This is my experience about my journey towards financial freedom. I hope others will find it useful and are able to take away any lessons that I share. When I first decided on selling my own non-fiction ebooks, I didn't know anything at all about setting up a landing page or even registering a domain name. Heck, I didn't even know what a domain was at that time. It was definitely a steep learning curve for me to tackle all those issues. But with numerous guides that you can find online, things were somewhat manageable. Finally, I registered my very first domain and got myself web hosting for my site. My ebook was already finished months before this stage. No, I'm not selling one of those money-making schemes. My ebook is in the niche that I was extremely well-versed in. In fact, it's directly related to my day job. For payment processing, I use Paypal. For ebook delivery, I use E-junkie. When all those things were set up, I started marketing my ebook. First, I started with the free way by simply letting everyone on my social networks (twitter and facebook) know about it. Since I've been keeping close contacts with people from as far back as high school, my network is quite sizeable and I anticipated that I would get at least a 500 sales after my first week of launch. Boy, was I wrong. I only got 66 sales during the first MONTH. Sure, I made quite a fair bit but it was really below my expectation. It was depressing to say the least. But I consoled myself by saying that if free advertising were effective, no one would be paying for advertising at all. My next plan was obvious: To start a paid marketing campaign. The natural choice was clearly Adwords due to its popularity. I chose the pre-pay method of payment and deposited $50 into my Adwords account. Then I ran my campaigns. I used up my $50 after 1 day. No sales at all. Ok, I thought, $50 is too low to draw any conclusion. So I deposited another $50 and ran my campaigns again after making some tweaks. Still no sales. Trying my best to stay calm, I took several days tweaking my ads so that my quality score, ad relevance and ad position were on point. I also changed my landing page a bit, even though it was already well-optimised. Then, I added another 50 and repeated my campaigns. No dice. $150 gone and still no sales. At this point, I started reading more tips on optimising your Adwords campaigns and applied them to my campaigns. Confident that I was on the right track, I deposited $150 into my account and ran my campaigns. Once my credits were used up,.................. Adwords you son of a bleeep!!:angryfire $300 spent and NOT... ONE... SALE. And 2 months have already went by. At this point, I resisted the urge to dump more money on Adwords and took a month off to analyse my situation and didn't run any marketing campaigns at all. I still paid my web hosting and e-junkie fees to keep my site operational. During this time-off, I kept getting emails from Adwords,telling me that my balance is low and I need to top up bla bla. I just ignored those emails. After that 1 mth, I came to 2 conclusions. Firstly, people who use Google search probably seem to be more interested in browsing the web for info rather than buying unless they're searching for physical goods. Secondly, Adwords' popularity meant that there's a huge number of advertisers bidding for keywords, which naturally results in the winning bids to be higher. I think this is true for all niches, not just those competitive ones. As a result, I was haemorrhaging my marketing budget without seeing any returns at all. Maybe in the past when Google was still new, advertisers could get away with cheap CPC but now, I don't think it's possible anymore. I believe it's too saturated now. Some of you might tell me to just put a cap on my max bid. Well, I've already tried that and my ads ended up not showing at all because it's just too low. And no, I'm not being egoistic and shifting the blame from my landing page. Not at all. Sure, maybe my landing page could use some work but looking at the situation with Adwords, it seems to suggest that competition for keywords is indeed higher now than before. I was burning through my pocket due to the high CPC. Adwords is just not cost-effective for my business where my marketing budget is somewhat limited. I would have given it another try if I had made at least one sale but that wasn't the case and I figured it was better to cut my losses. After all, I don't have billions to spend on marketing like the big companies. After that 1 mth break, I decided to use another advertising service: BuySellAds. This is not PPC. They charge per 1000 impressions. So, while there's the risk of not getting any clicks at all, there's also the chance that I would get much lower CPC than with Adwords if I get a decent number clicks. I paid $45 for 10,000 impressions in a spot on a relevant website with moderately good monthly impressions on the BSA network and ran an animated banner ad for 30 days. Continued..