The 2016 Year In Review

To call this an eventful year would be the understatement of the century…In my almost 2 decades of being involved with traffic exchanges, this year has seen some pretty big changes in the way we do business going forward. Some things have been amazing to see, others have been extremely hard to watch…Let’s dig into my highlights and lowlights of 2016 in the world of traffic exchanges;

The Good – The year started with huge promise. The launch of TEPays really got the industry fired up. We started to see real business practices and opportunities take front stage in the industry. We started to talk about things like lead generation, building email lists, personal branding…You know…The stuff that mattered! This program was onto something huge and record amounts of commissions where being earned by the members of this program. It was almost too good to be true in some cases, but the guys at NewFire Marketing kept delivering on their promises and are still going strong even after all the ‘bad and ugly of 2016…’

The Bad and Ugly – PayPal really threw a monkey wrench into a lot of people’s businesses. People were quick to point fingers and lay blame but a few of us, actually stood up and said..We’re all to blame and the entire industry should hold each other accountable. Traffic exchanges had gotten away from what made them so powerful in the past…As a lead generation and personal branding tool. That was replaced by penny surfing, get rich quick schemes and websites that looked like they were designed in 1999. Yeah, we did this to ourselves…And because of that, PayPal essentially wiped their hands and didn’t want anything to do with the majority of the industry.

But all is not lost, in fact…

The Real Good – Want to know how excited I am about the potential future of this business? In my years of being in the industry, this is the first time I have ever seen the lines of communication open up and old enemies are now working together for the common good. The discussions are taking place on forums, in blogs, in skype, on Facebook…People are REALLY talking! Fun fact: Vern Chumbley (Smiley) and myself are in the same skype group offering advice on a big project for the future….If that doesn’t say ‘we will survive and thrive’…nothing will lol It’s amazing to watch. The common enemy is the old habits we all shared, and the goal is to make traffic exchanges as viable today as they were so many years ago. But it only happens through US…The industry itself. The people.

2016 has seen some great things and some really bad things, but all in all, I’m excited to see what the future holds. The discussions are taking place everywhere, the future of traffic exchanges will come down to one thing and one thing only…The people! If we start attracting the right PEOPLE back into these programs, 2017 might be the biggest year in the history of this often misunderstood advertising platform!

And Finally…Some Good News For Traffic Exchanges

It’s been a pretty rough few months for traffic exchanges. With all the fall out from the PayPal slap, we’ve seen a general positive attitude around the industry but still…People are worried. And rightfully so, the future is unknown and as much as we want to scream…”It’s an opportunity” until their is some confidence built back into these programs, there will always be cautious optimism…

And then yesterday happened.

Let me share with you some history…

The year was around 2003-2004…I had just started writing Hit Exchange News weekly and was the owner of one of the more popular internet marketing forums online, Net Marketing Forum.

There was a guy, a very vocal guy, that started to show up every day in the forum with a unique way of doing business. His name was Robert Puddy. His attitude was this, I’m here to make money and make other people money and if you aren’t on board….Good luck to you! He was no hype, no hoopla, just business. Robert and I became pretty close friends and associates, we supported each other and the traffic exchange industry was really starting to flourish.

Robert was the guy who really helped bring traffic exchanges to the rest of the internet marketing world by hosting and producing offline seminars around the world. Rich Taylor and him started the Focus for the Future seminar series which was the first time I ever got off my lazy behind and made it to these events. They were awesome…

Along the way, my forum was growing and started to attract guys like Soren Jordansen, Tim Linden and an english guy named Paul Kinder…Paul lived breathed and died these programs, and I remember the day clearly…Paul came to me one day and said, teach me everything you know about traffic exchanges and as we worked together over the years he became a powerhouse in the business. Arguably one of the most successful owners in traffic exchange history.

Soren went on to become a highly successful internet marketer and Tim Linden, you may have heard of him, became my business partner as we formed TimTech.

I owe a lot to these guys. They taught me a ton and really helped this entire industry grow and prosper in the golden years.

Fast forward to yesterday and I get a notice of a blog post that Paul had written…

He said him and Robert Puddy were merging to create one company. That’s right, LFM (the most popular membership / traffic exchange script online) and programs like Traffic Splash, Tezak Traffic Power (along with Tony of course) would be all under one roof.

Here’s why I’m excited and the traffic exchange industry should be too;

1. These guys are awesome. Plain and simple, if we ever needed a group of people to come together and build something great, this is the time and these guys who I’ve known for over a decade are some of the best dudes on planet earth.

2. This new merger means bigger and better opportunities! Just thinking of what these two companies could accomplish together is exciting.

3. In a time when semi-serious owners will disappear by the way side, something like this builds confidence! This is a merger that helps the entire industry and brings professionalism to the business.

I could go on and on, but it all comes down to this. The entire industry is in survival mode. We’re unsure of what the future brings. But when some of the most successful people in this business, get together, there is bound to be some fantastic opportunities emerge from it.

Maybe, just maybe…The future is bright!