The Rich Review – An Introduction

It finally happened!  Jon (messed up and) gave me posting access here!

Hi!  My name is Richard Taylor, and I am a TE addict!

Yes, it’s true!  I began using TEs early in 2001.  After the sale of an offline business in the previous Century, I came online to see what I could find.  What I discovered was an amazing opportunity for new business development.  Although I had used the internet in my offline business since 1990, what I found was something totally different, requiring new skills, and a different outlook on potential.  I jumped right into the deep end of the pool and set out to see what I could accomplish.

Like many others, I was brought into the world of TEs seeking advertising venues for an affiliate program.  What I found, though, was NOT what you see today.

There was only a handful of TEs at that time, and they had 4:1 ratios with 60 SECOND (not a typo, a full minute) timers!  There were no ‘upgrades’ for better ratios/timers, it was what it was.  And it WORKED!  Very well!

I got my first commissions check (yes, a real check – in the mail) from using TEs.  I was hooked, hard!

I found myself looking forward to surfing, finding new sites, seeing what others had to offer.  I spent hours exploring, reading and learning.

It was from doing this that I found the “Massive Passive Advertising Machine (MPAM)” in October 2001.  ID #762, I got in on the ground floor of a program built around using TEs!  It is from the community discussions there that I first met Jon Olson, and a host of others, that would play a crucial part in my development in the upcoming years.

It began a chain of events that changed how I looked at business online, and TEs.

  • In November 2001, Stephen Ayer and I bought a script and released TrafficRoundup.com.  It was one of the first TEs to offer a game while surfing, the “Catch a Cow” multiple choice game, that awarded random credits for playing.  It was a 4:1 ratio with a 60-second timer, 2-tier upgrades.
  • During the same month, Robert Fortin and I formed the RX2 Group (later changed to Rx2Central), and bought a struggling safelist program with 20K members that we transferred to the ‘new’ format SafeLister was making popular, credit-based emails.  It was named, for lack of creativity, the RX2 Safelist.
  • In December 2001, Michael Russell (owner/creator of MPAM) and I bought ILoveHits.com from its original founder with approximately 50K members.  4:1 ratio, 60-second timer, 2-tier with upgrades.  (It was later redesigned, released on a new script, and inactives were purged)
  • In 2002, RX2Central, in conjunction with Jon Olson, released TrafficBuck.com, the first “Pro-Only” TE model.  4:1 ratio, 30-second timer, 2-tier paid levels.
  • Shortly after, RX2Central created/released ClickCrazey.com, the first ‘Theme Based’ TE featuring “Crazey Jon” – a mad scientist that recreated the TE model (guess where we got his name from?).  3:1 ratio, 30-second timer (later reduced to 15-second), 3- tier with upgrades.
  • In late 2003, Jon Olson took over ILoveHits.com, and made it what it is today!
  • In 2004, RX2Central, working with Jon Olson, Robert Puddy, and Josh Ditty, released Blogazoo.com, the first “Blog Only” based TE operated on a custom script.  It featured the “Gazoo” which was a text-link based rewards program that was inserted into blogs to reward people for reading.  It also had a ‘like’ system that generated higher view ratios for user-rated popular sites and in-depth profiles with chat capability.  3:1 ratio, 30-second timer, 3-tier with upgrades.
  • In 2005, Focus 4 the Future Inc, a cooperative with Robert Puddy, was formed.  We produced offline seminars focused around online business development.  Seminars were presented around the United States and Great Briton.  Each U.S. seminar also had a “TE focused” discussion group to enhance growth, innovation, and foster an environment whereby owners worked together – hosted in conjunction with Jon Olson.
  • FocusPoints.com, the first TE rewards system, was also launched that allowed multiple TEs to offer “Loyalty Points” to people surfing that could be exchanged for upgrades, credit packages, and physical products from a central program.
  • During all of this, RX2Central also owned numerous other sites from “TE Rating”  and link-tracking programs, to various blogs around an assortment of topics.
  • In 2006-2007, I sold all my remaining interests to focus on an offline business opportunity, made possible by affiliations from within the TEs.

[ Some dates are approximate.  I’m old, memory isn’t what it once was! ]

Yes, what I found in those early TEs changed my life, literally, both online and off.  Not a single one of those opportunities would have ever happened had it not been for me, sitting up for hours on end, surfing and talking to others doing the same thing.  It rocked!

I never really forgot about TEs, just focused on other, offline, ventures.  Recently, I have found myself having a greater online presence, and looked towards TEs once again to see how they could be beneficial.  And, of course, I started asking Jon for input, which led me to where we are now . . . here!

I truly believe in the potential of TEs.  The model is not dead, or even on life support, by any means.  In fact, I think the opportunity for growth is far greater today than many seem to think.  Sure, there have been some ups/downs, the base has changed since I was last directly involved, and most of the owners today I don’t know.  But here I am!

Don’t think I came back with my rosy colored glasses on, though!

I am an advocate for TEs, but also for change within the model.

I am looking forward to meeting new people, discussing ideas, and trying to find my way on this path the journey has placed me on.  Join me as we forge a direction to travel here, and see what opportunities await us.  As always, by working together towards a common goal, everyone benefits.

I will try and keep future posts shorter, but don’t hold your breath!  If you know me from the CTP Skype room, the TE Mastermind video conference Jon hosts (Haven’t joined us there yet?  Ask Jon to be included!), or the other posts I make on “The Farm” at Plus1Daily – you know the chances are slim!

 

P.S.:  I need a ‘name’ to call this.  The Rich Review was just for introduction.  Ideas?

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homage-to-the-sponge

With Sincere Thanks

Richard Taylor

“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!”

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Traffic Exchange Review – Hits And List Cafe

I polled the subscriber base of Hit Exchange News the other day and asked a simple question…What would you like to see ‘talked’ about on the blog. Two answers popped out, the first was that 33% of readers wanted me to discuss how to get better results from your time in the traffic exchanges! I love that topic and will be covering it a lot more in future posts…

However 38% of readers wanted traffic exchange reviews!

With all the ‘less than stellar’ traffic exchanges on the market and programs that come and go like the wind, I decided that not only are the readers right, this is a great topic. It would also be a lot of fun and kind of get back to the essence of what Ht Exchange News started off as back in 2003…

O.K. enough of the warm and fuzzy stuff, let’s get down to business!

Hits & List Cafe started in 2010, which that point alone should tell you what I’m going to say about this program.

Sadly, if a traffic exchange lasts and is viable after 6 months, it’s considered a win in this business so Hits & List Cafe fits my definition of a win right off the bat.

Owned by Suzanne Howarth, this program is on the LFMTE backbone with plenty of customization to keep users engaged.

The site has a smooth layout and one of cleaner surf bars in the industry. While the members area does have a lot going on, it’s still relatively easy to navigate. Other than all the badges and buttons on the left side of the members area, it’s super clean which I really appreciate.

The site itself has plenty of rewards programs and games to keep the surfer interested and surfing. The menu bar is fairly easy to navigate as well to find your way around the options of your membership. It’s a straight forward LFMTE environment but like I said, has customization added to the user experience.

Traffic flow is decent but it’s not ‘Easy Hits 4 U’ levels ever since ‘D Day’ last year in the industry. I do expect flow to step up over the next few months though as we get rid of the penny clickers and start catering more to the advertiser. You can see that Suzanne’s entire model is focused on the serious surfer and advertiser which again, is something this old school surfer appreciates.

Here’s a big win for me…The upgrade page!

While the price points are a little odd, 9.99 and 5.00 for the upgrades (I’d prefer to see a solid number like 5 and 9 for example) I love that this page is clean and that there isn’t….3876 different upgrade options.

That’s a win!

Keeping the choices limited really helps Hits & List Cafe’s upgrades pop! In fact I upgraded recently on an awesome log in offer which lowered the prices even more. A great value!

All in all, this program is solid! The fact that it’s been online since 2010 tells you that Suzanne is serious about it’s success. And in 2017, that’s the biggest testament to a traffic exchange you can have.

Awesome owners create awesome programs!

Hits & List Cafe scores a 8.5 out of 10