Lynn M Dot Net

Any idiot can do what I do to make $ online. It's not rocket surgery, it's cake. Also, I like pie.

It’s the inevitable question (or, The Inevitable Question). Sometimes it’s worded differently, but it’s more or less all the same question:

“So, what do you do?”

I have yet to figure out how to tell people who aren’t involved in the TE community or in somewhat related areas of online business, when they ask, just what it is I do online without sounding like an idiot.

Or if I make an attempt to explain at least a little bit of it, their eyes start glazing over. Then as soon as they can, they change the subject to something like, “So have you seen (so-and-so whoever) lately?“, or some other something or another conversation topic that they can understand and make sense out of.

It’s really difficult if that person doesn’t really do anything or much online at all. But I’ve even seen it happen with friends who DO operate businesses online, or at least a business with a visible and active online presence.

The guy who does computer repair all over a quad-state area regionally, for instance. He probably spends as much time in his online business activities as I do with mine, but he just can’t really comprehend and grasp the concept of traffic exchanges, safelists and viral mailers, surfing, autoresponders, and all that whatnot.

As I mentioned last week, we had a death in the family. So, of course, in all the ensuing funeral home/memorial service stuff that goes on when such an event occurs, I had out-of-town relatives in town for most of the week.

I maybe see two of the cousins about once every ten years, if even that much, at least since I was a teenager. One of them is the closest of the cousins to my age, so we have a childhood history. The other is quite a bit younger, and not too long after she was born came the point where I didn’t see them very much at all.

What one of them does for a living is easily explainable to anyone who asks – he’s a college professor. The other one, I’m a little less sure of what exactly she does for the company, but let’s just say she works for a Very Large Online Behemoth That Is Not Google. But I know enough about the company (and so would pretty much anyone) to have a pretty good idea of what she does, and not have to ask a bunch of questions.

So for all practical purposes, I pretty much know what they do.

Unfortunately, they are now probably more clueless than ever about what it is I do, since when one of them posed The Inevitable Question to me last week, I wound up just making a great big mess of trying to explain anything at all, which likely left them and anyone else within earshot wondering what the heck I was doing with this online whatever thing.

And even more ridiculous, I didn’t even get to the traffic exchange industry part – not that it would have likely helped explain anything anyway. More likely that would have just confused them further.

If I had to guess, I would say they all probably came away from that conversation thinking I was doing something sort of like selling Amway or Avon online, but not really.

And then wondered what the heck “online business” is supposed to mean, like maybe it’s kind of a code word for something else that… well, you know, who even knows what crazy picture I put in their heads with my futile attempt at explanation.

Thinking about the conversation later, I realized that the question that was actually asked this time had been not so much “So, what do you do?”, but instead was more like “So, what are you up to these days?”

In retrospect, I really could have just skipped the whole work/online thing and given some other kind of completely unrelated answer, and saved us all the trouble of them getting terribly confused and me feeling like some babbling idiot.

There was also the cousin who I do see and communicate with a little more often, and who is so much younger than me that I tend to think of him more as a nephew than a cousin. Now, he has a business (or is a franchisee, I’m really not sure) that does operate a little online but I think is mostly an offline business, more or less. I don’t really understand what it is he does either , other than the fact that it all has something to do with guns and ammo (legally – I do know that much).

I think what he does and his business is probably somewhat and about as difficult for most people to comprehend as they do my stuff. Given that, I didn’t expect to, nor did I, get The Inevitable Question from him.

I am fortunate in that within my immediate family (which is pretty much just me, my mother, and my fiance these days), I really don’t have to explain much. My mom probably can’t tell you exactly what I do either, but she knows and hears enough about it all, and is and has always been very supportive of my efforts.

Pretty much the same with Brian, and he hears plenty more on a regular basis – more than he wants to sometimes, probably. Plus he does see some of what I do, how many hours I spend doing it all, and how much I am working, even if he doesn’t really totally understand what it all is and what it does. And he has gotten to know some of the fine folks in our TE community, which helps as well.

Plus they’re both pretty online savvy, computer savvy, and all such stuff, which kinda helps too. My mother is over 70 now, but she’s not one of those older folks who just came online in the last decade and does e-mail and Facebook and that’s it. We had a computer in the house since the late 1970s, and for a lot of years, whatever computer I was using at any given time was her cast-off computer after she bought a newer PC.

So yeah, I am fortunate in that I have a bit of understanding from my immediate family regarding what I do, and they’re very supportive overall (I know a lot of others don’t have that, or far from it, so I’m very grateful and appreciative of that).

They may not fully understand it, but they understand it enough. They sort of get what a traffic exchange is, they do pretty much understand affiliate marketing, and they absolutely understand the word “commissions”. That’s probably the best anyone could ask for, really.

One of my online colleagues who’s not around anymore, he sometimes used to tell confused and questioning family or friends, when they asked The Inevitable Question (or pressed for more information after having asked it), that he made his money online in adult websites, or with spam e-mails.

Online porn and the stuff in their spam mailbox, those things they could understand and comprehend. Traffic exchanges, membership sites, autoresponders, affiliate commissions, etc. – those things, they just couldn’t grasp.

Maybe there’s an easier way to answer The Inevitable Question that wouldn’t be so brain-numbing (for ME, much more so than them!) and frustrating, but I have yet to hit upon a really good one that doesn’t result in the eyes-glazing-over phenomenon yet.

Lately I’m thinking just saying “I’m in advertising”, and leaving it at that (and NOT saying “online advertising”) – and hoping like heck they don’t ask me to explain further – may be the least painful and least brain-twisting of avenues to take.

So what do YOU tell people? I bet there are some great stories out there, I’d love to hear ’em!

P.S. Pssst, speaking of online advertising (everywhere, and all over the place!):


I have a confession to make: This post isn’t about actual Cheerios.

Not because I’m too cheap to buy the brand name Cheerios product (actually I kinda am, though I personally prefer the term “thrifty”), but my taste buds actually prefer the generic versions of Honey Nut Cheerios to the real thing. Kind of unusual for me to have such a major preference for the generic over the brand, but in this case I do.

So what in the world does cereal have to do with PTCs, you ask?

Well, I’ll get to that, but let me start off by saying I pretty much got my start making money online around seven years ago using Paid to Click and related sites (Paid to Read, “Get Paid To” do offers, etc.). I was in a few affiliate programs (mostly crummy ones) as well, and hadn’t at that time discovered the traffic exchanges quite yet – that came about a little later.

Many of you reading already knew that, that I started out in PTCs and PTRs and GPT sites. My activity on them has waxed and waned at various times over the years, but I’ve pretty much never stopped using them. When I lost my full-time offline job several years ago, and again later on during that really dark and gloomy first couple of years I was away from TE Land, sometimes those earnings were what put food in the fridge and such.

In any case, I’ve pretty much always been able to eke out a nice chunk of change annually clicking on PTCs and doing things on related sites. Some years it’s just been a couple or few hundred or so extra, last year quite a bit more (especially now that I’ve delved into the whole rented referral thing at a few sites), but right now I’m mainly just talking about my own clicking habits.

Nowadays since things aren’t quite so dire and dismal as they were a couple of years ago, I don’t really need that extra change as much as I sometimes have in the past, but I continue to actively work the sites I’ve found to be worthwhile..

Why not? It’s practically free money. And it’s money I can use towards other things, like advertising. Upgrades. Cheerios (or the generic version thereof).

OK, so it’s not really “free” money, because you do have to spend something – TIME – to do it.

At this point in time (and really most of the time all these years), I probably don’t spend more than ten or fifteen minutes a day on Paid to Click sites. I often work them when I’m doing something else, like listening to someone’s recorded Spreecast from earlier in the day.

I spend maybe a little extra time past that 10-15 minutes daily on another site (FusionCash, which is not really a PTC but sort of like ClixSense in that it has PTC and paid offers, plus they also have a daily paid email) to meet their daily requirements.

And then there’s the Paid to Read sites like Hits4Pay and its sister site, Deals ‘n’ Cash, which don’t necessarily send emails daily, but pretty often. Another few minutes there.

But none of that clicking and reading is terribly intrusive or disruptive to my day, especially since I fairly regularly multi-task and do it all while doing something else, like listening to a recorded Spreecast or the news or whatever. It’s just not that big a deal.

And all of those sites wind up generally paying me at least two or three or four times a year (three of the four have pretty high cashout levels) – and much more often with ClixSense, which I could have pay me weekly if I really wanted to (I have one hugely active referral there that does a lot of that work for me). If I wanted to spend a little more time regularly, they’d all be paying me even more and more often.

I can tell you without hesitation that if I was a millionaire, I’d probably still do it, the PTC/etc thing.

Why not? It’s a pittance of time (very much a pittance) out of my day, and that’s all money I wouldn’t otherwise have. And if the sites you’re working are worthwhile to do so – it all adds up, sometimes in a big way.

I withdrew a couple of bucks each a couple of weeks ago from Legacyclix and Dr Clix, mainly because I just wanted to be able to post some payment proofs in a couple of places.

A box of the generic version of Honey Nut Cheerios at the store down the street costs $1.95. I eat like a bird anyway and usually don’t eat but once a day, and sometimes I’ll just eat a bowl of cereal and that’ll be it for the day.

So essentially, I could eat for a week on that $2 I earned and withdrew, if I wanted, and still have come out a nickel ahead.

Or I could spend it on advertising to further build my list, and go buy some PTC ads at NerdBux or something. Or I could put it towards one of my monthly upgrades somewhere. Or lots of things – the possibilities are endless.

Do I really need to spend time on PTCs anymore? No, not so much, and if I cut out such activities altogether from my usual routine, I probably wouldn’t miss the spare change that much.

But to me, it’s like finding a couple of bucks on the sidewalk, the street, a parking lot somewhere, wherever. Obviously I’m not sitting in front of my computer doing work to build my online business if I’m somewhere that I’m finding a dollar of two on the pavement or concrete, so I’m already spending however much (or little) time away doing whatever, presumably doing something or on my way to somewhere and not wasting time.

So, to me, the time spent with PTCs and such is much like “found money” on the sidewalk, and not a waste of time either. Plus I get to see what other people are advertising, which is always interesting, and yup, sometimes I sign up or buy if it really grabs my attention and sparks my interest.

It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. I can pretty much withdraw two bucks at most anywhere I’m a member at any given time, and that two dollars will feed me (with my admittedly awful hardly-ever-eating habits) for a week.

Or buy ads that gain me some signups, and that may lead to commissions and therefore even more money. Or whatever else I wanna do with it. Win-win, I tell you.

Probably the #1 thing I hear and read around TE Land and other related arenas is that folks feel they can’t afford this or that, whether it’s an autoresponder, tracking, an upgrade, a splash page maker, or whatever. And probably somewhere else in the top five of such things is that they feel they don’t have time for things like clicking on PTCs.

And sometimes it’s the same people saying both.

A few minutes out of my day isn’t going to make or break me, and probably not much of anyone else. And that few minutes spent on PTCs and such is pretty much a sure thing and a done deal in that I’ll earn some extra cash doing it… unlike the chances of me finding a dollar or a five-dollar bill on the sidewalk if I go for a 10, 15, 20-minute walk this afternoon. Possible, but not too likely.

Now, excuse me while I go multi-task and eat a bowl of generic Honey Nut Cheerios while doing my daily clicks and earning more money. Time management for the win, woohoo!

GET A HEALTHY DOSE OF SPARE CHANGE HERE: My friend, fellow Tennesseean, and one of the nicest people on the planet, John Novak, opened up the new PTC Dr Clix a few weeks ago and it is awesome. If you’re not a member yet, you should be!


I got part of the subject line (“time is an illusion”) for this post from a captcha phrase I ran across about 48 hours ago while desperately trying to get through some of my usual daily tasks, pretty much the same as yesterday. Working on no/little sleep, a million non-business things on my plate this week ahead of me that were unexpectedly dropped into my lap Sunday afternoon, and really just wanting nothing more than to get it all or mostly done so I could grab a bit of blessed sleep before having to get up again and do a bunch more stuff.

Today’s better so far. At least I finally got to sleep for a little while.

But it’s definitely kinda one of those “stop the world, I want to get off!” kind of weeks here. It’s only Wednesday. None of what all’s going on here is going to settle down and be over until possibly Saturday, more likely Sunday. And virtually almost none of the things that, last week, I was so excited about finally having lots more free and uninterrupted time than usual to do this week are going to get done, likely.

This’ll be a little bit of a long one, this post. Sorry. I got a lot to cover on the subject, and a lot on my mind this week. Plus this little bitty font and this particular WordPress theme make this post (and all others on my blog) look a lot longer than it really is anyway. ;-)

The past three or four weeks, and certainly January thus far, have kind of been somewhat of a bust. Seems like every week for weeks now, I’d have all kinds of great plans and ideas for that week simmering, and then some other roadblock would get tossed in my path.

Everybody has “roadblocks” to deal with. EVERYBODY. Some handle them better than others, some seem to get a lot more than others. And then there’s some other folks I know who’ve let some roadblock completely stop them in their path for two, three, even four years or more. At this point, I’d almost say those weren’t even roadblocks anymore – whatever they had going was just plain over.

But I reckon there’s always a possibility their path will revive itself again someday. After all, mine did.

Most of the time, though, those roadblocks and hurdles are just temporary. Or at least they should be, but sometimes people let even those stop them in whatever they’re doing and they never get back again.

The holiday rush and madness were kind of a roadblock. I mean, really, what can anyone do about that much, unless you decide to disown your family and become a hermit and pretend that Christmas doesn’t exist and it’s just another day, right? I still got a fair amount of stuff done that week, despite the holiday, so I was feeling pretty good about that.

And then I got a massive case of the flu, or whatever nasty plague got hold of me and dragged on for nearly three weeks. The first week I could hardly even get out of bed, and the second week wasn’t all much better, and when I was finally able to sit at my desk for at least a little while at a time and not feel like I was going to die any minute, one look at my e-mail box and various other stuff made me want to scream. As usually happens with such events, I was behind on pretty much everything, and it was depressing and overwhelming.

Well, you can’t do much about physical and health-related roadblocks like that, though I suppose it might have been a nice proactive move for me to get a flu shot this year before the holidays. I just never thought about it this season until it was too late.

But they’re all different, those physical roadblocks. The end result of what happens to my business efforts if, say, both my arms get cut off in a bus accident tomorrow (we don’t have public transportation here, but that’s beside the point), versus what happens to my business if I (please no no knock on wood) get the flu again before flu season is over – the results would be, of course, vastly different.

In any case, I finally get past the holidays, and get pretty much well and past the physical roadblock of the nasty gross flu, and I was seriously excited about how much extra time I was going to have this week to work on some stuff I’d been wanting to since even before Christmas. I’m frequently required to be away from home two nights during the week, and this week it was only going to be one, so I was like, YEAHHHH.

But life (and death) happens. And sometimes it’s yet another one of those roadblocks you can do nothing about. On Sunday morning, my favorite uncle (and only blood relative uncle) passed away, my dad’s brother.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected, and it was an end to a tragic situation I had often been horrified by the fact that it had dragged on so long. This wonderful, and previously very active, man wound up bedridden and in a nursing care facility for nearly all of the past eight years, stuck there far too early in his late fifties due to complications after a major back surgery that were made much worse by his having Parkinson’s disease. I don’t think he had been out of bed since 2007, definitely not since 2008.

And of course, with all that comes with such events, everything I wanted to do this week – aside from the daily things I pretty much HAVE to get done or else my online efforts suffer the consequences – can only be done if I don’t sleep at all from now until Saturday or Sunday. Right.

I have family in town, and still yet to arrive in town, that for the last 15 or so years, I only see when there’s a funeral or memorial service. There was family stuff going on Monday night. My plan was to get home soon after dinner and get some things done online so I could be mostly freed up Tuesday for all that family stuff.

Instead, I got home well after two in the morning. I have this checklist of stuff that I need to do online every day (or at least try to do most of it). I mainly keep it just so I won’t overlook and forget to do something.

I really just wanted to go to bed at that point. I didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING on that list.

But I did it anyway. It’s much more to my advantage to just stay on top of things, when I can and at least as best I can, this week and get what I can do done. Even if it’s only some things, and not everything I would have liked to.

It’ll have a much more positive effect on my business efforts (and a more positive attitude) come next week, instead of a negative effect (and a really bad mood and mega frustration) when I’m able to get back into my normal routine next week.

I wanted to make sure and publish at least one post here on my blog this week, but the last thing I felt like doing yesterday morning when I looked at the clock, and it was 8 a.m. and I still hadn’t been to bed yet, was writing a blog post.

Obviously, yesterday I never made it all the way to actually publishing it, although I did write parts of it – at least up to the point where I was literally about to fall over in a coma. Plus it wasn’t really coming out the way I had originally intended it to, so at some point I just said, “You know, let’s just stop right now, and try this again tonight or tomorrow.”

But for all practical purposes, even though I didn’t feel like doing it yesterday, writing, I still did it anyway. I may not have made it to hitting the “Publish” button, and I may have rewritten nearly all of it today – but I still did it yesterday, too, even though I didn’t feel like it.

I really didn’t want to miss TE Live yesterday, since I sort of inadvertently screwed up my sleep schedule last week and have been missing it unintentionally some lately and have been having to catch it and CSN on the recorded versions a lot last week and this week. I don’t hear alarm clocks any more, haven’t since I quit working offline seven years ago. I was having some difficulty with that before then, but most of the time now, I just don’t hear them at all.

So yesterday afternoon, and literally just minutes before TE Live, I was getting something off the upper shelf in the closet that’s in my office. (Insert dramatic foreshadowing theme music here…)

As it were, this electric pumpkin Halloween decoration I bought several years ago was sitting on top of what I was trying to get out of the closet. The darn thing shot out of there like a rocket and smacked me HARD in the face, right on the bridge of my nose.

It’s a wonder I wasn’t knocked unconscious, it hit me THAT hard. I did pretty much see stars, and got a headache like you wouldn’t believe. And the throbbing nose, of course. Ouch.

So I actually was at TE Live yesterday, albeit laying on the futon that’s behind my desk chair with my nose stinging and head pounding, listening to Jon and Patrick from there, and occasionally watching when I could stand to move my aching head.

(Is it broken? I don’t think so, and it hasn’t changed color yet nor do I have a black eye yet. I suppose it’s swollen somewhat and it sure does still hurt like heck, but I don’t really think it’s broken. Not that it would matter much since it’s always looked like it’s been broken at least once anyway, even though it hasn’t been.)

So yeah, another little roadblock – first I was about too tired to stay up and didn’t feel like it, staying awake any longer for TE Live – but I did it anyway.

And then I get smacked in the face with something that really kinda felt like a brick at the time (it wasn’t all THAT high up in the closet so I dunno how the heck it got the momentum it did, stupid pumpkin), and I still did it and showed up anyway – at least from the futon and with an ice pack on my nose.

Everybody online has work to do, though a lot of people try to avoid that particular four-letter word (WORK). I like a lot of what I do every day, or every week. Some of it more than other stuff, but the majority of it I look forward to tackling every day and enjoy it.

And then most everyone, including me, no doubt has some things they don’t like that much but really do need to be done to keep the online engine running, or at least should be done. Some of the things on my little don’t-forget-to-do-this-daily checklist are more along those lines. Like chores, if you will.

Take safelist and mailer mail, for instance – not too many people that actively work those are going to disagree that going through all that mail is kind of a chore, rather than much fun. If I don’t stay on top of that mail, it can grow to well over 1,000 backed-up mails (if not 2K) in a matter of a day or two.

But the simple fact is that I get signups and subscribers regularly from my efforts in that area – and THAT part of it is fun, for me. It doesn’t do me any good at all to avoid dealing with all that mail for a few days or a week or a couple of weeks – but it does me and my online efforts a LOT of good if I stay on top of it and don’t let it get too out of hand.

So again, here’s a week with complications, and my time and presence is required elsewhere quite a bit this week. Part of me would like to say to heck with EVERYTHING this week and just pick back up next week, but some of the stuff I do every day, or every week, I simply can’t totally ignore or I lose a lot of benefits I’ve gained.

All that safelist and mailer mail, though? You bet I’d like to ignore all of that this week, both incoming and outgoing.

But I’m not. I’m (surprisingly about 100%, actually) staying on top of that too this week, when I can, where I can. I don’t really feel like dealing with it at all, but I’m doing it anyway. As well as all of the  other stuff I’m doing anyway and keeping mostly on top of this week. I know I’ll feel better when Sunday night or Monday gets here and the chores aren’t all piled up and backed up and waiting.

I can’t possibly do it ALL, under the current circumstances, nope. Well, not unless I go entirely without sleep from now until, say, Sunday or Monday.

But come next week, when all the out-of-town family’s gone back home and the service and everything else is over and passed, and I can finally get back into my regular and usual routine, and I’m not so unbelievably behind that it’s depressing and overwhelming and frustrating and all those things? That’ll be just SO awesome.

And simply knowing that (and knowing what it’d be like next week if I didn’t do anything this week) is keeping me on a fairly even keel this week, despite everything. And THAT makes me happy.

Is there something you know you need to do to help yourself and your online efforts today, but you just don’t feel like doing it?

Do it anyway. You’ll feel better, and whatever you’re doing online will likely be that much better today than it was yesterday too. It’s a win-win!

And hey, maybe you can’t do EVERYTHING. But you can do SOMETHING.

(My next post will be about Cheerios. I’m totally serious. It’ll be fun, see ya then.)  ;-)

P.S. Here’s something I’m SOOOOO thankful for this week, because while I’m getting a lot done this week despite everything, there’s simply not enough time to go everywhere I normally would and assign all of the credits I normally would this week. Not to mention getting my sites shown in places I don’t go anyway, or am not even a member of.

THANK YOU, LEGACY TEAM AD CO-OP! Good lord, those guys are saving my butt this week (and keeping my promotion efforts going even when I can’t)!

Hi, I'm Lynn M & this is my blog.

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