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Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? and ?if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? drilled into their heads, and for good reason ? these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little. But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you?d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer. Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff. Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear. One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don?t send money, even for postage, to a company you don?t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don?t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.

Start Sampling for Free with the Start Sampling Website If you are looking for the best in online sampling, there is one Web destination that you should know about. The websites is known simply as StartSampling.com, and it can do wonders for your cache of freebies. If you are an avid freebie hunter, this is a website that you will definitely want to keep at your freebies by placing it on your active bookmark list. You will find that this is a fun and active community that you can consult on a regular basis for the best in online freebie sampling. How Can You Become a Member of StartSampling? If you are a newbie to the world of online sampling and freebies, here is a brief primer on becoming a member of this active community. First, StartSampling is a free service?never sign up for a freebie service that asks for monetary compensation or that requires a yearly membership sign-up. All you need in order to become a member of the StartSampling community is the ability to willingly sample many fine products from some of the company's leading manufacturers. As a member of StartSampling, you will receive samples as well as participate in the site's own Frequent Tryer Miles program. The Frequent Tryer Milers program allows you to collect points. You collect these points from participating in a variety of sampling programs and taking advantage of special offers and promotions. As a reward for participating in these programs, you will receive pints and gifts for free. This is your reward for being an active member of the StartSampling community. How to Contact the StartSampling Company Directly If you find that you have questions and concerns about using StartSampling, you can contact the company directly by selecting the 'contact us' button that is located at the bottom of the StartSampling home page. However, you will probably find that most of your questions can be answered directly simply by perusing the FAQ section of the website carefully. The FAQ provides you with an extensive list of questions and answers that have been addressed and compiled by the company. What Exactly Does StartSampling Do? Many newcomers to the StartSampling community wonder if the company is a web research enterprise. In reality, StartSampling is a promotions and marketing company. They have recently managed to establish themselves as a leader in online sampling. They do this by connecting consumers directly with the right kinds of companies. As an active participant of the StartSampling community, you will have the opportunity to receive samples from companies that you did not previously recognize. Sampling also allows you to inform marketers about your specific desires and interests. This way, you will receive product and service offers that are tailored specifically to your interests. In effect, think of StartSampling as a way to make your voice heard as a consumer. Where Do the Product Samples Come From? With so many online samples coming your way, perhaps you are wondering where all the samples provided by this community come from. All the samples provided to you by StartSampling are furnished directly by the small and large companies that are working with StartSampling. These samples are provided to StartSampling because these companies believe in their products and want consumers to try them and express an honest opinion. Most companies are looking to receive consumer feedback from members of their targeted consumer group. Who is Behind the World of StartSampling? Many newcomers are curious about who is behind the scenes at StartSampling. StartSampling is a leading online company managed by small group of energetic individuals. It is a privately held organization that is growing at a rapid pace.

Big Time Experience with Small Time Publications (writing newsletter articles) When you start writing, you may have ambitions of getting your name on the front page of newspapers and on feature stories in magazines, but you will soon find out that it takes time to get there. Even the best writers have to make their way through the ranks before making it to headline status. Don?t be discouraged though. Even though you may have been rejected more times than you could have ever imagined, there are still many places that will be accepting. Even if you feel like you?ve exhausted all of your creative power, there are publications that are ready to help you develop even further. The buildup is not leading towards riches or fame, but writing newsletter articles can be a great step in that direction. The first thing that any writer should realize is that there is more to learn. Even knowing all of the grammar and all of the clarity rules will not make you a good writer. Only experience can bring you to that place. Newsletters are a great place to start getting cleaning up your writing and to start learning to write for different audiences. Who Prints Newsletters? Why are newsletters such a great place to start earning publications? There are plenty of organizations and groups that print them. The printing money and the circulation are already in place. The other great thing about writing newsletter articles is that there is almost always a high demand for newsletter writers. The pay is not great and is most often non-existent, but the newsletters must go out all the same. Hit up any organization in town that you know prints a newsletter. Some of the printing is done nationally for the larger organizations, but many will be done locally. Try volunteer and non-profit organizations as well as university and church groups. These organizations will all have news that they need to get to the public. Many of them survive based on public donations. What that means for you is that there is plenty of demand for talented and interesting writers. The Expert in Print If you have any sort of claim to expertise along with your writing skills, you will be a fantastic candidate for writing newsletter articles. One great draw for a reader is the pull of a well researched and authoritative article. Imagine the thrilled group of environmentalists when you approach them with evidence that the developmental process for non-stick pan coating is connected to the decreasing population of Asian tortoises. You?d have a job in no time. Regardless of whether or not you got paid for your work, you can expect that you?d get repeated assignments, growing experience and bylines galore for your next step of job applications. Being knowledgeable about a certain subject will give you many writing opportunities. If you have any experience in a subject area, be sure to add it to your resume. As you write newsletter articles, you?ll only add to you?re your expertise. Other Newsletter Articles If you don?t necessarily believe that you have an area of expertise that is not a problem. There are many other ways to get into writing newsletter articles. A big part of newsletter content is just content. Newsletters need to be made up of interesting and varied articles. There are usually volunteers that head up the projects and they in turn hire various writers to fill in the titles that they choose. If you can be flexible in your writing and if you can find a newsletter that works with a topic you care about, you will be well on your way to building your resume with bylines and great circulation. Writing newsletter articles will probably not be a career in itself because of the low pay scale, but it will take you closer to a lucrative writing career. Think of writing newsletter articles as a type of community service. Even after you have added paying pieces to your repertoire you may continue to write for the newsletters that you care about.

Prayers, Ploys and Passions: The Poetry that Gets Published (published poetry) Some people may tell you that poetry doesn?t get published. Published poetry is only that written by people who have already died. That is not true however. Poetry is not as frequently found as other kinds of writing, but it is a genre that is still alive and well in today?s publishing world. If you are a poetry writer, you are also probably a poetry reader. You of all people know that poetry publishers are still out there. There are specific types of poetry that tend to get published though. There are special interest outlets for other types, but in general, what gets published gets repeatedly published as time goes on. There are three main categories that currently published poetry falls into. Those categories encompass the most important interests of people today. Prayers and Matters of Faith The first category of published poetry involves faith. There are people that subscribe to all different kinds of faith and it is that belief that is at the core of many people?s lives. Atheists are a minority in the world. Since faith is such an important part of so many people?s understandings of the world, it is no surprise that it draws poetic words from those who believe. It started long ago. The Bible, for example, is full of poetry. Those people who first knew God were inclined to speak of him through the illustrative voice of poetry. Today people are the same way. Such is their deep experience with God that they must express their emotions with an emotional type of writing. Since so many people have personal experiences with God, those who do not write are interested in reading the writings of others. For that reason, matters of faith, and especially expressive prayers placed in poetry get published. Ploys and Plans for the Nation National interest is also of major interest to most people. As a group of people head through their lives, united with others of the same nationality, they must want to know where the group as a whole is headed. Much of the published poetry in this category contains hopes and dreams for a country?s future and expected path through history. More of the poetry in this category though is in protest of how a nation has forged its path as it has grown. Frustration with events beyond one?s control elicits words that can only have their full meaning in poetry. Since those of a nation are united with each other, poetic commentaries about that nation are of interest to everyone. They help each person express their feelings and frustrations and hopes for their home country. Passion and the Human Condition of Love People are obviously not only connected to each other as citizens of the same country. People need each other in a much more personal sense than that. A third major category of published poetry is that which contains expressions of love between people. Love poems are a genre that dates back, again, to biblical times. Romantic love has always been a popular theme within poetry because of the passion that can be displayed with poetic devices. Other kinds of love are also well expressed in verse. The love of a mother for her child or that of a friend for another friend is a common topic in poetry. Humans thrive on love. That is why poetry about love gets published. Published poetry does fall into three major categories. It appears in books and anthologies, but also in magazines and even greeting cards. As long as a poem is effective in describing a common human reaction to life, it will probably be passed along from person to person. Poetry is a beloved form of writing that connects people to one another. As long as humanity feels, poetry will continue to be published.