I Really Need to Reprioritize

March 1, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Long before I had a blog or learned what PPC affiliate marketing was, I was a web publisher, domain flipper, and site flipper. I made the majority of my online income by building content websites and using CPM and CPC ad networks to monetize them. On the side, I also flipped some domains and sites for profit.

Since I started out as a web publisher, along the way I ended up with a network of several dozen sites, even though I sold a lot of them throughout the years.

My income is now split between mainly 4 sources: my blog, PokerForums.org, and PublisherChallenge.com, with the rest of my network of sites bringing in an extra thousand or two a month. Together, they’re currently bringing in $14,000+ a month.

While this is a nice income, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been wasting my time lately. You see, I’m a one-man show, meaning that I basically run all of my sites myself. I do have a number of volunteer staff who act as moderators, news posters, or reviewers for some of my forums and sites, but in the end I’m still the one who has to handle any administrative functions such as software upgrades, advertisers, etc.

I seem to spend a lot of time working on content for older sites such as Movie-Vault.com which aren’t even bringing that much money. I keep thinking lately how I’m essentially wasting my time doing such menial jobs.

Part of the problem is my incredible sense of perfectionism. While useful for a lot of things, it really can be an incredible hindrance. For example, I can spend up up to 8 hours writing a paid review on my blog or spent half a day trying to fix a tiny design glitch on a site that nobody probably even notices anyway.

I really need to reprioritize.

I spend too much time working on my smaller sites that are not going anywhere when what I really want to work on is PPC affiliate marketing.

I simply know too many people online who are making a killing with it, and I love how it’s more a numbers and testing game than anything else. The numbers people are making is staggering, and I’m not just talking about the elite of the elite, but even just many regular full-time affiliate marketers.

I’ve been so preoccupied and focused on my blog, my sites, and my affiliate marketing challenges (now PublisherChallenge.com) that I haven’t done ANY work on my PPC affiliate marketing campaigns since early September 2008.

I had only worked on one small campaign, and literally haven’t touched it in about 6-months. Yet, with very little PPC affiliate marketing experience and only 1 small campaign going, in the past 2 weeks I made over $500 in profit from it.

This works out to be only $33/profit a day, but again – this is just one small campaign that I’ve left on the backburner for half a year. If I made 10 more small campaigns like that one then we’re talking about close to $400 a day, or $12,000 a month. Does that number look familiar? It’s what I’m currently making with my existing sites.

While PPC affiliate marketing requires a lot of testing and adjusting, I believe that in many cases, once you have a profitable campaign going you can “set it and forget it”. My small campaign I haven’t touched for 6-months above proves that point.

I know it’s easy to talk the talk, but I honestly think I could make $100,000 profit a month from PPC affiliate marketing if I only focused on it and applied myself. I understand that it probably sounds naive, especially when I’m doing just under $1,000 a month right now, but I honestly believe it.

Just look at my blog. I brought it from making $1,000 in January 2008 to nearly $9,000 in January 2009, so I’m not afraid of dreaming big.

Goodbye Network?

So, I’ve been thinking if I should sell off some of my existing sites. I’m just so hogged down with ‘busy work’ that I never have any time for PPC affiliate marketing.

I tried hiring forum administrators for some of my forums, but that didn’t work out well.

The other option would be to simply forget about them for now and try to focus on affiliate marketing as much as I can. PublisherChallenge is pretty much complete now and doesn’t need much attention other than some promoting, updating of new competitions, and adding the occasional new feature. If I can get something substantial going with PPC affiliate marketing, then I could sell most of my other sites.

I really need to reprioritize…

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: March 1st, 2009 under Miscellaneous  

44 Responses to “I Really Need to Reprioritize”

  1. I agree spending time on small sites is a big waste they will grow on there own through time focus on you main blog and the publisher challenge!

  2. This is a difficult issue to tackle for several reasons.

    When you get an intuitive desire and get excited about building a new project, a lot of times the benefits of that project show up much later as far as monetary gain.

    Things like PPC Affiliate Marketing are great for making money, but they are difficult to get excited about, compared to building sites or launching new projects.

    Yes PPC Affiliate Marketing is a numbers game, but I think it’s also a game of passion. Someone who’s just not in the flow of it properly can pump out campaign after campaign and do nothing but lose money on them, while another person might launch 8 campaigns and 6 will be profitable right away.

    Learning to let go of old projects is a good thing. It’s a necessary process of growth, but I’m not so sure that chasing the highest paying project short-term is the right move either. I think your passion takes you to the best thing for you.

    You’re making $14k/month from your “sites”, and you see others making that much per DAY via Affiliate Marketing, but maybe you’re a much better “site maker” than an affiliate marketer. Meaning, maybe your next “site” idea makes you $140,000/month, but you never do it because you get focused on being a PPC Affiliate Marketer.

    I know the challenge you’re going through, as I’m in the same boat and struggle with this every day. I have multiple Blogs which all make me a bit of money, and I have consulting work that I do that makes me some money and I have affiliate marketing. I know I could make more if I focused on Affiliate Marketing more, but is it the right path for me?

    I’ve tried launching a bunch of PPC campaigns when my heart wasn’t really into it and they just ended up losing money, and the whole time I was thinking about another project I wanted to do unrelated to PPC AM… then I just ended up launching that project instead, because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

    Don’t get me wrong, PPC AM is awesome and a lot of people make a lot of money, but then there are a lot of other people who make a pile of money doing other things.

    There are people who launch a $1,000 product and sell 10,000 copies in one day. You do the math on that. They just recruit an army of people to sell the product for them. I’m not talking about the MMO niche either, but all kinds of niche markets.

    Remember… if there is an Affiliate Marketer making $100,000 in profit, there is the person who made the product which the affiliate is promoting who is making even more!

    Anyway, just some random thoughts to throw into the mix. Definitely a great topic of discussion.

  3. smashill says:

    Paul has some awesome points there. It does not matter if there is money to be made, the point is you should do what makes you happy. If it’s just some cold hard bucks, go for what brings the most. In case you are after a happy life, do what satisfies you.

  4. James says:

    Tyler, I’m with you, know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve been doing the SEO thing and have only dabbled in PPC, but organic is where the small bucks are. I think PPC is far more lucrative, but also far more risky.

    Affiliate Three

  5. Your experience can become my future advice. I do hope I can learn something from your experience.

  6. Bill says:

    I think at the end of the day what makes you satisfied and happy should be what you concentrate on being good at.

    I don’t know that I would sell any sites that are producing a 14k dollar a month income to head into the unknown. Organic might be the “small” bucks but it’s the stable and dependable bucks too.

    If the better sites aren’t requiring that much work then keep em and use that as your safety net to experiment with the rest. Have a talk with yourself (which I guess is what you are doing) and get rid of the bad habits and the sites that suck up too much time for not much investment.

    At the end of the day…and I say this with some hard earned wisdom….go the path that makes you happy.

  7. Greg Ellison says:

    You just need to do what makes you happy. Greg Ellison

  8. Brandon says:

    Hire a couple of college students (2-3) and train them to run your content sites. I know it might seem scary to let go of control like that but if you find a few good people it will be easy. Plus that would let you keep 90ish % of your current income and free your time up to have a go at PPC AM full time.

  9. Mike Collins says:

    I understand how you feel Tyler. There’s only so much time in the day and its hard to stay on top of a bunch of different projects at once. I’ve shelved a couple of projects too because I just didn’t have the time to work on them enough to see the results I expected. Sometimes less really is more.

  10. Funny Quotes says:

    If you have websites that are not really worth your time, then definitely sell them off, and focus more on what’s bringing you better money. $33/day still isn’t too bad though for a small campaign.

  11. smashill says:

    Well I guess it’s not that the websites are not worth his time, it’s more that he puts too much of his time into them, so either sell or less work. Besides 3 hours of work and complaining about not enough time is something that is on the luxury side of the problem ;)

  12. Vik says:

    I tried affiliate marketing and I seriously had a hard time sleeping at night. Sorry, I hate telling people that they can make $5,000 from Google every month when I know that’s just BS. Perhaps I was promoting the wrong shady affiliate programs.

    All in all, I’m just not the person suited to be a affiliate marketer, I guess.

  13. Al says:

    Tyler its an interesting post but here would be my take on it. Have you ever thought of employing someone who can take care of a number of tasks for you? I know it would mean changing the way you work slightly and finding someone to work with but if you could get past that you would find it would be the beginning of a new chapter for your company. Personally if the sites were making revenue, if that revenue could cover the cost of the member of staff, why sell them, you could focus on the main sites while still owning everything.

    • Jacob says:

      I have to agree with Al. Find someone who you can pay some amount of money to each month to keep things up and running. If they are making as much money as you say they are, paying someone a decent chunk of change to get ridiculously good results is an easy gig.

      However, I do think that you are wasting your time spending eight hours writing some sort of an article. It should only take you an hour to write. However, what I suggest is put the article away for an hour or two and get other work done before coming back and editing it to make it perfect. That’s my advice, though.

  14. Muzi Mohale says:

    As everyone has said Tyler, don’t sell but delegate. Your properties are making money, its just that not enough attention is given to them, therefore getting dedicated manpower to exclusively focus on them will ensure they prosper and grow, while you take your entire empire into new heights. It’s difficult to pass on responsibilities to someone who doesn’t have the same passion as yourself, however in the long term, you’ll appreciate their contribution. I guess it time to outgrow the one-man show phase, and become an employer. It will free up your time to enable you to work on improving your current revenue figures…good luck my brother.

  15. I commented this previously: what are you aiming for?

    You keep saying you want to make X amount of money, but why? Do you feel everything will be perfect when you hit X amount of money or do you have a specific aim/lifestlye you want?

    Maybe you do have a goal with your life and have outlined your idea of wealth, but from your blog posts it seems like you’re constantly just trying to one up your current earnings without an understanding of exactly what you’re really going for.

  16. I say dump the network and work on the sites that are providing the most income. This way you can get the highest amount of money for your efforts

  17. game-girl says:

    I think everything is in progress and it is quite normal to give much time to small sites,they are like little kids need great efforts,energy,time and care.Time passes quickly and soon you will see the result from them.And some changes will happen to the sites bringing big sums because everything changes in this world.

  18. Andrei Buiu says:

    Well, it’s probably the best to do what your heart tells you and what you do with passion. I promised myself at the beginning of this year that I will make a full income on-line by the end of the year. But just when I was focused on making money online a good friend of mine proposed a business deal to me that I couldn’t refuse – because I wanna make it happen for various reasons (good money involved and a good challenge that I would like to complete).

    Anyways, my point is…compared to me you make a lot of money on-line and you are good at developing sites. I would like very much to make a living with AF PPC marketing, but the truth is that I don’t even have time to post a few words on my blog…and when I do find the time (late at night or early in the morning) I stand in front of the computer and all I can think off are solutions to the problems I have with my business or how to improve a relation with somebody or if I should make a contract like this or like that and stuff like that…

    To make a long story short: IMHO you should stick to what you do and aim high. Be the best!

    Have a nice week everyone!

  19. I would say, sit down and analyze each website individually, see what their true potential is for the future, analyze just about every aspect, such as time, market competition, etc, you know the deal.

    I like the comments given about possibly hiring some outside help by paying people. What I would say about that though is only do it if you feel the amount of time you spend on the help, frees up enough time for you, where it will pay off, and you will make more money as a result of it.

  20. I think that everyone who works online goes through similar sitautions when an older project becomes redundant and it’s time for new things. If I were you I would leave your network of sites on autopilot or spend far less time on them so that you still have $X each month – especially as affiliate marketing needs a decent cash flow to avoid any growth problems.

    You could perhaps set certain days to purley work on PPC stuff, like every other day or something to add variety into your working schedule. When you begin to see results you will be motivated to spend more time on them – trust me ;)

    I know you’ve been calling me crazy lol having a full time job too but I’ve actually handed in my notice and will be going full time asap because I’m in the same situation as you.

    I’m confident that by spending more time on PPC affiliate marketing is the right choice.

  21. Tyler, I’m with you, know exactly what you’re talking about but 1 thing You just need to do what makes you happy.
    Thanks/

  22. Jeff Klein says:

    Thanks for another great post. I really enjoy your site and willingness to share your experiences.
    I was wondering if you could tell me how you are tracking the conversion of your affiliate offer(s)?
    I see from your excel screen shot you are AdWords and YSM and promoting an offer for MarketLeverage. How are you tracking the conversion or are you just looking at dollars spent versus dollars earned?
    Please let me know.
    Thanks

  23. Dean Saliba says:

    I got some very good points from both the original post and the comment left by Paul Piotrowski.

    If you feel you are drowning a little then how about selling off a couple of the smaller sites?

  24. Karl Foxley says:

    Very interesting post and comments. It will be interesting to hear what you decide to do! Keep us posted.

    Regards,

    Karl

  25. Mike says:

    I think u are very smart making a post pretending like u want to sell your sites to try and find somebody to work on your sites for you ;)

    I think u should stick to your strengths, which IMHO is making connections with people and providing value.

    Every single one of your $$ sites are based on a community … just saying.

    I’ve tried AM several times, never had any success, plus it was BORING.

    Wrote my own info product, made a little money, but not much…

    Then I finally focused on my strengths and passions(i’m a professional software engineer and an avid golfer), software and golf, and i’m finally making some $$ and I am motivated/interested working on the stuff i’m doing.

  26. Reid says:

    Tyler…the reason no one wants to run your community for you is because you are being cheap. You can’t expect someone to turn your forums into a big board for 35 bucks a month, they might as well start their own them.

    http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53838

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      That was a disaster anyway. I got a ton of people respond but they were all like 10 or had poor English.

      Most of my smaller sites aren’t making very much money which is why I’m considering just selling them.

      The problem is like you said – anyone who can do anything decent for me in terms of administration and growth would be better off doing it for themselves.

  27. Tyler Cruz says:

    Wow, this post seems to have stirred up a lot of discussion.

    A lot of you commented about what would make me happier. In response to that I’d probably say: either. I love the making money online, not just for the actual money but because I love to challenge myself. I love the challenge of making money online, and the challenge of increasing that amount.

    I’m a big gamer, and often consider making money online one big game with the $ earned being the score.

    So the quesiton is not which would make me happier as I enjoy doing both. The question is which will make me more money :-)

    • shafi says:

      Well,

      If you can make 100,000$ per month via affiliating marketing why not do it. It might take you 1 year to do it.

      I can make 100k per month via forex. It might take me 1-2years with low risk.

      Just do it.

  28. dude..just sell everything you don’t want anywhere. Keep publisher’s challenge and this blog, and you’re set. Here, I’ll even take your whole network off your hands for a cool thou. ;)

  29. Brad Burnie says:

    You’re right, you’ll strectched thin.

    I would have 2 options for you.

    1.
    just sell off your high labour sites w/ lower return.
    keep the ones with low labour/high return.

    2. Hire an full-time webmaster from agentsofvalve.com
    for 700$/mo. they are like your own little intern lol
    These agents are college grads in computer sciences/computer programming.
    This will free up plenty of time for you to expand on other projects like ppc.

    -brad

  30. I feel your pain – I have loads of projects on the go and always struggle to give priority to a particular one. Try hiring freelancers to manage some of your sites, and sell off a few as well. Good luck!

  31. Tushar says:

    Tyler,

    What you’ll really need to do if you want to roll with the larger of the dot-com moguls is you’ll have to expand. Selling your sites isn’t, the answer, and neither is wasting your valuable time.

    The answer is to hire someone whose time isn’t as valuable as yours, but someone who can be bought for less than you make with the site. That way you can still have many sites, many networks, and make more money overall.

    Offer these employees a bonus for their site performance. Pit them against each other in a friendly competition. The employee whose site grows the most this month versus the last will get a bonus.

    In times like this, it shouldn’t be hard to find people like these to fill your spots.

    I hope you’ll realize the potential of your business and of my advice.

    Keep In Touch,

    Tushar Dhoot

  32. New Music says:

    I think you have to ask yourself is : Why are some sites not making enough money?

    It is because they are only passing interests of yours or you thought they’d be easy money makers.

    You see with your blog just how much time it takes to build a good site.

    If they are not making enough money it is because they need more attention. If you don’t have the time to devote to them then what is the point in keeping them?

  33. CashMakers says:

    Interesting. I didn’t know you own PokerForums.org. Making you any cash so far?

  34. As a business entrepreneur, if you get rid of your old websites that are hogging your time, it would give you much more funds to focus what you have now. However, you would have one less thing to turn to if something goes wrong.

    -Mike

  35. BusinessX says:

    We all have to go through a process of getting lean again. Happens with every business. Part of it is over time we take on projects that don’t turn out and we don’t know when to cut losses. The other is we have to realign ourselves to our goals, that we all drift off course. The winners get realigned soon and often.

  36. game-girl says:

    I think it is very difficult to answer the question about which project will make you more money.In the course of time the situation will be changeble,and the results will differ greatly.Bless all your projects and let them all bring the fruits at its time.

  37. Dating says:

    I think you should get some Interns and or hire a few part timers.

    Have them do the small stuff while you work on the bigger and better things.

PeerFly

Leave a Reply