Read me after you’ve read Part One, and you’ll find out why what should be a winning situation often fails.
PTRs ought to work — the site owners make money from advertising, the advertisers make money from their downline or from searches, and the members make money by sitting on their duffs at home and clicking emails.
Everybody ought to be happy. But PTR sites are NOTORIOUSLY unreliable. I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve seen come and go in the 1.5 years I’ve been doing them. I don’t think it’d be an understatement to say that THOUSANDS go up and die within a year’s time…often in much less time than that!
Sometimes the failure is on the part of the site owners. They want to keep their members happy, and their members are happy when they have ads to click…so overzealous site owners may sell their ads for LESS than their value. Instead of selling a 1c ad to 500 for $6+, they sell it for UNDER $5…perhaps wanting to take a short-term loss just to get folks talking about their program…maybe because they assume that not all 500 members will click the link…or that of the ones who do click, some members may quit the program before reaching whatever the site’s minimum is to request payment. Sometimes the site owner fails to take into account his OWN downline structure — the simple example above, that a 1c ad to 500 people should sell for $5.00 + profit FAILS to take into account that the site may give 10% to its members for their first level referral earnings, 3% on their second, and 2% on their third…an additional 15% they owe their members due to their own downline structure!
Site owners don’t seem to take a “big picture approach” to selling ads. They also need to budget for overhead like hosting fees, as well as maintenance costs (if the site owner’s home computer dies, the program dies).
Sometimes the problems you see with a PTR are the fault of its advertisers. They make unrealistic expectations about their ad results. Just because someone gets paid 1c to read your ad doesn’t mean they’re going to join a site in your downline…and it doesn’t mean they’ll do a search. Or if they DO a search, they may search for something with low or no bids, meaning the affiliate makes little or nothing. Or they may not do a “valid” search — they have to click on a term (like “distance education” and then click on a listing (like the small online college’s) AND the site then has to FULLY LOAD. Otherwise…zip. The affiliate makes nothing.
A BIG problem occurs when the site owner himself becomes a search engine affiliate and “buys” ads on his own site. Search engines go out of business about as fast as PTR sites (for reasons way beyond the scope of this article). PTR owners often pay the members 1c to search OUT OF MONEY THEY DON’T HAVE…justifying it by saying, “Hey, the members will earn me enough money from their searches for me to pay them.” The problem is, when you pay the members for the ad FIRST, then the search engine dies and doesn’t pay you…you still owe your members.
If the advertiser gets poor results, he may not advertise again. So then the fault shifts to the members.
The members screw up the system when they ignore the ads (if you know you’re getting paid to do a search, and you don’t do one, what do you expect? You tick off the advertisers, who don’t pay for ads, so you don’t get anymore paid emails). Then there are the cheaters — people who join from countries that aren’t allowed and people who fake downlines.
So now…this win-win-win situation is a huge freakin’ mess.
You know your PTR is on the downslide when:
1. They start taking longer and longer to pay you.
2. They raise their minimum payout.
3. They start making changes to their terms, like, you have to be as active as your downline to get paid for your downline’s activities (a way to weasel out of paying what they promised when they first started out and needed you to help recruit new folks).
4. They start sending out tons of “administrative” or “support” (generally unpaid) emails.
But the system does not always fail. There are some sites that have been around for years. How do you know which ones to join and which to avoid?
Continue Reading: Part Three — Finding the “Keepers”