A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Don't Know About This Zen Cart

I spent most of the night messing around with Zen Cart. This is the shopping cart that I chose to use for the dropshipping on my product site. Unfortunately, I can't get everything to work as it should. One of the big problem areas is email. People generally like to get receipts and things of that nature when buying online. Makes them feel more secure about their purchase, like they probably didn't get ripped off. I can't seem to get my system to email out. After an hour or two of messing with it, I decided to move on.

I did, however, get my Paypal Business account. I think this is the best route for me to do dropshipping. Not only is the money available in my account instantly, I don't have to create merchant accounts, gateways, and all of that other jazz that goes along with having an e-commerce site.

The first direct-to-merchant campaign is about to get cut. My goal for these test is 100-150% ROI minimum. This one is currently in the red. If things don't turn around by tomorrow night, it gets killed and a new campaign will be tested. Maybe even two campaigns.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not Much Progress

Unfortunately... I was able to start an ad campaign for a new ebook I want to promote. I also bought Camtasia with some birthday money. The program is great and if you can spare the ridiculous $300 for it, I'd recommend it. The ability to create PowerPoint presentations as videos and post them to YouTube is reason enough. I have also hired a new writer to start creating content for my site.

One thing that I am sure of is that I need to blog more. Back when I was blogging on a regular basis, I felt accountable for making progress. Even if it was a small task accomplished, it was still a task that had been accomplished. I need to get back into it because I am not moving forward as I should.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007


You know, you do your best in this game and sometimes things just slip past you. Perfect example. I have been doing split testing on my sales letters for months now trying to increase conversions. I'd tweak this or that and send traffic to the letters to see how they performed... or so I thought.

Earlier this week, I was messing around with my Adwords ads. I have each word assigned to a unique URL so my tracking software can recored the ROI on each term. I just happened to click the URL on one of the words and it took me to the sales letter. The OLD sales letter... The OLD sales letter from months ago that I had abandoned in lieu of newer, better ones. My affiliates had the benefit of the new sales letter (which their sales have disappeared) and my list went to the new letter but my ads were going to the old ones. This probably cost me a nearly $1000 in ad costs and lost revenue. The funny thing is that there has only been on month since June where I wasn't in profit, I believe. The profit hasn't always been great but it has usually been there.

So I redirect my ads to the new letters thinking that my bring the turnaround I have been looking for. Nope, I'm getting less traffic now. I've been testing out the position bidding to get my costs down. And it has done that. I'm at 400% ROI for the month but the combination of the recent "Google Slap" and the position bidding has dropped my ad traffic from 60-80 visitors/day to 9-20. Can't make sales with so little traffic. It's not possible.

It's time to regroup. I have set my ad spending to $100/day and opted for the accelerated distribution in hopes that it will increase my traffic to the new letters. I am also about to employ an old domain I bought a year ago to direct ad traffic to the sales letter to see if that helps any.

I am also working on my shopping cart. I talked to the dropshipper and he said I just need to provide my credit card info and return address and I'm good to go.

I'm trying desperately to break into a new market. I've made a list of possible markets with a lot of traffic. I need multiple streams of income to make things consistent.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Gold Standard

Last night the business was approved for an American Express Gold Business card. I will need to do the dropshipping. If you are unfamiliar with dropshipping, the customer comes to my site and makes an order. Their money is deposited into my merchant account (I will most likely start with PayPal) and the order info is passed to me. I, in turn, go to the dropshipper and purchase the products the customer wanted at a wholesale price. The dropshipper will then ship the product out to the customer. At no time will I touch the product or have to store it.

This has the potential to be great because 1) customers of my current product NEED these items, 2) if set up properly, this can be completely automated like selling info products, and 3) but most importantly, controlling the product means that I can have affiliates selling for me=)

I'll keep you updated on how things go. I need to get a shopping cart now.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Too Legit... Too Legit to Quit!

Yeah! The Business is finally legitimate. I went to the courthouse today and registered my DBA. After talking to the CPA firm, they said that it would be best to hold off on incorporating. I also registered with the IRS for a tax ID. Now I can dropship!

Well, I'm tired. I'm going to bed.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Making Progress

I've been focused on building Product Site 1 (P1) for the last week or two. I have hit on a very crucial concept that has helped to boost sales. Prior to incorporating this idea, I would badger my subscribers for sales. I mean, I would hammer them!

I would get complaints.

I would get unsubscribes.

And finally, they conditioned themselves not read my email if it seemed like I was going to sell them my product (or other affiliate products). Then I watched Ed Dale's video on check moves. Basically the concept is to provide visitors the opportunity to buy as many times as you can but not "sell" to them.

In that effort, I started adding a box at the bottom of some of my articles that talked about a product the visitor could use. The content of the article would focus completely on educating the visitor with no sales attempts made whatsoever.

As I added this to more articles, sales started to increase! Rather than hammering my list with "buy my product now" type emails, I just tell them to look at the new articles. The list is happier, I'm making more sales, and most of all it is more sustainable. Back in June when things did massively well, I had to beat the list with discounts for buying related affiliate products and
things of that nature. That relentless approach will not work over an extended period of time. This one will!

I have also been focusing on getting backlinks. Following Jen's advice, I have been submitting articles to article directories more frequently. My goal is to get into the top 5 for 5 of the main phrases. If I can do that and add in the next elements, I think I should hop over the $100/day mark for p1 alone.

The Next Elements

These are a new info product for P1 and getting dropshipping up and running. The info product is going to replace that of a former JV partner. While he and I did work well together and his product has sold decently, he has moved on to bigger and better things. Currently, my cut of the affiliate sale is $16. My new info product will bring in $50-70/sale. Huge difference!

First thing necessary for the new product is to poll my subscribers. The searches for the topic are really low but I know from talking to my subscribers that they are looking for this information. This means that while I wouldn't necessarily use PPC for this, I would use my newsletter to promote it to subscribers. While typing, I realized that I could make the product even better by making it general enough to fit the topic of site #3 (built back in 2005) but include a special "bonus" that would be specific to the niche of P1. This will allow me to hit a broader market and increase earnings! Thanks for the brainstorming session=)

The next element is dropshipping. I talked to a CPA Wednesday and they said that at the moment and with the current earnings, I really don't need to incorporate yet. This means that all I need to do is get the tax ID from the IRS and register my business with the state. From there I'm off to become an e-commerce merchant! Never thought I'd see the day.

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