Starting Over – Part 4

For those just coming into this series, I’m describing what I would do if I had to start all over again, without any of the resources I’ve gained from being in business online for these past 15 years, as if I were a complete newbie, but with the knowledge and experience of an internet veteran.

I’m doing this to help those who would like to start their own online business, but don’t know how to proceed.  If you follow the general flow of this outline, you’ll find yourself making more money sooner than most folks getting started online.

Up to this point, I’ve described what I would do in the first 9 days, with the idea that I need to be profitable within the first 30 days.

Actually, if all goes well, we’re already profitable after the first week.  Be that as it may, not everyone hits a homerun their first time at bat, and even the experts don’t always know what’s going to work right out of the gate.

That’s why part of this process involves testing and tracking the results of those tests, and then making modifications to our ads and other marketing messages until the system we’ve set up is profitable.

Okay, so let’s continue with what I would do starting on day 10.

On day 6, we implemented our first ads, and by this point, we should have plenty of data to know how well those ads have been working.  With the analytics options with Google Adwords (or other PPC ad platform), we should have a clear idea of what percentage of folks are joining our mailing list from each of our ads and keyword targets.

What I’m looking for at this point are ad/keyword combination that have at least 100 clicks, and at least 10 new subscribers coming from them.  If any combination has less than 100 clicks, there’s not enough data to make a proper judgement on it. However, if we see an ad/keyword combination with 50 clicks and no subscribers, it’s fairly safe to say it’s time to try something else.

In these first 4 days, we may or may not have any ad/keyword combination that meet this requirement, although it’s important to keep on top of the stats to eliminate any problems before they can affect us.

I’m also looking at the percentage of clickthroughs on each ad.  Google tracks this for you, and it’s relatively easy to set up multiple ads to test, with results showing how well the ad did across all keyword options.  This is also a critical number, because Google won’t show ads that don’t get clicked.  We need at least a 1% clickthrough here.

If a keyword phrase gets 1000 searches a day (30,000 per month), a 1% clickthrough gives us only 10 visitors per day.  This is why we want to submit many different ads for every keyword we can think of that relates to our target market, the products we represent, and future products we plan to offer.

Unfortunately, at this point, since the money we’re making is through an affiliate program, and we can’t track the full pathway from PPC ad through to the final sale, we’re at a disadvantage in knowing exactly which ads are profitable and which ones aren’t.

It’s possible we’re getting lots of subscribers from an ad source, but those subscribers aren’t buying anything.

Until we have our own product to sell, we have to take it on faith that the more subscribers we get, the more money we’ll make somewhere down the road.

So at this point, the only metric with which we can gauge our success is our cost per subscriber.

This is best described with an example.

Let’s say that 50% of our visitors from a particular ad/keyword combination are joining our list, and we’re spending $0.50 per click.  This means it takes 2 visitors to get 1 subscriber, and our cost per subscriber is twice our cost per click.  In other words, we’re buying subscribers at $1 each.  This is actually a really good number.

Let’s also say that another ad/keyword combination is only getting 10% of visitors to complete the opt in process, and we’re spending $0.20 per click here.  10 clicks to get 1 subscriber.  Doing the math shows that we’re buying subscribers for $2 each in this case.  Still, not a bad number.

With my experience and writing ability, I know that I can produce a quick product to address a major concern of my target market, offer to sell that product for $10 to $20 to my mailing list, and get enough sales to produce $1 per subscriber within a short period of time.  I’ve done this several times.  Sometimes in as little as a week, including both product creation time and a 3-day sale to my list.

Many internet business experts say you should be able to make $1 per subscriber per month.  In the personal development space, this number tends to be a bit lower, but it’s still possible to get $1 per subscriber in a month, and at least $6 per subscriber per year.

So, spending $2 per subscriber is okay.  If I see an ad/keyword combination where it’s costing me $5 per subscriber, I’ll pause that ad for that keyword until I know I can recover that cost in a reasonable time.  Meaning, when I have a really hot product that everyone wants, and can make tons of sales very quickly.

All of this is to say that on day 10, I’m going to be analyzing my numbers, cutting the ads that aren’t working as well as they should, and writing new ads to test.  The more ads I can test, the quicker I can find the BEST ones to hit home runs with.

At this point, it’s all about getting as many folks onto the mailing list as possible, as quickly as possible, without spending too much money to do it.

This is why once I start to see some success in my advertising, I’ll roll it out to other PPC networks, and take the key ideas behind the successful ads to write up an article or two to submit to other websites and ezines, with a brief “about the author” box at the end, with a link back to my website, where those who are interested in the topic can sign up for my free gift.

Submitting these articles and PPC ads to other websites will be the focus of days 11, 12, and 13.

By the time day 14 comes around, I’ll be ready for another rest day.  Gotta keep up my strength and maintain my focus, so I can do my best work.  Working tired and distracted never ends well.

Which is why I generally spend at least 30 to 60 minutes at the end of every day in meditation, where I make conscious contact with the Divine Mind within and reaffirm my goals.  This connection always helps me see better ways to work, and assists me in ways I could not do on my own.

This is good enough for today’s post.  We’ll continue tomorrow.