Monday, July 25, 2011

PayLoadz Digital Download Service Reaches $50M in Transactions Processed

Downloadable Content and eCommerce platform continues to provide a valuable user generated content service.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) July 26, 2011 continues to lead the digital content self-publishing space with the announcement of $50 million in digital download transactions processed since the company was launched. Transaction volume has also grown to over 4.5 million product transactions processed.

"The growth PayLoadz has shown since inception has been encouraging and is a testament to sound financial and resource management. I'm proud that we have been able to accomplish these levels of volume entirely self-funded," said Shannon Sofield, founder and CEO. We have built a strong product that has proven immensely valuable to our users. I look forward to continuing to innovate in this ever-changing environment."

PayLoadz has traditionally been seller oriented in the presentation of their services. They are preparing to release a destination style shopping portal geared toward content consumers. Mr. Sofield continues: "The new service will service end users directly while improving our ability to help our sellers market their content."

Founded in 2002,, Inc continues to operate in a bootstrap startup style operating with a very small development, marketing, and management team. This lean style approach has enabled the system to evolve as many competitors have come and gone; victims of the turbulent online content industry. The company has over 180,000 users and services 6 million customers with their digital good order processing and delivery needs.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We are working to resolve an issue with our database server at this time. We will update when we have more information.

Update: The server is back online. Some user session software that was installed on the live database server caused a memory issue. We have disabled/removed this software until we can perform further testing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Database Server Move 04-17-2011

Today we are going to work on moving our database server to a new Amazon EC2 instance. The existing instance is having underlying hardware issues which is causing some slowness this week. Thankfully, such a task is made much easier by the "cloud" than was possible just a few years ago. Expect intermittent downtime through the day. All orders will be processed even ones placed during the downtime.



UPDATE: The db move was pushed to Sunday, 4/17

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

04-13-2011 9PM EST

We'll be right back!

We are going to run a database re-indexing which will take approximately 20 minutes. Please be patient while this process completes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

03-16-2011 Software Updates

We are applying some normal server updates this morning. We may need to reboot the servers once or twice during this period. We should not have much or any interruption in service.



Saturday, February 26, 2011

2-26-2011 - Server AWS Snapshot

We are taking the server down for a few minutes to complete an AWS snapshot of our database server. It should be down for no more than 30 minutes.

Thank you for your patience,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Intermittent Service Issues

The past few days we have had periods of service outages due to unforeseen issues arising from planned database maintenance. The service availability cause issues with all aspects of the site including order processing. As of 10:50AM EST, we have addressed the outstanding issues and the site is running optimally. We expect the site to continue to run properly for the foreseeable future and no other maintenance is planned at this time. We are working overtime on the support front to help sellers and their customers work through any issues they may have from this period of instability. Contact us if you have any questions regarding the effects of this issue.

Thank you for bearing with us while we sorted out these problems. As a service provider, we are very proud of how our customers have stood by us even with these hiccups.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Planned Maintenance Downtime 2/11/2011

The maintenance performed yesterday successfully decrease our database size to 25% of what it had grown into due to the revision of our database index definition. Because of the large drop in size, we have some fragmentation which is causing a slower response from the db server for some queries. We'd like to fix this using an index rebuild on all of the heavily fragmented indexes which requires us to take the server offline shortly. I am hoping the index rebuild can be finished up within an hour. We will be taking it down at 5:15PM EST and hope to have it back online by 6:00PM EST.

Thank you for your patience,


UPDATE: Everything went smoothly and we finished up the index rebuild quickly. The site is back online as of 5:45PM EST and appears to be responsing much faster now that the index rebuild has taken place. We will continue to monitor it carefully.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SQL Server Maintenance Downtime - 2/10/2011

We are working on some maintenance tasks on our SQL server that is taking a bit longer than we had anticipated. Because of this, we are disabling access to the live site so the maintenance queries can execute. Everything should be back to normal within the hour.



Update: Looks like we have to run a few more queries to get this round of maintenance all fixed up. We are takiung the site offline to speed this process up. Thank you for your patience. 7:15PM EST.

Update #2: We got everything finished as far as the maintenance. We brought the site up for a few hours again now. We are taking it down hopefully one last time for the next few minutes to clean up one last area. Hopefully, this will be 10-15 minutes from 9:15PM EST.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Server Downtime Today - 1/12/2011

It appears the server went down today at around 10:30AM EST. It was out until approximately 11:15AM EST. We used the Amazon EC2 console to force reboot the serve which recovered itself. We are looking into the underlying cause now. We have a backup server ready to go if we need it. All orders placed during the outage will be processed as the backlog goes out. In the meantime, you can use the Send Download function to manually send out any downloads if you like.

We have been working on our database recovery model and have a good foundation in place. We are the end of implementing the full plan. Once in place, we will be able to recover within 30 minutes from any type of outage once we make the decision the previous instance will not recover. It is an interesting process of accounting for the worst-case scenario. No one wants it to happen, but you have to be prepared when it does. I think we are crafting a best practices process now.

Thank you for your understanding,

Shannon S.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Business Basics: There Are Only Three Ways to Increase Revenue

Increasing revenue solely depends on one of the following three things: 1.) Increase the number of people that see your product offering. 2.) Increase the number of people who, after seeing your offer, buy it. 3.) Increase the number of existing customers who buy from you again. There are no other ways to increase business revenue. Keeping these principles in mind during your daily decision making process or when doing a task list will help you drive revenue.

I. Increase the number of people that see your product offering
This can be thought of as the external marketing you do to get people to your website. The more people you get to your website, the more opportunities for conversion you will have.

Paid Options:
- Google AdWords
- Other Ad Platforms

Free Options:
- Directory and Business Listings
- Article and Content Websites
- Community or Niche Communities
- Partnerships

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing

II. Increase the number of people who, after seeing your offer, buy it
This is the conversion ratio of your sales pages. Getting a visitor who is reading your sales page to buy your item is the goal, called “conversion”. Increase the ability of your page to convert visitors into buyers and you will increase revenue.

Product information:
- Clear, concise product description
- Product Images or Samples
- Instructions for Use

Support Information:
- Ask Seller a Question
- User Reviews
- Contact Information

Purchase information:
- Payment Types
- Refund or Guarantee Policies
- Shipping and Delivery Costs and Times

Site Omptimization
- Page Load Speed
- Navigation
- Sales Funnel

III. Increase the number of existing customers who buy from you again

A person who has purchased from you previously is many more times likely to buy from you again vs. someone who has not bought from you. Selling to your existing customers is the lowest cost means of increasing revenue.

Related Products or Services:
- Create a Complimentary Product (upgrades)
- Offer a Required Product for the Primary Offering (batteries)

Communicate to Customers:
- During Primary Purchase Checkout
- Order Confirmation Emails
- New Product Announcements
- Newsletter Announcements
- Discounts

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Come See Us at PayPal Innovate in October!

We at PayLoadz are excited to return to the PayPalX Innovate conference for 2010 in San Francisco on October 26-27.

A new generation of apps is changing the way people pay. Want to be part of the future of money? Join us and:

- Learn how to monetize your business
- Participate in live coding sessions and work directly with PayPal engineers
- Hear new product and API announcements
- Network with 2000 like-minded developers

See who's speaking and check out session topics at:

See you in October!

Shannon @ PayLoadz

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Service Downtime 6-30-2010

At approximately 5AM EST this morning we detected an issue with an instance running on our Amazon EC2 network that hosted the main websites for PayLoadz. We attempted to recover the instance using standard Amazon EC2 tactics, but were unable to recover the instance. We then launched a new instance of that machine which we have saved as an image and uploaded yesterday's file set to the server for the main PayLoadz website. We re-assigned the IP address and the main site is now working without issue. We are working to recover the other sub-domains now.

All orders placed during the downtime will get processed by our system in almost all cases. It may take up to 24 hours for the back logged orders to go through. No data was lost during this time.

Thank you for bearing with us,


p.s.- If you have specific questions regarding your account, please contact us here:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Order Processing Issue

Some transactions in the system today have been affected by a bug in some code we updated last night. It is causing the order to be processed incorrectly and show invalid information on the download page and not give customers the product they purchased.

I've tracked down the issue myself personally. It is related to our backend processing script. It is actually affecting a good amount of transactions that came through today (over 400 orders). We've made this issue our top priority. The dev team will be in later this evening to resolve the problem. The good news is that they will (or should) be able to re-process the transactions that had an error in them, so your orders should go through properly going forward.

I hope that helps,


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Using Video to Increase Download Sales

When it comes to increasing your sales, there are many things to consider. As a PayLoadz member, you already are offering virtual goods online, but how are you marketing those products? If email campaigns and PPC are just not hitting the mark these days, why not think about thinking outside the box a bit?

Because technology is always changing and the public is always modifying the way in which it takes in information, your options are always expanding. One way to increase your sales today is to use video to do so. So, how does video improve your sales margins? Video is engaging and can emotionally connect with viewers – just like ads on television. Video brings a sense of personality to your business and can even boost your credibility and professionalism.

There are many different ways that you can use video to increase your sales. The most effective ways to use video is by incorporating reality video, stories, and testimonials into your website’s content. Such videos allow your customers to connect with your product visually and remember, visual impressions can run quite deep. And don’t worry if you don’t have your own website. You can even incorporate videos into your product pages in the PayLoadz Store. Refer to one of our videos explaining how to create a product listing.

When producing a video clip for your product there are some basics to keep in mind, and they’re really quite simple. Just remember, people like stories – they like to tell stories, hear stories, and to share stories. Conveying a story through images about your product can be integral to increased sales – as long as it is done professionally and with expertise.

The customer response to video is always much stronger than print and direct marketing ads on their own. When used in conjunction with traditional advertising and marketing efforts, videos can make a huge difference on your bottom line – especially testimonial videos.

The power of video is simply undeniable. It can generate traffic and give you the chance to presell your product to viewers. Videos also let you build a relationship with potential (and returning) customers by making them feel more comfortable with you and your product. If you have your own website, videos can even help improve your site’s rank in the search engines. And don’t forget, videos can go viral. So posting your videos on sites like YouTube and other video sharing communities can really go a long way.

After learning what you’ve just learned, we’ve put together a couple of ways you can use video to boost your sales:

· Product reviews

· Interview experts

· Create product showcases

· Consumer video reviews

· Sales videos

· Video blogging

The important thing is to have fun with your videos while at the same time offering your customers something informative and memorable.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can Being an Affiliate Really Make You Money?

Often people new to the affiliate game wonder if they can really make money advertising and marketing other people’s goods. Simply put, the answer is a resounding “yes” as long as you take the time to motivate yourself and stay focused. Just remember, while you can make a ton of money as an affiliate, it doesn’t happen overnight. You do have to work at it, but the benefits can be amazing.

Choose Wisely

There are usually plenty of choices within any given affiliate program – especially ours. (Check it out at You don’t have to market every advertiser’s product. You can look through what’s available and select the advertiser that is offering the biggest payout. Remember, advertisers are getting “free” advertising from you in exchange for either a flat fee per sale or a percentage of the sale. Look over the payouts and see what works best for you.

In addition to making money with the affiliate program promoting products offered by merchants on PayLoadz, you can earn money by promoting PayLoadz itself. The PayLoadz Reseller Program pays you on each click, account sign up and a percentage of monthly recurring fee for any accounts that upgrade and were referred by you.

Do Your Research

When you join an affiliate program, you don’t have to be an expert in the products that your partners are offering. You don’t even have to be an expert at being an affiliate. What you do need to do is plenty of research. Once you join the program and agree to market a particular product, learn as much as you can about it. That will help you understand what it is and what the targeted audience is. Knowing your audience is a key to making money as an affiliate.

Setting up a Website

A good affiliate needs to set up a website dedicated to the product they are pushing. The site needs to be related to the product and feature well-written articles that will entice customers to click through to the seller’s page. It is a good idea to set up your website before partnering with any seller. When you set up your affiliate site, remember to do a little more research on keywords associated with the product. You’ll then be able to optimize your site and articles with these keywords to improve any rank in the search engine results.

A Work in Progress

An affiliate income is a work in progress which means you’ll need to keep at it to build up what you make. You’ll need to maintain your affiliate website and encourage customers to buy the product you’re marketing. Just remember, you can’t simply build the affiliate website and hope the sales will come flooding in.


So, if you work at being an affiliate, there is plenty of opportunity to make money. In fact, many affiliates enjoy a lucrative income and even transition into being full-time affiliates. If you have your own products, this may not be the path you want to take. But joining the PayLoadz affiliate program can help yourself and your fellow members. Think about it! Everyone could use a few extra bucks in today’s economy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Be an Effective Affiliate

When you join our affiliate program, or any affiliate program for that matter, you are entering a world of endless possibilities and money-making opportunities. Whether you are new to the affiliate business or have years of affiliate marketing experience, your goal should be to make as much money as possible marketing affiliate products. Effective affiliates maximize their income as well as their advertiser’s income more than the average affiliate. In order to be an effective affiliate, we’ve put together some strategies that will definitely help you out.


In order to make the most as an affiliate, you need to seriously think about e-marketing. Since you are already a PayLoadz member, chances are you’ve already given this some thought in regards to your own virtual goods. Take what you already know about online advertising and marketing and apply it to the products you are marketing as an affiliate. Get ready to incorporate both SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) to enhance your efforts.


Don’t forget about the keywords! Learn to optimize your affiliate blogs and websites for targeted keywords relevant to the products you are pushing. There are plenty of keyword software tools out there to help you determine which keywords will be the most effective in driving traffic to your affiliate site and therefore converting to sales.


Any website you launch for your affiliate efforts should be professional and engaging. Don’t just throw anything up on the web. The layout, organization, and content of the site should be relevant to the product and be appealing to not only human beings but the search engines as well. Remember, content is king, so make sure everything is well-written, factual, and interesting.

Think Outside the Box

Effective affiliates don’t just stick to the same old plan; they think outside the box. One aspect of doing this is to engage in digital marketing. While the Internet is an integral part of being an effective affiliate, there are so many other avenues to explore. Consider print marketing, email campaigns, podcasts, and whatever else you can think of. Video is also quite effective.

These are just the basics of how to become an effective affiliate. The main thing to remember is to remain motivated and focused in order to make the most of your affiliate relationship. The more you work, the better the outcome will be, just like selling your own virtual goods through PayLoadz and other platforms.

We offer a great affiliate program. You can market other PayLoadz members’ products or you can even become a PayLoadz affiliate yourself. To learn more about how you can join and earn extra money through our program, simply visit

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What are Donation Downloads?

You may have heard the phrase “donation download” a time or two as you’ve read through our site or surfed our blog, but you may not actually know what we mean? The concept behind donation downloads is really quite interesting, and can even help increase your overall sales in the long run if you take advantage of this feature. Basically, a donation download is one in which you allow your customers to choose the amount they wish to pay for the download they receive. With a donation based download, your customers will enter their own price during checkout.

Right now, you’re probably thinking that PayLoadz has officially lost its marbles, right? How can one ever make any money by allowing customers to choose what they want to pay? What about overhead, production costs, and profits? Well, those are all very good points, but let’s think about it for a moment. Yes, you are allowing customers to pay what they choose. Yes, you may not be making a profit. However, in most cases, customers will pay what they think is fair for a download. Often, this is more than enough to cover your expenses and a little extra.

It isn’t hard to implement donation downloads for your products through the PayLoadz platform. It’s also pretty easy to get started if you are selling your virtual goods through your own website or blog as well. The best, and most direct way, is to set up donation buttons through PayPal. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Set the donation download price to at least $0.01 on your PayLoadz listing. (We can’t allow it to be $0.00 at this time.)
  2. Use the Button Code Generator at
  3. Choose one of the PayPal options presented to you.
  4. Edit the block of code you are shown to allow for the donation amount.
  5. Make sure you save the updated code into your website’s HTML source code.
  6. Always test your changes.

There are more detailed steps located in the PayLoadz Help section. But don’t worry, getting set up with donation downloads will only take a few minutes of your time.

Donation downloads can be used in a variety of ways. You may choose to use such an option if you want your proceeds to be donated to your favorite charity. Perhaps your virtual goods are related to a cause. Donation downloads can also be a great marketing tool. Perhaps you are offering a new virtual good and want to test it out on the market. Allowing customers to pay what they wish is a great way to test its popularity, functionality, and what it’s worth in the public’s eye.

Aside from donation downloads, you may also want to offer your customers free download files, sample files, or even special discounts. When used in conjunction with donation downloads, you will definitely see your sales increase. If your customers feel that they are getting a deal, which they are, they will become returning, loyal (and happy) customers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Good Customer Service Can Boost Your Sales

If you want to increase your sales dramatically you should definitely shift your focus to your customer service. While attracting new customers to purchase your digital downloads is important, enticing proven customers to buy again might be a challenge. In retail (and most other industries) the best sales prospect is one that has already been converted. In other words, your current customers are your best bet. So, how can you do this?

First of all, getting your past customers to return to you will save you a ton of money in the marketing department. Take a few minutes and think of all the customers who have purchased your products in the past, but haven’t come back since. You probably made the most common mistake that business owners do – assuming that once they have purchased from you, they’ll continue to do so loyally. But if you don’t maintain and nurture that relationship, you might as well have never had their business in the first place.

You should think about the reasons a customer might leave you. Although there are quite a few, there are some of the most common:

  • Unfair pricing
  • Unresolved complaints
  • Better deal from competitors
  • They felt you didn’t care

These reasons are all easily dealt with and they make perfect sense. Business owners want to avoid inactive clients at all costs. Just think about it – customers often make purchases from a particular vendor because they have built up a relationship with that provider. If you don’t nurture that relationship from the start, you can basically kiss that customer goodbye.

While you should definitely seek new clients, your existing customers are incredibly important. When you consider the fact that repeat customers spend almost 40% more than new customers, referrals from repeat customers are more frequent than non-customers, and it costs a lot more to sell something to a potential customer than to a returning customer. You’ll want to take a closer look at your customer service.

Boost your sales with good customer service. It isn’t going to be hard at all. Treating your customers with respect and as if they are your strategic business partners can go a long way. Clients and customers who feel satisfied and cared for are going to spend more money on your products and make more recommendations to their friends, family, and colleagues. This also means that you should offer returning customers special deals, free samples, and other perks. The more you give, the more you are going to get in return.

The bottom line is that the better your customer service, the better sales you will enjoy. Do your best to attract new customers, but once you have them, keep them! Keeping this in mind will only boost your sales and your overall business.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Little Bit about the “Share this Product” Feature

As an online retailer and seller of virtual goods, you probably already know that word of mouth is one of the best ways to get people to learn about your business or products. At PayLoadz, we know just how important the word of mouth phenomenon is, which is why we have recently implemented our “Share this Product” feature on PayLoadz listings.

Before we get into the facts about “Share this Product”, let’s talk a little bit about word of mouth advertising and marketing. By and far, recommendations in the form of word of mouth are really one of the most effective marketing tools out there. Just think about it – when you’re thinking about grabbing a bite to eat, what do you do? You probably ask your friends, family, or neighbors where they like to go and then try it out. The same principle applies to online shopping and just about everything else!

With that in mind, we’ve introduced “Share this Product” to the PayLoadz platform. You can find it on any listing in PayLoadz Store in the Seller section in the sidebar. It’s a simple link that allows customers to share a particular product listing with the rest of the world. It is a virtual word of mouth tool that quickly and effectively expands your product’s reach.

When a customer clicks “Share this Product” a convenient pop-up box will appear. The feature allows customers to not only share the product with whomever they choose, but to bookmark it as well. The innovation of “Share this Product” feature is great for both our PayLoadz sellers and customers shopping online. With this tool, it is possible to bookmark and share any item listed. And this isn’t just limited to email as many similar tools are – the reach of “Share this Product” tool spans out to email, instant messaging, social networks, and wish lists.

The “Share this Product” tool is a great social sharing tool that allows people to share a product anytime with their social network. With just a simple click, the word can be spread about your products in a matter of seconds. It allows for flexibility, so that your customers can get the word out about your product in their preferred style. Virtually every platform and option is available – and if you don’t see it, you can search for it easily!

Remember, word of mouth is the best (and cheapest) way to expand the reach of your product. When customers recommend something to their friends, those new prospects are bound to check it out. With “Share this Product” your customers can share your virtual goods with their friends, family, and colleagues quickly and easily. With more than 200 options ranging from AIM, Digg, Facebook, Friendster, MySpace, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, Gmail, and so much more, how can you go wrong?