One feature of NeoBux is the ability to rent referalls. In return for paying so much per day, you earn commision from the clicks of these referrals. In theory, you make a profit by earning more from these clicks than it costs to rent them, but like any investment, there's no guarantee of course. I was interested in seeing if this would work, so I started this experiment. This article is diary of my findings, and I'll be periodically updating it as I go.
First, I decided on the following plan:
- I would not invest any money of my own, only my time. When I build up enough money through PPCs and mini-jobs, I'll start renting referrals.
- Any income gets reinvested in new referrals or renewing/recycling old referrals. I won't be cashing out, because this would slow any possible growth.
- While working on this, I'll be trying to build up the 30,000 NeoPoints needed to buy the (usually $90) Gold Membership. This can potentially double the income from referral clicks, but it is rather pricey and makes obtaining new rentals harder. By sticking with standard, I can hopefully build up a good base of rentals before I have the points to upgrade.
09/08/2012 (Week 1)
I started by clicking all available ads and doing one mini-job a day for 8c. I got a bit of a break by winning a 50 cent prize from the Adprize. Once I made my first dollar, I spent it on renting 5 referrals.
16/08/2012 (Week 2)
Managed to accumulate over 5,000 NeoCoins, which is the minimum needed to get $5 in a month's time. I probably won't bother with them in future because of the long wait. The referrals are going well, although I did have to recycle a couple.
Something I needed to work out was how to make four clicks a day, because this is needed to entitle yourself to the referral clicks. If you don't click yourself, you don't get the referral clicks for the next day. It seems that a) not all ads qualify and b) you need to do it according to server time. As regards a), you need to click either the high-value, long exposure PPC ads or the orange fixed advertisements at the bottom. As a standard member, I'm guarenteed 4 of these a day, which is just enough to qualify yourself for unlimited referral clicks.
As regards b), their servers are based on EST. On the list of ads, it shows both the current server time and when your ads reset. From this you can work when to best click those orange fixed ads. Personally, I click mine in the morning. When they reset at 9pm (my time), I leave them until the next morning, by which time the server time has reset.
Next dollar reinvested in another 5 referrals. I now have 10.
The obligatory seven-day wait is over, so I can invest in more referrals. I have plenty of cash in the balance this time ($1.50), so there's no wait to buy another five. This indicates to me that the cash flow is increasing. I expect to rent at least 10 more next week if all goes well. I've officially decided the Adprize feature is largely a waste of time, but for some reason I still do it sometimes...
Having given up on Adprize, I've been focussing more on clicking those $0.001 Ads. Even though the monetary reward is tiny, I'm figuring it all helps, and the NeoPoint for every one will help reach the massive 30,000 needed for Gold membership. It's not been a great week for the rentals, with the click rate hovering at profitability levels for much of the week. It has possibly been the worst week yet, although all the rentals are in profit on average.
Anyway, referral rental is off cooldown now with $2.09 in the balance. I did have doubts about continuing this, but I've spent $2 on renting another 10. Given the lackluster performance of late, I might need to spend some cash soon on renewing and recycling some referrals.
I'm making a midweek entry because I'm turning off autopay and switching it for a 90-day autorenew. Using autopay costs 0.6 cents a day, which means I need a 1.2 average clickrate to break even. For a 90-day renewal, it's 49 cents for 90 days (0.544..cents), which means I only need a 1.09 average instead. It's not much, but every little helps. I'd really want to go for the 150-day one for 75 cents, but I'm not sure my balance will support it. I don't really want to spend neopoints on them, because they're worth less than a cent this way, as opposed to a third of a cent to buy gold membership. I've also realized what a hideously long time it's going to take to accumulate 30,000 neo points. I'm thinking a bit less than a year if I'm lucky. I'll see how it goes anyway. There's 13 days before the first referral expires, so I can manually intervene before autorenew kicks in.
The weekly cooldown for referral renting is over. Here's a summary of my current situation:
25 Rentend referrals
Main balance: $2.78
|Mini Jobs (Bonuses):
Of the total $8.79 in assests, about $5 has come from clicks and referrals. Not brilliant, but considering I started with nothing it's not bad. Anyway I've opted to rent another 10 referrals. Some rentals are getting close to expiring, so as of now I'll be renewing them in 150-day chunks when I can. My 5k neocoins are due to mature soon, so this will help with this. When I get some breathing space, I'll start recruiting new rentals again.
Just a quick not about recycling strategies. So far I've not manually recycled since the first day. A rental is automatically recycled after 14 days of inactivity (for free), so I've been relying on this. I'm starting to wonder if a more aggressive approach might be better, such as after 7 days. More to come on this.
Sorry, for the lack of updates. There's not huge amount to report.
Firstly, my objective to convert all rentals to 150 days took some time because of limited funds. I had to do juggling with shorter periods just to keep them active. I even let a couple drop off because they were performing so poorly that they would have needed recycling anyway.
While we're on the subject of recycling, I have made one worthwhile observation. There seem to be rentals that just log on to click every few days, which has a combined effect of giving a poor return while stopping the 14-day auto-recycle kicking in. Since noticing this, I've been a bit more proactive about identifying these and recycling them faster. Basically you want to look for rentals with:
- A low average click-rate (below 1.2 is my threshold, but you could be even more aggressive)
- Been a rental for some time (let's say at least 2 weeks)
- A short time since last click. If It's been 7 days or more, maybe wait for an auto-recycle.
Being more aggressive with this seems to have bumped my click rate up again.
To add to my last entry a little. I became inscreasingly frustrated with the average click-rate hovering around break-even levels, so I turned up the heat a little. Using the same logic as in my last entry, I raised the threshold to 1.5. This meant a lot more rentals needed to be recycled, but I saw a noticable increase in click rate within a day. Of course I need to recover the cost of recycling, but my first impression is that it's worth it and probably even essential to maintaining profitability.
Just a quick update. The situations seems to be going a bit better now. The more aggressive recycling seems to be working, although I have relaxed it back to around 1.2 again for the most part. This seems to ensure the average remains safely in profitability but not massively so. I now have a total of 57 rentals and sufficient income to renew them on 150-day periods when needed, and I'm adding new ones when possible.
I'm starting to doubt whether I'll ever have enough NeoPoints for the gold membership. I currently have just over 6,000. Seeing as I've been doing this for 4 months now, it looks like it'll be at least a year before I have 30,000. When the time comes that it looks worthwhile, I'll either have to just pay the $90 or take up some of the more rewarding neopoint offers.
Again sorry about the lack of updates. While I'm still carrying on with NeoBux, I'm not actively trying to expand at the moment. With 30.000 neopoints still some way away (on about 8,500 atm). I'll be relaxing a bit and letting all but the most profitable rentals expire. This will hopefully give me a reasonable lump sum in time for summer holidays. Here's a summary of the lesson's learned:
- It's hard do more than break even with referral renting on a standard membership.
- Active pre-emptive recycling is vital to maintaining a decent click ratio. Also, be flexible in your recycling strategy.
- Always renew for longer periods (150 or 240 days) whenever possible to increase profit margins.
- NeoBux run holiday promotions on various holiday days, with reductions on rental renewals, Gold memberships, and extensions. Make the most of these whenever possible.
- Keep good records so you can see how much you're actually making (or losing).
I've recently started a new experiment with a Gold membership. You can follow my efforts in this article.