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




msg:557365
 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! :)

 

vabtz




msg:557515
 1:20 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

is like a great scoreboard

except this one pays money

rfung




msg:557516
 1:38 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

maybe i should get one of those displays like in the casinos that show an ever incrementing cash amount which is supposedely how much money you can win. Calculate the average of how much you've made per second in the past, and then have the digits go up at that rate. Put it on top of your computer monitor or up high somewhere in your living room - gives you a nice estimate(albeit not fully correct of course) that you can keep track of when you're watching tv or cuddling with your significant other. Your friends and visitors can then ask "what's that ever incrementing number display?"

oy! One day....

berto




msg:557517
 4:23 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Almost as nice as breaking through the $10/day barrier is finally rising above the noise. With increased activity and meaningful statistics, I feel empowered.

badone




msg:557518
 6:56 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfung: This is an interesting exercise.

You could write a PHP/Javascript page that says "If you were earning X large per month you bank balance would be increasing this fast" then have the numbers ticking over underneath.

Or in your case "What I've earned so far this month".

LOL, I might write that, just for the hell of it.

Cheers,
Brad

rfung




msg:557519
 7:23 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)


this is totally off topic (like 90% of this thread so far:)) - but I'm still working for my former boss as a favor, doing some websites because they're swamped when I left (and I 'returned' there because I was so bored at home...humans, never satisfied, are they?:)). But I have to say my motivation is really not there.

I go to the office so I can focus more on the work that I've agreed to complete, and all I do is come here and post, or check my stats, or chat online with some fellow WebmasterWorld'ers :) (btw, AIM: zooks76, feel free to say hi).

I've signed up with the Supporter's forum - and I've started scanning the past messages - there's some gold there that's worth every penny of the subscription (and that's not available here in the public forums) , but it may not be something you can fully digest if you're not at the point where it 'makes sense'.

Zygoot




msg:557520
 9:35 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yesterday was pretty good , a $260 spike :D But this is just a one time spike I suppose (at least for this month.)

I think I'll pass the $5000 mark this month.

rfung




msg:557521
 10:02 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

nice!:)

The spike I've been getting for the past week made me think I could break $8k....

Now THAT...would...have...been...freaking...jaw...dropping...amazing....

I'd buy a round for everyone ;)

but it seems the party's over. Back to reality. I'm right on y'er tail though! :)

derekwong28




msg:557522
 2:25 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Congratulations rfung! This is a most enlightening thread. Because mail order was such hard work, I started buying sites that make money through Adsense, affiliate programs, and text links a few months ago. Now after buying over 60 sites later, that part of the business is pulling in over $200 a day but it will take several months before I recoup my costs. That is provided that nothing untoward happens between now and then.

What I found was that this strategy was anything other than risk free. One lyrics site I bought for $6000 experienced a collapse in traffic after the Feb Google update. I have only managed to recoup $2800. Another site I bought was a complete scam and was a total write off. I can make the following observations after my buying spree.

1. The threat of a sudden collapse in traffic due to a change in Google's algo is very real. Be it due to duplicate content filters or link penalties. In many cases, the traffic just collapsed for no apparent reason.

2. To counter this, you should not rely on any single site.

3. Selling physical or downloadable products are actually more stable than making money through affiliate or Adsense. The reason is that if traffic from Google collapses. There is always traffic from advertising. Whereas if you were an affiliate, you may not have the suitable margin to pay for advertising.

4. Sites that can generate recurrent traffic on its own without search engines are more stable e.g. forums.

Having said that, if I have a site like movingonup that made $3000 a day for several months, I wouldn't mind if earnings completely collapased afterwards

Derek

hdpt00




msg:557523
 3:33 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Having said that, if I have a site like movingonup that made $3000 a day for several months, I wouldn't mind if earnings completely collapased afterwards

That is insane, of course any logical person would be upset. Why be happy with 3 months of $3k/day when you could have 12 month, 24 months, etc...

derekwong28




msg:557524
 4:59 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would prefer to make a million within a few months rather than to make it in 10 years. I think most lottery winners opt to take a reduced lump sum rather than a monthly payment over 10-15 years.

It is not that I would be happy if the traffic collapsed (Of course I wouldn't). It is just that I would have made so much money already that it wouldn't matter that much.

MovingOnUp




msg:557525
 5:17 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's a huge difference in taxes between earning $1,000,000 in a year compared to earning it spread out over several years. Also, most people who get a large amount of money in a short period of time (like lottery winners) have a hard time managing it.

I'll take a steady income stream any day over some short term spikes.

vabtz




msg:557526
 5:28 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think most lottery winners opt to take a reduced lump sum rather than a monthly payment over 10-15 years.

yeah I use lottery players for my financial advice too

voltrader




msg:557527
 5:52 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I haven't looked at the numbers (I haven't won lately), but isn't the lump-sum the present value of the future cashflow?

If the winner thinks he can manage the $ better than the discount rate, then it's logical that he should accept the lump sum.

If not, then he ought to take the yearly payments.

I'm still struggling to break $1 a day, so posting in this thread is pure fantasy for me.

rfung




msg:557528
 11:15 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm still struggling to break $1 a day, so posting in this thread is pure fantasy for me.

Do you have enough traffic but you're just not converting, or not enough traffic yet?

mwack




msg:557529
 4:46 pm on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Err.. Usually, if you opt for the lump-sum, you get about half of the actual amount.

Josefu




msg:557530
 10:18 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow, what an uplifiting thread. I've just launched a site with the Google adwords program - and was seriously having doubts about it. In its origins my site was to provide an "image-service" and earn its keep through site subscriptions, but I ended up trashing that idea as as far as online payment the web just isn't there yet. I chose instead to try to draw a large a visitor audience as possible and pay my time by exposing them to ads - and here I see that it's possible. Woohoo! Thanks.

I would like to know more about the "datafeed" thingy - I haven't a clue what it is.

travisbickle




msg:557531
 2:19 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is an interesting thread. My site is education related which is notorious for low $ per click. Has anyone had success with this type of site?

sfatih




msg:557532
 10:09 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also have an education-related site which I started with no intention of making money. But after finding this forum somehow and starting to read through the threads, little dollar signs started to move in front of my eyes. I tried Adsense, but no success because of the non-profitable niche. I currently get little over 400 unique visitors and mid XX clicks per day, but this amounts to low X dollars per day. I should start a thread titled "quest to a steady 10$ per day" - which seems very hard to reach with this site. Anyway, it is fun to try.

itisgene




msg:557533
 4:51 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

i have a college related site with a forum. It wasn't a good fit with Adsense. It barely made a few dollars a day, so I took the ads down. I'd rather have the site clean without the ads than a few dollars a day... It wasn't meant to be a commercial site anyway.

kokopoko




msg:557534
 6:10 am on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rfung, how do you get traffic to your sites? Do you put them up, submit to one directory and then you're done? Or do you spend a part of each day submitting to directories, etc?

Gruntled




msg:557535
 4:15 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Okay, I've been trying to read this entire thread and just can't wait any longer to post something.

I'm a noob who knows a little html and php. I'm laying out a decent informational site that is based on high dollar keywords. So, there's probably a lot of competition. I'm very knowledgable in the subject matter and was able to write about 20,000 words on the topic, which I figure will convert nicely to a 100-page site.

I've been reading the posts by Tabke and others about putting up high-quality content. I hope to monetize the site based on Adsense at first, then learn about affiliate programs from there.

...and that's really about it. I've never put a site up before and have no idea what you guys are talking about half the time. But I really appreciate all the information you folks are putting up on these boards.

Thanks and I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, if anyone wants to suggest how I might gen some traffic to my new site, feel free!

Gruntled




msg:557536
 4:46 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

just quick question for everyone regarding this... if you did do a research what is a typical high-paying keyword? $1, $2 or is like in the $10 range or higher?

The main keyword that I decided to write about has a high bid on Overture of about $15. Related keywords range from there down to $7. When I started looking at keywords related to other topics, I was surprised to learn that they were all <$1. Yes, I really am that much of a newbie.

Anyway, based on that little bit of research, I consider my keywords to be high dollar. I have no idea how to assess the competition other than running searches on Google and seeing how many millions of SERPs I get, along with Adwords ads.

Based on the boards I've read on this site, I'm hoping in the back of my head to have 10,000 to 15,000 visitors/month after a year or so, with a click-through of 1%. I suppose my cost-per-click will average in the <$1 range, and that I'll occasionally get a few of those high-dollar clicks. I'm doing this in my spare time when I'm not with my family or slaving away at my day job.

Do these expectations sound reasonable, folks, or do I need a reality check?

first_hf




msg:557537
 6:09 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey Rfung,
I woe you a lot of thanks for all your info on WW.I am doing some datafeed based AM websites.
Just curious what kinda traffic are you getting in your main website and the amazon one..would you mind sharing that.

rfung




msg:557538
 6:29 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

about 7000 impressions in adsense, if it helps any.

my ctr is also fairly high, in the low double digits.

tsinoy




msg:557539
 8:16 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfung is that for all websites or is it only for your no.1 website? I just reached 1000 impressions a couple of days ago, and a lot of it is because of my own adwords campaign.

Since it's a numbers game, with this method, I'm betting that a certain % of visitors clicks on adsense and a certain % of visitors clicks on my affiliate links, adsense will hopefully pay for a certain percentage of the cost and then the affiliate sales will compensate for the rest, it seems like the possibility of me succeeding is slightly better than failing as long as I keep close watch on the numbers. :) Has anyone used this method and have good success with it? how scalable if you mind telling your us conversions etc, no need for specific industry, products nor numbers, just want to know about the concept.

rfung




msg:557540
 8:53 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

tsinoy:

the truth is that some channels perform at 15%, while some other channels on the same site perform at 2% :)

This is for my main site - my other sites are around 8% or so, with the same distribution as the above.

first_hf




msg:557541
 3:16 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rfung , how did you managed to get through G's Sandbox.
Were all your domains registered b'fore 2004-march.

rfung




msg:557542
 3:42 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

nop. I've been asked this question quite a few times - what exactly is your definition of sandbox? I bought a domain 3 weeks ago and its been fully indexed and I've been getting google referrals.

Similar thing to a new site i put up wednesday last week.

all I had to do was to link them from some higher PR sites.

Now my sites still have 0/blank pr, so if that's what you mean by sandbox, then yeah Im still in it. If it's about getting traffic from G, then no.

hdpt00




msg:557543
 3:44 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

But are you showing for any competitive terms. Generally the sandbox won't care about terms that aren't searched a lot. But something like viagra, link that from webmd's homepage and I bet you'll still be sandboxed.

rfung




msg:557544
 4:09 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good thing then Im not targetting highly competitive keywords :)

now which one is a better proposition? get low key keywords right now, or wait to slug it out over competitive keywords?

first_hf




msg:557545
 4:21 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks Rfung.I am into quite a competitive target so I am thinking of tapping yahoo and MSN traffic while waiting for the big G.May be I gotta start hunting for comparitively less competetive niche..

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