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How I finally started making money online (a True Story)

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by voltier, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    One of the most frustrating things about reading forums such as BHW, is that you often hear about people making a lot of money, but they really don't tell you how. Its always ambiguous, and if they do give away their method, it is usually too late to do it for yourself. Because of this, I wanted to share with everyone the only way I've been able to make significant money long-term, that didn't fizzle out or become nonviable.

    There were three keys to success here. The first was to realize that I was (for the most part) wasting my time with quick fix, blackhat/greyhat promotions on affiliate shit, and that I should instead be selling an actual product for myself. In other words, I should be in E-commerce.

    The second was realizing that it was in my best interest to sell an actual product, and not through an affiliate program, but instead through a dropshipper. Dropshippers offer much much better profits than affiliate programs, and they usually don't require a whole lot of additional work.

    The second key to success was in finding a niche that was actually profitable. This part happened by accident (as many great things do). I do freelance SEO and PPC consulting, and one of the projects I was contracted on was to do PPC and SEO for an adult toy site. During my work with this, it became apparent that I had stumbled upon an incredible niche. Here is what I learned about the niche during my time doing work for my client:

    1. It has a huge number of consumers, there are millions of searches done daily for adult toy keywords.

    2. It's not prohibitively competitive. There are a lot of sex toy sites, but most are bullshit affiliate sites that don't rank, and never will. If you have basic link building skills, expect to be pulling in a few hundred organics within a few months.

    3. There are thousands of products. This means there are millions of keywords that people use to find these products. New products become popular often and there are always new opportunities

    4. It's relatively recession proof industry. Sex, drugs, alcohol, these are things people continue to buy. I've noticed very little if any drop off since the economy went to shit.

    5. Adult toys are becoming much more accepted and mainstream. Anyone notice how often sex toys are talked about or featured on television these days? The consumer base is expanding for adult toys in a big way.

    6. It can't be eroded like free porn has done to other segments of the adult industry. You physically need to have the product.

    7. People don't like to buy adult toys from brick and mortar sex shops. It's a private thing, and they want to do it from home on the internet.


    So, needless to say, I decided to involve myself in this niche. I realized the only way to really make money with it was to go with a dropshipper. There are lots of adult toy affiliate programs (even ones that give you a "free" site) but they are shit, they look bad, and you dont own the site, and you make shit profits (10%with affiliate VS. 50%-70%with dropshipping). So I went on a hunt for a good e-commerce designer and a dropshipper that would do dropshipping for a startup. It was a frustrating search because of the few adult toy dropshippers, almost all require minimum orders. Usually in the amount of $100, meaning you would have to sell $200/day in sales to have a decent turn around time on orders.

    Luckily, through some contacts, I found a dropshipper with no minimum order, that also did custom e-commerce design with their products pre-loaded. They also hooked me up with credit card merchant services so I could take orders through the site.

    Once everything was up and ready, I started with PPC. I utilized some vouchers ;) and was up on Google and Yahoo within the first week of having my new site online. I focused on building out a very comprehensive PPC campaign, creating campaigns for each catagory of product. Inside each campaign I did each sub catagory, and then specific products. for instance: Dildos & Dongs ---> Double Dongs ---> 8" Purple Double Dongs

    etc. etc. and built it out as far as I could for pretty much every type of product, covering a good percentage of the longtail. I also did things like bidding on Competitors Brand names, and Manufacturers brand names, which was quite successful for me.

    To give you an idea about how I did with pay per click:

    In my experience, conversion rates are in the 2-4% range, and I can pull down at least 1,000 PPC hits per day at about 11 cents per click (using Adwords and Yahoo).

    This gives me an ad spend of around $110 bucks per day. At a 3% conversion rate, that gives me roughly 30 sales per day. Average sale for me is $60, and I mark up everything on my site 100%. So profit on each sale before advertising costs is $30 per sale. Giving me daily profits of ($900 - $110 ad spend)= $790 Per Day.

    Now getting to this point with PPC took effort, so anyone thinking they can get there by shitting out a crappy list of keywords is wrong. I looked at my analytics daily, and was diligent about adding keywords, pruning keywords, adjusting bidding and testing ads.

    In addition to PPC, I set up a blog for the site, and began writing blog posts on a regular basis. Basically I found funny sex/sexuality related shit and posted it, then submitted it to social media sites like reddit.com, reddit.com/r/nsfw, digg, and a bunch of others (I used one of those automated sites that helps you submit to all the social media sites). Over a few months I picked up enough links to start to see some real gains in organic traffic (this niche is not extremely competitive organically, You can actually rank on the long tail fairly easily) , and all the sales from that have been gravy on my PPC sales.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that with everyone here. I love BHW, and I haven't contributed much, so I figured maybe this would redeem me a bit. If anyone has any questions, I'd always love talking more about it so you can hit me up on AIM: ctynski14 or PM me.
     
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  2. tonlilaz

    tonlilaz Executive VIP Premium Member

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    my problem is poor conversions....

    i get tons of hits, but no conversions. i'm not using adsense, i'm using findology...

    but maybe i'll try adsense again for better traffic...i'm just afraid of spending 300 dollars for nothing.

     
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  3. gimmedat

    gimmedat Junior Member

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    Great post, glad you found your niche
     
  4. Questionable

    Questionable Registered Member

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    A true success story.
     
  5. maaswhole77

    maaswhole77 Newbie

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    So you sell dildos for a living. lol
     
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  6. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    No, I enhance couples sex lives and save marriages :)
     
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  7. nam6641

    nam6641 Supreme Member

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    how did you go about finding a good drop shipper? i've looked at drop shippers before and a lot of them look mad shady.
     
  8. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    Finding a good dropshipper is a lot of times about luck or connections. I was introduced to mine by a former client at a tradeshow. Finding one online can be pretty difficult though, honestly forums are usually the best place to look.
     
  9. MontyzPython

    MontyzPython BANNED BANNED

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    This was worth the read just to see the phrase "'8' Purple Double Dongs".
     
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  10. duluoz

    duluoz Newbie

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    Hey Voltier, I just "thanked" you, because you've shared a great success story.

    I also PM'ed you, to pick your brain a bit. Hope you don't mind.
     
  11. shizaru

    shizaru Regular Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience :)
     
  12. Sniper

    Sniper Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That would be an 8 FOOT purple dong! (JK i know it's a typo)
     
  13. Therookie

    Therookie BANNED BANNED

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    Thanks
    I just need to know where to get one designed?
     
  14. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    ever hear of the great american challenge? google that:)
     
  15. MsMoneyMagnet

    MsMoneyMagnet Registered Member

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    Wow! Sex toys! Talk about a good niche to get into! As commonplace as sex toy stores are, I would rather get my toys online than to have people looking at me like I'm some weirdo for liking sex (not that I go into such places often :flirt:) :nervous:
     
  16. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    that's a sentiment many others share. Sucks for brick and mortars, but is a great luck for e-commerce owners. Unfortunatly many brick and mortars didn't realize this was the trend, and still haven't.
     
  17. Metal425

    Metal425 Regular Member

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    Congratulations on your success. :)
     
  18. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    Thanks, it wasn't some incredible feat, just picking the right niche and being diligent with my PPC optimization.
     
  19. albaniax

    albaniax Elite Member

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    Do you know this guy from LA, who made millions from sex toys?

    He is pretty famous there, for his big parties, and giving away free sex toys to the girls :D

    When you want to go to one of his parties, you have to come with 3 girls, otherwise you can't enter. And you need to be invited.

    He became a fucking Hugh Hefner :D

    I think he is in TOP 5 of the search-term 'Sex Toys' on Google.

    Anyway, thank you for your great post, that's what makes BHW.
     
  20. voltier

    voltier Newbie

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    yeah I've heard of that guy, "sex toy dave" he seems like a douche. He owns sextoy.com