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How I made a million in 3 months.

     
4:25 am on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lots of hard work, and a billion+ pageviews :)

I am without a doubt the top individual adsense publisher in terms of pageviews. Me talking about how I did it won't help you, but here is what i found you need to be successful in adsense.

1. Get a database of IP's so you know where your traffic is coming from. Then create channels for each country. Its not uncommon to see US traffic with a CPM of $5.00 and a CDN traffic at 20 cents and vice versa. If you have access to the hints option, give different hints based on IP. ie if your page is about 401k plans, that won't get you anything outside of the USA.

2. You have to create sites that will bring in repeat traffic. If you think you will get rich off SEO think again. If you create a Free jobs site you could net 30 million + a year if you got big. Club listings site, free religious personals etc would all be big money makers. Look for established markets and offer a service for free and support it with adsense.

3. Have your users create content and lots of it. User reviews of night clubs, Resorts, golf courses etc. Build your site around your users and make them part of your site, don't build your site for consumption.

4. Do not enter markets with a lot of competition monitized via adsense. Try and undercut paid content markets by offering a free service, or better yet create your own market.

5. Keep your site dead simple, it has to load fast and have no more then 2 ads and 1 or 2 pictures other then your logo. Do not confuse your user, give them what they want and give it to them fast.

6. Troll around various forums and if people are not talking about your market, there is a good chance you will make money.

6:32 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the post. From what I know of his site - I believe his numbers are possible.
6:49 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good stuff Markus, and thanks for shining thy light upon us. I wonder if you expect to maintain that kind of earnings in the near future. Furthermore; has anyone made an offer to buy your site? What would your site be worth?
7:42 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Markus did everyone a favor by posting some good advice, please refrain from asking him to tell you his URL because site reviews and URL drops are against the TOS.

Additionally, if he wanted to show you his website he'd have it in his profile. Outing is prohibited, thanks. :)

7:55 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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congrats markus,

Would you agree the following are needed to succeed

1 An Idea
2 Commitment
3 Marketting
4 Luck and more Luck
5 Guts to follow it through

Any major bits that i have missed and you can advise us on

steve

7:57 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>Have your users create content and lots of it.

Totally true. Look at the top web 2.0 properties. Blogs, and MySpace for that matters, are glorified CMS systems. Content driven by site owners is not enough. Users must get involved.

7:59 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No ebook

Sorry for being cynical :) ... but I trust you on that. And your figures. Congrats again.

8:33 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As a "one man million Dollar show" there is no need to take the pain of dealing with annoying colleagues

The last info I know is that it's a two-person show.

8:47 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I let my girlfriend answer a few emails every now and then. She is a lot nicer to the jackasses lol.
It takes about a hour of my day to run.

As for luck, you make your own luck. Just realize what is coming.
[webmasterworld.com...]

8:53 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good post and great work, Markus!

I actually had a site very similar to yours two years ago, but could NEVER generate traffic or income from it.

Glad to see a "one man show" at the top of his game!

9:00 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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He probably means that he made $1 mil in 3 months not that he started with nothing and 3 months later had $1 mil. I made $30K in a one month period once but that was after several months work where I did not make near that much. There are companies that make more than that in one month but they are companies he is saying the top individual.
9:00 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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markus007

Do you think your announcement is a little early?

9:21 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Congrats Markus.
How old is your site?
9:25 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well done then.

[edited by: martinibuster at 10:04 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2006]
[edit reason] See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

10:13 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'll be happy just to get my 1st $100 so I get the cheque from Google (another couple of years yet I reckon.)

Most of the content on my site is not really suited to AdSense, photos, and gallery pages don't have much text.

Two of the pages on my site get most of the clicks as they are all text.

10:33 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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He probably means that he made $1 mil in 3 months not that he started with nothing and 3 months later had $1 mil.

I agree, I think it does not take him three months to build that site, get that many traffic, and make that much money.

10:43 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Can you talk in a little further detail--without of course violating the tos. Specifically, i'd like to know how you optimized your site for google adsense? Did you ban any of the huge run-of-the-network campaigns? And on pages with just images anything done? I know sweating the little things instead of focusing on building is one of the big pitfalls but some of this stuff is key from the beginning.
10:45 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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whether or not he made a million in 3 months is irrelevant.

The advice is still interesting because it rings true.

10:47 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What I always wondered about these types of sites is, is it just a given that you have to create 1000s of fake users in the beginning to get them off the ground? If not, how else do you get people to partcipate when the site is empty/new? Marcus, care to share how you kicked off your site? I noticed a huge spike in your traffic around September of 2004 and then a nice steady climb from there. Did you send out a bunch of press releases, a bunch of advertising, or? Thanks for sharing your story ...
10:58 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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is it just a given that you have to create 1000s of fake users in the beginning to get them off the ground? If not, how else do you get people to partcipate when the site is empty/new?

This is the exact question I have. I just launched a site that allows users to leave a review or comment. It has been a lot harder to get people to leave reviews than I thought it would be. I have just started an incentive program to encourage people to participate. However, it is too early to tell if this is going to work.

Markus, any thoughts or tips you have are greatly appreciated. Congrats on the million!

11:03 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A spike like this is usually a big email campaign or a prime time TV ad.

The site is a first mover(5 years old) so I doubt that he had to setup fake profiles. It is just natural growth of a well-done and free website.

11:09 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you were a potential user of the site, and you clicked a link that you took you to his site, and the entire site was empty with no content, are you saying you would sign up? LOL 99.9% of the content on the site is user-generated, and will not exist with a new site like this unless it's made up or "borrowed" from another site, etc. Right?
11:09 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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inspiring, thanks!

shadrap

11:21 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hello everyone,

First post. I have similar question to previous-

in sites where content is created by community, let's say forums, what's the best way to get things rolling? fake users? pay fake posters?

11:21 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The site is actually only 3 years old. I got my 40th member march 1st of 2003. I had it sitting around a while before that but it was never in any working order. I spent a grand total of 11 grand for the first year. I ran my site off my home computer, spent 1 grand on adwords to start it off, 2 grand on link buying, and the rest on a server and a few ads on high traffic cheap sites. I then had some hosting costs later in the year to when i moved to a data center. I didn't create any fake profiles, that would be insanely work intensive. There were already 5 or so free and well established sites when i got going, I used SEO to get my first members after my inital adwords campaign and they seeded my database.

As for alexa spikes, those are worthless I manupilate my alexa and comscore for competitve reasons. I don't want to be on the alexa 1000 spamlist, and i don't want comscore selling detailed information. In a sample of 600k vistors a grand total of 56 had alexa toolbar.

12:19 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Markus wrote:
3. Have your users create content and lots of it

I note you've said you only spend an hour a day on the site. How do you manage to maintain the quality of content, eg: avoiding hoax signups, etc.?

12:21 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What did, the site or the ads?

Back to launching this type of site, I am still curious. Are you saying that when you launched the site and had 2 users that people just started signing up in droves? I agree that making up tons of profiles to get started would be incredibly tedious work, but I do not understand how/why anyone in the world would signup for a site like this when they are no other users? What am I missing here?

12:50 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What am I missing here?

That it's free?
1:18 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Where do your visitors come from (SE, ads, ...)?
1:19 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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way to go, I like your site. maybe I'll sign up! ha

NeedACoach

1:32 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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well done :) i thought my $1400 average each day was good but 1 mill in 3 months!

i'll be there soon lol :D

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