About a year or so ago I decided I was spending too much time posting on various msg boards. In fact, I was. It's addicting, you know. lol I decided to spend half that time working on my business and the other half with my family or just spending time doing other non-biz related things. I drew up a plan. It worked, or so it is to this day. See, back then I was 90% dependant on affiliate programs for my revenue. I was paid on a net 15/net 30 basis. So I was spending x number of dollars, up front on advertising, and then having to wait a month or more afterwards to get paid. And sometimes, with affiliate programs, you have a way of not getting paid or the advertising taking WAYYYYYYY too long to pay you. At times it put me in a cash crunch, and sometimes I was having to use my own money. That s*cked. I started to think -- I pay Yahoo/MSN/Goog up front, each month for my traffic, so why does the advertiser think they can wait a month or so to pay me after I've delivered them tons of traffic/leads/sales, etc? Why not act like you've been to the dance before, so when new advertisers contacted me, I politely (if their model fits your site's model/theme) told them I'd be glad to advertise their site, but I expect payment upfront, before a single link/banner is placed. Of course, most were hesitant, and most didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it at all (at first, until word got Ã¢â‚¬Ëœround). I would offer them a test campaign, say, for a week. Most took me up on the offer. I made it clear the price for the test campaign would in no way reflect the monthly rate if they decided to proceed further, and it would be much more. The test campaigns were Ã¢â‚¬ËœteaserÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ rate campaigns. I would then send them the traffic, after I was paid, via our sites/opt-in e-mail database of members. After the 7 days were up, I asked them if they would like to continue with monthly campaigns. Most said yes Ã¢â‚¬â€œ F yes. So now, today, affiliate programs make up about 20% of our revenue, while up-front paying advertisers, who I hold strong personal relationships with, make up the remaining 80%. And with the upfront money, Paul gets to spend more on advertising Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Hence Paul gets tons more traffic Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Hence, Paul commands MUCH more advertising dollars from the advertisers, and the advertisers are MORE than willing to pay for the quality of traffic. Moral to my story Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Paul sleeps much better at night. Paul is a much nicer guy. And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not about the money any more. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about the freedom. I worry much less now days. If an advertiser doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pay, or wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t return the end of the month e-mail, there is a new advertiser waiting to step in their place. And they usually end up paying more. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had to actually return a $3,000 wire because they advertiser stated it would be sent on the first, yet didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get sent until the 8th. So I brought in a new advertiser to take their place. I hated to do it, but it was business and they knew my terms. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really nice to build relationships with people, the ones behind the sites I advertise for, rather than some affiliate manager who comes and goes. Well, except for one affiliate manager who works for the very best affiliate program in the world. Well, anyway, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m back. I think. Hello, World!