What A Frustrating Mess

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It has been a while since I last posted anything. There has been a lot of activity with my sites. A friend of mine had a biz opp membership site that he leased to me. On paper it looked like it would do fantastic, or at least to the numbers I was given. I dumped around $8000 into in marketing. The leads cost me $60 and the people would pay $2.97 for a three day trial. After the three days they would be charged the activation fee of about $99 and then it was about $44 a month after that.

The numbers work out if I get better than 60% activating. Well, I was getting more like 40-50% and then of those who were moving forward about 10% of them were doing a chargeback instead of requesting a refund which cost me an addition $25 on top of the refund.

We tried a few different traffic sources some of them had a little bit better retention rate, but nothing like where my expectations were set.  We added some upsells that helped a little bit, but after paying for leads, $5 per buyer per month,  and merchant fees I was done several thousand. I was able to pull a couple thousand out, but over all I was done.

The upsells gave me a glimmer of hope. That is until the new awesome traffic source had some fraudulent traffic sent my way.  The fraudulent traffic coupled with my merchant provider getting into a little trouble with the feds caused my account to be cancelled. When a merchant cancels your account they keep all the money that was coming to you for six months. They were also keeping 12% of all transactions for a reserve account.  I was using the money to pay the thousands of dollars in fees that I seemed to owe everyone.

I wasn’t the only one who had my merchant account shut down. I heard there were around 100 shut down that day including some sites that were running over $100,000 a month through. A couple of the other guys leasing the same system were also shut down.

The guy we used for the traffic tried to find a new merchant that would let us keep all the billings we had waiting to go. After two months of hearing tomorrow or next week I have given up. I had about $2,500 in rebills ready, but after such a long time I fear that if I ran them, they would mostly chargeback.

My friend in the mean time tried to set up an affiliate network for all of his systems and asked me to be the admin. I could still work at home and it looked like I could make between $2,000 – $6,000 a month so I agreed. I did a lot of work getting that setup and creating new sites for new users. I also added a lot of content for a separate offer where I would be one of only 3-5 that would share in the massive profits that were expected to come.  All this was based on commission, but the potential was huge.

Two months is a long time to go with out serious money coming in and after about 3 weeks of my friend and the guy we got the leads from avoiding my calls, texts, and emails I gave up. I had to go out and get a job, something I never wanted to do again.

It is a good job and it will help me to support my family while I work on my other sites. They will grow slower than I had hoped, but at least I don’t have to rely on them for income.

I learned a lot from this experience. I had another friend give me some good advice. He said never get emotionally involved in business. If it doesn’t make sense on paper then walk away.

I am on a new mission now. I need to get my money working for me and protect it from harm. I am still making a little extra from my websites and doing SEO for a company and that will help fund my new website that should help me finally make it.

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