Advantages A great site
Disadvantages Not many
|Layout & Design|
|Site content & information|
|Range of services/products|
|Purchase tracking function|
Ciao is a website very similar to Dooyoo and Epinions.The site can be accessed in several countries including the UK and Italy, and it pays you to submit your opinions on a large variety of items, as long as your reviews and writing skills are of decent standard and get rated helpful or above. Ciao is incredibly easy to use and signing up takes 2 minutes at the most. The home page of Ciao isn't anything special with a simply grey and white colour scheme, but it's easy to navigate and find whatever you are looking for due to the product catergories listed on the right hand side of the homepage. These are listed in alphebetical order and are shown in bold font, with the subcatergories listed underneath.
At the top of the homepage, the Ciao logo is displayed. This is black with an orange exclamation mark. To the right of the logo the search bar is present. This is quite large and easy to use. Next to this there is small white font which reads Ciao - for people with opinions. There are then a number of small tabs which include: latest reviews, latest questions, video reviews, write a review. Clicking any of these tabs will take you to the page they're labelled as. On the top right corner there are four tabs - join ciao, login, help and mobile. If you are on a mobile, then the 'mobile' tab will instead be 'desktop'. These tabs are easy to navigate and logging in is incredibly easy, as is joining up.Joining Up
Once you have joined up, it's a good idea to upload a photo of yourself so that people don't see you as just a 'grey face' (someone who's anonymous) or a newbie, although some people do choose to upload pictures of their children or pets instead. To upload a picture you will need to go onto your account settings, which has a number of options including 'upload a member photo' to upload a photo, click here. Your photo will need to be a JPEG/jpg file and needs to be under 10kb. The photo will take a day or two to be appoved. My photo is simply a photograph of my face.
The member centre has all the information you could possibly need - community announcements (I will explain this later) review guidelines, contact info, FAQ's, an option to report abuse, etc. There's lots of information on this section of the site and I would reccomend reading it before you post a review to avoid breaking any rules by mistake and it also gives a feel for the site and how it works. There's also the 'review archive' which shows every single review by month and day since the site was launched, and it updates daily at midnight. This is a handy feature as it lists the reviews posted that day in the order of helpfulness. There's also an option to see who are currently the most read authors and there's numerous other tabs including 'most read products'.
Everytime you post a review, rate a review or comment on a review you will be awarded with a small number of points which have no cash value. As the points build up, you will recieve a coloured 'spot' which appears next to your username. This spot, depending on the colour, shows how experienced on Ciao you are and what level you are at, for example a white spot = level 1 newbie and a black spot = level 10 long timer. The spot colours vary from green to red and I am currently on level 7 - bronze. I have 187738 community points and am 62262 points away from being a level 8 silver member. This has taken me almost a year to achieve and to be honest although it's not important and doesn't effect how much I earn, I am quite proud!! Although a lot of people say that the coloured spots are pointless I find them handy to establish whether someone on the site who I haven't seen before is new or a member who has come back after a while of been away.
How much can I earn?
The money that Ciao pays doesn't sound a lot, but it soon adds up. Depending on what you review, you can earn anything from 0.5p to 2p per rating. This depends on the amount of ££ signs next to the product name. For example, an iPhone has 2 stars next to it and so if you review it you will earn one penny per rate, which adds up suprisingly quickly. To earn this one pence though the person rating your review needs to rate it as either helpful, very helpful or exceptional. If you post one review a day that has two ££ signs and each gets 80 rates, you will get 80p per day.
There are currently six rating options. Everyone rates differently, however this is how I rate-
This should be awarded when you find a review that gives all of the information needed in a clear, thorough way. If a review is short, don't immedietly avoid giving it a 'very helpful' rating - concise, clear reviews are often more helpful than a long, rambling review.
I use this rating option if I feel there is too little information given or if there is only a little personal information written. If a review seems rushed and it lacks enough personal opinion I will likely rate it somewhat helpful. If a review has been bulked out with product specifications etc but there is still atleast 300-500 words of personal opinion then I will likely rate somewhat helpful.
This should be used for reviews that are reviewing something different to the catergory they are under - eg someone writes a review about chocolate in the catergory for iPhones. Abusive reviews should also be rated off topic.
I have been a member of this amazing site for just under a year now and I love it! It took me around 3 months to get the hang of it, but now I log into it pretty much everyday to read and rate any new reviews, message my 'Ciao friends' via the public or private guestbook or alternatively write a review of my own and post it. I find writing extremely relaxing and theraputic, and as I am stuck at home with my baby most days I find that it keeps my brain busy and stops it turning to mush! I love the 'comments' options as I am able to leave my opinions of products etc or my opinion of someones review and I am also able to tell people how good their review is, which may sometimes come across as patronising but I think it's important to let people know how good their reviews are sometimes as it's a nice feeling when someone says that they found your review interesting or well written.
Although I am intelligent (without sounding snobby!), I didn't do well at school. I loved English but I was badly bullied and developed Anorexia, and had family issues. As a result I left school early, and my work went down hill and my writing skills slipped. Since then I have become a university student and study psychology, which doesn't particullary involve much writing (apart from notes and case studies), and I have found that writing reviews really helps raise my confidence in getting my spelling, grammar and writing style back on track. It also allows the subject of what I am writing about change regulary and as a result I feel comfortable writing reviews of anything from cardigans, crisps and coke, to iPhones, laptops and bath bombs. Writing is theraputic and I love sitting at the laptop and just typing away - the great thing with Ciao is that they encourage lots of personal opinion, so I often just type whatever comes into my head (as long as it makes sense) - it's like thoughts spilling onto paper (well, the laptop screen) which I find theraputic - maybe that's weird, but I really enjoy it.Most of the people on Ciao are lovely - I especially love talking to Nic, Lee, Daniel and Simon, who are all lovely. Laura (Angel!) is also lovely and so are Alyson, Elizabeth and various other people (but I don't know their real names - sorry!), from what I know of them all anyway and I love reading about what they've been upto in their reviews - I always find my self smiling and everyone is so supportive - I am always open to making new friends and appreciate every single person who rates my reviews, I always recognise someone who i'm familiar with when they post a review and read it straight away. Yes I have 'real' friends in the real world but it's nice to get to know people from all over the country with different views etc and it's interesting seeing all of the different stuff that people own - i've made so many purchases because of positive Ciao reviews and am happy with all of them. Of course like all websites there are the occasional trolls that get jealous and decide to attempt to give people abuse or make up lies about them, and there are also people who make quite offensive comments about people's spelling or writing abilities, but remember everyone - "success is the best revenge!"
The money that I earn from Ciao comes in extremely handy. I am currently living at home with my Mum (which is a little embarrising to say as i'm twenty!) because I have just had a beautiful baby, and although I have savings I often give my mum a chunk of money from my Ciao earnings to go on the food shop etc and I still have plenty left over for my self. I also managed to buy my daughters car seat, baby bath and a ginormous box of nappies all at once solely from the money I had earned from Ciao, which as you can imagine was very handy and it allowed us to buy her an amazing pram and cot etc with 'our' (not Ciao) money - does that make sense? Basically, Ciao money helps take the strain off slightly and allows me to treat myself and my child a lot more often to luxuries I wouldn't be able to justify otherwise - so thankyou for all of your rates! I think it's a little tasteless to state how much I earn a month, but with the premium fund included it is usually above the £100 mark - providing I write atleast one review everyday. When I first joined I think I made around £15 in a month, but that is because I wasn't rating other people and my reviews weren't of a high standard. The money is always in my bank by the 18th at the latest of each month and I have never had issues with a payment being cancelled etc.I like how fast Ciao are to accept product suggestions too, and I like that they allow you to submit pretty much any item you want. Contacting them has always been easy and I usually recieve a reply the same day that I send the e-mail. The only downside is that they don't monitor the website over weekends, which can be a huge disadvantage. I do not expect them to not have a weekend off but perhaps they could provide an emergency number to ring if slanderous or abusive messages etc are posted on a weekend? Apart from that though, I absolutely love Ciao and am well and truly hooked!!
I highly reccomend Ciao, it is a friendly, welcoming site and gives the oppurtunity to earn lots of extra cash without an enormous amount of time or effort. It is not a get rich quick scheme, but it certianly is a way to up your income!
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