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Can't Break Through in Affiliate / Adwords Game!

Seems LikeI do Everything Allright, but just Can't Make Any Money...

     
8:56 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi there guys,

Could You please advide me something here...

I'm feeling desparate...

I've wasted nearly $1000 in Adwords and didn't make a sale in almost any niche I've tried.

I've joined Shareasale some time ago and tried promoting various products, like Ipod cases, leather jackets etc.. I've tried over a dozen affiliate programs, but nothing worked. Even Clickbank merchants didn't work for me. I've tried pretty much the same amount of those too.

And my PPC campaings were targeted if You're thinking that I was driving non targeted traffic.

I've targeted 3 or 4 keyword phrases (very specific) to landing pages that were selling exactly what the keyword promised... After 150 clicks for each Ad group for all the products, I haven't made any money yet...

Now I wonder how can that be?

Did the best I could. My CTR was from 4% to 10% or so after 100 clicks for some campaigns...

So can I blame only landing pages here?

I mean, I did the best I could and got pretty good in making targeted campaigns and writing effective ads. Is thing normal that after more than 100 clicks to very specific landing pages, I didn't make a sale? Could the merchants be stealing money from me? Gees, I don't know what else to think...

I'm testing some products and services and see how those are doing in PPC. IF it's all fine, then I'm thinking about putting all the efforts into making better SEO, banner, link prmotion...

I think I've reached the situation when I really need some advice from real people about how to make it finally with Adwords and affiliate marketing...

I'm not asking for specific niches or something, but more I'd like to know how much conversions do you get for merchants (being an affiliate) out of 100 clicks for specific 3 or 4 word terms to specific landing pages? I mean, I can't think of anything more targeted and specific than that...

12:53 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One thing that has worked from me is just creating the necessary tools and being able to mange your traffic and knowing how and why your traffic is going to your affiliate programs.

I track everything, I tweak on a daily basis, and am now able to set up and test new offers in almost no time because I have created the tools to manage the whole process for me.

The key for me initially was finding something that was so easy it just worked even if all I was doing was feeding traffic directly to an affiliate link. From there I was able to create a system to manage my traffic, direct it to the right offer or sub-offer, geo-target when necessary and much more. On top of that I have tested multiple traffic sources, landing pages, competitive programs in the same niche and more.

There is a lot to potentially manage to increase profitability or get yourself into profitability. It is possible to repeatedly fail, and that is why those early successes can really help. I learn a lot from all my failures, but if I did not have the early success I might have thrown in the towel before I have gotten up to a pretty decent income and return level in a short period of time.

Most offers I test do not make money. Some break even, some make a little money, and a few are blockbusters.

7:34 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanx for the inspiration guys.

I'll try to think carefully about what to do next, cause I definately need some clear path here. It seems I'm doing lots of things, but they don't work...

I should probably concentrate on one thing. I have managed to make SEO work for me. But 3 programs I've got top rankings for, got me nothing. That's why I'm doing PPC to see what works. But again it doesn't work for me yet...

And when there are so many things going on (PPC, links, learning, tracking, writing emails, etc...) I just can't finish anything normally...

Little frustrating...

But I'll definately take your advices and apply them if I can..

9:57 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I just can't finish anything normally

I think it's a common problem if you're self-employed and covering every aspect of the business yourself. David Allen's book Getting Things Done is a bit of a geek favourite for advice.

9:34 am on Nov 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanx,

Now I realise that I've never spent enough time on optimizing the right campaigns. Or I was trying to make some "dead" campaigns to work. Sometimes, they never convert...

Now I have someone who's helping me with this and I believe that somehow I'll achieve the results.

1:20 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Damlag, do keep us posted on how you get along.
7:44 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'll definately will Quiality Nonsense. If admins won't freeze this forum :) I'll see how I'm doing after a week and post here.

Good luck for all.

11:19 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Another newbie here with an update. I have 1 Affiliate site I started a couple months ago. For October I spent $400 and brought in $1300ish. So I have turned up my budget to 2-3x that and gonna see what happens for November. I know the product my merchant is selling is super hot right now. But there is a point of diminishing returns with everything.

But I got lucky, my merchant is a good friend of mine.

But I want to get where let say, Michael Anthony is. Broken through and sharing the love/work with friends. No one that is already broken through wants to share the secrets and the know how.

I've asked a couple time but never gotten a solid answer, but are there any books or ebooks that are worthwhile?

Signed, Eager Student with no Teacher

10:36 am on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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RhawnJ are You in CB with your site? Right now I'm not in CB, but trying to make something happen... I've tried 2 dozens of CB products, which should be HOT, but no luck... I've tried advertising the Chris Affiliate project X. Bidded like 0.70 a click and after 100 clicks for the product name, gt 0 sales. He said the CR should be 10%...

Anyways, that site You're talking about. Are you promoting it only in Adwords or OVerture as well?

I'm trying to make Adwords work at the moment...

11:49 am on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one that is already broken through wants to share the secrets and the know how.

Not sure that the answer is that simple. IMHO, much of PPC/affiliate marketing is about getting a feel what works, what doesn't and why. That experience is very hard to teach. I got into PPC/affiliate marketing through a good friend. I kept asking him the same thing: "OK, you can let me in on The Big Secret now". Of course, the truth is that you learn how to keep your costs down and maximize your income (ie, make a margin) through our two old friends trial and error. There are no (or few) Big Secrets. Or if there are, I've yet to learn them and still make a good living in this game.

If you have specific questions, ask away on this thread. Of course, there are plenty of things I can't tell you - which merchants or sectors keep me in shoes etc - but I'm happy to advise on most other topics.

If you want something to read on PPC, I always recommend Andrew Goodman's book, Winning Results with Google AdWords. It's a little dated, but the bedrock advice is sound.

BTW, as I'm sure you've noticed, Overture is a pain. I'd stick with AdWords while you find your feet, or try adCenter, which has cheaper trafic and good conversions (but lower volumes).

5:58 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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damlag, no I am using an independent merchant. Like I said, he is a buddy of mine.

I'm using Adwords mainly, but having issues with them. Everything is so secretive and whatever with Google. The problem I am having is that I upped my daily budget to $50, but Adwords only puts me out there to spend $25-30. The magical Google formulas are just aggrevating.

I have a low budget account with Yahoo/Overture. But as of yesterday I turned my budget up with them, to try and compensate for what Google won't. I guess what I do like about Yahoo/Overture its more straight forward. I can see where my competitors are bidding, and I where I stand. Submitting keywords is a pain, and takes a day or two.

6:22 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Many experienced AdWords users set their budgets far above what they want to spend to guarantee ads run 24/7. But beware: a sudden surge in interest (eg, if a site goes down, a brand appears in the news etc) can mean a surge in traffic that won't convert, leaving you with a hefty AdWords bill.

Err on the side of caution while you're finding your feet.

6:37 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I see, so to fool the Google magic, set your daily google budget higher than your actual limit. I check on my ads 2-3x a day, so I would be able to catch a surge. Excellent tip, thanks.
8:37 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yah, I've raised my D.B to $100 a day, but spend in some cases no more than $10 bucks...

On the other hand, if your keywords get traffic and you have many adgroups running, you may reach that daily limit easily... Really, be careful..

I'm looking into RegNow and share-it networks. I think the affiliate competition is lower there than in clickbank for instance... So maybe I'll find some great software to promote direct to merchant to see if someting works out or not...

With the help of some people (they know:), I'm sort of getting few bucks a day, but spending a lot more... I need to optimize my Adwords campaigns carefully...

By the way, did you notice Adwords ads-diagnostic to every keyword now. I'm not sure if it's needed. What do You think?

10:14 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In one campaign I've got my daily budget set at $7000 though I would rarely use 1/10th of that. However, as QualityNonsense says, the higher your daily budget, the more likely you are going to show your ads all day long. Another technique, if you have this ability, is to determine which hours of the day you make the most sales based on conversion data. The hours with better conversion number (ie. lower cost per conversion) you can use Google to increase your bids in that hour specifically with ad scheduling...a very powerful tool.

Dave.

10:49 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Really, be careful.

To reiterate - if you're not careful, you can lose a lot of money very quickly this way. That may be acceptable if you monitor your ads all day, not so if you login once a week to check that things are ticking over.

7:50 pm on Nov 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, somebody asked me to post about my progress. I'm actually seing a few sales coming in. Still spending more than I'm making, but at least I know what works and what doesn't.

I hope to make at least $200 a month of consistent income within 3 months from now...

It's not clickbank, but promising.

I'll still try to make ClickBank work for me. It's the best network and commissions are the best I believe. I found it kind of hard selling ebooks to people. I thought who the heck might want to read ebooks. But more and more marketers are claiming to make a killing with Clickbank easily. There must be I was doing something wrong with it...

I hope to save some profit later and try to make CB work for me... So far, I have some hope and that's good... :)

Good Luck Everyone

2:10 am on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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PPC is getting darn expensive over the last several years. It's almost impossible to be profitable selling stuff that will only pay you a couple bucks. That's what it seems like most people do--something like trying to make a living selling books from amazon. The number just don't add up.

On the other hand the big payout stuff is super competitive because that's where the money is. But don't think that you're just going to jump in and "beat" these people (often companies now days) that have dozens of employees, deep pockets, sophisticated software, top-notch copywriters, and tons of experience. That's like saying you've got a great idea for a computer so you want to take on IBM. You're going to get your a** handed to you on a plate.

That's why people keep saying you've got to figure it out for yourself mostly. It's tough and it's getting more and more competitive every darn day. People have been sold the "make a million sitting in your underwear" myth and so it seems like everyone and their grandma these days is trying to be an internet marketer.

My advice to the newbies out there: Give it up and go back to your day job. It's too competitive and you'll never make it!

(That was sarcasm by the way) Or maybe it wasn't I don't know ;-)

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