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  1. #1
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Question Broke the $1000/Month Mark: What to focus on next?
    Back in September I broke the $1000-a-month milestone and last month made it to around $1200. This month looks like it'll be pushing closer to $1500.

    While exciting (ok, super exciting ) I've been trying to come up with a plan for getting this to a solid $2000 a month next year, or at least around the June timeframe.

    So far I've had success with articles and reviews, posting to social networking sites, and also make a few hundred a month from a couple of shareware programs I wrote.

    I have not used Adwords or any kind of paid advertising in over 4 months. I went from about 10 sites down to focusing on one single site that gets between 500 to 1000 unique visitors a day.

    If you were in my shoes, or if you can remember back to when you were, what do you recommend I focus on next by way of advertising?

    I'm working on business cards that I can hand out to people on the bus when they ask me what I'm doing with my laptop (especially the computer geeks who dig the sight of the broadband Aircard sticking out of my USB port, and want to know how fast it is ), and I've created a flyer that I plan to hang up at local shopping centers, that has pullouts with my website address.

    Should I learn how to use Adwords? (I tried that about a year ago and ended up wasting too much money)

    Should I start advertising on StumbleUpon?

    What do you recommend?

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I'd look into diversifying (not to put all eggs into one basket, as they say). AdWords are definitely worth getting versed in.

    Geno

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    You have one site that you have focused on that is doing well, replicate that plan with a different topic to diversify. Some people are good at ppc and some aren't, I would stick with what you know works
    Deborah Carney
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  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    I'm working on business cards that I can hand out to people on the bus when they ask me what I'm doing with my laptop (especially the computer geeks who dig the sight of the broadband Aircard sticking out of my USB port, and want to know how fast it is ), and I've created a flyer that I plan to hang up at local shopping centers, that has pullouts with my website address
    Now create some nice looking pens to hand out, a simple domainname.com on the pen with some words under that say,

    Looking for widgets? (insert actual/product name).


  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I don't know what your site targets so it is hard to make suggestions. But I would test some very specific long tail keyword PPC campaigns. Set a max total budget for the campaign so you know what your exposure is and carefully track the traffic and its impact on your sales.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  6. #6
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Whatever you are doing must be working pretty well. If it ain't broke don't fix it... just do more! Can you really only handle one website ? Perhaps 10 is too many, but 2 websites might be manageable.

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    ...I would test some very specific long tail keyword PPC campaigns. [underlining mine]
    Now that is a very good advice. It'll definitely save you from "wasting too much money", and you could add ad groups one by one, testing their effectiveness gradually (you'll find some being extremely profitable, while others -- not worth playing).

    Loxly's advice on not forgetting about the tried-n-proven techniques is good too.

    Geno

  8. #8
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful tips everyone - nice to have that kind of support from experienced ABWers!

    Yes, I think I could handle one more site. And I know 10 types of sites that don't work, which is a lot more than I knew a year ago

    I met someone else just a few minutes ago at my kid's church group, a parent who started writing articles for About.com making $500 a month. She now makes enough through her various websites to support their whole family! Wow, it's really motivating to hear first hand from someone how they did it and how they're able to live the kind of life that many of us have dreamed about for a very long time.

    I'm not just talking about money either. Being able to be Mr Mom for a change at least for part of the day would be very rewarding.

    I've hit my initial goal, which was being able to make enough money to quit my part time teaching job. The next goal seems insurmountable - replacing my full time income, but I think there's a good chance that I can get there in a few years (maybe sooner).

    For those of you who are starting out or wondering if you should keep on with this type of work - I hope you'll stick it out.

  9. #9
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Geno, by long tail I take it you mean a very specific and descriptive set of keywords?

    Like "get free pink motorola razr cell phone" instead of just "cell phone".

    Is that correct?

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Most people wouldn't put the "get" in there, even on a specific search, but that's the general idea. Although I'd call your example VERY long tail.

    Except for the "free" part. If you say "free" you may reopen yourself to a world of competition (thinks of all the "you have won a free [insert tech/electronic thing here]" popups, etc.).

  11. #11
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I think free would be a good NEGATIVE keyword. I don't think you'll make much money on free products :-)

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Start a "social" or community site

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #13
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    I think free would be a good NEGATIVE keyword. I don't think you'll make much money on free products :-)
    Actually, there's money to be made on free cell phones ($35 a pop), although I don't "sell" many of those, so you may have something there

    (probably because people suspect that there's a catch somewhere along the line)

  14. #14
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    First, Congrats Rick! I hit my milestone about the same time back in Aug/Sept. I was unable to tell, but I presume you've managed to maintain the income at this level since then.

    I, on the other hand have been up and down, November and so far December have been quite disappointing. When I get to the consistency that I think you're at, I'd look at trying to replicate the success with another site. Using the same techniques. Of course, you've got to maintain what you've got, but if you're successful to this same level a second time you know you have a formula with which to work. Just do it again, and again...
    Someday starts today
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  15. #15
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Yes, it's been consistent, and I think this month I'm either really finding my groove or it's just the holidays because sales are really starting to flow. I'm at a grand already this month with still a couple weeks to go, and have a grand already lined up for next month (CJ and others pay a month later) thanks to a couple bonus marks I hit just today.

    I'm not sure I have the expertise in any other areas to the level that I have with this site, but what about starting another site that's similar to this site but acts as it's competition? Or that maybe focused on a slightly different experience level of audience types (e.g. computer stuff for propellor heads vs computer stuff for dummies... erm, for those who lead normal lives and don't have time to fiddle with geeky computer stuff into the wee hours like I'm doing right now ).

    lol - hmm... that could be interesting. Has anyone tried that?

  16. #16
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    computer stuff for dummies...
    There's a whole industry built around that, so I'm sure there is a market available to help people there.

    I could see a competitive site being possible, but it might actually work against you, you're doing double the work without necessarily doubling your income.

    The fact that you don't feel you're an expert in something shouldn't be an impediment. Find a topic you know a little about and start learning about it, make a site based on the learning curve you're going through... others will relate to it and off you go. Before long you'll at least be an expert in how to learn about the topic. This would go back to the 'give a fish' or 'teach to fish' saying.
    Someday starts today
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  17. #17
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    Contratulations on your milestone! Being a software developer by trade I'm interested in what your shareware programs do? If it's not to forward to ask. Do have a website where you sell them? Thanks.

  18. #18
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Perhaps a website that expands on concepts you only briefly cover in your main site?

    Make a visual map of your current website concepts and see what topics are not well covered and how you could expand on those in a new site.

    Disclaimer: I am not making $1000/mo. (at least not yet)

  19. #19
    Newbie CoachDeag's Avatar
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    RickPlmr, right now you're my hero! Therefore it's difficult to know what advice to give you. I have been affiliate marketing for just about 2 months without making a $. This was a problem for me initially but then I woke up to myself and realized that there is not such thing as a quick buck!

    I think that business cards for interested parties is a good idea. Even though you/we exist online the fact that your laptop and peripherals are interesting to geeks is reason alone to engage them. When you give a business card ensure there is recognition of your site and wares. Go one better and lose everything on the card except your site(s). In this world of diminished attention spans a stand-out business card will mean way more that anything representing pedestrian.

    Can you direct me to your site(s) as a means to model...loosely.

  20. #20
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachDeag
    Can you direct me to your site(s) as a means to model...loosely.

  21. #21
    http and a telephoto
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    Coach, probably won't get to see Rick's site, and asking could get you in trouble, as noted by the above.

    Rick, even though a second site doesn't need to be about something you are an expert in, make sure it is something you are interested in and have some merchants in mind already. You don't want to start a site about something you lose interest in and then it becomes work.
    Deborah Carney
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  22. #22
    http and a telephoto
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    Snib, not everyone can, or wants to, make a social shopping site
    Deborah Carney
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  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Snib, not everyone can, or wants to, make a social shopping site
    Doesn't need to be social shopping. Can use a forum, blog or something like pligg to start a social site of any type.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  24. #24
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    Geno, by long tail I take it you mean a very specific and descriptive set of keywords?
    Yep.

    ...and I like Snib's idea too. I've been thinking of doing it myself for fun, and I am sure everyone who's got a passion about something can do it (you can base on a forum platform to begin with, and then add features to it). For affiliates the benefit is beyond mere pleasure. You can enhance it by adding a shopping area and monetize...

    G.

  25. #25
    Newbie CoachDeag's Avatar
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    Ouch!
    An unintentional mistake loxly. Yep, realize there are many other ways to view the site...have been there.

    Got lots to learn...

    Thanks for the heads up!

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