I have been working on this post off and on for a long time. It was really hard to write. I want to talk about my experience but at the same time I want to be in compliance with all TOS so please consider all numbers I mention not as fact. Also please do not consider or act on any niches or keywords I mention without doing your own research first. (also dont drive up my bids!).
Ok so in mid Jan I noticed my CPC INCOME from contextual revenue rose to about 3$ a click. At first I figured it was some company blowing there budget or some newb. But it did not go down. Day after day it even went up and down 3-5$ range. Just for grins we will say this website is in the “ringtone” industry. Now after almost a full month I started wondering how in the world someone is actually making money off of paying me that much per click. Especially considering they are budgeting 15-20% for clickfraud and then whatever for marketflux then that means they are actually spending perhaps as much as 6-10$ respectively per click.
My friend Todd Malicoat has this cool Adwords Professional logo on his website and I always thought it would be cool if I had one of those. Also perhaps it would teach me about how this cpc industry could be so profitable. I enrolled in the Adwords Professional Certification program and learned very quickly there was much more to this industry then just writing a ad. After 2-3 days I had finished all the tutorials and was doing ok with the practice quiz’s on Googles site. Now I needed to spend 1,000$ (or manage) on Adwords so I could meet the requirements of the Adwords Professional Program.
I already had a relationship with cj.com and Azoogleads and CJ.com for ringtone affiliates so I made landing pages for those much like this site. I then created my ads on Adwords and put a budget of 100$ a day. The first day I only made 25$ and spent the full 100$. OUPS…. Well back to those Adwords tutorials! So after a few hours of research a few things were very apparent in the ringtone industry.
- Nextel users cant use any of these “No Charge Ringtone Offers”
- International users cant use an of these offers.
Lucky for me these were 2 things I could immediately correct. I now targeted only the united states and used Nextel as a negative keyword. This means that if I had broad match for “ringtones” it would match for Sprint ringtones, Cingular ringtones, Tmobile ringtones but it would not match for Nextel ringtones.
After editing my campaign I now was ready to rock again! The 2nd day I spent 100$ and made 85$ uggggg closer…. I guess….. Man there is a lot to this! Now it was time to re-evaluate my bids. For those who do not know you bid on keyword terms. The price of the bid is determined by what others are paying mixed with the “quality score” of your ad. Now I was spending almost 2$ per click and was close to breaking even… if I could just get that own a bit I might even make a profit on my quest to become a Adwords Certified Professional! I started doing some research on these phones and figured out which ones actually could accept ringtones. For instance there are MANY PHONES that can’t accept ringtones and there for those people are a waste to show these ads to. So I hit up various cellular phone forums and tried to figure out what phones were popular and could accept ringtones. I assembled a list pretty fast and then wrote ads and picked keywords to target these specific phones. One of these phones is a “Razr”. Checking inventory.overture.com we can see what terms are popular for the razr phone. Now keep in mind you are not supposed to bid on any trademark terms… allegedly… however I was able to get most of my bids approved that were for copyrighted and trademarked terms.
For instance “black motorola razr v3” is a pretty searched for term. So now I created a ad like this:
Now my quality score was super high cause it was targeted with the keyword section I was after. With a bid of .35 for this I was in first place… WOW. I then devoted about 8 hours to doing nothing but writing custom ads for each keyword set. Sometimes even writing multiple ads for keywords. The next day I spent $45 and grossed $65!! WAHOOOO now we are on to something. I made a profit without even hitting my $100/day budget. The next few weeks I let this roll and see what happened. I spent $1400 and made almost $2000. There must be something to this after all….
Guess what? I have successfully managed my account for 90 days and spent over $1000 so now I was eligible to take the Adwords professional test!
Did I pass ? Of course!
What was learned ?
Was there money in this ringtone affiliate stuff ? Absolutely…
So did I want to make a real run with ppc ? I had talked to my friend Jenstar and other people and they thought I should give it a ago! Ok So now what?
Better payout – Now on the affiliate side I switched from cj to Azoogle and was able to get a higher payout for each ringtone offer almost across the board. Generally it was 25% better. This should be better roi.. It was the same offers but now with better payout. The downside with azoogle was there reporting is a little weak. Its really hard to track your individual ads. The upsides is the payouts are much better and the reporting was totally realtime. Plus Azoogle does wire transfers with pretty fast payouts… ok so that is settled.
More Search terms – Even at my peak I wasnt reaching my budget. I needed to research and right more ads. I found that writing ads and using search terms for specific artists was working really well. Like eminem ringtones and etc….
Other PPC engines – I am going to try Adwords, MSN Adcenter, Yahoo Search Marketing and AdBrite. Based on the data from Adwords I figured $10,000 apiece would be a good amount to spend to test.
Here goes nothing (to be continued)