PublisherSpot Updates: February 2008

February 18, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz

It’s been 3 months since I last posted anything about my PublisherSpot.com website.

I get a lot of comments from readers wondering why I don’t make posts about my websites like I used to back in the “old days”. The truth is that I’ve been focusing mainly on my blog for the past year or so. It is my core project right now, and I think that a lot of people mistake my absence of website posts for failure or laziness. Running a blog is very hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging to death, but it sure takes a lot of time and work to grow it.

Another reason for my complete lack of attention to my network of sites has been the departure of my long-time programmer. He has gone AWOL many times in the past, so I thought that he was going to return eventually, albeit late, as usual. However, I’ve finally given up on him now for the last time, and went to find a new programmer.

122

New Programmers

Well, I’ve now found a programming team, and to “test them out” I commissioned for them to do a few items from a long list of improvements for PublisherSpot I have written down in a Notepad file. I’ve had a tragic line of history with programmers, and am very pessimistic and cautious with them now, unfortunately.

But so far, these new guys seem pretty good. I spoke with one of the owners over the phone, had them sign an NDA, and so far they have been responsive and have given me regular progress updates. I’ll let you know in the future how they pan out.

New Improvements and Features

As stated above, I have a long list of ideas and improvements for PublisherSpot, but I only commissioned for 4 of them to be done for now. If I like the programmers’ work, I’ll commission for more work to be done.

Here is what is currently being worked on:

Search Page Modification (Minor Improvement)

On both the Search page and the “Quick Search” area on the top-right of the site, there will be a new option to select “Any” and will be enabled by default. This way users won’t be limiting their initial search to only networks rated 90% and lower. When “Any” is selected, the “higher” and “lower” radio buttons will be disabled for better usability.

Image Gallery Support (Major Improvement)

Screenshots will be added to all reviews. This not only “livens” up the reviews with some related photos, but also provides some useful references when showing screenshots of the control panels, for example.

It is labelled a major improvement because of the complexity and robustness of the administration area which will handle the image management within reviews.

Sortable Columns (Medium Improvement)

A very simple, but extremely useful improvement, the browse and search result pages will be sortable. Small up/down arrows will be added, which will sort the Network and Rating by ascending and descending order.

It’s a basic improvement, and nothing groundbreaking, but it’s amazing how a small improvement like this can improve a site’s functionality and usability by leaps and bounds.

3

[COLOR] BBCode (Bug Fix)

Reviews of ad networks are written with BBCode in the administration area, however the BBCode [COLOR] was not working. This will be fixed.

It is not of a big importance, and will rarely be used, but there are situations where a red colour is warranted.

More Networks

I managed to write a few more reviews to the site, which is no small task. The average review on PublisherSpot takes me around 8 hours to write. I have to first research the site, take notes, and test their ads and support. I then organize my notes, create a structure for the review, write a rough draft, and then write my finished copy and polish it up.

Due to the time constraints it takes to review just one network, I hired a talented writer who is knowledgeable with ad networks and is able to keep up with the high writing and reviewing standards I have for the site. With his help, PublisherSpot has added 8 more reviews of ad networks, making a total of 29 ad and affiliate networks reviewed on the site. Soon, all the major ones will be complete.

Income Report

In my past PublisherSpot Update posts, the main focus was usually on its income. Unfortunately though, I won’t be able to give regular updates on its income anymore for three main reasons.

First, there are now 29 networks. This means that I have to log into each one individually, grab grab the referral data, and enter it into my Excel spreadsheets. This takes a fair bit of time to do, and will only get harder as our database continues to grow.

Secondly, many networks do not give detailed reports; many only give a total referral and balance count. This means that I am not able to track monthly signup’s or income unless I tally this on the same day each month. This is what I originally did, but won’t be able to do as, again, our database grows.

Lastly, I’m not providing an income report because there is not much income to report! If I had to guess, I’d say that PublisherSpot signs up around 50 new referrals each month, and makes about $50. I’ve put a lot of time and money into PublisherSpot, so hopefully it will bring in better numbers soon.

Marketing and Advertising Efforts

Once my programmers finish the four tasks I set out for them, I’ll be purchasing my 3rd review of PublisherSpot on JohnChow.ca.

I like to buy new reviews on JohnChow whenever I get a significant amount of improvements and new reviews done to PublisherSpot, so that readers are constantly reminded about the site, and can see that it is not being neglected and is always improving.

In addition to JohnChow, I’ll probably splurge and purchase paid reviews on a few other medium-big blogs as well.

Suggestions and Requests Welcome

While I have a big list of ideas for improvements already, I’d love to hear your own ideas and suggestions as well. How can I improve PublisherSpot?

Also, if there is an ad network you’d like to see reviewed, or you simply know of any that we’re missing, please let me know. I’ll be sure to have them reviewed!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: February 18th, 2008 under My Websites  

20 Responses to “PublisherSpot Updates: February 2008”

  1. I really liked PublisherSpot- until I forgot about it! Glad to see it is still alive and being updated.

  2. Andy says:

    its a fine site. theres really nothing wrong with it; I think it struggles simply because the market for this sort of thing is insanely saturated.

    the only suggestion I can think of would be to break up and stylize the content a bit more; sub-headers like “Payment” and “Referral Program” should be larger, and colored (dark blue, perhaps). I’d also thing long and hard about pagination for them, as some are fairly long

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I’m not sure if I agree that the market for ad network reviews is saturated.. if anything, I think it’s a wide open market. I could be wrong, but there appears to be no other sites like PublisherSpot apart from maybe AdBalance.com and WebmasterFlooble.com, and I wouldn’t call those strong competition.

      But perhaps you meant that there is simply not much demand for this sort of thing…

      Thanks for your suggestion on stylizing the subheaders – this was one of the improvements I had in my file, so it will certainly be addressed. I’m going to have all the headers converted from a simple BOLD markup to HEADER tags, and then have the header tags stylizied to stand out and organize the review content better as you mentioned.

      • Andy says:

        your specific concept might not be well tread, but Im lumping it in with webmaster sites in general, as I would imagine most visitors do. lots of them have reviews and articles about online advertising. none are as thorough or focused as your site, but I dont know if most people make the distinction.

        but yes, since you mentioned it, I dont think theres a lot of demand for this level of specialization. reviews are most valuable for things you have to PAY for. when most people can just signup for an ad network at no risk or cost to them, reviews are not all that necessary.

  3. selma says:

    Wow. So you are saying that your blog has been your primary focus for the last year? You really should not be presenting yourself as an “Internet Entrepreneur as you don’t seem doing much “entrepreneuring” so to speak.

    This blog has basically been a half-assed diary with some blatant attempts to rip-off your readers (for which you were called on both times). You need to get your behind in gear and start doing some real work. You aren’t getting any younger and chances are slipping out of your hands each day. You should also try to organize your day to follow a standard working hours schedule and maintain it. If you slack off your income and success will reflect it (don’t try to fool yourself or us). You should also get in to a fitness program as you appear to be gaining weight quite a bit. If you get fit you will have more energy and ability to focus on the tasks at hand.

    You appear to be lost at the moment or perhaps slacking off due to some of your previous minor successes (domain sale commission, etc). Please don’t let yourself fall completely into this as you will find it very hard to come back.

    What you need to do is sit yourself down with a blank notepad and get your ideas on paper (whether these are new ideas or new takes on your existing ideas or sites)…do some brainstorming and churn something out. Then get to refining your idea(s) and move forward on them.

    You don’t want to be falling back into your parent’s basement. On another note, you really should consider finishing up some college/university (if you have not already) and consider a day career as you never know what may happen with the Internet. If your current income stream were to disappear tomorrow, you’d be sh*t outta luck and very sorry you did not prepare for this accordingly. Always have a backup plan. Think of it as income RAID1. Good luck to you Tyler Cruz.

    • Dave Turnbull says:

      Agreed, except for the last paragraph about getting a day career and going to college/university. It’s possible to diversify income heavily by still being on the internet. Day careers and school are too limiting – they give you a set formula and there is ALWAYS a limit to how far you can go.

      Being your own boss means the only limit is yourself.

      • selma says:

        Quite right, as I find my day job sucks the life and creative juices right out of me to the point where I don’t have the time/energy to accomplish anything online for the most part.

        But my point was that he should really diversify his income and not put all his career eggs in one basket . If you were to look at Tyler’s income (and many other’s attempting an online success) as an investment portfolio, your financial adviser would turn you away from it like the plague. High risk to say the least.

        With a proper post-secondary education and some experience he could have that under his belt and not live such a high risk life (career-wise).

        It doesn’t seem as though he doesn’t have the free time to do this as he seems to have quite a lot of “free time”. I fear this is simply a lack of motivation and laziness on his part. =(

  4. Metha says:

    Hi Tyler,

    After reading “selma’s” post, I can’t help but realize that you do not have a high school degree (let alone a post-secondary degree).

    My question to you is, with the onset of recent web trends – companies investing billions into web companies, and thus, new emerging technologies and changes to the web, how do you expect to keep up?

    Your skill set seems to fall short of being able to write a journal entry, review a website, and play poker. Having never written a line of code in your life, and being barely able to save a file for web in Photoshop, what advantages do you have over competitors?

    • Andy says:

      thats a pretty good point. theres a bit of added risk in making your living in this industry, but theres even more if your development consists purely of hiring other people. if moneys short, then, theres no real way to generate more. the process requires money to make money (though most of them dont seem to), and thats just inviting trouble.

  5. Mike says:

    Dude, I think someone stole your logo.

    http://www.ptbluff.com/

  6. I like your website and believe the concept is pretty good. However, most people that would actually make a fair amount of money from an ad network know when a URL is for an affiliate.

    These people then go on to just read the review and type the URL into their browser to check out the network instead of going through your affiliate link. IMO the only ones that will actually click through the affiliate links are people that are new to the game and likely won’t make you that much money.

    Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said? I’d like to read your response.

  7. Khalid says:

    I’d say the comment so far have been a mix of humour and advice.

    Personally I’d say luck had an element to play in your success, would you agree? What is your backup if your site(s) fail?

    Khalid.

  8. David Chew says:

    You have a very nice blog and is very useful for readers.

  9. I think you have spread yourself to thin.

    Choose 2-3 sites that have proven to be profitable and focus 100% of your energy on making those sites #1 in their niche. The truth is, you have gotten to comftorable with your situation and don’t even realize it. This is why much of your day is spent slacking and not focusinng on making money. If you knew that in 6 months from now that your income would be 1/3 of what it is now….how much harder would you be working?

    Sell off the rest of your sites and focus on what’s working. Quit jumping from Idea to Idea.

    2-3 profitable sites is enough diversification to keep you going without the need of worrying about a day job.

    • selma says:

      Agreed. Cut the fat, get focused on honing what you already have. I kid you not, your logo will not be looking so smug and clever if your poker site goes (as they say) “tits up”. 2-3 well designed sites with a good business idea behind them should be enough to get you going.

      Then, in your more than ample spare time, instead of playing Xbox or other non-production time wasting activities…..get your butt into college (or get your high school diploma at night school). Then take a business course or some other topic that interests you. You can’t go wrong with that plan. On the other hand, if you continue to “cruz” as you are now…..well, I don’t need to restate this. Get going Tyler….you can do it, you’re a smart guy (just need the umfff). =)

      • I agree that taking some courses would be beneficial…but the high-school diploma is a waste of time. Take some courses that will teach you how to invest your money and maybe another course on how to manage your money. This is the type of knowledge that will help you become financially free.

  10. [...] recently read an article on Tyler Cruz’s blog that he recently changed his contract programmer to a new team. This was [...]

  11. [...] my last PublisherSpot update post from three weeks ago, I had mentioned how I was starting to focus back again on my sites, in particular [...]

  12. [...] my last PublisherSpot update post from three weeks ago, I had mentioned how I was starting to focus back again on my sites, in particular [...]

PeerFly

Leave a Reply