Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today.com Bites Bloggers in the Ass

I admit. Today.com has me paranoid. I have worked really hard on my blog there and I believed that today.com was there for the long haul. I believed that today.com had my back. I believed that today.com was a great group of bloggers and administrators that had our (the bloggers) best interests at heart.

I was so wrong about today.com. I can't believe I fell for today.com's party line, that all blogs will be reviewed, that good content will get rewarded. That today.com will pay you $2 per 1,000 visitors and you will reap what you sow at today.com.

So far, I have never met a today.com blogger that has actually had their pay increase. So much for blog reviews and raises. At $1 per post, today.com can hardly consider their bloggers paid. It is less than minimum wage, the amount today.com pays their bloggers and they should be ashamed of themselves.

To be ashamed of yourself, though, one must have a conscience and it is clear that the "top dog" Dave, does not have one. He has whined on the today.com private forums that he has lost his life savings and that all of his business partners have bailed on him. Wow. I wonder why all of the business partners at Today.com have bailed? Could it be his inability to have any compassion for his bloggers? Today.com's lack of business sense? Today.com's shady practices and empty promises?

Why in the world would anyone go to today.com, to visit a blog at today.com to buy a toaster or coffeemaker?

Today.com claims high click through rates for advertisers and overinflates blog statistics in order to impress potential advertisers. If today.com sells advertising stating that a blog gets, say 100,000 visits a month, but the blogger gets paid for 45,000 Unique visits, what is going on? On top of that, the blogger really only gets reimbursed at the rate of about .75 cents per 1,000 visits. Will today.com explain these discrepencies? I advertised and out of 1,000 page impressions, 3 people clicked through. So, for the $80 I spent on advertising, I've earned about .02 cents. Cost effective, right?

Today.com's answers to repeated questions about traffic pay rates has been, "we'll get that right to you", "working on it", "sell toasters", and my favorite, "it's a complicated algorithm that can't be explained." In other words, we're not going to tell you because you are a bunch of stupid bloggers that we have absolutely no respect for. We want you to sell our crap you morons and get your friends and family to pay for advertising on your blog. Better yet, why don't you advertise on your own blog, for fun?

Today.com does not provide what they say they will provide. I am ashamed at myself for all of the work I have put into the site. I have met a significant number of great bloggers, all of whom are on to today.com's scheming ways and have become members of the today.com exiles.

Today.com will not get your back, they will not let you complain, and today.com is certainly not going to let you reap passive income when they can just lock you out "because you're not happy" and refuse to pay you anything for residual traffic to your blog. Run, not walk away from today.com.

32 comments:

flit April 22, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

oh, very well said. Hear! Hear!

flit April 22, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

I think it was a great use of SEO techniques :)

In Plain English April 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

I tried to stumble the post...let's digg it, reddit, stumbleit, etc., etc.

In Plain English April 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

or the whole blog for that matter.

Stephanie B April 22, 2009 at 1:29 PM  

Must learn this SEO thing...

Well said.

flit April 22, 2009 at 1:41 PM  

you know bunches of it already ...as you proved in your article on Ask Me Anything yesterday

Kelly April 22, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

I asked them today about buying back my content and deleting the blog out of curiosity. They gave me a total plus 10%. I argued that $75 was for a sign on bonus and a bonus for doing well to increase visits. They said that the buyback includes EVERYTHING they paid us, so if you received several bonuses for being the best like FAPIPO did, you have to pay ALL of that back too, not just what they paid for your blog posts and UVs.

Such BS!

Kelly
http://30somethingandsearching.blogspot.com/

flit April 22, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

That is most assuredly BS

What a crock!

flit April 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM  

Oh well.... just make sure you have copies of everything ... they'll be out of business soon enough

Anonymous,  April 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

So let me get this. You sold your content at a ridiculously low rate, to a web based company, and are surprised that you are getting screwed? Let's face it, only 1 of every 5000 or so bloggers will ever actually make any real money. People who think sitting down and blurting out a few lines will allow them to retire are not thinking straight. You don't get something for nothing, you get back in proportion to what you put in. If you think it sounds too good to be true, be cautious. If you don't read the fine print, all the TOS information, you deserve what you get

flit April 22, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
flit April 22, 2009 at 4:06 PM  

no where in the T & C does it say that bloggers will be kicked off the system for asking questions (in the forums set up for asking questions), irregular posting, or posting whatever the hell they want on their own independent blogs. Nor do the T & C say anything about handing one bloggers content over to another - that's a brand spanking new tactic designed to punish those of us who were kicked out.

the T & C DO on the other hand, say that Today.com will pay the blogger as per the email they receive about rates - and then pay less than half of the amount promised (and disable Google Analytics to try to cover it).

Stephanie B April 22, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

Anonymous, you're not wrong to think many, if not all of us, were credulous. I never looked at it as more than fun money (I can do math), but they bill themselves as "getting paid to blog". Given the circumstances, I don't think it's unreasonable to warn the unwary.

For me, I have no intention of retrieving my posts there and had originally intended to provide an index so people could refer back to my previous paid posts - I will no longer do so. But I won't buy it back either.

To be honest, I think giving an established blog to someone else is a nonstarter and trotted forth merely to strong arm money from past bloggers or to cow their existing bloggers into submission. You can get a replacement for "Dear Abby", nationally syndicated and with a REAL salary, as long as you're confident they can write with equal verve (and you don't advertise the switch).

Getting someone to take over someone else's blog for $5-10 month when they could have one of their own that reflects their own interests - I can't see much call for that. Certainly no one with enough brain power, confidence and capability to maintain an excellent blog.

But to toss people aside, snidely, and cheat them while making threats and attempts to strong arm...and to do so as if those being strong-armed are helpless to speak out.

Stupid.

In fact, perhaps the best reason to have nothing to do with today.com is the complete stupidity of their policies and mistreatment. Why get involved with a business so clearly poorly run? And where the blogger is treated so contemptuously. That's no way to run a business.

Phyl April 22, 2009 at 6:08 PM  

Anonymous -- are you from Today.com? Sounds like it to me.

Most of us didn't really care about the money, since it was miniscule, and they found constant reasons to diminish it.

What we loved was our BLOGS. Which were constantly being co-opted to feed Today.com's insatiable need to turn us into UNPAID MARKETERS to drag ad-clickers to THEIR site.

They told us, constantly, that we were partners, and they'd help us, and we'd all benefit. And then they kick us out for asking questions, trying to work with them, and wondering at some of the policies??

In other words -- they squeezed everything they could get away with from us, and thought they could just fling us away without valuing ANY of the work we put into their site.

Buncha greedy, unscrupulous, fraudulent crooks.

Well, believe me, if they think they're going to make any money off of my property (e.g. my Flickr photos that are still linked to in the locked posts) -- they're going to find out different. Buncha lying thieves.

In Plain English April 22, 2009 at 8:19 PM  

If you post anonymously, you are either 1. an idiot trying to stir us up, 2. a blogger on today that doesn't want to believe it, or 3. an almost exiled blogger waiting for payment until they blow a complete gasket online. Regardless, the best bloggers on today.com have been the ones that have continually been screwed.
What people aren't remembering is that a recent forum post (since deleted) was started by an administrator about concerns and issues people have. When we all began answering (myself included) with honesty and openness, I thought we were finally getting somewhere.
Two days later, the post is gone from the forum as are most of the bloggers that complained. A major fishing expedition for angry bloggers if I've ever seen one - and I believe it was violet who started the post and kept the conversation going, encouraging us to be honest and open. Out comes the ax, gone is the proof. Today.com is criminal.

In Plain English April 22, 2009 at 8:28 PM  

Ok, so I can't shut up, but this is the place for it, right?
The more I think about today.com, the more angry I get. We were "hired" to "write about anything you want", except things that we don't want you to write about and we want you to hock really expensive, needless items. Sell advertising, write well, create a following, etc. etc.
The reasons, we were told, not to be on our own was because of the great support, the wonderful network of admins and products available to us.
Believe me, setting up your own adsense account and directly reaping the benefits of any click throughs is more profitable. With sites such as commission junction, you too can sell crap if that is your thing, but you will profit the entire amount.
Want to solicit donations? On your own site, you can. Want to get get paid advertisers? You can, and you will get the full amount they pay, not a fraction.
What in the world was I thinking to think that today.com was the way to go?
The competition to get to the top DID inspire me to become a better blogger. I've learned a lot at today.com, and it is mostly about how NOT to be. Yes, we are angry, but I believe we are justified and if we dont' stand up to today.com, who will?

Today.com Exiles April 22, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Definitely the place for it...seems like you could'a had a good post out of all that though :)

SLColman April 22, 2009 at 11:21 PM  

Hi! It is me Stephanie from the former today.com come blog known as From Huskies to Husbands. I have a new From Huskies to Husbands at http://fromhuskiestohusbands.blogspot.com now since Today.com was screwing me too... I feel dirty because they were screwing so many of us!!

Anyhow glad I found you all :) Would love to be added to the blogroll and will be adding you to mine as well!

Today.com Exiles April 22, 2009 at 11:47 PM  

done both here and on JustFlitting, Stephanie 2 :)

TriNi April 23, 2009 at 12:53 AM  

Hey thanks for commenting on my blog. I guess I had not took into consideration looking up everyone that wasn't as satisfied with the site. For now, I'm going to leave the post on my blog but I'll keep looking around and test the waters myself, which is what my blog is about anyway... what works and what doesnt for me.. and if I decide it's not working out, I'll definitely change my mind about the site.

But I appreciate you letting me know! Thanks a bunch :)

HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE FREE FAST AND EASYTriNi

Beth V. April 23, 2009 at 1:16 AM  

Anonymous, I think we all read the TOS, except maybe the Today.com admins. As several others have pointed out, the Today.com admins actions contradicted the T&C over and over again. When procedures were questioned, bloggers got banned.

I think In Plain English was right, it was Violette who started the one thread that got many of us banned.

Today.com wanted their good bloggers to whore out their blogs. When bloggers didn't, the pimp (Today.com) wasn't making money. The pimp wasn't happy, so those who refused to be whores were gone.

Valerie David April 23, 2009 at 2:48 AM  

Hey TriNi, thanks for stopping by. We're just here trying to let people know about our Today experience so they know the potential pitfalls. I certainly hope you have better luck than we did, but I think you'll probably find it's not the money-maker it once once (or purported to be, anyway.)

In Plain English, aside from all of your wonderfully made points, I do like your three possibilities for Anons...lol...it is true that some of the Anons are Super Sekrit Soon to Be Exiles. So we can't diss all Anons uniformly. *G*

This sort of "Didn't you read the TOS" and "why are you taking this personally?" crap is probably what got me banned from the site. I got so peeved at that accusation that I may have spoken a bit too plainly about my feelings after that. Heh. Oh well. I stand by everything I said because it turns out I was right on every count.

In Plain English April 23, 2009 at 9:23 AM  

I am a #3 if I were to post anonymous as well, which I sort of am because right now I am not on the blogroll here. Yes, Flit knows who I am because I sent her an email and she set me up as a blogger on this site, but I haven't officially identified who I am as an exile because I am still actively working on my today blog and waiting until I get paid. With a high PR, it's hard to let it go, although I am working on several blogs at once now and putting more juice into my independent sites.

In Plain English April 23, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

OH, and I just added everyone from this sidebar to my blogroll at http://www.parentingtricks.blogspot.com
This site is my pet project to provide real parenting tips and advice while at the same time utilizing SEO concepts and monetizing through adsense. I am going to see if I can create a blog "as if I was on today.com" and see, once I get the page rank up and enough content, what exactly a blog can earn....

Phyl April 23, 2009 at 10:12 AM  

I think at some point it would be a great idea to have a page on this blog with a description of SEO techniques. I really want to work at them with my blog too.

And I really need to get busy and get my Google Adsense going on my blog too. I already have an account for that, and need to check out how to set it up on the new blog.

I'm also going to work on my own account of how I got booted from Td.c, and get it up here. With lots of cross-links, heehee!

atorturedsoul April 23, 2009 at 4:00 PM  

I just wanted to say that I absolutely love the new banner!

Valerie David April 23, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

LOL...OMG that banner is hilarious! Great job, it looks awesome in here. :P

Ms Terri April 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  

Great banner! Very funny!

Shakespeare April 24, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

I love the banner, too. Glad to be here, and thanks, Stephanie, for the link to my new non-Today.com site. Hurray!

Post a Comment

Blog Makeover by LadyJava Creations