5
Jan

Lessons In Perseverance Part 3

PerseveranceWe’re finally moving away from our adventures in MLM for this post and starting to cover how things went when I started to work full time on the web ventures and affiliate sites. For much of the time I’ve been working on the net the story is nearly the same. While not facing company regulations on a business that you supposedly owned, but couldn’t control, many of the challenges were still there. When an obstacle gets in your way you can either quit or find a way around it, through it, under it or take a different path altogether, but sometimes you just have to stick with your ultimate goal and eventually push your tractor up the hill when it breaks.

One of the first web sites I built was for the vacation rentals niche and when first getting started I had no idea how to make money with it. I thought I could form partnerships with cabins and vacation rentals and have them pay me on a per lead basis. I emailed about 300 cabin rental owners across the country and after getting several responses and talking with a few rental management companies, the pay per lead way of making money wasn’t really going to work. It was just going to be way more work than 1 person could handle.

Another idea that came about after looking into buying some land in Dunlap, Tennessee was I thought I could produce some leads for a developer who showed us around a project he was working on. I put up a page about buying lots and homes in his development on our vacation site and was sending him leads. It turned out I was able to outrank him in Google for both the terms tennessee land for sale and land in tennessee. In fact I had the number one spot for both those terms for several months, but the developer was not happy and chewed my butt for using pictures off his web site and copying his lead form. My plan was to start producing leads and then give him a call and see what he would pay for them. Unfortunately he was not impressed with what I had done and demanded I remove any copyrighted info immediately.

In retrospect I probably should have told him up front what my plan was because he thought I was trying to get information about people who were interested in his development and sell it to other companies. I certainly made a mistake there, but he was absolutely clueless about what I was doing. Trying to explain I was sending him about 20 to 30 people a day looking for his product didn’t seem to phase him, he just didn’t have a clue.

The most valuable lesson out of this was that I had my first real understanding about keywords, search engine rankings and how to make all that work. I was using (and still am on a couple of sites) a product called Site Build It that was very comprehensive in teaching me everything I needed to know about how to build a profitable web site. I don’t really recommend Site Build It for anyone other than noobs because there are some very significant limitations as to what you can do with it, but it sure helped me get a basic understanding on how the web worked.

The vacation rental site was started in Sept of 2004 and after the fiasco with the developer in Tennessee I still didn’t have a clue as to how I was really going to monetize this site, then I discovered Google Adsense. I signed up for Adsense on May 18, 2005 and my first full month with it I made $688. The next month, July 2005, I made $930 and thought I was going to be rich. Adsense revenue peaked right away because I had read tons of case studies and material about where to place ads for maximum click throughs. We had about 400 people per day coming to the vacation site and this was producing $25 to $35 in daily Adsense earnings.

Things moved along fairly smoothly for more than a year, but I had a hard time increasing revenue. I tried several different affiliate programs and some worked, but most didn’t. As one affiliate program would peak another would drop in revenue. That’s why it’s always important to continue to diversify your affiliate income sources. Adsense was a very good source of income for me for nearly a year and a half, but started to take a serious dive towards November of 2006 and by January I had seen a once profitable program bringing me less than half of what it peaked out at. I was eventually able to bring things up again after the drop, but I’ll save that story for part 4.

Alan

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2 Responses to “Lessons In Perseverance Part 3”

  1. It’s all trial&error as far as website monetization is concerned. Depending on the type of website you have, some monetization methods are worthwhile while some are not, it’s impossible to speak in general terms,

    Trying various methods on for size, sticking with what is working out for you and dropping what’s not is the name of the game.

    Alan Johnson

  2. […] you haven’t had the chance, read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of Lessons In […]

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