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CHEATING OR HONEST?

How did #1 on the Worldwide LeaderBoard make her earnings?

I promised that I would do my research and provide my thoughts on Erica Nicole (with earnings of over $28,000 in 6 weeks) and whether or not she cheated the system to generate her earnings.

I requested all the data from FanBox, and went back and did the research -- looking at the sources of her daily earnings going back 3 months, and all the trends and movements she made.

Here are my findings, followed by an open letter to Erica Nicole:

First, a little history:

About 2 months ago, Joen (currently No. 2 on the Worldwide All-time Leaderboard), decided to do something that no one had done before: Invest all his earnings right back into Ads -- to see where it might take him.

Within a few weeks, he went from $200 to $14,000 in earnings. As he earned money, each day, he reinvested it right back into Ads. After a few weeks of this, he turned off his Ads - and waited to cash out what he had earned. I am not sure he actually launched that many Ads - but the one or two Ads that he did have, somehow just kept making him a profit, just enough to keep money in his bank to fund his Ads the next day.

One day, someone said "Joen, you are making too much money. Why don't you let us make some too? It's not fair to us!"

Someone else added a comment: "Yes! Why are you making so much money? Are you stealing from us?"

A third person chimed in: "Stealing from us??? May Allah rain a thousand bolts of lightning onto your head!!! You are a criminal and I hope you die a painful death"!

The fourth person added: "Painful death??? That's not enough -- your whole family deserves to be tortured -- for being related to you"!!!!

And the comments got worse from there!

I'll spare you the next many messages that were left -- all meant to create verbal and emotional pain for Joen -- for seemingly doing nothing but attempting to see what he could earn by reinvesting all his earnings into Ads.

Funny enough, one of the people that had questions about the legitimacy of Joen's earnings, was Erica Nicole - although she never got verbally abusive -- but she of course had questions as to whether he was earning legitimately or had found a way to "game the system" and basically steal from FanBox and the other bloggers.

Scott, a product manager at FanBox, chimed in. He did the research to see what was happening, and reported that Joen had done nothing wrong. He was simply betting all his earnings on Ads -- a choice that was open to every other blogger in FanBox. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Many individuals kept complaining that FanBox needed to take him out of the site and delete his account, and Scott's last comment was that these users needed to grow up and "find something more productive to do with their time" than sit around and wish harm to someone who's only crime was success. He suggested that a better use of their time was to make new posts, launch ads, promote their posts on facebook or fanbox or elsewhere.

Erica Nicole was someone who decided to change her approach and thinking - and set out on her own to test what Scott was saying. She launched an Ad. Watched how it performed. Launched two more. Took the worst performing one down. Launch new posts. Launched more Ads. Took the worst 2 down. Launched more posts. Focused on her Ads. Looked at what was working, and what was not. She learned from the Ads that were working, and the ones that were not.

She kept this up for 6 weeks. In the process, she launched about 3 Ads a day - totaling almost 100 Ads in a month, taking each of them down when they no longer performed well. She also made a lot of new posts.

And her All-time earnings went from $800 -- to $28,000 -- in 6 weeks.

Then, at the end of March -- 6 weeks after she started that process - she paused all of her Ads (so her earnings wouldn't be spent on Ads for a while) so she could cash out on April 30. 

She is now poised to cash out many thousands of dollars on April 30. In the picture below, notice that the blue bars are her earnings that she spent on Ads; and the green bars are what she will cash out. Notice that she paused her Ads on March 30, to ensure she could cash it out on April 30. I think that it's

13444 Comments
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Katherine Nlcitizen

Money means trouble as I say... thanks for clearing our doubts

105 months ago
Johnny Cash

Chuck,

I simply did the research, by request of the community, who have a right to know if a user is getting special treatment or is stealing from other users by cheating. I then reported my findings, along with the history of Joen and what I have seen, in the hopes of helping the community through similar obstacles they will face as they succeed.

You could stand to listen to the advice a bit too, sir. As you continue to succeed, you will find that others may suspect you of cheating or otherwise "stealing from them" -- and I'm hoping that you, like the rest of us, will learn something from this example that Erica has afforded all of us.

There is nothing wrong with admitting, in the face of the facts, that you may have gotten carried away. People appreciate someone who can admit they were wrong, and can get off their high horse to offer a simple apology.

We're all wrong much of the time, and you have hurt someone's feelings and damaged her reputation - someone that worked hard to build her reputation in this community - with accusations that you simply have no proof of (and are still arguing for, even in the light of significant evidence to the contrary).

On another note, just like you appreciate having the opportunity to speak freely with your opinions, you should also allow others to do the same, without calling them names.

Calling FanBox unethical - because it has simply refuted your baseless claims - is basically like throwing trash in the face of the many FanBox employees who work long hours and for low pay - trying to make their ends meet so that they can give you an opportunity to prosper. Let me remind you that the $1,500 you earned in just a few short weeks with your part-time writing, would have netted you a very exact $0.00 on facebook, twitter, blogger, wordpress, typepad, google and anywhere else - so why not show a little appreciation to FanBox (which is made up of people, both employees and members, that are generally good folks with feelings) instead of calling it names - so as to encourage them to continue the experiment that you are benefitting from?

Just a friendly suggestion, comrade.

My opinion, and it's just that, is that you will get a lot further in whatever your objectives are, if you decide to focus your mind and energy a little more on the positive and less on the negative - and encourage the rest of us to do the same -- by leading by example. You are creative, passionate and possess fantastic persuasion capabilities that could make a huge (positive) impact on FanBox.

-JC

105 months ago
Iftikhar Ahmad

Great post. Congrats Erica..

105 months ago
Johnny Cash

Hi Antrojans, you're in the right place!

Click "Dashboard" at the top of the site, and make your first post. Tutorial videos to show you more details are being developed and will be available soon.

105 months ago
Johnny Cash

Smart Angel, every single time Erica Nicole made money, it was tracked - like every other penny generated on FanBox. Virtually every single penny came from:

1) Ads: This means that each user clicked from one of her Ads -- again, this is very clearly tracked.

2) Feed - users that came from Ads became her fans. Then, at a later date when she made a new post, her New Post was pushed to those fans' feeds - and they clicked from there.

As you can see in her earnings history (picture above), as she ramped down her Ad expenditure over the course of the last 10 days of March, her earnings also ramped down (can you see the green earning bars getting smaller?).

When she finally completely turned off her Ads at the end of March, the only earnings she has had since then have been from New Posts -- driven by Fans -- almost all of which can be tracked to her earlier Ads (they became a fan as a result of learning about her blogs after arriving from one of her Ads).

In other words, people that visited her blogs after seeing her profile or photos - that contributed to her earnings - were virtually non-existant -- meaning that any revenue contribution from her photos was so insignificant that having a conversation about whether her photos are real or fake - and whether they contributed to her revenues -- is a meaningless conversation and not something worthy of any of our time.

I am done with this conversation - as many of the other community members, including Chuck, have already declared. There is so much that still needs to be figured out - and I can certainly use your brains for - like:

1) What do we do about people blindly copying other bloggers' content, without even giving them a line of credit -- take away their earnings and give it to the earlier blogger? and

2) How do we allow people to pick their own charity, when those charities have not been verified, and

3) How can we offer a better customer experience and turnaround for questions and issues - and how do we pay for that (for millions of users) and so forth.

These are among many issues that need to be resolved, so my strong suggestion is let's put this (horse beaten to a pulp) issue of bringing down Erica Nicole and going round and round and round about whether the 1.5 cents she made from her photos was deserved or not, and move on to the next set of issues.

-JC

105 months ago
Johnny Cash

Noor, I'm not making much. Every few days FanBox clears out my earnings because I'm not allowed to earn so that I'm not biased. "I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me. Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango". Hey, first person to name the band gets TEN FanBox points! (I know, what the heck are FanBox points?? Not sure - maybe a FanBox engineer will invent them.)

105 months ago
Johnny Cash

Thanks Jan! True story: I actually started typing "I have a feeling TK will win this - just watch" - and then I erased it to give everyone else a fair shot. That boy is ON HIS GAME!!! :) (and a shooting star -- #2 on the U.S. LeaderBoard, if y'all haven't noticed)...

20 points???? What are you smoking??? I said 10!!! Just for that, I'm penalizing you ten points -- which is good because FanBox points don't exist anyway -- but hey, you just earned bragging rights!

HH, I am definitely on the inside - sorry if that wasn't clear! I thought it was pretty obvious with all my rants, stats and notifications about "whats coming".... Maybe you thought I was just a darn good online psychic. :)

105 months ago
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