A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Monday, October 31, 2005

Irony...

...When you have an affiliate program that does not produce because you are not able to find enough keywords for your PPC ads. You develop a system that allows you to generate THOUSANDS of keywords quickly and you gleefully load them into your Adwords campaign. You then end up with an affiliate program that does not produce because Adwords has been overloaded with keywords and is unable to restart your ad campaign. The irony is not lost on me...

I emailed Adwords support so I should know what can be done about this tomorrow. I tried deleting keywords but after deleting thousands, there was still no progress. I am hoping they can just push a button over there in Mountain View, CA to get stuff started.

Meanwhile, my author accepted my bid for 17 articles today. I also posted my project for the link building campaign this weekend. Unfortunately, so far all of the bidders have been incompetent. One was offering to submit my site to search engines for 40 bucks. Nevermind the fact that I specified that they are not to submit my site to any search engines.

I have built a decent number of links using Linkmarket.net. I am also in the process of testing GotLinks.com. I am a bit wary of them partly because the link pages they have generated use query strings. I will let you know how it goes.




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Thursday, October 27, 2005

LinkMarket.net

I signed up for LinkMarket this weekend and I've been fairly pleased with it. Of course you get the irrelevant link exchange requests but they seem to have a better system than LinkMetro. Instead of putting the person's link up at your site and asking for an exchange like at LinkMetro, you just add sites to your cart. After you have met your quota for the day (5 for the free membership), you push a button that requests a link exchange. Only after both parties have decided they want to have a link exchange, are the links put up on the sites. It is similar to my method of emailing to ask for a link exchange first rather than posting the link and then asking. It's more efficient, and you all know how I feel about efficiency.

It looks like I may be finished with this Adwords stuff in the next day or two. If I can do that then I will be able to shift work over to #7 and creating my link building campaign project for RentaCoder. I also have to set up the article project for my author this weekend. Those articles will cover #3, 4, and 8. There is also the header building for the 3 remaining sites and making the changes in the CSS for the Universal Template. I kind of wish I had a partner because I'm juggling a lot of things here.




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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Keywords and Link Exchanges

After my post last night on the Adwords spreadsheet, I did some retooling of my own. It now has 460+ rows in it which becomes 920+ keywords when I put them into an Adgroup. Hopefully the campaign will do better than it was previously. I added several thousand keywords tonight alone and I plan to add more tomorrow.

Project 10/15 is still on. I will try to get #7 up and running by next Wednesday.

I went to RentaCoder and Elance to check out some of the projects that people were bidding on for link building. Many of the projects seem to be fairly haphazard. They don't mention anything about making sure that the source code shows that the page is bot friendly or the quality of the other links on the page. Most are only concerned about getting on pages with PR of 2 or above. I think I can create guidelines that should cover me decently. If these people are doing alright with their requirements full of loop holes, I should be able to craft something that will be ironclad.

There is a level of apprehension in this though. It's that fear of the unknown. Same thing happened when I paid for hosting the first time... When I revealed the Home Theater Accessories Resource... When I outsourced content writing for the first time... It's that self-imposed barrier I put up to keep myself in the areas that I feel comfortable. The only thing to do is do it. I have to constantly push the envelope, constantly break out of my comfort zone. That's the only way I will grow.




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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

JonnyQ Special: Adwords Keyword Spreadsheet

I contacted my author and she said she'd be ready for the next project next week. That will take care of sites #4 and 8. I will start doing the prep work for #7 as far as the header and Universal Template go. Once that is finished, I will write its content while she is writing for the other sites. If things work out properly, all 3 will be up at the same time.

Nikki asked how I was putting in 500 keywords to my Adwords campaign in a night. She also said that I was the "King of Efficiency". Not yet, but one day I will hold that title. Anyway, I'm a believer in front loading work, i.e. Universal Template, spreadsheets. It's all about streamlining where I can. For this, I created a spreadsheet with three columns. The first column is an adjective column, the middle is the keyword column, and the third is whatever I need it to be. Each row would be a root keyword. I go down the first and third columns, creating phrases. For example, (and I can't guarantee Blogger will like the format but here goes) lets say my ads are for home renovation...

, home, renovation
, home, remodeling
cheap, home, renovation
cheap, home, remodeling

The first and third columns are static; the middle, dynamic. Now I shift gears and get more specific....

, bathroom, renovation
, bathroom, remodeling
cheap, bathroom, renovation
cheap, bathroom, renovation

By creating the spreadsheet in Excel, I can type in "bathroom" and either drag fill down the sheet or have the rest of the middle cells automatically copy the first middle cell (B1) by putting "=$B$1" in each.

, Where I type (B1), renovation
, =$B$1, remodeling
cheap, =$B$1, renovation
cheap, =$B$1, remodeling

From there I can drag and copy the three columns. I paste it into Mike's Adwords Wrapper. I only use the phrase and exact match, never broad. This essentially doubles the keywords instantaneously. This has taken me a while to develop (didn't reach this level of refinement until this week) but now that I have it down, I can quickly create keywords.

I am considering outsourcing my link building. I am tired of having to choose between expansion and link building. Link building diverts my attention from making new sites and developing new content. At the same time, my sites have not reached the levels I want because I do not have enough inbound links to break into Yahoo and Google. I haven't figured out how to safely conduct this outsourcing but major cerebral resources are being devoted to it.

I'm coordinating a war on several fronts...




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Monday, October 24, 2005

I Wouldn't Be a Good Corporate Drone

Had a rough day at work. I had to deal with a lawyer whose feathers I ruffled today. I know what you are all thinking, "You? Rub people the wrong way?! Not you, Jon." But yes, it is true. I do, on occasion make people mad. Just a part of my sparkling personality, I guess. Anyway, the way things turned out, I was in the right but the lawyer got his way because of politics. I really need to get my business to a strong level so that I don't have to depend on a paycheck anymore.

I decided to take it light today after putting up two new sites last week and dealing with the lawyer today. I added about 500 new keywords to the Adwords campaign and sent out link exchange requests for all 5 of my sites (I still can't believe I have 5 sites now). Tomorrow, I will hit the Adwords campaign hard again and put in more link exchanges. I will also contact my author and see if she is ready for this new project for 2 of the remaining Project 10/15 sites.




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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Project 10/15 - One Week Later

Site #6: Complete
Time: 9 hours 23 minutes

I was an idiot and slept on the couch last night. It wasn't very comfortable and I woke up at 6:30 this morning. It was still dark out on a Saturday morning and I couldn't get back to sleep. Rather than spend the next few hours cursing my luck, I got to work. I didn't start work on #4 but went on to #6. #6 deals with electrical engineering concepts so I wrote some short articles for it and created the header. The header was not nearly as nicely done as some of my others but I can always go back and redo it.

I kept the colors the same so there was no need to change the CSS. I wanted new colors but the pictures I found had the same colors as #5. This numbering thing is going to get confusing real quick...

Anyway, I'm one week in on Project 10/15 and I have 2 of the 5 new sites up. I may wait until my writer is ready and have her do the articles for 2 of the remaining sites. I know her writing style and it is more conducive to these niches. Well, I'm going to go make some fajitas. Jonny out.




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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Project 10/15 - PR Update

Site #5: Complete
Time: 3 days 2 hours

I was able to finish #5 today! This one went very smoothly. I am definitely glad I created the Universal Template, otherwise there is no way I would have finished this quickly. Keep in mind that there are only 5 articles on the site. It's not like the normal 15-25 I shoot for.

The only things remaining are the links page and add url page. I won't be using Linkmachine this time around, which may be a bad idea. I will have to think about it. If I can get unlimited licenses with it, I'll use the money I was going to pay my author and buy it instead. Anyway, these two pages will be left alone until the rest of the Project 10/15 group is finished. Then I will do the link exchanges and directory submissions all at the same time.

I haven't even started thinking about #4 and the rest yet because I am tired...

The PR update happened today. Here is the low down:
1. Blog - PR4. I haven't really gone out of my way lately to build up links here.

2. Home Theater Accessories Resource - PR3. I really fell down on the job this quarter. It is up from the PR2 of last quarter but the rest of the site was already a 3. It was only the home page that was being a delinquent.

3. #2 - PR3. #2 came out swinging and made the jump to 3 in its first update.

4. #3 - PR4. The combination of strong links and DMOZ propelled #3 to a PR4. Good stuff.

Well, I'm out.




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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Project 10/15 - Blazin' Speed

Some of you may be wondering why I am calling the 4th site #5. The reason for this is because I already had the idea for #4 and bought the domain first. However, #5 is easier for me to work on at the moment. I know all of you were just DYING to understand that one.

Previously on JonnyQ...
"After getting off the phone with her, rather than take it easy tonight I worked on the header for #5. Took me about an hour and a half. Fastest ever."

Today...
I finished the image for the background of the sidebar. I also redid the colors in the CSS and adjusted the Universal Template to prepare it for the new niche. A new StatCounter project was created for it so that I could track the traffic. I added the domain to my host and changed the nameservers with GoDaddy. I'm not sure when that will kick in but by tomorrow I should be able to start putting actual pages on the web.

I made a test page to see how it would look. Not too shabby for something that has been built all in the last 24 hours. I also ran it through SiteReportCard to make sure it loads quickly. Without text but with all of the graphics, it is loading at 5.6 seconds for a 56k. I can reduce the size of the header and sidebar graphic a bit if necessary. I am toying with the idea of incorporating the PHP trick I used on #2's form.

What's Left on #5...
I need make a few adjustments to the navigation, then write and post the articles. After that #5 will be complete and I will move to #4 or 6. If I push hard, I can have #5 finished by Sunday.




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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Project 10/15 - Header for #5

Busy day today but it feels like only limited progress was made. I was able to get the mailbox for the business today. With that taken care of, I bought the remaining 4 domain names. Where do all of you get your domains? I think it would be good to compile a list of short reviews in the comments if anyone is interested.

A friend of mine from college recently realized why I'm so fired up about working for myself. She is interested in getting her piece of the internet pie so I am taking her under my wing a bit. We have a few ideas for actual e-commerce sites that we will pursue later. We talked about that a bit tonight.

After getting off the phone with her, rather than take it easy tonight I worked on the header for #5. Took me about an hour and a half. Fastest ever. It usually takes a week of beating my head against the wall before I can get something decent. With the header finished, I just need to figure out the main colors and change the CSS for the Universal Template before we are off to the races!




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Monday, October 17, 2005

Project 10/15 - Two Days In

I have essentially selected all five niches for Project 10/15. One niche that I was pretty excited about does not look like it will be profitable so it got cut. Maybe one day when I can just make websites for the hell of it I'll go back and build in that niche. I did find a niche that seems to be untouched so I'm looking forward to that.

Tomorrow, I will go to PostNet on the way home from work and rent a post office box so that I don't have to pay for privacy options with my domain names. It will be $120 for 15 months. Cost seems heavy up front but if things go according to plan.... well, we will just say that that $120 will be a nice savings.

I gave it some thought and not doing the header graphic as I usually do is a bad idea. This will slow me down but it should not be too significant in the grand scheme.

I added more keywords to the Adwords campaign. I'll just keep plugging away and eventually I will find some profitable phrases.




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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Project 10/15 - One Day In

I started the project yesterday with some keyword research. I have two of my niches down, just need to decide on 3 more. My author is busy until the first week of November so it looks like I will be an army of one this time around. 30 articles isn't too bad especially considering that they will be from 5 different topics.

After I decide on the niches and get the domain names, I will make the adjustments to the Universal Template. As far as the header graphic goes, I am leaning toward a different approach this time around. Rather than putting so much effort in creating the header, I may just make a mediocre place holder. If the site proves that it has the power to convert and make money, then I will beef it up with more articles and put in a real graphic. This way, I will not waste time with a site that has limited potential; I will just move on to the next site.

This is all about speed. The lack of an author on this one means that there is a guerrilla element to it as well. I have to make due with what resources I have available and improvise to get the job done. This should be fun. Who knows, if I can pull this off then I will have made my original goal of 8 sites by year's end.




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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tedium & Excitement

Tedium: I won't go into the Adwords stuff tonight.

Excitement: I bought the domain for site #4. I hesitate to give it a full number because the site will have only about 6 articles until it proves that it is worthy for more content. One domain down, 4 to go. I also sent a message to my author to see when she would be available to work on this latest project. Saturday I will get Wordtracker and find my niches along with my keywords.

Well I guess that's it for right now. Thought I had more to say but apparently not=)




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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More Adwords Continued

This has to be getting a bit monotonous for you people in the audience. Yes, more Adwords today. I decided to start a new campaign after all. The keywords are better. The ads are better. Now I just have to wait until after work tomorrow to see the results. I raised my bid as well to get this one off to a good start.

Project 10/15 is coming up. On October 15, I will do research on 5 niches and contact my author. As she writes articles for each niche, I will proceed with obtaining domains and adjusting the CSS of the Universal Template. Nothing fancy. Unlike the Original 3, these new ones aren't centers of great subject information. These are nothing more than straight money makers. Their only purpose is to reach $3/day each. Not a grand undertaking, only a great experiment....




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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

More Adwords

More of the same today. I added close to 100 new words today. Not much but I keep building on the ones that I already have. I also went through this morning and paused the ads that weren't producing a high enough CTR. I'm going to hold off on starting a brand new campaign for right now. I have raised my daily budget a bit so we will see what happens. Have to remember to make one change at a time so that I will be able to tell what has a positive effect and what does not.

Adsense is terrible this month. After taking the ads off of the blog, my overall CTR is in the double digits but my earnings are low. This is due to the sites generating far few clicks than in August or September. I have to question if I am doing all that I need to for #2 and 3 so that they can be positive contributers.




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Monday, October 10, 2005

It's Been a Long Time, I Shouldn't Have Left You...

Yeah, it feels like it's been awhile. Last week was rough and really dragged me down but I'm getting back into the swing of things. I updated #2 and 3 today. Despite the fact that the articles were already written, I did not update any of the sites last week. Like I said, last week was rough.

Some people in a forum helped me out with my load time issue. By changing the form to php and using ob_gzhandler, the load time was cut from 34 seconds for a 56k down to 7. 7 seconds! I will consider implementing this on HTAR to get some of the heavier pages to load faster. I would do it with the home page but that would cause all kinds of issues with the inbound links I have already. 7 seconds! That is amazing when you consider that all that happened was I added a line of code. Now I will be able to see if I need to make adjustments to the form since a lack of conversion will no longer be an issue of speed. =)




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Thursday, October 06, 2005

The More Things Change....

After the whole fiasco with HTAR and the load times, you'd think that would be one of my main concerns from that point on. It was. I made sure that #2 and #3 loaded quickly and efficiently; all was well. Then I made the form.... I've had several clicks but no leads. I looked at my stats and all of the visitor lengths were 0 sec. I decided to take a look and make sure the form was actually there. It took forever to load. I wouldn't be surprised if the sigh I made was heard in Canada.

When I was making the form, little did I realize that the amount of code was enough to make the size of the html file significant (for html at least). Add to that images that I did not bother to optimize and you have a simple web page that has unforgivably long load times. I ran it through sitereport card and it said the load time was 30+ seconds for 56k. 30 SECONDS!

After my discovery, I spent the night trying to redo the header to reduce the load time. I was able to get it down to 14kb from 52kb (I still can't believe that I didn't check that) but it is not enough. The problem is simply that the form is full of all kinds of stuff that takes awhile to load. Need to figure out how to slim this down.

Looks like I will have to start a new Adwords campaign. Everything was fine until last night. One of the keywords I put in was too broad and untargeted. 1,500 impression and 1 click puts you in a bad spot when you have CTRs to maintain. No way to fix it either. Seems like I have been through this stuff before. The more things change, the more they stay the same....




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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Almost Didn't Write Today

Things have been slow around here lately. Working on this campaign for #2 is pretty time consuming. I'm adding about one thousand words per day to the keyword list. Its really not as much as it sounds because each word had 2 permutations; "word" and [word]. Talking to some others in this niche, it can take anywhere from a few hours to nearly a month before things start to kick in. Obviously it won't be hours for me but maybe (hopefully) it will only be a few days.

Traffic is still slow to the new sites. Oh well, I just have to keep plugging away.


Only ten days before I start Project 10/15....




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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

More of the Same

Added more keywords for #2's Adwords campaign. Time consuming and boring but it will be worth it if I can find the right words to get the leads. Had a couple clicks today but no leads just yet. The words I added today were more competitive than the ones I enter initially. Oh, Jean-Rene, Adwords said that the $10 daily budget would be alright=) At least for now.

As some of you may have noticed, there's no longer any Adsense on the blog. I did this to see what kind of CTR I was REALLY getting with my sites. The overall CTR for the original 3 is in the double digits now. All 3 contributed earnings today too which I'm pretty happy about. Nothing significant in terms on earnings, only in terms of what the action.

MSN is my friend. Prior to this month, most of my traffic was from my main keyword on HTAR. Now I am coming up for many other words and my traffic is starting to show. I just wish I could get Yahoo to send me traffic again. I would easily be at 80-90 visitors/day if I could just get that to happen. That's just for HTAR though. I am still struggling to get 5 per day consistently on the other 2. Aside from not posting them on the blog, I am trying to see if there was a step that I did with HTAR that was left out when I worked on the 2 new ones. I can understand #2 having trouble because it is in a very competitive niche. #3 should be coming into its own soon since I made it a late bloomer by not posting articles to directories early on. My own fault.




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Monday, October 03, 2005

Uncharted Waters

I just set my Adwords campaign for #2 to "Active". Scared as hell, too. My daily budget is set at 10 bucks a day. We will see what happens.

That's about it for today. I have between 3k and 5k keywords loaded now. I still have some to go but I can do those in the coming days. I just really wanted to get my form up and running. Hopefully things will start to get back to some sense of normalcy so I can start making more posts to the original 3. October 15 will come fast and I don't want to have to worry too much about those sites while I am building the new ones.

One thing that I am starting to get more interested in is pay-per-lead programs. They don't require the visitor to actually pay for anything so it may be easier to make money in that area. It is something I will delve into after Project 10/15.




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Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Form is Finished! Ha!

FINALLY! This form is finished and ready for leads. I've signed up for the merchant through CJ and am in the process of making my Adwords ads. It feels great to finally have that thing finished because it was a time pit (as opposed to a money pit). Now I can get back to HTAR and posting content for #2 and 3. And of course there is Project 10/15...

September went in like a lion and out like a lamb. I guess that doesn't just apply to March. The first day was $10+ and the last day was $0. While the month did slow down and I was disappointed, I still made my goal of $2/day. Oh well. This month may prove to be interesting. I have both the form up and #3 is starting to generate traffic.

Adwords: $60.02, 80% made by HTAR
Affiliate Sales: $0, I'm tempted to remove Adsense on the pages with my affiliate links to see if it has any effect.




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