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Did you have to pay the minimum CPC for a period of time, while increasing quality score and gaining data? For How long?
Did the min cpc actually decline over time? by how much?
If so, what do you feel were the major reasons?
How much hope is there really for new accounts,(that are not arbitrage/spam) that are stuck with min CPCs anywhere from $1 to $10.
First of all, make sure you have your keywords split up into very tightly focused ad groups, and your ads for each ad group should be very tightly focused on both the keywords in that ad group, and the landing page. I have some ad groups with only ONE keyword, believe it or not (well, actually, three, because I use all three match types)
Now, if you're convinced you have organized and written as well as you possibly can, then just leave the campaign set at the highest you want to pay, and wait for Google to figure out your quality score, and hopefully bring it down where it's bearable. This, of course, is the very slow way to go about it. But inactive keywords *will* go active if the QS gets updated in your favor.
If you want to speed things up a bit, then take one or two of what you consider to be your most important keywords, write ads very specifically for those keywords, and let them run at Google's minimum bid. Control the cost by setting a daily budget you can afford. If the quality of your account organization/ads/landing page is good, your minimum bids will start to come down more quickly, as Google figures it out. Then you can add a few more keywords, rinse, repeat.
If they don't, then you still probably have work to do.
When all else fails, get another pair of eyeballs looking at things, to see if they notice things you haven't.