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Journey to breaking even

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by nimajneb, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. nimajneb

    nimajneb Newbie

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    I am fairly new to all this, I'm good with computers, but not marketing. My goals are to find my direction/passion/niche and start breaking even.

    Things I've done so far:
    Promoting Peerfly offers. I'm trying a bunch of different PPC traffic methods. 7Search, POF, and Bing. While I understand the methodologies, it seems futile to get conversions. My problem is the amount I spend on keywords is much more than advertised epc and actual conversions is even less than epc. I'm going with the just do it approach right now. Testing campaigns with $10-$20. I know that loss is inevitable, but before I don't want to drop real money before I know what I'm doing and can gain real insight from failure. Though I'm learning more every minute.

    If anyone has advice on this I'd love to hear it. Eg. Say payout is $50, how much would you spend per click, and how much to put into the campaign.

    Once I can break even my next goal is to expand that niche. Create landing and squeeze pages, gather emails, and create a following.

    Goal 1: Break Even!
    Goal 2: Make a profit
    Goal 3: Move on from direct linking
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  2. back2basics

    back2basics Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The higher the payout, the more it will cost to make sales. You'll be spending thousands just on testing to see if what you're promoting can be profitable. Start with low paying offers, make banners, make landing pages, use ONE traffic source, learn the ins and outs of that traffic source. Once you have something that converts keep optimizing until its profitable, then scale. Direct linking is going to make it virtually impossible to convert.
     
  3. nimajneb

    nimajneb Newbie

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    Hot diggity. I did it, sort of. I started a new ppc campaign on a CB product, spent ~$6 and made $24. Only 1 sale.

    Current Goal: Scale this up and repeat my results. And create a landing page with tracking scripts.
     
  4. flipzseo

    flipzseo Regular Member

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    It's actually very possible to convert with direct linking. I like to divide out my commission payout by 100 to get my max CPC when using CB offers. 400-500 hops is good enough to see how the offer converts. No conversion, move on.

    So for a $50 payout I would do MAX CPC of .50... with Bing it's usually plenty lower than that.

    Use Prosper to do your tracking (you can do it with direct linking using SubID). That way you can track the profitable keywords and increase bid on those. Creating a landing page will also benefit in the long run to build a subscriber base. Just make sure to have some content and a privacy policy on there (a simple squeeze page and Bing will put your account on lockdown until you remove the campaign or get content onto the page.... coming from experience).

    Use Bing coupons until you have found a profitable campaign.
     
  5. nimajneb

    nimajneb Newbie

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    This is very helpful. I was about to give up on trying any direct linking. Peoples opinions on it seem 50/50 split, with the consensus being that its good for testing.

    Traffic source was actually 7Search, I was about to give up on them as well but got an email for my $25 voucher. This short run actually did better than my bing campaign, with a similar amount of clicks. Bing was way more expensive and the updating was so slow I wasn't sure if my ads were showing even with the top (as far as the tools showed) bid. I can't imagine using bing with autorecharge as you'd be far in debt without realizing it. The traffic and bidding was straight I guess, but trying to analyze the campaign was very frustrating. I have never used adwords, but FB Ads was much more responsive. So I don't think its just me asking too much of bing.

    Edit: As for doing payout/100=cpc, I happened to find a good niche I guess (better than anything else I found/tried), but for me this means $.25 bids. Feasible on 7search even for the higher ranking keywords, but I'd be hard pressed to get bing to show my ads for that much. Its all ~$1 on bing for any of the related keywords. Do you think this means the niche is not as optimal as possible, or that I'm going about it with the wrong keywords? Or rather how can I determine this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  6. flipzseo

    flipzseo Regular Member

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    hmm, I've never given 7search a shot. I haven't heard the best things about it, but I may look into it further. I've never tried FB which is something I just haven't gotten to yet. Adwords is pretty much just more expensive than Bing so I've skipped it until I get better (has tons more traffic though).

    With the higher CPC it usually means that niche converts well and is highly competitive (think forex, weight loss, etc). If it's $1 CPC, but converts once in every 15 clicks and pays out $25 then you obviously have a winner. That's always the kicker with PPC.. it takes some money to test.

    There will always be some keywords that have low CPC. Sometimes I look at it from an SEO point of view. With my sites the majority of traffic comes from long tails so using broad or phrase match to start with, while tracking the converting keywords with Prosper should help dial in which KW's you should be doing higher bidding on and aiming at exact match after you get enough data to analyze. One of my campaigns main KWs costs ~$1, but I setup broad match and found that the converting keywords were ones that were costing me .10-.20 per click for a ~$50 commission.

    Determining anything in PPC will just be to test. Constantly refine and tweak until you've reached optimal results for your campaign. Cannot stress enough to use some kind of tracking to see which KW's are making you money.

    Oh and the payout/100=cpc formula is used by me to gather data. In a perfect world you would want at least 1 conversion within 100 clicks to the landing page, but I feel you need several hundred to get some decent data to analyze against.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  7. nimajneb

    nimajneb Newbie

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    Looks like that was just a flash in the pan. I kept the campaign running and tripled the clicks I got, but no more conversions. Previously I had driven ~30 clicks straight to it with bing using the same keywords - I didn't get any conversions from that. I've paused everything until I've figured out how to properly track it. $1 CPC and 400 hops is some serious cash for me a college student. It was stupid for me to drive traffic without proper tracking, but I was antsy to get my feet wet and I don't consider it a total loss.

    Time to:
    a. Generate another sale at profit.
    b. Track it and remove bad keywords.

    On a different note I used to think that CB was garbage and that once I got into an affiliate network I would have good offers to promote. Well I am in peerfly and so far my experience has been that the peerfly offers don't appear to be higher quality than CB, pay less, and have restrictions.CB also has a lot more data on offers because they aren't restrictive about who can promote them. I'm still jumping around niche to niche a bit, but I actually think I found a good evergreen subniche. And I have my long term project on a topic I am truly interested in.
     
  8. nimajneb

    nimajneb Newbie

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    Well if I keep running this I think I can make about 1 sale a day getting traffic from 7search and come out ahead.
    Some things I've noticed:
    1. 7search claims to get more hits per month for this keyword than bing
    2. Avg. 7Search CPC is $0.15
    3. Payout is $25

    To get near the top of bing I'd need to spend $1+- and with my payout that doesn't seem worth it. With the notorious 7search though I am getting about 1% conversions.

    Partly I'm a noob and suck at picking niches. Basically it's an evergreen niche and the only one I found where traffic was reasonably priced. Eg. Weight loss on bing would probably be $5-7 CPC, so $1 for my keywords looks a hell of a lot more reasonable.

    I've got a couple questions:
    1. What kind of views do you look for in a phrase to consider it worth your time? Both specific and broad. Eg. My base keyword gets 50,000 searches according to 7search. Any less than this would be damn hard to find traffic I would think.
    2. In general I feel kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place when I pick a product/niche. Evergreen niches are getting hundreds of thousands of searches a month. Think its better to tap into evergreen subniches (back to the traffic question) or go for obscure niches, like "mentalism". Pure genius right there, I don't know if I can tap the market like that though. Do you find a untapped resource through raw research or is just gut and luck? I know this is super broad and probably asking too much, but its just so easy in theory until I try and implement.

    I sent a couple hundred clicks to a similar niche as my current one and no conversions so I pulled the plug. The psychology for that product isn't quite there. I think I may have gold right now, but I need to optimize it. So...

    Current Goal:
    1. Get more than 1 sale in a day (without spending stupid amounts of money).
    I'm not quite sure how to scale because as I said I'm already maxing 7search and can't afford bing. Though maybe I should just suck it up and place those $1+ bids (I did previously and just kind of got scared off because it added up really quick - 32 clicks - and didn't get any sales).I'm gunna do it I know that much. Still any advice or responses would be super appreciated.