What No One Tells You About Algorithms

It’s all in the timing

If you want to make big money online, you’ve got to be a step ahead of the algorithm; you’ve got to time it right. I can attest to this because I’ve got the worst timing on earth. I’ve proven to myself over and over again that I can show up at the right place at the wrong time. Also, if there’s a bad decision to make, I’ll make it. Let’s take a look at some examples.


While selling collectibles on eBay in 2005, they decided to raise their fees. Sellers were furious about the increase. That’s when I got an invitation to join a new website called Etsy. The founders jumped ship at eBay and started a website that promised not to gouge its sellers. I ran over to check it out. I saw a bare-bones white page, with four or five sellers. I signed up and posted a few items. By the second day, I decided that this was going nowhere and left. The rest is history. I recently started posting my artwork on Etsy. Then someone told me that unless you already have a large following, you’re not going to do well because Etsy is oversaturated.

In this case, I had good timing but made a bad decision. I didn’t stick with it.


I found Zazzle when it was first launched in 2005. It’s a design on demand company where you can put your own designs on products and post them for sale. I signed up and designed a few things and left shortly thereafter. I was still registered with them when I decided to go back in 2010. A lot had been happening on Zazzle. Sellers were making full-time incomes. A friend from another website said she put a down payment on a house with her earnings. Most of her earnings came from bonuses for high sales.

Soon after I returned to Zazzle, they made some adjustments to their algorithm. They upped the number of sales you needed to make a bonus. Sellers saw their earnings plummet. My friend, who had put all her eggs in one basket, lost her house.

Had I not jumped ship in the first five years, I would have made some good money. I’m still with Zazzle and make sales here and there. If I worked harder at it, I could make more, but nobody earns the revenue that they used to.

Demand Studios

I got pulled into Demand studios from another site I wrote for. I can’t recall the name of it. At Demand, you had the opportunity to claim 10 topics and store them in your queue while writing them. They paid $25 per article. I was doing well despite being a slow writer. Writers who wrote fast made excellent money because they could claim 10 more articles after writing the first 10.

One day everybody received an email from Demand Studios that started: We have exciting news! If you ever get a letter that starts with, We have exciting news! Know that there’s a good chance you’re in trouble.

Demand made some changes to their algorithm that kicked a lot of us out of the game.

Nothing in this world is for sure except death, taxes, and the algorithm

Online businesses always start out paying their writers and artists well. As they become more successful with more people who want a cut of the pie, they will adjust their algorithm to increase their profits. It’s Capitalism, and we are the worker bees.

Words of wisdom from me to you

  • The adjusted algorithm is inevitable, so stop complaining.
  • Keep an eye out for new websites where you can get in on the ground floor.
  • Never put all your eggs in one basket.
  • It’s all in the timing
  • Give it a chance

A free spirit, visual artist, writer, animal lover, introvert and independent woman.

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