This is where I report a complete update on how my year in the Paid-To-Clicks has worked out. My first-year results. If you recall from my previous post on Day 365 this was actually not my first year in the PTCs — I spent a year in ClixSense, made enough money to cover my upgrade and make a small profit… and then I quit. And then a year later I was back.

NOTE: This article is part of a series titled The Amazing Tale of 4 PTCscomparing the ClixSense Paid-To-Click advertising service with three others — LeadsLeap, NeoBux and ScarletClicks. Join them all and follow along.

Over this past year I sought to compare my year in ClixSense with a few other PTCs. This approach to earning in Paid-To-Click advertising, and building up a “portfolio” of other PTCs (because some fail, while new ones are starting up all the time), and developing and testing various earning strategies along the way, became my “Amazing Tale.” If you have followed my story from the beginning, I thank you for being on this journey with me, and I hope we can continue to learn and earn together.

In a moment, the numbers. But first let me tell you how I thought this year would go.

My initial modest success with ClixSense got me thinking what I might be able to earn if I joined several PTCs. With just four PTCs and about an hour of clicking every day, I thought I’d be able to earn four times as much money. And if I was introducing others and earning from my “recruits” I could at least double my earnings in all of them, right? Not an unreasonable expectation.

MY STRATEGY

My strategy from the beginning went like this…

  • Invite people to follow my story (and subscribe to my email list.)
  • Blog regularly, and email the links to everyone on my list.
  • Everyone joins the same PTCs under me.
  • Everyone recruits just like me, and we all end up making lots of money.
  • Then at the end of a year, I bundle the whole Success Story into a shiny new ebook, and sell it for a few bucks apiece to earn even more money.

Sounds like a good plan, right? Except it didn’t actually work out that way.

THE NUMBERS

Day 365
EARNINGS
$1,489
Day 365
CASHOUTS
$1,369
Day 365
INVESTED
$2,219
Days To Profit
at $3.95 per day
185 days

 

Yes, I did make a decent amount of money in PTCs this past year — approaching $1,500 — but I also spent plenty of money too. I spent more money than I made. I spent money on upgrades, on renting referrals, and on advertising in the PTCs.

And I also lost money in PTCs that went under without paying me everything I had earned.

My loses amounted to $231. Most of it — $167 — was in NerdBux, a site I was sure would be a huge success. NerdBux  began as a top earner in my PTC portfolio and it’s where I spent the largest chunk of money. I was operating on the assumption that the more I spent, the more I could make. I even bought a pricey lifetime membership in NerdBux just weeks before it imploded. In hindsight that was not the best decision. But we can’t always predict the future, can we.

The demise of NerdBux was a big unexpected plot twist in my story, something that I had not anticipated and it blindsided me. Timtech unloaded NerdBux on Day 222 of my Amazing Tale and at that point my expenses in NerdBux were outpacing earnings.

By Day 265, it was clear I wasn’t going to reach NET PROFIT by the end of the year. And that is perhaps what has surprised me the most about this story. The deficit in my PTC business kind of became the real truth of the story: that it’s easily possible to spend more money than you earn.

Here is the chart of my earnings vs. spending.

PTC Income vs Expenses

I spent $730 more than I made. To my mind, $730 qualifies as serious money, especially when it sits on the red side of the ledger.

If you lose money in your first year in a new business, does that mean you quit?

HECK NO.

No, I’m not quitting. (I sure hope you aren’t a quitter either.) But I’ll need to do some further analysis and see where I can improve my business in Year Two.

In a CNBC story on why businesses fail, the #1 reason is running out of money. Yeah, I spent more than I made, but Paid-To-Click is my newest venture in a larger business that I have been operating since the earliest days of the Internet. I have been a self-employed webmaster doing web design and hosting since 1996. I have been in business for nearly 20 years. It took a couple years to reach profitability way back when I first started but the business has had a net profit every year since 1998.

So while my PTC business lost money in its first year, my overall business was able to absorb the loss and remain profitable. I am not out of money.

BRIGHT SPOTS

To be fair, this first year wasn’t all bad news. There were some good things that happened, which I can focus on now.

Have another look at my Advertising expenses in that chart above. Advertising costs were fairly modest compared to other costs (upgrades, rentals, loses.) If advertising were my only expense, this past year would have ended in net positive territory.

One bright spot was that I actually was net profitable in some Paid-ToClicks.

When I subtract out the overall advertising costs for my PTC Project, I can see I actually made money this year in ClixSense, ProBux, Ojooo, and a few other PTCs that I’ve been testing in the back room. (Any PTC where you click every day but don’t upgrade and don’t pay to rent referrals can be net positive, assuming you obtain your cashouts. But not upgrading and not building a downline is also a very slow way to make money.)

Profitability by PTC, Day 365

My earnings at the net positive PTCs completely paid for their upgrade cost. That modest profit at ClixSense is after paying for my next year upgrade. And Scarlet Clicks was slightly positive before I paid for an upgrade just two days ago. The only PTC that did not pay back its upgrade cost was NeoBux. The Others group includes the losers (remember EveBux? Clixor? NaidBux?), plus some net positive testers.

Upgrading typically doubles the amount you can earn, even without referrals. So in most PTCs it makes sense to upgrade.

ClixSense does not have a referral rental program, so I had no referral expenses at ClixSense. And actually, ClixSense performed better by the end of Year One than some of the others. NeoBux early on was very promising, but I wasn’t getting many referrals there, and after the New Year many of my rented referrals stopped clicking, so net profit remained just out of reach. I expect I’ll reach net profit in NeoBux next year.

The biggest bright spot in my PTC Project was actually about building my list. In one year, I built a list of over 700 members, including you. That’s about two new subscribers every day, all from my Amazing Tale signup page.

It’s how you came to be reading this blog post now, right?

Building a list is the * most * important * business * activity you can do apart from earning money. Because your list is where most of your money will come from in the future.

My list is also where much of my encouragement comes from, because I get feedback from YOU my subscribers saying how much you appreciate this tale. It’s good to know I have been able to help quite a few people navigate tricky waters in the Paid-To-Click biz. It’s also been great getting to know some of you better, via email and Skype. (If you want to chat, look me up on Skype.)

THE PIVOT

When a business is not finding success it can’t just continue doing the same thing. To achieve success, it must pivot, or change course and try a different strategy.

So you tell me.  What do I need to do different? What did you do this year that worked well for you? How would you advise me to proceed? Add your comments below.

I have some ideas, but I want to hear from you too. I will be pivoting, and I’ll tell you my plan in another post to come.

While my first year in PTCs was not net profitable, I think I’ve laid the groundwork for building a team in the coming year. YOU are on my team. If I succeed at all in Paid-To-Click it won’t be because of me — it will be because you followed me, you believed in me, and we both learned a thing or two and aren’t about to throw in the towel.

So tell me what you think I should do different, and I’ll share my plan with you in the next blog post.

 

 

 

One Response to “Amazing Tale – One Year Results”

  1. Laura King says:

    Hi, Bear! I just read your tale for day 365, and what I think you need to improve on is two areas:

    First, there are a lot of “revshares” on the net these days. These sites will allow you to advertise for a very small cost (or no cost at all) and most will actually repay your investment plus interest. This interest varies according to site and amount invested in adpacks.

    Second, I think you spent too much on referrals, etc. True, most of my Neobux referrals have quit clicking, but I still have a stable core of referrals who click on a daily basis. I did this by not spending more than I made at Neobux on rented referrals, and by not automatically extending them until they proved to be good investments. I think too many people assume that they have to have a certain number of referrals when the truth is that some referrals will click every day, some will click in a sporadic pattern, and some will never click at all. So rent the random, keep the good ones, and get rid of the rest. Also, take advantage of every freebie that you can get.

    Neobux, for example, not only pays in cash, they also pay out in points. These points can add up and make a large savings difference in your profit numbers if you take advantage of them. For instance, if you had saved your points you could have saved the whole $90 that Neobux charges for upgrading. Also, Neobux has another aspect called “coins” which can be used in place of cash for upgrading and for renting referrals. Points can also be used to either rent referrals or to extend their rental periods; however, the amount saved here is not significant as one can end up spending all one’s points for little return.

    So, if I wanted to increase my profitability, I would limit the number of referrals to a set percentage of my income from the site and take advantage of all the other aspects of money-making the site offers.

    Thanks for the year, it’s been an interesting one!

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