PublisherChallenge Explained

January 22, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Just over a week ago, I revealed that my Big Project was actually While I revealed the domain name and logo, I didn’t actually say what the site was all about to keep you guys guessing.

Now that another week has passed and the programmers had a pretty productive first week, I thought I’d explain exactly what the site is all about.

As a couple of you correctly guessed in the comments, PublisherChallenge essentially is the taking of my Affiliate Marketing Challenges from my blog and putting them on their own dedicated site.

But PublisherChallenge is much more than simply creating an organized site to run the challenges and removing some of the repetitive competition posts that were getting a bit repetitive on my blog. PublisherChallenge is all about automation and interactivity.

Below are some of the features that PublisherChallenge will offer users:

Automatic Hourly Statistical Updates

Previously, I always had to keep track and update stats by hand. I kept a number of Excel files with a plethora of mathematical formulas and other information, and would have to log in every day and copy and paste the referral information by hand. Since this was time consuming and a pain, I would only update the leaderboard stats on my blog about once a day on average.

PublisherChallenge will grab and store this data automatically and update the stats on the site hourly. If the server load isn’t too bad on the server, I will have this increased to once every 30, 15, or even 5-minutes.

Detailed Stats, Graphs, and Trends

Members will be able to see detailed number crunching of their (or their competitor’s) accounts. Nothing private is shared (I’m not able to grab it if I wanted), but by simply tracking the commissions generated automatically, the site can spit out graphs and charts, average amount made per day, etc.

It can even show how much more is needed to overtake a position and how much ahead you are of the person behind you. In addition, members can optionally have the site e-mail notify them when they are overtaken or somebody overtakes their position.

Completely Safe – No Trust Issues

All of the data crunching and stats are done without members having to give up ANY of their private data such as username or password. They don’t even need to use a tracking pixel or anything such as that. All they need to do is sign-up for a free account on the site which takes 3-5 minutes – and even that is optional.

Personalized Accounts

I don’t know about you, but personally I’m bored of seeing people referred to as CD8467, CD8470, CD11497, etc. PublisherChallenge allows users to optionally register for a free account where they can then attach a screenname to their account making for a much more interesting and involved competition.

By having an account, users can also have the system keep a detailed history of their account. For example, it will show what past competitions they competed in, what place they got in it, their total commissions earned, etc.

Multiple Networks and Multiple Challenges

PublisherChallenge will be running several competitions on several different affiliate networks at the same time. This lets users choose which competition that fancies their interest, and provides an answer to those who may have already signed up to 1 or 2 of the other networks.

In addition, the site provides all of the necessary information, standings, rules, and other details for each competition in a user-friendly way.

So what do you think?

Having a February 1st, 2009 launch target date is extremely ambitious, but it’s still possible. As of right now, the site is about 20% programmed with the administration section currently being worked on. If I feel the site is a bit too buggy and isn’t quite ready to launch for February 1st, then I’ll have to make the tough decision to delay it until March.

The other thing is that I still need to work out the competition details with the 3 networks I plan on launching the site with.

Next week ill provide full screenshots of the site, so stay tuned.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: January 22nd, 2009 under My Websites  

42 Responses to “PublisherChallenge Explained”

  1. Barry says:

    It looks good Tyler.

    Well the users have to be referred under you or can they have a pre existing account?

    Well the members have editable things on there profile? Such as a section where they can write a paragrah about them selves? Will people be able to post the url of there site on there profile etc?

    Layout looks pretty good from the blurred out image above! Sounds like a lot of work but now that the cat is out of the bag I think a Feb 1st launch would be your best bet. But in saying that I also think you shouldnt rush to get it out the door and release a buggy site.

    If its not ready another option is to have a beta launch for a few days or weeks before the site actually opens up to the public?

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Josh says:

    I think your retarded… I watched this design contest go on at 99designs It will look nice… But I still think your retarded…

    • Zeeshan says:

      Your distaste for Tyler could have had some weight if you demonstrated an understanding between the term “you” and the phrase “you’re / you are”.

      It’s difficult to pay vivid attention to your negative statements when you’re unable to supersede the very point you made against Tyler (“retardation”).

      • nickycakes says:

        Any distaste for tyler cruz carries plenty of weight compared to your brown nose koolaid drinking digitalpoint-esque fanboism. This site offers no useful advice in any form, and worthless schemes to leech referral revenue while not providing any insight into how to make actual money online is not only greedy and predatory of your peers, but kind of stupid, since the people you refer will rarely, if ever, make any decent money.

        Tyler is retarded. So is this stupid contest bullshit.

  3. Atniz says:

    Take your time to develop it. Either Feb or March, it still will be good. During this time, try to concentrate on how to create a buzz of this product. All your marketing technique and network should be widen. It will be very helpful for your new product. Just an advice.

  4. Upstarty says:

    I say take inspiration from Google. Just slap ‘Beta’ in front of the name. This has given Google years in explaining away any bugs as, “Hey, it’s still in beta.”

    But seriously, I think if you do make it noticeable that it is in beta, people will forgive the occasional bug.

  5. Ricardo says:

    Tyler, I think it´s a great idea. If it has worked through your blog, I dont see whay it wont work by itself.

    How are you going to promote it once opened? Also, how do newbies make those numbers on your contests? Do you know how are they promoting? PPC? Blogs?

    Wish you much success!

  6. Dave says:

    It’s a great idea, and it looks to be a great site.

    Ignore the haters.

  7. Looks good , any new ML contests will be interesting. I know I’ve come a long way since December.

    • MLDina says:

      Glad you asked, Brandon. After taking a brief contest hiatus, we’re baaackkk…

      You’re just going to have to keep an eye out on Tyler’s new site to see what we have in store!

  8. trigatch4 says:

    You tried to take your blog’s discussion to another site with It didn’t work. It’s filled with spam from 2008.

    You tried to take your “review me” concept and referral commission to another site with That didn’t work too well either.

    I don’t see any indication that this site is worth the work you’re putting in. Especially when we all know you’re inevitably going to make the same posts on your blog announcing new competitions, updating us with competitions and doing all that crap to help the new site get off the ground. It’ll stay afloat as long as you keep pushing it on your blog but that will be the extent of its success.

    The value you’ve created is in this domain and I think your difficulty extending your brand to other sites will continue with PublisherChallenge.

    MovieVault was last updated in October 2008. PokerForums has limited activity at best. Are any sites besides your “Make Money Online” sites even generating revenue?

    It wouldn’t seem that way since all you’re trying to do is make more of them.

    • Paul B says:

      I sort of agree here. With a little help from your friends you’ve realised that referring affiliate marketers is a very, very easy way of making money and now you’re trying to expand on it. Fair play, cos to be fair you don’t really seem to make that much money yourself, your own stats show that most of your money comes from skimming of people who do better than you. But,the concept is not big enough to warrant its own site. You put referral links on a popular site and you get a percentage who sign up, you create a site around getting referrals and you will struggle. You’re not the first to try it, competitions or no competitions.

      Why didn’t you just pay somebody to knock out a WP plugin that does all of that? It’s not a big job really, interacting (ripping data) is the easiest job for any programmer. You could have had all your contests/stats automated in a matter of days? Hell not only that but you’d have a WP plugin that you could sell to other bloggers who want to run their own “referral” comps.

    • Tyler Cruz says:


      I definitely agree thatother than Poker Forums, my main income comes from my “make money online” sites.

      … but so what? It makes sense since that is what I’ve been focusing on for close to the past 2 years. I personally find this arena easier to make money with for a number of reasons including experience, contacts, other sites to leverage (such as thig blog), etc.

      It also makes sense that I’ll gravitate towards this niche since it is what I do for a living: make money online.

      For my non-make money online sites: PokerForums brought in $50,000 and the rest around $10,000 in 2008, which isn’t too bad considering I’ve been focusing on the Make Money Online/webmaster type sites for close to the past 2 years.

      As far as having difficulty shifting some of my brand to other sites such as PublisherForums and PublisherSpot – I’ll agree that it’s been difficult, but I have seen some success with them (PublisherSpot refers a fair number of referrals and brings in close to $1,000 a month).

      The nice thing about PublisherChallenge is that it’s not just about making a “new” site. It’s about automating the process of updating the competition stats and cleaning up room on my blog. While I’ll obviously push and draw traffic towards the site in the beginning, eventually it will allow me to stop making Affiliate Marketing Challenge posts on my blog.

  9. tke71709 says:

    Sorry Tyler, but I just don’t see this taking off.

    Essentially you’ve taken all the hard work on your end and created a site that will do it for you. You’ve added extremely little value for the people who are actually competing (do the competitors really care if their stats are updated every hour vs daily?).

    You even say so yourself.

    The nice thing about PublisherChallenge is that it’s not just about making a “new” site. It’s about automating the process of updating the competition stats and cleaning up room on my blog. While I’ll obviously push and draw traffic towards the site in the beginning, eventually it will allow me to stop making Affiliate Marketing Challenge posts on my blog.

    The reason you’ve been able to make money off these competitions is because of this blog. To remove all the hype and hoopla from this blog would simply kill the goose that is currently laying your golden eggs here.

    Well I hope it works out for you anyway.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      tke71790, I’ve shown it to several of my referrals who are quite excited about it, so I do think the site has value apart from just being an automated outlet to parlay my Affiliate Marketing Challenges.

      You are correct in that the site will need to self-sustain and grow itself outside of just my blog, or else I’ll constantly be trying to push new traffic there. I have a few ideas for this…

  10. tke71709 says:

    You’re up awfully early, it’s 6am on the west coast.

    I’m not here to hate, unlike some here, so I hope it goes well.

    I would have integrated it into your publisher review site or this blog rather than creating a brand new site for it though.

    You spend all this time building a brand, then you don’t take advantage of it.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      It is a little counter-productive in some ways, but part of the reason I went with the “Publisher” in the domain name instead of “Affiliate” (other than the fact that and related domains were taken), was so that I could in the future tie in my other two “Publisher” domains and possibly merge them into a trio sister site: PublisherForums, PublisherSpot, and PublisherChallenge. Adding a forum to PublisherChallenge will now be easy thanks to PublisherForums, for example, and I have PublisherSpot to provide detailed reviews and search features.

      Yeah, I’m up early. I haven’t been able to sleep the past few days because one of my referrals skyrocked recently and is doing $10,000+ per day which in turn makes me an extra $500+ per day…

  11. Chris M says:

    Very cool idea, kinda guessed it, but damn, if you can get enough people online, it’ll rock!!!

  12. Dave says:

    Sorry, but I’m just not sure what’s in this for the affiliates. I’m not your target market, but I’ve never really been impressed with the prizes. They are nice prizes, but the affiliate networks will give nice gifts to their top affiliates anyways. I remember Zac Johnson saying he got a plasma TV or something just randomly after he was making quite a bit of money for Azoogle. It’s going to be a challenge to keep the site interesting as you’ve got 2 things to worry about: a. affiliates making any sizable amount of money might resent your commission and b. affiliate networks would rather not pay out 5% to you so may stop running promotions through you once they are established enough

    Good luck though! I think you need to give some serious thought to reviving PokerForums and its PR as that has been a proven long-term winner for you whereas these contests have less history.

  13. Funny Quotes says:

    I’m a bit confused. So can anyone run their own affiliate competitions on this site or is it just your competitions? Either way, it’s still a good idea, but I’d like to see it become possible for many people to start their own competitions on it.

  14. Keith says:

    I think it’s going to be a hard sell, but the best of luck.

    I think when you take it off your blog the whole idea loses some of it’s value. The networks like being affiliated with because the type of people that read these types of blogs – the make money online crowd…a lot of newbies. Newbies = referrals. When you move it to it’s own site you lose the brand and have to start building the audience again.

    Not only that but now the networks have to share space? I’m not sure how well that will go in the long run.

  15. paidtowrite says:

    LOL at the negative comments. Some people really need to learn basic manners! And I love how they’re too cowardly to link to their site!

    While I personally don’t see this project becoming a huge success, it might help you generate a little bit more each month. It’ll be interesting to watch either way.

  16. jason says:

    im surprised there were some people who actually offered you some real advice.

    but of course in typical tyler cruz fashion you never take any suggestions seriously.

    These people above who were telling you why its gonna fail are right. the only reason these competitions even get anywhere is because its on your blog. your gonna have a hell of a time trying to get new sources of traffic to fill that gap once you take it off your blog. not only that but since you have your own site your gonna have to sell this idea of signing up under your referral to noobies because no top AM’s are gonna be interested in this.

    I don’t know why you bother having a blog posting questions asking what people think when you don’t care anyway. your so arrogant thats why you never truely succeed. people who have been in the game as long as you make 30x what you make. i don’t know if the noobs realize but you’ve been doing this a very long time and to be honest if your not making more than 50k a month after 3 or so years of working online then there is something wrong with your approach and you need to go back to basics.

    • Dave says:

      If you’re read Tyler’s blog, you’ll know that he just wants to make enough to survive and live comfortably, not have more money than he knows what to do with. There’s nothing wrong with that and I actually share that philosophy as I’m sure anyone working a 9-5 job probably does too.

  17. […] For some reason or another I stumbled on Tyler’s blog and saw this post: PublisherChallenge Explained […]

  18. Jacob says:

    I’m not going to say that it is an epic fail until it has launched and does fail. The fundamental issue I see with this is the short term gain from it.

    The reason I never joined any of your contests is because I was never going to win anything big. Each contest became harder because more of the “better” marketers were getting in to win these prizes and soon enough, I was SOL.

    Now, this is going to happen, but on an even greater level. If you get even more people to sign up, great for you. But, you’ll reach a cap because soon, people won’t care about the contest because they know they won’t win. I strongly suggest finding a different approach to it or it’ll be short lived.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      We’re structuring one of our next competitions to cater more to affiliates of different commission ranges which should address the concerns the issues you mentioned. Stay tuned.

  19. Kyle says:

    All you guys that are not Tyler fans…WHAT are you doing reading his blog. He has you! Keep it up Tyler.

    I think your idea will do fairly well…It’s a lucrative market.

  20. […] for the last little while and he’s almost ready to launch it into the stratosphere. In his explanation of Publisher Challenge, he tells us that we will be able to participate in a series of affiliate challenges with real-time […]

  21. Ryan Eagle says:

    Do you even make money doing affiliate marketing – or are you just living off those referral links and big baller $175 posts? Complete toolbag.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      No, I basically break even, which I’ve stated in dozens of blog posts. I don’t consider myself anything close to a “big baller”.

      Sounds like somebody has low self-esteem…

  22. Can’t wait to see this come out live. It’s just another way to bring in more income to you and maybe you’ll top $150,000 in 2009? 🙂


  23. DotDriven says:

    So, are you opening up this new site to any affiliates that want to take part or only doing the “only my referrals” thing like usual? If it’s only for your referrals then I can care less and have no desire to see it succeed.

    I think the one thing that annoys me about all these contest is the way you talk about your referrals. Like when you do updates on how they went and give some of them a hard time and tell them “they can do better” when it is so obvious you couldn’t care less about their profit and such but ONLY want to make higher commissions. Your post are loaded with that kind of talk and it’s just sad that you make it so obvious you are just “using” them to make your commission.

    The smart people that are taking part in the competitions and doing heavy numbers would shop around at all the networks and get the best rates they can…especially with proven numbers. Odds are they could make way more profit by shopping for the best rates on their offers and then just buy the prizes many times over and then not have to hear how they are making your “$500 a day” for doing nothing. Rather than brag about how much the “behemouth” is making you while you do nothing for him you should be kissing his ass as much as possible and consider sharing some of your referral commissions with him. Otherwise he will wise up and see you profiting off his work while he gets nothing out of it. And then after he smartens up and shops his traffic around at the networks and makes even more you will be left without the huge referral commissions and as you have even stated, your monthly earnings will have a dramatic drop.

    Hey Scott…I have an offer for you. How about you sign up under me on another network and I’ll give you 80% of the referral commissions I earn off your sales. That could be an easy jump in your profit for the same amount of work you are doing already ;). Hell, I might even be able to talk the network into buying you a tv on top of that after a month of traffic at those numbers 😉

  24. […] January 26, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz Paid Advertisement Four days ago, I published my PublisherChallenge Explained post in which I described what the site was for as well as its […]


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