Tag Archives: make money

Google Adwords LogoLast week I started testing some new concepts on Adwords. A week has passed and I wanted to recap what has happened and some things that I have noticed and learned so far.

First off, the strategy that I’m testing is to use the content network exclusively. As a result some of the standard SEM practices don’t really apply. Click through rates are dramatically lower than on search and it takes some time to get used to 0.1% CTRs. It takes a lot of impressions to get traffic at those levels.

Luckily the inventory of ad space with people using Adsense is monstrous and as a result there is plenty opportunities for placements. So for my limited week of testing I have had about 150,000 impressions on my ads resulting in 80 clicks.

The other thing to note is that there is comparatively nobody running ads on the content network. So the competition is almost non-existent. That makes the price per click very low. The total ad spend for the first week of testing was less than $10.

I have run into a number of problems in my testing that I never expected.

  • It’s not possible to use the Adwords API to build flash ads with the Display Ad Builder :(
  • There seems to be a bug with the Adwords Editor when trying to upload a lot of image ads.
  • It takes a long time for image ads to be approved and start running (none of my image ads have been approved yet)
  • Paying to use the Adwords API works out to be very expensive for the scale I want to use it at.
  • optimizing the price is time consuming since it can take days to see enough results.

With all those problems I’m still optimistic that I can find a way to scale things up more radically.  So far in the past week I have written a number of scripts that have helped me build out the campaigns, ad groups and ads.  It has gotten to the point where I can now upload over 1000 text ads to new campaigns, ad groups and keywords in one evening.

Since so far the testing has been inconclusive I’m going to hold off sharing the scripts I have for this strategy.  If it works out you can count on me recording some videos of the technique and the scripts to help.

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neverblue In the last few months I have been making extremely good money from promoting CPA offers from Neverblue and so I thought it would be worthwile writing a quick script to keep me from having to log into the site to check my statistics.

Neverblue has a feature called the Global Postback URL which they will ping every time a conversion is made and provide you with some details about the action. The most straight forward thing that I wanted to do was to convert that ping into an email. This works great for me since I’m only promoting the lower volume high profit items right now so I won’t get blasted with 100s of emails every day (I wish I had that problem).

Basically it’s a very simple PHP script that I put on my website. Here’s the neverblueemailer.php PHP script:

< ?php
$message = "Neverblue CPA Action Notification\n\n";
$message = $message. "affiliate_id:  " . $_GET["af"] . "\n";
$message = $message . "site_id:  " . $_GET["site"] . "\n";
$message = $message . "campaign_id:  " . $_GET["c"] . "\n";
$message = $message . "action_id:  " . $_GET["ac"] . "\n";
$message = $message . "subid:  " . $_GET["s"] . "\n";
$message = $message . "unique_conversion_id:  " . $_GET["u"] . "\n";
echo $message;
 
$to = 'me@example.com';
$subject = 'Neverblue CPA Action Notification';
$headers = "From: me@example.com\r\nReply-To: me@example.com";
$mail_sent = @mail( $to, $subject, $message, $headers );
echo $mail_sent ? "Mail sent" : "Mail failed";
?>

You just need to edit your email information.

With that file uploaded to your website you can then hook it up to neverblue. Simply login to your account and put the URL in the Tools -> Global Postback URL -> Enter Your Non Site Specific Global Postback URL section. Then click Save Changes.

neverbluepingback

The URL you need is going to be something like this:

http://www.yoursite.com/neverblueemailer.php?af={affiliate_id}&site={site_id}&c={campaign_id}&ac={action_id}&s={subid}&u={unique_conversion_id}

That’s it. Test it yourself by visiting the URL in your browser. You should immediately get an email in your inbox.

I cannot recommend neverblue enough. They have quickly become my biggest source of online revenue. It’s worth signing up for to give CPA a try.

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Where is the value in the the work that you do as an entrepreneur?

I think the farther you can get from the commoditized skills the more money you’ll make.  A commoditized skill is anything that you can easily and simply abstract and have done else where.  Here are some examples of commodity skills:

  • Basic accounting
  • Website design
  • Customer support
  • Writing/Research

If it’s possible to use a service like Elance to connect you to people that will do the work cheaply and quickly, why would you want to compete in that space?

The real money is to be made in the skills that deliver the competitive advantage to your business.  At the highest level that is the strategy.

Being a good business strategist and knowing how to execute the strategy is like having a license to print money.  It’s a skill that I’m beginning to learn and will continue to try and master for the rest of my life.

Currently I’m doing a lot of the grunt work in my business.  I’m writing the reports, doing the research, designing the websites, and doing the promotion.  It’s a lot of work and it reveals a lot of inefficiencies.  The things that I like to do get done quicker while other parts get delayed and hold up the progress.

As the business grows more and more of that work will be taken off my plate and I’ll get to spend more time doing the higher value things like structuring offers, inventing product ideas, and networking with partners.  Those are the things that will really accelerate your income.  They are also skills that are hard to learn from a book or course.  You really need to spend some time in the trenches, make mistakes and continue on the path to mastery.

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When it comes to getting your business profitable the 80/20 rule can be used as a guide to determine how you should manage your time.

What is the most important part of any new business?

Sales.

Time and time I’ve had to learn and relearn this while trying to get HalOtis profitable. I spent time working on designing the logo, getting business cards printed, having a custom t-shirt made, and working on products before actually proving that there was a market that I could sell to. What was I thinking!

All of that time was wasted.

Let’s look at some examples of how to do it properly:

Blog Posting
If you had spent 1 hour writing a post for one of your blogs, then you should spend 4 hours promoting it. Take the time to socially bookmark your post, leave comments on other sites for the link back, and perhaps write some more articles, Squidoo lenses, or post to other web 2.0 sites. Spread the word far and wide that you have something worth reading.

Internet Marketing
If you want to get into a particular market get to the selling as soon as possible. If you take a day to find a niche, build a website, and find a product to sell on it. Then spend the rest of the week only on sales. Drive traffic to the site, test the conversion of different pages designs, tweak the copywriting. If you can’t sell someone else’s product if you put in that amount of effort then consider finding another niche.

Business
Resist the temptation to build up your business. Don’t start by getting the accounting software, designing logos, getting letterhead, talking to lawyers, or doing the paperwork to register your business. Skip those things and develop a plan that will get you to the Selling part as soon as possible. You can get creative about this. Take pre-sales whenever possible and focus your effort on getting them. 90% of businesses fail in the first year… mitigate your risk by making sure the business will make money before investing in it.

This approach will have a much better success rate. If you want to be in business, and get rich, you must get over any hangups you have about sales and selling. In fact you should come to love sales.

Sales is the one place where you actually get to use that fun stuff you learned about in Psychology class. It’s a ridiculously interesting area to be an expert in, and the money is pretty good too. If you know how to make sales, then you’ll be an asset to every business you work for (or your own).

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