Netbook contest

March 18, 2010

Hey guys,

Couple Money is having a contest, and you can win a netbook! Check it out.

http://couplemoney.com/deals-offers/couple-money-giveaway-6-month-anniversary/

17. And Up…

September 21, 2009

7:15pm

Well, I’m happy to report that I got the first sale on the current campaign today, for a total of $30! That really excited me and has been a real refreshment after the week-and-couple days of no sales. Unfortunately, it’s taken 250 hops to get that sale. I hope this was just a fluke.

A few new updates:

– For the current campaign, I’m switching my .info to redirect to a physical product to see how it goes. I did this first of all to see if a physical product would convert better, because it could be that my traffic is just hesitant about buying a digital product. This physical item is run through Commission Junction. (Interestingly, I have $15 sitting at CJ for a ringtone effort I made awhile back.) The only hitch in the transition might be some awkwardness on the part of the visitor, because in my resource box, I pitch the product as a “secret,” while the physical product is not much of a secret. I am expecting fairly high conversions, though, because the product offers a free trial (pay S&H) that I still get a commission for. This is very beneficial for the customer because they are pleased with getting a physical product, and the price is much lower than my Clickbank ebook — all they have to pay is a small shipping and handling charge, as opposed to $47. I believe they will be much more ready to buy this product.

– I have realized that you all may not be able to follow my train of thought sometimes, so I will start referring to campaigns and niches by the number I’ve assigned them. This current campaign is 300; the next is 400; the last one was 200. I number them by the hundreds because each article I write fills in the ones and tens: article 326 for the current campaign; 216 for the last, and so on. Hopefully it will make more sense for both of us.

– I experimented with the new strategy over the weekend and it appears that it’s starting to work. For the sake of your curiosity and so I don’t have to tip-toe around it anymore, I will say that it’s a backlinking strategy to boost the ranks of my articles, since they seem to have a bad habit of plummeting into oblivion after a few days. One of my articles already has one backlink, while the other has none. I realized my mistake for the first one though: instead of making a [/a] symbol in the code, I put a [/b] so the link probably didn’t become active. I re-applied the technique with this corrected and we will see what happens now.

– As I said to Andy in my comment, I’ve kind of hit a wall as soon as I’ve started into the weight loss market. I need to figure out exactly how I can approach it and still be effective, not wasting my time. I know that I’m not going to go the same way as most people do, though, because the only mainstream methods with little competition wouldn’t be worth the time it would take to get into them. As far as the medium I would use, I think the best idea is to avoid Google if possible, and go with other ways of sending a message to the market.

– While I was messing around with the backlinking strategy, I experimented with a few free ways of getting traffic outside of Google. I might just be doing it wrong, but after two days, they have very little to show: the most I got was one order form impression.

– Only a few articles from the 300 campaign are still pending. Most approved articles have been indexed. I wrote them in order of search numbers, so the most searched-for keywords are already live, while the less searched-for ones are still waiting to be approved or indexed. As a side-note, I would advise other article marketers to write their articles in this order as well.

– Apparently Ezine has a “ratio” of article body and resource box that you can’t exceed, and this is why a few 200 articles were rejected. I guess you can’t make your resource box look like the focus of the article — the body should be a decent percentage larger. Life would be easier if they told you about that on the submission form, instead of making you wait 2 weeks for an article to be approved.

What am I doing now, you ask? Good question, really… I am going to apply the backlink strategy to 3 more articles while trying to figure out how to approach the weight loss market. I can’t really start writing articles for it until I establish how I’m going to target it. If I’m absolutely unable to break into it, then I will find another market with less competition and continue following Dave’s article marketing techniques. I’m going to give myself the rest of tonight and tomorrow to brainstorm for the weight loss niche. If I don’t come up with anything effective, then I’ll start looking into other markets on Wednesday.

This is completely unrelated to IM, but I have to share it with you. My roommate is looking for a job and doesn’t have a source of income at the moment. He needs $134 to pay this month’s bill for the loan he took out for his tuition. He has been praying that God would open a door, and today he received a check from his church who wanted to help him out — he isn’t employed by his church, didn’t ask for the money, and wasn’t expecting it at all. It was for $100. We went to the bank today so he could deposit it, and his checkbook didn’t match up with the bank’s balance: his bank says that he has more money than he thought. Guess how much more? Exactly $34. How cool is that? The best part is, it’s definitely not a coincidence! David said in Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” I pray that God will work a similar miracle and grant me enough success with internet marketing so I can pay my tuition and help my mom.

Brad

16. The New Approach

September 19, 2009

Well, I tested out the new method today, and it doesn’t yield immediate results, so I won’t know how it did for a couple days. I guess that, just like indexing, it takes Google a little while to “update” the changes that have been made. I have 3 more articles that I’m going to apply this strategy to, and then I think I’m going to move on to the weight loss market tactic. I believe I’ll begin that on Monday. I’m a little hesitant about this strategy because, as far as the numbers go, it won’t be as effective as mainstream strategies, but there will be tons less competition, so hopefully it will balance out.

Still no sales to report. I think, at this point, there are one or two reasons why the traffic isn’t converting (I’m at 150 hops and no sales):

– I’m either targeting the wrong kind of traffic, as in the “just looking” or “freebie” kind instead of the “buying” kind, or

– The market isn’t that desperate.

However, both reasons puzzle me. I believe that the keywords I targeted reflect a desperate person in need of a solution, and therefore is ready to buy, and I know for a fact that the market is one of the more desperate kinds — we’re talking about a problem that causes embarrassment, severe health issues, loss of money, and low self-esteem. I’m not sure how much more desperate you can get. Does anyone have any suggestions?

In other news, though, Ezine really got on the ball yesterday and today: 13 articles were approved just today! That leaves only 9 to go before they’re all cleared. The managing editor posted on their blog that they are close to being back on the regular schedule, and apparently that’s true. They must have heard that my awful wrath was about to pour out on them…yes, that’s what happened…

Anyway, I’m going to mess around with the new strategy a little bit. Also, I have a crazy idea about the weight loss promotion that I think I’ll try just for kicks to see if anything happens. Will report back later, if not tomorrow.

Brad

15. Nouvelles Idées

September 18, 2009

9:00am

“New ideas.” (C’est ça, oui? Il y a quelqu’un qui parle français qui veut le verifier? LOL)

So I have a couple new ideas that I’m really excited about, that I think will break through this barrier that I’ve seen to come up against. The first is the method I’ve been talking about for a couple posts — I think it will really make all the difference for this current campaign.

The second idea is…

Are you ready?

I’m going to bust into the weight loss market. “That’s suicide,” you say. For most people, yes. But I think I have a strategy that will let me target it with very little competition: it’s a strategy that was suggested by a merchant who made literal millions over the course of a year, so I think they know what they’re talking about. Regardless, I’ll give it a try, and I think it will be hard if I don’t make $50/day from it. And if it does fail, oh well; better to try and fail than to have not tried at all.

But I have class now. See you in a little while.

Brad

1:06pm

I haven’t started writing yet (just got up here), but I’m really pleased with the current campaign! With only 6 articles approved so far, the CTR is 30%! The last niche is hovering at about 27%, and the one before that is barely hitting 23%. My current resource box strategy is to briefly remind the visitor of their problem and the effects of it (hitting the “avoid pain” button), and then mention my solution without giving any details about it (“curiosity” button). With 6 articles ranking as well as I mentioned in the last post, I’ve sent 92 visitors to the vendor in less than two days, with 1 in 4 going to the order page. However, as I mentioned on the forum, there are no sales yet from 22 order form impressions. This is puzzling to me, considering the desperation of the market and the quality sales page. The 22 order form impressions are a good sign, but so far this merchant isn’t living up to the 5% conversion they claim. We will see how things go once the rest of the articles start going through and drawing traffic.

I wrote 1 article this morning and I will be done after today. I will start on the new method tomorrow and report how it goes.

14. A Month and a Day

September 17, 2009

9:10am

…is all that’s left. Scary, but I’m confident that I will hit the mark.

Speaking of, I’ve also calculated the date by which I will need $50/day to pay the 2/3 of my tuition that is required by the school. I haven’t posted or thought about it much, because my main goal is to pay my tuition in full and not leave any balance. However, the date for the two-thirds is November 14th, which gives me a few more weeks if haven’t quite made it by October 18th. If I am making $50/day by that time, I will be able to pay the two-thirds, which is sufficient as far as my school is concerned. But I don’t want to get comfortable with that date, because as soon as I do, I will slack off and lower the pressure.

I’ve already written two articles, and I hope to do another before classes, so I will only have to write 4 this afternoon. I will have to be done by 6:00 tonight.

Surprisingly, six articles in the new niche were approved before the seven that are STILL pending from the last niche. One of those seven came back with a problem — apparently my resource box is still too long? Even though it’s only 180 words and the submission forms says a max of 300? And even though the six in the new niche were just as long? I think Ezine is making mistakes in its frenzy to catch up their backlog. Not a problem though; I’m focusing on the present campaign because I can see that it has a lot more potential. I checked on those six new articles, and only two haven’t been indexed yet; another two were ranking pretty low on the first page, but they made first page nonetheless; one was first on the second page; and the last was nowhere to be found in the first few pages. I will keep an eye on those that are indexed to see if they stay where they are or if they dance into oblivion, which is what I’m expecting. Now, if Ezine would move through the rest of the new articles as quickly as they did for these, that would be fantastic.

A half hour to write the last article. I’ll get this done and see you in a few hours after classes.

Brad

10:23am

Time.

Well, I’m still doing the same thing. I’ve been slightly more motivated today and yesterday, as opposed to the entry a couple days ago, so I’ve been able to keep putting out articles, regardless of how monotonous it’s starting to become. I started around 8:30 and have four articles done, so I figured I could take a small break at this point. 3 more articles shouldn’t be hard, and I hope to write even more than that since Wednesdays are wide open with no classes. I might set a goal of 10 on Wednesdays since I have so much time. We’ll see.

The more I think about it, the more I want to try this new method I learned from the forum member. It would require a bit of time, but I think it would be worth it, because it would allow me to target keywords with much higher search numbers, even though the competition will be higher. Depending on the quality of the results on the first page, I think I could target keywords with any competition less than 100,000 or so; anything above that might be too much. Right now, for the most part, I’m limiting myself to phrases that have 20,000 or less, and obviously, the only phrases with so little competition are usually the ones that aren’t searched for a lot. Not only would it allow for better keywords, but it would give me more authority in Google’s eyes, and therefore greater stability in the search results. It won’t cost me anything to use this method.

I crunched the numbers yesterday (as I seem to do a lot), and for this campaign, I would need the following conditions to hit the mark: 5% of the searchers using Google to view my article; 25% (my current CTR) to click-through from my article; 2% of the traffic from my article to purchase the product. If all these are met, then I will net $51.95 a day. I am trying to be as optimistic as possible, though. The ideal scenario would be: with the above method applied, I could reasonably expect 10% of the search traffic, 25% CTR, and if the vendor is truthful about the conversion rate they claim, then about 5% would convert into a sale. These numbers would translate into a whopping $260/day.

Along those lines, I had to sit down and make some changes in my thoughts about internet marketing. I will admit that seeing a number like $260 a day has made me think about what I could do with that kind of money — I could buy this without thinking twice about it, take vacations whenever I want, and so on. While there is no problem with being successful financially, I need to realize that greed is a horrible thing that has caused many people to live a sad, unfulfilling life. The Bible speaks about being covetous: always wanting more and more, and never being satisfied with what you have. Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:8, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” Again, I don’t believe that there is any problem with me making that much money; it’s what I desire to spend it on that is the problem. I need to realize that, if God will bless me with such success, then I need to use it in a way that’s not greedy, covetous, or desiring things I don’t need. It sure would make me happier than anything if I could make $260 a day or more, and give most of it to my church to support it — my church is quite small, and it could achieve lots of the dreams that my pastor envisions if it only had the finances for it. Along with this, here is the motivator that I talked about in my first post:

Mom

This is my mom. She’s the sweetest lady I know, and she loves her three sons more than anything in the whole world, and she has sacrificed so much for us because she cares for us. She has been over her head in past-due bills almost as long as I can remember, she’s declared bankruptcy once if not more, her credit is completely shot, and she’s struggling to keep our house because she almost can’t come up with the mortgage. But guess what? She gave me $100 for my tuition before I left for school. That’s $100 she could have used to pay a bill or keep the creditors at bay, but she gave it to me so I could have some help with my bills, which are nothing compared to what she has to worry about. When my brother visited home while he was in the Coast Guard in New Jersey, she took all three of us out to eat because she was so happy we were back together again. This was when she didn’t have a job, and when she was at the lowest point in almost losing everything we had. I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone else who would spend their precious money on a meal for four, while not having a job. Right now, my oldest brother, who is 28, has moved back into our house because he is also struggling financially. Do you know what she could have said? She could have told him, “No, you’re 28 years old, go find your own place.” But she welcomed him freely because she cares about him so much and wouldn’t want him to be without a place to stay. I am telling you, the last person on Earth that my mom thinks about is herself. Who am I, to hoard all the money I would make for myself, and not help my mom who has given so much to me, regardless of whether it would hurt her financially? That would be the most ungrateful thing I could ever do to my mother. Not only that, but God tells me in Proverbs 3:27, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Again in James 4:17 He says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” I earnestly pray that God would grant me success in internet marketing, not so I could waste the money on myself, but so I could honor Him with it and help my mom who has done so much for me.

But anyway… It’s almost lunch time, and after that I am going to hurry up and write the 3 remaining articles.

Brad

1:51pm

Those three took longer than expected. All 7 are done, and man do I need a break. My mind is numb after writing those.

I trimmed out even more keywords that were either too difficult or reflected a person who wasn’t late in the buying cycle. Now I only have to write 16 more articles. If I can squeeze out 2 articles later today (definitely not in the mood to write now) and hit the goal tomorrow and Friday, then I’ll be done with the articles. I’m going to spend at least a part of next week implementing this new method to see how it turns out. If it’s a waste of time, then I’ll still have 3 weeks to keep doing what I’m doing.

Don’t know what I’m going to do right now, but I know I won’t be opening WordFlood any time soon…

12. Keep On Keepin’ On…

September 15, 2009

4:05pm

Not much news to report today. Still no sales since Friday. I didn’t bother looking at how many hops I’ve had at CB because I knew it would just discourage me. Look at the money, see if I’ve made any, if not then I move on. A couple miscellaneous things to mention though:

– I discovered, in a roundabout way, that an acquaintance of mine from school is involved with internet marketing. He’s not here this year because he moved up to big, bad MIT, but one of his links on Facebook was for an IM training webinar, so I started talking to him. Turns out that he’s been at it since May (about the same time as me), and he’s a project manager for an SEO firm. While there are so many ways to be successful with IM, that kind of puzzles me… You start something so you can set your own schedule and income, and end up working for someone else again! Chacun à son gout, je suppose (lit., “each to his taste”).

– Remember the person I mentioned a few posts ago that I was certain wouldn’t support me if I told them about my IM efforts? I unintentionally spilled the beans last night, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The basic impression that I got was “As long as you’re making money from it [I told about the bit of money I’ve already made], then it’s fine.” While I’m glad that they’re not as upset as I was expecting, I can still tell that there is some worry about whether or not I’ll have stability and a consistent income. I hope to prove to this person that it’s a worthwhile venture.

– I trimmed down my keywords for the current campaign a little bit more, so I have 49 total instead of the previous 69, with 12 already done, leaving 37 more. This means that I’ll get done sooner, so I will have more time to take more action before the mark arrives.

– By the way, the title of this blog comes from the words of Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 – “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” I think it’s fitting, and it’s what I hope to do, not only in my career but also in my spiritual life.

– I wish there was a way to include the time in my posts by default. Until I find some way to do that automatically (I don’t think WP has this feature), I’ll include the time whenever I make a new post or edit. I’ll do this so I can look back and see how long it takes me to do things, and see if I get any faster. Also, so you can yell at me for taking three hours to write two articles, and so on. =)

Speaking of time, I’ve already spent over an hour without getting anything done. I will usually start working around 3:00pm, and my goal is to be done around 8:00, or 9:00 at the latest, depending on how much homework I have. I need to be done by 8:00 tonight. Because of this, I’m going to flip my wireless switch off and get busy, so as not to be distracted any more by the internet than I already have been. See you in a couple hours!

Brad

8:13pm

Wow, I can be more productive than I thought.

It actually only took me about two and a half hours to write 7 articles. I wrote from the time I finished this post until about 5:35, and I headed down to dinner until 7:10 (I talked with my girlfriend for awhile). I just finished right at 8:00, and then submitted the articles. Turns out that I didn’t have to stop at 8:00 tonight, but I pushed myself and got done by that time anyway. I’m still surprised that my articles are longer on this campaign, but I’m still putting them out more quickly than the last one, probably because I’m interested and somewhat passionate about this niche. These articles are running from 350-500 words (not counting resource box), whereas the last campaign’s were barely hitting the 250 minimum.

ONE article has been approved today, and another is at 4/5 approval right now. I’m just going to be patient though…they’ll go through when they go through.

I heard back from the forum member who I had sent a message to about a particular method they use. I was familiar with the method, but I learned a different approach that I might implement after I’m done with this campaign. I can see it allowing me to shoot for much higher targets, if I use it correctly. It would still be in the realm of article marketing, so it’s nothing I would be completely unfamiliar with. As with anything, if I used it, I would probably mess up several times before figuring it out. That’s life, though, right?

Shout-out to Andy who commented and assured me that I’m not just babbling here for my own sake. Now, if other lurkers would just follow suit…

11. And Down…

September 14, 2009

It looks like the “awesome” conversion ratio for the new vendor in the last campaign was just a fluke. 202 clicks so far with just two sales, still. Does anything really convert at better than, say, 1 in 150? If not, I’m going to have to ramp up my traffic a lot if I want to hit the mark. The more I think about it, the more I want to get a list going so I can get better conversions, but the more I realize that I can’t afford $19/month (for Aweber, probably the only autoresponder I’ll use), and the more I realize I would have no idea what I was doing: I don’t know how to properly set up a squeeze page, or write emails, or get a good offer to encourage the opt-in. Of course, I could learn how, but that would almost invariably mean paying more money for a decent course or ebook. I think the only book I would buy on this topic, though, would be Kyle and Caron’s Inside the List. I was a member of Wealthy Affiliate for a month, and even in that short time I could tell that they cared about their members, so I know the book wouldn’t be fluff or packed with useless ideas. If I bought through my own affiliate link, it would only cost $21. So, an autoresponder and e-book would cost $40 at first, and then $19/month thereafter. I could buy it with the small bit of money I’ve made from these few sales, but that money is supposed to be going towards my tuition. Sigh.

I don’t know why I’m still surprised that Ezine continues to take forever. Today will be three days since my most recent submissions, and there are still 12 articles pending from the last campaign; 5 are pending for the new campaign, but those were only submitted on Saturday, so I understand that. I think, if all of the articles from the last niche don’t go through today, that I will send an email and ask what is going on.

Today starts the new 7/day goal. I was intending to write 3 this morning before classes, and then 4 this afternoon to make it a little easier, and possibly squeeze in a few more this afternoon. But I’ve already wasted 45 minutes this morning, and I only have an hour and a half left. I suppose I can still write 3 in an hour and a half though.

October 18th is slowly and menacingly getting closer. I need to make things move if I want to avoid working fast food or telemarketing, since that’s all there is in this town. And even if I get a regular job, the wages will not allow me to pay my tuition in full by the end of the semester. FYI: The college requires that only two-thirds of a semester’s tuition be paid by the end of that semester, so it’s not like I would be expelled if I don’t pay it. A regular job’s wage would be sufficient to cover the two-thirds, so if all else fails, I’m not in dire straits or anything — it’s simply my personal goal and desire to have it completely paid off, so I can start the next semester with a clean slate and not have to worry about being in debt. This semester’s total bill was $3,854. I put down $1,100 at the beginning of the semester, leaving $2,754 total, or about $1,400 to make two-thirds. All balances owed are due on Friday, December 11th. These are the numbers I used to come up with $50/day by October 18th.

Lest I waste any more time, I’m going to write some articles now. I will say one thing though: I sure hope the 5% conversion claimed by the vendor of the new campaign is accurate and not just some ploy to get more affiliates. A number like that would sure be a blessing to have right now.

Brad

8:48pm

Well, I got the 7 done and submitted. Surprisingly, a couple of articles from the new campaign made it through before the old ones, but there were problems with them, so I had to edit them. Anybody know what’s up with Ezine saying my resource boxes are too long? The form says 300 words max, and mine are in the 250 range, but they always reject them and say they’re too long. I shortened them to < 200, so let's see what happens. For now, I need to get off and do some homework. 16 projects this semester, and the first one is due in a week. Yay, college!

10. The Roller Coaster of IM

September 12, 2009

Up and down and up and down and up and down…

I’m kind of frustrated by two things. First, the small amount of traffic I am getting. I say “small” because it is small compared to what I should be getting, or that Google says I should be getting. According to Google’s estimations, my keywords collectively get about 2,700 daily searches, total. Yet I’ve only gotten about 400 views in the past few days, and it seems that I only get traffic whenever a new article is published, and until a new article is published, I don’t get anything. I sat at about 1,800 views for a couple days before a few articles went through, and then it started to go up again. I’m pretty perplexed at why I’m not getting a whole lot of traffic.

Secondly, and perhaps the cause of the first problem, is that only one indexed article is on the front page of Google. Only one! All of the other articles either aren’t indexed yet (understandable), or they’re buried somewhere in the oblivion past page 10. I really don’t understand this, because for most of the keywords, I saw an Ezine article on the front page, so I figured that I had a pretty good chance of making first-page as well — the article wouldn’t even be new, either; it was usually an article that was at least a year old, and still on the front page. Here are a few reasons that I’ve come up with for why my articles aren’t making the first page:

– The competition for most of the keywords is well over 20,000. I know it’s said to keep it under 20,000 (with <10,000 preferable), but since I saw the Ezine article there, I figured I had a chance regardless. That leads into the second reason:

– I didn't check those Ezine articles for backlinks. Several of them probably had backlinks, which is most likely why they're on the front page. I haven't done any backlinking for any of my articles.

– Some keywords were just plain foolish to go after. I checked one of the keywords again and it had over 230,000 competition. What was I thinking?

– My articles could just be doing the Google Dance. On the first page when first published, then dropped into oblivion, and then restored to a good ranking after some time. I hope this is the case.

I'm really not sure what the reason is, or if any of those reasons could be correct at all.

In other news, I've started on the new campaign. I created a hoplink with tracking ID, picked up the .info domain for the redirect, made a new author name on Ezines, and have written five articles already. I may have found a secret in being more productive, because the five articles only took about two hours to write: I wrote them in my dorm room, which does not have internet access, so I couldn't get distracted by things online. I've noticed that I've gotten distracted from writing on several occasions already, and it's cost me more time. I might try writing in my room more often.

There's quite a bit of pressure on this new campaign to perform better than the past two. If this takes two weeks to finish and doesn't yield good results, then I will only have three weeks to find something that does.

I sent a message to a forum member about a method that she uses and has had good success with. I am considering it but I will wait on her response before doing anything with it. The method is the same as what I've been doing, but with some differences in the production area.

For my own reference, these are things that I've found I need to work and improve on:

– More consideration of keywords before I put them on a list to go after. Several in the last campaign were basically a waste of time, and I am going to go through the list for this campaign and weed out any that would be the same.

– Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks. I've seen first-hand the difference that they make, and how they allow an article marketer to target more profitable keywords with more competition, but for some reason I haven't started using them — probably because I'm not sure where to start, where to get the links from, and exactly what to do. I'm going to watch Dave's video on backlinking after I finish this post, and hopefully it will clear things up.

– For goodness' sake, submit to other directories. I haven't submitted anything to any directory other than Ezines, and I know that I need to start using other ones to have a better chance of getting a good rank.

– Use forms of traffic other than search engines. I compiled a small list of other free ways to get traffic, and made a test on one of them. It got me 20 targeted clicks (direct linking) in two days, and this method can definitely be scaled up, so I will probably give it more attention in the future. I certainly want to put my eggs in different baskets and not rely so much on the search engines. I think a good goal for the future would be to have half of the traffic come from the search engines, and the other half from other sources. This would give not only a higher quantity of traffic, but also better stability. It would be ideal to get more traffic from other sources than the search engines, so I don't have to worry so much about the fickle hand of Google.

I'm about to complain to Ezine about how slow they're being. I know they've got a backlog they're working through, but if they say less than three days for Platinum, then they ought to stick to it. 15 articles still pending. Only 2 have been submitted within the last three days. Still waiting on articles that were submitted a week ago. *Grumble grumble.*

Five weeks until the mark. Something has to give…

Brad

9. A Refreshing Pick-Me-Up!

September 11, 2009

First of all:

Thank you, soldiers, for fighting and dying for my freedoms, and for the freedoms of those I love. Freedom is not free, and those that voluntarily choose to put their lives on the line for it deserve the utmost of our respect, love, and support. I’m thankful for my brother who continues to serve his country back home as a firefighter after being in the Coast Guard in New Jersey.

Where were you? I was in the eighth grade, just starting the day when our teacher got the news and turned on the TV in the classroom so we could see what was going on. A few minutes later, our principal got on the intercom and made the announcement. We spent the rest of the day watching news broadcasts. Understandably, no one was in the mood to teach or learn that day.

Psalm 33:12a – “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD;”

In other news, I’ve completed all the articles for this campaign. I ended up removing a few keywords because they either didn’t have enough monthly searches to warrant an article, or I could hit two keywords in one with an existing article. For example, one of my keywords was “Stop [problem]” and another was “Stop [problem] now,” so I just edited the title for the “Stop [problem]” article to include the “now,” and that will hit the keyword just as well.

Yesterday, I switched vendors for the current campaign. It was having struggles converting on the sales page, with the final numbers being 2 sales in 366 clicks, or 1 in 183. I’m no genius, but that doesn’t seem to be a great ratio to me. I was hesitant about this new vendor because, even though the gravity was much better, the bonuses they throw in are completely irrelevant to the problem this niche has, so I thought the visitors would be turned off and wouldn’t buy. How pleasantly wrong I was! In about 24 hours I’ve gotten TWO sales in 63 clicks, or a nice ratio of 1:32! The payout is less, at $18.34 instead of $24.92, but with these awesome conversion rates, it certainly makes up for it.

Ezines is still incredibly slow at approving my articles, and I still have 16 articles pending. That’s good though, because the sales will just go up once they’re through! While I’m waiting on them, I will be doing keyword research for the next campaign, which I’ve already researched. It’s a pretty high-competition niche, but the people are certainly hungry — even desperate — and I’m confident that I can find some keywords that haven’t been snatched up yet. But I’ll do all that later today, because I have class in ten minutes!

Brad

4:00pm

This new campaign is going to take awhile.

I’ve already found 40 keywords with a total monthly search number of about 134,000. My best keyword yet has 22,000 searches and only 5,400 competition! A veritable gold nugget I’d say. I still have many more keywords to find, and the reason I’m taking this small break is because Google booted me because my queries looked like an automated program! So I’m “cooling off” at the moment…The way that it works with Search Automator Force (which is not actually automated), I have to click the “search” button twice, because the first time it gives the filtered result page, and the second time it gives the regular page with the number. So each time I search for a keyword, I submit two queries…I guess Google sees this as fast enough to qualify as “automated,” so it booted me for a little while. If the estimations I’ve made with the numbers at this point are correct…this campaign is going to be a goldmine. I’m honestly surprised that there is such little competition as there is, because this is a huge market, and it’s not like some micro-niche that nobody knows about. But I’m not complaining!

Once I’m done with the keyword research, I’m going to do market research so I can write articles without having to spin other people’s content. I find that having the knowledge in my head and being able to write articles on my own is a lot easier (and more ethical, I think) than pulling other people’s articles and just spinning or re-writing them. I’m hoping to find at least 10 ways to solve this market’s problem, so I can switch up the content in my articles as I write them. In the last campaign, I basically only had 4 methods for solving the problem, so all of my articles were essentially the same. I’m looking to change that this time and make my articles have different content, not only to target different keywords, but so I appear more professional and knowledgeable. I also want to change and test different ways of writing my resource boxes. In the last campaign I hit the curiosity motivator really hard — I want to try other motivators to see if I can get the click-through rate even higher (currently around 24%).

Now to see if Google has let me cool off for long enough. If not, I might just begin my market research.

7:09pm

Well, Google finally freed me from time-out, so it was onward with more keywords. I’m finally done (it’s taken me almost four hours) and the results are in, hot off the press: 63 keywords that I’m confident I can get first-page rank on, if not second-page. These keywords have a combined monthly search number of approximately 241,500. The vendor I will be using pays $30/sale, has a steady gravity of about 20, and has been on Clickbank for about two years now. Oddly enough, the competition doesn’t seem to be promoting this vendor much, but instead, most of the article marketers were using a different vendor that only pays about $15, has a gravity of 7, and has only been around for a few months. This is puzzling to me, but I’m going to stick with the one I’ve chosen. The sales page is good, and the website is on a network of high-converting products, for what it’s worth. Even with very generous numbers, I’ve deduced that I should net about 3 sales a day from this campaign. For you numbers geeks like me, this is my figuring:

241,500 / 30 = 8,050 searches/day
Assuming I get first-page on all keywords, and compensating for the ones that I might not, let’s say 1 in 5 searchers will view one of my articles. 8,050 / 5 = 1,610
Going with my current article click-through rate, 1,610 x 0.23 = 370
Even with a pretty bad conversion rate, let’s say 1 in 125, 370 / 125 = 2.96
2.96 x $30 = $89/day

Not too bad, I don’t think. But now the monstrous task is to write all 63 articles. That’s twice as much as the last campaign, and it took me a week and a couple days to write all of those. To pick up the pace, I’m going to set a new goal of 7 articles a day effective on Monday. I considered the 10/day goal I mentioned before, and I’m not sure I’d be able to make it at this time. I hope to reach that goal in the near future, but for now I am setting it at 7 a day. This works out to be 9 days to finish the campaign, if I make goal every day. Taking out Sundays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the days on which I can’t or won’t work, I therefore aim to be done with this campaign in exactly two weeks from today, September 25. Of course, I hope to be done before that, but that is the goal.

One of my biggest problems is self-discipline and motivation, and the 5/day goal has been effective in getting me to write. Hopefully this new goal will be the same. I am more passionate about this campaign since someone very close to me struggles with this problem, so that ought to motivate me as well. I did some research and was surprised at the methods of solving this problem that I already knew about — it seems personal experience has helped me out on this one.

I’ve noticed that some traffic has started coming from the 4DMMB forum to this blog. Greetings to everybody! I hope this post finds you successful and hard at work. Feel free to leave comments! I’m a marketer, but this blog will be for my personal experiences only, and will never be used to pitch or sell you anything.

For now, I’m going to sign off and maybe waste some time on the internet before tackling some homework. Ah, college…