This was the first lens I wrote on Squidoo. Now I’m moving it here on my site.
So How Did I Come To Own My Text Ad Exchange Program?
I don’t get to tell this story very often, but it’s the story of how I started earning online. Sure I’ve been around the Internet for a few years now, but I have not explored the possibility of making money online prior to three years ago. Now I have my self-hosted blog. In addition, I also own/run a text ad exchange program. And this is how it all started…….
A Life-Changing Year
The year 2010 didn’t exactly start out too well for our family. My dad was hospitalized for two and a half weeks before he succumbed to liver cirrhosis. It was totally unexpected. Anyway, it was during my dad’s funeral when a few of my graduate studies classmates went to visit. It was then when I learned about online earning opportunities. Apparently, my friend Jaye knew someone who made a living from writing reviews of restaurants, a food critic. I thought then, “Wow! What a way to earn a living.” But I put the idea on a back burner as we had to sort out a few details after my dad’s funeral. I was silently wallowing in grief for a few months before I finally started a blog hosted on Blogger, Random Thoughts on Rain’s Domain. I honestly didn’t know what I would be writing about, but I’ve always kept a journal, so this site would be more like an online journal. It was fun writing about my state of mind during the first month, but I was still feeling a little down.
It was then than an offer to do a temp job came and I took it so I could somehow have a change of environment. I felt I needed it for my sanity and to improve my state of mind. That time I was beginning to feel a little depressed. It was a dead-end job, but I did enjoy some free computer time. I thought then I would look into the possibility of making money online. There must be more to life than a routine job that required me to travel more than halfway across town. The salary of which wasn’t even more than enough to cover for food and transportation expenses. That was around mid of 2010.
I had to wait a few months to sign-up for Paid-to-Blog programs. Even then, the opportunities were few and limited so I also started with PTCs (Paid to Click sties). These were lower risk sites as one could join for free and earn a few cents here and there from clicking ads. To date, I still have an account with a few reliable sites. I’ve stopped joining PTCs as I’ve seen quite a number have folded up after just a few months. It wasn’t worth the time and effort that one put in. But the few that I’ve retained, I’m happy to have been paid a few times. The earnings are not a lot, but a few here and there do add up.
That was when I discovered traffic exchanges. I found an industry where online marketers exchanged website traffic. I view your site, you view mine. That sounds fair enough. Very much like PTCs, TEs (traffic exchanges) are also free to join. If you’re a free member though, you need to spend more time on the site to earn more credits so your site or sites can be seen by other members. Now looking back, I didn’t realize that I’ve already learned a lot since I started out. But I digress. Anyway, I’ve learned that to be successful online, one need to build a list. And in order to do that one will need marketing tools. Whereas I was reluctant to shell out any amount at the onset, I found that it is necessary in order to build and grow one’s business online. By this time, my temp job was over so I spent a little more time online with just my freelance tutorial on the side.
I’ve joined TEs here and there. I networked with fellow marketers. I asked questions. I tried learning new skills, mostly on how to set up a wordpress blog, make my own splash pages, learn some HTML codes, and so on. Half a year into all these, I’ve joined a video making contest for a TE and won enough for me to invest in my own domain and hosting. That was when I put up my main blog site, I Am Raincrystal, with the help of my mentor Ted Sawyer, TheZenMarketer.com.
Even when I started joining TEs, I came across some sites known as text ad exchanges (TAEs). These were similar to TEs, but some TAEs do not have the surfing sites feature. Instead, you can add text ads, banner ads, button banner ads, featured ads, solo email ads and so on. I actually liked TAEs that when a colleague mentioned that he had one site that he was going to “put to sleep” unless someone wanted to take over it, I gladly took the risk. I was then a few months into my blogging and online promotions and a year into online marketing. I felt that it would be a good chance to be a program owner. The site was Winning Solos Text Ad Exchange. It was a cookie cutter program that one can rent and/or purchase from provider Admin For Free.
This story doesn’t have an ending yet. My site Winning Solos is a work in progress. I have grown the site from a mere twenty members to more than 350. But I’m not going to stop there. My latest campaign is to make it to the Friday Night List, a promo code site that lists only sites with at least 500 members. It may sound a bit ambitious, but I feel that I need a goal to keep pushing on, esp. when at times it just feels easier to quit. Who knows how this story will end. All I know is that I want a happy ending. 😀
Ways to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Site
- Email marketing
- Guest blogging
- Link building
- Social media (facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.)
- All of the above