays you to type up short articles about anything of interest to you. You can type up articles about sports, politics, cooking, parenting or whatever your heart desires. It's one of the few places where you can actually get paid for discussing topics you have an interest in. Personally I wrote this review because I think Helium is a wonderful way to earn money. Oh by the way it's totally free to join and participate!

However people seem to shy away from sites like Helium.com and AssociatedContent.com because it requires that you write to get paid.

Well people I'm here to tell you don't need to be a professionally trained writer to earn money with these companies. The Internet is a wonderful place in that people want to read content from regular folks like themselves. They don't frown on your articles because you didn't graduate from some Ivy League University majoring in English. (Lord knows I didn't as you can tell.) This is the reason why blogs are so popular. Because anyone can write a blog.

The same applies with Helium.com. If you've ever written an email then you can easily type up a short article for Helium. It's not that difficult. Anyone can do that. Either way you will earn money for doing it. The cool thing about Helium is people even rate your articles. For some this alone can be a pure high to know that your articles have been rated favorably. (For me, it's the money. lol) In either case, it's probably a good idea to write about something you're passionate about. And we all have interests we're passionate about so don't tell me you can't write for Helium.com! Because you can!

The Bad
Helium.com pays its users based on the money they earn from advertising. So they actually share some of their profits with you. Imagine if sites like CNN.com or MySpace.com did that with you? After all the reason those sites are making money is because of visitors like you. Helium.com understands this concept and shares their revenue with you when you write articles on their website. The more you write, the more you can earn. Now granted initially you won't be making large sums of money but it does add up in time. If you're writing emails everyday you can type up a short article on Helium.com everyday. And think about this, are you getting paid to type up emails? So the reason I say their pay structure is bad is because it will fluctuate from month to month depending on how much they earn. And from what I can tell there isn't an accurate way to measure this.

The other thing is you need to earn at least $25 to get paid. They have a user area that tells you how much you earn per month. But again because this depends on how much they earn you'll see fluctuations in your payment from month to month. The best thing to do is to type up as many articles as you can while being a member and your income should increase over time because you just have such a large body of work out on their site.

I think Helium.com is a great way to get paid to type articles. But don't expect to get rich or make a large amount of money doing it initially. It's one of those programs that should be supplemented with other work at home opportunities and work at home jobs. If you couple all these things together then you can actually earn a good amount of money from home. But I've yet to find anything by itself that can earn you boat loads of money that wasn't an affiliate program or a legitimate home based business and from what I've gathered, most of you avoid these like the plague. So Helium.com would be a good alternative to make money from home. So go and get started people! Why go an type emails that don't get you paid when you could spend your time more productively
typing articles on Helium.com that will make you money!

141 thoughts on “Is Helium.com (Helium) a scam?”

  1. Helium is a scam. Once you submit an article to them, they can do whatever they want with it. It’s a TERRIBLE company! Similar sites don’t ask that you give up rights to your work. Perhaps this is a reason Helium isn’t popular among writers. If they changed their business model in the aspect of article ownership, I bet they would see better profits.

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    • Oh Helium sure is a SCAM! I wrote numerous articles and stories, most of them rated in the top 2%. Every single one that was “sold” never paid, one one penny. I called and spoke to one moron after another. They pay thru Pay Pal which is a scam in and of itself. I earned some srious money while I was unemployed and could have used it, but as I never saw any of it, Helium can suck it. Just remember karma is a byotch!

    • Hey Janet,

      I didn’t even know this site still existed. Sorry to hear you had a crappy experience. That does suck. Paypal is definitely not a scam. They process millions if not billions dollars every year for many years. If they were a scam they would have been shut down a long time ago. I’ve used them many times to pay people and to get paid. Now that said they can be a pain in the ass sometimes depending on the situation. And if you’re on the crappy end of that, it can suck. But it doesn’t make them a scam. Thanks for chiming in though.

  2. I had 847 rates and Helium said I didn’t qualify for the rating bonus of $3. They were nasty when I emailed them. The site doesn’t pay even the pennies it owes!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your rant…. I mean experience. But seriously in general I think a lot of these sites are screwing writers over. That’s why I’ve always argued it’s better to have your own blog and learn internet marketing. This way you call the shots! But on these other sites you’re at their whim and their terms and conditions protect them and screw you.

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  4. Sadly, with the changes to Helium recently what was once a marginally good site has went down considerably. You can no longer write on the subject you want and the odds of actually getting paid for something you write has went down considerably and most articles pay less than they used to.

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  5. In response to Dan. Yours is a 21 Century comment.
    I don’t mean that badly, its just that it is seldom if ever “good business” to attempt to bring yourself up by bringing someone else down.
    I’m as sure as you are that it works in politics where everyone seems to do it, but in the “real world” there are still lots of honest, hardworking people that just want to voice their opinion about a company or product in a constructive way. A sincere effort to save someone else the mistakes we’ve made.
    Lets hope no one here is using this wonderful forum for anything other than that.

    Besides, I couldn’t be sure that driving them from Helium would necessarily bring them to me. :o)
    oldbuck

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  6. In this season of crazy political attack ads, I suddenly thought — if you worked for a Helium competitor,say one of the ones mentioned above, wouldn’t it be good business to try to steal their current and future writers by discrediting them?

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  7. I was accused of plagarism, which is a completely false allegation and when I defended myself, I had 5 more of my articles removed and my account terminated. This happened this morning and they haven’t removed my biography or picture from their site. They also owe me $45. I reallly don’t care about the money or the articles being lost, which is a total of almost 100. I want my association with these SCAM ARTISTS removed from their site, but since I can’t log onto it, what can I do, if anything? They own the stories, but not my image, biography, or my name and I wrote them and told them this and I have yet to get a reply back.

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  8. Helium is definitely a scam the owners are incredibly rude and dismissive.

    Please file a complaint with the state attorney general’s office in Massachussetts where the main office resides.

    If the attorney general receives enough complaints there will be an investigation for fraud and they may file suit.

    Helium used to operate under another name and writers claim they went out of business owing many people money. They then reopened as Helium

    If no on files a formal complaint the attorney general can not investigate. They can only investigate when a large number of people complain.

    So send a letter return receipt asap.

    Rev. Rex is one of the very rude stewards at Helium. People have complained that they have been stalked and harrassed by Rev Rex after complaining about something at Helium.

    If you receive correspondance from Helium stewards that is rude and dismissive, please save it.

    When I talked to the attorney general they said they needed more complaints before they could investigate, but they did agree that some type of fraud was taking place, based on the complaints they have already received.

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    • How funny. There have been exactly four complaints filed with the BBB, and all were satisfactorily resolved. Weird, huh? Guess your argument falls a bit flat.

  9. I also write for Helium.com for fun. I knew that I would not make a lot of money, but, I did not expect a big payout on a free internet site. The problems I have with other peoples articles is that most of them are not sited. I have a master’s degree in English and I expect articles to be written nice and provide the names of sources. My college prof’s always said that information, facts and statistics come from somewhere. People just don’t hold facts and numbers in their brains. Most articles use facts and statistics from other websites and articles that are not sited correctly which is downright plagiarism. When I do come across an article when rating I do flag the article because plagiarism is wrong and an author needs to be acknowledged for their work and writings. If a writer an any level cannot site sources in their writings then they don’t need to be writing anything on the internet.

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  10. Interestingly, Google is funding a huge chunk of Demand Media Studios upcoming IPO, leading many to believe that they are taking a completely different approach to content mills than they led many to believe.

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  11. Will: What a wonderful illustration if we were all trying to ride Roller Coa$ter$.
    However: Out here in the scribbles world, there are those of us that are looking, No longing, for readership.

    As an old prostitute once said:”It isn’t always about money.”
    “Sometimes even the “worst ” of us would just like to find someone that will value and appreciate us, as we are.”

    Are you suggesting there is no place for we “amateurs” on the internet unless we reach “sale able” quality.
    I certainly hope not, but will keep your thoughts in mind should my scribbling improve.

    As your thoughts pertain to Helium’s future, you may be right on.
    They’ve kept my “junk” for months.

    Good luck with whatever you try.
    oldbuck

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  12. YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE THE ROLLERCOASTER!

    I think the question will be, what quality level will the mass production be able to achieve. There will be a limit, and sites that take a more authoritative view and give trust a boost within their content (like http://www.thefreeresource.com does) and pay their writers more for better content will win in the long run. I guess it’s the different between a mass produced car and a hand crafted car. Which will last longer and have less issues? I put my money on the hand crafted vehicle. I think the same is true with the large sites that rely on mass but have little quality behind each article. We recently saw this with QA sites and will soon see it with content farms that don’t live up to Google’s and the users standards.

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    • Will, I sort of hear your argument.
      I don’t necessarily equate mass production with poorer quality per se in all situations especially not cars because there are a lot of people driving mass produced cars that have been fine with them for many years now. That being said, mass production in terms of writing is a different matter. Some of these sites do actually have some quality articles so I don’t want to discount that just because they happen to be in the mass production business. But there are so many more sites like helium coming into play that I do feel that Google may tweak their algorithms to favor sites that actually specialize in a given niche rather than a mall type of writing site that specializes in none. It would be safe to assume if your whole site is about a given subject you’re probably are more of an authority than some random writer that just picked it because it was profitable to write on and doesn’t really have the passion about the niche to add much value. So I do hear your argument to a certain degree.

      That being said, there are some quality writers on sites like helium so let’s keep that in mind. Thanks for chiming in.

  13. @Grace:
    What are my chances of having my whole creative writing account deleted off of Helium?

    I was just crawling back from total non-participation in the outside world and Helium seemed like the easiest way to post and submit and do something to enter the literary world, but, of course, now I regret it, though I have posted stuff as recently as yesterday!
    Talk about compulsions running against long term plans!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Paul

    Reply
    • Hi, Pual!   My name is Amy.   I used to write for Helium.com for a few months.   I started to have major problems with the people I dealt with because they do show unprofessional, unethical, and abusive  behaviors.   The problems since late May 2011.   I just made a request to the content department to have Helium.com to remove all of my articles since I am longer interested in writing.     I even sent the  copy of the  email to new president  RR Donnelly.   I also posted my comment on writer’s review on   Helium:  Is it worth it?

      It is not right  for  Helium.com to keep  writer’s work if  the writer requested the articles, profile, etc. to be removed from the website.   If they refused they are actually  violating human rights and human freedom.

      I think contacting the attorney general’s office  is also a good idea since many  former Helium writers have  countless incidents with Helium.com

       

  14. One more thing I’d like to point out…

    A cornerstone of professional journalism is the ability to avoid burning bridges. There is a stark difference between getting what you’re owed and truly burning bridges – and sometimes when you burn one bridge, it can singe the others in your network.

    What I mean by that is it’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to try to get your just due. However, it’s NOT okay to be unprofessional. When you act unprofessionally, especially in the freelance world, you can affect your career’s future in a horrible way. If I’m an editor, and you’ve submitted something to me, I’m likely going to try to verify your credentials and see some samples of your work which you haven’t provided to me through tearsheets or ‘Web links.

    I’m going to google your name.

    And then I’m going to find unprofessional rants against other writers, companies and all manner of other things. (If I find unemotional, clear and concise reviews, it’s one thing – but unprofessional rants are another animal.) I’m going to think, “Jeez – if this guy acts like this because he’s mad over a couple hundred bucks, what happens if I have to pay him a kill fee because I didn’t like his article?” Magazines work on much higher pay scales than does the Internet – a kill fee could be in the range of $500… so if you’re so angry and threatening legal action for something smaller, an editor will likely shy away from working with you at all.

    You’ve got to be really careful what you put out there for the world – it’s great to get it off your chest, but do it in a professional manner. Exercise a little wisdom, forethought and above all, concern for your own future as a freelancer.

    Just a tip from one freelancer to others… do with it what you will.

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  15. Angie: Thank you for bringing some “bright light” to this on going ” discussion.
    Yours is a bit more positive.
    We always enjoy reading the success stories.
    Thank you again for sharing.

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  16. Wow, this is a long thread.

    I’ve been participating on Helium for almost three years – it was just a baby when I got on board. I knew when I signed up that I wouldn’t make a million dollars, because I browsed the forums and did my own research first… so I didn’t have wild expectations.

    Now, however, I do make a good deal of money from Helium. I am not paid to be a steward, nor do I enter contests any more; all I did was learn how to promote my own name and write with search engines in mind. Using Helium as an online portfolio, I can submit work to magazine publishers and in other online venues and give the editors something more to look at than the few magazines and other sites I’ve been published on.

    The bonus? The money I get for having posted articles three years ago (and haven’t touched or even thought about since) takes my husband and I out to dinner a couple of times a month. It will continue to do so – and the articles I’ve sold to magazines and other online sources won’t.

    When I first started out, Helium was exactly what I needed to bolster my confidence and get my name out in the wide, wide writing world. Now, if I have a piece that has been rejected by a magazine (too broad, too narrow or whatever else) I can sell it on Constant-Content for usage rights and post it on Helium to get that residual income. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s better than having it sit on my hard drive NOT making any money!

    I think it’s wise to do a lot of research before you attach yourself to ANY online venue.

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  17. Helium is a total scam. As a dissident who pointed out on Helium forums how corrupt their system is, I notice an interesting matter. If I submit an article, it rises to the top or near the top very quickly. After some days or weeks, it suddenly falls. Of course, this is due to the fact that Helium stewards can select which articles to rate. I am pretty well convinced they have a cabal working to downrate the work of dissidents. Actually, I can’t give a toss. I find my articles earn equally well wherever they place. Also, I no longer waste time on original articles for Helium. I simply spend 5 minutes or so rewriting a couple of paragraphs from a better written article for a more honest site. I then toss it into whatever Helium slot best fits. It is easy pennies for practically no work. I smile whenever I hit the payout button on Helium. The work I submit to them is s__t, but then it is well known that s_t will always float to the top.

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  18. I’d like to share my Helium experience, as well. I have been a Helium writer since October and I managed to cash out the very first month. All it takes is some consideration put in the article and a bit of effort (it takes about 30 minutes to write a 400-word piece). I have been writing an article or two per day and my earnings have been going up each month. Yes, you do not make lots of money through page views but there are many additional bonuses that a writer can make use of. In addition, Helium does not discriminate against people who are not US-citizens. For me, Helium is a wonderful option to make some additional money without spending too much time on writing.

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  19. And to Jimmy, NO Associated Content does NOT neglect to mention you have to be a US citizen or resident to get upfront payments. It’s in their FAQs and their Terms of Service – you just didn’t read it obviously!

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  20. Helium is an absolute scam. Having to rate other writers just so you get paid is a gross way to treat writers and the amount of money they pay out is pathetic. Examiner, Textbroker and definitely Associated Content pay out much more money and treat their writers well. Anyone who touches Helium with a 10 foot pole is crazy. I wrote 5 articles there and left as, in the time it takes me to write one Helium article and then rate a bunch of writers I couldn’t care less about, I’ve earned $12 in upfront payments on Associated Content or other sites.

    Stay away from Helium, unless you like spending your time for no profit except theirs.

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  21. Just a quick question, does Helium require you to be a US citizen for you to get paid (like AC does)? I see that AC neglects to mention that so you’d only find out when you’re waiting for your money!

    J

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  22. Hi I came here looking for info on heliump2p, which claims to put computers in peoples homes and pay them for allowing the computers to put out ads on the internet supposedly to
    have an alternative way to have server power without paying too much for server hosting.
    I wanted to find out if this was true and if they were an honest and real company and yet what I find is this site where they supposedly pay you for writing articles so which is it and does this show that the company I was seeking, is fake?

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  23. @Smac:
    Thanks for the lowdown, Smac. I ended up on this site because I read a Helium job posting for writers that sounded fishy to me. The posting actually says: Professional journalists must provide copies of 3 print clips plus an editor’s name and email for quick verification. A journalism degree is not sufficient, but some work in the field is required.” A four year journalism degree is “not sufficient” to write recipe articles and 500 word blurbs about arts and crafts projects? After examining the content of the site and learning about their meager and weaselly pay, I am glad that I didn’t waste my time with them. Their job posting is deceptive and implies that they have very high standards which is obviously not the case. I guess I will have to take my “insufficient” journalism degree somewhere else.

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  24. Where do I start…? Helium.com is a scam and certainly not the place for writers or readers for that matter. It has a preschool star rating and writing system and no editors, earning money is based on content and the cash reward is cent and nickel. But despite that they have a very good reputation at reeling you in, softening you up and getting you to feel important – so basically it is vanity press, with one big problem, they have first rights to anything you write on there! Be careful, be wary, do not get sucked in – one good article is all they need to boulster their bank account and leave you slopping up the lees. And when you eventually come to your senses what do they do? They ban you… they take your pittance and turn it out for themselves. Yes there are a meagre few who seem to earn on this site, but methinks they actually run it, so they are a little, teeny bit partisan. They are the ladies and gents that become appalled if you question anything about Helium on their community forum, these are the same people who seem to win all the competitions, the same people who seem to own the ‘companies’ in the ‘marketplace’ the same people who delete your ill advised (to them) questions at their forum and eventually ban you from their site for no adequete reason at all, suffice as to say they don’t need one, they change their TOS more abruptly than the Irish weather and they keep your content all to themselves, greasing their oily palms with any sort of content that they can steal and sell on. These people don’t care about how good that content is by the way, so don’t be fooled that just because you like Helium.com you are a brilliant journalist, with a golden future, no they will take any sort of rubbish, no editors see… it is easy. Yes I too am partisan, I have had many articles stolen by Helium.com and recieved no payments, so I feel I have reason to be. But regardless of that little act of plagiarism on the part of Helium.com, I have now been given my golden opportunity to tell all who are interested and even those that aren’t not to darken the door of Helium.com ~ Where knowledge rules and where knowing counts, so if anyone here is in two minds let me make it clear, write for fun, write for the warm feeling, write for diary, write for helium – write for you, your readers, write good, and deserve decent monetary reccompense? Please go elsewhere. Helium is as light as the gas it is named after, and would you really trust your words when they are pitched upwards at such an annoying frequency…

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  25. @bugsey:
    Ms. Or Mr. bugsey: To answer your first question: It may be “possible” to make some money, but I never have. To answer your second query: Before I could accept you offer, I’d have lots of questions and so would my lovely wife. Do you have lots of money? Would we live at your place or ours? Do you have a boat and motor? Does the motor start easily? Well, I won’t go further now, our friend EDDY ain’t runnin’ no dating game here. ‘o) Keep in touch. I should warn you, that’s a very old sketch I used for my “avatar”.

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  26. I never like Helium’s pay scale in the first place. If you get a star, they give you lesser amount of money compare to Associated Content. Eddy here knows that I favor AC compare to Helium.
    I recently got a email about another residual income writing site that sure beats AC, Bukisa, and most of them out there.
    The pay is that when you reach $10 each month, you get paid by paypal. How this works is that if you get the first 500 unique page visitors, you get $5. But you get paid up to $20 for each time you get 1080 views. And that will give me more than what Ehow have gave me so far.
    At ehow, I already have over 26k visitors and yesterday checked that I have over $11 something.
    Even though Ehow pays me somewhat more than AC does for residual, I like the fact that they give you upfront payment plus performance payment but it sucks they give you $1.50 for every thousand page views.
    If anyone is interested in this invitation to write for a better paying writing site, let me know. Would love to spread the word about it.

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  27. @Barbara Whitlock:
    The only reason why I came back to this post is to THANK Helium for locking out 300 of my articles. I have found that the best revenge is living well indeed! I get Odesk articles NOW for 5 bucks each )teh start is not bad with one dollar per 500 words). I also have an ebook project at Odesk that paid me 1780.00 in two weeks… See? Move forward, Helium isn’t worth it!

    @RayBuck:
    @Ray — with your humor, you can make money yah know? .. will you marry me?

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  28. Wendy: I don’t have any good advice for you, I’m merely an internet “Jester”. I also worship “part-time” at the alter of Eddy Salomon.
    It really makes my face red when see all the enthusiasm in your writing. With your energy and Eddy’s help, you should go a long way in the “work at home” world.
    I’m a lazy, retired, blue collar worker that likes to talk about “work at home” but has never gotten started.
    I’m also a disenchanted Helium scribbler.
    I’ve also heard good things about Laurie’s recommended site – Associated Content.
    Good Luck Wendy, with what ever you end up doing.
    oldbuck

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  29. Eddy, coming from you means a lot to me and yes. I do believe that Helium is a waste of time. I do not know anyone that actually succeed with the marketplace for writers that they claim where you have to have at least a star or more to qualify.
    I prefer writing somewhere else such as at Associated Content where I would be get paid more than what Helium thinks. I know that everyone have their opinion about things but Helium but never my cup of tea.

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  30. Hey everyone. I just thought to put in my two cents in. In my personal opinion, it is a waste of time to write for them because if you looking at how much they would pay you for per stars which ranges from fifty cents for one to $2.50 just about for four or five stars. I only have one article there and haven’t written anything for them ever since. One source I talk to on mylot told me that it took him about a whole year to get that $25. I was able to make more than that in one month at Associated Content. If you want upfront payment, write for associated content. YOu also get performance payments too. I got two so far for August and September of 2009.

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  31. Hi Eddy,

    I read the whole thing. (pointing to the long discussion about Helium). I’m glad I did.
    I like to write. I keep several journals both on and off line. My mind is a blaze most of the time with thoughts, and if I didn’t write, well, sometimes I think my mind would explode.
    I only mention that because since I washed out of a class that was more of a pressure test than anything else, it was connected to a 9 to 5 job that was 40 hours a week that would have been sort of great because it ment more experience. The theory is the more experience you have the more opportunities you have access to.

    Anyway, I have tried in the past to work from home. And after being so overwhelmed by so much out there and the sorting process a person has to go through to find enough work to be able to stay home and work too, that I’ve had to go back to working outside the home to pay the bills and eat two.
    A long discussion like what I’ve just read through helps someone like me because in truth the time I have to invest is worth something, and that something has to bring a return of some kind.
    Making the decision to try something and then finding out that it’s got lots of kinks and problems after the fact is in truth rather expensive. The headaches, frustration can make a person bitter. Bitterness is counter productive no matter how you look at it.

    In the light of enlightening here are my experiences so far this time around in trying to work from home, I signed up for jobstop and the job boards are great, except many of the jobs require so many years experience in a field to get into them, many of the lead to home web sites and from there the extensive list of requirements is overwhelming. Then there are the telephone gigs,, thoes require hands free head sets which are expensive.
    It has been wall after wall. But what is $24 dollars in light of an education and access to a huge job board anyway, I’ve spent more in running all over town to chase down jobs that were closed by the time I got there.
    I figure I’ve got a life time subscription to the site and who knows what will show up maybe today, or tomorrow or down the road. I look at it as a resource, because that’s what it is.

    Then there is amazon. I figured that a penny earned per job, there are hits on the site that you can make more at, but a penny is still better than spending hours not making any money. So I signed up and followed the instructions and hit a wall.
    I’m still trying to find the place where you set up the account. I went over and over and over the instructions and back to the sign up page again and again and again, and still haven’t found what they