This is Day 187 of “The Amazing Tale.” We’ve moved into a new phase that feels a lot like treading water and going nowhere, but in fact it’s something to celebrate. It’s like bottled anticipation, waiting waiting waiting to be uncorked.

For the past few weeks, daily PTC earnings have been enough to keep renewing my Rented Referrals… and that’s about it. Recent new Direct Referrals have been coming from the free traffic resources (Traffic Exchanges and Safelists) and I’ve been working them nearly every day to be sure I have enough credits to keep my signup page visible on lots of different sites and networks.

Day 187
Day 187
Day 187
Days To Profit
at $4.46 / day
134 days


What’s really cool about this is there’s no further out-of-pocket expenses needed to maintain the current level of income. $4.46 per day may not seem like a lot but it adds up — $134 at the end of the month, and I’m reinvesting nearly all of that to keep my total number of rented referrals. I’d really like to be doing more paid PTC advertising because that brings in new signups like nothing else. But I am determined to manage costs in a way that moves me towards long-term profitability. So for now I am relying on the free traffic resources to keep building my team.


Remember in Simple Business how the initial surge of spending kickstarts the income, and you eventually get to the trough — that low place on the curve where income just matches spending. You’re still spending money but it is immediately replaced by earnings. Or another way to look at it, all your earnings are going right back into spending!

Yep, that’s where I’m at right now.

And while it doesn’t feel real good, and I’d really really like to nudge earnings higher by running more PTC ads, I’m forcing myself to not spend more and I’m waiting waiting waiting for the earnings to increase on their own.

This is the low point where you’re working to control costs (resisting the many temptations to spend more money) and waiting for that income to catch up and move higher. The bottom of the trough can feel like a dark and lonely place. Now more than ever is when you need to remember what follows.

What follows is a subtle switch from flat cashflow to positive cashflow. It won’t be much, and you may not even be able to tell quite when you’ve turned the corner.

Yep, that’s where I am right now.

With spending just about matching earnings, I’ve taken only four very modest cashouts in the past three weeks. Instead I am moving most of my earnings from main balance into purchase balance and using it to renew my best RRs and float an occasional PTC ad.


What will it take to exit this trough and begin climbing the curve to real net profit?

Well, if nothing changes, I could be in the trough for quite a long time. But one thing we know for sure: nothing ever stays the same. There are so many variables that might effect change, for better and for worse. But the one thing I am counting on is for total advertising in the PTCs to gradually be picking up during the next few weeks ahead.

That will help boost income. And as income increases, I’ll also be able to increase spending.

And if I increase spending just a little less than earnings, I’ll be able to keep more and more of those earnings.

I am $610 away from breakeven (where total money earned equals total money spent) but I need to exit the trough and begin climbing the profit curve before that can happen. Here is what the charts look like today:

Earnings - Total Paid-To-Click Income ChartDay 187 - Paid-To-Click Cashouts

NerdBux looks like the clear winner here, bringing in nearly half of all earnings. But it has also been where I am spending the most money to renew my Rented Referrals.

Earnings Chart - Five Top Paid-To-Click Advertising SitesPaid-To-Click Earnings Chart - 10 & 30 Day Moving Averages

In the previous episode I talked about moving averages, and made a prediction that earnings would be heading upwards and the 10-Day line would be crossing the 30-Day line by about Day 180. Turns out it happened a little sooner, on Day 173.

These are the charts that best help me analyze my PTC business. Are there other things you’d like to see? I am tracking other metrics too, so if you want to see a particular kind of chart that I haven’t done yet, just give a shout out for it in the comments below and I’ll see if I have the numbers to produce it.

Keep clicking all the ads in all your PTCs every day — that’s the only way you earn from your referrals.

1 Comment on Bottom of the Trough

  1. Tame Bear says:

    The guys at TimTech SOLD NerdBux on March 18, 2014.

    Please read the blog post I wrote about the events leading up to the sale: “The Rise and Fall of NerdBux.”

    As you’ve seen in previous episodes, NerdBux has been one of the “winners” in this “Amazing Tale,” earning A LOT of money for many folks including me, right up until the day of sale. Earnings have dropped off quite a bit after that… but not to zero. I am still logging in every day and clicking all available ads, and earning money.

    No, I don’t think NerdBux is dead yet, but TRUST — which is an important facet of business — has been significantly eroded.

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