A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Motherload of Keywords

Last night, I struck gold for keywords that were uncontested. I'm at 122 keywords without the punctuation and variations on each that can be made. And there are more coming. This will be good if I can convert sales off of the traffic. I'd like to have the campaign started by the weekend. I submitted more articles to some sites today as well. While I was at work, I came up with 17 new ideas for sites. I'm going to have to revise my goal and set it to 8 before year's end and not 10 just to be realistic. Some of those 17 are no content sites but the majority have content.

I never mentioned it but I bought "Stomping the Search Engines" last week and it arrived today. So far, it's all stuff that I know. Go figure. I'll go through the whole thing and let you know if it's worth the money or not. That's all.




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Monday, May 30, 2005

Site is Backed Up

After writing my latest article on home theater lighting, I started backing up the site. Yeah, my site is now backed up. I know there is probably a better way of doing it but I just copy and pasted the code into new html files on my computer to be saved on CD. Ironically, last night I had a scare. It was raining out and not really storming when the power flickered for a moment. Everything came back on but the computer. I pressed the power button, nothing. After about 10 minutes of messing with it, I unplugged it from the power strip and plugged it directly into the wall. It lives again. Back up your stuff and do it OUTSIDE of your computer!

I'm still working on my Adwords keywords for the home theater accessories site. Things have slowed down as far as my creativity is concerned so now I'm breaking out NicheBot and eventually Wordtracker for some aid. I'm holding off on Wordtracker until I have basic ideas for my next 3 sites laid out. That way, I can do it all at the same time and pay for only that day.

I talked to Tara today and she told me that her goal was 10 sites by year's end. I think that's definitely a doable goal. Hmm, I believe I may just snag that goal for myself...




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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Off to the Lake

I'm off to the lake for the night. I made a few changes to the site today, mostly Adsense related to see if I could increase my CTR. I also worked on developing my keyword list for Adwords, both for my site that is up now and the no-content site that I will be developing soon. I have 25 keywords for the home theater site that I will be able to snag for $.05. These 25 are just words, but could triple once I start using the different punctuation variations like " " and [ ]. I have yet to incorporate the spelling mistakes that could help increase my list. I think that is going to be my strategy for this advertising thing. No trying to slug it out with the big boys, just sneak past them all together.

The more I read on forums, the more I'm convinced that diversifying your traffic is essential. And by diversification, I mean beyond splitting it between Google, MSN and Yahoo. I mean a completely seperate route from seach engines all together. At WebmasterWorld Forum, Rfung has a thread on his quest to $300/day from affiliate sales and Adsense. He was doing well and actually was almost there when the latest changes in Google cut his earnings from an average of $200/day to between $50 and $100/day. That is a HUGE cut. That would be the equivalent of your boss coming to you and saying that you will be paid half as much for the forseeable future. In his thread, he says that about 30% of his traffic is from Google. Think of all of the people who rely almost exclusively on Google for their traffic. It's just way too dangerous.




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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mr. Gates, You Are Late

After a completely useless day at work (the only thing constructive I was able to bring myself to do was a 10 second call about a conveyor belt) I came home and continued my streak. It wasn't until about 9 that I actually started to do any real work. Adwords research. I have found a few resources that I am trying to learn from. So far the consensus is that your success depends heavily on your keywords and your ability to think out of the box to avoid the highly contested words. One tip that I was able to garner was to ask yourself about the needs of the market rather than how you can sell your product. Uncommon sense in my opinion. You know it but that knowledge lies just beneath the surface until you read/hear it.

I have the day off tomorrow so I will spend it creating my keyword list and preparing for the coming campaign. I also need to redo the links in my cables section and a few other maintance related things. After talking to Tara, I need to back-up my site this weekend. It will suck but the alternative is far worse.

My site is finally indexed in MSN. The MSNbot finally arrived Tuesday night sometime. I am now officially in the big 3. My Yahoo traffic is coming in as a trickle but I must still be on the first two pages for home theater accessories because that's how everyone is finding the site.




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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New Concept

I made a post in Webmaster World for the first time and got some decent responses. I asked about better ways to present the affiliate links and one poster gave me the idea of having a recommendation box at the top. I modified the idea a bit and you can see it in action at my new article, How to Choose an HD Programming Provider. In it's current state it's a bit clunky but this weekend I will make an image specifically for my recommendations so it will come across much better. I think it's a great idea. It gets your affiliate link up at the top with a run down as to why you think it's so great. Let's see how well it converts once the page starts to get some real traffic. Let me know what you think. Seriously, I want this business to work and I need fresh eyes with opinions of their own.

Adwords. I'm researching and preparing my keywords list in my spare time. I get paid on the first so that is when I will have the money to put on the table for this. I have found some keywords for the product I plan to target that were uncontested in Overture. If the same is true in Adwords, I could get these words for $.05 (I think). This would amount to 2000 visitors/$100. What I need is a formula that will help me determine my break-even point and whether there is even profit potential for this product. I'll see what I can find.




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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Can you say "Tres"?

I didn't get to do much for the site today. I stayed at work for an extra 3 1/2 hours so that I can have Friday off. 4 day weekend for me. One thing I can say about my job, I have a great boss. We both went to A&M and I think the fact that we both have the rings played a major part in me getting hired.

I was able to submit to a few RSS directories today. If you have an affiliate marketing site, I think having an RSS feed is definitely something you should take advantage of. There are so many directories dedicated to RSS feeds that you just can't get into otherwise. On top of just being in more directories, your feed will have MULTIPLE links in it. My new articles were indexed in Google long before all of my other pages with the exception of my homepage. This was true even for the articles that I didn't post here and I think that the newsfeed played a part in that. While I sometimes post a new article here, I always put it in my newsfeed and ping Yahoo and Newsgator. Just something to think about if you have a site.

Oh, by the way....at least for a time today my site was #3 in Yahoo! for home theater accessories and #4 for home theatre accessories. Now if I could just hold on to that spot long enough to knock the other two down.....




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Monday, May 23, 2005

The Job is Killing Me

It is soooo boring. I keep telling myself it's temporary but it's not much consolation. Sigh, could be worse. I could have no job and no means of supporting my business in it's infancy while at the same time living with my parents. That puts things in perspective real quick. Working still sucks though.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...
I wrote another short informative article today. Nothing fancy, it's not even something that will draw traffic. It's just something that I felt like writing.

I heard from Ezine Articles and they told me that they also deleted the guy's account and his articles. I didn't think the guy who's name was on my articles was responsible but through their actions, GoArticles and Ezine seem to suggest that he was. They were quick to respond to my email about the name switch but when I asked how this could have happened, they are both strangely silent. It does make me a bit hesitant to publish my articles but they are a good source of traffic. I've only submitted to three locations and I get a 1-3 people a day from the articles. I know that if I were to make a concerted effort and really get the articles out there, it would help a lot.

I guess it's time again for my scheduled dip in motivation. Despite how boring work is, I can't seem to get motivated to do too much on the business side of things. I know exactly what it is; my impatience. I want thousands of visitors yesterday even though the site has been up only a week. Positive note, after dropping down to 114 in yahoo I am back up to #44. How long that will last is anyone's guess but hopefully it's all upswing from here.




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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Day Off

I pretty much took the day off from the site today. Now, day off is a relative term. All I did was change an affiliate link and submit my link to about 10 sites. Nothing overwhelming.

I have a situation with the articles I submitted. Somehow, my name was switched with someone else's when they were downloaded. The funny thing is my name at the top of the article was changed but the contact info and links to my site at the bottom were in tact. I found this at several websites so I know it wasn't the webmasters at the sites that did this. I contacted Ezine Articles and GoArticles about this. GoArticles deleted the other guy's articles but didn't give me a reason yet as to how this could have happened. Ezine hasn't contacted me yet. I don't know which of the two is the culprit but I have my suspicions. I don't think it was malicious, it just pisses me off that someone else is getting credit for writing my articles. The websites that were using the messed up articles had NO contact info whatsoever. They were basically sites that grabbed articles from everywhere and sold stuff. We will see what happens.




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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Link Exchanging

I spent some of the day fixing up the site a bit and redoing some of the affiliate links. Instead of just a link that heads to the merchant, on some of the pages I have suggested a specific product with a tiny review and linked directly to it. We will see how this converts once I start getting some traffic.

In regards to traffic, I've been submitting to all kinds of directories and websites trying to get links. Some of them, if successful, will give me links on PR4 pages. As it stands since I started recording the PR of link pages (read: today), there were 5 with PR4, 2 with PR3, and 1 PR2. While it's really common sense, I have found that it is a good idea to pay attention to the sites that are listed in the directories that you submit to. Many of them have pages dedicated to link exchanges and it is a lot simpler than trying to search for these sites in Google. Once you've submitted to them, you submit to all the ones on their link page. And so on and so on. If I were to sit down and really do that tomorrow, I could have well over 100 potential links by the end of the day. These wouldn't be little roody poo sites either. This method is how I found those sites I mentioned earlier. PR kind of bleeds from the home page to the pages it links to. When a site's LINK PAGE has a PR4, then you know that the site that are linking to them are viable sources.

Shameless plug: If you have a home theater site or a blog, I'm interested in link exchanges. Just let me know in the comments.




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Friday, May 20, 2005

Short and Sweet

Yeah, not much happened today. I pretty much took it easy after I got off work. I did submit to several directories and tuned up one of my spreadsheets but that's essentially it. Tomorrow will be different though. Tomorrow (after I finally get a haircut) I will be working hard on the site. My goal is to have the site in its "smooth sailing" form by Monday. Whether or not I see Star Wars this weekend is predicated on how efficiently I work tomorrow. It's all about discipline and motivation.




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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Two in a Row

That's right, I wrote another article today. This article is all about DVR systems. Again, no outline, just the desire to write.

I've been gathering information in order to prepare for my first Adwords campaign. It gets me a bit nervous because I know that PPC can run away on you if you aren't properly prepared. One thing I have to make sure of is that I don't get myself stuck in a mode of constantly gathering information rather than taking action. It's so easy to fall into that trap, so I have to constantly be aware of what the next step is going to be.

My next site is going to be ..... Right, like I'd just tell you what it was going to be. I strung all of you along for two months before I revealed what my first site was about and that was only after it was already up=) But in all seriousness, the next one is a no content site. It will rely on Adwords for its traffic because there is very little chance it will make any kind of rankings being this small and devoid of content. There are interesting times ahead.




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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

New Article

I wrote an article today, finally. All of these changes I've been making has kept me from doing important things like adding to the site. This article is on HDTV receivers. I actually did alright on it I think. I didn't do the usual outline, I just sat down and busted it out. I fell short of my goal of two tonight but I'll live and so will the site.

I'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate my affiliate links into my RSS feed. I was roaming around the internet a few days ago and found my feed off in some random RSS directory. A directory that I never submitted to. If I can get my affiliate links in there and working properly, my reach will extend far beyond my website.

Adwords is coming but it will have to wait until I have found an effective method for presenting my affiliate links. I know I seem to come back to that subject a lot but it is extremely important. I'm doing this for the money and I get paid through the affiliate links. I need them to be as effective as possible.




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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Adsense in SSI

I spent my after-work hours the same way I always do, hard at work for myself. I was able to retrofit the site so that the Adsense ads are now done with SSI. At least the articles are. That means I can change all of the Adsense on all of the articles from a single file. It was a pain to put in but it will be worth every second when I decide to test a different ad format.

There's so much to do with the site. I wish there were a way for me to have received comments on it before letting the public see it so that once it was up, it was up. All it would need are articles. Oh well. Live, learn, and adapt for the next time.

Those of you who haven't seen my site, go check it out at the Home Theater Accessories Resource and give me some feedback.

That's about all that's going on right now. I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I created a promotions page that has the specials of my merchants. Hopefully the idea will increase click throughs.




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Monday, May 16, 2005

Shades of Things to Come?

So I come home from work and check my stats for my site, lo and behold some one have found my site from one of the articles I submitted. I'm thinking this is great and I continue to look through the stats when I see one that says someone found me with Yahoo. Well, I'm thinking this guy is probably one of you looking to see if my site is really in the search engine; probably just typed in the name of my site like I did. I take a closer look and see that they had typed in "home theater accessories". No Resource. So now I'm thinking, this guy probably just wanted to see what number my site was. No big deal.

I start talking to Tara and tell her how I don't think that the search is a big deal. She goes to the url that the searcher had found me at and says "It's legit, you are #25. That's pretty good for such a competitive phrase." I flip out. I go to Yahoo but I can't find my site. I go to sitereportcard.com and it says I'm not in the top 50. Finally I decide that it doesn't matter if I can't see it as long as the rest of the world can. I ask her to make a screenshot just so that I can see what it looks like to be in the top 50. She sends it to me and now I'm determined to see it for myself. I go back to yahoo using a different browser. I type in home theater accessories. Not on page one, not expecting to be on page one. I click page two. BAM!!

Can I get a "HELL YEAH"?




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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Working Hard

Getting the SSI to work yesterday was a trial of untold proportions. One thing would work and another would fail. To make matters worse, my browser would randomly decide to show changes that hadn't been made like broken image links. It's finished though I couldn't get the header or Adsense to work properly from an include statement. The SSI has already paid it's dividends though. I added a new section to the site and it took only a few minutes rather than the hour it would normally take. I love using SSI. I hate writing it into code!

I wrote an article today and applied to one, final merchant. I also created a pretty good spreadsheet for article submissions. I'm still debating whether or not to release it. I'll keep you posted.

Hopefully these are the last major changes to the site. If the dust has truly settled, then I can focus on the articles and the next sites. I have an idea for the next two. One will NOT be a content site. Now, I hear your mummurs out there in the crowd and I can tell you that your claims that my speech is blasphemous are unwarranted. This is business. I love home theater so I write about it. If I can make money on a site that doesn't require writing content, I will. 'Nuff said.

Real Estate:

I woke up 30 minutes late on Friday morning. Luckily I was still able to make it to work on time because its only about 3 minutes away on the trip there. The trip home is a completely different breed of cat. This made me think about my decision to buy a duplex and move in. The goal of the duplex strategy, as it will now be called, is to eliminate my cost of living. It's not about more space or bad neighbors or anything of that nature. It is only about the money. What if I just bought a duplex and STAYED here at the apartment while I'm working. As long as my cashflow was $555/month, I'd achieve the same results while avoiding the hassle of moving and traffic on the way to work. In fact, since I'd have a duplex with two tenants rather than just one, I may come out on the positive end even after my rent is paid. That would be SWEET. On top of these benefits, I just opened up a whole bunch of perspective properties. Before, I was looking for one with a vacant unit and close to work. Very, very limited options. Now I want two tenants and have the whole city plus outlying towns to look through. Interesting thought, huh?




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Friday, May 13, 2005

"Welcome to the Party," says Google...

Yes, I am indexed in Google. It's been verified by other sources. Thanks to Mark for letting me know. Other than that, nothing really happened today. I did a little more formatting on the Article Categories page and I selected which articles will be up for grabs across the internet. I submitted them to one site and have a whole list of others they can go to. From the discussions I've had with others, submitting articles is a very effective means of getting backlinks.

I've become of the extent to which I use my spreadsheets. I use them for everything because they make it easy to keep track of a lot of information all in a single place. I have separate ones for my keywords, directory/site submissions, article submissions, my keywords for my future Adwords campaign (yes, it is coming, sit there in anticipation), and I'll be making one to track my progress week to week as far as traffic, CTR, sales, etc go. Oh yeah, there is also the one I already wrote about; the one for evaluating merchants' affiliate programs. If I clean them up a bit and make them more intelligible to other people, I may consider offering them for other marketers to use. We will see.

I've been dreading it for the last few days but tomorrow is the SSI overhaul. Things rarely go smoothly so we will see what kinds of adventures I get into tomorrow.




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Thursday, May 12, 2005

....But I Still Carry On

After this morning's fiasco, I was actually able to gather myself and do some decent work. I redid the home page. Initially, I didn't put much effort into the home page and it definitely showed. Since this is the page that most people land on, it's the last place I need to skimp on. It's about 1 1/2 times longer now than it was, with more pictures and descriptions of what can be found at the site as well as links directly to articles. I also give an explanation of how to use the RSS for the uninitiated. 100% better in my opinion.

Looking at my stats, I realized that people use the top navigation bar more than the one on the side. This surprised me and posed a problem. The articles button was the only way to get to the Article categories page aside from the site map. Again, I didn't put much effort in to this page. In fact, I think I just copy and pasted the site map and took out some of the links. That's how bad it was. This lack of effort also showed in the stats. People who ventured to that page usually left from that page. I can't have that. I went through and added descriptions for each of the categories and each of the articles. It looks much better than it did before but I'm still not sure if it's up to snuff. I'll think about what I can change while I'm at work tomorrow.

With all of this tweaking, I haven't submitted to a directory in a couple of days and haven't submitted any articles yet. I think all of the major stuff is taken care of, at least until I do the SSI overhaul this weekend. I scheduled myself for three articles this week and I have one finished. I have a lot to do in the next couple of days.




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Googlebot! Googlebot! What Do You Say?!

At 9:13 PM last night, Googlebot took a look around my website. Home Theater Accessories Resource is now indexed in Google! More this afternoon...

Update
Alright, it was 6 in the morning and I may have been a bit excitable. I was intoxicated by the sweet elixir of sleep and saw what I wanted to see in Google. Googlebot DID come to my site last night. This I am positive about. But am I indexed, not hardly. That's the second false alarm in the last 2 or 3 days. I'm going to calm down now=)




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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Someone is Lying to Me

Yes, either there is deception afoot or I just don't know how to use a search engine. Yesterday the stats from my host said that I had a link from DMOZ and Yahoo. I checked today and now it's added Google to the mix. I've checked both DMOZ and Google and I just can't find my site. I was hopeful for DMOZ because an editor did stop by yesterday but only looked at the home page. Needless to say, I decided that the host's stats weren't to be trusted. Well, I just checked my StatCounter account and it says I'm listed in Yahoo and GOOGLE! Now I don't know what to believe so you can sit here in great anticipation as I go to the one place I do trust, sitereportcard.com.

Scratch that trust thing I just said. It isn't even showing the table that tells if you are indexed or not. It shows the link popularity one but not the search engine index. Conspiracies, people. Conspiracies!

I was able to write my first post-web development article today. It started out rough but it didn't turn out too badly. I had planned to submit some articles today but between writing my article and fixing my bed (long story) I just didn't have time. Tomorrow is another day.




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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

YAHOOOOOOOO!!!

I came home from work to find a comment from Mark stating that my site was indexed in AltaVista. After my initial euphoria, I went to sitereportcard.com and sure enough I was indexed in AltaVista and All The Web. I was shocked to say the least because the site has only been live a week and I didn't submit to any search engines until last night. I have to thank all of those who linked to my site because I know that played a HUGE role in this.

Well, I decided to check my stats from my host and was looking at all of the links it had listed for my website when something stood out. Yahoo. ....I thought about it and knew this couldn't be right. It was waaay to fast for that. So I went to Yahoo and typed in my site name. Nothing. Then I put quotes around it. BAM!! Home Theater Accessories Resource right there, listed in Yahoo!

I have to apologize to those I told that I was in MSN Search. I'm not yet, I guess the excitement went to my head=) I am also wondering how long it will be before Googlebot makes an appearance since I'm already getting indexed in some search engines. Only time will tell.




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Monday, May 09, 2005

Changes

I posted my site on a forum and asked for a site review. For the most part, the suggestions were helpful and I spent some time tonight making those changes. This weekend I was able to get the RSS feed up and running with the help of Jon. I also submitted to several directories and a couple of websites. Some time this week, I will go through my articles and decide which two are my best and start submitting them to article sites for people to use. At the bottom of your article, you provide a link and your site information. Anyone using your article will only be allowed to do so as long as they keep this bottom portion in. Each time your article is used somewhere, that's another backlink for your site.

I talked to BJ earlier today and she gave me a link to an article on using server side include. T his method will save hours of time once I've implemented it. I'll probably wait until the weekend to do so but it will definitely be worth it. With server side include, you can make site wide changes by editing a single file. After all of the changes I've made in the last few days, I wish I knew about this a while back.




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Sunday, May 08, 2005

My Own Grand Unveiling

...With that said, the Home Theater Accessories Resource is now ready for the public. Take a look around and give me feedback. Constructive feedback, people.

There are still some things that I would like to change and include but all in all its ready. Jscott is right, I am letting it all hang out on this first site. Those of you who are following this blog are privy to both my successes and my failures. I promise that there will be plenty of both to keep us all entertained.




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Decisions Part II

Cliche as it is, everything is about action. Everyone ran around as an eight year old saying that when they grew up they were going to be rich. Only 2% make it there because it is that 2% who decide to take action and succeed. Who knows, maybe the motivation is stronger for some. Maybe there are just those whose minds weren't meant to be confined by convention. Minds that don't buy into the "build a career and work until you die" mentality. Minds that lust for something better than what society says is meant for them.

Having one of those minds is like being the only intelligent cow in the pasture. You look around and see all of the other cows milling about, chewing their cud; perfectly content to mill about and chew cud their entire lives. Being trapped in the pasture fills you with angst because you know there is so much more past the fence. So much outside Socrates's Cave.

Or maybe people just don't realize that life isn't a dress rehearsal. You either go out and reach your full potential or you relegate yourself to being just another cow in the pasture. Life takes you only as far as your ambition. Write that down and remember who said it first.




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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Decisions

I was working on getting the site ready today and started thinking about what got me started on this path of building an affiliate marketing website. It started during the period after graduation while I was looking for a job. After not getting a second offer from a major company that creates machinery for semiconductor manufacturers, I was sending out my resume left and right. Anyone and everyone I could think of who would be in need of an electrical engineer got my resume. The problem was that while I had two internships with a major auto manufacturer, I didn't have enough experience. Why didn't I have enough experience? Because I couldn't get a job. While Catch-22 is one of my favorite books, its not funny when you are caught in that loop in real life.

Not having a job was putting everything on hold. I had a plan on how I wanted to proceed in life so that I wouldn't be stuck in a cubicle for 20 years but all of that had to wait. I was stuck in the Purgatory between Step 1: Get my degree and Step 2: Get a job. The money from the job would allow me to get into real estate and the cashflow from real estate would let me start my own businesses.

One day, I read a post in the RichDad forum about affiliate marketing for casinos. While I wasn't interested in being an affiliate for casinos, I did see the potential in other areas. The epiphany came. I was tired of waiting for someone to validate me; to say, "This guy looks good on paper, I think we will give him a shot." No. If no one was going to give me a way then I was going to make MY OWN WAY. My business didn't have to be brick-and-mortar with all of the costs associated with that. I didn't even need my own product or storage space or software to process sales. My business could be selling other people's stuff on the internet. Other people did it, so why couldn't I? Who cares if I don't know html? CERTAINLY NOT ME!

So here I am, on the cusp of opening the doors to my first affiliate marketing site. These are anxious times.




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Thursday, May 05, 2005

And the Saga Continues....

The first round of the affiliate links is in. This set was for the section that is currently the largest so I'm glad that it is taken care of. I've said it before but I'll say it again for anyone who missed it. Never again will I wait until I have this many articles to put up a site. There is really no benefit that I can find in doing it this way beyond having a lot of content when the site goes live. Ten solid articles and then the site goes up from now on. It just takes far too much time trying to make changes to all 25 articles at the same time. This is time that could be used actually CREATING new articles or even new sites.

I'm still waiting on one merchant to approve me and I think I will apply to one other. Which one that will be is still up in the air. It's pretty much down to choosing between three. All three have their benefits and the commission rates are about the same so I'll have to determine some other criteria for the decision. Being allowed to link directly to sections of their website would definitely clench it. With my first merchant, I sent an email today to find out if I'd be able to do this. I have articles geared specifically to certain products and I would like to link directly to those sections. I think a direct link would be more effective than one that goes to the home page.

Now that you've finished reading what I have to say, go check out BJ's Adventures in Net Marketing. Not only is she a veteran in this internet marketing business but she is also a friend of Tara's. I know first-hand that she has given Tara advice on affiliate marketing and there is an incredible amount of information on her site. I've been a regular visitor to her blog for months now and it's time that you were too.




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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Going About It All Wrong

My approach to finding which merchants to go with was haphazard at best. Searching through the merchants on Commission Junction, Linkshare, and Google was just too inefficient (I use that word a lot). So what did I do? I did what any self-respecting engineer would do; I made a spreadsheet. After 5 1/2 years of engineering curriculum, diving into a spreadsheet is almost instinctual. I built the spreadsheet by listing the things that I wanted to promote specifically. Then I went through the networks and noted the products each sells, the commission as well as which network the merchant was with. This was the only way I could keep things organized and not lose myself in the volume of information I had to sift through. Subsequently, putting in the affiliate links will take a little longer than expected. If you are going to do something, do it right. Right?

The affiliate marketing website is so close to being ready for the public that it's hard to sit still. It's hard to believe that only two months ago I couldn't even code html and now I have a website that is close to 50 pages total. Incredible.

Real estate. I've decided that I am going to spin-off a real estate blog in the coming weeks. My objective is to have a duplex to move into by the end of my 7-month lease at the apartment. The first step will be finding a loan.....

On a side note, go check out Road to Forbes. The blog is geared toward those of us who are determined to have more than what the average person is willing to accept. It's written by JScott who has provided me with valuable information about business in the past. The blog is raw, confrontational, and unapologetic. I like it. It definitely gets the coveted JonnyQ "Good Stuff" rating.




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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Adsense is in!!

That's right. The Adsense is on the site. I used all kinds of channels and configurations so that it will be easier to see what works and what doesn't. One thing that I suggest for those of you making a site, if you have a couple of different ad formats, copy and paste them into a text document with labels for each. That way you will be able to cut and paste without having to go back into Google's site to do it. You probably already thought of that but if you hadn't, there's the tip of the day.

I was able to get the email to send properly today. After calling my host, my isp, and searching through Google, I finally figured out what combinations of options would make it all work. It looks like progress was made today. Always a good thing.

Tomorrow it will be time to add the affiliate links. I'll do my applying and researching tonight so that everything will be ready when I get home from work. If all goes well, I'll be able to start submitting the site to directories soon.




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Monday, May 02, 2005

Time to Monetize!

I opened the Commission Junction account today. I found a few perspective merchants and some of them had surprisingly high commission for things that I was looking for. I signed up for one merchant and was going to send an email to another about exclusivity but the latest hurdle made it's presence known. I realized that I could receive mail from the website account that I set up but couldn't send it. I tried several things and Tara even tried to help but nothing worked. I also spent far too long on hold with my host before my cell phone cut out. I guess it's just something that will have to wait until tomorrow.

It's disappointing because I had planned to put up my Adsense ads today but that will have to wait. Don't worry. The time when I unveil my first affiliate marketing site is fast approaching.

On a side note, if you use Blog Explosion, go to Mark's site. He has a link to an article about how Blog Explosion maybe destroying your Adsense revenue. Also, check out Kieron's blog. He's been an affiliate marketer for a little while had has some good information on his site.




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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Warning: The Following May Not Be Coherent

I started working on my affiliate marketing website at 9:45 this morning. I think I stopped to eat a few time. There was a passive/aggressive exchange between me and the tech support guy. It's funny how the same place can give you completely different levels of service from one day to the next. Finally, I became fed up with the fact that he could tell me all the things that I already knew but never bothered to answer my question. I decided that "Thanks" and a polite hang-up were all that would result from the conversation. Eventually, I figured out why my images would disappear when I moved my pages to the various directories.

Then came the email forms. I was determined to have them. No posting my email address on the site for me. "If people want to say something, they can use the forms!" was my thought. There would be email forms or there would be no website as far as I was concerned. After hours of experimentation, the form template works.

I was going to create my account at Commission Junction tonight but I'm tired and I have a feeling that this post is mostly a mish mash of random thoughts. I won't subject you to anymore. I'll be back in a solid state of mind tomorrow.




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