|The quest to $300/day |
from $20/day to $100/day - the story continues
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! :)
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!...
|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!... |
It's very possible. I speak from experience. One of my sites grew to $3000 per day within a couple months of being launched. It stayed that way for several months, then got the duplicate content penalty and went to almost $0. It has gradually gone up from there (mostly due to Yahoo and MSN), but only to about $30 per day. Google is now much more efficient at finding and eliminating duplicate content.
Similar things have happened to almost every other database-generated site I know about. If it hasn't happened to yours yet, just wait. It will. If you enable hundreds of others to build a site that's virtually identical to yours, it'll just happen quicker.
That's why I'm so vocal about people building truly useful sites rather than sites that border on (or cross the line into) search engine spam. My other sites have all been incredibly useful and have had long-lasting profitability. My datafeed-generated site had some useful aspects to it (like yours does), but it was still primarily duplicate content.
That sure is an eye opener. Thanks for sharing that experience.
My main site has a short paragraph detailing the specs of the products, and then (in some products) a bunch of reviews that are unique to my site and far surpass (in word count) the 'duplicated/database' content. People actually use the 'refer a friend' and quote my site on other related forums as a resource. I get emails from people asking for help with ordering this or that (people are not very bright...) . So I know that site's not SE spam. But, some product pages haven't been reviewed yet and only contain the product description.
I guess the tricky question is, what is considered 'duplicate content' in Google's eyes? sure anything database driven is probably a bad sign to start with. Does Google look at an individual page and assess penalty on that one page, or what if you have 10 pages out of 100 that are duplicated (and it may not necesarily be your fault, someone might be stealing your content) - would they penalize the whole site?
Food for thought.
There are multiple levels of what is considered "duplicate content." The worst being multiple URL's for the same web page.
Eg. www.domain.com and www.domain.com?source=sprymonkey
Typically, the latter domain will be relegated to Google's supplemental index and the main page (www.domain.com) will not be penalized, but it doesn't always happen that way.
The second level is where you have "substantially duplicate content" on two completely different web sites. Either one will be penalized and the other not, or both will be penalized.
The third level is where you have duplicate content across multiple pages on the SAME website. This is usually not enough to get the entire SITE penalized - maybe just one or both of the pages.
In all instances, it's important to note that you can often overcome dupe content penalties by having a high number of quality IBL's.
Been lurking for awhile - your programming idea a few posts back brought me out of the shadows. I would definitely be interested in a product like that. I have lots of ideas for affiliate stores, most of which I would incorporate on my existing content site, but I have very limited knowledge of web programming (and little time or motivation to learn it).
Bess: What sort of advertising?
Just a broad answer is fine ;-)
Health industry, thats all I will say. Just do a search for the highest paid affiliate program.
You said you spent some money on advertising. Whas that for ppc, banners or links?
Re: duplicate content.
I wonder if you could get round the duplicate content penalty by doing string replace?
good - great
buy - purchase
supplies - provides
"example.com supplies good quality widgets you can buy them from here"
"example.com provides great quality widgets you can purchase them from here"
Great posts. It will give alot of new users motivation!
UNpertrubed that has been mentioned previously some yarns ago. I think it would work.
So where you go to buy articles?
What about a desktop database that creates and uploads static HTML pages. It would reduce the amount of time taken to produce/update a site but would look like a standard HTML site to google.
rfung, great thread, I will be watching with interest.
|So where you go to buy articles? |
I don't! Incase anyone is thinking it I don't go anywhere to get,copy,steal articles either.
Today must be a fluke, but adsense is going through the roof (and affiliate sales aren't doing too bad either) - but, the big news is -I've earned $300 today!
Three months ago when I was making $50-$70 on average, I had a spike of $100 one day. The next month(Jan) I started getting $100+ average daily, and I had one day spike of $200.Feb was about reinforcing the $100+ daily. This month (and we just started!) I've already had a $200/day ,and here's the $300 spike ;)
...wouldn't it be great if the pattern holds :)
By the way, are you getting any traffic from expired domains? I think I read somewhere you were into it.
Any traffic from them?
no, I'm not in the expired domains biz. For accuracy of my answer, I did try it for a bit and even paid membership into those (soon to be) expired domain lists, but upon further reading it seemed like the pros have better tools and resources to catch the better ones. And unlike AM, everyone gets access to the same fairly limited list of domains, so competition seemed too cutthroat.
Bess, holy cow! I'm a mom that works from home too. This is my first year doing affiliate marketing but I sure haven't earned close to $128,000 yet! Are you following James Martell or anyone?
Rfung, I'm interested in your database script. What do the sites look like? I'd be interested in building sites and sharing income.
well, as far as the database script, after some judicious brainstorming and relating to Mr. Rats amazon script I thought that the 'customer service/tech support' side of it would be a headache, at least for the time being. The idea is not totally off the books though - maybe once I hit the $500/day mark, I'll revisit the whole thing :)
BTW, I looked at the James Martell 'method', and it's perfectly reasonably way of achieving the goal too. The main thing is probably the effort of researching and writing content on whatever topic you're building the site on.
|too much information|
Well after thinking over the database thing I put together a rough version of my own. Basically all I'm doing is storing affiliate images, links, descriptions and my own comentary in a database with a 'page name' to identify which page the item is to appear.
Then using a simple include statement I am feeding the page the items it needs, including content network ads which I can swap every few days. (The page is determined by the include file by using the $PHP_SELF variable)
This way I can create a simple CSS template, then feed the content depending on the name of the page file and change the template for other sites, or just a new look.
That is basically the kind of setup that I was thinking of, are there any other functions that I am leaving out?
on a totally unrelated note I have been averaging over 3 dollars all week and even had a 5 dollar day.
/edited it was a 5 dollar day not 4
Congrats on the $300 day, rfung. ;)
|...wouldn't it be great if the pattern holds :) |
It can and will, just have to keep working at it steadily. Heck, you can even compound your income if you want to. It all depends on your income goals.
Nice job on the $300 day, can't wait until I am there.
To your Success,
Looking very nice so far the past 3 days with the $300 mark just around the corner. The boost was through adsense - more of them and better quality(i.e. higher priced) clicks. In the adsense forum some other folks have reported unexpected increases too... this uptick wasn't anything my doing, just riding the wave.
|It all depends on your income goals. |
Mine are to be doing $300/day steadily in the next 6 months (although I may have to revisit that if the current trend keeps like this), and $1000/day by year's end. Now THAT would be sweet....
$30k/month? Impossible! Unthinkable! ...well..maybe... not. :D :D
I wouldn't even know what to do with all that money.
rfung dude.. there will be a day that I'll be at your level.. hehe.. :) my adsense is doing better too in the past 5 days.. average is about double the week before if I'm not mistaken but of course I'm not even close $10/day. :)
oh yeah...rfung can you give us a refresher? on how many sites you have at this point.
|$30k/month? Impossible! Unthinkable! ...well..maybe... not. :D :D |
I wouldn't even know what to do with all that money.
What about being able to retire within 5 years without ever needing to work again ;-)
1 site on textbooks - about $200/month
1 site on niche beauty products - about $30/day
1 site on hobby stuff - 20 cents/day - thinking about taking it down.
1 site on <widget> - $130/day (hehe)
1 site on office products - $200/month
1 site on niche amazon products - $200/month
If it wasn't for my big site, I'd be making what? around $2k/month. I was lucky I picked something out of interest that turned out to be a very profitable niche so far.
I have two more sites lined up and almost ready for launch.
The 'universal AM truth' still holds - if you can create a site that earns you $1/day, just keep doing the same thing over and over with multiple sites. My sites aren't the prettiest, and there are certainly more useful sites out there, but I'm fairly satisfied that I'm adding some value to the overall scheme of things.
It's my belief that it's very hard to fail at this. The only question is how long it will take one to succeed. We can all get there.(there's got to be some cliche saying around that! :))
rfung.. how much content do you usually start with on your sites?
I ask because my next site I only have about 10 articles so far and I was going to wait for the suggested 100.
Can anyone tell me what exactly is the point of the suggested 100 pages? Seeing as how it sometimes takes Google so long to index new sites these days, I put them up immediately with 5 or 6 pages of content. I give the site a link off of my main site (that none of the other sites link to) so that Google will eventually find and list it. In the meantime, I continue adding content to improve the site while waiting.
my sites are datafeed based with the ability for users to post reviews. The key (and I'm just now realizing that as a 'general strategy' to follow) is to pick niches that would benefit from this facility (of having users communicate their experiences). Since most beginners have an uphill climb as far as using datafeeds, focusing on a small specialized niche is probably the way to go and you can do it with articles. Digital camera reviews are probably overplayed - but maybe 'computer mice' would capture some traffic, if you become an authority on it and do some good articles reviewing different kind of mice. Then expand it to other computer input devices, etc.
After all that talk, I'm curious - what kind of category do sites fall in?
5) applications (such as when you provide a service, i.e. dating sites, etc)
for instance, a joke or a band fan page would probably be a mix of informational and forum. Anything else?
Is the majority of the $$ coming through Amazon feeds?
Vabtz, listen to what Rachel says. Get your domain, and 10 pages up. At least this will start the cycle, and bring you closer to getting out of the sandbox if you get in it. Then just keep adding the articles as you create them.
All the Best,