A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Thursday, December 29, 2005

=)

I'm feeling much better. Still not 100% and can't quite walk in a straight line but I'm better than I was.

The technical side of the form is complete. I was able to figure out the JavaScript error and fix the problem. I also verified that I have all of the necessary fields. Turns out that I was missing a couple so double checking was a good idea. The changes that have been made since October are so great that I have to make a totally revised PHP script and database. The database should not be that hard and I used some of the concepts I developed with keyword generation to quickly create most of the script. Now it looks like it may be a matter of copy and paste.

The tedious part that can't be streamlined is going through all 54 fields and making sure that the variables match between the page, PHP script, and database. After this is finished and everything works properly, I will be so much closer to being finished.

I ran my numbers for the month and, while they are higher than I have ever made in this game, there are obvious points that I need to work on. More on that next month.




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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Playin' Hookie

Yeah, I stayed home today from work. It's been awhile since I have been this sick. I need to eat more veggies I guess.

Between my multi-hour naps, I was able to accomplish a great deal on PPC2. The javascript is in place and there is only on error that is coming up from it. I should be able to take care of that tomorrow. I signed up for the Overture newsletter which gives you a coupon when you open an account. Baby steps. All that seems to be left is making the page more presentable, verifying that all of the info is being mailed to me, and creating my keyword list. I've heard horror stories about submitting keywords to Overture so wish me luck.

PPC1 needs a little bit of an overhaul on the ads that mention "Christmas Deals". I think PPC1 has profit potential even though the holidays are over. I will keep you posted.

That's it for right now. Nvu is acting crazy so I'm going to hit the hay again.

Jonny Out




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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hey!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I was out of town so didn't get much work done and it seems like tonight will be no different. I am sick again. I think it's the flu. Anyway, I made a break through on my form for PPC2 with the javascript. Now it is just a matter of making the form presentable and signing up with Overture. Sorry for the short update but I'm not very well off and may start contemplating the emergency room if things get worse.

Jonny Out!




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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PPC2, Lead Form. A Page Barely Alive...

...we can rebuild it. Better, more compelling, faster loading.

This is exactly what I have been working on since I came home. Sorry for the late update but I've been working hard. The form is partially complete. The coding is far better this time around and is far and away easier to edit than the previous iteration. To make it more compelling, I am making it appear shorter. Elements that only need to be filled out in certain circumstances will be hidden from view until the proper triggers are activated.

Enter JavaScript.
I bought the book with the HTML one back in March or April. Never read it. Now I'm happy I didn't send the book back. JavaScript will allow me to keep portions of the form hidden until the user triggers it to appear. Example: The visitor selects "Married" under marital status. This triggers text boxes to appear that will pertain to their spouse's information that I will need. This will be trial and error as well as a bit of reverse engineering. I seem to do a lot of both.

I have also included many of the benefits that the person will get from using my form. I still have to retool the PHP script that sends me the email and stores the info in my database. Some entries have been eliminated, some added. Let's hope I remember how to do it=)




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Monday, December 19, 2005

#3's PPC is Complete!

Instead of going to bed early last night, I worked on the keyword algorithm and set up the basics. I came home today, finished up, and went on to make the ads. No clicks just yet and I have only had one impression in the hour that they have been up. I was at position 42=) This was for a competitive product so I expected it to be on the low end for the bids I made but it did make me wonder. How much can I afford to bid before I can no longer make a profit? I am a bit wary because I don't know how well this merchant converts so there is no way to know if it is worth fighting for the higher position. No way except to bid higher and see what happens. The merchant says the average sale is $50 so average my commission would hopefully be $7.50. Lesson, I will go for products that will payout at $10/sale or more. This gives more wiggle room for bids and positioning.

With that program up and running, I am back at work with my next project...PPC2. This is the pay-per-lead program that I worked on back in October. Now it has its own domain and I am redoing the form to incorporate some of the elements that I have learned in the last 2 months. Since the form has already been created once, hopefully I will be able to spit this one out quickly. I want this program running ready by January 1.

After that, I have a choice of 3 others that I want to start. I will create the landing pages so that I will be ready to roll once the funds are made available. I have to put myself on a leash or I'll run amok.




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Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Script is Finished!

The PHP script for #3's PPC promotion is finished. I'm debating whether I want to go to bed early or if I want to work on my keyword building algorithm tonight. At this pace, the campaign should be ready to go by Wednesday. I'm starting off with 14 products for this merchant. If they convert well, I will slowly encompass their whole line. That's one of the great things about affiliate marketing, it's symbiotic. If I do well, the merchant does well.

The ideas are running wild! I have 3 programs that are on the plate next. I'm having trouble prioritizing because they are all potentially great. #2's will be next though. That is a big one that I need running for January. This will be running off of Overture though. This is another envelope pusher or "opportunity for growth" as by boss says. I've heard both good and bad about Overture. We will see.

I am trying desperately to get my costs down. I have been able to reduce them from $22-30/day to $7-13 but I'm a perfectionist; I want <$10/day on my holiday promotion. Speaking of which, it turns out that those were just rough days, it is almost back to normal sales levels now. Anyway, if I can pull less than $10/day in expenses while maintaining my sales rate I will have acheived a massive goal for the Buisness.




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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Diminishing Returns

I don't know what my deal is but I've been tired all week. Anyway, I was able to finish a few more product blurbs. Only 6 more left but you can definitely see the quality of my sales copy degrade with each progressive one I completed. So tired.

PPC1 seems to be on its last legs. 1 sale today but the same number of clicks. It was only intended to be a Christmas promotion so I expected this to happen eventually. I was just hoping to have my next program up and running before PPC1 died. Oh well.

That's essentially where I am right now. Tired and at the point of diminishing returns. Impatience cost me last time and I have to fight the urge to start the campaigns for the products that I have finished. I think I'll stop rambling, take a shower, and watch a movie. Hopefully that will keep me from doing something destructive=)




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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rough Day in the Neighborhood

Yeah, today was rough for the Business. I don't know if HTAR was down during the day but I've only had 1 Adsense click after averaging $2/day all month. Then there is PPC1... This was the worst day for PPC1 since November. Only 2 sales today and 2 cancellations. It may sound like things balanced out but it doesn't since I still had the same number of Adwords clicks today. I guess there will be days like this and I fared better than some. I know of a couple people promoting these same products who had 38 cancellations today. Thankfully they achieve better volumes than I do but still, that's $319 that simply vanishes from your grasp. Affiliate marketing is a rough world. I will definitely have safety nets in place before I leave the workforce to do this full time.

The PHP script is essentially finished for #3's PPC promotion. I have completed the static portion of the sales copy and now just have to create the variable sales blurbs for each product. I have 13 to go after finishing the first one today.

As you may have guessed Project 10/15 is on hold for the time being. I just can't bring myself to sink time into finishing it knowing that these PPC programs yield better returns. I hate leaving things unfinished but that is how things will stay for them right now.




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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

PHP for #3!

I started work on the PHP script for #3's PPC promotion. I am hoping that this program will make about $10/day after I iron out the inevitable kinks. Christmas is almost here and that means that PPC1's prosperity is not long for this Earth. So far, things are going well with the PHP development. Things are working out in just the way that I would like them to. I am, however, having difficulty working on the sales copy for this program. If you will remember, #3 is on a subject that I know nothing about and my writer did most of the articles on the site. Minor obstacle.

So far, I have picked 14 products to promote for this merchant. My intention is to make a short variable promotion about the individual product and then static portion about the benefits of this merchant. The variable promotion will change with the assigned id code just like with PPC1, only slightly more elaborate.

PPC1's test with the product images is inconclusive so far. Monday was a bang up day with 6 sales and a nice bit of profit. Today was back down to 4 sales and a profit of only $10-12. This is a serious challenge. If I could only sustain 6-8 sales/day, I'd be golden. It's all about testing and finding the right things that work.

Lately, with my new interest in PPC promotions, I have become more interested with what people have to say about landing pages. The things I'm learning are also useful for SEO-based sites because the mission is the same, we all want to make the sales. If you are into affiliate marketing, I suggest you start looking into landing page optimization. It is a big deal and looking at HTAR and knowing what I know now, it is easy to see why I never made a sale there. Eventually, I will go back to HTAR and make changes to see if I can make money there too.




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Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm Back Again

It's good to be back. Being out of town and unable to make changes to my Business highlighted my need for the laptop. There were many changes that I needed to make that I was just unable to do without the resources on my desktop.

Over the past few days there has been good news and bad news in relation to the Business. The bad news: after the 8 sale day, I made 4 sales/day which was not enough to provide me with much profit per day. This made my ROI plummet from the high 90s to low 40s. I tried to lower my costs but to no avail.

After coming back I decided to try to increase my conversion rate. In the same way that the PHP knows which links and text to use by the id code, I added specific product images that would appear in the same way. This small addition made the landing page look far better. The results are still preliminary but I made 6 sales today for a profit of $26 with about the same # of clicks. We will see if this is a fluke or not tomorrow.

I have decided on the products to promote for #3. The profit margin will be much smaller than with PPC1 but as long as I can pull an ROI of over 70% with it I will be happy. I will be working on that and PPC2 which is the stand alone of the "money maker" that was supposed to be on #2. These are exciting times.




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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Death of Adsense and SEO

For me at least. I have been giving this serious consideration and Adsense just isn't doing it for me. While I will continue to have sites with Adsense and I may make more in the future, those types of sites will be a small part of my internet business. Between the effort to create original content, SEO, link exchanges, algorithm changes, and everything else involved it really isn't time/cost effective. Right now, this holiday PPC promotion I have been working on has trampled the Adsense revenue I get from 5 sites. It took far less time and makes more money.

HTAR and Sites #2-5: <$2/day combined
PPC1: $10-20/day

The problem with PPC...money. While time was the limiting factor with Adsense/SEO sites, money is the hinderance for PPC sites. I have come up with so many other promotions that I would like to do but I have a limited amount of money to play with which keeps me from growing as quickly as I would like.

My task for PPC 1 is to reduce costs. This is a holiday promotion and it will be going the way of the dodo soon so I want to make as much as I can before it all dries up. I have also signed up for a promotion that should be ready before the end of PPC 1's season. This new program deals with #3's subject matter. Also, the program that I had claimed would be the real money maker for #2 is getting it's own site. I suspect that the domain name was a hindering factor back in October so it will get it's own domain as I did with PPC 1.

I am away from my computer for the rest of the week so the updates may be sparadic and the work on my Business will be nearly nonexisitant.




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Sunday, December 04, 2005

I Think I Found the Key

First, last month's numbers.

Adsense: $57.86
The month started off slow but started to pick up. $2.12 off of my monthly maximum with Adsense.

Affiliate Sales: $49.82
Adwords Expense: $119.01
Affiliate Profit: -$69.19
Yes, I lost money last month with pay per click. This 70 bucks is what I consider to be payment for the lessons that I learned from my missteps. Believe me, I learned them well.

Undetered by my losses, I made some serious evaluations of my process and made radical changes as you will see from this very rough timeline. The results that are listed often were not available until the following day.

11/29&30 - Suspect that the domain name may deter people from clicking ads. The original presentation was very plan and meant to shuttle visitors to the merchant as quickly as possible. Action: Bought a dedicated domain for this program and created header graphic. Started PHP script. Result: Over 160% increase in clicks on the ads. No sales.

12/1 - Suspect that better sales copy is needed. Action: Created Sales Copy ver 2. Finished PHP script to more efficiently work with the affiliate program. Result: 1 sale.

12/2 - Finished implementing PHP for all products. 2 sales.

12/3 - After the first back-to-back sales days, better sales copy obviously works (Ya think?). Analyzing the PPC costs for the day, one product generated 1/3 of the total expense and 0 sales. Action: Created Sales Copy ver 3 & eliminated money draining product. Result: 3 sales.

That brings us to today. Slept on the couch again last night. I was lazy this morning and layed on my couch watching 24 until about 11. When I finally got up, I decided to check my stats. Before I had even brushed my teeth this morning, I had made 5 sales! I would go on to make 3 more until about 6. The PPC costs for the day were only $3 higher then yesterday even though I made a profit that was several times greater. I am currently at 95% ROI for the month. The thing that gets me about today is I grossed more today than I did all month last month with affiliate sales.

So, I think I have stumbled upon the key I needed in order to make PPC work. It took a lot of time, money, and testing to get to this point but my eyes are starting to open. I will have to keep working at it to make things more profitable but at least my foot is in the door now. I am finally closing in on the point where I will be able to, in the words of Jscott, "Rinse and Repeat."




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Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'm Crazy Tired!

After 5 hours straight, I am almost finished with this promotion. The PHP script turned out to be the easy part thanks to Excel and the "Find & Replace" function. The hard part was changing all of the Destination URLs in all 300 of my ads to correspond with the appropriate id code I had set in the script. I think I have about 30-40 Adgroups left. I'm so ready for bed. At the same time, I'm excited to see if the changes I have made to the landing page will have an effect on my sales. I have rectified the Ad CTR problem so now this is the last step in making this program profitable. We will see what happens in the next few days.

I have a few ideas for the $100/day PPC Challenge. Now that the program for PPC 1 is nearly finished, I can start to shift my weight toward the next program. I would like to get one more Christmas program up but I'm not sure if I have enough time to pull that off or not. I do have some ebook ideas that relate to my existing sites. The ideas keep coming.

Here is my dilemma though; unlike many, I refuse to use a credit card to pay for my ads. I deal in only cash right now. This will limit my growth but I will feel more secure with this method. Remember, 100% of what I make is going back into the business for at least a year. That should give me a little bit to play with.




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