This is Day 265 of the “Amazing Tale.” Your first year working and earning in the Paid-To-Click sector is just 100 days away. How’s it going so far?

Are you recording your earnings each day? Putting them into your spreadsheet and tracking your earnings and spending? That spreadsheet will be your most important tool in 100 days, when it’s time to assess how the business is doing. (IF you haven’t got a spreadsheet going yet, then start today. Download my example spreadsheet and daily earnings page and modify them to suit your needs.)

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.

No matter when you started, you ought to be tracking your own income vs. expenses as I’ve been doing, so that you know where you’re at. The end of your first year will be a good time to assess the business and decide whether to continue (or not), and begin to plan what you’ll do to keep the earnings growing in year two. The countdown is started – 100 days to go.

SURPRISES ALONG THE WAY

There have been a few surprises along the way, as I am learning right along with you. The biggest upset, I’d have to say, was the demise of NerdBux. NerdBux was one of my “Core 4” PTCs, run by Timtech, a group of guys I had really come to trust over the previous four years. It was Timtech’s first foray into the business of owning and operating a Paid-To-Click ad site. When they decided after just 10-months to hand NerdBux off to be dismantled by someone of questionable character, with no respect for everything paying members like me and you who were committed to the site… well it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR USERS

In a live Spreecast in early April 2014, Timtech owner Jon Olson talked about the “sale” of NerdBux, saying “it’s just business.” In fact NerdBux wasn’t just a business — it was a starting point for some 300,000 people to try and earn a decent income in PTCs. For Timtech to abruptly abandon those users and call it “just business” was very disappointing. It definitely fractured the trust I had put in them, and has caused me to be wary of every new thing Timtech does.

By contrast, I heard Seth Godin interviewed on a podcast just a week ago, talking about the sale of his business, Squidoo, to HubPages. He described the decision with respect to his users: “I always want to do what’s best for the users.” I love that. It’s no longer “just business,” when there are hundreds of thousands of real people using what you’ve built.

THEY COME AND THEY GO

Another surprise was how quickly the Paid-To-Click sites fold, take everyone’s earnings, and disappear. Here is a list of the sites I’ve talked about in this series that are now gone. Remember these?

  • Hittza
  • EveBux
  • StoryBux
  • Clixor
  • The-Bux (Actually this one is back again. :)

 NET PROFIT – NOT YET

My own Year One is not yet profitable. Earnings are decent, but my spending has continued to outpace income. So I haven’t yet reached net profit. That’s been a bit of a sobering development, but I’m still really excited to be working in this business, and I remain hopeful about the potential of PTCs to develop into a powerful income generator. Maybe not in my first year, maybe not even in my second year. But I did not go into this project thinking it would be an easy money-maker, and I hope you didn’t either.

The IRS gives a business five years to write off expenses before turning a profit. Many businesses operate on deficit spending for years beyond that, using personal savings, loans from banks, crowdfunding campaigns, or venture capital. The tax man gives considerable leeway with the 5-year rule, particularly if you incorporate and show due diligence.

Day 265
EARNINGS
$1,200
Day 265
CASHOUTS
$1,171
Day 265
INVESTED
$1,908
Days To Profit
at $2.79 per day
254 days

 

My net expense is about $708, and with daily income from clicking currently running at about $2.79 it will take 254 days to reach net profit. With just 100 days remaining before the end of Year One, I am not hopeful that I can reach profitability by then. But one thing I will be looking for on Day 365 is whether I’ve been able to reduce that number of days to profitability. If the gap is actually widening rather than decreasing, then I’ll need to think seriously about whether or not I will continue.

I am committed to seeing this project through to the end of Year One and then re-evaluating. As we count down the next 100 days, what do you think would be the best thing I could do to improve my earnings picture?  What will get me closer to net profit? How does your own PTC business compare?

 

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