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How I earned £1,500 in free Uber credit
May 22, 2016|Uncategorized

How I earned £1,500 in free Uber credit

How I earned £1,500 in free Uber credit

Unless you’re a technophobe you’ve likely heard of the taxi app Uber. I used it for the first time back in 2014 and loved it, but it wasn’t until spring last year when I started paying attention to their “refer a friend scheme”.

Here’s how it works
You refer a friend to Uber and if they used your code you would get £10 off your next ride, and they’d get £10 off their first ride.

Brilliant! I just need more friends to refer, A LOT more friends.

I thought nothing of it until I saw someone I follow on Twitter asking if anyone had a code for a free ride. Unfortunately, I was late to respond and had missed my chance for a referral. But I had a light bulb moment where I thought to myself, if this person had asked for a code on Twitter then chances are other people were too.

Rather than manually searching for tweets to respond to, I thought I could just get a bot built that would find relevant tweets and automatically respond to users with my code.

However, I felt for sure that this would most likely have been done already, so decided to test it out with a few tweets.

So I tweeted “Does anyone have an Uber code” – I’ve since deleted the tweet but the only response I got was from @chrisldyson who tweeted me back with his code.

To my amazement it didn’t seem that anyone else was doing it – I could see by the time lapse from the time stamps on tweets that some people were manually searching Twitter and responding, but nobody seemed to have set up a bot to auto respond.

So, I went to upwork.com and posted an ad to have my first Twitter bot created. It was made in python by a Kazakstan student studying in Prague and it cost me $20 in total (actual cost was $70, but I had a $50 coupon code).

How the bot works
The bot works by searching for tweets that had used keywords that included “uber code” and then responded to the tweet with a message telling people they could get a free ride by using my code.

The first version of the bot was sending too many tweets in quick succession, and responding to irrelevant tweets too, it wasn’t long before I got my account suspended. It needed tweaking.

The great thing about Twitter’s search functionality is that (just like Google) it allows you to filter out terms you don’t want to appear by using a minus sign. So for example I found a lot of people were posting their own Uber codes saying something along the lines of “use my Uber code for a free ride”. My bot was responding to these tweets which obviously weren’t the tweets I wanted to respond to, so edited the search to “anyone have uber code –my” (plus other variants) to respond to more targeted and relevant tweets.

I hosted what I believe to be the first bot to auto respond to Uber code tweets on digital ocean for $5 a month, and let it do its thing. In just over a year I have generated between 100 and 150 Uber referrals, approximately 2/3 Uber rides per week at a value of between £1,000 to £1,500 (if only it were actual cash).

Here’s a screen grab of some recent referrals
screen grab of emails
The way the referral codes worked meant that I only got £10 off of my next trip, so this meant that if a trip cost £11, I would get £10 off and pay £1. Most of my journey’s ended up being free, or costing a couple of quid. There were instances where I travelled further and knew the cost would go way over £10, so I’d ask the driver to stop half way, end the journey, and then begin a new one.

Screen grab of some trips I took in December
free rides

Learnings

  • Some people use Twitter to ask for things. If you can tap into that then there are opportunities to be had.
  • Bots are spammy, but they can be useful for both if you can match people with exactly what they are looking for.
  • An obvious one, but people trust others that they “know” over a random person (bot), so to have the best chance of success I needed my bot to be fast. This is why I got a got custom built bot over using ifft which can have up to a 5 min delay. That doesn’t sound like a lot but I think it can make a big difference.

Links to others who have had success with Uber referrals
http://patrickcines.com/blog/how-i-turned-50-into-over-1500-in-free-uber-credit/
http://www.businessinsider.com/blake-jareds-50000-uber-credit-free-rides-for-life-2014-4

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Sockcess! I Sold My Website
October 28, 2015|Uncategorized

Sockcess! I Sold My Website

Sockcess! I Sold My Website

Yesterday I sent out my very last Wank Sock order after sock-cessfully completing the sale of the site. I just wanted to write a quick update as it’s something I keep getting asked since I put it up for auction on Flippa not long ago.

I’d like to thank anyone that has helped me with it, whether you encouraged me with my silly idea, bought one, helped me pack and post them (thanks mum), or even used one, thank you.

It was a fun side project to work on which has helped me out in more ways than I thought possible. As well providing me with small income over Xmas it worked as a great ice breaker, and it even helped me secure a job (I took one to a job interview once).

It’s been a great experience, and it feels wonderful to have a created a product that makes people laugh, however my heart wasn’t in it anymore, and I felt it was the right time to sell.

I don’t have any plans to make any more novelty gifts, although I did once consider creating the Tinsel Tampon… for the Christmas period, no strings attached (sorry). However I think I’ll leave the novelty gift ideas to Shed Simove.

I wish the new owner who wishes to remain anonymous (I don’t blame them, who wants to own up to the fact they own a wank sock site) the best of luck with it. Unfortunately I am unable to disclose the price of the sale (so please don’t ask me).

Thanks for reading, as a token of my appreciation here’s some eye candy for you to admire.

wank sock

For those of you who may require a sock after viewing that image, you know where to go.

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TsoHost Review From An Internet Marketer
October 18, 2015|General

TsoHost Review From An Internet Marketer

TsoHost Review From An Internet Marketer

Get 10% Off at Tsohost

If you’re thinking of using Tsohost for your hosting then you can get 10% discount using the promo code ROFE10 at the checkout. Top tip, use the code on their annual package (as opposed to monthly) to get a larger discount. Visit Tsohost.com

As someone who runs a small portfolio of websites, I’m often asked who I choose to use as a webhost, and why. I’ve tried a handful of hosts over the years, and I’ve found that Tsohost have hands down been the best, and they come highly recommended from me.

Here’s why I recommend Tsohost

  • Uptime – Since moving my sites to Tso I’ve never once had to complain to them about my website going down, this is something that was happening far too regularly with my previous hosts (Domainmonster & 1and1 if you’re wondering). Every time my sites go down it costs me money, so it’s important for me that they stayed up a running. I even pumped a lot of traffic to a viral type site of mine (400+ real time users according to google analytics) and it seemed to cope very well without any noticeable difference in load time, impressive.
  • Customer service – I’ve contacted Tso a few times, and sometimes quite late at night too. There’s someone always on hand to help. It’s not just that there’s someone there to help, it’s that the people there know what they are talking about too, this makes life so much easier when they understand your problem, it avoids frustrations and means I can get things resolved quickly too.
  • Free site migration – If you already have an existing host and are looking to move away from them then Tso provide an excellent service where they can do this for you. You just simply need to provide them with access and logins to your site and they will do all the work for you. Great if you’re not so confident doing this yourself (I’m always worried I’ll fuck it up). Point to note is that I do think the number of free migrations varies depending upon which hosting package you choose to go with.
  • Price – I found the price of hosting to be very reasonable and with prices starting from £1.25 a month and going up significantly higher they can accompany users who need a light, moderate or heavy package.
  • Server location – a minor one here, but I own sites that are UK focused that get their traffic from favourable rankings positions in search engines. There’s some SEO benefit (admittedly very minor) in having your host’s server location in the same country that you want your site to predominately rank. Tsohost have their servers based in the UK, which was obviously useful for me.

The negatives
From a hosting perspective I can’t find any negatives with Tso, if I had to be nit picky then I’d say that their backend interface wasn’t instantly clear when I first started using them, however it was obviously new to me and would naturally take time to get used to anyway.

The only other minor thing (granted it’s unrelated to hosting) was that I needed to purchase an SSL certificate for one of my sites, and I felt their price (I think it was £49.99 for a year) was a little bit more expensive than some other competitors, however I didn’t mind so much as I know their service is far superior to anyone else I’d used before.

Questions
I hope you found this review helpful, if you have any further questions on Tso feel free to contact me or leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

Click here to visit Tsohost.com

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About Me

I’m Mark, but you can call me Rofe. I'm an internet marketing guy based in London Dubai.

I believe the internet is full of money making opportunities, and I seek to take advantage of them where I can.

If there’s a way to make money online I’ve probably tried and failed at it, and then attempted it again with some degree of success.

I’ve tried my hand at affiliate marketing, lead gen, ecommerce, trading domain names, adsense, and I’ve even created a novelty gift.

Here I share my journey making money online, my outlook on life, and whatever other stuff I feel like. Thanks for dropping by.