A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Another Day

More keywords to add to Overture.

To Jean-Rene's question:
As far as whether this market is seasonal, the answer is yes but this is supposed to be its "in" season. In talking to others in this market, the results of this month have been all over the board. Some said that the beginning of the month was good for them and things fell off, like me. Others said the beginning of the month was terrible but picked up toward the end. Still others had their best month ever.

Right now, the only source of traffic is Overture. I had Adwords running but it was draining cash and not making conversions. To make matters worse, the competition is far heavier on Google so I was paying more for no results. There are too many black hats in the free search market to rely on it for this market. The conclusion that I am coming to is that letting PPC3 slide off into the background was the wrong decision. It had incredible potential but achieving that potential would be costly. The question is whether the money is would eventually produce worth the cost to get there? Whatever the case, diversification is a must.




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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Clues to the Mystery

If you have been reading for the past few weeks, you know that PPC2 was doing well until the leads suddenly stopped. In tracking my spending this morning, I realized just to what degree the traffic had dried up. In the beginning of the month when I was getting nearly a lead/day, the site was receiving 20-35 visitors per day. Now I am lucky if I break double digits. I question how I could miss something this obvious and aside from my recent complacency, I think I just inured myself to the traffic loss. At first I thought that it was just a minor fluctuation but as it continued I became used to the low traffic and let the reason why I wasn't receiving leads slip right past me. Not one of my most brilliant moments.

It goes without saying that I need to get my traffic back up to the 20-35 visitors/day. The question is how to do so. It is not as though I made significant changes to the ad campaign to my recollection to cause the traffic loss. I even bumped my converting keywords to the front of the pack in many cases. Any suggestions?




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Monday, March 27, 2006

Overture Aggravation!

One of the biggest gripes I have with Overture is the fact that they use human editors to approve your keywords and ads. This does not have to be a problem but with them it is. Not only is approval of keywords completely arbitrary but your entire campaign is in the hands of an individual with absolutely no interest in how it performs. How is it that they can tell me that I can't use "such and such" as a keyword for "quality reasons" but they will allow misspellings in my ads? To make things worse, there have been a number of times where the editor deliberately did things that adversely effected the campaign. Idiotic things such as removing the capital letters from the beginning of sentences on my ads, not changing the destination URLs for half of the keywords after the switch to the new domain, and changing the names of different categories have organized. FRUSTRATION!

Anyway, the streak was broken this weekend when PPC2 received its first lead since the 9th. To say I was happy would be a huge understatement=) Anyway, back to work.




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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Reverting To Old Style

I took the time today to change PPC2 back to the format that I originally received the leads with. Placing the form portion on the left-hand side had no effect in bringing in the leads. I really have no idea what to do with this site. It breaks out like gangbusters at the beginning of the month and then just stops. Sigh.

I finished adding the keywords for the first small product I am testing. The ads did not receive any impressions today so I plan to raise the bid a bit after getting off here. No impressions could have something to do with other affiliates. If they are also doing direct to merchant, then my ad would have to be put in "que" as the international types say. We will see with the second product as I put it up tomorrow.




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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

One Product Up

Partially=) I created the campaign for the first product today. I have half of my keywords uploaded and ready to go. The other half need to be rearranged due to the Overture tool's method of presenting the keywords in random order. I will rearrange the remaining words tomorrow and up load the next set of keywords. I decided to go with direct-to-merchant to test the products. I tried this once before and it did do what I had intended it to. I just can't bring myself to make a landing page for one of these small products knowing that it may not sell. I could be wrong but this is the approach I'm taking with this.

I need to organize my time more effectively. I think part of the reason that I have been less motivated is because I have been doing this just about everyday for up to 8 hours/day for almost a year now. That takes a toll=) So I'm going to try relegating my work to no more than 2 hours a night on the weekdays. I started working out today and really need to start working on my social life so that I can have balance. Balance prevents burnout, I'm sure.




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Monday, March 20, 2006

One-On-One Today

That post was from last week. For whatever reason, Blogger would not let me post it until today.
Anyway, I met with the first-time homebuyer lady for the one-on-one today. From the looks of things, everything is good to go and I can start looking for duplexes as soon as the info is passed on to the loan officer. The amount they will pre-approve me for is just under $140k. This is down from the original $160k but this loan would be much better with a lower fixed interest rate. I'm starting to get excited about real estate again.

Affiliate marketing has me down though, I must say. PPC2 has inexplicably stopped generating the big leads. I have had some of the smaller paying ones but none of the nice commissions that I really wanted. On a lighter note, nearly 11 months after its establishment HTAR made its first sale. Well actually I don't know when the sale took place. I stopped looking at the stats for those networks months ago but when I went to the mail box today I had the check from Linkshare.

Since I was in San Antonio all weekend, I didn't get a chance to set up the campaigns for the 3 new products. That takes place tomorrow.




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Friday, March 17, 2006

3 Products to Promote

Last night I was able to make some changes to both PPC2 and the Overture account. No results yet. I added a handful of words today.

After my post last night, I started my research into small products to promote. I found 3 infoproducts to test with PPC. I found a few others that fell in line with some of my old sites but those will not count toward the $100/day goal (has to be money from PPC). 2 of these are regularly priced ebooks at $20-40 and the third is a more expensive program going for about $200. I'll do the keyword research tonight and take that time to decide if I will go direct-to-merchant or individual landing pages. I'm leaning toward the landing pages. Alright, back to the grindstone.




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Thursday, March 16, 2006

3 Products to Promote

Last night I was able to make some changes to both PPC2 and the Overture account. No results yet. I added a handful of words today.

After my post last night, I started my research into small products to promote. I found 3 infoproducts to test with PPC. I found a few others that fell in line with some of my old sites but those will not count toward the $100/day goal (has to be money from PPC). 2 of these are regularly priced ebooks at $20-40 and the third is a more expensive program going for about $200. I'll do the keyword research tonight and take that time to decide if I will go direct-to-merchant or individual landing pages. I'm leaning toward the landing pages. Alright, back to the grindstone.




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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Quest for More Conversions

I didn't get a chance to start back to work on PPC3 today as I had hoped. I spent the night working on PPC2's form and trying to figure out why my conversions have dropped off. I made a few changes in hopes of getting more people to fill out the form. One thing I did was to move the actual form to the left and the benefits to the right. This placement goes against what I have read about landing pages but it seems that there are few absolutes on the Internet so I'm going to test it. Can't be any worse than what I'm getting right now=)

After I finish this post I am going to do a little research into some small products I can promote and add some words to Adwords for PPC2.

Oh! I don't know if I mentioned it or not but this past weekend I attended a first-time homebuyer seminar. My loan officer told me that I could get a great deal with 100% financing and a fixed interest rate if I attended so of course I went. I have one more that I have to go to before I can get qualified for this loan. My lease is up in June so that is the deadline for getting all of this real estate stuff finished.




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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Chains of Bondage

I'm becoming accustom to them. I am getting used to having a job and I don't like it. Tonight was the first night that I have put in some serious work on the business in a long time. It was all due to what a friend at work said to me today. She reminded me what my focus should be and that I had to make sure that work did not stand in the way. Even though she doesn't read this, I am thankful for what she said=)

I put in just over 600 new words today for PPC2. I don't know what the deal is with the site. From the beginning of the month to last Thursday the site was pulling in leads consistently. Not all of them were usable but the leads were coming. It has been 5 days and I have not had a single lead. I tested the the form and it works. I looked at my Overture account and decided to take a gamble. I placed myself at #1 for my highest converting keyword - about $3/click. This should be interesting.

Work on PPC3 returns tomorrow.




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Monday, March 13, 2006

Just a Little Bit

I had to work late today (and everyday for the rest of the week) so I have not had much time to work on the sites today. I was able to go through my keywords on Overture to check my placement. I have not had a lead since Thursday after receiving nearly a lead a day. I checked my position and it is pretty much the same. There are a few words that have been wrestled out of my price range but that's about it. It is frustrating though when you see the bid prices creeping farther and farther out of reach.

Competition is getting to be too heavy in this area I think. Some bids are going for $7 by the big companies trying to compete. That makes if very difficult for small timers like me to get the foot in the door. That is one of the things I like about Adwords, you benefit from a higher CTR where in Overture it doesn't matter. Oh well, not too long ago I was bashing Adwords for making me bid higher because my CTR was too low. Never satisfied=)

The computer is coming along slowly. I still need to get Service Pack 2 and do all the tweaks before the computer will be ready to run at a decent clip. Till tomorrow.




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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mostly Computer Work

I've spent most of the day backing up my computer. I have a haphazard array of burned DVDs with (hopefully) everything that I hold dear on this computer. I am about to replace the motherboard and processor so wish me luck and hope that I don't have any adventures in this.

PPC2 has been producing leads consistantly this month so far. The problem lies in the fact that half are unusable. There is a certain criteria that the merchant has started to require and more than half of my leads do not qualify. It's bittersweet, I'm thrilled after all of this work that PPC2 is bringing in the leads but at the same time I wish more of them were useable. Never satisfied I guess=)

Alright, I need to get back to the task at hand. Wish me luck.




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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shifting Focus

After looking at last month's numbers and those for this month so far, I have decided that PPC3 is going on the back burner. Right now it is just swallowing money without return while PPC2 is finally coming alive. The focus right now will be PPC2.

I think I have been trying to do too much too fast. I see those having success around me and I want that now. This attitude is one of the reasons my progress has been mediocre thus far. I keep testing and trying new things but I do not put enough effort behind the programs that show promise. Both PPC2 and 3 are full of potential, however, it was only after 7 months of hard work that PPC2 started to make money. I need to max out that potential and milk it for all that it is worth. Only then should I go back to PPC3 and do the same. Both of these programs are too big and management intensive for me to try to get them profitable simultaneously.

I know that this is the 1,001st time I have shifted direction but things are finally going right. I need to keep my business on that path.




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Monday, March 06, 2006

February Numbers

Here's the break down.

Adsense: $100.40
Recordbreaking month and the first in which I made over $100.

PPC Programs
Gross: $737.03
Expenses: $624.17
Profit: $112.86
$100/day Challenge: $4.03/day

Total: $213.26

This doesn't look nearly as good as I feel about it. The reason is simple, all of the gross was made in the last 2 weeks of the month. PPC3 had its day (more like 3 days) in the sun before draining the pot of cash. PPC2 came alive in the last week to save the day and held an incredible ROI on its own. It took 7 months of hard work but PPC2 is finally coming into its own.

Pushing the envelope. Time was that I was afraid to spend $100 on advertising, now I am pushing $650 without even blinking. This month, I would be more than willing to spend that much again as long as I were able to get my ROI up to 100%. It's good to have goals=)




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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy Day

I don't have all of the numbers calculated yet but I know one thing, the Biz broke $100 in Adsense this month. First time ever=) It seems that the work I started with Project 10/15 is starting to take effect. While $100 is nothing big, it's certainly nice to have.

Well, the A/B test is in full effect and the score is A-0, B-1. Without getting my hopes up, this could be a big deal. That one sale broke a week and a half long dry spell within 24 hours of B going up. I have already replaced the A version of the #2 seller with a B-type to see how things go with that.

My goals for the month are to average 2-3 sales/day on PPC3 and .5-1 lead/day on PPC2. Assuming an ROI of 50-100%, that would be a nice bit of change.




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