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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Swag Bucks 101 - Updated Edition!

So a while back I came up with this great idea to do a long and detailed post on how to make the most of Swag Bucks. Literally one week later, they changed up the program quite a bit! Because of this, there are quite a few of you who are just now joining Swag Bucks, and have no clue how to make the most of it! Here's the updated version of my previous post...

**How To Earn Swag Bucks**

1. First of all, you obviously want to sign up, if you haven't done so already. When you sign up, you automatically receive 30 swag bucks to start you out! Signing up is as easy as 1-2-3. Just fill out the info and get going!

2. Start using the Swag Bucks search engine. It works like any other search engine, such as Google. You just type in what you want to search for, and start searching the web. The only difference is that Swag Bucks is paying you to search. Every so often, a message will pop up that you have received swag bucks for searching. On average, it seems that a person can earn around 10 - 40 swag bucks a day by simply searching. Here are some searching tips to keep in mind:
  • Search naturally. Don't just continue to search terms over and over for the sake of trying to earn a swag buck. The system is set up to recognize when you're trying to do that (and in fact your account can be deactivated if you do that in excess). Just search normally, visiting sites that you truly want to go to! It's as simple as that! I find that the more naturally I search, the more swag bucks I earn.
  • Search for the websites you always visit, rather than bookmarking them. For example, I frequently visit my e-mail account, this blog, Facebook, Twitter, my bank's website, and the library website. I have all of these sites bookmarked, but I choose to search for them through Swag Bucks. It gives me something to search for, even if I'm not searching for other terms throughout the day. It's one little extra step that takes an additional 30 seconds, but it's worth it!
  • Search on Mega Swag Bucks Friday. This is not a myth -- it's for real! Your chances for earning the higher bucks with just one search are greatly increased, because more mega bucks are given out on Fridays than any other day. I have earned 50 swag bucks on Fridays quite a few times. I have had people e-mail me about earning 100, 500, or even 1000 from just one search on Friday! So, it definitely exists and happens. If you don't search on any other day, search on Friday. Eventually, you will be rewarded for doing so.
  • Either set Swag Bucks as your home page or use the toolbar. The easiest way to remind yourself to use Swag Bucks is to just make Swag Bucks your home page when you search. Some people have told me they don't like the search engine, though. They feel that it doesn't generate the best results. If you have the same problem, simply download the toolbar and use the search space on the toolbar sporadically throughout the day to earn your swag bucks, while keeping your preferred search engine as your home page. I usually just click the swag bucks button in the toolbar when I want to use Swag Bucks. I find that I usually earn some swag bucks in the morning, and some swag bucks in the evening. All other times, I just use my regular search engine that my home page is set to!
3. Find some codes! Codes are everywhere in the swagging world. You just have to keep your eyes peeled for them! When you find a code, you simply copy and paste it into the code box on the Swag Bucks home page. Codes can be worth any amount. It always differs, depending on how hard the code is to find! Here are some tips for finding codes:
  • Download the toolbar, like I said! There is a spot on the toolbar where The Swag Guy posts swag codes. They will just pop up randomly a couple of times a week. You'll see "From TSG [1]" when you have a message, and most of the time it's a swag code! (There was actually one last night). I find that codes are mostly given out on weekends, Holidays, and special events. For example, just recently there were Valentine's Day and Super Bowl codes.
  • Become a fan of Swag Bucks on Facebook. Codes are announced on Facebook from time to time.
  • Follow Swag Bucks on Twitter! Codes are announce on Twitter quite often as well!
  • Subscribe to the newsletter. It goes out about once every other week, and there is always a swag code at the bottom of it.
  • Check the Swag Guy's blog often. You can see his recent blog posts on the home page. He posts hints for swag codes frequently. Most of the time this is where the hints for the swag hunts are!
  • Do the "No Obligation Special Offers" every day. Simply click on Special Offers on the Swag Bucks home page. Then click on the No Obligation offers. Skip all of the offers that you view, and at the end you will be rewarded with a few swag bucks!
  • Check the widget at the bottom of my blog page. Sometimes there are codes given out on it. And all of the codes I mentioned above are announced on my widget. All you have to do is hit "swag codes" and it will either give you one, give you a hint where to find one, or tell you that there are no codes right now.
  • Read my blog for announcements. I always try to announce when there is a new code available somewhere. Note: If you subscribe by e-mail or reader, you will always miss them. The posts are delayed significantly in those feeds. The only way to get hourly up-to-date information on deals is to visit this actual blog.

Shop and Earn. I haven't explored this option very much, but you can earn swag bucks when you do your shopping online at specific stores. Check out the stores that are featured on swag bucks. From now on if you shop with those stores online, be sure to access them through your swag bucks home page so that you get credit! I have started doing this when I buy songs on iTunes!

5. Refer your friends. This is the number one way I earn so many swag bucks. Every time somebody signs up for Swag Bucks under your name, you get their swag bucks too! For every swag buck that your referrals earn through searching, you will receive one as well (up to 1000 swag bucks). As you can imagine, this adds up really quickly.

Even if you can get just 5 people (friends and family) to sign up under you, you'll be on your way to earning many gift cards every month! Think about it: Most people earn on average 10 - 40 swag bucks a day. Let's call it 20, just to be safe. If you have 5 people signed up under you earning 20 swag bucks every day, in addition to yours...that equals 120 swag bucks a day! In one week, you'll earn at least 840 swag bucks, and that's just for searching! That doesn't even count your codes that I mentioned above.

Remember...a $5 Amazon gift card only costs 450 swag bucks! So with 5 friends signed up under you, actively looking for codes each week, and searching could possibly earn enough swag bucks to get $10 worth of Amazon cards per week!

6. Tie your Swag Bucks account to your Facebook account! You can do this by clicking on the blue "f" next to your Account Summary on the Swag Bucks home page, or by clicking on "view account" and then "my facebook settings." When you do this, Facebook will automatically post on your wall when you earn through searching, grabbing a code, etc. Your friends will see your Swag Bucks post on your Facebook wall, and they'll start getting interested in what it's all about. When they click to sign up through the referral link that is included, you start earning as mentioned above!

One HUGE hint on referrals, though:

Swag Bucks has their referral system set up to where you can send out e-mails to your friends with your referral link included, so that they will sign up under you. I found that this method never worked. Why? Because your friends do not recognize the foreign e-mail address that the invite comes from (info.swagbucks or something of that nature), they will not open the e-mail and sign up. Rather, I recommend placing your referral link in a personal e-mail to your friends! When I did this, I had quite a few family members and friends sign up under me. Here's how to go about doing this:
  • Log-In to your Swag Bucks account.
  • Click on "Promote."
  • Click on "Promote Banners."
  • The screen will show a guy saying, "Your referral link is: ....."
  • Copy that referral link.
  • Send an e-mail to your closest friends and family. Tell them how great Swag Bucks is, what it's all about, that it's NOT a scam, and that is is a really awesome program that they should try out! Paste your referral link into that e-mail and tell them to click on the link to sign up.
  • Start earning swag bucks for their searches! =) It's that easy!

**A Couple Other Tips On Swag Bucks**

~ Your account will be deactivated if you try to search repeatedly, rather than searching naturally (like I mentioned above).

~ Your account will also be deactivated if you try to sign up more than one person in a household. The swag bucks account is tied to your home address. The rules are very specific that it is one per household!

~ There is a limit on the amount of prizes you can trade in for each day and month. You can only trade in for 2 prizes per day. Also, you can only trade in for 5 like prizes in one month. Keep this in mind when you start earning your swag bucks quickly. You want to cash them in as you go along, rather than saving them up. If you save them up, you'll be in a bind when you go to trade them in. (This happened to me at Christmas time!) Most of the prizes don't expire, so you're perfectly fine to trade them in as you go and use them later.

~ Gift card prizes post to your account around the 15th and 30th of each month. So be sure to trade in your swag bucks for gift cards a day or two before these dates. You can view all of your gift cards under "my account."

~ Many of you have been asking me how many gift codes you can use on in one order transaction. I will tell you that I've used as many as 10 gift codes for one order, and had no problem at all! So do not be afraid to buy the better value Amazon card at $5, and use multiple codes per Amazon order.

I hope this post helped those of you who have been wondering how to earn swag bucks and truly make the most of the program. Please feel free to ask me any additional questions in the comments section!

What About You: Have I convinced you to sign up yet? I hope so! Start earning awesome prizes today! I promise you it's sooooo worth it!



Anonymous margiepage said...

Just wanted to say thank you for all that you do to help my family not only get through a difficult financial time, but help to turn me on to one of the funnest hobbies I've ever done! I get a kick out of couponing! I've signed up for swagbucks but I'm not sure I understand the swagstakes. Are we buying these items or are we in a contest to win them? I've earned over 3100 swagbucks but I don't understand what exactly to do with them.

March 24, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Meagan said...

Swagstakes is just basically like a raffle. You enter in a few swag bucks for the drawing. It's total luck.

If you have 3100 swag bucks, trade some in at the Swag Store! =) You could get Amazon gift cards, itunes gift cards, starbucks gift cards, etc.

So glad to be able to help you and your family through a difficult time and help you have fun, too! =)

March 24, 2010 at 10:52 PM  

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