A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's not my fault

My boss took us out for dinner and drinks today. She made it a point to take us to this place that had strong margaritas. Well after dinner, my boss's boss also bought a round. They were strong enough that after 2, we were all feeling it. Needless to say no progress was made today so I'm going to go take it easy. You should do the same. Night=)

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Need to Stay Focused

Yeah, the grass is always greener on the other side. I am on the cusp of being able to collect leads for #2, something that I have been planning for months. But now that I am almost there, I am so excited about Project 10/15 that I can't concentrate on finishing the form/Adwords stuff. I should probably go talk to some of the people who have succeeded in #2's area as motivation. Their earnings are fairly sizeable.

#3 is starting to get traffic now. There is a problem though. Only the home page and site map are indexed in the search engines. How this happened is anyone's guess because the spiders are there every other day. Whatever the case, the posted articles and the 16 directories I submitted to last night should start to help the situation.

Good news: #3 is 7th in MSN for the main keyword
Bad news: Wordtracker was not even close to accurate about the traffic I should expect from the main keyword. I'm not liking that. Maybe the situation will change after I get above the fold.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Light at the End of the (Form) Tunnel

The form was closer to completion last night than I thought. I was at the point of diminishing returns and just could not get anything to work properly. I came home today deleted a line or two and things started working again. The form is essentially finished, I just need to verify that the code works in all the ways it should and that it is secure enough to keep the hacker bot out. I may also make some changes to the presentation to make it more appealing and professional looking. I learned a lot about PHP doing this form. It is really powerful and people who actually know what they are doing can create amazing things with it. Anyway.

Updated #3 today. I like having this pool of articles just waiting in a folder for me to come along and post them on the site. Definitely worth the money. I also wrote an article for #2 today at work but I will wait until tomorrow to post it.

I should probably get back on track with the Adwords stuff that was interrupted by the hacker bot but I feel like doing some directory submissions. I'll do that for an hour or two before I go read a book or something. The last few days, I have been spending less time working but have been more efficient with that time. Hopefully I can continue the trend.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

The Power of DMOZ

This morning before work I decided to check SiteReportCard to see how many inbound links I had for #3. Even though I had just finished doing the article submissions this weekend and didn't expect much, I was still curious. To my surprise, there were 85 inbound links listed. I checked them out and almost all were replicas of the DMOZ page my site is on. Every one of them was a solid inbound link, no scrapers and none from the articles I posted. I can't wait until people start picking up my articles and really contribute to the party. I can now see why people try so hard to get into DMOZ.

The lead form is coming along. There are hundreds of lines of code after I started putting in the validation information and of course it didn't work. I had to go back to the original script and add in a line of code, test, add in a new line, test.... I was able to verify that all of the new fields I created work. Half of the validation stuff works. If I can pull the same productivity tomorrow as I did today, I may be finished by Wednesday.

Thanks to comments from Nikki and Empress, I will be getting a PO Box for the Business. This is a business so I need to treat it like one.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Let's Try This Again

I wrote and posted an article on the home theater site about digital cable. It was inspired by a question I received on Saturday. This time around, I was given the go-ahead to use his name at the end. Maybe if people see that they could have their name on the site, they will ask more questions. For the first 3 months I was getting at least a question a week but it has tapered off since then.

I have added some new fields to the lead form for #2 and have created the php script for it. I have not tested it because I told a friend that I would take it easy for the rest of the night. It's killing me though. I know there are bugs because I did the programming and I want to fix them but she's right. Sometime I push myself too hard.

As soon as I have the lead form finished and the Adwords campaign set, I will shift gears to Project 10/15. Laugh if you want but I like the name=) Anyway, Project 10/15 is going to be a test to see how many sites I can get up quickly. This will go against my practice on sites 1-3 and having 15-25 articles before the site goes live. This time around it will be 5. This will get the clock started on the infamous Google Sandbox. If I do this right, I could get sites up very, very quickly. The responsibility on my end would be to do the keyword research, get the headers created, and do the changes to the CSS files for each new site. That is about it. Let's see if I can make Eli Whitney and Henry Ford proud with this interchangeable parts/assembly line approach.

The problem I need to iron out is the financial side. I need money for domain names and article writing. Between the new Adwords campaign and this new project, $150 per month may not be enough. I could register the domains cheaply but they will not have the privacy option. I may open a PO box for the Business so that my personal info isn't out there. I'm out for the night.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Email Form Secured

After days of programming, reverse engineering, and teaching myself php I have finally secured the email forms for #2 and #3. Hopefully they are good as is but later on I may include image verification as the final precaution.

This whole thing has set me back by a full week. That really agitates me. Rather than writing home theater articles and getting my lead form up and running, I was trying to secure my site because some people have nothing better to do.

I finally did my article submissions for #3 today. I know I should have done it earlier but I just had not gotten around to it. That and I wanted to get articles that were about things so overly competitive, it wouldn't help anyone in the search engines. I submitted 3 articles to more places than either HTAR or #2. #3 has a lot of things going for it. Hopefully it will start to see some traffic soon.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Progress with the Form

Slowly but surely I am making progress with this form. After I get the email form working and validating EVERYTHING before it sends the email, I will know how to do it on a large scale for the lead form. I can look on the bright side and say that this is forcing me to address security for my site. I never thought anyone would want to bother my little sites. Probably no one would but bots are indiscriminate. They attack whatever they can.

I am really getting excited about the shift on October 15th. It will herald a completely different approach than the first 3 sites. I wonder why I always have to do things my way, even when I see the results are better with other methods. Not this time. This time I know what works and I am doing it with some adaptions to make it my own style. It will be an amalgam starting off with one person's approach and adapting where necessary.

Depending on how bad the storms will be here, I may or may not be on this weekend. We will see. All I know is that people here in Austin are overreacting. You'd think that we were living on the coast the way people are snatching bottled water from the grocery stores.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What Can I Say

Today was rough. I'm taking the night off. I almost have a script that is pretty secure but I'm having issues with it. I emailed the author so hopefully I will get some help with it.

That's it. Everything is pretty on hold until I get this fixed. Damn hacker.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stumbling Blocks

#2's email form has been hacked. Some hacker(s) have been sending out bots to exploit email forms to access email servers and send spam. Apparently this thing is rampant all over the internet, WebmasterWorld is full of people that have been hit just like me. It really pisses me off because now I have to figure out a way to get my email and lead form on #2 safe in addition to the email form on #3. This is time I need for getting myself for D-Day (Oct 15). I wanted to have my Adwords campaign and lead collecting ready by the end of the week but there is no way that will happen now unless I can figure out some security solutions.

I added a few Adwords Keywords today. I calculated that at the rate I am adding words I will come within 10k of the 50k keyword limit of Adword accounts. If you spend a lot of money with them, they will give you more words but I'm not there yet.

I also added an article to both #2 and #3. Now I must go read up on securing my sites.

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Adwords Tedium

I don't know if tedium is even a word but it describes this keyword creation perfectly. I GROSSLY understated how many keywords I would have yesterday when I said 5k. I just finished that first category I was working on yesterday and there are nearly 700 words there alone. I still have to add the punctuations which will put it at 1400. I still have the 28 other categories to work on. This will take a while.

Had an ego boost a few days ago that I forgot to write about. I'm sure I'm not the only one who got this but a company sent me an email saying that they wanted to place ads on HTAR. At $.25/click I passed but it was still cool to be asked.

My author finished the last of the 30 article project. The last 6 were noticeably shorter than the others but I don't blame her a bit. 30 articles is a lot especially when 25 are on the same subject. She did a great job. I will give her a month or two before I approach her again for more work. I know that I wouldn't want to write anymore after a project this big. 'Till next time.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

I'm Moving too Slowly

I FINALLY finished the form, at least to my knowledge. I'm having someone look at it to make sure I didn't miss anything. I created a new header just for the form and I have to say that it looks better than the header on the rest of #2. If the form and header weren't so region specific, I'd replace the old one with the new one. Maybe I can figure out a way to make the site alternate the header or even change it automatically depending on where the visitor is from.

I have started doing my keyword research for the new Adwords campaign attached to the form. There are so many words its not even funny. I can easily hit 5k. I hit 242 words and that was only 25% of a single category I'm working on. I have 28 other categories to go.

I have decided that I am going too slow. Jonleehacker's progress has put a spotlight on that for me. I have the Universal Template. I have broken out of my comfort zone and started outsourcing the articles. The only thing holding me back is myself. I should be putting up sites like it's no one's business. That's exactly what is going to happen. I am going to give myself until Oct 15 to get everything set with these first three sites and then I am going to blaze through making sites. The business coffers can handle a ramp up in outsourcing so that's exactly what's going to happen.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Spinning My Wheels

I could not wait to get home from work today. I was going stir crazy and all I could think about was the progress I was going to make today. Well, that didn't happen. It has been slow going trying to tool this form into looking somewhat decent. Hopefully I will have it ready by Monday so I can start to test it out.

I feel like I'm dragging my feet even though I am slowly making progress here and there. The changes I made to the home theater site have increased the CTR to my merchants. I need to do some refining but I think I may be on the right track with this approach.

I think I have the ideas for #'s 4 and 5 set. These will take the route of #3 for the most part. They will be created from articles I have outsourced. #3 is set to grow and past HTAR by the end of October. Outsourcing saves so much time that its not even funny. I read a guy's post on WMW where he said that he would outsource keyword research, get 75-100 words from that, then outsource those 75-100 words to an author, and finally outsource the proof-reading to his mother-in-law. He said it would cost him around $500. Not bad for a nice size site that will pay you forever.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New Merchants and New Motivation

I signed up for Buy.com today and have used them to replace my current remote control merchant. There selection is far better and they have better prices. Both are very good things indeed. I also reversed the position of the merchant and article columns, putting the merchant on the left since that is where most eyes will focus first.

After a little help from some people in a forum, I have my form for #2 working and accessing the MySQL database. All I need to do now is make the form presentable and start my Adwords campaign. I am really excited to see how this goes. I know of people in this are that make obscene amounts of money. It is competitive, but the rewards are worth it.

Read this! This is my buddy Jonleehacker's blog. I have known Jon since March. It is great to see him making real progress, especially in such a short amount of time. He and I have a similar view on how passive income is the way to go if you truly want to become financially free. This article should be an inspiration to everyone working to get their piece of the E-business pie. Congratulations, Jon!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

...With "Productivity" Emblazoned Across His Chest

I wrecked shop for the second day in a row. I wrote a new article on indirect lighting for the home theater site and posted a new article for #3. I also made 3 link exchange requests for #2.

There was also the culling. I went through the links page on the home theater site and tracked down which ones had my link up and which did not. Those that did not were swiftly removed. There were at least 6 out of the 24 that had not linked back. Jonny doesn't play that.

I'm having second thoughts about removing the ads from the sidebar. Every click I have received on the home theater site since the change as been in the minimum CPC range. I will give it another day or two before putting them back up. Thankfully, #2 more than picked up the slack for the day.

After the situation with the links and merchants, I have decided that I need a spreadsheet (you knew that was coming) to keep track of the merchants, their links, and what pages they are located on so that I can efficiently make changes in the future. Like all of my other spreadsheets, they are available to those I know for free and for those I don't it'll only cost you a link to this blog.

I thought I would evaluate some new merchants tonight but I am dead tired. We will see. I'm sure there's something I'm missing but I'm not quite sure what. Oh, yeah. I need to ramp up my work on the first three sites because Oct 15 is the deadline for work to begin on the last two sites of the year.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Enter the Ant

I was the picture of productivity today. I removed the Adsense from the sidebar of HTAR. It's click through rate was abysmal and didn't contribute much since it had the lowest CPC. We will see what this does to my totals. I added more text to the homepage of #2 because it was still a bit sparse. It remains sparse but at least it looks more presentable than it did.

My blog inspired idea last night was to include recommended merchants on my category pages. These pages are the most popular after the home page so it only makes sense that I should try to put the links where the people are. While I was at it, I redid the format of the page using list tags rather than my craziness I had before. It looks much better in my opinion and it will be 10 times easier to update now that there is actually rhyme and reason to the way things are done. Take a look.

Cable & Connections
Remote Controls & Headphones
HDTV Accessories

Funny thing happened during the course of making the changes. I found out that one of the remote controls I was promoting is no longer offered by one of the merchants and that another merchant may not even be with LinkShare anymore. Would have been nice if someone had sent me an email saying that they were no longer with the company. In fact, I'm sure it's part of the agreement that they have to notify me in advance before terminating our business relationship. I'm not entirely sure that they left LinkShare but I did a search and could not find them. I sent an email, I will let you know what I hear.

I am also looking for new merchants. I know that I am going to go with Buy.com because they offer many of the products that I want on HTAR. I am also looking for some lighting merchants that offer contemporary products, not the old foggie lamps I see on so many sites. That's all for now.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

MySQL Misbehavior

I'm so close to getting the database to work. I have narrowed it down to 3 or 4 lines of code that may be the culprit. Problem is I don't know what to do from that point. I sent a PM to a guy I know, we will see what he comes back with.

I paid my author for 10 of the 30 articles today. With that payment I updated both #'s 2 and 3. This project she's working on will allow me to update #2 once a week for a month and #3 six times. I will cut #3's down to probably 3 times a week to spread it out more.

Adsense is doing well, I'm at twice as much in comparison to last month at this time. I did, however have my first 0 day since July 22 on Thursday. That was a bit disheartening but things are back rolling again. #3 even made a little revenue today. Now, if I could get all of them to pitch in a little income at the same time...

I'm starting to wonder about my affiliate links for HTAR. I will start looking into changing things up in the more popular sections this week. You know, I love this blog. I just had an idea that I will try out tomorrow that I would not have thought of if I had not been writing this. Until then.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

I'm Not Liking MySQL

PHP is not HTML. HTML was pretty easy to pick up and run with but PHP is a whole different breed of cat. I can't seem to get the form to access the MySQL database I created. I tried to remove that portion from the code but then the form information does not get emailed to me. Extremely frustrating. I thought I could get around it by erasing the portion of the code that displayed the database error so that people would never know it wasn't working properly and I would still get the info. Thought I was pretty clever too until I actually tried to make the page look like the rest of the website. Since the database error stops the rest of the page from loading properly, the menus and some of the other navigational elements won't come up. Sigh.

My author finished 10 more articles that I need to review today. I'll do that before heading out to a BBQ.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Back in the Saddle

I spent the day working on the main money maker for #2. Unlike, HTAR and #3, the main focus of #2 is a pay-per-lead affiliate program. There will be products that I will sell too but it will be the pay-per-lead stuff that has the most potential. It will rely almost exclusively on Adwords traffic too. I can just hear the gasps from all of you. You have to remember that I don't subscribe to any one person's method of making money on the internet. I believe content sites are good but so are other methods out there.

Anyway, I've been working on this form that will get people's information and email it to 2 of my email addresses. Progress has been slow but I finally had a break through tonight. I filled out the form and it sent the email to me with all of the information intact. Before I realized what was happening, I let out a "BAM!" which is in contrast to my customary "BOOM!!". As it echoed through my apartment, I felt a bit sorry for the neighbors that have to put up with my random outbursts. All that remains now as far as the form goes is to figure our MySQL and make it look pretty. Then it will be ready for some PPC traffic.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm Back

Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been on hiatus for the last few days. Not much has happened as far as the sites go. My author finished the first 5 articles, all of which are for #2. She gave me permission to post as long as I approve of them but I won't. I will just wait until she has 10 of them finished and pay for those before I post them. Very nice of her though.

Still no sales. Not much I can say about that.

Adsense is still going strong. Haven't had any more $10+ days but my daily average is up from last month.

That's about it. Now that #3 is in DMOZ, it may be time to start putting in the affiliate links. I may wait for one more directory and a few more link exchanges. People in this niche are pretty snooty. I've had 3 so far refuse to exchange because I had Adsense ads on the site.

Speaking of link exchanging, has anyone had any luck with Value Exchange lately? I've submitted #2 twice (or is it 3 times) and #3 once and never heard back from them.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Big Day in the World of Adsense

I come home from a regular day at the office to find my kitchen flooded. I immediately fly into a rage but for whatever reason, probably habit, I come to check my Adsense stats for the day. After the past five or so days, I was expecting a few cents. For September 1st the stats say $10+... I'm a bit slow so it takes be a few seconds to piece together that I had just made twice as much today than on my best day ever in life. I don't know what happened but people were clicking today and this was with lower than usual traffic. Both HTAR and #2 contributed to the mix with some heavy hitters. Hopefully this is a good sign for the rest of the month.

I did 12 link exchange requests for #2 today. Out of the 3 sites, #2 has been neglected as far as links go. Since I am not in the process of constructing a new site right now, I think I will make it a goal to do at least 10 link exchange requests per day. I will alternate sites but this should do some real good.

Oh, I guess since everyone else does it, I will post my earnings.
August 2005: $50.85 173% increase.
Goal 1: Achieved

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