Sailing the seas of online marketing and plundering the riches as an affiliate pirate.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life after Agloco

I thought I'd post a short update regarding this blog. I will only be updating it occasionally from now on. When I sort some things out, I am going to start a new blog on making on internet marketing, search engine optimization, and making money online in general. It will also have a little unique twist to it to set it apart from other blogs of this kind just a bit.

After I start this blog, I'll announce it here and then stop updating Andrew-Owns-Agloco completely. I'll also be rewriting, improving and then porting some of the better articles to the new blog.

Andrew-Owns-Agloco will stay online and link exchange will remain intact for unlimited time, so if you have a link exchange with me, you don't need to worry about it disappearing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

AGLOCO Update Notice (new e-mail)

You probably received this new e-mail from Agloco management today:
Dear Name,

We would like to update you on the status of AGLOCO's operations. We continue to believe in the AGLOCO concept, but our revenue is currently not sufficient to give Members a meaningful distribution. And though there are increases in membership, the resulting revenue is not enough to support operating costs. As a development team we are unable to continue to use our savings to fund the operations. If any Member would like to pursue continuing the operations of AGLOCO, you may contact us at agloco1@live.com .

We would like to thank every Member for supporting our effort to bring a piece of the Internet directly to the user. We hope that we can find a way to keep the operations going.

AGLOCO Development Team

That is as good as confirming what we already guessed. Agloco is not going to make any payments, and there's no reason to continue promoting it or using the Viewbar. Even their e-mail states that the resulting revenue isn't enough.

Would anyone like to buy Agloco from them? :-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is Agloco a scam?

After another week, it is going to be 2 month without a word from Agloco. Their blog is dead, no one uses the Viewbar anymore, and even the security certificate for agloco.com has expired. Many people would call Agloco a scam. Many would probably say "told you so". I'm not so sure about that myself. I think there are two possible versions:

1. Agloco was planned as a scam from the beginning. Their goal all this time was to collect private information from the members to sell it later, as well as make as much money as possible from the Viewbar and advertisements.

I don't find this very likely, because if they were planning to scam people from the beginning, they could have done a better job of it. Scammers should give the members daily updates, nice promises, answer each and every question, and make sure everyone is using the Viewbar so they can maximize their revenue. I'm saying they did a bad job if it was a scam, since they didn't realize any of potential revenue from the site or blog, and didn't even encourage the members to use the Viewbar enough. I've been scammed enough times to know how it works :-)

The only way this could work is if their plan was to sell the details of the members to someone, and they didn't want to bother with any other sources of revenue; everything was just a cover-up. Again, I don't think it's very likely, but it's a possibility.

2. Agloco was planned as a real project, but failed due to incompetence of their team and other reasons. If I had to bet, I'd bet on this one. From the start of the program, they showed their inability to keep their own deadlines, the lack of communication between the members, and so on. The so-called "economic network" turned out to be nothing more than a pitiful reincarnation of AllAdvantage. Seriously, if you are going to create a social network that shares it's profits, create something like Yuwie.

So, what happens now? Will Agloco just disappear quietly one day, or will they post a tear-wrenching update about how they did their best, but the program failed due to [insert some lame excuse here]? I don't really have any more illusions about it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

rssHugger - free advertising for your blog

I read an interesting post at download-agloco dot com the other day. It was about a nice, web 2.0 style website called rssHugger, which gives free advertising for your blog.

rssHugger is a lot like Technorati in a way. They take the RSS feed of your blog and publish it on their home page and top100 list. Of course, since rssHugger is rather new, they don't have many members yet. I believe that is going to change soon, though. They are using an interesting marketing tactic: apparently, at first the cost of adding your blog to rssHugger was $10, and now it's free. I think that's even more effective than offering a free service from the start. Plus, you need to review their site in order to add your blog (that's what I'm doing right now), and that generates some nice free advertising for them. Even big blogs like JohnChow dot com have joined rssHugger.

So, head to rssHugger, write a short review, and enjoy the free traffic.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hit2Hit review

It was a while since I reviewed my last traffic exchange. I've stopped using them for promoting this blog, but I still use splash pages in traffic exchanges to promote various money making opportunities like TE Profits. I'm reviewing Hit2Hit manual traffic exchange this time.

Hit2Hit is a big traffic exchange with over 40k members. They have 6 second timer and a pretty standard 2:1 surfing ratio for free members. Hit2Hit emphasizes upgrading, which I don't like much. Overall, it seems like it's one of those traffic exchanges which are designed to get people to buy upgrades, and it's not very good for free members. I have to admit, however, that Hit2Hit's upgrades are more valuable than those in some other exchanges, although they don't even come close to the upgrades that SmileyTraffic has.

One of the good points of Hit2Hit, in my opinion, is their strict policy towards sites in rotation. They don't allow PTP (paid-to-promote) pages, so surfing is smooth and without interruptions. I'm promoting my SmileyTraffic referral link and my other splash pages there.

Join Hit2Hit if you don't mind a lower surfing ratio and don't want to see or promote any PTP pages; or, if you plan to upgrade. Otherwise, don't bother.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My first Text-Link-Ads affiliate comissions

I wrote about TLA a long time ago. They had "accepted" my site back then, but I wasn't able to actually participate in their Publisher program because my PageRank was too low. Since this blog now has PR4, I hope eventually they might review it and allow me to sell links here. I suppose the news of Google manually reducing PageRank of sites selling links (and that effects both buyers and sellers) will be bad for TLA's business, but I don't think Google will pay any attention to a small blog like mine.

Now for the real news - I logged in to my Text-Link-Ads affiliate account and saw that I earned some comissions a while ago (the referral name is blurred to protect their privacy):


I have only been promoting TLA in SmileyTraffic exchange, so it took me quite a while to earn my first comissions. Their rules don't help either - first, you need a PR4+ site, which not everyone has, second, the publisher has to install the code for 7 days in order for the referrer to get comissions. As for comissions themselves, it's one-time $25 payment for each referral which satisfies the 7 day requirement, and the same amount for any new advertiser, regardless of how much money they spend.

So, if you have a website with a Google PageRank of 4 or higher, you might want to join Text-Link-Ads publisher program and make money selling links; or, if you don't have a fitting website, you can just use the affiliate program like I do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Agloco is dead

Today a month has passed since the last official announcement on Agloco blog. With this, I might as well declare Agloco being dead. Of course, I'd like to believe that they are busy working on payout system, but that seems less likely with each passing day.

The biggest problem is the lack of communication between Agloco management and it's members. I just can't believe how bad it is. I wouldn't even think that Agloco was planning to make money off it's members and then disappear just because there is no communication. They would keep us happy by feeding us promises each day, so the members would use Viewbar more - which they don't. This month my hour earnings are beyond pathetic, and it's bad not only for me, but for Agloco also, since they make less and less money.

As for my course of action, I will still be updating my blog and using the Viewbar 5 hours a month, until this matter is resolved - one way or another.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Submit your articles automatically

One of the more important means that helped me achieve PageRank 4 on this blog was so called article marketing. I wrote several short articles on topics related to making money online, and put in the URL of this blog in my "resource" or "bio" box at the bottom. Once the articles were approved, this gave me a permanent, free backlink from the article directory site. What's more, bloggers are able to use content from article directories for free, as long as they include the resource box from the article author. I actually found one of my articles re-posted with a backlink on another blog which appeared on my visitor statistics.

Of course, there are hundreds of directories where you can submit your article, but doing it manually is a lot of work. That's where ArticleMarketer comes in. They will do all the hard work of submitting your article to many article directory sites, for free. There is an upgrade to your membership, which lets you view article distribution reports, and submits your articles to a much larger list of directories, but I only used free service so far. The upgrade costs $80 for 3 months, and I think that's pretty reasonable since you can submit unlimited articles unlike in other manual submission services which are one-time. However, I believe the paid option is only useful if you are doing a lot of article writing, not merely 1 article a month like myself. If you do upgrade, you might want to see their affiliate program which pays you to refer other paid members.

Since free submission in ArticleMarketer is rather limited, you might want to submit your article to most important article directories yourself. There's no need to overdo it, however. I usually submit my article to ezinearticles first (PR6 directory!) and use ArticleMarketer after that. Write about anything you like and see those backlinks coming in!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Google PageRank update

Google PageRank has finally been updated, and I'd like to congratulate myself for getting a PR4 on Andrew Owns Agloco. I'd also like to thank all my link partners who helped me achieve this.

There are a few changes regarding link exchange. First of all: regrettably I had to cancel my mini review program due to lack of participation. Second, I'm still open for sidebar link exchange deals with Agloco related blogs only. The requirement stays the same - your blog must have a page rank of at least 3. This shouldn't be a problem, considering that most active blogs should have got a page rank assigned in the recent update.

Naturally, this doesn't apply to already existing exchanges from older deals - your links will stay whatever your page rank or blog topic is.

Finally, a short note about Agloco. There haven't been any updates ever since the Oct 12th post on the official blog, but I expect a news soon that should tell us whether payouts will be made of October or not.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Making money with Bidvertiser

I have recently joined Bidvertiser because a fellow Agloco member ismabera suggested it. You can see their ad at just above this post. I think it is a great idea to get some other revenue source from my blog, besides simply referring new Agloco members.

With this, I've also removed my blog from all traffic exchanges I was a member of. I didn't do that because of Bidvertiser rules - actually, it's one of the few pay-per-click advertising systems which have a friendly approach to traffic exchanges and "get paid to" sites - but because I want to track how much "real" traffic I receive, and perhaps open up a way for this blog to show ads from other networks in the future.

Putting Bidvertiser code on my blog here at Blogger proved to be a little tricky. After causing my blog to stop working altogether a few times, I took my time and read about widget tags that Blogger uses. I had to edit the HTML of my template and put the green code there:

<div id='main-wrapper'>
<b:section class='main' id='main' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='HTML4' locked='false' title='' type='HTML'>

Basically, it created a new widget right above my posts, which I can edit in my "Page Elements" menu like others. All I had to do then was add the Bidvertiser code. If you want to add their ads to some "standart" location, like your sidebar (or wherever your template lets you), you won't have to edit the code - just insert another HTML/JavaScript widget from your "Page Elements" and you'll be good to go.

As for the earnings, it's too early to say yet. I have heard that Bidvertiser pays less per click than, say, Google AdSense or AdBrite, but I prefer to do some testing and see for myself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yuwie social network

I mentioned Yuwie in passing when I was talking about Agloco's payment system in my last post. I think it deserves a little more attention than that, so here's a short review.

Yuwie is a social networking site, like MySpace or Facebook. What makes it unlike others is that Yuwie pays it's members for using the site. To tell you the truth, I've never been a member of a social network before, and I probably wouldn't be, if money wasn't involved. I signed up for Yuwie since it looks like what Agloco could have become (a social network that shares it's profits) and I'm quite impressed with them.

Yuwie pays you for page views you or your referrals (down 10 levels) generate. The payment rate, or RSR, is different each month and dependent on Yuwie's income. For example, this month's estimated RSR is around $0.18 CPM ($0.18 per thousand page views). Other people viewing your blog, pictures, or profile, and even you browsing around your control panel all count as page views.

Since I'm not a member of any other similar sites, I can't say for sure, but I believe all features Yuwie has (profile, blogs, picture albums, clubs and schools) are common for a social networking site. So, you problably won't find anything unique here if you're are an experienced MySpace user or such. Still, everything that is there works quite well, and I'm not sure I'd ask for more features even if I could.

If my review has sounded very positive up till now, that's because I am impressed with Yuwie. However, I have two problems with it as well.

First of all, too many people there are just to make money. I probably shouldn't complain about that, since I joined just because of "money making" part as well. However, I try to be ethical about it - that includes not spamming notice boards, messages, and blogs or begging to look at your new post. Like I mentioned, I'm a newbie when it comes to social networks, so I was surprised when people just started adding me as their friend and then posting picture comments to my profile after I did. I have a suspicion that's one of these "friend bots" I heard about, or perhaps a really persistent person, but it's clear that they are doing this just to make as many friends as possible, to generate more page views or get more audience with their notice posting. That's usually not a good thing, since it leads to spamming and abusing in order to make more money.

My second problem, and probably bigger of the two, is the referral system of Yuwie. It's a MLM program with 10 levels - what's more, your own "level" is only 10%, that is, you only earn 1/10 from your own page views. Second and third levels are 10%, then they get smaller, and bigger again, with 10th level being a staggering 30%. That means that you are earning 3 times more from some guy you don't know 10 levels away in your downline, than you are earning from your own personal page views. That's why aiming to generate more personal views (via blogs and such) is futile. You should be aiming to build your downline instead, and it's very important to recruit someone who can recruit other people himself. Personally, I hate this system, and I think something like 100% for your own page views, 10% for direct and 5% for indirect (second level) referrals would be more fair.

My advice? Join Yuwie, but don't expect to earn much, unless you're a MLM professional. You will probably be making more money for someone else than for yourself. However, since Yuwie just passed 100k members, there's still a huge room for growth, so you will have time to build your own downline as well.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My take on Agloco: payment plan and more

It seems that latest post on Agloco's blog got quite a reaction from the community. Many members are complaining that the payment system Agloco introduced is a "joke" or a "scam". Agloco supporters are a minority. Some of the commentators at official blog threaten to close their accounts, but are seen again the next day, posting same negative comments. I'd like to post my opinion on this as well.

First of all, the payment plan is not the problem. Of course, most complains about it are valid (getting only a few cents each month, not being able to cash out unless you have a lot of referrals, etc.) but that's not the point. The payment plan shouldn't be there in the first place! Agloco didn't make profit yet, so we shouldn't get paid either.

The official blog itself said that this payment plan was created after the release of Viewbar (that is, it wasn't planned from the beginning). What's more, with it's losses, Agloco obviously cannot afford to pay $0.5 per hour, so it introduces something like "monthly residual payments" over the period of 10 years. I wouldn't mind this plan if I knew that Agloco is a stable and paying company - but now it looks like nothing more than a marketing trick, to show that Agloco really pays. That's unneeded - I'd rather wait few more months for them to solve all the problems and introduce a solid payment plan, instead of this attempt to calm down the community.

Second, I need to point out the real problem of Agloco. Again, it's not the payment plan! The problem is that in all this time (I've been a member for nearly a year) all they managed to do is create an incomplete Viewbar program!

Let's take a look at this text from Agloco's official site, since it illustrates my point very well:

Today’s hottest Internet businesses are all about the power of social networks. Companies like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube have become worth billions because businesses have realized that these social networks are generating huge advertising and marketing opportunities. As these social networks grow, the economic potential for its owners – and the advertisers who target the site’s users – is remarkable.

At AGLOCO, we asked a simple question: The users created the community, where’s their share of the profit?

It was from this question that AGLOCO set out to create the Internet’s first Economic Network, harnessing the power of Internet-based social networks to directly benefit the Members who help to create the community.

Agloco's promotional text speaks of "power of social networks". When I signed up for Agloco 11 months ago, it was just an old-fashioned, boring looking site. I was expecting the "social network" part to come in later. After 11 months, it's still the same old-fashioned, boring site! They didn't even get rid of the "beta" part. They don't have a forum, let alone a social network. The only thing connecting users to Agloco is the Viewbar. How do you expect to make money from user created content, when there's nothing users can contribute to? What exactly is the development team, if it took them a year to develop this little program?

That is the real problem of Agloco. If they had all these things I mentioned, if we actually saw the results of their work, I wouldn't mind waiting for payment for a long time, because I'd know Agloco is a serious company that's becoming a big thing on the internet. If you'd like an example, take a look at Yuwie. It's everything Agloco could have become - a social network, that shares it's profits. Why couldn't Agloco create something similar is beyond me. They talk about these "tech teams" and "development teams", but it's like they don't do anything besides adding small improvements to Viewbar occasionally.

So, what I'm going to do? I'm going to stay with Agloco, obviously. I'm not loosing anything except a little of my time, but I could potentially win. Perhaps Agloco still has something up their sleeve? A big update, just waiting to be introduced? Even if that's not so, I'll continue using the Viewbar and updating this blog and see what comes out of this. Since I'm in 0.5% top recruiters, it's very likely that if Agloco pays, I will get paid.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Member distributions

The "important update" came, even if a bit late. I'm going to post a summary from Agloco's official blog post:

1. Agloco will do Monthly Residual Payments - quoting the blog post, these are small monthly payments which will be made for hours earned each month and paid monthly for 10 years. This is much like my guess in Hours and shares post earlier.

2. The following hourly rates have been set by Agloco (as you can see, monthly payments add up to the total hour value):

• June $0.48 per hour - ($0.0040 per month for 120 months)
• July $0.42 per hour - ($0.0035 per month for 120 months)
• August $0.54 per hour - ($0.0045 per month for 120 months)

3. Agloco lost slightly more than $100.000 during the last 3 months. Considering their slow start and mostly untargeted Viewbar ads (probably due to the lack of advertisers), this is not surprising. Agloco is still expecting losses in September ($10.000 to $15.000).

4. Payments might or might not be made on October, depending on Agloco's revenue and success of their partnership with Ask.com. A minimum payment amount will be set, and there will be other payment options avalaible besides check (like PayPal).

5. Agloco is planning a way to make selling of hours between members possible. That means, if you don't want to wait for 10 years to get the full value of your hours, you can sell them to another member. The price will largely depend on Agloco's performance. If Agloco does well and makes payments on time, I think some people won't mind "investing" a sum equal to 10 month worth of residual payments for each hour, or even more.

I would also like to note that the whole "Monthly Residual Payments" system hasn't been planned from the beginning of Agloco. Just take a look at the official post:

Since AGLOCO started its Viewbar in June, we have been working to deliver an early money distribution plan that will be work for both Members and AGLOCO at this time. It was decided to start with the <...>

Apparently, this is only an "early" distribution plan, which is likely to be changed later - perhaps to hours, which could be withdrawn each month, and "shares", which would give us monthly residual payments, much like current hours. I'm merely guessing here, and also I'm a bit worried that after making some payments, changing the distribution system later on will be very difficult.

I might be able to withdraw some money, if payments will be made on October. I should get 4 x $0.0040 for each June hour, 3 x $0.0035 for each July hour, and so on. That only adds up to a few bucks, but it's still good, considering that payments will be growing each month (excluding the first month of payments, since we'll be withdrawing a lot of accumulated hours at once).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Important update coming soon

If you have been following Agloco's official blog, you probably know that they were supposed to make an official post regarding payments. Apparently, that post might take a little longer (anyone surprised)? However, after this announcement, I'm prepared to wait as long as needed:

Quick note – we will be doing the distribution post very soon. I had hoped to have it done by the 25th, but in order to give exact distribution amounts for June, July and August hours we needed a couple more days to analyze the hourly data. Hopefully, exact distribution amounts will be worth waiting a couple of extra days for.

The Agloco team is going to tell us exactly how much will they pay for hours we earned! That amount probably is going to be low (considering how they still don't have many revenue partners, or even geotargeting yet). But if what I posted just two weeks ago is true, we will keep getting paid for hours as long as we don't sell them, so I don't see much of a problem with first payment rate being low.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TrafficG exchange

TrafficG is next in my series of traffic exchange reviews. I had mentioned it in my post about splash pages, and now a full review is due.

TrafficG is a manual traffic exchange with 30 second timer and 1:1 surf ratio. It actually gets as high as 1.1:1 if you complete all skill cards (anti-cheat tests) correctly. This click exchange runs on a unique script and has some really useful features. It will deliver 24 hour unique traffic, without you having to adjust anything. That means you will reach a wider audience, because almost all visitors will be seeing your site for the first time that day. In addition, you can target visitors by country or interest. Only a few traffic exchanges can do this, and TrafficG is probably the best of those. Want to get visitors from US, and interested in art, only? No problem. The only downside is that TrafficG does not allow sites in other languages than English. Just think how effectively you could advertise to people in their native language!

Surfing aside, there are other ways to get your site seen on TrafficG. The easiest one is "SuperStart" service, a start page exchange that awards you with 0.5 credits each time you open your browser. You won't earn much this way, but at least you won't have to click tediously.

Every site you add is also automatically included in their directory, but don't expect to get much visitors (if at all) just from that. It might help with your SEO efforts, then again, you will probably be using a splash page or an affiliate link in traffic exchanges, not your "real" site.

Finally, my personal favorite is their banner exchange. The advantage of using it is obvious - you will only get real, interested visitors from clicks on your banners. And, you can be sure that anyone who uses a traffic exchange and follows your ad, is interested in making money online. I get 0.05% to 0.38% CTR on various ads, including SmileyTraffic, Agloco and Text-Link-Ads. Funnily, the ad with highest click-through rate is the banner I made (#1), and not the more professional looking one from AglocoBanners dot com. As for earning banner impressions, you can convert credits into banner shows, but it's easier to add the banner exchange code to your site and watch the visitors roll in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hours and shares

While reading comments on Agloco's official blog, I came across an interesting piece of information regarding hours and payment.

Alfred writes:

<...>
BRYAN WARD - agloco does not have to go public for early members to be winners - when agloco starts paying monthly payments for the hours already booked then those hours will have quantifiable value. Brian has said that one thing agloco will do when it starts making payments is pay hours every month. Meaning the hours I owned in June will get paid every month after payments start.

Even if the monthly payment is 1/2 cent a month (something even the skeptics may think is possible) then My Hours from June will have significant value. If an hour will earn me 1/2 cent a month that is 6 cents a year - how much is that worth if I sell the Hour - probably more than 50 cents (even more if the 1/2cent monthly payment looks like it will rise over time.)

<...>

AGLOCO Official replied to this:

<...>
Alfred – you are very close with your comment
<...>

This is by no means accurate or official, but if I understood it correctly, Agloco will not "buy" hours from the members. They will pay smaller payments each month for them, much like dividends from shares. Supposedly, you will keep your hours and make money from them forever (unless you decide to sell them - but this is, again, speculation).

This way of payment is different than what I expected (withdrawing hours each month for cash). Moreover, if hours become like shares, what about real ones? It was mentioned specifically that you can earn both "cash" and "shares" for surfing. I'm not saying it's a bad idea though - it would reward members who joined early (like me!) since they would have collected more hours from the beginning.

Since I started writing about shares, I might as well voice my other concerns. I don't know much about stock market, but the idea they write in Agloco FAQ seems a bit far-fetched to me:

We are currently in the process of listing the company on the London Stock Exchange (AIM). As with any public company, the market will decide what is the fair value of the share.

There hasn't been anything said about Agloco shares on their blog for a long time. Besides, even if they do distribute company shares to members just for surfing, I'm afraid that will only happen in the bigger countries with large Agloco membership. Even the official site says so:

Some countries may be too small or legal requirements too complicated, for shares to be issued to Members in that country.

Anyone want to bet Lithuania with it's 3.4 million population falls into "too small" category?

But I'm probably getting ahead of myself. There should be an official update soon, and then in two weeks (according to this comment), another one - about member payments. Hopefully, it will shed some light on this matter.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Monthly update on my Agloco stats

It has become my habit to log and post my Agloco network statistics at the end of each month. This time, however, I don't have a screenshot, because I didn't manage to make one before Agloco stats moved to the next month :-) I have calculated my earnings for the month, though - and they are lower than usual. Apparently, I only made 46 new referrals and earned 70 hours from my downline.

I see several reasons for this, most obvious one being that I was away for most of July and August, not marketing actively, and updating my sites only occasionally. (A slight offtopic here - it would have helped me a lot if it would be possible to schedule a future post here in Blogger, like Wordpress can do). This does not, however, explain declining hours. Other reasons might be August being a 'slow' month, or some members getting discouraged with Agloco since it's not clear when it will make payouts. Or maybe it's none of these, and happening only to my network?

I'm not worried by this, however. I am worried a bit about Agloco being slow to update and improve, but I knew it would be a long-term project when I joined it. (Speaking of updates, don't forget to add your adress in your Agloco profile to get your check, whenever they mail it). During September, I will get back to my usual posting routine, and continue my work with Agloco. I also want to catch up on all link exchange requests. Don't worry, I didn't miss any - but the sidebar of this blog is getting cluttered, and I'm thinking of starting a "mini-review" exchange instead (like the one done by John Chow, and copied by many others). Stay tuned, for I will offer you a good deal in my next post.

Monday, August 13, 2007

TrafficPods exchange

TrafficPods is another manual traffic exchange that I've been planning to review. It's a bit unusual and different from other surf exchanges, because it has a ladder system. The more you surf, the more 'pod points' you earn per each click, which later can be converted into credits - if you own a 'traffic pod'. Otherwise your pod point balance is locked. To obtain a traffic pod, you have either to upgrade to premium membership ($20/mo) or participate in surfing competition as a free member. You will need to surf about 1500 sites in one week to win the pod, and 1000 sites each following week to keep it.

As you can see, this system rewards 'heavy surfers' most, and you won't earn much traffic if you only surf occasionally. I do not recommend using this traffic exchange if you don't plan to upgrade or surf often, but if you do, it can be quite rewarding.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Agloco statistics for July

It's the end of July and time to brag about all new referrals and hours I got this month:

There is an increase in referral growth compared to June, although not a big one. That's not surprising, considering I'm on a holiday in London and don't have an internet access, so I don't do much more besides updating my blog occasionaly from internet cafes. I do have some posts written just waiting to be posted, but they will be more like short articles about marketing tools I use (such as forum signatures or traffic exchanges I wrote about before), rather than updates and bits of interesting news from Agloco.

I will be returning home to Lithuania at the end of August and returning to my normal posting frequency of at least once a week. Until then, it seems my Agloco network is growing pretty nicely on it's own.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Marketing with forum signatures

By using online forums, you can get publicity for your site very fast. You can't, however, just post your link randomly. Some forums have "advertisement" sections, but most are very strict about posting affiliate links or even regular websites. In that case, you can add them to your signature. BBCode is usually used for signatures, like this:

[url=http://wikipedia.org]Wikipedia[/url]

Having a forum signature that links to your site can be useful in several ways. First, if you are an active forum member who posts often, you will be getting free targeted traffic. For instance, if you are participating in a forum about fishing, it's likely that the members of the forum will be interested in your site about fishing products. Of course, you can also advertise a website that is completely unrelated to the forum topic. It won't be as effective, but you might get visitors from a different audience.

Second, a forum signature that links to your site is useful from SEO perspective. Active forums are visited by Google and other search engine spiders frequently, so it's likely your website will get a higher ranking or get indexed faster. It's so effective that some people even resort to using spamming bots to post thousands of links on the forums (which get deleted later anyway, so you are better off using your signature).

If you want to use forum signatures to get more Agloco signups, you should link to your site, blog, or at least a small splash page, which would explain a bit more about how Agloco works. You don't want to add your referral link, because it will take visitors straight to the registration form, and they will be less likely to signup. In addition, by linking to your site or blog, you get the SEO advantage that I mentioned before.

The forums where you use Agloco signature don't necessarily have to be related to making money online. Agloco offers a very simple and easy way to earn for anyone with an internet connection, so you might attract people who normally aren't interested in internet marketing and such. I am a member of several online forums, and I have put a link to this blog in my signature. I do get a click every now and then, although SEO advantage is more obvious. In some I registered specifically for advertising, but in most forums I participate because I like the discussions. The free advertising I get from my signature is like an additional bonus.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SmileyTraffic exchange

I have written about several traffic exchanges before. Now it's time to introduce - and promote :) - SmileyTraffic. It offers many ways to advertise your site, such as manual and auto surfing, paid-to-click links, and text link or banner impressions. SmileyTraffic also has monthly contests with cash prizes and $0.02 bonus for each 100 pages surfed manually. It's a big traffic exchange with over 21.000 members. If there's one thing I miss, it's country targeting, but regrettably, their exchange script from LJScripts.com doesn't have this feature.

Of all traffic exchanges I'm a member of, I have the largest downline in SmileyTraffic (which is over 400 members). I also have a big supply of "manual credits", so it's not surprising that I get good results from promoting my splash pages I wrote about earlier. Still, the most effective means of advertising that SmileyTraffic offers is text link and banner impressions. These are displayed on their front page (look for "Feature Link") as well as member area and surfbars. Since monthly cash contests are about getting most unique hits to your referral page (which is the same as front page, just with referral ID added), the text links and banners of SmileyTraffic members are shown all across the internet.

The visitors who click text links and banner ads come mostly from SmileyTraffic surfbars or member area, then from other traffic exchanges. Some come from paid-to-read sites, or even Google AdWords advertisements. You can see that if you setup an ad with a tracking link. Overall CTR isn't that great - I have many text links and banners in rotation and it varies from 0.09% to 0.3%. That's not unexpected, however, considering that a large number of impressions are shown on autosurf exchanges where no one actually looks at the ads. For example, one of my oldest Agloco promoting links with text "Agloco has launched! Join now!" has over 1.2 mil impressions and 1998 clicks, resulting in 0.16% CTR. The important thing here is that I got two thousand interested people click on my ad, for free. All you have to do is convert SmileyTraffic credits into impressions.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Agloco network update

It's almost the end of June, and here are my stats for the first month that we had the Viewbar:



I have over 400 referrals now, which is a pretty good result for me. Since I was checking my statistics often, I noticed that I barely got any signups in the beginning of the month, but that improved a week or so after Agloco had released the Viewbar. Not exactly a "boom" I was hoping for, though.

As for referral earnings, they are alright too. Assuming all active members surf 5 hours a month, about 20.3% of my downline is actively using the Viewbar. To tell you the truth, I was really disappointed with these numbers at first (since they mean only every fifth member in my downline is active), but then I learned that many Agloco recruiters have similar statistics. In fact, John Chow's "NAI" (Network Activity Index) is just 11.4%. I can sleep peacefully at night knowing that.

You can calculate your NAI by using the following formula:

(referral hours / referral count * 1.25) * 100

Which in my case would be (102.2 / 402*1.25)*100=20.29%. I like statistics, so I'd be interested to know your NAI as well.

Monday, June 25, 2007

MarketingPond downline builder

I have seen many Marketing Pond ads on forums and traffic exchanges lately, so I decided to join. Marketing Pond is basically a free downline builder that lets you promote many different programs at once - including Agloco.

After you signup at Marketing Pond, you will be able to enter your referral IDs in the programs list. If you are not a member of that particular program, you can join by clicking it's title. The referral IDs you enter will be automatically shown to your Marketing Pond downline in their programs list. If they decide join one, they will be joining under you (provided you entered your referral ID). That's why it's wise to signup for as many listed programs as possible. However, if you find most programs useless to you, then there is no point in joining Marketing Pond - so check their list first.

Marketing Pond can help you save time by promoting all your affiliate links at once. It may or may not get you more referrals compared to promoting each program separately. The thing is, nothing stops your Marketing Pond downline from joining listed programs by using another referral link (from a different downline builder, for example) and not the one with your ID that they are given. Also, many people will already be members of listed programs when they join Marketing Pond. That's why I am a bit skeptic about it, but I'll give MP a try anyway.

As a member, you don't have to worry about being nagged to buy "premium membership", because MP doesn't have one. You won't get spammed with annoying "incredible one-time offers" either. That's what makes it different from most other downline builders.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Viewbar avalaible for download on Tucows

In their latest blog update, Agloco announced that Viewbar is avalaible for download on tucows.com, a software distributor website. This should take the load off Agloco's servers (it has been really hard to log on to my account during last week). The Viewbar download on Tucows has it's own rating and a forum thread, so you might want to drop by.

Since it's forbidden to distribute the Viewbar by yourself, and Agloco site isn't always working, you can now give the members of your website the alternate download link on Tucows:

http://www.tucows.com/get/513386_205985

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Promoting Agloco in traffic exchanges

Using traffic exchanges to promote Agloco might not be very effective, but it's free and easy. You should not, however, promote your Agloco referral URL directly. It sends visitors straight to the registration form, and you will be lucky to get any signups this way. Use a splash page instead, and get the most out of your traffic credits.

A splash page is a simple and short page that visitors see before entering your main site, in this case - Agloco referral URL. Splash pages used for traffic exchanges should load fast, have no auto-playing audio, and as few images as possible (many traffic exchange users surf with graphics turned off).

It's important to write a catchy, attention-grabbing headline. You should also outline most important reasons to join Agloco, or some interesting facts about it. The visitors will only look at your splash page for a few seconds, but if it gets their attention they will read further, and if they become interested, they will click the signup link.

When creating a splash page for traffic exchanges, you should try to be original. Surfers there see ads all the time, so it's important to make your page stand out. That can be achieved with original, interesting text rather than flashing animation or annoying audio advertising "incredible money making system which will make you a millionaire in 7 days™".

I'm a member of a lot of traffic exchanges, even if I don't use them very often. If you'd like to join one, I recommend TrafficG. It has 30 second timers, great 1:1 surf ratio and a start page exchange. Set it as your homepage and your Agloco splash page will get a visitor every time you start your browser. You also can target visitors by their country or interests - a feature which puts TrafficG well above most other traffic exchanges.

Finally, here's a splash page that I use to promote Agloco. It's just an example to give you an idea of how such page might look. If you want to create a splash page, there are sites which will generate one and even host it (usually at the cost of showing their ads). Creating one by yourself isn't hard either, and you can host it on a fast server (like excellent and free AwardSpace).

Monday, June 11, 2007

JaKelDaily.com review

Jason Neuman at JaKelDaily.com is offering a link back to my blog if I review his blog. This is the second post of this kind I'm writing - I reviewed John Chow's blog a while ago, and besides a free link, I even got some visitors.

JaKelDaily.com was started on February the 10th, 2007. I had to mention that, because in the relatively short time of 5 months, Jason's blog achieved Google PageRank 5 and Technorati authority of nearly 500 (to compare, this blog is PR3, so I win more from the deal). This was accomplished using various aggressive (and effective) link building tactics, including posting so-called "link trains", submitting to directories, and, of course, asking for reviews like this one. Jason even created a blog here at Blogger with sole purpose of linking to JaKelDaily.com - now this part is not very nice :-)

Jason writes on various subjects, including cars, family, technology, and making money online. There are only a few short posts on technology and cars though. Personally, I found information about link building useful. I am going to try submitting my blog into some directories using the tool he introduced. I'm still wary of posting those link trains (similar to chain mails, you post a bunch of links and add yours at the bottom).

I got the impression that the whole reason Jason started JaKelDaily was to make money. That's because his blog doesn't have a defined topic and concentrates on building traffic like I mentioned. Of course, I have nothing against that - after all, the only reason I started this blog was to promote Agloco.

I also have to commend Jason for updating JaKelDaily.com - you guessed it - daily. Unlike some blogs (cough, cough) it usually has something new for you every day.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Agloco Viewbar has been released

I've been using the Viewbar for last 30 minutes or so. It sits at the bottom of my screen and refuses to show any kind of ads. Agloco's blog says that the ad servers were overloaded and ad network people are working on it. Anyway, it's not Agloco's problem, and even if you don't see any advertisements, you are getting paid for surfing already! Besides the white space in the center where they should be, the Viewbar is fully functional.

Since Agloco.com seems to be overloaded as well, you might have to retry a few times before you manage to login. Here's a direct download link from Agloco.com (you might actually want to login first and check if there's a newer version):



The funny thing is, a lot of members will probably use up their 5 hours monthly limit without ever seeing a single ad (I did, for one). That makes me think that it's not likely we'll get paid in cash in the next month or two. It was mentioned vaguely in Agloco's official blog few weeks ago as well. Getting Viewbar is just the start.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Viewbar will be released tomorrow

Yes, you read that right! There's a new post titled "Viewbar release this Monday" on Agloco's official blog, and that's exactly what it means. With no news from them for a while, I'm glad I can finally write an Agloco-related post myself.

Viewbar will be released on the morning of June 4th (California time). For anyone wondering, that's GMT -7, so it will be evening in Europe (that's where I live) and early Tuesday morning in Asia. I'm not sure yet, but it seems they dropped the idea of releasing the Viewbar in batches and decided to release it for everyone in one go, as their newest post doesn't say anything about download being available only to some members.

The supported OS for Viewbar are Windows Vista, WinXP and Win2000. The supported browsers are Firefox and IE. Anyone using Linux OS or a Mac will have to wait till they release an appropriate version.

Having invested time and even some money in building my Agloco network, I'm very glad to hear that it's finally starting to pay off. It might be a while till I hold that check in my hands, but Viewbar release and official launch of the company is the first step to that. I hope fellow members still feel optimistic about Agloco's future?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Make 80x15 buttons easily

As you probably know, 80x15 buttons, or "badges" are very popular, especially among bloggers. People use them when exchanging links, or to show which CMS their site is running on, or that it has valid code, and so on. There even are some banner exchanges which use this format.

If you want to make great looking 80x15 buttons (like this one: ) yourself , there is no need for Photoshop or any other heavyweight image editor. All you need is this online tool from BlogFlux. You can choose text, border and background colors as well as text alignment. The button generated comes in *.gif format. You can also make bigger 88x13 buttons the same way.

If you need more functions, try online button maker by LuccaZappa. This one generates *.png files. There are many fonts avalaible, you can set text position precisely, and upload your own images to be used as part of the button.

Since these websites don't host the buttons you make, you will need to save them to your PC first. Then you can upload them to your own site, or a free image host like ImageShack.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Integrate FeedBurner with Blogger

I'm going to show you how to use FeedBurner with your blog in this short guide. First of all, here are some cool things that FeedBurner can do.

FeedBurner takes over your blog's feeds, enhances their functionality and gives you detailed statistics on your subscribers. You can add social bookmarks like Digg! to both your feed and your blog (see the bottom of this post), offer e-mail subscriptions, show subscriber count on your blog and so on. You can even see what kind of feed readers your subscribers use, and what kind of bots (like Technorati search) visit your feed. And this is just a part of what they offer!

Once you signup at FeedBurner and configure it to your liking, you can integrate it fully with your blog hosted on Blogger. Let's start by changing AutoDiscovery URL. When you visit a site which has feed information between it's <head> tags, all modern browsers display a little icon to indicate that. You will need to change it to point to your "burned" feed at FeedBurner instead of default one.

Start by opening your blog. Right click anywhere on it and choose "View Source". Find the following lines:

<meta content='text/html; charset=UTF-8' http-equiv='Content-Type'/>
<meta content='true' name='MSSmartTagsPreventParsing'/>
<meta content='blogger' name='generator'/>

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - Atom" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default" />

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="YOURBLOG - RSS" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss" />

<link rel="service.post" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - Atom" href="http://www.blogger.com/feeds/1/posts/default" />

<link href='http://www.blogger.com/rsd.g?blogID=1' rel='EditURI' title='RSD' type='application/rsd+xml'/>


Select the whole block and copy it (not from here, but from your own source code). Once you do that, go to your blog's control panel and click Template>Edit HTML. Find the following line:

<b:data='blog' name='all-head-content'>

And simply replace it with all the lines you just copied from your source code. Now, change these 2 lines you just pasted:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - Atom" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="YOURBLOG - RSS" href="http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss" />


Into a single line:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="YOURBLOG - syndication feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/YOURFEEDNAME" />

YOURFEEDNAME is the one you chose when adding your feed to FeedBurner. Congratulations - now when visitors click the feed icon at your blog, they will be taken to http://feeds.feedburner.com/YourFeedName.

Next, you might want to hide "Subscribe to posts (Atom)" link at the bottom of your blog, especially if you add subscription link on your sidebar. Simply go to "Edit HTML" window and add the bold line to the following code:

.feed-links {
display: none;
}

You might want to add FeedCount chicklet to your blog next to show off your subscriber number, or FeedFlare module to add all these social bookmarks I mentioned.

I have to add that TechCrunch confirmed Google's acquisition of FeedBurner yesterday. I see this as welcome news; they could offer smart feeds on Blogger without users having to edit the HTML code manually. What's more, Google could integrate FeedBurner's tracking system with their own Google Analytics, or perhaps expand FeedBurner's Ad Network (which already pays you for putting AdSense code on your feeds, but only if you have a huge subscriber base) to accept feeds with less subscribers as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Agloco banner

Here's a new 468x60 animated banner for promoting Agloco. Feel free to use it in banner exchanges. Just click it to get the full size image and save it to your computer:



Alternatively, you can get it from my website:
http://www.aglocolietuva.com/media/1/agloco468_green_ENG.gif

Banner advertising still remains a good way to get referrals or interested visitors - do you agree?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Make money with Text-Link-Ads

Text-Link-Ads is a company which allows you to buy static text links on thousands of categorized websites - or put links on your own blog/website and make money. The most important thing here is the page rank of your site. The higher it is, the more money you can make (the amount of visitors doesn't really matter besides making it more attractive to advertisers). You can check your page rank here.

Besides selling text links on your site, you can also make money by referring new members through the affiliate program, putting text links to the bottom of every post you make, or even showing text ads in your RSS feed. These last two options seem to be limited to blogs using WordPress platform though.

I tried submitting two PageRank 3 sites when I signed up. First one was this blog, and it was automatically rejected. Second one was my Lithuanian website about Agloco and it was accepted. Since they both have PR3, I guess the reason was that my website has a second level domain. I might try to resubmit this blog if it gets a higher PR.

Even if your site gets very little visitors, the aim of Text-Link-Ads advertisers is to get higher search engine ranking, not a high click-through, so they will buy links from you anyway. TLA makes payouts by check ($25 minimum) or PayPal each month. If you have a blog or a website with a high PageRank, consider joining Text-Link-Ads.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blizzard announces StarCraft 2

Blizzard has announced StarCraft 2 at their WWI event in Seoul, South Korea (which is famous for it's StarCraft fans). SC2 is going to be a real-time strategy game like its madly popular predecessor. Terran, Protoss and Zerg are all coming back with new units and abilities! The graphics of the demo look simply stunning, while the interface remains very similar to that of first StarCraft.

Cinematic trailer:


Game play video... Whoa:


Visit the official website for more info.

P.S. I know this blog has nothing to do with video games. So what? It's StarCraft.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Agloco directory

Here's a new Agloco directory with a cool design. What's more, it doesn't require a reciprocal link from your site. That's right, you can just add your site there for free and not link back (that's the way directories are supposed to work anyway).

Adding your site to the directory can be useful in several ways. First of all, you might get more traffic (well, not so much from this one since it's new). The second advantage is a link to your site which might help you get a higher ranking in search engines.

The URL is aglocodir.com - or perhaps you'd like to go there and vote for my blog on your way? :) Thanks!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

300

No, it's not the movie - it's my Agloco referrals:


That puts me in top 1% of Agloco recruiters - yay! What's even better, my extended referrals are still growing faster than my direct ones. Even if I can't sit back and watch them increase by hundreds each day like some people do, it's still a big help.

Again, I miss the feature of contacting my downline. But even without it, if you signup through my referral link (see the sidebar of this blog) and start any sort of Agloco-related website, please forward your Agloco welcome e-mail to listerpunk[at]gmail.com and I'll be glad to review your site. Make sure referral ID is BBBD5122 on the registration form - thanks.

Another blog traffic exchange

About a week ago I wrote about BlogExplosion. This time it's another blog-only traffic exchange, BlogMad.net. You get visitors for your blog by surfing, just like in other traffic exchanges. The nice thing is that it has a 1:1 surfing ratio - that means you get 1 visitor back for 1 site you view.

Adding and approving your blog here is really easy. You have to wait for admin to approve your sites in other traffic exchanges - but not in BlogMad! Approvals are done by 'claiming' your blog (similar to the way you claim your blog on Technorati). You just place their code on your blog and activate their 'spider'.

After activating your blog, you can start getting traffic. Your blog will also be instantly added to their directory, and there's no need to link back to them. BlogMad also has an integrated text link exchange (you can place text link ads on your blog or buy them on other blogs). This all is done using the same credits you get for surfing.

BlogMad is in beta, but don't let that turn you down. It's working and improving every day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

John Chow, the #4 Agloco recruiter

If you have visited Agloco Top Gun site at least once, you probably noticed the #4 Agloco recruiter, John Chow, who has over 15.000 Agloco signups. The amazing thing is that only ~1k of them are direct - that means his referrals are very active. John Chow is also the one who got his hands on the Viewbar early - they even wrote about that on Agloco's blog. Why?

The reason: John Chow is a very successful blogger. His blog has nearly 5 thousand subscribers, and he makes thousands of dollars from it monthly. Heck, he probably only had to make a post about Agloco to get those 15k referrals - while some of us struggle to get one hundred *cough cough*. Of course, Agloco isn't the only thing he writes about on his blog. There are many other money makers, posts containing good advice, and posts containing not-so-good paid reviews.

JohnChow.com is also one of the first results on google for 'make money online'. This is largely thanks to reviews like this one, because Mr. Chow offers you a link back if you review his blog. Some people might know this as 'google bomb' - using anchor text to influence search results. Nevertheless, a link from a PR6 blog is always nice!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Where is the community?

Agloco is a global community. So, why is it so hard to communicate between the members? I'm talking about something as simple as ability to contact your downline, or at least see who's in your downline. This way I could help my referrals to recruit, or perhaps I could get advice myself from my more experienced upline. Spam? Not a big problem. Direct e-mails are not necessary, something like personal message system on Agloco's site would do just fine.

Speaking of Agloco's site, it's... boring. Once you read the promotional texts, there's nothing else to do there. The only dynamic part of the site is Agloco's blog, but we're lucky if we get one update a week. Now, when I read "global community" or "economic network", I imagine agloco.com as a big website with it's own forums, user-submitted news, various statistics of Agloco's network, information about shares and so on. Or, how about personal splash pages for each Agloco member which could have your text ("I have made: $___ from Agloco), referral stats and signup link? Contests, who can bring in most referrals? Widgets for Blogger that show live Agloco account stats? :)

Why? Because people like it. Agloco.com could get insane amounts of visitors once they start paying. Now, make those visitors stay, and then return each day. They would be able to sell lots of advertising not only on Viewbar, but their site as well, which in turn would mean more money for the members. I've seen member created texts promoting Agloco which said something like "YouTube was bought for $1.65 billion - it's members never made a cent from it". Such comparison isn't valid right now. YouTube is user-submitted content site. Agloco has no user-submitted content. It only has (a promise of) a Viewbar right now. I do hope that once they release the Viewbar they will seriously improve their web site as well.

I believe Agloco has an amazing potential and a good team. I'm just not sure if they can make it work - last few months we got nothing but "news" further delaying the launch of the company.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Free traffic for your blog

You just started a new blog for promoting some kind of online money making opportunity. You want readers, and your budget is $0. You already added it to Technorati, exchanged links with other bloggers, but it doesn't seem to be enough. What now?

An easy way to get free traffic to your blog is BlogExplosion. It is a traffic exchange for bloggers (you view blogs of other people and they in turn view yours). You can get 1 visitor a minute by surfing, or you can earn more by voting in Battle of the Blogs. There's also a blog directory and a ping service.

As in other traffic exchanges, the surfers usually don't want to see your blog - they just want to earn that traffic credit :) However, some of them (be it one out of 10, 50, or 100) will find your blog interesting and might become a faithful reader. I found that BlogExplosion works better in this aspect than other traffic exchanges I've tried. People will actually comment, discuss and bookmark your blog. Of course, you must have interesting content to attract their attention first.

In short: it's free, it works, and it's a good way to 'start-up' your blog. However, the traffic you get from search engines, Technorati, etc. will generally be more valuable because those will be visitors who want to read your blog. Also, if you have Google AdSense code on your blog - do not use any kind of traffic exchanges. Google hates them.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

E-mail from Agloco

Today I got an e-mail from Agloco titled "AGLOCO Viewbar Update". It was a disappointment because there still aren't any news about launch date. The e-mail contained information that was posted on Agloco's blog over 3 weeks ago! I guess it's for the members who don't bother to read it. (Not that there's much to read lately, it hasn't been updated for 13 days).

There was an interesting piece of information in that e-mail though:

You can only get credit referral hours up to the amount you directly surf (meaning if you surf 3 hours but a referral surfs 4, you will only get credit for the first 3 of your referral’s 4 hours).

I'm not sure if this was mentioned somewhere before, but it's my first time reading it. Sure, surfing 5 hours a month is easy. But what about this part of their membership agreement:

Monthly Time Limit May Change. The amount of time that will be credited to your account for You, Your Referrals, and Extended Referrals is limited by applicable Monthly Time Limits, and You agree that AGLOCO™ may change (decrease or increase) the Monthly Time Limit at any time for any country or countries effective as of the posting of the new limit on the page setting forth the Monthly Time Limits <...>.

If Agloco would apply different monthly time limits for different countries, this would hurt not only your personal earnings, but the earnings from your referrals as well (since you wouldn't be able to surf as much as they do). Now, I don't mind getting paid less for my hours because I'm from Lithuania. Being realistic, I understand that more advertisers want to promote their business to someone from US than someone from my country. However, applying different time limit is another matter. I have referrals from all over the world and limiting my surfing hours would limit my earnings from my downline as well. I hope it won't come to this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Agloco network update

I got my 250th referral today:



Compared to my stats just over a month ago, I have +150 referrals. The best thing is, my extended referrals have tripled, and the number is now higher than of those in my direct level. However, I noticed that most of people signed up in the first two weeks of April (probably anticipating the viewbar release). I barely got any new referrals after that.
I will work towards getting into that top 1% for now, and hope that Agloco will not fail to start when promised (again) :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

$1.99 domain names

If you plan to buy a domain, take a look at Yahoo! SmallBusiness which offers one for ridiculously low price of 2 bucks. This discount is only applied to the first year though.

I've decided to buy andrew-owns-agloco.com to use with this blog, but I ran into a problem. I could only make www.andrew-owns-agloco.com or andrew-owns-agloco.com (without www) work properly, but not both at the same time. There's a lot of discussions about this in Blogger's google groups. I didn't find a working solution though, so in the end I gave up and set up a simple forwarding. You might want to keep this in mind if you decide to use your domain with Blogger.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Viewbar delay

If you read the official blog of Agloco, you probably know that Viewbar release was delayed again, and no new date was given. All we know is that it should come this month. The reason mentioned was a problem in "integrating viewbar and ad servers".

I realise a lot of people are frustrated (I am somewhat annoyed myself), but I don't think it's a reason to panic... yet. Comparing delay of new Mac OS release with delay of Viewbar release might not be the best example, but a lot of software gets delayed and then released later just fine. The problem is that many people are skeptic about Agloco because it's a money making opportunity. So, delaying the launch will hurt Agloco's image. You can see all kinds of negative comments on their site already.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Offline advertising and free business cards

I found that VistaPrint is offering free 250 business cards. You have to pay for delivery though (around $6). There are plenty of designs to choose from although they aren't very impressive.

I thought I might use those to advertise my site about Agloco "offline". I have been wondering if such advertising (like newspaper ads or fliers) would be any good. It wouldn't be targeted - most people who would see my ad probably wouldn't be interested in "online money making". On the other hand, it would help to reach a bigger audience. Besides, Agloco's idea is so simple it would appeal to anyone. All you have to do to make money is install their viewbar and use it 5 hours a month.

I am going to experiment with this idea and post updates if I buy any "offline" ads. I was thinking about some local newspapers because ads there are affordable. If you have any experience or tips about promoting money making opportunities like Agloco this way, let me know.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Viewbar release details

The official Agloco blog had something interesting today. Apparently the Viewbar will be released in batches, depending on your registration date. That makes me glad I have BBBD, although there won't be much advantage for getting it early if surfing limit is still a mere 5 hours a month.

The initial launch is for Windows OS only. They did say Linux and Mac versions are coming though. That's nice to hear although I'm windows-only user myself *gets stared at*.

I found the ending of their blog post to be most interesting. They say Agloco has agreements with 17 ad networks. Too bad none of them were mentioned - I couldn't find any list in their "partners" page either. Which makes me wonder if they will have some of the "giants" like DoubleClick advertising in the viewbar. If they did mention a few big names that would probably improve their reputation in eyes of skeptics. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Agloco directory

You might have noticed the AglocoDirectory button under "Vote for this blog". Their website has a list of everything Agloco-related. There are separate categories for blogs, websites, Squidoo lenses, etc. and separate lists for each country (if yours isn't there yet, they will add it). Their support is friendly and answered all my questions.

I recommend adding your sites to this directory. It's quick and easy. You don't even have to link back to them - but then your site won't get higher ranking because your visitors will be unable to vote.

My only complaint with their site is the design - it's too dark and gloomy. Am I the only one who thinks all Agloco sites should be in green? :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Viewbar™ update

According to the official blog of Agloco, the revised release date for Viewbar is between April 2nd and April 16th. These news are not surprising because Agloco delayed their launch before (we had been expecting it on February or March). However, now that we have a date set, it should be released on time.

On other note, I got my 100th referral today:
Compared to stats I posted a little over a week ago, I got +23 direct referrals and +7 indirect ones. Not too bad! I expect this is mostly thanks to my lithuanian website about Agloco, and perhaps this blog as well. I hope to see an increase in my indirect referrals because I still have more on my first level than on all others combined.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Agloco's referral system

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'd like to express my views on Agloco's referral system. I will try to outline it's pros and cons.

Agloco's referral system
As you probably know, Agloco has 5 referral levels. That means you get rewarded for people you refer - you get a percentage of their surfing hours (of course, they don't loose anything either). You also get rewards for the referrals of your referrals, and so on - 5 levels "deep". What makes it a bit confusing at first is that Agloco adds up all your referrals from levels 2 to 5 and shows them as "extended" referrals. So, you'll see "direct" and "extended", while there in fact are 5 levels of them.

Does that make Agloco a pyramid scheme?
While it's true that Agloco has 5 referral levels, it can't be called a pyramid scheme for the simple fact that you don't have to pay anything to join. You don't have to pay anything to make money, either. In addition, it doesn't matter when you join. You can start building your referral network at any time. However, I have to agree that users who joined earlier have better chances to get more referrals. Also, it's very likely that users without any referrals won't make much money. To conclude, there are some similarities, but the main point is that Agloco is free, so you can't loose anything.

Too many levels?
Referral system is a good thing; when you refer someone to Agloco, everyone wins. It makes sense that you get rewarded for the people you refer. It also makes sense that you get rewarded for the second level. After all, you are communicating with your direct referrals and helping them build their own downlines. However, you have very little control on the third level, and next to none on the 4th and 5th. You can't even track them on your Agloco account, because all you see is a total number of your "extended" referrals. Does it make sense that you get rewarded for the work of people that signed up through a chain of 4 other members? Theoretically, you could have 1 referral on each level, and 100 on the 5th, and still make the same amount of money like if you had referred that 100 people by yourself. And the problem here is that more money is needed to pay the referral rewards, and less money is avalaible for surfing rewards.
Agloco's income comes from showing you ads on the viewbar - but will top recruiters use it for 5 hours a month, when they get thousands of "hours" from their referrals? Will people with no referrals use it, if it will only make them less than $5 a month?

I realize that a lot of people will disagree, but I would be happy if Agloco had just 1 or 2 referral levels. This way you'd be rewarded for your own efforts. I also believe a bigger emphasis should be put on rewarding your surfing activity.

All comments are welcome - if you think that my opinion is wrong, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My new site about Agloco

I have started a new site about Agloco today. It's in Lithuanian so it won't be useful for you english readers, but I just have to brag! We have a news section there, and plenty of information about the company. It includes a neat little flag near your link as well. Here's the URL for those who are interested:
http://www.AglocoLietuva.com

I'll use the site to publish unbiased (hopefully!) information and news. However, the reason I started it is getting more users to join my network (surprised?). I've been really enthusiastic about Agloco lately. There are so many sites about it starting up, Google finds over 2.1 mil results already and their Alexa rating is climbing. So, I decided that I can't miss this.

Speaking of referrals, you can see my stats here:
I am far from being a pro recruiter - however, March certainly is a good month for me. As you can see, I got +18 extended referrals in 14 days. That's a big improvement, because I was getting mostly direct referrals before - and extended levels are more important. Take the guy who has 124 referrals in his first level and over 20k(!) in extended as an example. If you manage to recruit some active, dedicated people, you can get hundreds of referrals from there on, without doing much yourself. Which, I believe, might actually be a problem. I am going to analyze referral levels in Agloco in my next post, after I discuss the issue with some of my friends.

In brief, you saw my current stats, and you saw my new website. Let's see how much it will help me in building my downline.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Banners for promoting Agloco

I've made some 468x60 banners for Agloco, and you're welcome to use them freely. I'm not good at design, so these don't look professional, but they're quite original if I might say so :)

#1:

#2:


For more (and better looking) banners of various sizes, visit http://www.aglocobanners.com.

Finally, I'd like to invite all Agloco-related Squidoo lenses to my newly created group, called "Own the Internet". All new and recently updated lenses will be listed on the group HQ page.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Squidoo - a great place to promote Agloco

Squidoo is a handbuilt catalog of interesting online stuff. It's made of little cute pages called "lenses", and each one of them describes a single topic. You can build one in minutes with their module system. You can even make money by placing pre-made affiliate modules (for example, Amazon or eBay product links), and everything you make with them will be paid by Squidoo. Nice!

There's also the social networking aspect of the site. You can have your lenses listed in the directory, lensrolls, top lists, groups and so on. That means getting free, targeted traffic. I suggest you check Squidoo out. Create a lens about Agloco, add some content, link back to your blog or site. Don't forget to join Agloco group on Squidoo - yep, we have Agloco members everywhere!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Viewbar™ release date announced

You might already know that Agloco announced the time frame for their Viewbar release. That's when company will actually start paying you for surfing the web. According to Agloco's blog the date is between March 26th and April 16th.
Personally I think they'll delay it until April. I'm waiting eagerly, but I also appreciate the fact that we have another half a month to promote Agloco before people really start rushing in.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Agloco's interview video

This interview features two of Agloco team members: Ray Everett-Church, Chief Privacy Officer (have you heard about such job before?), and Akshay Mavani, who coordinates strategy.



They explain the concept behind Agloco's Viewbar and how it will work. They also talk about making money from blogs. Now that's a hot topic for us, isn't it?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Introduction to Agloco

I would like to start off this blog by posting an introduction to Agloco. It should give you a pretty clear picture about what it's all about. All information is accurate as it's taken from Agloco's official site.

You might already know that almost everything you do on the Internet makes money for someone else. And that’s not just when you spend money. Just about every time you view an ad, click an ad, search, buy something, download something, join a community, or post a story, picture, or video, some person or some company is making a fee, commission, and/or sale from your activity.

If you want to join as a Member, you download a piece of software called the Viewbar. It’s like a toolbar that sits at the bottom of your desktop, and it will be available soon. Essentially, it collects on your behalf some of the revenue you would usually generate for other people while you conduct your everyday browsing. Then, it returns most of this money to you.

Why does this work? You win because you now get your share of the money for doing what you would normally do. AGLOCO management wins by keeping a 10% cut of this revenue (like Brad Pitt pays his agent a 10% fee). And the companies win, since they get your business. All you need to do is have the Viewbar up on your screen while browsing the Internet like normal.