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|$100 / day or it's all over|
I'm 22 years old, a part time college student, and I live with a few awesome friends in a shared house. For the first time in a long while, I'm happy. Life is good - but not for long. Unfortunately, due to my extreme lazyness (compounded with some rather 'questionable' purchases), I am pretty much flat broke. I've done the sums, and in 3 months I will have a net worth pretty much on par with a cashew nut. Unless I'm able to start bringing in roughly $100/day by some time around my 23rd birthday (9th May), I will be forced to make one of two decisions, both of which will utterly annhialate my already fragile self esteem. These are:
1. Move back in with parents
2. Get a job at burger king
Now, you might be thinking to yourself that, while not particularly appealing, niether of these options is really all that terrible. And you would be wrong. I won't go into why this is the case at this point, but for now it should suffice to say that I would rather sell my body to complete strangers. And before anyone tells me to just go ahead and do that, I'm far too ugly to make anywhere even close to $100 a day, so don't bother.
Believe it or not, the mere thought of either of these things is enough to get the hair on the back of my neck to stand up on end, and as the complete financial meltdown gets closer, my psychological state is deteriorating ever more rapidly. Whilst only a few days ago I could push the thoughts of impending doom to the back of my mind, now I wake up with cold sweats on a regular basis. Yesterday my girlfriend told me I started hysterically screaming 'do you want fries with that?' and 'you can upsize that for 70 cents' at random intervals throughout the night.
To save my sanity and avoid emotional castration, I had to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, as well as being lazy, I'm also not the sharpest tool in the shed, so my plan is really not all that good. Basically, it goes something like this:
Step 1: Start up a website
Step 2: Find a related affiliate/advertising partner
Step 3: Get hits and sell stuff
Step 4: Bring in $100/day on a regular basis within 3 months time.
Step 5: Avoid asylum
So yeah.. that's, uh, pretty much the master plan...
Now I assume at this stage most of you are either shaking your head or laughing at me (or a combination of the two).
You're perfectly justified in doing so, but I'm still going to try. Although the odds are stacked against me, I do have a few factors working in my favour.
First, I've got lots of time on my hands. Theoretically, I could work 8-10 hours a day for the next 3 months on this.
Second, I've got reasonable web design skills. While I don't have any official qualifications, I'm decent at HTML and Photoshop, so I can at least create semi-professional looking sites.
Third, I've got about $400 that I can use as a marketing budget - pretty much what's left of my savings after I budget for 3 months of rent, food & misc. expenses.
Fourth, I have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and SEO, since I occasionally read WW when I see something interesting.
And finally, I really, really, really don't want to move back home or work at burger king.
Now the purpose of this thread is to doccument my quest. Every day I will post a status report that details what I have done as well as how much money I have brought in. I'll also write a breif reflection on anything I've learned, and probably rant on about various unrelated things as my emotional state continues to deteriorate.
I hope you come along for the ride and whether I succeed or fail I'm sure it will be quite entertaining and I hope that you'll leave me a little tip, some encouragement or a scrap of advice once in a while.
Day 1 of 90 starts tomorrow - I hope to see you then.
If you do actually "get rich quick" then that's great, but you're right Marcia...for most of us it takes many hours of toiling away :)
The beauty of the internet is that there are literally hundreds of money making models. I don't think achieving $100/day in three months time is a get rich quick scheme. Rather, it will take many long hours and days of dedication.
Keep focused on one thing. It will be tempting to try many things at once. If you stick to one thing and try to do it the best that you possibly can, that's your best chance at you achieving your goal.
As others have said, you have a unique, yet intriguing writing style. I'm sure that in itself will attract regular readers to your blog!
Dave, the volume of organic traffic it would take to be at that kind of income level within three months is just unrealistic. Hard work doesn't get conveyed to search algos, and the sandbox can be a very lonely place.
Also, I think we can guess at what kind of up front capital investment it would take for those type of search terms with PPC, which would be moving into an arbitrage model right off.
Well, let's do the math to figure it out then.
We'll make these assumptions:
1. He won't do arbitrage (no-no anyways)
2. Average payout per click = $0.25 (not unreasonable)
3. Average ctr on adsense ads = 10% (not unreasonable)
So, it would take 40 visitors to make $1.00, or 4000 to make $100.
Ok, so that would be tough :) However, it does depend entirely on which niche he chooses (which would significantly change his payout per click). And, if his blog is really popular off the bat then he could hit that type of traffic level in three months via viral.
I don't think it would be wise of him to expect all of his traffic to come organically from search engines, you're right, that would take Much longer. However, I think much of his traffic would come from direct referals from other blogs...
Another thing we are assuming is that he would only use adsense on his blog. What about tastefully putting up affiliate ads for related products?
Why not collect people's addresses and send out a weekly/monthly newsletter..and do a little advertising in that?
If his blog gets really popular, he could have similar websites buy sponsor, or text ads, thus adding to his income.
If you do all of the above, then it's not entirely out of the question to reach $100/day.
How about we encourage this guy in his quest as opposed to discouraging him? I don't think we're giving him false hope by doing so. With the right attitude and work ethic, much is possible.
Just wanted to post a quick thanks to everyone who has posted in here so far.
I'm still working like a dog to avoid flipping burgers, and my traffic is on a steady upwards trend - though I still haven't earned a single cent! As promised, I'll be posting a full update next Wednesday.
Maybe you should offer your self up to one of the Guru gods.
They love to take a newbie and show how, using their system, they can take a new beginner from zero to five thousand a month in ninety days !
They have a vested interest in making you successful! Worth a shot!...KF
[edited by: King_Fisher at 6:54 am (utc) on Feb. 21, 2008]
|They have a vested interest in making you successful! |
Not if they convince you pay money upfront. In that case they only have a vested interest in making you feel that you "came close" but didn't quite make it... but if you just buy their brand-new system enhancement package which they've just developed, you'll be a millionaire within a month!
And so on...
You should be wary of anyone calling themself a "guru". Best bet is what you are doing right now. Learn all you can...and then jump in the water and swim ;)
Wouldn't that be great? :) Any gurus out there want to take a poor college student under their wings?
Seriously though, I'm not expecting any miracles - I'm still confident that if I work solidly I can reach my target on my own merits.
I guess time will tell...
Sounds like the Steve Martin way to become a millionaire.
First, get a million dollars.
funny stuff, guy is definitely not a newb.
for what it's worth I am with vik_c - a marketing plot.
easiest way to make $100/day online in 90 days is probably to get an affiliate site with something pharm-related (see your email spam folder for ideas) and get it seo-on-steroids optimized. Will get you to $100/day and then banned real quick, but you'll have enough stories to tell for your "$X dollars in Y days" ebook.
[edited by: eljefe3 at 8:07 am (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]
Not really sure I get the whole 'marketing plot' thing?
I'm not writing an ebook, trying to sell any products, or trying to mislead anyone. This thread is not a trick or ploy.
I know you'll probably just disregard everything I say, but it's the truth nonetheless.
jleane, you appear to have a natural enthusiasm for life, a talent for writing, lots of energy, some good ideas, some smarts and real motivation.
Some people can't believe that all this can be the genuine article and so they cynically conclude that you're yet another one of those scheming marketeers telling a half-true story in order to build up interest in a forthcoming launch.
Suggest you ignore those people and get on with it.
How are you doing so far?
[edited by: eljefe3 at 3:37 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]
Hey Ronin, things are going slowly, but they are going. Yesterday one of my posts was picked up by an established blog, and I nearly reached the 100 unqiues / day mark! Of course this has since fallen back down again quite sharply, but hey I guess it's a start. Having said that, I estimate I'll need 5 to 10 times this level of traffic on a regular basis to reach my target.
I say 'estimate' because I haven't really got adsense up and running properly - I put it up breifly and then took it down again because it was playing up. I've since found a good adsense Wordpress plugin and so will probably get it going again soon.
Well, the "90 Days or Bust" has been done a zillion times and that's where the skepticism comes from and Jonathon is obviously not just a random student who discovered the web a month ago. The key thing is, it doesn't really matter. Like Ronin says, don't waste time answering critics. In fact, don't answer this.
On the more helpful end, look for affiliate programs that have some good free trial options. Payouts are low, but for a while I was pushing something completely appropriate to my site that paid only $7.50 per action, but it's a free trial, so for a while I was getting quite a few - not $100/day mind, but this was just from one review of the service I wrote on a site that was only getting 100 uniques/day and the page itself was somewhat buried and never featured on the front page.
As I let that site in general languish and de-emphasized that offer, it now only gets a signup every few days, but I'm fairly sure that if I pushed it right, I could get a few signups a day (so maybe $30/day) and this one requires a credit card. If you can find free trial offers that do not require a credit card, I think it would be even easier.
Perhaps, just as importantly, I have tried the service I'm recommending and it's really good. I mean *really* good and great value, so I have no problem recommending it. AdSense, on the other hand, often points to sites of questionable value, even total ripoffs.
So if you can find some free trials that fit in with your site, I think that's likely to have a better return than AdSense and you have a lot more control over how that looks in your site and what you recommend.
I have found them by looking for Pay per Lead offers at Commission Junction. There are probably thousands out there at other networks that I don't know about.
You are drawing interest from quite a few people. And this is the most significant factor in very successful websites.
In the case of an information based blog or content site, the amount of success is very proportional to the extent your content directly and positively impacts the lives of your readers. You have to connect with them.
The more useful to your audience, the more people will come, and return.
As for more topical ideas, you might try emotional development, personal development, and/or health & wellness. StevePavlina is an excellent success example.
[edited by: engine at 8:51 am (utc) on Feb. 28, 2008]
So as promised here's my fortnightly update:
The first thing I'll say is that so far I haven't made any money. Luckily, that's not quite as bad as it sounds - I haven't put up any advertising yet!
The good news is that my traffic has been building steadily, and I've received more hits in the last 2 days than I have in the last 2 weeks - mainly due to a couple of my articles being linked by other blogs. It really is all about quality in this gig. Quantikev is dead right, your only chance of succeeding in this game is to connect with your readers.
The other major thing I've done over the past week is start up a personal finance bloggers network. It basically consists of an index page of RSS feeds from members' sites and a forum where we can shoot the breeze, share marketing ideas etc. It's a great networking opportunity, and so far I've scored nearly a dozen reciprocal links with other great sites. We're also going to write guest articles for one another's blogs on a regular basis.
Other than that, I've just been plugging along with my regular daily routine. At the moment it basically involves:
* Writing two quality PF articles
* Posting at least 1 intelligent, helpful post on 3 popular Personal Finance / Credit card forums, with a link back to my site in the signature
* Posting at least 1 intelligent, helpful comment on 10 popular blogs, with a link back to my site in the URL field (so that I'm not spamming)
* Approaching various finance blogs and requesting a link exchange (for those who don't know, linkbacks from other quality, related sites help your ranking in Google)
It doesn't look like much, but you'd be suprised at how much of my day this actually takes up!
Any suggestions for what to add to my routine?
Thanks for sharing some of these ideas jleane. I've learned a few tricks from your story (and some of the more helpful comments) already. Looking forward to the next update.
P.S: Just wanted to say a big thanks to anyone who's bothered to post in this thread - and to those special few who have been sending me stuff privately (you know who you are!), you have no idea how much you've helped keep me going...
BTW, have you set up any Google alerts? I would say that's a must given your approach. I would do at least exact match (i.e. quoted) alerts on
* "example.com" -site:example.com
* link:example.com -site:example.com
* "site name" -site:example.com
And then possibly some keyword alerts.
Also, is the site in webmaster tools? That's a good way to find out what your inbound links are.
Hi ergophobe, thanks for those tips - I've never heard of those google features before...
Re the Google Alerts, this is probably a stupid question but am I setting up alerts for my site only, or for my competitors as well?
Neither really. An alert is just a Google search that is run periodically and sends you email (as it happens, daily or weekly) on what it found. Set up a bunch, let them run for a few days and then get rid of the alerts that send too much noise.
Basically, it's supposed to tell you when it does a crawl and finds something new that would match your search. It's far from living up to that promise - you'll get server logs, blog rolls that list your site, but have a new post and so forth.
The magic of it is this. You set it up to search blogs, for example, and to search for an exact match to your site name, domain name, whatever as I suggested above. Somebody writes "Hey jleane has a excellent/stupid article about X". You'll likely get a notice within a few days of that and you can run over there and defend yourself or offer your humble thanks.
So far so good. But that stuff should show up in your logs anyway, so you don't need an alert per se. But now let's say that you have a few kickbutt articles that are really getting some good traffic and have staying power (i.e. they aren't time-sensitive). Now put some keywords in for those articles that will ring your alert when Google finds something new on a blog that has something about that. Use those alerts to find and focus your efforts on commenting on articles that are likely to have a crossover audience.
Obviously, stick to your rules about not spamming. You'll get some traffic, you'll get noticed, and if you have good comments, you might even make a good connection. The holy grail is a site that has an *article* that overlaps with you, but not a *site* that overlaps with yours. You then have someone with a shared interest, but not really a competitor.
Right off, I can think of someone who's helped me out a fair bit who I discovered and contacted this way - we started similar sites at almost the same time. We could be competitors, but we decided to be collaborators and take different angles and help each other out. I think of him as that nice guy I want to help, not that guy I want to beat, and I've gotten blog roll links, half a dozen article links, and guest post invitations from him. He is probably my third biggest referrer after Google and Yahoo. In return, I tell my users looking for certain types of information to go to his site, not mine, and have given him a handful of links in articles.
It works well. Do all these links from one site really help? Who cares. Better than link juice, we send each other *traffic*, we share information and so forth and I'm fairly convinced that we both benefit.
A big thanks again ergophobe, I'll go and set up those alerts right now.
As for your friend, I totally know where you're coming from. The best thing by far about the network I just set up is the camaraderie.
I think your idea of using webmasterworld is quite brilliant.
I wish I had the all day to work on my website. Good luck.
Keep track of the blogs/forums where you post, and come back now and then to add more quality posts - not only will it give you more links and possible visitors to your site, but it may also give you ideas for new posts to your own site.
What I find most amusing is that someone claiming to be in personal financial ruin is writing about finances, something he it completely lacking.
Maybe I missed the post that disclosed this was a comedy skit.
|With the right attitude and work ethic, much is possible. |
You got that right; if its advice you are seeking Jonathan best I got is to stop focusing on the ends and more on the means. If your goal is to make $100/day, thatís not a very ambitious one IMHO, which seems to circle back a bit to how this all got started in the first place.
Nothing helps grow a business like capital, take the work at Burger King during the day and work on your internet empire all night. Best thing I have seen to get new sites ranked are quality links at the very start. Take the money from the day job and spend it on submitting your site to as many quality directories as you can afford; Yahoo, BOTW, Business.com, you would be surprised at the jump start this will give you. If you want it bad enough you will take the work.
Keep pumping the content in, thatís a strong suit you have so donít farm that out, you will just pay out money for inferior stuff. I have read a lot of content in my day, and yours is better written than most; plus it looks like you enjoy doing it, thatís one of the absolute keys to success.
Stop thinking about this whole thing as a gimmick (which it is), and start thinking about what life would be like doing something you really like, that will allow you to live your life in the manner of your choosing (and that includes being a "non-conformist"). Thereís no question in my mind you can do it.
If Google Adwords will a part of your affiliate marketing mix, I think your biggest struggle will be writing ad copy within constraints of 25 and 35 characters!
Good luck on your mission.
In every single personal scenario in life, there is always a worse one - you could lose both legs, lose your memory or wake up as a rabbit.
When you look at your situation that way, it looks pretty darn good and promising.
Good luck with the blog, keep us updated.
I think this is the 100th story I've read about someone down on their luck... wanting to scrap a living off the web... needs to figure out how to do it in XX days and make #*$! dollars/day with little to no experience and they are starting a blog tomorrow.
I would take the advice of many on this thread. Get a real day job for now. Work on your online business during your free time. Most of us did it that way... I worked both jobs for years (not months) before earning enough to live off of.
Another point worth noting, if you think you need $100/day to live fine, then you need to make 2-3 times that before you quit your "new" day job you should be going out and getting. Earnings for new ventures are never very stable... maybe after 6-7 years you'll reach that level of stability... but in the beginning, make sure you are making at least twice what you think you need.
But first things first... get a day job. Maybe in the field of online marketing... or web development... or both. That way you kill 2 birds with one stone... You get to learn the industry... and make money.
|1. Move back in with parents |
2. Get a job at burger king
What happened to:
3. Get a job on the internet?
I hire new staff all the time at an average of $15 an hour, 7 hours a day, 5 days a week (that's $105 a day) - i.e. OVER YOUR MINIMUM! I'm not the only one, there are loads of companies out there looking for someone to sit at home doing work they give them daily. It's normally boring work but it's not as boring and it's better paid than Burger King.
|maybe after 6-7 years you'll reach that level of stability |
Just past 7 years and it's still not very stable ... can't wait to finish setting up my offline busines and quit this internet thing ... ;)
You should definitely take on some contract work as well as researching aff programs and building traffic to your own blogs/domains. The contract work will bring quicker, more reliable cash while developing your own sites has the potential to bring you residual income.
Also, do you really think the only job you could get is at BK? Web developers of all sorts are in demand and you might be able to find a good job doing that.
Finally, have you considered moving out of the city? Your apt rent sounds more like a mortgage payment.
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