I have to credit Eric Goettman for writing a blog post the other day that really got me thinking…It seems like everyone and their mother wants to be a program owner!
I get it. It makes sense, you should eventually own some kind of membership service after you have paid your dues in the business, I mean I know I paid my dues. I know other successful owners did as well. Look at Tony Tezak, he was arguably the biggest traffic exchange affiliate for almost a decade before he owned and started Tezak Traffic Power…Dues must be paid. It’s like a badge of honor if you will..
People jump online without treating their new traffic exchange like a business. And because they do not have thousands of dollars and years of experience invested…Their staying power isn’t there.
Staying the course. That truly is a fantastic way to look at how to crush it in ownership. I’ve always maintained there is always a market for a good innovative traffic exchange with superior ownership. Never enough in fact….But this industry loves to nickel and dime itself…
Tell someone something like…You need to invest hundreds in a proper site design...And they look at you like you disrespected them.
Recommend that if they use a commercial script, they are going to have to really do some custom work on it to make it stick out…You are picking on the ‘little guy‘.
Hint that it may be years before they start making a good living from their program.…And you told them theirs mother’s spaghetti sucked.
No one wants to hear the truth when it comes to ownership and that’s why we have an influx of traffic exchanges that never get more than 1000 members and offer no real value to the industry.
Do something different and have a long term vision. This is the best industry on the planet if you do things the right way.
Some quick tips for anyone thinking about owning a TE that will separate you from 99.9% of the industry…
1. Hire a professional to design your site – I can’t stress this enough. The template look sucks! Make your site look like a million bucks and people will talk about it, join it, promote it and rave about it. If it looks like you did the design yourself in 1997…Well….Just don’t. Hire a professional!
2. Invest in custom programming – Better yet, partner with a programmer and develop something unique. I understand, this sounds pricey and scary at the same time…That’s because it is! This separates you from the pack. LFMTE is a fantastic script and the one I will recommend to new owners but you MUST do something unique with the script. Get some custom mods, hire a programmer…Do something new
3. Learn Basic Coding – If you think HTML stands for ‘hot times my lover’…O.K. that was bad humor…But seriously, learn some basic coding so that you can fix things on the fly if something needs to get done and understand the language your script is programmed in. That doesn’t mean you need to become a programming whiz, but having a basic knowledge of this stuff REALLY helps. Trust me!!!!! Best thing – It’s free to learn basic coding at Codeacademy.
4. Pay Your Dues – This means actually knowing the community, understanding what it takes to own a traffic exchange, getting people to know like and trust you. I have never seen anyone just jump into ownership without learning the ropes first. Spend the first year online, being a sponge and soaking up as much information as you can…Then, you will see what people like, what they want and how to crush it and give them the perfect program.
5. Hire Jon – Time for me to brag a little bit…I kinda know how to run successful traffic exchanges. I’ve written about them since 2003 on this blog, I own 4 of the biggest most successful programs on the planet and heck, I still love the silly things after almost 2 decades of surfing. This sounds like I might be pitching my services but in reality any traffic exchange I have worked with in the past, has done big things. From Legacy Hits to Traffic Splash…I’ve consulted the most successful traffic exchange owners in history. I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve, no one has thought of yet 😉
Above all else…Invest in yourself! Invest in your staying power…You do not need to revolutionize the world, just be prepared to bust your butt and work harder than you ever have before. You have to love this business to last in it, because trust me on this…Launching a traffic exchange is the easiest thing to do in the world…Having the long term vision and ability to stay the course…That’s remarkable because that’s the hardest thing to do in this business….