So 2007 is coming to an end. It’s time for reflection and to start planning goals for the coming year. I think reflection is really important. You need to know where you are coming from before looking to where you want to go. I officially started internet marketing in October 2006. That is when I signed up with CJ. I had a few sites running Google AdSense, but I was making about $15/month. Nothing to get excited about. After getting the CJ account, I began seeing the potential. My first month I made $90, followed by $190 for November and $120 for December. At this time, I knew I could make some money.
2007 started with my diversification plan. I had one community site that was doing well with CJ, so I decided to make another on a similar topic but exercising the 10 degrees of separation. Almost immediately, it began to gather content (generated by the public) and was getting traffic. Also at this time I generated a on-line article site dedicated to another area I’m interested in. The goals for both of these sites were simple.
- Community driven content
- Generate money from AdSense
- Generate money from CJ ads
- Generate money from paid banners
- Provide a launching point for other sites in development
The first quarter of 2007 didn’t show much improvement from the earlier income stats, but I knew this would take time to develop worthwhile traffic. At this point I wanted to experiment, and decided that 2007 would be a year of testing. I needed to find what directions were promising or a bust. What advertisers were good, or a bust. I needed to learn from the big guys and get a feel of the ‘scene’. I spent a ton of time on Shoemoney.com (but lately, I’m keep feeling it’s a sales-blog more than anything now-a-days) and DigitalPoint forum. I’m not the type of personality that gives up quickly or expects overnight results, which is good, since this area of marketing is tough.
About half way through the year, I decided eBay was where I was beginning to see the best results and decided to work that angle harder. Here is when the eBay store fronts (not BANS) begins to come into play. I began fishing with store fronts. Picking niches and seeing what had good opportunities. I also wrote a pretty extensive site tracker. This tracker shows all of my sites and the amount of expenses vs earnings. This is broken down by months with a year end profit/loss total. I needed to see what sites were earning or losing, and ensure that end of the month bottom line was showing profit. This is absolutely critical to my business.
I began to isolate niches that showed promise. Dipping into the third quarter, I wanted to play with PPC. I dabbled in it off and on throughout the year, but I decided to stick with Yahoo and begin to play the sites a bit. It definitely cuts into your profit, and it’s hard to beat the organic Google love, but there is absolutely not a better way to get your sites off of the ground. Determining good PPC sites, I began to see how the PPC game is played in a limited sense. Profits started to climb. CJ sales were reaching the $600-$800/month mark, while AdSense was hitting over $100/month. My subscription banners were bringing in over $200/month, so now my monthly income from affiliates was hovering around $1000 – $1300/month. Not bad from $15/month when I started. Here is a post where I discuss this in more detail.
So what are my goals with 2008? My learning year is ‘over’, so I better step up to the plate in 2008.
- Launch at least two community sites (my goal is to sell the sites in 2009.. we’ll see).
- Double my eBay store fronts by September
- Create at least 4 store fronts using CJ API only (no-ebay)
- Double my paid subscription banner sales
- At LEAST double my 2007 sales in 2008. I’ll be disappointed if I only double.
- Start playing more with CPA landing pages with PPC
- PR4 ranking for Money-Code.com
I’m hoping that I’m obviously illustrating that this takes time, patience and persistence. You need to constantly be pushing forward. Don’t get LAZY! I’m a web developer and Linux systems administrator by profession, so I have a busy day. Every spare minute or hour is devoted to this. When I hit a spot where I don’t have a lot of web dev projects, I don’t go on vacation or start sitting on the couch, I jump in full affiliate mode. You have to motivate yourself. See improvement, understand your failures and learn from them. Improve your skill set. That means getting into programming for some of you, or for me getting into business and sales. You also need to be creative and adventurous, identify potential revenue streams, and pursue those streams.