Real talk: We have a love/hate relationship with online ads.

Ads can be helpful, relevant, and alert us to great products or sales, even public service announcements that we’re glad to learn about. They can also be entertaining! (Hey there, Super Bowl.) As an independent publisher, online ads also support us in essential ways, so we can pay our writers and team and keep doing what we love here every day.

But. We’re not just publishers, we’re also looking at ads on all the sites we read, too. And we’re all online a lot these days. We also have concerns about data, privacy, and wasting our time watching stuff we don’t care about before we’re allowed to see a video.

So when some folks we know approached us with a massive new idea that could help internet users and blog readers take back control over the ads they see and the info they give advertisers — and even make a little money while doing it — we were like, how can we help?

Enter: Sponster.

– Don’t miss our huge gift card giveaway offer below, if you hurry!
There’s some nice incentive for signing up early-


How to join Sponster: The ad platform that protects your privacy and data (sponsor

It’s a brand new ad platform and, without getting too technical, it can change a whole lot of things when it comes to online advertising that will better support you, the reader, instead of the other way around.

We think it’s smart. And so we’re working with them to help bring on some smart beta users to help them test the system to make it awesome.


Want to be a Sponster beta tester and make a little cash too?

Before you decide to help test out this new ad platform, here’s the general deal on what Sponster is about:

You’re in charge of your own info. Sharing only what you want to share about yourself basically sums it up.

Respect for your privacy Sponster was entirely founded on the idea that there can be more privacy, and more viewer control when it comes to ads. There are no cookies or trackers. You choose what info (like your interests) you want to add to your own profile, and that info is never released to any brands or third parties. Not even us! Your profile belongs to you, and only you.

Letting you see ads you actually want to see. The info you choose to provide about your interests, tastes, style, and so on, helps Sponster match you with ads that are actually relevant. Basically, if you’re a 75 year-old grandma of 9, you won’t see nursing bra ads.

Seeing ads only when you want to see them. Seriously, you are 100% in control. Sponster will give you the chance to see a custom-matched ad, and you can do it…or not. Want to see that beauty product ad? Family travel ad? Sporting event ad? Do it when you want.

Make some money. They way you make money is that brands literally “bid” for your attention, and when you accept an offer, your Sponster balance increases.  It’s not going to pay the mortgage, but it will add up. And hey, earning the price of your next pint of ice cream or a new app download for learning about a product or service you’re interested in anyway, is way better than sitting through an ad you’re not even interested in and getting…nothing.

Click over to this page for all the details and to become a Sponster beta tester.

Here’s one more incentive: Sponster is giving away some huge gift cards for your help!

For those of you excited to help out Sponster, they’re excited to have you help them out right back! So much so, you’ll be entered in a sweepstakes with prizes including one $500 Amazon gift card, five $100 Amazon gift cards, and more.

Plus the first 5,000 Cool Mom Picks users to sign up will get a little something special too. So get on it!

Click over to this page for details about signing up and your automatic giveaway entry.


How to get paid to watch the ads that interest you

We know we have really thoughtful, helpful readers. Which means you could be amazing trial users for Sponster, and help them to test and build a potentially groundbreaking new ad platform and make it even better.

And yeah, make a little bit of money in the process, too. Which is something we could all use right now.


Unplash images:Sharon McCutcheon, John SchnobrichCharles 

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