Business Goals For The New Year 2009

Another year passes us by and new opportunity is always around the corner so it’s time to set some goals for 2009. Unfortunately the year ended on the downside income wise with not even being able to get close to the $10,000 earnings goal I had set for December. Thanks to what’s going to be a less than stellar month from eBay and Google completely shutting me down on the content network for the last 2 weeks (more about that in a post later) income is way off from what I had projected. If you haven’t figured it out by now, that’s just the way it goes with affiliate marketing and the only thing you can do is continue to press on.

With the volatile nature of affiliate marketing I’ve decided to make some some significant changes in the way I’m going to do business this year. The things that have generated a steady income for me over the years will be where I’ll be spending a majority of my time in 2009. Gone will be much of the experimental things I’ve been doing with PPC and many of the weight loss, diet type offers I’ve been toying around with. I don’t believe green tea and acai berry pills and potions are a legitimate way to lose weight and stay healthy, so what the heck am I trying to sell that garbage for?

On the plus side I’ve found a few CPA offers that seem to work very well and are good solid, legitimate products and I’ll continue to work with those and look for more like them. But PPC is not where I’ll be spending the bulk of my time. The three main areas of business I’ll be working on in 2009 are as follows:

Travel Sites– This is where the bulk of my Adsense income has come from for the last 4 years and it’s time to seriously expand this part of my business. Right now I have 1 travel site and 1 travel blog that brings in 85% of my roughly $1,200 to $1,500 per month Adsense income. My initial goal is to double the Adsense income or bring it to a steady $3,000 per month and increase TripAdvisor income to $1,000 per month.

This will be accomplished by adding a blog to my travel site (which I’ve already done) and outsourcing content for both article marketing and adding new pages to these sites. I’ve outsourced content writing before, but this will be on a much larger scale and plan to pay for some 20 to 30 articles a month and possibly double that when I get a good system going. There also may be another travel site going online depending on how quickly I cab increase Adsense income.

Healthy Eating Sites and Blogs – This is really the core of our belief in what’s going to make a difference in your health and I need to be putting much more time into writing content and blogging about what were doing around our home and yard to make this a reality. We’re transforming our yard into a mini farm and I’ve hardly written about this at all. And with the the way the economy is going, I can see a lot of people heading in this direction.

My initial goal in this area is to do 2 to 3 blog posts a week about nutrition and add 2 pages of content a week to our healthy diet site.

Attitude Adjustment– I’ve had to ask myself if I really have the mind of an internet entrepreneur and have come to the conclusion I need a new attitude for a new year. I spend way too much time fretting about Google, losing money with pay per click marketing, dwindling revenue, CPA offers not converting, checking stats and on, and on. I also tend to be way to negative and that attitude just has to go.

Things are going to be way different in 2009 with the way the economy is going it will require extraordinary thinking and innovation. There is always opportunity regardless of what happens and it just takes a little more thinking outside of the normal way of doing things to be creative and to find out what works and what doesn’t. Time to stop sweating the small stuff and see a much bigger picture.

So, my initial goal is to bring Adsense income to a steady $3,000 per month, get TripAdvisor to $1,000 per month and earn $1,000 from all other sources including eBay, through PPC and all other sources giving me a solid $5,000 per month. When that goal is realized hopefully in 6 to 9 months, I’ll start working on doubling it.

Are you ready for 2009? What are your goals?

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Financing Your PPC Campaigns

Getting into pay per click marketing can be expensive because unless you really know what you’re doing, most everyone tends to lose money in the beginning. There are those that have the golden touch and are profitable with PPC right away, but for most of us, including myself, you end up spending a lot of money with Adwords long before you see profit.

So what can you do if you want to get started, but don’t want to risk the money initially? Try financing your PPC campaigns. I’m not talking about taking out a loan and risking money you don’t have, we already have a huge problem with that in the world today, what I’m talking about is to finance your paid marketing with other present or newly created revenue from your affiliate business.

If you want to get into PPC and have little money to do so, determine right now to either use a specific amount of money (a budget), a specific CPA offer that’s generating x amount of cash or build a new stream of revenue with your blog, a new site or sell some stuff on eBay just to get going. You are essentially borrowing money from one part of your business to finance another part of your business. The only way you are going to be truly profitable in the long run as an affiliate is to put those profits back into your business on an ongoing basis.

Initially I sold some things on eBay to have some seed money when I decided to get into PPC again. And when I reached a level of income over $2,500 per month, my wife and I decided I could spend anything over that amount on PPC. I’m also profiting from a PPC offer that’s making more money per day than all my other campaigns are costing.

If you are successful with this method of financing your PPC efforts this way, be careful not to overlook your campaigns that are losing money just because you are making more in the long run than the losers are costing you. You still have to weed out and either delete or heavily tweak your campaigns that aren’t making you any money if you want to build a good income. I have to stay diligent and check my campaigns every day to find the ones that aren’t doing well.

This may be done fairly quickly for some or may take some time to implement for others depending on how profitable you are or how quickly you can start to be profitable with various affiliate offers. Once you budget the amount you’re going to spend or are going to finance your campaigns with a changing amount of revenue from one of your best affiliate offers, then don’t exceed the amount you are making for that day. If you keep working at it and are smart about your cash flow when just staring out, you will eventually be making enough that you can try bigger and more riskier PPC campaigns and hopefully make even more profit.

You should know by now that I’m not about get-rich-quick, so if you thought that was what this was about, head over to ClickBank and get one of those kind of ebooks. If you want to learn how to do PPC the right way, check out PPC Coach.

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PPC Marketing Doesn’t Work…Most Of The Time

Short post today, but one of the biggest things that I’ve learned by joining PPC Coach is that pay-per-click marketing doesn’t work…most of the time. Over the last few years I’ve spent a considerable amount of money and time trying to figure out the PPC game and even with being a part of the PPC Coach program, I can still say that most of my pay per click marketing campaigns don’t work.

Let me explain: Like anything you will do in the world of affiliate marketing, paid search is a lot of work. It’s a lot of work identifying possible niches, making lists of keywords, setting up ads, creating landing pages, building sites, tweaking campaigns and finally finding something that’s going to be profitable. There isn’t any magic potion except for the hard work.

While I was immediately successful with 2 campaigns out of 7 (normal is 1 out of 10) in the month 1 portion of PPC Coach training, the rest of my Google Adwords campaigns haven’t seen that kind of success. I’m taking what I’ve learned through PPC Coach and trying the techniques on various kinds of campaigns and the success rate is about the normal 1 in 10 or maybe a little less. But the difference is that 1 in 10 are successful instead of my old record of probably 1 in 50. The lessons have taught me how to better identify possible profit areas, how to structure campaigns and adgroups to be more focused, when to keep a campaign going and when to drop one, how to tweak a successful campaign for maximum profitability and a lot more.

One of the more important things I’ve learned is to keep working until you find success, keep building campaigns until the profitable ones are identified. While there are some great tools in PPC Coach that help you work smarter and quicker, there is never a substitute for putting your nose to the grindstone and hammering out your next campaign or building your next landing page.

Really, it’s no secret, ppc doesn’t work most of the time, the trick is to keep working at it until you find the gems that do work.

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Using PPC Coach? Please RTFM!

PPC Coach is the best thing to come along that really gets into the nuts and bolts of paid search marketing, however, there are still some that simply don’t get it.

It’s important to know your limitations and one of mine is still in the area of pay-per-click even though I’ve had some limited success. Because of that minor success I am now getting a steady stream of private messages in the forums at PPC Coach from people wanting me to coach them on “how I did it.” The PM’s all say something like this, “Wow dude, congrats on your success. I can’t figure out month 1, could you help me?” or “Such and such isn’t working for me in Adwords, what do you think the problem is?” The interesting thing is that 90% of these questions are coming from people with less than 3 posts in the forums.

I certainly don’t mind questions, but it’s painfully obvious when people aren’t doing their homework and immediately look somewhere else for answers. If you don’t dig for the gold yourself, you aren’t going to find it.

Now, when you join PPC Coach you will see there are videos for nearly every aspect of the program and complete walk-throughs showing you how to set things up and use various tools available to members. There is also an extensive forum that covers everything and more dealing with PPC. Within that forum are the specific threads for each month of the program going into great detail on how to make each specific technique work and you can even ask questions on those threads if you don’t understand something.

Beyond that, once you spend a few hours in the forums, you soon begin to realize who the serious money makers are and you can then click over to their profiles and do a search so you can read everything these guys have written. And the nice thing about the PPC Coach forums is that the experts (some making between $50,000 and $100,000 per month) are very candid with their information. I’ve read tips and tricks from these experts I’ve never read on any blog. And beyond that, PPC Coach members have Coach who makes over $100,000 per month and almost begs people to PM or email him if they don’t understand something.

All this available information and resources are essentially the PPC Coach manual. Coach stresses to new members to look at all the videos and spend a few hours in the forums before trying out any of the month 1 techniques just so you can get a feel of what everyone else is doing and what makes for success in the program. This is what people are paying $50 a month for. This is how the system works and if you don’t use the system you won’t succeed.

So what would you think about someone who pays $50 a month for a coaching program and then doesn’t use the resources? Success isn’t going to happen for those who continue to do business as usual. Sometimes it’s really obvious why people don’t succeed. Unfortunately it’s not all that obvious to the individual it’s happening to.

Please, if you are spending $50, or more, for any coaching program, use the resources and RTFM!

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Record Affiliate Earnings Over $500 Yesterday

On the heels of Monday’s PPC earnings of over $200, yesterday was a significant milestone in my affiliate career as I realized a record profit of over $500, of which $446 came from pay per click. The two PPC campaigns that are the most profitable for me more than doubled in volume and earnings from the previous day.

The last few days of nice profits have been a really great way to end the month, however I don’t think it will be a record overall for the entire month. I got hammered this month on eBay earnings and Adsense income suffered a bit because of the slowdown during this time of year in the travel industry. I make the bulk of my Adsense earnings from travel. While earnings from PPC is up significantly this month, combined Adsense and eBay income is down by more than $1,000.

While it is great to earn this much in a day, and do the bulk of it from PPC, it’s not really where I want to be with by online endeavors. The earnings from paying for traffic are very tenuous and could go away tomorrow. One of the campaigns is a little more stable than the other and should be able to  make a profit for the next few months, but I don’t expect the other to last that long.

This is why it’s so important to diversify your income as an affiliate and why I sometimes harp on this point. You just never know where your income might come from month to month. It has been the story of my affiliate career to do really well with one source of income only to have another source drop significantly or even completely dry up. I used to make $200 to $300 per month producing $1 leads for Rentalo.com from my travel sites, but no longer use their program.

It’s nice to make $500 in one day, but at this point I’m only considering it bonus money. I’ll get really excited when I make that kind of money every day for a month. 

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