30 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

What Are YOU Supposed to be?

NOTE: I know I’m committing blog suicide and sacrificing all my existing traffic by totally switching gears with this blog, and turning it into a personal blog… but I’m doing it anyway. ¬†If you’re looking for business related posts, they’ve moved to http://team-conquest.com/blog ..this blog will now be my personal voice ūüôā

Ah yes.. Halloween.. the time of year where everyone dresses up in costumes and pretends to be someone they aren’t and do something they wouldn’t do.. for the children this means taking candy from random strangers, and consuming enough of it that will take till the 4th of July to burn off.. for adults it means drinking that whole bottle of Vodka and waking up in an alley somewhere dressed like a bumble bee… ¬†It also means, unless you’ve taken the habit of locking out the outside world and isolating yourself (something I’ve grown to enjoy) that you will also be asked the inevitable question “What are You supposed to be?”

It’s likely that I just read way too into things.. but my first instinct when I hear this question, as I always do when I go out on Halloween because I don’t enjoy wearing costumes, is to be terribly offended.

I know nobody who asks this question means anything other than the face value – who are you supposed to be representing with that costume? But the first place my mind always goes is a literal.. What Are You Supposed To Be?

What am I supposed to be? ¬†I’d like to think I’m supposed to be.. me.

I’m a Guy.

I’m a Guy who was raised in Springfield Oregon by a Mother with a Psychology Degree but found herself in and out of secretary positions, and a father who was a Mechanic.

I’m a Guy who dropped out of College for a promotion at a Shitty Retail Job.

I’m a Guy who lost that shitty retail job when the recession hit.

I’m a Guy who spent a year trying to find a new job, and couldn’t.

I’m a Guy who got evicted and lost his car.

I’m a Guy who realized that I couldn’t rely on some employer to help me achieve what I wanted.

I’m a Guy who took control of his future.

I’m a Guy who realized that I am the only one in the world who can make my dreams come true.

I’m a Guy who started a business, and found success with it.

I’m a Guy who is happy with who he is, and enjoys life more and more every day.

 

I am EXACTLY ‘What I’m Supposed To Be’

 

What are YOU Supposed to be?

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06 August 2013 ~ 10 Comments

Why Your Traffic Exchange is Failing

In the Traffic Exchange market, it seems sites come and go daily, many fail, many never even make it off the ground floor, few are actually succeeding. ¬†Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons (in no particular order) that I see most TE’s failing, It’s not an all-encomposing list, just off the top of my head, so I’m sure I missed something, please feel free to leave anything else in the comments section

 

No Launch Strategy

One of the biggest failures is having a complete lack of a launch strategy. ¬†So many Traffic Exchanges just show up, and there it is. ¬†Success is based solely on momentum, some will argue for / against the JV launch method, I will argue for it every day of the week (even if it’s not a traditional JV, just having a network of support counts). ¬†“An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” ¬†Newton’s Laws of Motions apply 110% to business – yes, over-hyping things can definitely backfire, but you must get the ball rolling, because it will never start rolling on its own. It’s important to have a launch strategy not only in the short term while hype is high, but in a long term to keep that momentum from going to a fizzle once the event is over.

Lack of Networking

“I get by with a little help from my fiends.” ¬†It’s absolutely crucial that you take every opportunity you have to network with as many people as possible, not only does relationship building obviously build trust in you and your product, it also gives you thousands of little diamonds in the rough. ¬†The knowledge you can gain from someone who is experienced (or even some totally inexperienced) in this field, just from idle conversation in passing, can literally change your business around. ¬†If you are not submersing yourself in opportunities to build your network, trust, and gain this information – you will be a nobody, and with so many choices in Traffic Exchanges, people are going to look you over.

No Long Term Plan

It amazes me how many people just decide one day to open a TE, and then the next week they have it live. ¬†If it’s your first traffic exchange, do not expect profit for a minimum of three years. ¬†You not only have to have a plan to fund your own life needs while this is happening, you also need to be paying for hosting, advertising, and pay your affiliates any commissions they earn and any incentivization¬†you created. ¬†This doesn’t even include the expenses of designers and programmers to make unique features, and close cheating loop-holes that you later discover.

Underspending

So many people try to launch their TE without even having thought of a budget, the lifeblood of a TE is new members, not just a number on your hompeage that says x signups, but real, active, new members who join your site then are still using it each week – and to continue to bring in these QUALITY new members every week, takes a massive advertising budget, especially since you are new and have not built the downlines yet to start earning free advertising credits. ¬†I would not expect to spend any less than 1,000 a month on advertising for the first 5 years. ¬†Then there is the issue of hosting. ¬†From experience, hosting is not something you can go cheap on. ¬†It’s actually something you want to OVERSPEND on, as opposed to going the cheap route like most try. ¬†Traffic Exchanges are massive resource consumers on Servers, it’s not a few members viewing a few pages for a few minutes then logging off, it’s hundreds of people making CONSTANT pageviews and SQL queries, and that’s just from surfing – it’s not uncommon even at a slow TE to receive 25-50 connections PER SECOND to your site, and since it is SQL heavy, the amount of processes to move data from mysql to apache are a significant server load. ¬†Your site WILL be held back by hosting. ¬†If members experience latency, they will stop using your site, and this I guarantee.

Lack of Activity

Another big issue is no activity – if you aren’t constantly funneling new members into your site, you will not be able to keep up with the rate of people who leave your site. ¬†If you do not have an active member base, most new members will not want to stay, and existing members will notice diminishing results, as they are advertising to the same base of 500 members month after month. ¬†This is why a launch strategy is so important, getting that activity and that momentum going right out the gate.

Over-incentivizing

One thing a lot of people try to do to lure in new members and increase activity is to incentivize actions.  The biggest problem is people do not consider the psychological repercussions of regular rewards.  Is your site a Traffic Exchange / Advertising Source, or is it an ATM someone just logs into for half an hour a day to earn a nickel?  You have to be very careful not turn your site into a Skinner Box, or you will see not only results drop, but also your incomes.

Frequency of Dopamine Triggers

As I mentioned above, you have to be very careful not to turn your site into a Skinner box. ¬†For those who don’t know, a Skinner Box was an old psychological experiment where someone pushes a lever or a button, and a reward is given. ¬†The consistency of this is what causes the issues – if every time they do an action, they get a reward – the action’s sole purpose becomes the reward. ¬†Research has proven that even when someone is encountered with something they enjoy to do, when it becomes incentivized – the focus changes to the incentive rather than the action, and when the incentive is removed, the action is no longer enjoyed, even by those who enjoyed the action BEFORE the incentive was introduced. ¬†The easiest way to prevent the Skinner Box effect is to create a randomness to it, when it is no longer a guarantee – the incentive becomes a bonus reward, instead of the purpose.

Giving Away the Farm

Many owners for some reason feel the need to give away far too much. ¬†They turn their sites into skinner boxes, not only killing the original motivation of their members, but also creating an unsustainable economy. ¬†If you give away a nickel a day to 100 members, it’s easy at first because you can justify that many of them will never even cash that nickel out, having given up on your system long before reaching your minimum cashout. ¬†If you are having a minimum payout of $10, and even only 50 of those 100 members cash out – That’s an extra $500 in commission you’ll have to pay one week, and unless you are bringing that money in – that is coming from your advertising budget, or hosting budget (assuming you even have the money to begin with), unless it was part of your long-term plan, these little penny and nickel prizes are going to sneak up on you. ¬†The same thing happens with credits and other things, giving away too many of something means the user has to do it less, and with a Traffic Exchange the only way they work is the EXCHANGE – if somebody does not need to consume a credit to earn one, then they will not consume one, and the whole system breaks down.

Overselling

Something else that is incredibly common, especially during launch periods Рis selling too much, and giving away too much with what you are selling.  I know selling too much may seem strange, but I see it over and over again where people sell a yearly or lifetime credit discounted that gives you 15,000 credits Рnow everyone has 15,000 credits, so nobody has a reason to surf, since no one is surfing, those credits are never used.  When that member comes back in 6 months and still has 8,000 credits in their account, they are not going to have to buy credits, nor will they want their upgrade since they already have more credits than they can use, and now all of a sudden your Traffic Exchange is no longer making any sales, on top of no longer moving credits.

Underdelivering

If you are selling a subscription based membership, then you must deliver to your members every single month. ¬†If I subscribe to your site and 6 months later it’s still the same old thing, I’m likely going to move on. If you want your member to purchase from you this month, next month, and the month after – it is absolutely crucial that you are giving them something to be excited about. ¬†You must deliver a quality product, but you also most be able to deliver a BETTER product next month than you did this month, if you fail to deliver every month to your customers, they will find someone who will.

 

I’ll close with one final point, made by Seth Godin.

“In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff” – Seth Godin

It is absolutely 100% ESSENTIAL (NOT AN OPTION) that you have something not only creatively unique, but that speaks to your members. ¬†Give them something they can be passionate about, give them something that is worth debating, and continue to improve your product CONSTANTLY. ¬†The Traffic Exchange industry is almost entirely saturated with followers – as soon as someone makes a successful move, dozens other follow suit (some don’t even wait to see if it was successful) ¬†if you have done anything even slightly innovative in this industry, then it has been copied – if you are not constantly developing new features and ideas, then you are falling behind. ¬†And when we have so much competition, and so many choices, it becomes easier to ignore them. ¬†What are you doing that is different, what are you doing to make your business necessary?

 

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