Okay, a few people were asking how my 30 day challenge has been going. I initially discussed this on the ‘getting inspired‘ posted earlier this month. The challenge was to create three new sites and to see if I could generate $100 in net sales. I would be happy with making $100 in gross sales, but I wanted to see if it was possible.
It took me a good part of the first two weeks to get the sites created, but I was able to get the three finished and live. That left the remainder of the month to push traffic to these sites and see if any of them were good. I picked three different niches. One proven earner for me, one occasional earning niche and the last was a total experimental niche. I also used a variety of EPN, AdSense, PopShops/CJ. I also tried to use new improved layouts and functionality. One site I was able to integrate EPN/API with GoogleMaps/API for extended search capability.
I also looked into ways of promoting the sites with some of the tools I mentioned over the last few weeks. Mainly, SocialMarker for hitting social bookmarking sites as well as WebsiteGrader for making sure the sites were built up to standards and to monitor backlinks.
Overall the challenge has been really fun and interesting. Site #1 which was the experimental niche has returned a few dollars, but has proven not to be a great earner, but with potential. Site #2 which was the ‘occasional’ earner has performed horribly so far. I also did not include any AdSense or EPN on this site, and relied solely on PopShops/CJ. I also went with a different ‘look’ and I think returns are suffering because of this. Site #3 was my proven earning niche.. and holy cow, it’s out performing all of my similar niche sites that have been running for years!
All three sites are using PPC. Some sites are on the three big PPC networks, but some are only in one network. All are using at least YSM though. Normally, I don’t use AdWords, but I thought I would give it a shot for this challenge. I definitely have a lot to learn when it comes to AdWords.
So enough talk, and let’s get down to numbers. Here are earnings and expenses as of 10/29
Site #1 $12.95
Site #2 $0.00
Site #3 $545.68
Total Earnings for 3 weeks of work: $558.63
Total PPC Expense: $177.24
Total Net Profit: $381.39
I learned alot with this challenge. Items learned, PPC is hella good if you’re returns justify the expense. I was blown away by ratio on Site #3 site. I might triple my PPC costs for this site alone. The data suggests that my return on that investment would be very rewarding. Site #2 is telling me that I need to improve the ad text, landing page or entire layout, since it does not seem to generate sales. CJ/PopShops, in my experience, needs lots of clicks. Commissions are high, so a single commission could trump my Site #3, and I have a few days left in the month. Site #2 is telling me that it’s an interesting niche, but probably not worth the PPC dollars put into it. I think I’ll focus on more organic traffic since it’s a novelty based niche.
So, my advice to you, is to try your own 30 day challenge. Force yourself to be productive and experimental with your site creation!