A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Friday, June 27, 2008

Race to $200+/Day - To Empress & Jean-Rene

Hey!

Its good to hear from both of you and I'm sorry that I missed your comments until now. Both of you should have my email address so drop me a line and I can tell you about a better way that we can stay in contact.

Alright, Empress. Yeah, I've been looking for your email but no worries. Trust me, this game can be scary and that was why May was so important to me. I lost over $600 and when I opened my eyes, I realized the world hadn't ended=) Not only that, but I had broken my monthly revenue record! It also validated the validity of PPC affiliate marketing for me. I think for you to get over your fear of losing money, you're going to have to lose money.

As far as budget goes, I decided that I was going to try my best to spend $2000. This was money I received from my tax refund. Even so, I wholeheartedly believe you can do this on $500. The thing you will need to do is be very, very selective about the offers/products you sell. In fact, I would stick with doing just CPA offers like you had talked about.

If you are on a CPA network that assigns affiliate managers, talk to them and find out which offers have done well for other affiliates. That will help you avoid the trial & error method that I was using. I would also suggest getting an American Express business card. The fact that I don't have to have the cash on hand has given me the ability to spend more on ads and generate more revenue.

As far as bidding high goes, remember that you can set the daily budget on all of the big PPC networks. That should help you keep things from running wild. Also have very strict rules about your campaigns. For example, if you go by the rule that a campaign must make a conversion within the first 300 clicks, stick to that. Don't kill it before the 300 and don't let it hang on afterward.

Cashflow is an issue though. I started running some numbers today and realized that to hit my goal of $200 net/day, I will be spending at least that much (probably more) in ad costs. Sometimes those 30 day payment periods won't work. So one of my goals is to get on weekly payments with one of my affiliate networks. I already talked to one manager and he said I need to pull around $1500/wk to qualify. That is only $214.29/day gross. If I can get on weekly payments, then cashflow with American Express won't be a problem.

Jean-Rene
Thanks! I'm trying to make this work. I know that as soon as I go full time I will be able to generate some real money. So the goal now is to go full time as soon as possible.

As far as tracking goes, the affiliate networks with affiliate managers are really cool because you can have them place your Google Analytics code on the thank you page of the merchant's site! I know, that's big=) I also make use of SubIDs whenever possible so that I know which adgroup generated the sale and to make sure that I'm getting paid for all of my conversions. The SubIDs appear on the affiliate network's reports and makes it easier to decide which adgroups to keep and which to cut. Even so, I'm trying to get a program developed for me to track all of my ad spending and conversions.

And just as I was telling Empress about rules, I have rules for adgroups determining when to cut them. I've been lax with them lately and my ROI has suffered.




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Race to $200+/Day - Disappointment

Well, things have not been going nearly as well as they were in the beginning of the month. The first week was ridiculous and if things had continued on that course, I would have definitely hit my $100/day net goal. Unfortunately, they didn't continue. I think several factors are to blame.

1. Messing with what works - There was a particular adgroup that was/is making the lion's share of my income. However, there was a period of time where it had a slump and so I lowered it's bidding price. Sales disappeared.

The dry spell coincided with split testing the merchant was doing so I was quick to blame them for the campaign's failure. A few days ago, I decided to raise the bid on that adgroup again.

That day that adgroup generated $104 of $130 grossed by that campaign.

2. Not launching enough - Rather than trying to tweak the campaigns I have running, I should have just launched more campaigns. Launched relentlessly. I didn't and my income suffered.

3. Summer? - Maybe the addage that summer affects affiliate marketing actually is true.... But I doubt it.

4. Laziness - I just didn't work as hard the first half of the month as I did the second. I just need to keep in the forefront that if I bust it hard now, I will be able to play and have fun FOREVER in the next couple months.

5. Failed Campaigns - I did launch a few campaigns but none of them had the punch of the ones I already had. I think I became timid again with my bidding and the traffic never developed because of it.

The new goal - I'm going to shoot for $200/day net from here on. I'm going to run full out for the minimum goal of the entire race. It is going to be launch, launch, launch now until I hit the goal. Once I hit the goal, then I will start to scale the campaigns to increase their ROI.

Prizes - If I hit $200/day net by July 31, I will get my business to purchase insurance for me so that I will be covered once I quit and also a new pair of Oakleys that I've wanted. I have to get my prescription put in them so sunglasses are always expensive for me.




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Friday, June 20, 2008

Race to $200+/Day - Amazing

That’s what I have to say about The Business (yes, I am going to capitalize the “T” in “The” from now on). This method works despite my unpredictable, rollercoaster-esque bouts of motivation, hopelessness, frustration, and elation. Somethings that have come to light since I started doing this back in April:

* The more the merrier - The more offers/products you push, the better things go. Perfect example, The Business has produced at least some revenue everyday so far this month. A couple months ago, it would not be uncommon for The Business to have absolutely no income for 4-6 days at a time.

* Tracking tells the story - I’ve never tracked The Business with as much tenacity as I have so far this month. I mean, I can tell you exactly how much money was spent 3 days ago, how much was made, and what the ROI was all in a matter of seconds. This information has been invaluable to me compared to my blind, hope-things-are-going-well-but-I'm-afraid-to-look approach. Now I can make adjustments that I would not have been able to do before.

* ROI (on a campaign level) may not be as important as I thought - While ROI is important and you should always strive for getting it as high as possible, profit is profit. While it may not seem like a campaign with 10% ROI is worth having, that is still profit coming into The Business’s coffers. Rather than scrapping the campaign as I used to, I am now of the mind that it should be allowed to run as long at the ROI is above 10%. One thing to note though. A campaign with lower than 50% ROI should not be something you rely on heavily for revenue. Really, anything less than 80% ROI is fairly volatile and should be watched closely.

* Kill non-producers - While it is obvious that you should get rid of any keywords or adgroups that get clicks but don’t produce sales, I have the tendency to hang onto those keywords that don’t get many impressions or clicks. This has always been in the hope that one day a mighty keyword would rise from those humble ranks to produce sales with dragon-slaying ROI. This DOESN’T happen! At least not with enough frequency to be of any positive consequence. What does happen, though, is those low-impression, low-traffic keywords have a huge cumulative (and negative) effect on your CTR and ad spending. Those terms should be eliminated.

* Bid high - One of the many reasons why this method never worked for me in the past is that I always bid too low. Always. My thought was that by bidding low, I could always increase my spending after I found some winners. This way I wouldn’t lose much money in testing an offer/product. The problem is that by bidding low, you don’t get into ad positions that produce conversions. Suddenly, it seems like affiliate marketing doesn’t work and you find yourself in forums trying to figure out what the secret to this business is.

Here’s the secret to PPC affiliate marketing that I have found so far:

Bid High. Take the Initial Loss & Learn to Like It. Track Everything. Kill the Losers. Launch Another Campaign. Improve your ROI.

Note: This post was supposed to have been made back on the 10th. A lot has happened since then both in The Business and in my personal life.




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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Race to $200+/Day - The Ugly Side of PPC

The Race continues and you probably saw my post on my record grossing day. One thing that people often overlook, myself included, is the role ad costs play in those record grossing days.

It is easy to get exuberant about days with a huge volume of sales but without proper tracking, you really don't know how well things are actually going. Unlike last month, this month I have tried to stay on top of tracking income and expenses at the same time. This gives a much better picture and allows you to make adjustments you would never have known were necessary.

For example, the Clickbank product I'm promoting has been doing great in terms of sales. Often, I will get multiple sales of the product in a day. It wasn't until I broke down the sales and costs on a daily basis that the truth was revealed. Despite all of the sales, the book was only at 7% ROI for the month on the record setting day.

7%!!

That is horrible. What that said to me was that things weren't nearly as glossy as they first appeared. It was at that time that I realized that I had not been making the same adjustments that I had been doing with the big campaign. I immediately started to make those adjustments.

If you are thinking about really getting into PPC, beware of the glossy appearance of your campaigns. It isn't until you truly analyze your campaigns with real tracking data that you will start to see the truth.




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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Race to $200+/Day - I'm Going to Boston!

I forgot to mention the other night that I'm going to Affiliate Summit. I'm extremely excited! All of the big ppc affiliates posted on their blog that Affiliate Summit was the turning point in their business. It was the catalyst that took them from making OK money (in their opinion $200/day is OK money) to making the big dollars.

So I'm going!

I also have a friend going to MIT there so it'll be a great chance to see him and go to the conference on the business's dollar.

After making my announcement the other day about shooting for $100/day profit for June, the business had its biggest day yet. Gross income of $259.93. The funny thing is that no a single dollar of that came from my product. That is how far things have come since April.

Stay tuned=)




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Monday, June 02, 2008

Race to $200+/Day - May Earnings

3 Months... That's all that is left in this Race to $200+/Day. Last month was a battle of epic proportions. The goal was to gross $2000 for the month. Here is the break down:

Income
Adsense: $87.31
Clickbank: $1086.25
Affiliate Net 1: $510.50
Affiliate Net 2: $71.60
Stand Alone Merch: $77.96
Total: $1833.62

Costs
Google: $539.19
Yahoo: $1840.10
MSN: $81.50
Total: $2460.79

Profit
Total: -$627.17

As bad as this looks, I am actually pretty happy about it. I've gotten over my fear of losing money in PPC and I also barely missed my goal of grossing $2000 for May - only by $166.38.

The thing about this story that the numbers don't show is this:

1. I found 3 profitable products/offers to promote that pulled over 100% ROI each.
2. Up until May 20, I was WAAAY (Read: About $1500 Net Loss!) in the hole as far as ad spending goes. It wasn't until retooling the big offer campaign for the 4th time did I started to produce a positive cashflow from it.
3. I have started to develop a better relationship with my affiliate manager with our weekly updates.
4. I only REALLY lost $27.17 when you consider that the government gave me a $600 stimulus check=)
5. I have collected data on the winning and losing keywords/adgroups. Big losers have been culled.
6. This exercise has really boosted my confidence. This stuff works!

Yes, it does despite my losses. Using this method I have not only had my largest grossing month yet, but I have also diversified my business. No longer do I have to rely on my product's niche entirely for my income. Always a good thing.

Things are about to get very interesting...

Goal for June - The Mythical $100/Day Profit




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