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Product Manufacturing 101

Posted on 15 June 2007 by SonHouse

One of the key things I’ve learned in online marketing of any sort, is to spread your income over a wide range of areas so that you are never too dependent on any one source of income.  I’ve been focusing on my affiliate marketing revenue streams of late but I’ve also been working, for years, on yet another source of income that has proven to be a steady earner. 

The product, I wrote a post about it last year, is designed for kids and I sell it direct mainly but may take on some wholesale and retail accounts down the road.  I have been making the product by hand for the last 2 years and I recently invested in a machine that will help me scale production 20 fold.  I have been researching these machines for years and felt they were still a little too expensive for what I was doing.  I finally found someone selling one, online, and we made a deal that I couldn’t turn down.  So I drove to meet this guy half way between Austin and Dallas, in Waco, to complete the transaction in a McDonald’s parking lot.  So I’ve got this machine in the back of my truck, and I have no idea really how it works.  The guy who sold it to me didn’t know much about it either, he just imports them from China and sells them on the side.

I get this thing home and I’m excited to get it working.  I put together everything I need to start manufacturing the product, and turn the machine on and right away, there is a problem.  The thing jams and completely shuts down.  So,  I read through the manual the guy gave me, which amounts to about a 20 page printed word document that some guy from China translated to english, not much help at all, in fact it makes no sense whatsoever.  Anyway, I can’t get the thing working and after about 3 days of messing around with it, I decide to take it apart to figure out how it works.   Well, after a few hours, I finally start to make sense of how the machine works and figure out what the problem is.  After fixing it and putting the whole thing back together, I’m now ready to start cranking out the product. 

There is a process to manufacturing these products that has taken some time to figure out but I’m getting very close, in fact, I’m pretty much there.  I will start full scale manufacturing this week and begin to sell the new product within the next month or so.  Next thing I need to do is order new containers and finish the label design for the new look and feel of the product.  The reason I decided to manufacture this product instead of buying wholesale from someone is that I learned a long time ago to make really good money on what you sell you need to be able to mark up your product quite a bit.  That can be hard to do when you are paying a wholesaler and they are taking their cut.  By manufacturing the product myself, I cut the middle man out and I’m able to keep costs down and make as much as I can on the other end.  Also, by selling direct, I maximize my profits.

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Close Eye On Your ROI

Posted on 09 June 2007 by SonHouse

Ok..so I’ve been working pretty hard on my ppc campaigns and have really tweaked each adgroup and keyword listing within specific campaigns to maximize profits.  It fun to see an adgroup that is producing a consistant profit without doing much.  There comes a point when you begin to see just what is working and what is not but like everyone says, “It takes time and a whole lot of testing”.   This part is where most people give up, I can be impatient as easy as the next guy but in this business you have to learn to be patient and continue testing everything until you see the dollars.  Once you’ve learned what works, just apply it to your other campaigns and increase your adspend.

Now, this strategy works with affiliate offers but it will work with any product or service, you just need to be able to track your campaigns with some analytics software and keep a very close eye on your ROI.  Usually including a small piece of java code on the confirmation page is all that it takes.  That can be a little tricky when you don’t have access to confirmation pages within affiliate companies, but if you send your account manager your code for each of the offers you are promoting, they can usually add it in.  If you are selling your own product or service on your own site, just include the code on whatever pages you are trying to convert.  Once you have this data you can keep close tabs on your ROI.

Now..just keep pluggin’ away.

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Bringing Down The House

Posted on 05 April 2007 by SonHouse

Have you ever heard people say that in Vegas, “The House always has the advantage?”  Well..they do, in fact although it’s a small percentage, they know that they will always win in the long run, it’s a mathematical certainty.  How do you think they build all those huge hotels in the middle of the desert?

I believe that affiliates can take the ad network house with a very calculated approach to ppc and affiliate marketing.  By knowing for certain what your ROI is and what your breakeven point is per click, and making sure you stay in the positive you will make money, lots of it, if you have the ad budget.

Keeping your ROI in the black can be tricky when you are doing PPC but if you know your stats and manage your keywords correctly, you can do it and you will have the advantage and take the house everytime.  It takes some time to test everything and some trial and error but once you get it right, stand back!

Keep a close eye on your quality score.  A poor keyword score can jack up your bids out of money making range if you’re not careful.  Finding those keywords that convert and that you can have a “Great” quality score with, is money in the bank.

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