How to Get Paid to Practice Your English at MyLot
Participating in the world's best online forum is a great way for students learning English to practice and get paid for it.
Practice Writing English at the World's Best Online Forum
Get paid for your participation
When I was trying to learn German back in my college days, except for a pen pal, I didn't have much chance to practice using German with native speakers. Even though my pen pal wrote to me in German, I wrote back to her in English. I wonder how much more I could have learned had I been able to go to an online forum where everyone had to write in German. I think it would have helped a lot. I would have been able to see how native speakers of German wrote to each other the way they talked to each other about daily life, instead of just reading what's in textbook conversations.
Now students learning English as a second language have the opportunity to practice English online at myLot.com -- a giant online forum that anyone can join for free. It's a great way to make friends internationally and communicate with native English speakers from many parts of the English speaking world, as well as people from other parts of the world who are at various levels of proficiency in writing the English language. I have many new friends from India, the Philippines, China, Great Britain, the United States, and many other parts of the world. We discuss anything we are interested in (unless it violates the guidelines), and as we start and respond to discussions, we get paid for the quality and quantity of our posts.
What if I Still Have Trouble Expressing Myself in English?
Will people criticize and make fun of me?
MyLot has some of the strictest guidelines I've seen to forbid flaming or criticizing others for their mistakes in English. It has a rating system that specifically says you cannot rate a person down because you disagree with him or because he is not proficient in English. You are rated on whether you are posting content that has not been posted yet in that discussion, not on how well you express your thought. The important thing is to somehow make your thought understood as best you can.
I am a former teacher of English, and I do my best on myLot to model the best English I can. If I notice that someone starting a discussion is struggling to express a thought, and I know what he is trying to say, in my response I will try to use the words he might have used so he will see them. As a student of English, one can read what those who are proficient write, and learn more about how to say things to be better understood. It's also a great way to see the idioms native speakers use and to ask about those that you don't understand. Sometimes I have to ask about things I don't understand because I'm not familiar with the culture of other countries. This is how we learn from each other things we don't learn on the news. We discuss politics, animals, personal problems, foods, religion, media figures, movies, books, music, or anything else that's on our minds. The more familiar you are with something, the easier it is to talk about it.
How familiar are you witih myLot.com?
Are you a member yet?
How Does MyLot Work?
How do they pay me to participate?
MyLot pays you a little you to start and participate in discussions. I have a written a tutorial on starting discussions . For your first day or two on myLot, it's probably better to just respond to discussions posted by others until you have made friends. This is how you build an activity score to make people more likely to offer and accept friendship with you.
The more you participate, the more you get paid. But you only get paid once for what you contribute. There is no residual income as you have on Wizzley, HubPages, and Squidoo, where you can continue to earn for articles you wrote years ago. No affiliate selling links are allowed in discussions, either, but you may put affiliate referral links on your profile page.
The slogan on myLot is that the more you type, the more you earn. Other members rate the quality of your responses by how much you contribute to the discussion. You also rate other members by clicking plus or minus beside each discussion or comment. You click plus if you believe the responder added something to the discussion. Most people never use the minus button unless the commenter said something really negative or mean. You aren't supposed to click on minus because someone used poor English or because you disagree with them, since many people are learning English as a second language, and even disagreements add to a discussion and keep it going. But if someone personally attacks another member or says something that's not true, you could justify clicking minus. The reputation score you get in the star over your name when you have gotten your first 100 activity points influences the amount you earn, and it is determined by the ratings of the other members. The higher your reputation score, the more you will earn. Last week I had the highest score possible, but it came down one point a couple of days ago. So scores don't remain static.
One other way you can earn is by referring others to myLot. Anyone who joins myLot on your referral link (the one I've posted in the first module) will earn a bonus equal to 25% of what his referrals earn each month. This does not take away from your referral's income, but comes from myLot's share of the earnings. It's always good to help your referrals be successful, because the more successful they are, the more you will also earn.
You will definitely not get rich on myLot. On my best days I've only earned about a dollar, and that is on several hours of activity with a high reputation. I have been on myLot now for 43 days. I have earned $27.78, and that's without any active referrals. I should get my first payout of $25.12 in ten days, and I will let you know if I don't. That covers $4.83 for my first nine days and $20.29 for the month of September. Other active members confirm they do get paid on time. MyLot pays on the 15th of each month when you have reached the minimum amount for payout of $10.00 by the end of the previous month. They pay through PayPal.
UPDATE to last paragraph: I've now been on myLot since September, 2011. It' now April, 2012, and I have received two payouts and am expecting another in a couple of months. I have slowed down my activity because I don't have the time to devote now that I did when I first joined. I put in a lot of time that first month so that I could get a score of 500 and have all the privileges a score of 500 gets -- including being able to paste into a discussion. Now I don't feel any urgency and just go to talk to my friends on myLot when I have time. I do check in daily, and have made it part of my routine. I don't really care how much I earn, and just collect when enough has accumulated. People who put in lots of time make more than I do, but I doubt if anyone makes more than $10-$15 in a pay period.
Occasionally, you may lose a few pennies if you have not paid proper attention to the discussion guidelines, which are clearly stated and enforced. If a posted discussion is found to be violating one of the guidelines, that discussion and any responses to it will be deleted and the earnings from it put into a pool to be divided with active members. This doesn't happen very often, and it can be prevented by knowing your guidelines. The link I gave you above should help you learn which discussions not to respond to because they may be deleted.
Another thing that could cause you to lose earnings is lack of participation. Your earnings are carried over each month until you reach the payout amount, but if you do not sign into myLot for 90 days, you will be declared inactive and will lose any accumulated earnings. But how hard is it to check in at least every 90 days? Anyone serious about earning would be checking in and joining in discussions several times a week unless he was sick or disconnected from the internet.
When you sign up, be sure and read the terms. There are some countries where the American government will not allow myLot to send payments. If you live in one of them, myLot will let you join the discussions, but you will not be paid for participation. There are many members who enjoy participating so much they don't care if they get paid or not. I have many myLot friends from India, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and the United States I'm quite sure get paid.
What I like about this pay system is that when I am signed in, I can see every day at the top of any page exactly how much I've earned since the last payout. The total changes every 24 hours. Seeing the new total daily helps you estimate how close you are to payout so you can put in more time to make it if need be. I also like that the you don't have to wait forever to get a payout. If you spend a few hours a day and make quality responses, you should have no trouble making your $10.00 in a month. I made more on myLot in September than I got paid from Squidoo in September, and I had 130 lenses on Squidoo at that time. I'm still waiting for my first Adsense payout for my work on HubPages, where I had 33 hubs, and Qonido, where I have a few Intel. So even though I don't make residual income at myLot, I did at least get a payout.
Since I never like all my eggs in one basket, I balance my use of the different sites. I spent about 15 hours writing a Squidoo lens over the past three days. I don't know if or when I will see any income from it. Had I spent that time at myLot, I probably would have earned a couple of dollars right away. Should my Squidoo article get into a tier, I could make anywhere from .40 to $50 a month for it. A similar lens used to be in the third tier, but now has fallen out of all of them, so all I get is an occasional few pennies from an Amazon sale.
How Can I Get Started at MyLot?
Here are the steps
1. Sign up. I hope you will use my referral line in the first module. When you use it, I will be rewarded as indicated above, and I will be your first friend, doing all I can do to help you be successful.
2. Make your profile. I have written a tutorial on making a profile that will help you win friends and be successful on myLot.
3. Start participating in discussions to build up your participation score, meet people, and start earning.
4. Enjoy the interaction. You won't get rich in money, but the experience itself will reward you as you meet new and interesting people, learn to articulate your thoughts better in written English, and become more fluent each day.