“ Simonseeks is a website where a community of travellers, journalists and celebrities can share their advice and their enthusiasms „
You are part of the Dooyoo community so I will presume you are a fan of review sites. The vast majority of you reading this will also enjoy a good holiday. In that case why not combine your passion for both and start writing holiday reviews for Simonseeks?
This is a website which is fairly new out of the wrapper. It was launched back in 2009 and was awarded the "Goodwebguide" website of the year for 2009. The website is the brainchild of Simon Nixon, the same guy who started up Moneysupermarket.com. This means there are definitely some smart cookies working on the project and there will be some serious financially backing behind the site. It has been set up as a competitor to the well-known travel site "Trip Advisor." Due to the nature of the site and the fact you will get paid for your work, I have no doubt the site can only grow.
I found the Simonseeks site very easy to navigate on my first visit. Signing up and getting started was easy. Some of the task bars can be tricky to operate at times but once you get the hang of them then they are fine. Like Dooyoo, the writing page is set out with different dialogue boxes for collecting different information. Simonseeks could not make it much easier for you to set out your review. You cannot go wrong.
If you simply want to have a gander at some of the reviews already on offer then searching the site is easy. You can search the site by location and even by activities. This can make pinpointing your ideal destination a breeze and filters many of the unwanted reviews.
So if you enjoy informing others of the wonderful time you have had on your travels then why not type a review and get paid for it? Whether you have gone on an all expenses paid trip to New York or you have just travelled 20 miles down the road to your local seaside town then write a review.
However, a word of warning must be urged to the Dooyoo churners who enjoy writing the minimum and then reaping the benefits. Simonseeks have people behind the scenes who have to approve your review before it will be posted on the site. This is to enable the site to filter any inappropriate reviews and also to be selective. Those reviews that do not meet the required grammar, structure and vocabulary threshold will be rejected. In addition, 150 words won't quite cut it on Simonseeks. The best reviews are in the region of 800-1200 words. As a result, be prepared to take a few hours to complete a review.
However, if you really do enjoy reviewing but you are afraid you won't be good enough please do not worry. The friendly folk at Simonseeks will simply send your review back with some pointers and you can resubmit it. No harm done. This happened to me with my first review on Simonseeks which I had previously posted on Dooyoo. Please check out my Dooyoo review named, "Las Vegas - The World' Favourite Adult Theme Park." The standard of this review was not quite good enough for Simonseeks but with a bit of tweaking from my girlfriend it got accepted.
The most popular reviews are those with a good structure, clear headings, good grammar, lots of pictures of the trip, restaurant and hotel recommendations and personal opinion. Simonseeks also asks you to disclose your "hidden gem" from the holiday. If there is a bar, shop, activity or excursion which you have enjoyed immensely, but it could be easily overlooked by others, then tell the Simonseeks community all about it.
As well as being one of the best aspects about Simonseeks, the filtering process is also one of the most frustrating. It states on the website that the average time it takes from when a review gets sent away to the time it gets approved is 3 days. I can tell you from my experience of the site that about a week is a truer reflection.
As the site is only relatively knew this makes it an ideal time to get your reviews in and get some ratings under your belt. Reviews that become popular from the start are likely to remain in the "favourites" and "most popular" categories for years to come. This means that if the site does take off in the way it is expected to then those who have the most popular reviews could be earning hundreds of pounds a year for their efforts.
The website makes it's money through advertising and clicks to holiday booking pages. The better your review, the more traffic will pass through it and as a result the greater your profits will be. Depending on the review you could be earning anywhere from 5p to 20p per click.
So why not give it a go and earn a couple of extra pounds for your next holiday!
What is it?
If you love flying off to some foreign countries, it's possible to regale people with your holiday tales, whilst getting paid for doing it! SimonSeeks.com is a travelling review site which promises to reward users by passing on half of the net revenue it's paid by advertisers.
How do i get involved?
Simply write a destination guide for one of the places you have visited and post it on the site. The editorial team will check it over, and other users will rate it on how good and relevant your review is. After people start clicking through to advertising links on your page, such as adsense or many others, the site will pay you by Paypal, as and when the cash comes in.
As a rule, the more up-market the accommodation and longer the stay, the bigger the advertising earnings.
How much can i earn?
The site is massively new and a completely different venture to anything seen before. Simonseeks launched on 18 June 2009, and has big financial backing so if it takes off, guides with a high rating could earn 5p-20p a view, thus popular guides could earn £100s. By being an early adopter, your guide is likely to be in better place to build up status and therefore earn you some more substantial money when it takes off.
I joined the bandwagon on this site and have written my first review. However, i am still waiting to see if my review has been accepted which has now taken a week; so the customer service is not great.
I guess with such a new product, the jury is out until we see if it takes off.
Therefore, watch this space, for any additions i make!
Right I have recently joined up to Simon Seeks and so will be updating my experiences as I go. So firstly I shall write on my experiences of joing up whilst it is fresh in my mind.
Getting to the site (through google) and finding out about what it does was quite easy. Still only have a vague idea of how they make their money (similar to Dooyoo through clicks tracking onto a buying page), I am even more vauge about how much money each review I have will make (it is hidden in their T&C and it is based on a percentage from the total Net profit that the site makes, however that could be penny's or pounds).
Signing up seemed far too simple as I just typed in my name and the user name I want with a password and that was it. Typying in the password was annoying as it had to be of a set security limit so it is quite difficult to remember, though if money is involved I guess I am glad about the good security. At first I was not asked to validate my email before starting on a review, but have since had that email.
I did attempt to write a review and found a fare number of places which I could happily talk about. As the reviews need to be of a high standard and additional fact findings needs to be done then reviews I would expect can take 3+ hours each, as each review is 800 words. Then from there they get sent to a stage to await proof reading. It is only after the proof reading that they get published and your chance to make money starts.
I am currently working on my first review for them (so far it's been two days of start, stop, delete and start again). So will keep you posted to how that works out.
*Update* Reviewing others' work.
I've just read through a review about a place which I know quite well and wanted to review the review. Sort of like the VU/U/SU/NAAU buttons, but much more in depth. The reviewing of other's work requires you to click on a link at the bottom of their review. This link does take on the appearance of an advert so I was a little confused at first.
The reviewing is very in depth, but the simon seeks team gives you lots of help (down the right hand column). You first rate out of five your opion such as enjoyability, inspiration, overall and usefulness. Then you have a space where you are asked to write 150-200 words to further review the piece. They give you a guide of what to include and let you know why they are doing it. Basically to improve the site and know who the good writers are.
Then your review gets posted and then people can review your review of the review! Phew! That's one too many reviews for me, I think just a report abuse button might be better for the review's review. Hope you followed that.
Wow! That about sums it up. The searching is amazing. You can search or for destination and/or type (eg. adventure, romance etc). The search list is then ranked (though I can't see how they do the order). The best part is that it is so simple to use. For example I want a holiday in Derbyshire, the result is "A winning weekend in the Peak District", but say I wanted a cultural holiday in Derbyshire I get "Derby days" review. Basically it tailors and narrows your results depending on what you search for. Still too many search results? Then just advance search and tailor your wants even more. I have to say the more I delve into this website the better it becomes.
The reviews are also of a very high standard, which is probably as they are vetted before being uploaded. Which means you don't trawl through loads of rubbish to find a good one, definate plus for holiday searching if you don't have the time.
So on a readers point of view I give it five stars, however on a writers point of view I give it 2 1/2 stars so far as the payment is unclear, you are restricted to only a certain amount of words and obviously touring south east asia takes up more words than a day in Harrogate.
Simonseeks.com is a new website from entrepreneur Simon Nixon - the man behind moneysupermarket.com and travelsupermarket.com.
Simon Seeks is a travel review website in a similar vain to Trip Advisor, Holidays Uncovered and the like. The difference with Simon Seeks is that users are paid for their reviews and the reviews have to be of a certain quality to make it onto the site. Rather than the drab "we stayed here, we did this" reviews that you get on other websites, Simon Seeks requires more content and more thought from its members with reviews suggested to be around 800-1000 words long.
I think I originally heard about the site through Money Saving Expert, which advised that you can make cash from writing reviews of your holidays. I signed-up and looked at the info on their site to see exactly how money is made. Unfortunately, this information is a bit thin on the ground. I *think* that you only get paid a percentage of the money that the site makes from users clicking on affiliate links whilst reading your review. However, there's nothing on the website that says how much you get paid - 1%? 95%? I do not know.
It is only a very new site and so there aren't very many people using it just yet - although this may be down to the strict review guidelines which are rejecting around 60% of all reviews that have been submitted so far.
After joining I wrote what I thought was a fairly good "Beginners Guide to Barbados", having just come back there from my honeymoon. I submitted the review along with half a dozen images of the trip and details of where we stayed, which airline we flew on etc (these details are requested so that Simon Seeks can add their affiliate links into the review).
After submitting my review I waited... And waited... And waited... Until almost 2 weeks after my initial submission I finally got an email from the admin team stating that my review wasn't good enough and I should re-look at it. That's it. No suggestions. No "try to do this", "include more on this", "change that", nothing to help.
Being the sad kind of guy I am, I posted a message on Twitter to say that I thought Simon Seeks was a bit crappy and that I wouldn't bother using it again. Within a few hours (to their credit) Simon Seeks sent me a tweet to say that a guide would be in touch with me the day after to say why my review hadn't been published and to give me some tips on what to change. So I waited.... And waited... And I'm still waiting.
It may sound like sour grapes (and I suppose to an extent it is), but in my mind my review was fine and written in the style that their online guide suggested. The site may get better with age, but at the minute it's just not good enough to wait so long for your review to be processed, only to be told it's not good enough without any tips on how to improve.
Oh yeah, and there's several spelling and grammatical errors on the site that need fixing - it make it look really unprofessional at the minute.
If anyone else on dooyoo has any different experiences of the site, I'd be interested to know!