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The quest to $300/day
from $20/day to $100/day - the story continues

 8:21 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Every time I tell friends and aquaintances what I do - I get glazed eyes and the conversation quickly changes topics - I guess I'm really not that good of a storyteller:) so I turn to you folks here on WebmasterWorld - I know you and I talk the same language, and we understand each other :)

Disclaimer: I am not a expert affiliate marketer - some folks here can earn what took me months to learn in a few days only. But I found out what works for me and until my knowledge increases and develops, I'll stick to it - it just takes a bit longer, and the money's still good ;)

A quick recap of my background so far just to reintroduce the thread:

Recently off school, and working full time as a web designer for a year - when an early mid life crisis struck me - is this what life is about? a 9-7 job, go home, go work, repeat ad nauseum? I've found out that most people coming out from school faces those questions about life - I was no different than them.

Except - I had an idea for a website - a textbook swap and price comparison - this was an idea from way back while I was in school - but one that I didn't have the time or the full technical knowhow to implement. Now that I was done with school and facing the prospect of running in the rat race for eternity, it became more of a drive to get something going - I started building it and that's when I ran into Amazon affiliate program and datafeeds.

Within weeks I had a semi functional site running - and started doing some link exchanging. While searching for some help on the topic, I ran into webmasterworld! At first I was interested only in the link development forum, then somehow I migrated here to affiliate sales - while here, I started realizing that there were many people making money selling all sorts of things. I was only interested in how I could do Amazon better, primarily because I knew how to do their datafeeds, but also because textbooks was all I knew about. Mortgage? Credit cards? Hotel reservations? Gambling? I knew nothing about those industries!

Anyway to keep this (relatively) short - a year ago I discovered this forum. 6 months later I had a decent textbook site which was making me about $20/day. At that point I was already up to my ears from the corporate drone lifestyle and just about ready to quit my job - it was a gamble, but one would only need to look at the potential of affiliate marketing to know that if you play your cards right and you have some sort of idea what to do, the skies were the limit. It fit perfectly with the feelings I was going through, avoiding the rat race, doing something for myself, where I wasn't trading time for money, but instead building a sort of 'equity'. I pondered - if I am doing this part time and I can earn $20/day - then what happens if I go all out and do it full time? A fairly easy decision - I quit my job at the end of September.

Should I fail in affiliate marketing - I only have the next 45 years to work for someone else. Heh! In the meantime, the two problems I face is that I'm really bored with staying in the house for so long :) and to save money I moved in the the parents - to change a bit from this routine, I've decided to move out to europe and live somewhere over there while still doing more sites.

This new thread now will try to convey my ongoing quest to move from the $100/day I reached last month (6 months after I went full time) to $300/day - which is just short of $10k/month, a VERY nice round sum to reach, in my opinion :)... The $100/day pretty much lets me live anywhere in the world fairly comfortably (if it's not the french riviera, or beverly hills - you get my drift), but $300/day would let me actually start saving and possibly investing in real estate, and thus diversify one's revenue streams. That's the plan anyway.

...so after this extensive (re) introduction:

Last month my revenue was about $100+/day. Most of it was adsense - and so this month I was hit bad when adsense decided to go wacko and lost 40% of the revenue stream. Luckily, a site redesign increased the click throughs to make up for the shortfall, with the net effect that I'm a little bit over $100/day with adsense and affiliate sales combined. The current revenue for February has been around $135/day. Should it keep steady till the end of the month, that'll be $3750 in my pockets.

One site I put up last month - consumer products for women - I linked it to my PR5/Pr4 sites and got immediately indexed, and a few days later it was being found by surfers. This month adsense has started showing and paying(some pages still show public service ads) - from a paltry 50 cents at the beginning of this month, to $11 bucks today :) not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but this is how all sites start anyway!... it has also generated some affiliate sales, so all together the new site has pulled in about $100 bucks.... We'll see how it grows(or not) in the following months.

I also have one site redesign to go through - this site is based on an amazon feed and has about 50,000 pages indexed - it gets some traffic, but due to the bad design it doesn't convert nearly as well as I'd like. Another site I have lined up was going to sell products from HSN.com - again, still in the works. I'm sure once I get those two sites up I can boost my daily revenue to closer to mid $100's...

Anyway - let's see how long it take me to get to $300/day. Place your bets, gentlemen! :)



 10:00 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

You already got a Google check? I thought they mailed them out at the end of the month(tomorrow).

I'm still a n00b with adsense and I've only been using them for a few days now, yesterday I got about $50 in revenue and today I passed the $100 total for Feb so I should be getting a check this month. I'm pretty happy so far since I only launched this site last week and I've already had a $50 day, I just hope this isn't some kind of fluke and I keep earning money.


 10:54 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Check your reports - it shows when they've issued it. They usually do it around the 20th or the month after, but it could be as late as the 26th (from my experience).


 11:01 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just purchase a GOOGLE CASH in EBAY, it is really hard for me, the english make me crazy. I join the CJ, the pannel is harder than I thought before, eanr this kind of money is not easy for chinese!

No offense, first things first, you need to learn your English so that the CJ panel isn't hard to use. Earning money is never easy in anything you do in life :) but compared to other jobs, I think it ranks favorably. If you're earning $1200/month and you live in China, I think you're doing better than I am.


 11:03 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Success: If you started using Adsense a few days ago then you won't receive a check this month. Google sends the checks approx. 20-30 days after the month in which you have earned it.

So people who received a check have just received their January earnings.


 11:28 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

here I am stoked I got over fifty for the month

not a typo, was MONTH and not DAY? hmmmm.....


 11:39 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yea I just noticed that. Originally I thought it said 2-10 days but after I looked closer it says 20-30 days. No big deal.


 11:47 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)


yes you are right - it would be a gross misjudgement of all American culture if I'm only taking a (very) niche part of it and applying it to the whole country. But I still think it's fairly accurate to depict the culture as stereotypically promoting the 'gung ho/individualist, excess and consumerism, and how one's identity seems linked to work. Many people I've talked to express a certain disatisfaction with their lives, even when anyone looking from the outside would think they couldn't have it any better. They have 3 cars, kids, a big house and steady jobs. That's the image of the American dream isn't it?... but I doubt it tells the whole picture.

But the truth is that with the whole world out there to see, I guess there's no reason to become nationalistic and plant roots here in the US, at least not yet. I may just end up missing the conforts of a first world country and the vast selection of fattening food and huge portions of it, that I'll come back in a few months :)


 12:21 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

YES, I think make money is hard in life.
rfung, thanks your comment before.I think you don't know where is MACAO (same as HK) MACAO is a modern city. just like HK.

yes $1200/per month is better than alot of job in MACAO. this forum seems alot of GREAT PEOPLE here.!

I will try to learn more about CJ!


 9:38 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

...it would be a gross misjudgement of all American culture if I'm only taking a (very) niche part of it and applying it to the whole country. But I still think it's fairly accurate to depict the culture as stereotypically promoting the 'gung ho/individualist, excess and consumerism, and how one's identity seems linked to work...

I moved from New Jersey to Florida eight years ago. What an absolute change in "culture" between different regions of the same country.

In New Jersey, it is a terrible rat race. You are expected to run yourself into the ground in order to earn a living. There are also many oppressive state taxes you have to pay. (Gotta pay for all of those wonderful state social services)

In Florida, everything is much more laid back. The boss is happy, just because I "show up" for work. The state taxes are practically non-existent, compared to New Jersey. (Not much in the way of state services here)


 2:28 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

nope thats a month.

I was getting like 10 dollars a month.

I think I'll get a couple hundred next month if I keep at it. Seems that once you get the learnning down and actually try the earnings increase quickly. I just recently figured out what I need to do last month.

too much information

 2:39 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

vbatz, don't feel bad, I'm in the same boat. My problem is that I have not been able to work on anything lately because I was in the middle of a large redesign, but I finished that last night.

Now I have a goal: $10/day consistantly per site. I think that's reasonable for now. I'll update that goal when I hit it.


 2:48 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

thanks :)

I don't feel bad. We all are at different levels. My personal goal, right now, for my main site is 5 dollars a day. I am currently getting around 2.50 or so a day for that site.

I am working on a travel guide for my area and that site my goal is 10 dollars a day. But its a lot of writing and I am in the midst of getting it all written.


 11:20 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

vabtz don't worry, I am similar to you. I don't earn very much but its great to earn what I do.

I only have one site, and its very low paying keywords, I get about $8 a day. I am aiming to double that. Yes it's not your $100/$200/whatever a day, but to double my current amount seems like a lot of money. And then to double that to $30 a day, well that would be like wow! I'm seriously rich ;)

Don't really have much time to expand or build more sites as things like a regular job get in the way! It's annoying I have to work for a living, unlike some of you lucky people here!


 2:12 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

thanks but I am not worried either. I don't worry about what other people are making unless I need to determine if its possible and its feasibility.

my current position is just where I am at now not something to stress about for me.


 7:25 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Don't really have much time to expand or build more sites as things like a regular job get in the way!

All I can say is if you still have time for leisure, set it aside for a couple of weekends for a month or two. It took about 2-3 months of part-time work (with wife's blessing) to increase site traffic 3x and adSense income alone into thousands a month. Your mileage may vary.

Basically, I spent every saturday optimizing the site and the next Friday night ran WebCEO ranking report so on Saturday I could see how the previous weeks changes impacted the site. Yes, my listings appear to move that fast believe it or not. I get scanned every 2 days and some changes are reflected in a week, sometimes 2 weeks.

Anyway, now my wife really wants me to start optimizing my other site for obvious reasons :)


 7:36 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

that pretty much what I am doing too, started in december


 11:46 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL, yes I am almost spending very free minute to try and enhance and add more content. I am hoping to produce a couple of new sites that will perform well.


 8:29 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello all,

Thank you for providing such an interesting discussion. I would like to share a bit about where I am at.

About a year ago I started to work really hard at optimizing and developing a website. My base is in the mental health field, and I have written a book, and hoped to push that through my site.

I now come up 4th on google for my specific "therapeutic genre". I am getting around 1,000 visitors a day.

Now I am really excited about that, but I think I blew it somewhere along the way. I totally focused on what I thought was important, and didn't really look at designing pages for adsense.

I have adsense on my site, but only make about $4.00 a day. I guess what I am wondering is how best to "use" my traffic to make me money. I am considering making some other sites in different genres and linking to them (my site is a PR5). I have gotten frustrated and walked away from it a bit, I think that's part of my problem. I just think that 1,000 people a day is pretty great, I just wish it brought more money.

Again, I appreciate your tips and details of your similar struggles. It sure is great to hear of your successes!



 8:38 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

mbush27: Put yourself in the place of a typical user visiting your site - as that type of person, what are you interested in buying?
It is not easy for me to ask the question to myself. At first I jump, "that's easy - the user is interested in foo and widgets." But, after many hours, a better answer comes to mind and then I pick a product to advertise or sell.


 7:12 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)


why not sell the book? those 1,000 visitors are looking for something pretty specific when they land on the page. the book probably addresses that better than anything that adsense is going to serve up. how about a selection of books on amazon directly related to that particular therapeutic discipline. preferably with a review by you.


$300/day, if you got $.05 for every view of every message in this thread, you'd probably have it now :)



 8:08 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

it occured to me, and I'm just bouncing this out to see if it would work:

My 5 sites and the two I am working on right now all share 95% of the database driven code I developed.

I was wondering, what if I gave that code away (encrypted) so that anyone could use it to create their affiliate database sites? the catch is that 1 out of 10 impressions of adsense would be with my adsense code. The database driven part would be encrypted, but you could manipulate the layout and design(within certain parameters) so you could still make it look the way you wanted it. You could also create as many sites as you'd like. You wouldn't have much control beyond what's been programmed, but this isn't something for expert affiliate marketers. This is for those who don't know programming.

Uhm, would there be any interest for this? Yes?no?maybe? why?why not?

I'm just sounding this off, I'm way too busy right between doing sites and being bored from doing sites ;)

plumsauce: if only that were true :)


 8:38 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

So what if someone makes a violation on their site using your code? You have chance you get banned for the violation from someone else, if I were you, I wouldn't take such risk.


 8:57 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with kidbuu. It's a risk... mainly because you can't control other people's sites...

mr rats let's people download his scripts as well... the only catch is all sites using his scripts will need to display a backlink to his sites.. which drives his popularity up as soon as people's sites get indexed... if you do the same thing you'll be able to improve your site's popularity (depends on how much you value links to your site.)

and collect people's email in exchange for your scripts... so you can sell them stuff... later on... or charge people for upgrades and additional special features...

or do both...


 9:38 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

So what if someone makes a violation on their site using your code?

I'd use a different account in adsense to prevent that, either by signing up a close relative, or by creating a new account with a DBA/EIN (I'm told this is possible). Either way, I'm not truly concerned with getting disabled (on a separate account(s), granted)

Besides, my adsense code only gets shown 1/10, so the odds of someone trying to create invalid clicks gets reduced by an order of magnitude of 10 :) If the owner of the site wants to break some rules by self clicking he'd be doing for self interest and not click on my code (unless he's trying to get me out of the picture, but I'll believe in the goodness of mankind :)).

Even with all the perils, I'd give it a try sometime. Probably get a couple of trusted people and give it a try.

Mr. Rat's 'free-code-for-inbounds' is also an interesting proposition. I wonder how well he's doing with it. But cold hard cash is better IMHO :) or better yet, both.

too much information

 2:43 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd almost be willing to give it a try. Of course it would need more explaination, such as what exactly does your database code do?

does it swap affiliate items automatically?
can I add/remove items, or am I limited to what's already there?
would your system be a plug 'n play type of code where I could plug in my affiliate code, then drop an include into my page that would pull from the database?

I think an affiliate management system would be a really cool thing to develop, it would definately help the those with less time to manage their sites.

I also like the idea of giving away every 10th impression. That is a great deal for you because it expands your exposure, and it is a good deal for me if that is the only payment requirement for using the system.


 3:13 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

You might want to search for "google duplicate content penalty". If you have 100 people out there running the exact same code that you do, there's going to be a lot of duplicate content.

You run that danger anyway, just from using datafeeds as a primary source for your content.

I would hate to see a new a new thread titled:

The quest to $3/day
from $20/day to $100/day to $300/day to $3/day

Michael Anthony

 3:21 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, movingonup, I think that the quest to $3 per day would be quite funny - provided it wasn't me posting it!


 3:32 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)


that's a good point, one idea that you can explore is to dynamically download your adsense publication-id whenever your scripts is ready to show your adsense ad.

this way, if you feel that someone is trying to create a fraud, you'll be able to configure and pass back an invalid adsense publication-id, so you don't get affected. I'm not sure if this will or will not violate adsense TOS, most likely not.


 6:53 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just started being an affiliator for a few companies I am proud to say that I earned $128,000 for the year of 2004, not bad for my first year!
I spend about $25,000 to make it happen, domain names, hosting, advertising and Buying SEO help (which I can tell you it is a waste of monney)

I am just a housewife, if I can do it anyone can!

Right now I am just pissed off at Google for lowering my PR4 - pr1 because I bought some back links, why can't it just mind its own business, lol!


 7:43 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Bess! Thats great news.

You should write an ebook. "Its not a get rich scheme.... but I did!"


 8:05 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

the duplicate content penalty - I'm aware of it being an issue with database driven sites - every time I start a site it could be an issue - I'd like to think that because it has a review feature (and it does get used) in the long run the pages end up becoming unique. So as the site matures, the perceived danger goes down.

I really would like to do a content site some day as a matter of diversification - but in my past life I was a web applications programmer, so "when you have a hammer, every problem is a nail" :) I've told myself once I hit the $300/day mark I'll look into building a plain html content site (buying articles anyway)

All my sites (as I build them) do change a bit anyway, every iteration of the database system I add new little features, such as adding a newsletter, or referer keyword management, store review, or a small forum-like ability to discuss products (instead of full out 'reviews')...

A bunch of really good questions about the details of how such a program would work. I'd rather not clog this thread with technical details over this pet idea. If anyone would like to just bounce some details back and forth with me over pm or AIM, just shoot me a message.

and from $100/day to $3/day thread? I'd say that's nearly impossible :) (knock on wood) - and even if that were so, it's only a matter of time to get back up on one's feet again!...

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