Archive | February, 2008

Testing + Testing + Testing = Big Dollars

Posted on 19 February 2008 by SonHouse

You know, one of the biggest things I have learned in this business is the importance of testing.  This was confirmed once again when I listened to David Bullock’s PPC Live presentation on multivariate/multivariable testing.  I just received the videos this week from PPC Live and have been soaking them in these last few days.

Bullock is an expert in the field and his approach is very scientific but fairly simple.  He basically says, if you test your data inputs, ie headline copy, landing pages, images, text etc. , against existing controls, you will always find a winning combination that will bring your campaigns to a profitable status.  Constant testing will eventually get to a point that levels off and then you know you’re done.

For example, how many of you are split testing your ad copy?  Not many probably.  When I first started PPC, I would set up a campaign with thousands of keywords and 1 ad and let it run.  Of course the results were terrible, but I didn’t realize I was doing something wrong.

The correct way is to segment your campaign into highly targeted adgroups with small lists of keywords, each with targeted ads complete with tracking urls for each keyword.  I set up 2 ads to start and test over a weeks time to get the data and find the winning ad. Then I pause the loser and create a new ad with different variations of the winning ad and keep testing from there.  Small changes can produce BIG results!  Do this over and over and your winning ads will always float to the top….

I’ve taken ads that were at .50 CTR and turned them into ads with over a 5% CTR.  Of course google loves this and will reward you for highly targeted relevant ads and landing pages by lowering your cpc amount.  Nice!!

If you are tracking everything properly, you will see exactly which keywords and adgroups are bringing you the cash then it’s just a matter of scaling those campaigns and making frequent trips to the bank to deposit those big checks.

So start testing if you’re not, and watch your profits soar.

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Final Thoughts On PPC Classroom, So Long I’m Gone!

Posted on 10 February 2008 by SonHouse

Well, I’ve decided to discontinue the PPC Classroom monthly training program.  I just cannot continue to pay $49.95 per month to stay a member of a forum when most of the active members have already left.

They did hire someone to tend to the forum and post regular case studies, but it’s a bit too little too late.  Jeremy is gone, he broke off from the group and is focusing back on his family and business.  Good for him, but he was the main reason I joined.

When I signed up for PPC Classroom in October of last year, I agreed to pay $500 for the product, which included the entire course, 6 webinars, the OMS tracking tool and various downloads within the forum.  I struggled to decide whether or not to sign up for the program but after years of self taught affiliate marketing, I decided to take the plunge and get some help.  I’ve easily spent over $1000 on the entire course, vegas trip included, PPC Live DVD’s, and first few months of the forum.

The main reason I signed up was due to Jeremy Palmer’s involvement.  I trusted him even though I really didn’t know much about the guy he seemed to be sincere and geniunely interested in helping other affiliates.  I wanted to try the tool he uses to track his campaigns which is something he designed.  Plus, he had replied to a personal email over a year ago about his ebook.  I thought that was pretty cool.  So, I signed up and thought I would track my progress through the entire course.  I set some lofty goals, which I am still shooting for, and plowed through the printed material and listened to all webinars and even made the trip out to Vegas, see post, for the PPC Live Event.

The live event was not what I expected but I did learn a few things that have helped me, otherwise the trip was really a marketing event and a chance for the presenters to make a few bucks.  No big deal, live and learn, right!  The presenters were good, I’ll give ’em that, but were selling continuing education courses at the end of the day.  It was Vegas though so it was good time.

At the end of the year, there was a lot of talk about all of the exciting things to come for PPC Classroom, including some new faces and involvement from some heavy hitters in the industry.  This came right before the end of the year, after weeks of silence from the founders.  Anik was traveling the world recruiting new board members and I guess couldn’t login to the forum.  Jeremy was in the forum some, mainly on the OMS threads, letting everyone know he had started a new forum for OMS support and had a new version that was available to fix a few bugs.

Meanwhile, the PPC Classroom forum was starving for input from the founders about what was going to happen at the first of the year, when were we going to get charged the monthly fee, when were the PPC Classroom Live DVD’s going to be available, and what the status was on the case studies promised in the sales letter during the first 3 months of the course.

Well, as of mid February 2008, not much is happening over at the PPC Classroom forum except for a case study that is 3 lessons deep, this could drag on for a while, I suspect months as to keep people on board month to month paying their $49.95.  All of the big contributors in the forum are gone, I’m one of the only ones left and I haven’t even posted that much but I’m in the top 10.

The person doing the case studies, Heather Paulson, is knowledgable and very professional.  I have learned a few things from her for sure and have used some of the spreadsheets to help me find campaigns to go after.  Anik usually introduces her on the calls but is gone within a few minutes.

So was it worth the money?  I’d say yes for the most part, I did learn quite a bit, but I’m dissappointed in how things have ended up and that the other forum members have left.  I’ve learned a lot about these product launches and the life cycle of these things.  Bottom line, the owners are trying to make a buck, nothing wrong with that, but things weren’t as organized as they could have been and we, the members, paid for it.  There were delays in the original product shipping out, weeks and weeks and lots of angry forum members, buggy software, although Jeremy was quick to release fixes, more delays in the DVD’s, delays in posting webinars, last minute rescheduling of webinars, and at different times a serious lack of communication.  Why should we, the members, be expected to be patient for that?  We paid for a course that was presented to us as complete and was really not and when we posted our concerns, one of the moderators, you know who you are, bashed us for not being patient and for “complaining” all the time.  He would lock threads that voiced any kind of complaint or if we questioned what was going on, not good.

I’m still waiting for DVD’s that I ordered in early December, I paid $177 for them, and it’s going on 3 months later and no DVD’s.  They say they are shipping soon, but I’ll believe it when I see them.  I’m sure they will come sooner or later, probably much later but they will arrive, if not it’s chargeback time.

At the end of the day, I think PPC Classroom will become a fine tuned, well oiled, affiliate marketing machine, but unfortunately I and a thousand other members were a sort of beta test group for the course.  It’s gone through some radical changes, not all bad I must say, but Jeremy’s exit was dissappointing for me and they have all but abandoned the tool he created, they aren’t even using it in their own case study.  I’ve posted a few times about this in the forum to Heather and she has not replied.  She probably doesn’t know how to use it and now that Jeremy is gone, there is no reason to figure it out or support it.  Can’t really blame her there, but for those of us who were trying to follow the program from the start with Jeremy’s direction, it’s kind of derailed us or me at least, I’m trying to manage these campaigns and I have 10 different versions of OMS installed everywhere and I’m uploading reports to all these domains everyday.  I’m trying that’s for sure…

I’ll be notifying PPC Classroom to cancel my membership before the month is out.  So Long!

So, I’ll keep pluggin’ away on my own for now on my journey to super affiliate status.  I’m well on my way!  Good luck to everyone that is staying on board.

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Get On The Content Bandwagon!

Posted on 06 February 2008 by SonHouse

One of the things I’ve been working on so far this year is creating a few content rich sites that leverage original content and monetize that with affiliate income.

It’s been an interesting test so far as I’ve been able to breakeven on the ppc adspend so far and if I can just get a few more conversions each day from some related affiliate offer, I can optimize these sites and campaigns to a profitable status.

So, how am I going to do this?  Well, so far I’ve been monitizing the adspend with some strategically placed adsense ads.  These are converting well, 25% or more.  I’ve done this with proper ad size, placement and site blending.

Now, the backend affiliate sales, the real money, is coming from text links, pop unders offers, pop up offers and list building with email followups.  When those offers convert, the site becomes profitable.

One of the things I’ve learned in PPC marketing and site monetization is to discover creative ways to generate backend revenue.  I have some big plans for a few other sites so I will keep you posted.  So far, I have 2 of these sites that are profitable.  So far so good….

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