Is FTU for you? Part two

I decided from the very beginning that I would always be honest with my readers. Will it cost me opportunities? Most likely. Anyway, back to FTU. Since my target readers are middle- class families, I assume your budget is somewhat tight. So, is it worth going through the expense to attend this event? No, I don’t think so.

Sure, if it comes to a city near you, consider it. Otherwise, I don’t recommend you spend hundreds of dollars to fly across the country. If you have plans to visit other attractions, you might consider combining the two. But I wouldn’t make it a sole purpose of my trip. Why not?

You will not learn anything, that you can’t find in the blogs for free already. And to Daraius’ from Million mile secrets blog credit, he even mentioned it in one of his posts. But wouldn’t it be cool to meet all the major bloggers? Sure, if you can hunt them down. Make no mistake about it, all of them are intelligent, driven individuals. They are on top of this game for a reason. I am sure most were valedictorians of their class. But should you pay 500 dollars or more to talk to them? I don’t think so.

It would be much cheaper for you to call a successful valedictorian of your class and treat him or her to lunch. You will get the same experience. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are nice people. But I’m not sure I would pay 500 dollars to meet Bill Gates, and I would love to talk to him. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go. Just don’t sacrifice a vacation with your family, so you can attend this event. Be aware of your opportunity cost!

The main reason for this type of conference is for major bloggers to promote their brand. It’s also a chance for them to get together with their frenemies (friend+enemy). Though I’m not friends with them, so I was just an enemy, period.  I’m joking, of course.

But basically, all of us, including my tiny blog, compete for your referral clicks. It is a business, readers. And here is the ugly truth. To some extent, you are a customer to me too. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It forces me to create better content, otherwise I get fired, aka you won’t use my affiliate links.

I am not allowed to give you any details on commission, but you can google it and get a rough idea on the stakes in this game. Or contact Ric Garrido from “Loyalty traveler” blog. He would love to tell you all about it.

The tax expert and math freak in me tells me  that major bloggers are pulling in 6 figure incomes easily. They have to be. Do they deserve it? That’s not up to me to decide. As long as the banks pay it and people use the links, the party will go on. And I myself will happily pick up my crumbs in the back.

Remember my post “To tell or not to tell?”. I mentioned 2 conflicts of interest for bloggers in this hobby. There is another, much more complex one. Say, one card pays you X amount in commission and another 5X. Which one will you be more likely to promote? Even if the X card is a bit better, your human nature will find a way to justify pushing the 5X card. You may not even realize, it’s happening.

This is where my “cousin-in-law” rule would step in and hopefully make me do the right thing. Hopefully. Is the affiliate system perfect? NOT EVEN CLOSE. Is anything in life?

I can’t change the rules in this game or the way others do things. But I can do MY best NOT to change. Would I still write this blog, if there was no financial incentive? Most likely. Would I be as motivated to  create a  better content? Probably not.

And as far as my content goes, I can tell you, I have not been mailing it in since day one, even before the links. If you keep waiting for it to get better, it won’t. If it’s not good enough now, than sadly, I’m not good enough.

So where do you, the readers, fit in? You hold all the cards in this game. Don’t settle for inferior content, including if you see it in my blog. An example of inferior content? Constant posts of best card bonuses and ALL of them pay commission ( it can happen, but reader beware!). Plus, no need for new posts, just update the previous one or create a dedicated page. Demand original content, something, that makes you think beyond the obvious.



13 thoughts on “Is FTU for you? Part two

  1. I do enjoy your honesty in writing about miles and points. I think most of us that follow the miles and points blogs fall into the middle class category.


  2. Blaine, thank you so much! I admit, I was nervous about this post. I am afraid, I am burning some bridges with this “baby”. But I have to speak my mind, its the only way I know how to do things. One thing I don’t want to do, is offend anyone or make it personal. Its tough though, since I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor! And I hope there are more middle class families I can find. Keep commenting!


  3. Jerri, thanks so much. I do try to be honest and not hold back. I am a little weird, but hopefully not too much! I really want my readers to learn something new from my blog. Thats the goal.


  4. I appreciate that you have demystified the income end of miles-n-points blogging. Personally I don’t begrudge their more-than-decent salaries because I am getting a free education that benefits me immensely.

    There are still things that I am unable to comprehend no matter how many times someone explains it to me, like free OW legs attached to international award bookings. There is no way I can attain the same level of mastery as you guys. I won’t be establishing my own blog anytime soon.

    Your blog occupies an important niche, with your outsider vibe and willingness to speak your mind. I enjoy following your posts. Keep it up.


  5. HeavenlyJane, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. That means a lot to me. I absolutely have no problem with top bloggers getting paid good money for this. For one thing, its a ton of work. Just my little blog occupies an enormous amount of time. More, than it looks on surface.
    My point was not to come across as bitter or jealous, because I’m not. I respect everyone in this business. I simply have to look out for my reader, its my responsibility. And I am a huge fan of transparency. I want everyone to be aware of the stakes, so they can make an informed choice with their clicks.
    As far as OW legs attached, thats not my forte either. I do have some basic knowledge and will do a post on it sometime, so watch for it. I will try to make it simple. I am glad you brought it up, please make more suggestions. I am kind of walking blind here! Thanks again.


  6. @Andrew , thanks so much for the comment. I saw French Polynesia flag pop up and figured it was you! Love those flags on WordPress. Hope you are having fun, but I’m so jealous. I actually thought perhaps I took it too far. I’m trying to stir a discussion, but in a respectful manner.
    At the same time I don’t want to accuse other bloggers of being dishonest or greedy, because I don’t know their thought process. I try to give everyone a benefit of a doubt.


  7. Pingback: Should You Consider Attending a Miles and Points Convention? | Miles For Family

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