Starting Anew with Gold Membership
While NeoBux is perfectly usable with a standard membership, the $90 Golden membership is a prerequisite to unlocking the profitability of referral renting. If you're unfamiliar with referral renting, it's basically hiring referrals from the system which then earn money for you through their PTC clicks. If the clicks generate more income than the cost of renting them, you make a profit. I experimented with this for some time on a standard membership, and while it wasn't a huge success, it was very educational and has prepared me for what to expect with a gold membership.
So, What's New?
On upgrading to Gold, there's a number of differences:
- You get 9 "orange" fixed ads a day, and they pay $0.01 each now.
- You have to set 2 times of day now when you want to rent referrals, as well as the existing 7-day between renting.
- Rented referral clicks earn $0.01 each instead of $0.005, making it much easier to run at a profit.
- More stats are available for each referral, such as activity over the last week, enabling you to make more informed recycling decisions.
20/07/2013 - Starting Point
Day zero. I still had 25 rentals from my previous experiment, which I spent my 12,000 NeoPoints on to stop them from expiring. They now have about an average of 90 days left on them. My cash and NeoPoint balances are both pretty much zero at this point.
I kicked in another $20 and rented another 100 referrals. Because I can't be sure of renewing these for 150 days when they expire, I enabled AutoPay for now. I then made the switch and paid $90 for the Golden membership.
To help keep track of things, I've created an excel sheet that I can enter the daily stats into, such as clicks, recycles, renewals, etc. This should only take up a few minutes every few days, and it will enable me to get a clearer idea of how things are going. I'm also going to try and download the table export every day and maybe find some software to read them. It's half way through the day now, and clicks are approaching a 1.0 average already. Looks like a good start.
30/07/2013 - Ten Days Later
I've pasted the log for the first nine days below. As you can see, the click ratio is staying consistently about 1.0 for now, and despite having to do some fairly heavy recycling, the referrals are well on the way to paying for themselves. Another 100 referrals will probably be the next priority once I work out the process of how to buy them. More news on this to follow. No real recycling strategy has been required yet, as it's mostly been new referrals doing little or no clicking that needed replacing.
|NeoBux Rented Earnings||Current:||-$6.82|
|20/07/2013||179||$0.07||$20.00||$0.25080||-$18.53080||$20 to buy 100 referrals|
|22/07/2013||200||$1.82||$0.00||$0.29070||-$17.21660||Recycled 26 referrals that hadn't clicked at all yet|
|27/07/2013||131||$0.49||$0.00||$0.19380||-$9.56100||Recycled 7 badly performing refs|
1/08/2013 - New Referrals
I just managed to rent my first block of referrals on gold membership. Unlike standard membership, it's a bit harder to get hold of them. As well as the normal seven-day waiting period between being able to rent, you also need to specify two specifc times of day to buy. When you pick these times, you can see the spread of times that other NeoBux users have picked, so I opted for two less busy times where I can be reasonably confident I'll be at a PC. You can change the times later, but there's a week cooldown on this.
In theory the two windows you choose should last an hour, but in reality there's a limited number of referrals available, and these are scooped up within a minute in my experience. Following the advice from a forum post, I synced my PC click with Internet time and clicked the direct link (given in the post below) at 1 second past the hour. I was quite happy to see the referral buttons lit up but didn't waste any time in clicking the 100 one. This is the thread on the NeoBux forum.
So, as of today, I have 225 rentals. I'm hoping this will generate enough income to rent 100 new referrals about once a week while ploughing some money into renewing the newer referrals for longer periods. The ultimate aim is to renew everything for at least 150 days and turn off autopay to minimize rental costs, but I'm not sure if this will be possible without investing more.
15/08/2013 - Update
The earliest referrals are due for renewal in four days, so I've decided against renting any more referrals for now. I should be able to renew 50 or so next monday for 150 days, and then it's a race to renew the others in time. I expect I'll have to renew some for shorter periods. I've turned off auto pay now, although with hindsight I should have probably done this earlier.
The referrals seem to be performing badly at the moment with them averaging break-even levels at some points. I've done some casual recycling on the more obvious suspects (low average, low past week average, not about to be auto recycled) and this seems to have brought it back up a little, but I can't help but feel more could be achieved.
19/08/2013 - Recycling Strategy
The average rate is starting to suffer and even dropping below break-even levels on some days, but I've done some recycling and this seems to have picked up again today. I'm trying to work out a recycling strategy that a) won't take much time and b) won't involve high recycling costs. The visualization filter that comes with gold membership looks very helpful when dealing with a large number of rentals, so based on this I'm thinking of something along the lines of recycling refs with all the following properties:
- Average click rate lower than 1.
- Last click occurred between 4 and 9 days ago. This is to give a chance for recently lapsed refs to start clicking again while letting the 10-day plus ones get autorecycled instead.
- Been a referral for at least 14 days. This is to allow new referrals to settle into a routine.
Some of these values might need tweaking, but I'll start this strategy tomorrow and see how it goes.
06/09/2013 - Update
The recycling strategy has helped somewhat, but I'm still having trouble maintaining a profitable rate, so I need to consider a more aggressive recycling policy. I can see some referrals are performing badly without falling into my criteria, so I need to add an exception to catch these. All the income so far has been reinvested in renewing referrals for as long as possible, so my current deficit is $48 (the extra $28 has come from my own clicks, mini jobs, and DR commissions).
I strongly recommend focussing on your first 100 referrals before renting more. With the benefit of hindsight, I feel I should have got the first 100 on longer-term renewals with a good average before comitting to more. This would have given a solid foundation to base the next 100 on.
Out of curiosity, I added an extra column to calculate the theoretical profit for every day and sum it up. To make this possible I had to assume that each ref costs 0.5 cents a day. While this isn't strictly the case, because I've had to make shorter term renewals, it gives an idea. Using this, it seems I've made about $25 in profit. While not a massive amount, I find it quite encouraging to be in profit given it's still early days.
03/10/2013 - New Recycling Strategy
While my existing strategy is easy and has helped stabilize things, it's not really bringing in the growth I'd ideally want. To try and shake things up a bit, I'm going to try a new, more aggressive approach based on one I found in the Neobux forum. Here's how it's going to go:
- Referrals need to be at least 10 days old.
- Recycle based on time last clicked and current average:
- 3-4 days and average <= 0.8
- 4-7 days and average <= 1.3
- 7-10 days and average <= 2.0
- Periodically recycle any low-average referrals.
This has meant a whopping 73 referrals needed recycling today, but hopefully this will be lower now the initial purge is complete. Looking at my remaining referrals, it looks like the main problem is that I have very few really active ones, so some serious recycling will be the only way to correct this.
20/11/2013 - Recycling Update
It's took a while to evaluate the recycling strategy I started last month, but here's my general opinion. The main problem seems to be that most of the replacement rentals don't perform very well either. Combined with an aggressive (and therefore expensive) recycling strategy, this means reduced profits or even losses. I didn't manage to get my average over 1.0, which would have been needed to justify the recycling costs.
Maybe it would have panned out differently if I'd stuck to it longer, but I've ultimately opted to just recycle refs that have been inactive for 4 to 7 days, have an average of 0.7 or lower, and are at least 12 days old. I also occasionally throw out any with poor averages. This keeps the referral costs down enough to make a profit with a 0.7 average.
In other news, I've finally converted all refs over to 150 days, so I can finally start considering a third block of referrals.
03/07/2014 - Still Here
I'm still going with this, but I followed a comment someone made below and decided to not manually recycle at all. The results have been reasonable, with the average being a bit over the break-even point. Seeing such a low average reminds me, though, of the importance of minimizing costs. That means extending for 240 days only and taking advantage of the holiday reductions. I'm sitting on a bit over 300 referrals with a chunk of cash in the balance. The gold membership renewal is coming, however, and a bunch of refs will need extending after that, so I'm waiting before renting any new refs.
2016 and Still Going
As you might have guessed, I've kinda been slacking on studying this as my editing business has gathered momentum in recent years. I still maintain my gold membership and click the orange adds daily, although I've well and truly given up on recycling strategies in favor of letting the automatic recycling take care of it. There seems to be a modest profit accumulating, and I have no problems paying the yearly subscriptions and 240-day rental renewals. To maximize profits, I usually renew the gold membership over the Christmas period, as there's almost certain to be an offer ($70/75 instead of $90). I also spend as much as possible renewing rentals during promotion periods.
Last year, I actually made my first substantial cashout, which payed for a flight to visit family.
March 2016 - Added another 100 Rentals
Just added another 100 rentals, making for a total of 621 now. Neobux is currently celebrating its 8-year anniversary, so there's discounts on rental renewals and gold membership/packs until 6pm server time March 30.