You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for about a week and it’s not because there hasn’t been anything to share … it’s because there has been a significant change in my life.
For the past few years, I have been employed as the Director of Business Development for a large multinational engineering firm. In this position, I was lucky enough to learn quite a few things and visit some fun destinations, however, all that came to a screeching halt on Tuesday.
I was laid off from my position due to the fact that there hasn’t been much work coming in for the past few months. Whether they made the right decision or not is something only time will tell but regardless of the outcome, I am now in a position where I need to make a significant life choice.
For the time being, I want to make a go of PointsNerd and see if I can turn it into a full-time gig.
A Tough Decision
I’ve been writing blog posts on PointNerd for about 10 months. In that time, I have developed a fairly strong following and have been amazed at the amount of interaction I have had with my readers.
I have always believed that if I was willing to put out good quality content that the rest would take care of itself and for the most part it did. Expenses such as hosting, webcams, microphones and other items were just something I paid for out of my own pocket because I wanted to make it as easy as possible for my readers to get the information they want. In return, I have had some sites reach out to me for my opinion on news items and have had some world-class entities like Hainan and SPG recognize my work and most importantly, my readers have been using my referral links which have resulted in a nice boost to my miles balances.
With that being said, none of that has turned into actual money coming in and prior to Tuesday, that didn’t matter. But it does now.
As you probably know, I am a family man with a beautiful 8-year-old daughter and a loving and supportive wife. I am truly a blessed man … I mean look at em …
As the primary bread winner of the family, the loss of my job means that I need to find a way to support the family as quickly as possible. And while I have always tried to keep PointsNerd as pure a site a possible, I need to make a few changes.
Painless changes … I hope.
In order to generate revenue, here are some things that I am considering doing:
- Introducing ads to blog post
- Having affiliate links in blog posts
- Offering credit card consulting for individuals and businesses
- Offering an award booking service
- Offering paid workshops to teach people about miles and points
- Starting a Patreon campaign
Now, I’m not fully committing to these things yet but wanted to give a fair warning that these things may be coming. The first two bullets are what may affect the site on a day to day basis the most so I’m going to explain this a bit further.
Ads and Affiliates – the Truth
Many bloggers out there rely on ad and affiliate revenues to make ends meet. PointsNerd will be no different. The difference is that I want to be as up front and transparent as possible so that I don’t betray your trust.
Ads are going to be very similar to what you see in other sites’ blog posts so it shouldn’t be too hard of a pill to swallow.
Affiliate links are something of a different animal.
For those that don’t know, affiliate links are links to products or services that you may find useful. If you click on those links and buy a product or a service, I would receive a commission or a finder’s fee if you will. These links are embedded everywhere around the web and you may not even realize it.
Affiliate links are meant to be hidden from the general public but I don’t want to do that to you.
That’s why I’m telling you right here and now that there are very likely to be affiliate links in my posts. I will also provide a disclosure in each post telling you if there is an affiliate link in the post so you aren’t blindsided.
I’m doing this because I want to give you the option of supporting the site or not. If you found the information on the site useful and want to purchase something, it would make a world of difference if you used my affiliate link.
If you don’t find the information useful, email me or make a comment and I’ll do my best to address the discrepancy.
My Promise to You
While I will have affiliate links on my posts, I will NOT put up an affiliate link if I would not sign up for the deal personally.
If I find a way to save you $50 off a hotel room. I’ll post it.
If I find a way to save you $50 off a hotel room but the rate is $100 higher than if you went through another channel, I will post the alternate method so you get the best deal possible.
I will not betray your trust for a quick buck.
What You Get In Return
Hopefully, you can see that I’m putting myself out there and trying to be as transparent as possible. I have always believed in freely sharing my knowledge and helping as much as possible and that won’t change.
I will continue to bring you ways to save money in your travel and guide you through this jungle of information.
I will continue to answer your comments and questions to the best of my ability with information that you can action.
I will continue to be open and honest with you.
I’ve also got a few exciting things in the works that I will reveal in due time but I’m always trying to find new and interactive ways to involve you and get you up to speed on how to best leverage your miles and points.
A Final Word
I just want to say thank you to my readers and for all you have given to me so far in this journey. I apologize in advance if this is not what you want but unfortunately, I am in an untenable position … I must find a way to support my family. Full stop.
Hopefully, you can understand that and will continue being a supporter of PointsNerd.
Sorry the hear about the layoff, but I am sure you will be back on your feet in no time. Good luck with the blog. I hope everything works out for you!
Thanks Brian! I’m hopeful that this is the perfect origin story for future interviews with news outlets 🙂
Sorry to hear about the life change Jayce, but it does seem like there is a significant silver lining in that now you can focus on the site and your growing following.
You have provided your readers with a ton of value over the last 10 months and I know that most reasonable people will respond with trust and accommodation given the new circumstances. I’ve personally been amazing and touched by the amount of information you have been willing to give out for free without any monetization expected in return. I think it’s great that you’re starting a dialog about monetization and how it can best be implemented.
I’ll definitely be following along and I’d love to help in any way I can.
Thanks for the kind words Alex! It means the world to me!
Sorry to hear about your job loss.
I enjoy reading your blog, in fact, your site is bookmarked and have learned some useful tips. Case in point your easy step by step posts on getting a US credit card.
What I enjoy about your blog is the modern and clean layout, your posts are well written, easy to understand but most importantly informative. I find most other blogs just post for the sake of posting which doesn’t come off across as authentic.
I wish you all the best in your new full-time venture and will definitely support you when I can by clicking on your referral links. The first one being for my US Amex once I get my ITIN.
Thanks iv! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you out. Cheers
I have a feeling this is the start of something much bigger! I am excited for you Jayce! Your blog and advice is priceless! Life has a way of forcing you in a direction even though you were not planning on it…the direction of success!
That’s what I think too Ben! Thanks for all of your support!
Tough luck man, sorry to hear about that.
Ive only recently started with your site but it is fantastic. I will happily be a client for your consulting. Keep your head up, you have a gorgeous family!
Thanks Ryan! I’m a lucky man for sure!
Sorry to hear man. I’ve been there before as a fellow Calgarian. You will get back on your feet in no time. The info you have provided on this site and the meetup have been invaluable. Can’t thank you enough.
One thing I always tell people that are out of work is to get up early and goto the gym/exercise, if possible, which starts your day on a good note. It can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
Thanks Adeel. I’ve been getting up at my normal work time and getting everything figured out for the site. I hope to bring you guys even more/better content in the near future!
Jayce – I’ve become a more regular follower of your posts lately and really appreciate the quality content you’re putting out. Sorry about your job situation but it sounds like you’re taking this on with a great perspective. As they say.. when one door closes another opens.
With regards to monetization, the fact that you’re having an open dialogue about this will help maintain levels of trust with us readers. You’ll have to find the line on how much product/service pushing is too much, but you’re already starting from a solid position. You’re likely well versed in comparing who’s doing well in this regard and who’s annoying their readership every post.
Thanks for your comments and you point on finding that fine line is well taken. My plan is to not post anything that doesn’t bring value to my readers so I hope that you don’t feel inundated with affiliate links. Cheers
Sorry to hear about your layoff. As others have noted, the fact that you are laying this out here for transparency is much appreciated. I for one will continue to support this blog and you for that reason. Thank you for starting the dialogue and I wish you much success in this new path!
Thank you for all your support Jenna! I very much appreciate it!
Sorry to hear about the layoff. When one door closes another one will open!! Good luck with the blog. Your blog is great and it has very good content! Thank you for being transparent.
Glad to have you on board for this new adventure!
Sorry to hear that, good luck with the blog!
Sorry to hear Jayce. As a fellow Albertan I was in a similar position last year and it was a shock to the system but a good chance to evaluate your next move. Keep up the great work on the blog – I really appreciate the style and the valuable information provided. If you have another meetup I hope to be able to make the trip down.
All the best.
Sorry to hear about the layoff Jayce – lots of my friends in the engineering / oil & gas sectors went through the same thing the past couple years so hopefully you get back on your feet soon (or maybe this is a blessing in disguise and it present an opportunity to refocus your attention to bigger and better things).
I myself have gotten tremendous value from your blog and am very appreciative of your willingness to share detail information and tips without reservations. Thanks for being upfront about the upcoming changes but regardless I will continue to be a fan.
Thanks for the support Gabriel! I’m so happy to hear that this blog is helping out my fellow Canadians!
It’s a blessing in disguise, I have no doubt bigger and better things are coming your way.
A week in and the amount of support and goodwill I have experienced is amazing! I gotta believe that you are right and this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Sorry to hear Jayce- time for some lemonade. Your a tremendous help and an inspiration for those wishing to take their travel to the next level. Being new to this one of the aspects I’ve come to appreciate is those using points to help others in times of need. Always man- truly all the best!
Thank you Jeff!
I’m loving all the great comments and well wishes. I really helps keep my head up. Cheers
Sorry to hear the news Jayce. Your site has opened my eyes to the world of travel hacking and provided so much value! Do what you need to and rest assured that your readers will continue to support you. All the best for a bigger and brighter future! 🙂
It’s great to have you aboard as a reader! Thanks for your kind words and understanding.
Thanks for the honest and thoughtful post. Like others have suggested, time to make some lemonade 🙂
Reminder that many readers use ad blockers that negate any benefit ads might generate (for yourself and the readers). It would fall within reason to remind visitors to whitelist your blog’s domain in their ad blockers. Some sites use pop-ups (not a fan), while others have language inserted in the home/welcome page, or at the bottom of each post…
Great idea Mak. Thanks so much for the suggestion!