Community News
New Spruz Affiliate Program, Earn Commissions for people referred by you!
Category: Community News

With our affiliate program you will earn cash for referring people to use the Spruz Social Website Platform.

The referral program has been designed to be very rewarding on multiple fronts. When a member signs up to Spruz using your referral link you will receive a percentage of their payments to Spruz for the life of their account.

  • You get paid anytime a person you referred makes a payment to us for premium services.
  • Earn a 20% revenue share from any payment made by your referrals.
  • Earn an Additional 5% revenue share on people referred by affiliates that have been referred by you.
  • Get Paid Fast! You can withdraw your commissions at anytime to be paid via Paypal.
  • Special Affiliate discount promo codes that you can give to customers you refer that will give them 10% off upgrades and flag the account as your referral. This allows you to pick up referrals even if they haven't clicked your referral like.

Referral Example:

A person you referred signs up for an account, then 3 months later they upgrade their service to a $19.95/mo plan. You will earn $3.99 for that payment, and each payment made for the life of that account. Thus in one year that person would pay $239.40 and your share would be $47.88.

Affiliate Referrals Example:

A person you referred signs up to our affiliate program becomes your second tier referral commisions. Your Affiliate refers 20 people that upgrade into $9.95/mo plans. In one year you would earn $477.66 from their referrals.

The Goal of this program is to reward those of you that want to help promote Spruz as a strong solution for creating niche social networks for groups, and business. The Discount Promotion Code should really useful for Developers out their that use the Spruz platform for their clients, special thanks to WebWizco AKA The NingMaster for suggesting this extra feature.

To get started go to the website and login. Next click on Account, then the Affiliate Program Link

Spruz Welcome's Lisa Nova
Category: Community News

Spruz would like to extend a warm welcome to actress Lisa Nova and her community, Lisa Nova Live. Lisa has made several appearances on MADtv, as well as The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

She is well known for her wildly popular YouTube persona, where she's been heavily involved since the early days of the service. Lisa specializes in comedy, creating parodies of famous celebrities, commercials, television shows, and political figures. Altogether her videos have received well over 100 million combined views, resulting in over 600,000 subscribers.

Lisa Nova's community makes use of the great features offered by Spruz, such as posting regular blog updates, allowing members to connect via the forum and uploading videos she's created. Stop by Lisa Nova Live to see how Lisa is using the Spruz platform to engage with and grow her fan base.

Good news, everyone!
Category: Community News

We have some great news for you all. During the last week or two we have made several improvements to our plans (free and paid) to simplify them and provide you with the most value, no matter which you decide to use.

Free plans now include up to 250 members, this was upgraded from only a 100 member limit. This gives you plenty of room to grow your community into a position where moving into a paid plan is easy and affordable.

To simplify the upgrade to a paid plan and provide you with the maximum value, we are now including some previously pay-extra features with all paid plans. These features help you monetize your network in different ways:

More file space - We have restructured our pricing plans to give more and help simplify upgrading. Each plan now includes file storage based on your data transfer plan. $9.95 plans now include 2GB file storage while our $19.95 plan takes it up to 10GB of storage. Remember if you are currently a premium client and want these higher storage limits you need to visit the upgrade page and order a new plan.

Member Subscriptions - Setup parts of your site as subscription only, requiring users to pay a subscription fee to access them. The features manages the subscriptions for you, allows the user to cancel and even demo the subscription if you set it up for that, and you just collect the money directly in your PayPal account.

Ad Placement Manager - Place ads on your site, choose where they display, setup multiple ads in rotation for specific spots and it's compatible with all ad networks or even selling your own ad space.

Pay Events - Charge for events in the events system. When a pay event is setup a user will have to pay to RSVP to the event.


Coming next week...

Music Player - Development on the music player feature is almost complete and we plan on a rollout of the feature to all paid sites in the first part of next week.

Ning Member/Content Importer - And on track for the end of the week is the full ning import tool, which has been in development for the last month.

Stay tuned.        


Important Notice for Free Website Creators
Category: Community News

If you have a free website may have noticed for the last two weeks or so your website is no longer displaying advertisements. For the last four years, our primary method of supporting free websites was by placing advertisements on them using Google Adsense. Google Adsense is a service that allows anyone to monetize their websites by allowing you displaying ad blocks within a webpage you own or control. These advertisements come from people building ad campaigns using Google Adwords. Goolge Adsense was perfect for us because it helped us to monetize free websites so that we could effectively offer a free service plan.

Recently Google Adsense has terminated our account due to inappropriate content (adult, pharmaceutical or other types of banned content). In the past Google would notify us when a site was in violation, then we would shut that site down. This type of content is in violation of our terms as well and when reported we immediately disable the offending website. Nothing has changed with the number of sites reported, so this move by Google has come as a big surprise to us leaving Spruz with a big gap in our revenue to effectively support everything we have included within our free service offering.

As you know in order for us to offer as much as we have for free websites we need to place advertisements on your website with us. Alternatives such as selling our own ad space or using a different ad network are easier said than done. An advertiser wants to know what is displayed next to their advertisement, where it is positioned on the page, and if they can be guaranteed their ad will display as promised. Without Google Adsense there is no effective way to meet these criteria since we are a network based platform. It is far easier for you to monetize your website/network than us, and you will normally earn a higher CPM rate.

We have contacted Google to appeal their decision on this matter, only to be rejected. Because of this we have been forced to re-evaluate what we can offer for free.

The following changes go into effect starting today for new free websites and August 31st for all current free website plans.

  • Free websites will have:
    • a limited number of advertisements or no advertising at all aside from promotional links to promote Spruz or site sponsors.
    • a 250 member limit. Once this limit is reached new member accounts will have a customizable message stating "We are not accepting new members at this time, please try back later."
    • a 5GB transfer limit. This eliminates our unlimited traffic that was part of our free offering. Once reached your site will be disabled until the following month or until you upgrade to a pay plan.
    • a fixed 100MB file space limit. We will be adding better controls so you can audit your members file space usage and can limit storage allowed per member. This cancels our tiered file space program.
    • We have removed the very restrictive limitation of Pages and Elements. There are new measures in place to handle this more effectively rather then limiting sites to 10 pages and 40 elements.

Please keep in mind we are not canceling our free website service, only adding necessary limitations to keep our business model sustainable. The new limitations help us control our costs that are no longer being covered by Google Adsense.

If your site reaches any of the limits above such as traffic or members you should be able to easily recover the costs of a $9.95 upgrade -- less than a lunch at McDonalds (by adding a donation element, your own advertising or charging for subscription).

This was a very tough decision for us and one of several scenarios including moving to a completely pay service. However, as we have stated in the past, we know the value of offering a free solution. Even with the changes outlined above our free solution will still allow a community to grow to a point that makes our upgrade sensible for most.

You are welcomed to email with your complaints. If something does change with the status of our Google Adsense account we will return to our normal free service, though a reversal on the part of Google Adsense is unlikely.

As one last note, this does not change development on new features mentioned in our previous platform update post and as always we have big plans for unannounced features and improvements to come. We want to thank you in advance for your understanding on this matter, and hope that you stay with us during this difficult and unexpected change.

 Update 5:47PM EDT - We wanted to address some of your common questions and concerns

Q: If I go over the File Space limit will you delete our content?

A: No, you just won't be able to add more photos or files.

Q: If I go over the Member limit will you delete our members?

A: No, new members will get a message saying they cant join at this time. Plus as the site owner you can delete inactive members to bring your site back under the limit.

Q: What really happens if I go over the Transfer limit?

A: Your Administration area will be disabled first, your site will still be fully usable for members. If you continually go over and if you continually go over after a 1 or 2 month period you site will be disabled until you upgrade and like all free websites are subject to deletion based on usage. But as we have mentioned, if you do hit the 5GB limit, placing a few ads alone will make $15-$30 per month in advertising or use our Site Fund elements to raise donations to upgrade.

Note: We are not shutting down websites with this change. Most networks will not be effected.

Wishing you a Happy Independence Day
Category: Community News

The 4th of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 (234 years ago), declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Lets celebrate, a Holiday Weekend is here! All joking aside me, David and the rest of the Spruz Team we want to wish everyone a fun and safe holiday weekend!!!!!

So you know we love holidays as much as the rest of you, our offices will be on a 3 day weekend. Our offices will be closed on Monday. Support over the weekend will be reserved for only the most serious of issues.

Happy July 4th!


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