Happy Anniversary!

July 1, 2006 Posted by Tyler Cruz

For a change I actually had quite a few things to talk about today. In fact, I had to omit a few of them in order to cut down on the size!

Our specials for today:

  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • One Year Anniversary
  • PublisherForums
  • $4500 and Back-Up
  • Screwed?
  • Laptop!
  • HelloGreen Auction

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

A couple days ago I went out and bought Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. I did this to force myself to read it and not put it off. My latest revenue magazine came too, which will make for a good next week of reading, as I have two poker books to review as well.

One Year Anniversary

Today is July 1st, 2006. And that marks exactly 1 year since I moved out of my room in the basement of my parent’s house and into my own place.

Looking back over the year, I’m actually quite surprised how much I’ve accompished in just 365 days. Apart from the personal leaps and bounds I’ve made, my work and income have also flourished significantly as well.

In a post from my famous (or infamous) I’m Doing it Guys thread on Sitepoint, I had stated:

I’m currently making betwen $1500-$1700 (fairly conservative number) a month Canadian before taxes(average from past 3 months – was much less before then…). For additional income, or backup income, I can do some photo restoration, web development, and English tutoring, which could bring in another $300-$400 CDN or so a month.”

Now, a year later, I’m making triple that! What’s interesting is that the Canadian dollar has risen, which is great for most Canadians, but not for me, as I get paid in US dollars. So, a bit over a year ago, I would have been making 150% of what I’m making now, as the US-CDN dollar was 0.5-1. Now the Canadian dollar is almost at par with the American.

Anyhow, it is interesting though how much one can accomplish in just 12 months. A year from now, if I’m still plugging away at this blog, I’d be very happy to be making an average of $7,000 a month, or $233 a day. We’ll see what happens in another 365 days.

PublisherForums

In my last post, I had prelaunched PublisherForums.com. Thank you to everyone that joined. After just a few days, we already have 32 members and 128 posts. If you haven’t registered and posted yet, please do! If you’ve already registered, keep on posting!

I’m trying very hard to keep the site as helpful as possible. Already we have a number of very good threads and so far, members have been helpful and discussing interesting topics.

To help illustrate the quality of discussion on the forum, I’ll paste a response I made to a member who made a thread on SEO asking for help. Oops, scratch that. Blogger is quite horrid when it comes to formatting, and it wouldn’t let me keep the formatting I made in the original post (was all garbled and scrambled) so I’ll just link you to the post directly.

$4500 and Back-Up

A couple days ago I received a bank wire for $4500 ($5000 CDN) into my bank account. It was paid by an advertiser for PFO. What’s interesting here is that this payment is for one month’s worth of ads, not 6 or 12 months! Better yet, if things go well for them (their campaigns convert well), they will be renewing and doing this on a monthly basis.

Also, I have another advertiser wanting to purchase a 468×60 for a couple of months, so I have him on the waiting list.

However, there are a couple downsides to this $4500 transaction.

1. I got paid a lot, but I’m also having to put a _lot_ of ads on my site for them. There’s a fine line between monetizing your site effectively and not driving away your members because the site is too ad heavy. You also have to balance not taking away from other current advertisers. I won’t argue that it will be ad heavy, but I don’t think I exactly went overboard either. There’s no pop-up’s or anything extremely obtrusive.

2. There’s a bit of a hold-up in receiving the ads and creatives. This is due to a number of things including us being in completely different timezones (They are based in the UK and I’m in Western Canada), somewhat slow response time on their part (well, to me; they are fine with time from a business perspective), and that some of our creatives are quite unique, such as ‘Sticky Ads’ and ‘Featured Site’, that their creatives manager will have to do a bit of work (as opposed to just sending me standard banners and links).

In fact, #2 is starting to frustrate me a little as I want to get this campaign going and done with. I can’t really sign up any other advertisers until their campaign is over if they don’t renew.

As for them renewing, I don’t think the chances are good. However, it really depends on what site(s) they are advertising and what they are offering. We could convert very well for them depending on what it is.

Well, cross your fingers and pray for me, folks. Pray that I finally get the creatives and get them up and running, and pray that they renew :)

$4500! Yay!

Screwed?

Arghhhhhh….! So I tried phoning the developer I hired for Replayer, but got no answer. In fact, I phoned on three different days and didn’t get an answer. I’m using the phone number that was attached to his account profile on the outsourcing site I used.

So I did some investigating and found out his address through a 411 reverse telephone search. It didn’t display anything because he’s using a cell phone. I then did a phone lookup based on his address. What came up was a different address than he listed. Upon more investigation, I found out that a company/store called “Tech Tile” which is apparantly a type of tile/flooring company, is situated where it states his address is.

So, at first I thought, oh.. okay… maybe he moved abruptly. But then that idea didn’t exactly fly, as stores don’t exactly move into houses or apartments. And to have it listed on 411 already? Hmm..

Maybe he just didn’t update his profile information for a few years… or.. *gulp* maybe he put up made-up information in his profile.

I’m very upset about this. Replayer was another fanastic entrepreneurial idea by me, but I end up getting screwed for thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it. Fuck. I am really pissed. But I learned a lesson, albeit a small one. Don’t always be so trusting when it comes to outsourcing to freelancers. Make sure they at least have adequate contact information, and have a short chat with them over the phone at least before you start a business relationship with them. This of course isn’t an end-all preventative measure, but it certainly would help (for example, you’d know that was their phone number and that it was active).

I even managed to find his brother who I had PayPal’d (apparantly his PayPal was having issues or something) a couple times with payments, asking where he was. No answer.

What’s extremely strange is that it really doesn’t appear that he is a con-artist. Googling him, I found him to have done a number of projects in the past, freelancing on various sites, and he had good ratings. Strange.

Maybe he just died or something. Always a possibility. I’ve always thought it strange – what would you do if you hired somebody and they just died.. how’d you contact them or collect your money back?

Anyhow, I’m going to wait some more and just hope he comes back. If not, I’ll probably hire somebody else to finish the job for me and then sell it to collect my money back I spent on it.

Laptop!

I bought a laptop yesterday! I was thinking of buying one for a while, and having 5 grand deposited into my account, I couldn’t resist. I also think that this is a great investment – will pay off in the amount of quality (and quantity) work I get done in no time.

For example, I can go to the library at the college and study/work when there’s stuff I need concentration and attention on. For instance, right now I have three books here I need to read, two I have to review for a poker publishing company, and then Rich Dad Poor Dad. A laptop would be handy because then I could take down notes and write the reviews when finished.

I’m planning to do these excursions whenever I need to focus hard or get some work done that doesn’t involve the Internet. It’s a shame, because you’d think I could just do this at home.. but the truth is I’m too distracted here.. I have TV, movies, Xbox360, and the worst culprit, the Internet. I’m not ashamed to say I have no discipline in this matter, but at least I have the discipline to go somewhere else where I can focus.

I know that I can get a lot done when I go somewhere away from my house that is quiet and without distractions because I’ve done this in the past many times. I get so much done, that going out to the library for a day with my laptop, I can get as much done as about 3-weeks worth of work doing it here at home! However, I won’t have the Internet so work I do focus on will have to be limited so certain things that don’t require the Internet. There’s a fair number of those things that pop up time-to-time though so all should be fine.

It ships here on Tuesday, here are the specs for those interested:

  • Intel® Pentium® M Processor 735 (2MB L2 cache, 1.70GHz, 400MHz FSB)
  • 17.0″ WXGA+ (1440 x 900) display
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM (2 x 512MB)
  • 100 GB hard drive, 5400RPM
  • DVD-RW dual layer optical drive
  • 56k modem and 10/100 NIC
  • Built-in wireless 802.11b/g

I also bought a bag, had to order that special too as there aren’t a lot of bags that fit for a 17-inch monitor, and a wireless router.

I took home the wireless router yesterday and hooked it up. I was worried I’d be stuck for hours if not days trying to hook it up, but I managed to do it in 5-10 minutes. I of course enabled encryption (128 bit) as well. For those of you who have wireless and don’t have it encrypted, you are fools. Enable encryption now and stop letting your usernames, passwords, and credit card information float in the air for anyone to grab.

My girlfriend came over to help me test if the wireless part was all up and working by bringing her laptop. We connected just fine, and it was awesome.. wireless is all new to me and so it was fun having her come here and then seeing 4 different networks to choose from and connect to. There at the top I saw “Merendi Networks”. Ah, there we go :) Saw one unsecured ‘default’. Tsk tsk tsk. Also saw one named something along the lines of “Pooky pooooky pookkkky!!” – interesting.

HelloGreen Auction

I’m brokering the sale of the site HelloGreen.com which is an established webmaster forum. The reserve is at $2,000 if anyone is interested. It’s currently on auction on Sitepoint, and can be viewed by clicking on the image below:

View Auction

That’s all for now.

Good luck and good earnings!

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Posted: July 1st, 2006 under My Websites  

9 Responses to “Happy Anniversary!”

  1. brandon says:

    Hey Tyler,

    Great work on your sites! Quick question for you regarding banner ad management.

    Are you using any sort of management script like GABS (thevbgeek.com) or do you manually change them?

    Thanks and keep on workin’.

  2. Tyler says:

    Hi Brandon,

    I don’t use any banner management software. I tried phpmyads but found it much too cumbersome and complicated to actually save me any time.

    Managing the banners myself is pretty easy, and since I don’t rotate ads, that doesn’t add to the hassle.

    The only time I’d use a banner management script would be if I ever wanted to sell on a CPM basis.

  3. Zane says:

    Sensitive tyler as usual

    “what would you do if you hired somebody and they just died.. how’d you contact them or collect your money back?”

    lol

  4. Tyler says:

    lol… it’s a valid question though!

  5. brandon says:

    Indeed it is. I think really when you are dealing with a private contractor you need to get all the source materials for his/her work (.psd, well commented php/html/css source, and documentation). Otherwise you could end up sh*t’s creek if they pass away or simply choose not to respond to you once they get their money.

    It’s good thinking to have the developer make this available to you, the customer, during the course of the project via a mutually accessible secure point (sharepoint, etc). This really illustrates how important written and signed contracts are.

    Good luck Tyler, hope you get back in touch with him as I’d really like to see you get replayer.org off the ground! I need the inspiration for my big planned site (still tooling away on some small ones to work my way up).

  6. Uzzz says:

    So ya, did you have any contracts written up or anything? I’m guessing if you did, you could take some kind of legal action?

  7. Tyler says:

    You wouldn’t believe the amount of detailed and lengthy contracts we went through, and I’m always so careful to do all that stuff. I have everything I need to take him to court, but the simple fact is it would cost me oh-so-much more to take him to court (not to mention having to wait 1-2 years for it to even go to court) than it would to just swallow my losses and move on..

  8. brandon says:

    Good to hear that you have your back covered in case you ever to find that you need to take things to court.

    Who writes up your contracts for you? Do you use templates available on the web or did you have something done professionally ($)?

  9. Tyler says:

    I write them myself. In this particular case, I had him write it and I signed it with him.

    You don’t need a lawyer really for things such as this. For large things such as a house or anything $100,000 you may want to use a lawyer here, but really it holds up in law if you write something out and both parties sign it.

    I saw it Judge Judy so it must be true..

PeerFly

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