With 99% of the changes now made I just wanted to recap for those that are still confused why it was the right time to change things.

I still get the odd ticket with people unsure why I changed things and why what a few call so drastic changes like removing the affiliate programs even though most people have researched the issues and fully understand it so I just wanted to take a moment to address why to those that may still seem confused or not too happy about it.

Let me start by saying I am a realist and I know that no matter what you do online will not keep or make everyone happy. There will always be some that think a different way and that is what makes the world such a eventful and exciting place.

However I am also a believer that you should always do what you see as the right thing no matter how hard making that decision was or is.

So let me begin with the point that I didn’t want to make any changes, I was really happy with how everything was going until the events of last autumn sprung upon us. So the fact that I was forced to change something just like everyone else has been shows that it was the right time to change but also it needed a lot of though on what to change.

We all know that the said payment processor made those changes because they lost a lot of money with a program that was based around our business model and although legally our model is not and never has been illegal or wrong sometimes when forced by the hand that feeds people react in various ways.

So where would that payment processor be without the credit card companies, We saw it a while ago with other processors that couldn’t process credit card transactions and they was basically at a standstill. They need them to make their business work and the way our industry was set up we kind of needed them.

There are a handful of credit card companies fronted by 2 major players and when they say jump if we want to use credit cards we have to jump. From what I have been told from various processors and believe me i have looked into and held meetings or spoke to a lot now. I even had the biggest UK credit card processor visit my home for a look and a chat about where I go from here.

It was unanimous that none was interested and most thought bad on a service with a built in affiliate program and that essentially is what we was. They really did not like the fact that people signed up to use the service and promote it, things like tied in commissions to member levels to them and in reality is the fact that people have to pay to earn more. Alarm bells rang and they asked, are you an advertising service or an income opportunity because it looks like both.

Their view was that the certain payment processor wont be the last to have that issue with the sites, by not changing anything and moving on to another one was just holding out on a problem that is there. Now dont get me wrong, it might all be forgotten and we as an industry might never be bothered again or someone might be able to convince them that we have done and are not doing anything wrong. But is just changing to another processor really the right thing to do?

Look at it this way, the processor of choice for this industry now even realizes the industry is a risk and lumps us in with MLM etc. That to me is a bit of an unsure future and a worry and I had enough worry over the last few months.

Some owners will act like there are no issues and we just move to a different one and all will be okay, but what if that one stopped us too? Does anyone here want to go through all that again?

It is not just payment processors too, As someone who has a lot of advertising customers from outside our little TE and mailer niche I know that Traffic exchanges especially do not have a great name with a lot of advertisers. They see us as being a game, being a income opportunity, catering for those that are surfing for pennies etc so it is clear that something needs to change.

If you think about it tho, the real easy way to decide which way to go is what the customers want, As any business would do you listen to the biggest customers you have, the ones that come back time and time again and spend lots of money with you. They all want results to increase, they get results but they get better results in other areas so how can we do that. Focus on the advertising because we are an advertising service after all.

There are plenty of income opportunity programs out there, let them specialize in that, do what your best at is the key for the future.

So let me point out again, I would have loved to have carried on how things was, But I have to look to the future not just tomorrow and the next day. I really believe just adding a different payment option without addressing the issue is not the right way to go. Heck thats even proven, Some owners will tell you its all rosy and dandy by not changing and using the new option. Is it, look at what they are doing, Over 250 sites have closed. So many doing sales and basically giving away the farm, Lots are doing sales via other URLs and sites especially a few of the bigger players but is that just a way around it for now or does it address the issue?

I am not one to sit around, for me it was the right time to change things and it was a little easier for me, A few are not happy the affiliate program is gone but let me give you some stats. 97% of the members coming into my sites are from my promotions. What is even more telling is that out of the 7 or 8 tickets I have got about the issue only 2 people actually had more than $10 of commissions in their account. I had an affiliate program but not many used it and a big reason for this was I have concentrated on the advertising for a long time rather than the opportunity.

I know what I am doing in this business, I have been doing it full time since 2008, Most of my income comes from back end sales, It would have been so easy to be like the 250 plus closed sites to just close the ones in this niche and do something else. I cant do that, I have people that have paid lifetime upgrades to use the service (Yes the service might not be exactly like it was before but everything evolves and changes in its life)

If you dont agree with my changes that is your human right, I dont expect everyone too, I dont expect everyone to be happy but like I have said many of times, send me a ticket, tell me exactly why your not happy and what the issues you have with it are, lets see if we can make you happy, If you really just used it as an affiliate and not as advertising then tell me, I dont want you to feel your not getting value, Lets see what we can do, even if I have to refund you. But I do mean if you really used it, dont come to me saying you not happy the affiliate program has gone if over the last 6 months you have 2 referrals and one sale as thats your fault not mine.

So what does the future hold after my changes, We are going to be great at advertising, You will see soon how I am going to work with people here for the advertising, You cant be everything to everyone, you have to scale down and pick a targeted niche so if its results you want and that means signups to your sites, promotion of your business and not 5 cents a day surfing then you will love my changes and what happens and gets better int he future.

Remember that your account at my sites if you was upgraded is still there and your commissions earned are being paid to you in full, I am not running away with your money and closing down sites that lose you paid for services, Im merely changing them and adapting for the future to make things sustainable.

Instead of some being unhappy with those researching the issues, addressing the issues and safeguarding you all a workable advertising service then maybe just maybe you should be more wary about those that are not making changes, pretending that nothing is wrong and those that are not paying your commissions or giving up or going awol completely. I know for sure a lot of owners are not doing well, A lot are not making a profit as it is and a lot are running on credit cards or loans just to pay the server bills. A lot more will close, you will lose a lot more commissions from other sites, but this is to owners, give me a shout, I am wanting to talk to you and help you change and share my research and meetings.

I have never been one to sit back, take my drastic moves and changes as someone doing something about it and taking the lead. I am being open and honest with you all, paying whats owed and keeping services open. I will not let this industry die or become stale. But I also wont be kidded into thinking that all will be okay if we dont do anything. I dont like making workarounds, I like to make solutions.

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  1. Bo Tipton says:

    Good for you for taking a stand and I agree with you. TEs and Safelist had become a vicious whirlpool of upgrades and promotions and little if any real advertising. It was not sustainable. I have been around since 2001 and remember what they were in the beginning and see what they are now. It was time for a change and I say that as a site owner. It was hard but worth it.

    • Steve Ayling says:

      Exactly, its a shame there not more recognizable names about like yours. Its very good to see your still around tho πŸ™‚

  2. It’s interesting to see what you have done. Lately I have had enough of promoting this and that advertising site and would really like to just promote my own products and income opportunities mainly, and use advertising as advertising. We’ll see how it goes!

  3. You’ve done a great job Steve. I love the changes you’ve made. I think many owner have an affiliate program for two reasons: it’s included with the script and it’s expected from a TE. But why should it be expected? I like to be different, even radical! And I like it when other people are brave enough to stand out and be different too. So to repeat my opening remark. You’ve done a great job!

    • Steve Ayling says:

      Yep, People should be promoting themselves and building their own business or promoting an income opportunity etc they shouldn’t really be promoting other peoples traffic exchanges unless its on the back end.

  4. Another great update Steve, I agree with the changes you are making & the way to move forward. As a site owner I have closed down most of my sites.

    They will of course be replaced by new sites that I am working which will focus advertising results, like you said that is what we are, an advertising service. Yes I have lost many customers but many of these were ‘cash surfers’!

    My whole business frame has changed & I can see a brighter future because of it.

    • Steve Ayling says:

      Yeah you cant please everyone and you have to focus on one thing and be good at it so advertising it is πŸ™‚

  5. Bruno Duarte says:

    I think the changes have been great, I have always used all of your sites and I see a lot more fairness now, especially on the TE sites. So im happy with the overall changes you made. Keep up the great work!

    • Steve Ayling says:

      Thank you sir, Its good people notice the changes in a positive way.

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