Basma on Affiliate Marketing Troubles with ClickBank and PPC

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Over the past few months, Jim’s been showing me the ropes with PPC advertising to help me promote affiliate products from Clickbank. I was asked to share with you my journey here. And hopefully I can either inspire you or teach you what works and what doesn’t in affiliate marketing.

For the past 10 years, I’ve been teaching at the college of chemical engineering in one of the Arabian Gulf countries. Until my son came from Australia to visit me in April of 2008, I had never heard of affiliate marketing.

He used some jargon that with time I started to understand. At first, I took an interest in what he was doing only because I wanted to make sure my son is doing something that was worth having sacrificed his PhD education for.

During his visit I noticed he was busy all the time; writing articles, writing a book, taping videos, doing interviews etc. He was good at what he was doing and financially he was doing really well.  

Because I was working in a foreign country, I was not entitled to any retirement plans. So when my contract finished I would have to leave the job and the country and start fresh elsewhere. But as you grow older your opportunities of getting a job are reduced.  Jim and I were talking about this issue and he suggested that I leave my job and do internet marketing to have financial security at my old age. I laughed and said I can’t do what you are doing. He said of course you can, you were able to have a PhD. If you put your mind to it you will do it. I said why bother, I am 48 and too old to try and learn new things.

He asked, “Mum, what if I tell you, you can start doing affiliate marketing without having to do the amount of work I am doing?”

He got my attention. Late last year, I left my job. Jim passed onto me a link to listen to an interview with an affiliate marketer who was doing click bank and CPA offers without a website using PPC only. The guy was making a fortune with this. It sounded a lot easier than what Jim is doing. So I decided to give internet marketing a go.

Being an academic, I spent at least two months educating myself about mind set, internet marketing, PPC, SEO, web sites, key word research, copy writing, how to write effective ads, building a mailing list etc etc. Every time Jim called me to check how I was doing I tell him I am still reading. He must have gotten fed up with me. He told me this theoretical stuff is good but will not do you much good until you create a campaign and start advertising and leaning from your mistakes. 

Jim was writing PPC Domination at the time and he sent me the material as he wrote it. I studied his course and gave him feedback. Eventually, I thought I was ready to start promoting an offer.

My biggest problem was what to promote and how to choose the offer. I spent almost a month studying the criteria for selecting an offer. 

Why did it take me this long? 

Because I read a lot. Yet, the more I read the more confused I got and the more distracted I became. Different super affiliates teach you different criteria for selecting an offer and in most cases they are contradicting. I was so confused and extremely frustrated. I kept telling myself what have I got myself into? I better not waste more time, I should quit now this is not for me. 

Jim pushed me to keep at it. He said all marketers went through what you are going through and worse. I told him I can’t decide what to promote. He said it does not matter what you choose. I said what if it does not work? “Who cares?” he said. “I KNOW whatever you choose will not work straight anyway, you have to tweak your ads, test your keywords, there is a lot of work for you to do. I thought that was not very helpful neither comforting. Was it?

I finally chose an offer from click bank. What a relief! 

Then I had to do keyword research which I had no problem with, in theory. But then I had to decide how much to bid. Most marketers suggest to bid small amounts–like 20 cents and set $25 for your daily budget. But they do not tell you what to do next if you face a problem. They assume your campaign will be successful straight away. So I bid 20 cents and I waited a day but I only had a few impressions. I did not know what to do, so I went to the internet to find the answer to how to increase my impressions.

The material I found was about how to improve click through rate and how to increase conversion. Why no one is talking about impressions. How come they do not have a problem? I was so frustrated and honestly I spent days trying to find what to do to increase my impressions. Jim travels a lot, and at the time he was in the States. Because of the time zone difference, I did not see him online for many days at a time. In addition to that I did not want him to think that whenever I face a problem I ask him instead of finding the answer on my own.

Unfortunately, at the end I had to go back to him. The first thing he asked was, “What are you bidding and what is your daily budget?”

When I told him that I bid20 cents with a daily budget of $25, he was surprised.  He said no wonder why you are not getting impressions. Raise your bid to $1 and your budget to $500 and monitor your campaign closely.

I thought that is a lot to bid especially for an offer where you get paid $17 in commission per sale and the expected conversion rate is 1%. This means I will have to pay $100 to get $17. And I did NOT want to spend $500 a day. He said if you can get $500  dollars worth of clicks at this stage you will be lucky but do not worry you won’t use it all up. A high budget gets Google to display your ads more often. And if you establish a good click though rate your cost per click will drop and you won’t have to pay $1. 

Hesitantly, I increased my bid and daily budget. I did not sleep that night. I stayed by the computer.

Holy! My impressions started to soar. I paid $0.95 per click but I did not get many clicks. Jim said, “That’s GREAT NEWS. Focus on the positive. You now have impressions. After this you can start tweaking your ad to increase the number of times it gets clicked.” 

I spent around $20 dollars on the offer before I began having problems. As I found out, later, it was because I was direct linking. Straight to the merchant’s landing page.

Over the past few months I tried promoting 16 CPA and Click bank offers by direct linking. I made enough money to cover most of my advertising costs–which was nice. But I faced two problems with direct linking: expensive clicks, and the bidding war I had to get into because of sharing the same URL with much more experienced marketers. 

Eventually, my ads did not show often and conversions were very occasional.

I looked for a solution. Super affiliates suggest a “framing” or “masking” strategy for those who use direct linking. So, I bought a domain from GoDaddy for one offer and tried masking it. As a result my cost per click dropped, my quality score was good, and Google got off my case about the shared URL.  

According to a newly launched product on Clickbank marketing, if you are direct linking you can use domain masking.  Jim told me that Google does not allow masking and it will flag those who use it. 

So my easy options were gone.  

I still want to do direct linking especially if I want to test an offer. I do not want to waste my time creating a landing page for it before I am sure it is profitable. Direct linking is being promoted by big marketers and just last month I bought a product from Clickbank. I kept telling myself if they are able to do then it can be done. This time I tried direct linking on the content network. I had initial success, but my clicks cost around 71 cents when other people were paying 3 cents for similar offers.

Even with this high cost, I stopped having impressions.  I contacted Google support and was told to increase my bid, increase my budget and/or increase the number of countries in which my ads would show. None of this got me impressions. So I contacted Google support again, and explained to them that I did everything they asked me to do but my ads are still not running. They told me there is nothing technical to stop my ads from being syndicated on the content but they will check with their supervisors!

Finally, after 14 e-mails of communication between me and Google support the answer came; they said that they do not allow health and fitness offers on the content network.

The thing is, I was promoting other offers that had nothing to do with health and fitness and these were stopped too. Jim told me it looks like your account is flagged. Google did not tell me they flagged my account. I ran the same campaigns on the search engine and I got impressions but I still had the same problems related to direct linking.

I was puzzled because Google did not tell me my account is flagged and I see fitness ads on the content network, so why are mine not allowed?  Jim then ran one of my offers on content network using one of his own accounts…and guess what? He got impressions. So we concluded that Google is not happy with my account but we are not sure why. 

I tried advertising on Yahoo. I had no problem with direct linking but Yahoo traffic is very little. I would get 1 click a day per ad group and sometimes 1 click/ a day per campaign. I had so many ad groups per campaign, but although yahoo’s traffic is little, most of my conversions came from there. The new issue was that conversions were occasional conversions and I could not make any conclusions from the results.

At this point, I have had it with the whole marketing business. I told my son I am sick of this. I better stop and save my self the extra tension but deep within I did not want to fail. I never failed anything I attempted. I am not a quitter. I will not forgive myself if I stop now. I invested a lot of time and money in this I can’t leave it now. Others were able to make it work for them, I should be able to but I must find a way that works for me. 

 My son said mom stop looking for easy ways. What these guys taught you might have worked for them. You learnt a lot and you gained a lot of experience in what does not work. Now, you must focus on building your own business your way and learn what works. No more quick get rich schemes.

I was not looking for get rich quick schemes, I am not stupid to believe it. I was made to believe that it is possible to make a business without a web site, a mailing list, a product etc… This is promoted by gurus and super affiliates. 

I had to take another direction. 

I realized that if I want to have a proper internet business, I must build my own web site and start attracting people to it. To do that I should give away something of value first. So I came up with my own give away–a single page with my unique personal touch.

It outlined a scientific experiment (since I am a scientist by training) about what works and what doesn’t with weight-loss. I already had some experience with this because over the past few years I changed my diet and started a successful exercise routine that helped me lose 15kg over 3 months. Later, many of my female colleagues had asked how I did it and I showed them with excellent results.

This became my unique selling point that would help me sell not JUST one affiliate ebook on weight loss, but all kinds of related affiliate products.

Of course, this meant a new learning curve.

How would I build a web site? It all seemed so difficult. I never did that before.

It turned out it is not a big problem. Jim gave me the link to a capture page generator program he designed. I answered a few questions and had a page in minutes. 

In addition, I took a few HTML lessons to understand how to modify the page to look nicer. After a few tweaks in Frontpage, I was ready to go. 

Since I didn’t know the problem with my Google account, I started a new one. I started by only advertising my landing page on the Google search network. I used only ONE targeted keyword with its broad, phrase, and exact match. I started my bid with $2 but I got clicks for an average of 60 cents over several days.

My quality score is good finally. And I don’t share the same URL with other marketers. In fact, I don’t even share the same offer any more because of my own landing page and autoresponder series. Every day I add one extra keyword to increase my traffic gradually. I modify my landing page to suit each key word theme to maintain my quality score. 

I was under the impression that building your own web page requires a lot of work compared to direct linking. But the truth is once I created the landing page the amount of work I do is minimal and the results are much more promising.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you any other discoveries I have about being a “value-added affiliate” of Clickbank products.


soon-to-be pulsate really follow expect clippers and!

Impressions Problems Solved for Clickbank Affiliates Marketing “Diet & Fitness”

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Google Adwords has given them problems recently. Particularly the Content Network has been refusing to show many ads in the diet and fitness industry. Since this is the most common affiliate product out there, I think it’s important that we address it.

This also applies to people marketing “Make Money” products.

Oddly enough, so far my own ads have not been affected in the same “Make Money” market. So obviously you too should be able to get your ads going.

I had a theory that the problem was that Google didn’t like regular affiliates any more. And after much back and forth, we finally got to the bottom of the problem. Here’s what happened…

Google starts off giving impressions on Content Network ads and then after a few hours would kill off the ads. So we got in touch with support to find out what the deal is.

First, the staff made obvious suggestions like “bid higher”, “check your daily budget”, and “target more countries”.

At one stage we were bidding $2 per click on keywords that should NOT have been that competitive. We had a daily budget of $500. And we targeted 65 countries. I did this just to prove to the Google staff that their suggestions are bogus.

So we got in touch with Google again, who seem to have eliminated their “live chat” feature for whatever reason.

After multiple messages, and persistence on our part, support forwarded our complaint to their technical team.

The technical staff suggested that we do not promote diet and fitness products as they are currently being prevented from syndicating on their networks. And upon further prompting from us, we discovered that this will soon become a permenant part of their policy. (Although I highly doubt the truth of this since the Acai Berry ban was never publicised in their rules and policies).

To be honest, I find this hard to believe.

We’re talking about two of the very largest industries and biggest money makers for Google. And it would make little business sense for them to eliminate relevant ads from showing up in Adsense blogs and sites that feature related content.

To top it off, I was seeing ads both on content and search that DID feature weight loss, diet, and fitness products. So some marketers were getting impressions.

Also, I was surprised that NONE of Google’s support staff were aware of what the technical team told us. It was only after the complaint reached the Adwords technical staff that we were told such ads are not allowed on the content network any more.

So rather than bend over for Google support staff (who seem to be as illiterate as non-marketers), I started to do a series of experiments with my students.

The first was to address the harsh reality that affiliate pages are AWFUL duplicate content.  Thousands of affiliates are running ads to the SAME page competing on the same words. We built our own landing pages with an optin box and “bribe”. Yes, the bribe had to be original too to pass manual review.

We ran a small test ad on my students’ account. And after almost an entire day, the ads failed to get any impressions.

So I tested a related set of keywords but avoided anything that says “weight loss” in both the ad and keywords.

Still, nothing.

I raised the bids. And still nothing.

I then took the exact ad group into one of my own accounts and tested it. Within a few hours I had 6,000 impressions!

What!?

Yeah, obviously Google didn’t mind my account which spends thousands a day. But on my students’ accounts there were issues. I believed that somehow the previous accounts had been flagged as bad users of Google and their content network.

So I instructed one of my students to open a brand new Adwords account and write a small ad on the Google Search Network only.

Once more, many hours later, the ad received NO impressions.

This time, I edited the ad myself. I noticed that it used the words “lose weight fast”. I thought that it could be interpretted to be a promise of a “miracle cure”. Google specifically prohibits this in their policies.

I removed references to fast weight loss in the ad copy and ran it again.

Within a few minutes, we were seeing impressions on the ad!

What’s more, even though the keyword was very competitive, we were able to get clicks for only 25 cents a click for the #1 position! The quality score was also high.

A few more tests later, we were able to establish a few rules of thumb that some of you doing weight loss ads should be aware of.

They will help you get your ads back in business 🙂

  1. If you’ve already been flagged for duplicate-offer marketing by Google, start a new account. It’s likely that if you’ve been noticing that no matter what your ad it won’t get impressions, you’ve been flagged. You can use the Google MCC (My Client Center) to manage more than one account with a single login.
  2. Use my Capture Page Generator to build your own self-hosted landing pages and become a value-added affiliate. You can check the resources section for recommended web hosts, autoresponders, and domain authorities.
  3. Phase your keywords in ONE at a time in order to establish which of your keywords might be the source of your original problem that got your account flagged earlier. That means you only add ONE keyword with one ad and wait a day or so.
  4. Do not advertise on the content network until you have estbalished your credibility as an advertiser with good quality scores and well-behaved campaigns. This could be a matter of several weeks.
  5. Avoid trigger words in your ad copy that might be interpretted as miracle cures like “make quick money” or “lose weight fast”. Test out different alternative wording until you find something that Google accepts. Allow at least 15 minutes between tests.
  6. Run your ads on the content network only after you’ve got successful search campaigns.

In the next few days, I’m going to bring in one of my students as a guest blogger here to keep you all posted about what works in affiliate marketing with Google Adwords. Implement these suggestions, and stay tuned for specifics in the meantime 🙂


The Other Half the Google Story

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All you need to do to get PPC Domination free is this:

  1. Grab your copy of PPC Domination from here if you haven’t got it yet. (otherwise skip ahead).
  2. Forward your PPC Domination email receipt to ppc @ seonetworker.com.
  3. Buy access to the 8-week intensive SEO Networker coaching program here

also used said and skin and.

PPC Too Expensive for Home Business Niche?

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Even some of the PPC gurus will tell you that Home Business and MLM are difficult niches to conquer with Google Adwords.

“The competition is too rough.”

“The bid prices are too high”

I don’t buy it. For the past two years I’ve been generating home business leads, sponsoring reps, and making sales with profit. And in case you think that’s because I’ve got some kind of super powers, go search for my PPC Domination students. You’ll hear their similar success stories in video and blogs all over the internet.

The reason I’m laughing particularly hard today, is that I discovered a campaign I’d neglected recently. It wasn’t bringing much traffic.

A few days ago, while looking at something else in my account, I had set the date range to show “all time”. When I saw 386 leads on this forgotten campaign. I clicked to look inside and found this:

The
The Neglected AdGroup: Pulled 386 Leads at $USD 1.68 Over a Period of Two Months

Now, I know it’s kind of hard to see the names of the adgroups, and you can’t tell what keywords are in there (hehe I’m evil). That’s because the real secret is that this campaign only targets the Google Content Network. That’s why, in the next few weeks I’ll be releasing some training on the Content Network and show you how to easily get cheap leads like this for your own business.

Anyway, I quickly duplicated the discovery, deleted adgroups, added more adgroups, increased my daily budget, and started to ramp it up.

Today, there are only 10 adgroups in this campaign. I can’t tell you a daily figure it’s bringing because it’s too fresh…but I took this snapshot 4 hours into the day:

After
After 4 Hours, This Once Neglected AdGroup Pulled 28 Leads at $USD 1.12

The Content Network is a huge part of my advertising strategy and is responsible for two times as many leads as the Google search. Explore it yourself! I know that there’s very little information out there about it though, so I’m bringing on board Content and Placement expert Shelley Ellis to help explain to you.

Go ahead and follow Shelley on Twitter!


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination.

I got an idea…

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To do today (in order of importance):

  1. Create an updated split-test spreadsheet for Mike and check if we have enough data with 500 clicks to make a conclusive decision in favour of one headline over another.
     
  2. Record my screen with Camtasia and demonstrate how i revise an entire PPC campaign that has been underperforming lately.
     
  3. Finish one of the three blog post ideas i started but saved as drafts and never finished.
     
  4. Transfer this blog to another hosting and test if it’s faster than this crappy godaddy hosting. Right now it gives DNS error for almost every time i try to load the page and it takes me half an hour just to get into my admin panel grrrrr. testing hostgator and hostdepartment. Hostdepartment used to suck because it was unreliable but i think they’ve overhauled it and it seems to be the fastest so far. Hostgator takes ages just to get into their webhosting cpanel so i’m not holding my breath for them. Let’s see how we go! Btw, if you get an error when you try to load my blog later can you report it for me here please? Thanks.
     
  5. Watch Valkyrie 

 

That’s my todo list for today. I’ll let you know how far down the list I get!

this one to days in real.

My Favourite PPC Domination Submissions

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*post edited to remove excessive exclamation marks

Time to solve a little mystery for some people who were surprised at how fast I discovered their submissions.

I use Google Alerts. tadaaaaaaaaa!

It’s a cool service from Google that you can setup to alert you every time the keywords you specify are posted or talked about on the internet. I use it as a keyword research tool for PPC–and if you don’t, you should.

The way I have it setup, Google sends me an email as soon as anyone publishes an article, blog entry, or press release with “PPC Domination” in the content.

And in this way, I’ve been able to read and enjoying many of the submissions and reviews everyone’s been doing. There have been a LOT of submissions so far.

Was it as a result of my earlier blog post about How to win the MacBook Pro? I don’t know, I can’t say for sure. But I hope I gave enough of you out there some ideas on how to make a pile of money this month after PPC Domination launches on Monday.

I’d like to honour and highlight a few of the submissions people made. These ones really stood out for me. These can be taken as examples of awesome work–in case you’re looking for ideas on how to win one of those Macbooks!

Mari Ann Lisenbe submitted my favourite PPC Domination video review because she anticipates and handles an objection someone else might have about the course being too difficult. Mari Ann explains that she found it very simple and easy to understand. Good reviews and testimonials should always be specific about the benefit of the product being marketed.

Melanie Milletics’ most recent blog post was fantastic. She gives 3 reasons you should NOT get PPC Domination. That raises eyebrows and grabs attention fast–then she goes on to give these 3 reasons and back up her claim. Don’t worry, she made a positive review!

And my favourite PPC Domination press release was submitted by Sherry Driedger, it was short, to the point, not-hypey, and sounded like newsworthy news. That was a perfect press release and she worked her pitch in there at the end in a really smart way that makes the reader want to click.

love they product not cream repurchase.

There were many other submissions that got my attention. It would take me too long to find them all. This is just a sample of the ones i liked. Congratulations to everyone else for their fine efforts in promoting PPC Domination.

Good luck contestants!

Double Digit CTR – Part 2

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Today, I want to share with you Experiment 2. But before I do, let’s talk about a couple of your concerns here:

Why is a high Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) & Zero Conversions Considered a Success?

Something I left out yesterday was that I was testing my keywords with a brand new landing page that had never been run before on any PPC experiment.

I would normally NOT test more than one variable at a time, but the double-digit-CTR was an unexpected bonus result. Because, at the time I put up the new page, I was trying to improve conversion rates, not click-thru.

When I started, I was convinced that the new page would perform better than any other before it. After all, it had all the elements of sound marketing and was extremely Google friendly as was seen by my very high Quality Score.

Unfortunately, this was a bad assumption.

It converted nothing. So after I made my post yesterday, I changed the target URL to the old landing page that used to convert at 12%. When I did, I finally started to get some conversions!

Either way, though, the high click-thru-rate was a good result. Because you can’t get conversions if you’re not getting enough clicks. By increasing click-thru, I increased the pool of visitors to my site that I could potentially convert with a better landing page. I can then spend the rest of my time working on finding that winning, better-converting, landing page.

Scrapping the new- and returning to the old-landing page was the first step.

Should You Ignore My Previous Advice About Having Only One Keyword Per Adgroup?

No.

The advice is based on an important adwords principle that will never change. Always, always, always keep your adgroup keywords around a single very tight idea. Your keywords and ad should be a perfect match for one another. You get ultimate control with a single keyword.

Adding hundreds of keywords into the same adgroup was just a temporary research phase that helped me avoid customising new ads for all my keywords without knowing which ones are worth my time.

It cost about $30 to find out.

But if i continued to run this as is, I would lose that $30 every single day.

Experiment 2: The Control…

This morning, after a full day’s worth of data, I studied my keywords closely.

I sorted by CTR and considered breaking the ads with high CTR out on their own.

Bad idea. Some of those keywords only had a few impressions with very high CTR. With the passing of time and more impressions, those keywords may sink to the bottom.

Then, I considered the ad position. I looked at keywords that had lowest rank and considered increasing their bids. But what would that do?

It would get more clicks…but not conversions.

That’s an experiment best left for another day.

Several ideas later, I decided what to do: I sorted by conversions and found I had THREE top performing keywords. These were the “diamond in the rough”. Their combined CTR was 9.28%. Not quite a double-digit-CTR but still very high. They had several hundred impressions each from yesterday’s experiment. And each had converted at least once in the last 24-hrs.

I paused all other keywords. They were just costing money and would distract me if I left them on. I’ll come back to them later.

Meanwhile, I let the three sexy keywords keep running.

Today’s experiment is called the “Control”.

I will run them for 24-hrs without changing anything. I want to see if they continue to perform well after having swapped back to the original landing page. It’s probably a bad time to run such an experiment because it’s Saturday and that’s rarely a typical day.

On the other hand, I just need some preliminary data to tell me it’s worth working on the landing page. I’ll run more “statistically sound” experiments later on the landing page.

Stay tuned, let’s see how this pans out.


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Google Wonder Wheel – a Theme-Based Keyword Research Tool

I just learned about a Google experiment that you can use for keyword research. This is another tool that helps you go wide and find new possible markets to get into.

Google
Google Wonder Wheel in Action for the term 'Network Marketing Leads'

Since I’m on the road right now, I won’t have time to get into how to use the tool. But i’ll give you really quick instructions to get started with it.

This keyword research tool gives you a graphical representation of related themes to a search term you specify. Your search term appears in the center of a wheel. Around the wheel are some popular keywords that Google associates closely with your search term. These are natural markets to move into when expanding your pay-per-click campaign.

If you like, you may click any of the related themes to explore it further and find even more markets.

Repeat this as many times as you want and grow your keyword list exponentially with ideas you might never have thought of.

To get access to the Google Wonder Wheel, just paste this code into your address bar

javascript:void(document.cookie=”PREF=ID=4a609673baf685b5:TB=2:LD=en:CR=2:TM=1227543998:LM=1233568652:DV=AA:GM=1:IG=3:S=yFGqYec2D7L0wgxW;path=/; domain=.google.com”);

This sets up a cookie telling Google to add the Wonder Wheel to your search preferences.

Just run a search as normal in Google. On the results page, you will see a “Show Options” link directly under your search box. Click it and choose Wonder Wheel from the left. That’s it!

Thanks to http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2009-03-24-n84.html for introducing me to the Wonder Wheel and supplying the cookie code above.


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination

How to Grow an “Attractive” Sales Personality

I’m coming to US and Ayeee…gonna do a Borat!

Kidding. But I’m heading out tomorrow so I thought I’d leave you with something i’ve been thinking about lately.

My brother and I have a pretty strange upbringing. We grew up in different countries and each speak at least two languages. Many of you will not know this–but in addition to speaking English and Arabic, I spoke French and Japanese for three years in school.

I even took a Maori class, the language of the natives of New Zealand. I can’t fairly claim I can SPEAK maori because I had a really easy going teacher. So we often played around in class and brought cheat notes into exams.

I remember we had to learn the names of the 7 canoes that brought the first Maori to New Zealand and memorise where they landed. Since I have terrible memory, I photocopied the map really small and used it in the exam. Naughty me!

This isn’t how I usually conducted myself in school. But I didn’t think it was so important to learn another language back then.

Anyway, like I said, I had an interesting upbringing and a coloured life.

I boarded a plane at the age of 6 months when I first left Kansas and went to join my mother in Amman. My father who was studying in the states became a translator for the US embassy in Saudi Arabia had us join him just two years later in Taif.

Soon after, we migrated to New Zealand.

Discovering New Zealand was an experience in itself. Dad had seen ads on television for Anchor milk and learned that there was this tiny country in the pacific which was nuclear free. That got his attention and he decided that we’ll visit and see if we like living there.

I didn’t speak any English and learned it in school that year.

One time in school, the teacher asked me to draw a “piktcha” (picture with a New Zealand accent) and for the life of me I didn’t know what it meant. I tried to ask my father but the pronounciation made it impossible for him to figure out what I was asking about. He suggested it was, perhaps, a pitcher…a kind of container. But that wasn’t it, was it?

We traveled a little more back and forth. Between Saudia and New Zealand while we went through migration procedures. During the Gulf war, my father was jailed and we were deported because of a disgruntled student at my father’s university.

My family returned on a more permenant basis to New Zealand and they continued studies for their Masters and PhD degrees.

During that time, we were poor. No shit.

When father completed his doctorate he took a post at the international university in Malaysia and he took my younger sister and me with him for a year. I continued school by correspondence with one of the oldest schools in New Zealand.

My mother remained with the rest of my siblings to finish her PhD defence in Auckland.

The next year, we finally had a decent lifestyle. Both my parents worked at high paying university jobs in Oman. I had my own bedroom and a real bed instead of a matress on the floor. For the first time, we had proper living room furniture and started going on twice-yearly holidays.

I continued an extramural university program at Massey University in Mathematics. And when I turned 19, I returned to New Zealand on my own to finish a second degree in Computer Science.

My masters was completed at the University of Auckland. Each year, while on summer holidays, I’d travel to Thailand and Dubai. My parents lived in neighbouring countries and we’d travel every weekend to see my father in Dubai. When I returned to New Zealand, my pasport would be so stamped with entry and exit visas that the profiler would pick me out at passport control and I’d get searched thoroughly at customs.

It became a fact of life for me.

When I graduated from my Masters, I went on road trips often and worked in a tiny city in the south island of New Zealand on US government contracts.

During that time, I traveled to Australia and Switzerland for academic and commercial conferences.

After that, I moved to Sydney for a PhD where I had many good and bad adventures.

Early this year, I moved to Amman, Jordan permenantly. Here, the concept of working from home is peculiar.

Last weekend my brother and I were out with some friends of his. And we noticed that despite us not being great speakers of Arabic, people gravitate to us.

My brother, was surprised at how easily we attract people. Especially that he seems to get along with some of the strangest characters. He has friends who are from nomadic tribes that he spends hours a day with. And, on the other hand, he has western-educated, half-cast english-speaking friends at university.

When we meet people, they look up to us without any solid reason why.

The reason is obvious, though, isn’t it?

We are well-traveled, educated people with life experience. In every conversation we have, we tell stories and have new information to share that no one ever knew. There’s never a conversation we can’t participate in.

All of my family are avid readers of books.

We read in every topic you can imagine. Reading is vital because it allows you to have experience through others. Particularly if you have no interesting life-experiences of your own.

Last weekend, we met with some new friends at the American Embassy where I’d gone to add visa pages to my stamped-out US passport. Our conversation turned to the economy and real estate investment in the states.

Now, since I don’t live in the US, I should have no idea about the economy or any clue about real estate investment. But I still managed to engage in a long discussion on the topic.

All because we read and associate with others who relate their diverse experiences.

This in turn allows us to contribute new value in every conversation. And this is what attracts others to us. 

Otherwise, we’d be rather dull people. We don’t party. We don’t drink. We don’t go to clubs. And I can’t tell a joke without forgetting the punch-line.

Yet, we have something of value to share in each new meeting.

Having an attractive personality for selling is all about exactly this. Adding value to the lives of others. It could be as simple as making others laugh. Or as complex as a stimulating conversation about politics and investment.

You too have your own stories and experiences to share. And even if you live a rather colourless life in some small town you’ve never left, then open your mind and fill it with reading.

Adwords Wrapper

It’s pretty tedious to bid on the broad, phrase, and exact match versions of your keywords.

An Adwords Wrapper Tool will give you a quick short-cut to create three versions of all your keywords. 

Once you’ve created your new keyword list, just run it through the Adwords Wrapper and create exact, phrase, and broad match versions of all your keywords in a second. Copy and paste them into the keywords of your Adgroup.

 

Try this free tool the Adwords Wraper. 


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination

Google Website Optimizer: How to Split-Test Your PPC Landing Pages for Maximum Conversion

Google[/caption]

Google provides a tool in their Adwords interface called the Google Website Optimizer. And it has a number of useful features that you won’t find in any other tracking software.

Split-testing pages works by taking two versions of your landing page that are exactly identical except for the one variable being tested. Be it a single word different in the headline, colour, or position of your optin box.

They then automatically forward clicks on your ad to one of the two versions of your page, alternating between them to fairly and accurately determine which results in the desired action of a sale or optin.

Whenever the clicker views a key action page, such as your “thank you” page after opting in, the download page for a piece of software you give out as a demo, or a thank you page after making a purchase, Google counts that as a successful conversion. 

A running record is kept of how many views each version of your test page received relative to the number of times your key “successful conversion” page was subsequently viewed. You can then look at two ratios you compare to decide which page results in the best rate of conversion.

 

Accurate Conversion Tracking

Tracking is rarely ever exactly accurate. The reason is that much of it is done with cookies to find out who the unique visitors or action takers are. Cookie tracking has its problems–for example, if a prospect uses a text browser or has their cookie security turned on high, you will not get any stats tracked for them.

All the same, most browsers store cookies and allow the tracking software to do their work.

Other third party tracking software does a good enough job. But they track all clicks–those you pay for and those you don’t. Google has procedures in place to cancel out forged clicks and other useless actions. Which makes the only clicks worth tracking those that Google produces. Since these are the only ones you actually pay for. That’s why I prefer to use Google’s website optimization tool.

 

Geek Talk: How to Define a Clear Winner

 

Google
Google Website Optimizer Telling Me There is No Clear Winner Yet

Statistics tells us that if you toss a good coin 100 times, it will land 50 times on heads and 50 times on tails. This is only theoretical, though, provided the coin is fairly weighted on both sides. In reality, you may observe 40 heads and 60 tails instead. But if you keep tossing the same coin, the you will get closer to the theoretical outcome of 50/50 heads/tails.

Few marketers split-test correctly because they act on too little data or otherwise they wait too long and waste opportunities to profit with their better landing page.

In the same way, if you toss the coin only 30 times, you are EXPECTED in theory to find it lands 15 times on heads and 15 times on tails. But in reality, the outcome could be extremely one-sided. And if you were to act on this data saying that the coin weighs more on one side than the other, you would probably be wrong.

Similarly, your two test-landing-pages may well show bias in favour of one versus the other even if they are the exact same page. Especially if measuring conversions with only data about a few clicks.

Running tests that update and track every click and conversion along with confidence statistics will help you determine if there is a large enough margin between the two test pages, relative to how many results were observed. Confidence statistics work by figuring out what the theoretical difference between your two landing page versions would be if it were due to the “randomness” phenomenom I described with the fair coin. If there is enough difference seen between the theoretical outcomes and the actual outcomes, you can safely conclude that the change being tested has an effect on how the page performs.

Rather than make these difficult calculations yourself the Google Website Optimizer will do it all for you and interpret the results on your behalf.

When Google says you have a winner, you can trust to kill the loser and keep the winner and repeat with another test variable.

 

I have used the Google Website Optimizer tool a lot in my business. I test the hell out of every landing page until I get a version that converts at the highest rate possible. This technique has been responsible for me seeing thousands upon thousands of Home Business leads at $2.35 each.

Start using the Google Website Optimizer today. It’s simple. Just create two versions of your best landing page and let the website optimizer tell you the winner!


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination.

PPC Landing Page Generator: How to Create Lead Capture Pages Without HTML

Do you know how to use FrontPage or write your own HTML webpages?

If your answer is no, then you’re not alone. A lot of marketers don’t move forward with their business because they don’t know any HTML. Although, I think that’s no excuse!

Here’s a really simple Landing Page Generator software i put together to help exactly people like yourself. In fact, even if you DO know how to make websites, you can still make use of this becuase it does them so quickly and easily. I build all my own landing pages with this free program. This way, every one of my PPC keywords can have its own landing pages with little effort.

Start Using the Free Landing Page Generator

 

A good PPC Lead Capture Page has the following components:

Headline: Get Attention Quickly

Headlines have the most influence on whether or not your page converts. Because if it doesn’t get attention immediately, people will leave soon after clicking without reading anything else. This will cost you more money per lead and increase your site’s bounce rate. Which has the nasty effect of lowering your quality score and giving you a big fat Google Slap.

That’s why, headlines are tested and re-tested by all marketers to find the best wording that gets maximum impact. An excellent tool to do your own tests is the Google Conversion Optimizer.

Marketers agree that sans-serif fonts like Tahoma and Arial give best results for headlines. And when the type is in red colour against a white background, it has a psychological effect of getting attention. You can even use red sparingly on your page to move people’s eyes down to important components on the page like the submit button for your optin box.

Do not obstruct view of your headline with a banner or space-filler graphics. That will kill your conversion rate because it takes attention away from the most important part of the page most responsible for conversion.

Keep your headline short and write your main benefit in the most attractive way possible.

 

Example:

  • How I Made $250,000 My Sixth Month Marketing Online
  • How To Make $10,000 Per Day From Your Home Business
  • How I Made Google My Bitch & Forced It To Send Me 1,000 Qualified Home Business Leads Yesterday
  • Imagine, 200 New Customers At Your Business Door Every Day

 

Sub Headline: Make an Offer or Bribe

Your subheadline or next bit of text directly after your headline should tell people the action they need to take in order to receive that benefit. Think of it like a secondary headline and it should offer an exchange of some kind that compels them to keep reading down the page. Before you start writing a landing page, decide what you will give people for free in exchange for their email address. A sales pitch or a bizop presentation will NOT do.

There must be a genuinely good reason and easily identifiable benefit they will received when they sacrifice their email address. After all, although you may not spam them, they do not know you and they worry that you will subject them to POTENTIAL unwanted email or high-pressure phone sales. Unless the benefit is so strong that the risk becomes negligible, they will not optin.

Write your subheadline carefully and think of it like a trade. Help them live beyond their next action and pose it in the present tense if you can.

Example:

  • In the Next 3 Minutes, You Will Have In Your Hands the Keys to a Revolutionary Marketing System That Brings You Customers and Cash At Will
  • 15 Minutes From Now, You Will Receive a Personal Phone Call From Me & Know Exactly What to Do This Year to Quit Your Job And Earn From Home Full Time

 

Short Bullets Packed With Benefits

The bullets or body of your landing page is designed to give prospects more reasons to take the next desired action of submitting their contact information. You can present it as bullets, a few short paragraphs of text, or a video.

You need to think of 3-5 reasons that matter to them why what you are about to share is important. Your company being in the ground floor is not a reason that matters to them. Nor does it matter who your founder is, that he is a scientist, or that your comp plan is the highest paying in the industry.

Instead, you should be telling them how these things affect them.

 

Example:

  • Speak with an experienced entrepreneur who will take you through all the steps necessary to start profiting in your first week of Home Business ownership
     
  • Have an ENDLESS supply of customers, putting money in your pocket daily by discovering a revolutionary product exclusive to our partners which cures obesity forever. (Remember that 60% of all Americans have this problem and want a quick and easy solution you can give them).
     
  • Sell with confidence in your sleep by using our online marketing system which takes care of all marketing and advertising for you.
     

 

Clear Call to Action

Your optin box must be accompanied with a clear call to action. But that’s not all. You need to give prospects a real reason that makes sense for why you need their  phone or email address to share further information with them. Remember the squeeze page or lead capture page is a gateway to the rest of your content only accessible by a key piece of information they give you.

If you’re going to give them access to a private members area, you will need an email address to send them the password.

If it’s an e-mail based course, explain this and tell them that they must supply their email to receive the course.

If you are going to give a phone consultation, then, obviously you would need their phone number.

These are all good reasons to request contact information. As long as you are clear about it, people will be able to make the decision whether they want the next piece of information badly enough to reveal personal information to you.

Example:

  • “Type your name and phone number below to receive a free 30 minute phone consultation and I’ll show you exactly how to advertise your Home Business online.”
  • “Enter your email address below to receive full access to our members-only area.”
  • “Tell me in the box below your best email where I can send you the 11-day E-Mail-only course for Free.”
  • “Type your E-Mail below to be notified whenever new posts like this are added to the blog”

 

How to Use the Landing Page Generator Correctly

Once you’ve figured all of this out, you’re ready to go.

  1. Fill out the form on the PPC Landing Page Generator. Sign up for an autoresponder account at iContact. Not only do I recommend their autoresponder highly, it is the only one the Landing Page Generator works with. Produce an optin box using the iContact form generator wizard and copy the code into the autoresponder box of the Landing Page Generator.
      
  2. Use for your Thank You page URL the link to your funded proposal sales letter, your bizop sales page, or to the information you promised to give them.
     
  3. Submit the Landing Page Designer form and a new HTML page will be automatically saved to your desktop. You can either customise this further in Frontpage or use it as is.
     
  4. Sign up for a hosting account with godaddy.com or hostgator.com
     
  5. Use your host’s FTP interface to upload the landing page file to your website
      

Go try the landing page generator and write for me below in the comments section if you need any further help using it.


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination

Mis-Spell Generator Or Typo Generator: “The Keywords That Prospects Search But Few Advertisers Bid On”

According to Google, 10-20% of all searches start out MIS-SPELLED.

Capturing those searches by bidding on them with Pay-Per-Click is one of the smartest ways to easily and cheaply capture prospects. It gives you the advantage of positioning your Adwords ad in front of potential prospects–before they see any of your competitors’ ads. But few people know the proper use of Typo Generator tools.

I’ll tell you my method in a second. Check this out…

There is insane competition for popular home business keywords in Pay-Per-Click. And yet, there is virtually no competition when the same keyword is misspelled.

Why not?

Advertisers rarely test all mis-spelling variations of each keyword, or they think that their search volume isn’t worth the time to investigate.

For a moment, I’d like you to imagine this: You have 10 mis-spellings of 5 very popular keywords, each getting an average of just 20 searches a day when misspelled–that would make you a cool 1,000 daily impressions. 

Better still, consider that since the competition is significantly less, you’d have two new advantages versus bidding on one correctly-spelled and very popular keyword:

  1. Cheaper average CPC (less dollars per click)
  2. and More conversions (less clicks per lead)

To understand why bidding on less popular mis-spelled keywords gets you more conversions, let’s get into the shoes of your prospect for a minute.

First of all, they’re in a rush and due to keyboard slips, accidents, and just straight-up ignorance they type their search with a mistake. Google and other searches try to help the searcher by making suggestions for the correct spelling, but they still return results anyway.

Suppose you were your prospect. You search for “home bizness leads” instead of “home business leads”. There’s a single sponsored ad on the right and few search results. Google tells you that you might have made a mistake. Do you a) re-run the search with the correct spelling immediately or b) glance above the fold of results to see if there’s something that matches what you’re looking for?

Alright, let’s suppose you either didn’t like what Googled returned for the wrongly spelled search of “home bizness leads” or you decided to fix your mistake and search again. Either way, you are now looking at results for “home business leads”. There are 70 million of them and there are thousands of ads.

Your attention is split between everything on that page, because everything “sorta” matches.

On the other hand, with your first search, with spelling mistake, the only ad you could see was the one ad above the fold. If it matched what you wanted, you would have clicked it rendering all ads and all 70 million listing results for the correct spelling USELESS. Because the subsequent search for the correct spelling would never have happened.

Here’s another reason to bid on mis-spellings and typos. Using the Google Keyword Tool, let’s compare competition stats for both versions of the keyword:

 

home business leads

Suggested CPC Bid for positions 1-3: $13.03

 

home bizness leads

Suggested CPC Bid for position 1-3: $0.05

 

I’m sure you don’t want to spend $13.03 for a click. But suppose you got greedy when you saw that the keyword “home business leads” receives a maximum of 13,000 monthly impressions (about 433 searches a day). Perhaps you bid, i dunno, $10 CPC to scrape the bottom of the first page of results–maybe get seen by a few people. Or perhaps you are a little careful with your bid, so you decide the second page is good enough for you and bid $5 CPC.

Besides the high CPC bid, now your ad is buried in a sea of “relevant” ads. The prospect has choice and instead of just clicking your ad because for its relevance, they’ll compare it and the page it goes to with every other contestant. Your click-thru-rate suffers. Your cost increases. Your conversion rate is reduced. Your quality score drops. Your ad rank drops. Your cost increases some more.

I paint a bleak picture. With competitive keywords, the ACTUAL traffic you get is never equal to the potential traffic available.

The alternative is to bid on the mis-spelled “home bizness leads” for 5 cents and hold the #1 spot above the fold. Whoever searches on this version will have little choice. They are more likely to click your ad merely because it is the only relevant one they can see. They are also more likely to optin because they don’t have anything to press back to. You’ll enjoy a high CTR. An phenomenal opt-in rate. Which result in lower cost per click, lower cost per lead, and high quality score.

This way, you’re in a better position to capture a majority of the potential traffic available. Four more misspellings, will easily get you 1,000 valuable daily impressions instead of the 433 available for the correct spelling.

So now that I’ve presented a small case for adding misspelled versions of popular keywords in your PPC campaign, let’s talk about how to implement this correctly:

 

  1. Use a mis-spell or typo generator to get as many variations on your main keyword as possible
      
  2. Import your keywords with correctly spelled ads into a Yahoo SEM account
      
  3. Bid 10 cents per click
      
  4. Run your ads for a full week before making any changes
      
  5. Sort your keywords by highest-to-lowest impressions
      
  6. Take the top 5 spellings of each seed keyword into your Google Adwords account and tweak them for maximum profit

 

Easy? Go try it with this Typo Generator now and let me know how it works for you by typing in the comments section below…


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination

Keyword Mixer | How to Really Get New Keywords With High Search Volume and Low Competition

When searching for keywords with high search volume and low competition, there is no denying that a keyword combiner is an excellent way to go.

Keyword combiners, generators, or mixers work by taking 2 or more lists of keywords and then permutate them into new keyword combinations. These combinations are usually not thought of by your PPC competitors who usually just use keyword research tools with a seed keyword they supply. Obviously, there’s two problems with their method:

  1. It doesn’t capture all the infinite versions that the same search may be conducted by searchers. Keyword tools only show the keywrods with highest search volume–which everyone wants. But the issue is that they are just longer-tail versions of the same seed keyword that you input. There’s few new ideas there.
     
  2. Since everyone else is using the same keyword databases and tools, every advertiser is competing for the same scraps of the market. Which makes your required CPC bid too high to be profitable.

 

Keyword Mixers help you come up with tens of thousands of combinations competitors aren’t bidding on. The only issue is filtering out the keywords that get no search. I’ll show you a simple way to do that below.

Here’s how Keyword Mixers work:

Suppose you sell nutritional supplements online, and you want to bid different ways people might search for nutrition to buy. You might use the following two lists:

 

List 1:

  • nutrition
  • nutritional
  • vitamin
  • mineral
  • antioxidant

 

List 2:

  • supplement
  • pill
  • tablet
  • gel
  • capsule
  • drink
  • juice

 

Keyword generators will make the following combinations for you:

nutrition supplement, nutrition pill, nutrition tablet, nutrition gel, nutrition capsule, nutrition drink, nutrition juice, nutritional supplement, nutritional pill, nutritional tablet, nutritional gel, nutritional capsule, nutritional drink, nutritional juice, vitamin supplement, vitamin pill, vitamin tablet, vitamin gel, vitamin capsule, vitamin drink, vitamin juice, antioxidant supplement, antioxidant pill, antioxidant tablet, antioxidant gel, antioxidant capsule, antioxdant drink, antioxidant juice

 

Many of these tools will also give you plural versions of the keywords and combinations without the space to help you capture even more searches. In any case, however you use your choice of Keyword Generator, you’ll be able to produce large volumes of keywords very quickly.

 

How to Filter Keywords From Keyword Mixer

I usually import all the keyword list into my Yahoo SEM account without filtering. Since Yahoo is not as strict as Google on quality, I use it like a sandbox to play in until I know what is worth keeping.

I bid on the new keywords with small CPC bids of 10 cents or so.

After some stats have accumulated, I just sort by the impression column. This sends to the bottom of the Yahoo SEM interface all keywords that have too much competition. Since your bid is low, competitive keywords will simply receive NO impressions.

Better still, this technique brings to the top only keywords that actually get high search–and impressions with the 10 cent bid. These have LEAST competition and maximum potential.

So I take them into my Google Adwords account and tweak to maximise profit.

If you’d like to try this technique, here’s a free Keyword Mixer tool I recommend: http://www.keywordmixer.com/


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination

KWBrowse: A Lateral Keyword Research Tool

I got a pretty cool email yesterday.

I’m actually in a cafe called Lemon right now in Abdoun with some friends but I wanted to whip out this really quick post. The email was a link to a video about how to troubleshoot your Adwords account and diagnose quality score problems long before your quality score value changes. It’s part of a paid PPC newsletter I subscribe to, so I can’t share that video with you. But I want to tell you about a tool they suggested called KWBrowse that gives new keyword suggestions.

This tool is different from many others I use in that it gives new LATERAL keyword suggestions.

Most keyword tools will ask you for an input keyword as a seed from which to derive other suggestions. This is good when you want to go deep in your campaigns and get longer-tail suggestions.  However, KWBrowse gives you a graphical representation of keyword groups that help you go WIDE in your campaigns. You can take their suggestions and plug them into the Google Keyword Tool.

Check it out at http://www.kwbrowse.com/

Try it and let me know what you think!


To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination