So What the Hell Happened? Part 1 of 5

August 10, 2017 Posted by Tyler Cruz

My last blog post before I disappeared was made back on February 13, 2016 – a good year and 5 months ago. So what the hell happened?

Since I have a year and a half to cover, I am breaking this up into a series of 5 separate posts.


If you remember, I had sunk the majority of my affiliate marketing profits into an income property as I knew my affiliate campaigns could die at any time. In fact, I knew it was just a matter of time. And with constantly increasing regulation and competition (namely against big brand advertisers who don’t have to worry about ROI), I could see the horizon looming ever closer – at least for me. This is why I did research about investing for a year.


But at the same time, I didn’t want to simply give up on making money online either. I could sense that affiliate marketing was dying, and my experience and background before affiliate marketing was in developing community-based websites. I came up with the idea of Votesy and just couldn’t get it out of my head, and so I decided to give the online thing one more go and went all out with Votesy, putting the last of my income and effort into it, along with a silent partner/investor.

I knew that Votesy was a big gamble and that the odds weren’t in my favour, but I also knew that if it did take off, that it’d be a real hit. I took the risk, it never took off, and I accepted the consequences. I don’t regret it though. Most of the stuff I’ve tried have failed, but a few have been successes, and affiliate marketing is all one big calculated gamble, just like poker (which is also part of my background).

Depressed and Sick

After sinking a fair bit of cash, but more importantly: time and effort, into Votesy, my affiliate marketing campaigns had mostly all dried up and died, and I wasn’t interested in trying to resurrect them. It would cost too much money, which I had none of at that point, and after Votesy didn’t take off, I was getting pretty tired of trying to make money from the Internet. In addition to Votesy and my campaigns failing, my Meniere’s was really kicking my ass and its effects were having a massive drain my life.

It’s one thing to be poor, but it’s another to be both poor and have serious health issues. Not being able to go out and do anything, having the horrible vertigo attacks, and suddenly going from making a lot of money online to absolutely nothing made me very depressed.

I didn’t feel like blogging anymore. In fact, I had been tired of blogging even before all that shit happened, mainly because at that time I had been blogging for 11 years. That’s 11 years straight with over 1,100 blog posts. I needed a real break from the ruthless fast-moving world of the Internet.

Goodbye, Internet!

While I hadn’t clearly decided at that point that I would abandon everything I had going online, I did know that I needed a good long break from it all. With so many failures online, and the constant struggle that making money online entails, I looked towards alternative means of making money. That is, making money offline.

I wondered why I struggled so much online when 99% of people just work a regular job and make just as much (more or less), only they have job security in most cases and get paid as long as they show up to work. Now listen to me carefully – I didn’t want a regular job, but it just seemed so oddly strange to me that people got paid so much for doing essentially nothing. For example, here are some average US salary numbers I took from a quick Google search:

  • Retail salesperson – $25,310
  • Cashier – $20,370
  • Janitor/cleaner – $24,850

Okay, so they’re not exactly making bank, but consider how much time and effort people spend in trying to make money online. Most will make no more than $50 if they’re lucky, after years of struggling.

Is being a cashier or working in retail easy? Hell no, but the money is guaranteed – you show up to work, you get paid – simple as that. And THIS is why I wanted to look offline to make money – I wanted a more guaranteed way of making money. I wanted to receive money in exchange for my time, unlike being an entrepreneur.

How I Survived

In each of the upcoming posts in this series, I will share the various things I did to pay the rent. This will be new territory for my blog, as since its inception I have always made a living purely from the Internet.

It will also shed me in a different light as I hit absolute rock bottom and have to struggle just to survive and be able to pay for heat. On the positive side though, these are things that are much more accessible for many others to be able to do as well. This is in stark contract to things like affiliate marketing or developing websites which require more of a technical skillset and existing seed money.

Stay tuned for my next post in this series. It will be very embarrasing and humbling for me to share, but I’ve always been very open and honest on my blog and I have nothing to hide.

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Posted: August 10th, 2017 under Miscellaneous  

19 Responses to “So What the Hell Happened? Part 1 of 5”

  1. su says:

    good to have u back, welcome back!
    nice post, cant wait for the sequel

  2. Garcia says:

    Tyler I really love how honest you are about your failures, I hope you are doing better today and I’m looking forward for the next parts

  3. Sunfrog says:

    This sounds very interesting. I can’t wait for the new blogs.

  4. Dave says:

    Wow – I had no idea. Honestly, with your affiliate marketing profits, I thought that you had saved up a bunch of $ and were just laying low for a while. I didn’t realize that you had actually run out of $ (though I guess you still had assets in the form of your personal residence and income property)

  5. Rahul says:

    I think you have struggled less as compared to other people in Internet. Finally, you have invested your money in real estate which will surely gives you more ROI as compared to what people making from regular job.

  6. Glad you are back brother been a long time but we all learn from these hard lessons. looking forward to hearing your story. Sometimes we just need a break Affiliate Marketing is not what it was in 2006 with acai berry campaigns and rebills its a totally different world now with ad blockers and everyone has to adapt. Glad you are well take care of your self!

  7. Das says:

    Interesting! I’ve followed a handful of blogs (most have which closed) that all started blogging around ~10+ years ago around the same time I got into making money online, affiliate marketing, developing sites, etc.

    It was interesting seeing how everyone was making money, different amounts in different or similar industrys. Everyone seemed to succumb to the same fate of eventually hitting hard times.

    I also made some money and put it into real estate which has been a hassle. If I could do it again I wouldnt invest into real estate and look forward to offloading these propertys one day.

    Its an odd feeling owning real estate but struggling to pay your own bills after an eventual downturn.

    The thoughts also crossed my mind about how much time Ive spent trying to make money online through projects vs I could have just gotten a normal job with normal hours and regular downtime. What a world.

  8. Duncan says:

    Even guys like Shoemoney seem to be struggling now… look at his blog. It is all just paid posts lol.

    • Rose Cunningham says:

      that’s the risk with anything where it’s not obvious what value you’re providing to your customers: you’re just exploiting a little market glitch that could disappear overnight.

      there are tons of people making (tons of) money online, they’re just doing so by actually focusing on providing value to their customers. the tech industry is booming. half-decent programmers get paid $150k/year in silicon valley these days.

      the stuff that’s dried up is the scammy stuff that shoemoney did. john chow’s making bank doing his pyramid scheme, but that’ll dry up too once all the old, clueless retirees he’s scamming either die off or realise that they’re the customers, not the ‘business partners’. well, if he’s lucky it’ll dry up… if he’s unlucky he’ll end up in prison.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      There’s no way Shoemoney is struggling – I heard he recently had a divorce, but he’s still probably worth at least >$10 million.

      • Rose Cunningham says:

        Agreed. Shoemoney’s going to be fine, but, that said, a lot of his scammy streams of income have dried up.

  9. Thomas says:

    Appreciate the honesty and talking about not much affiliate marketers talk about.

    The one struggle is if your a introvert and you dont have a network of positive people around its really difficult not to get down about various things.

    I went back to work in corporate to support my family and after a huge down spiral myself realize it wasnt for me.

    I think we all experience this one time or another. I definitely resonate because i experienced something similar myself.

  10. Tushar says:

    Really nice to see you back mate. I am looking forward to hearing your story. Kind of reminding me mine.

  11. mike says:

    I think the key is to be an entrepreneur and hold a job if you can. Like you, I ran a successful online business from 2009 – 2012. During that time, I was making over six figures a year online and I also kept my day job making between 45-55k per year (before taxes). The reason I kept my day job is because I didn’t want to have all of my eggs in one basket. Sure it was tempting to quit at times. But when the business went downhill after 2012, I was happy that I was employed and continued learning new skills while on the job.

    I am now working on a new online venture while still maintaining my 9-5 job. It is taking an extraordinarily long time to get the venture going, but that is the sacrifice I have to make right now. I’m using what I can of weekends and slowly plugging away at it.

    In the same way that you looked for other income sources when things went south online, such as real estate — I did the same thing but went a different direction. I dumped virtually 100% of my online profits into the stock market. While it isn’t enough to live from right now, it will be in about 15 years from now. I own about 10,000 stocks in the form of ETFs. Every year they pay dividends and those dividends increase year after year.

    So now I have two things working for me that are not dependent on Google and its algorithm changes; my day job and the dividends. I’m not factoring in capital gains because I don’t plan on selling any shares.

    I guess the point of my post was to share the importance of having multiple sources of income. Even when things are great, as affiliate marketing was for both you and I in the past, it could always come to an end. We could both be multimillionaires right now if our best years continued in a linear fashion. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy but keep plugging away and you will be fine. Just remember not to take too much risk in the process.

    • Nomar says:

      Great advice! But if you have an online business that might need your focus, quitting your day job might be the right thing to do.

      In my situation; day job, investments, google adsense (see my blog)

  12. Rad says:

    Dude you went broke? what happened?

  13. Pat says:

    Should have sunk the affiliate earnings in Google, Facebook, Apple, etc., stock and called it a day.

  14. Durga says:

    Finally, I found this part after a bit scrolling down in home page. I appreciate your honesty because I rarely find this quality in most of other Affiliate Marketer. I really liked article and looking forward to reading its other parts. Have a great day ahead.


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