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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)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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! :)


6:52 pm on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

webpreneur & hdpt00,

Great idea. I plan on getting my MBA as well, but web, you say that you can't use your MBA if you are an entrepreneur? NOT TRUE. Just think, once you start your own business you are definitely going to be using the management style you were taught at your respective school. hdpt00, where are you looking? I am definitely thinking IVY.


7:16 pm on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'd suggest you don't get an MBA for the sake of getting an MBA. If you need the knowledge, go for it.

If you are successful, you are successful - period. If you are looking for investors in your business, or want to impress people with the MBA you really need to go to a top 15 or perhaps 20 school. Otherwise the MBA may be very helpful to you, but may not have much of a bearing on others (which is why a lot of people get them).


7:44 pm on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

And, if you're like me and you had Business for your undergrad, it's just a rehash of everything again, except maybe a little bit more in depth. And, I hated accounting.

If your plan is to do AM for the long run and as your primary means of surviving, you don't need an MBA. If you plan on opening a 'real' business, then it may make more sense, if you dont have any business knowledge and you come from a totally different background.


8:39 pm on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It seems that companies that have a larger share of MBA's in their staff where the ones most often at the receiving end of corporate corruption (all short term profit taking, no real empire building sense was how I would sum it up).

Here is an interesting article on the economist regarding MBA's.

So made any recent progress in your climb to $300 a day, are you on a temporary downturn at this time? You had indicated as much in your previous articles.


8:54 pm on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes, its been a downturn.

March I made about $7k, that's about $233/day

April so far is about $180/day.


5:41 am on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi rfung, just wanted to say it's been a joy to hear updates about your success, very encouraging.

And I was wondering if I could talk to you sometime about database-driven sites. One of my goals is to have a php/mysql site but I don't know where to begin. I'm willing to put in the effort to learn.. I thought maybe you could help put me on the right track.

cheers :-)


8:25 am on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

it's an obvious segue that if you want to know how to do database driven sites with php/mySql, you should learn how to do a plain site using those technologies.

using a feed to create a site then becomes just an extension of your skill set. Once you know how to walk, running is just the same, but faster :)

Webmasterworld has forums related to php development. You may want to hang out there to get the basics (and the not so basics) to get you started. There are no shortcuts around that.(unless you hire someone to do it for you)

But, if you don't know how to create a page in html, then the road has a few more curves before you get somewhere...

Best of luck!


8:27 am on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, I think rfung beat me to it (that's ok... it is his thread after all *g*), but I had my first $300+ day last Monday. Content sites that depend on search engine traffic and non-advertising links take quite a bit of patience to get going, but they are definitely worth it in the long run.

On a semi-related note, my 60 year old mom realized how much I was making, and she's started researching and writing articles for her own site now. I think she's got a good topic, and I'm hoping it can be a source of retirement income for her. Unlike one of my friends (who lost patience because she didn't see instant success), I think Mom has the tenacity to stick with it. ;)

Anyone else have friends or relatives who have jumped on board after they've seen your success?


10:35 am on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hey Teshka, congrats :)

I just went back to check my stats - my top day was $358.12, and I had another at $312.09 :) which was March 12 and 13 (sat and sun). Then from there it just came tumbling down...it'll be a while before i hit those numbers again, I predict.

does this mean that you're hovering around the mid $200's , since your high day is so recent?

I setup an additional adsense account (to manage for click fraud risk) under my dad's name, and I set up a site with that tracking code - it was supposed to be mine, but my dad kinda started calling it 'his site' so what da heck, its his - this was back in Feb. First week of march it got picked up by the SE's and started generating $2-$3 a day in adsense - total for March was $60 + $20 in affiliate sales. So far, April 1 - $12. April 2 - $20. Not bad. He's entitled to get a check now.

My dad didn't do anything of course - but now he's hooked on checking the adsense stats, 3-4 times a day, and bugging me to set up sites for him. I'm supposed to teach him a few things so he can create and manage his own pages, but..that's a really difficult task :)


5:14 pm on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Anyone else have friends or relatives who have jumped on board after they've seen your success?

I've found that after an initial burst of enthusiasm, most of my friends lose interest after a week or so. I've had a number of friends start on sites but no one has ever actually followed through long enough to even put up a web site let alone see any checks.


5:42 pm on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My top day was more than a year ago and it was above $600. I still don't know what happened that day, I think at was a flaw because $600 was more than 30 times as much as I earned on average that quarter. It looked like I got some very very high paying clicks by accident.


5:04 am on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

does this mean that you're hovering around the mid $200's , since your high day is so recent?

My average is around 230ish. I have quite a bit of fluctuation depending on day of the week (Mondays are usually the best, whereas Fridays and Saturdays tend to be weaker), but days where I don't break 200 are getting rare. I'm hoping the next few months get me to that $300 mark on a regular basis, as I have a handful of sites that should be coming out of Google's sandbox soon.


7:00 am on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My dad didn't do anything of course - but now he's hooked on checking the adsense stats, 3-4 times a day, and bugging me to set up sites for him.

Yes but.

Now you know you have reliable help while travelling!


7:25 am on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

He checks his account only, not mine ;)

Otherwise, I wouldn't hear the end of it...


1:51 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That's pretty funny about your Dad Rfung.

My wife gets so into checking the adsense stats too. She checks it several times a day, she'll even call me when I'm at work so we can "check it together".

We are making around 5 bucks a day, which is really exciting to us. You'd think we were making 100's the way we act sometimes. I'm always joking about quiting my job and everything so we can live off adsense.

Someday maybe, someday...



1:18 am on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello: My site is one month shy of a year old. If I get ONE Google hit a day, that is lucky. Reading all these posts, I signed up tonight with Adsense. Hope they accept me. I have an AM gifts site, about 900 pages. Big competitor has over 8,000 pages and online for about 4-5 years. My site only has a PR1, down from PR2 in the preceding PR update. Waiting now for April PR update. My site is family safe. I hope Adsense approves it.

Read a lot of posts in WebmasterWorld about new Google patent which favors Amazon links. Google is Amazon business partner since 2993, so this favoritism by Googlebot should not astound us...

You would laugh at the small amount of money I make. Most days lately, ZERO. I did sort of OK for Christmas, but with only Yahoo and MSN traffic.
Here is my question and please forgive the newbieness: Will Adsense cause traffic to my site? Sorry if this is a stupid question. Trying to move forward, I feel like a train ran over my head...I plan to keep reading in this AM forum and TRY to learn some of your great pointers! You are all WAY WAY ahead of me! I congratulate you, and hope I can begin to make money now as I learn from all of you.
PS I have a bunch of links, but only one from a PR5 site. I use standard white hat SEO.


1:24 am on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Trying to type in the dark...Google and Amazon are business associates from 2003, forgive the typos... the dogs are asleep, so lights are off. Maybe I should turn on the lights, get the dogs barking and maybe we will have the PR update. Of course, the direction I am going, I will get a minus PR. Thanks for your patience with old loco here...


3:14 am on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

adsense will not cause traffic to your site - Adwords will, for a price :)

There are forums here on webmasterworld dedicated to both. Your questions may be better answered there :)


8:55 pm on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you for your kind response. I am waiting for Adsense to respond. I need to try to learn all I can from the members of this forum because I also want to make up to $300 per day. I wish I had been studying this forum for the last year. Doubtless my site would be making some money by now. You all have sharp skills. I am crawling but moving forward. Hopefully with the addition of tons of Amazon links, Googlebot will like my site better.


6:25 am on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Roadhazard - two tools I can tell you about for your learining more about webmastering is a) patience and b) read try read try read try ad infinitum. I was at your level not two years ago and today I'm whuppin' it up in XHTML, php, mysql, flash, and Perl. There's no "easy solution" out there and certainly no "miracle formula" either - it basically comes down to what works best.

You'll read a lot of good advice (here) and you may get some bad - through your learning you'll have to do a lot of testing and eventually you'll be able to discern on sight what's "better" - and you can start sharing that new knowledge with others in return for what you learned.

Good luck!


6:38 am on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

some of the questions here would really be better suited to be asked on the main forum - it's as if this thread is a mini forum of some kind :)...

too much information

6:37 pm on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hey rfung, I have an update for you...

I was averaging $1/day for months, then launched a complete redesign of my site and was averaging $4/day for the past month, until the traffic dropped because I did not feel the need to install my usual 301's from the old pages to the new. (NOTE: Always set redirects from retired pages to the newer versions of them. ALWAYS!)

I expect the traffic to come back slowly but I think it will be much stronger when it comes back.

Also, I am kicking off a new site. (a redesign of another domain I was playing with over the last year) If I can get the releases I need this should become the biggest money maker in my collection. Not to mention the only site like it in its niche!

I'll let you know how that one goes in the next few weeks.

Thanks for the inspiraion! Until last month I didn't think my sites had the potential to make over $2/day.


7:05 pm on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'll second you, TMI. I've been with AdSense since September, with just a couple ads in very specific places on my ecommerce site. I still haven't reached the $100 minimum. Rfung was a part of what inspired me to get started with some other sites I was thinking about. In the last 6 weeks or so, I've been making anywhere from $1 to $3 a day with AdSense, and will FINALLY be reaching $100 this month.


6:33 am on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I remember the day I made a buck aday then 5 than 10 then 15 from various programs. I have seemed to reach a platueu though I have seen those spikes you talk about. They are like a precursor of things to come ... most of the time. I know G hates duplicate content and Y loves me to death. M is a love hate relationship. I just don't know where to go from here and have thought about learning to use PHP not even sure where to start from there as i do have a day job and not a lot of time. This next month I am shooting for 20 dollars a day. My minimum goal is a 5 dollar a day increase each month. Of course if G picked up all my stuff like Y I would probably be doing 100 dollar days...
Good luck thanks for the encouragement.


10:11 am on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I put up a site on a cheap host last month. It isn't complete but it has two links to it. Checked my stats yesterday for the month so far and it is getting 30 uniques a day, and yesterday 100 unqiues. Most of these have come from Yahoo! I just need to spend some time here thinking of the best way to monetise this site.

By the way the domain was cheap from godaddy and the hosting is like 35 a year, so if it makes nothing it doesn't really matter to me :)


9:44 pm on Apr 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Now that I start on my trip around Europe, I find that there's at least 4 sites copying my content. I think I've just been hit with a site/page jacking, hence I've noticed a 30% drop in revenue!... $%@%@@!

Great..just great! My indexed pages dropped a lot, and now allinurl: shows only links without any description.

Still pulling in around $150, but this just SUCKS!...

Diversify, not only in industry, but also in the revenue streams. PPC is the way to go to be safe from page jacking....


1:08 am on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

rfung, that sucks man! I was afraid that would happen sometime. Now, I need to prepare myself in case something like that happens to me.

Keep us posted.


6:59 am on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

rfung, hopefully things will take an upturn for you. Are you at least seeing some cool stuff over there?

I've found sites all over the net copying my content. Eventually, I hope to have the resources to be able to have a lawyer type on call who can follow up on these people, but it's not worth my time for now (fortunately, it hasn't affected my revenue much, yet). All I do is continue to add new content to sites and try to make sure my sites have a lot more incoming links and PR than those who are copying my stuff. I hope Google is working on a way to tell which site has the earliest version (aka the original) so they don't ding that one...


9:40 am on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

luckily i still hold my PR and revenue is still chugging along, so I haven't totally tanked (now THAT would've sucked) - I may have overreacted a bit out of a combination of jetlag, and the somewhat inability of doing much (due to the nature of the problem, and to me being here away).

I have yet to see the full implication of my site not having any description on the links when I do an 'allinurl:' on google.

OTOH, "my dad's site" which has been a little bit over a month running seems to be nicely stabilizing at around $15-$20/day for the past few days. I'm sure he's happy... darn, why did I give it to him!...


2:15 pm on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello rfung:

I had been lurking for quite sometime and registered today.
I have been really impressed by your posts and it gives me lot of encouragement.

I have a question ..hope u will answer it.
Is your dad's site doing any PPC and then making money thru adsense or is the traffic just through SERP's?
I have started 2 sites in the recent few months and only get a few cents a day or nothing atall with adsense ...so wanted to know a bit.
ANy suggestions/tips are welcome.
Thanks for your great posts.Hope u enjoy your trip.

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