Saturday, October 24, 2009
You have have noticed that along with a new template (I'm still tweaking it), there is now a Swagbucks widget in my side column. So what is Swagbucks? It's a company that pays you to use their search engine. I joined about two months ago, when they launched their toolbar. Lots of bloggers plug Swagbucks, especially on Fridays, "Mega Swagbucks Day." Bloggers with large audiences often have quite large Swagbucks balances showing in their widgets, because you earn points when people you've referred earn points.
For regular people, it's still worthwhile, but on a smaller scale. I use Swagbucks for all my searches, both at home and at work. (My work involves a lot of research.) I generally earn 2 Swagbucks a day, sometimes more if I get a code on the toolbar or if I see one on Facebook. My best ever search-and-win was 3 Swagbucks for one search. The way I understand it, your best chance of winning is in your first five searches per hour, and after 20 searches you have no chance at all. You can increase your odds by searching on multiple computers.
Swagbucks doesn't always show what you're looking for because it only shows the top 40 or so results. At least 75% of the time, though, I find what I'm looking for. If not, I just hop over to Google. You can also earn points by buying through the Swag Store, which links to many online retailers, but I prefer Ebates.
After seven weeks using the program, I've earned 96 Swagbucks. After 45 Swagbucks, you can cash out for a $5 Amazon giftcard. I used my first one for a magazine subscription. You could also use them for groceries, books, or anything else you want.
Update: two days after I wrote this, I had an 8 Swagbuck day. Who knew that was possible?