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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! :)

 

Rachel




msg:557366
 10:30 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfung, I just started visiting this part of the board last week, and have gone through 100's of posts in that time. Your timeline posts are some of the most motivating to me, so I'm happy to see you start another one.

I'll be cheering you on (and hoping to catch up). ;)

Zygoot




msg:557367
 11:30 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rfung I really like your topics on this forum ;-)
I still remember I read the "$20 a day" topic a few months ago and at that moment my site was generating about $20-25 dollar a day I think. Your topic, and other topics on this amazing forum, helped me a little to start improving my website.

Compared to september I get about 3 times as much visitors this month and an average of $160 a day. When I started my site a few years ago I would have been happy with $100 a year to cover the hosting costs..

I'm not going to give much details about my site, it's a content site and each day I work a few hours to publish new content.

I'm still studying but with this kind of earnings the future looks very very good. My dream would be to earn enough over the next few years to be able to buy a car, buy ground, build a house, ... without getting into debt.

rfung




msg:557368
 11:57 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nice to hear about others who started about the same time and are doing as well or better so I can learn as well :)

jaames




msg:557369
 2:38 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfung, congratulations on your success,

I have a few questions, if you can please answer them.

what is a datafeed? how do i implement this?

What is a PR5/Pr4 sites?

And how do i check to see if my site has been indexed or not?

rfung




msg:557370
 6:13 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

what is a datafeed? how do i implement this?

What is a PR5/Pr4 sites?

And how do i check to see if my site has been indexed or not?

Welcome to webmasterworld!

1) datafeed is when a merchant gives you a file (usually an excel or text file) with their product list

2) you have to download the Google toolbar plug in for your browser - it has a little green bar that tells you how 'important' google thinks the page you're on is - it's called PageRank and initially you start with 0, and the max you can get is 10.

3) try going to google and typing "allinurl:<your domain>" - you will see (hopefully) a list of all the pages google has indexed from your site.

Vlad




msg:557371
 2:27 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I know you and I talk the same language, and we understand each other :)

Exactly why I'm here :) I feel home here guys, thank God for WW!

I was trying to help my buddy with his first site ever, OMG... it was like I was speaking Greek :/

Rfung, thank you for your posts, I really enjoy reading them. I'm still on my way to a $100/day and I was real close last month, but like you with recent adsense dance, lost about 40%. Could you elaborate what you had to change to get back to your normal earnings?

I was trying to diversify into AM more but it's alot tougher to learn then adsense. Plus I only do it part time.
Just launched my first AM site the other day though, need to jump to promoting it.

I cant wait till I can quit my job... shooting for this spring!

You can do $300 no problem! I'll bet you'll be there by summer :)

kwongwo




msg:557372
 4:14 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfung,
it is great,,,
i had read your topic,it encourage me to quit my job.

hope that ,you can share more,,,

good luck.

Secret Lasagna




msg:557373
 4:31 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Your story is good to great RFung. Keep the implementational and inspirational words flowing. May the forts be with you on your mighty quest to 3! My family and I look forward the continuation of your progress.

Mr_N




msg:557374
 7:25 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

"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."

How traffic did you wait to get before applying to AdSense? Do you find that you need a certain minimum of traffic to be worth while, or is it another case of depending on the subject the site is covering?

qwik




msg:557375
 8:10 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)


not knowing exactly what to do with oneself is a problem.. i overcame this in my daytrading years by developing a routine and joining a bunch of chat rooms with others who expected me to get my lazy butt out of bed and watch them lose money..

now, 2 years later im job free again (what a nightmare a job is).. but this time there isnt much of a support group.. what fun would it be to sit in a chat room all day and wait for a sale to post to someones account? my friends totally dont get what i do.. one friend recommended that i file for unemployment.. i tried nicely to explain that since im single, if i cut coupons and watch what i spend that i can scrape by with six figures.. still the blank stare of concern..

so.. im going for a cruise to the bahamas.. after that, i have several ideas to develop.. maybe ill take up ballet.. i always liked watching women run around in tights :)..

-qwik

Teshka




msg:557376
 8:21 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Keep up the good work, rfung. I'm right with ya and have the same goal right now. I started my first website in November of '03. I edged up to about $200/day with the last Google update and $300 is my next goal, too (The oft lusted for 6 figure salary seemed like a good mark).

It sounds like you do a lot better at the affiliate stuff than I do. I'm working on it, but am currently relying mostly on advertising income (I only average about $100/week from affiliate sales). This summer, I'm planning to get serious and start pushing the affiliate links on a lot more of my pages.

Anyway, just thought I'd chime in and say good luck (to both of us).

rfung




msg:557377
 9:34 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

How traffic did you wait to get before applying to AdSense? Do you find that you need a certain minimum of traffic to be worth while, or is it another case of depending on the subject the site is covering?

I already had an account with adsense prior to putting it into this new site, so traffic on the new site wasn't an issue. My guess is that the minimum required is for you to have your site up and running - my brother has a 4 page site with little traffic and he managed to get accepted by adsense just fine.

Manolo




msg:557378
 1:47 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I gotta say, this thread has brought me out of lurkerdom and into the light of the forum. It is, as someone has noticed, very inspirational.

I started my first site in mid-October. It sort of took off in November and December as people began linking to me in large numbers. By the end of January I was at the mythical $100 a day, all of it organic, without PPC, or even knowing was SEO was.

This month, I've experimented some with PPC, sort of hit or miss (mostly miss), but I've managed to almost reach $150 a day.

So, I'm with ya, rfung, I'm shooting for $300 a day by June, and wishing everyone else here the same and them some.

Essex_boy




msg:557379
 5:44 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

very impressed. Well done.

Im going to try some thing similar. thank you for the motivation

rfung




msg:557380
 3:58 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Quick update, because "I'm SO bored".

My women's product site just got ranked PR1, a month after it was created. Then again yesterday I linked it from my PR5 site, and today I got a bunch of Google spiders running around shopping for women's products. wonder if that had anything to do with it :)

badone




msg:557381
 5:48 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey Rfung,

You are "da man" when it comes to inspirational content.

Why Europe and where in Europe?

Cheers,
BAD

howiejs




msg:557382
 7:03 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

rfung - great post!

Enjoy your youth - run to Europe to live / party while you can. In 10 more years that stuff looks different . . .

Now back to the biz at hand :)

You mentioned launching a new site - are you "seeing" google traffic to the new site (vs. just their spider)?

rfung




msg:557383
 7:35 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why Europe and where in Europe?

You were probably expecting something entirely different from what follows :) :

<start sappy story>
I grew up in Portugal before my folks decided to bring the family here to the US in search of the 'American Dream' so the European lifestyle has always been more appealing. How ironic that now that I found 'the dream' through affiliate marketing, I want to move back. In reality and I'm sorry if I offend anyone, I'm disillusioned with American culture and it's "Live to work" culture and overrated consumerism. Granted it's this same culture that allows us(me) to choose this lifestyle, so I am fully aware I'm a bit hypocritical to criticize that what is allowing me to move away, but I think anyone reading on this forum probably feels a bit of the same.
</sappy story ends>

Then again on a lighter note, maybe I'm just traumatized by my first full time job at a small company here in Silicon Valley - I worked with 5 individuals, each one more of a workaholic than the other, and I did not want that to be the rest of my life. To remain here in Silicon Valley is to be constantly exposed to this work-centric life,something it never felt right for me. So it was either San Diego or Europe, and the winner was...

Europe - Why? because It's sort of home, because they're still civilized enough, have modern amenities(fast internet,wireless,etc:) the tools of the trade) and I speak a bit of the languages. New Year's 2006 I'm tentatively planning a hike up Kilimanjaro (the tallest mountain in Africa) and after that I plan on going to South America and stick around there for a few months as well. Asia will have to wait, but I undertand I could live very well from $100/day right by the beach in Thailand :)

As far as Europe, the plan so far is up for grabs - fly into Gatwick, go south to Brighton where I have a cousin, go north to Glasgow where I have a friend. Cross the channel to France and into Spain, where I'll sign up in a flamenco guitar class for a month or so, then work my way through France into Holland where I have another relative in Amsterdam. visit Poland and Czech Republic and meet some nice eastern european women who aren't fat :)

...or so that's how I'm playing in my head. Maybe an attractive european girl will put a nice fluffy wrench into that.

All the while of course is to shoot for $300/day. My current $130/day would cover fairly well all the expenses of this moving around, and then some, but in order to really be confortable...the big THREE-oh-oh.

oh? ;)

rfung




msg:557384
 7:53 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

are you "seeing" google traffic to the new site (vs. just their spider)?

pulling in $10/day already in adsense, plus $1-$2 average/day in sales(I get 5% comission on sales of items priced $20 or so..pathetically low..this is a CJ merchant)

BTW - I've received a couple pm's asking for my site(s) addresses - due to the fact that I'm disclosing a lot of timeline, technique and revenues, I'm afraid I'm drawing the line on linking all this info to the actual sites. However, what I am creating here isn't rocket science - I'm sure some folks here who know better are smiling at the tiny steps I've taken/I'm taking.

badone




msg:557385
 10:26 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm afraid I'm drawing the line on linking all this info to the actual sites

Don't be.

GIVE a man a fish, feed him for a day.
TEACH a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

My 2c,
BAD

sirkei




msg:557386
 10:58 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wonder how you guys do it at 100 per day. i started my first site around june 2004 and now only getting minimum traffic and earning like 10+- per day. i am not sure whether i got penalized for duplicate contents site or other issues but still this AM maybe is not my field.

Anyways, hope can do better.

Zygoot




msg:557387
 11:24 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wonder how you guys do it at 100 per day. i started my first site around june 2004 and now only getting minimum traffic and earning like 10+- per day. i am not sure whether i got penalized for duplicate contents site or other issues but still this AM maybe is not my field.

Try getting more visitors to your site, or start new sites. And with some patience, dedication and a bit of luck you'll be at $100 within a few months.

I'm currently at about $160 a day and I'm wondering what the guys earning more than $1000 a day do to get such high earnings ;) It looks impossible but I know it is possible, and that some people on this board are earning that kind of figures.

But it looks like the $1000 a day folks don't like to share information , or maybe they are annoyed by plain happy noobs earning $100 a day :P

whitenoise




msg:557388
 12:59 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I probably mentioned this before but if I ever did reach $100 a day it would feel like winning millions to me. I have to say though, I think it would only be a dream. I really do envy you guys. Rfung, how is your newly created website on womans products already earning $10 a day? I have been working on my site thats got loads of content but barely gets that a day, thats been going for ages. It gets over 100 clicks a day (would you say thats good?) for over 15+k impressions (trying not to be too specific here, sorry if I am), but due to low clicks it's not bringing in much per day.

I am obviously doing something wrong, maybe I should set up some new sites or something, in a completely different field - to avoid the 2-5c clicks!

Thanks for all the advice you have given out so far rfung, don't suppose you can give me a little bit more info? There is confusing information amongst the boards that when creating sites, they should be sites that you are interested in. Plus these site should have lots of content etc. But from what I understand you have said, (correct me if I am wrong here!) surely you don't have an interest in womans products, or know much about them to write lots of content? So how come your site is making $10 a day on adsense?

Apoligies for my newb knowledge! Please sticky me if I have asked for too specific information.

midlifecrisis




msg:557389
 2:54 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

whitenoise,

100 clicks with 15K impressions under 0.7 % CTR which is not too great (my average is 2.4 %, on some sites near 10 %).

In addition, if you only make 10c per click it seems that you are a.) in a sector where ads are cheap or b.) the ads are very generic and / or poorly targeted.

With these numbers you can estimate how much traffic (i.e. impressions) you'll need to get to $100 a day. If that's not possible with your current site, well...

MrSpeed




msg:557390
 3:20 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm gonna jump on the "Kudos to rfung" bandwagon too.

I was poking around one of my sites last night that is about two years old. I was promoting three different niches/merchant. The site never really took off from the money standpoint and was a mess architecturally.

All three sections were based on a datafeed. Two merchants had the pages created on my local machine and I had to upload 1000's of pages. The other section was my first php/mysql site.

Anyways I just had the sudden urge to delete the entire site and start from scratch with it. I put up a 404 page and had a new version up in about 3 hours. Now it focuses on the one niche/merchant which had shown the most promise from the previous version of the site.

I'm trying to incorporate some lessons learned from the allegra thread.

I almost never go back to work on older sites. I normally just set up another domain when I have new methods or ideas.

Can't wait to see if this pays off.

whitenoise




msg:557391
 3:21 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

midlifecrisis, the ads are targeted its just they are very low paying (2c -5c), although some are slightly more.

Mulling over stats, unless the site gets like 1000% more visitors the $100 a day target is way way off! Looks like its time to concentrate on new sites..

MrSpeed




msg:557392
 4:34 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

whitenoise-
When considering new topics for a site you may want to read these threads.
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

As europeforvisitors mentioned a site on French medieval literature probably won't just doesn't have the potential for earning money like a site on cruise travel or networking hardware etc.

Building a site on a topic your interested in is all well and good. Ebay was started by auctioning PEZ dispensers. But your best bet is to build a site around a product with high demand and low competition. It should also be a product that tends to sell well on the web. Something you can't get at the local Walmart.

Try different things. Domains are disposable. I built a site on nursing bras that went bust (bwah ha ha). Maybe if I had really taken the time to write good content it would have done better, maybe not.

Monitor your stats and earnings. Expand on the products that make money and forget about those that don't.

I have my share of "passion sites". But when it comes to making money remember "It's business, not personal"

MovingOnUp




msg:557393
 5:11 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

GIVE a man a fish, feed him for a day.
TEACH a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

Teach 1000 men to fish in your pond, and you'll starve.

affnewbie




msg:557394
 6:06 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

when you all say $100/day...you are meaning "net profit" right? post any advertising expenses?

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