4 Hour A Week Challenge

PPC Project June

Wow, where is the year going? Quick update on my progress with my project trying to earn £211 a month just from direct to merchant PPC using only Microsoft Ads, and spending just 1 hour a day on my 4 weekly workdays on it.

Things are building nicely, I’ll cut right to the stats and bring you up to speed on what I did to get them afterwards.

June PPC Performance Graph

Clicks: 1,504

Average CPC: 0.15

Cost: £86.78

Commission: £221.34

Profit: £81.81

Profit Down, Traffic Up!

This was expected, in May just about all my profit came from a single flukey sale. Everything that had worked in April was lost to a merchant range switch out. This meant that in June I had to throw 500 more clicks out to merchants to get way less commission than I earned in May. Hence, lower profit.

In June I added 4 new merchants, and removed 4. The 4 that were losing me money account for 239 of my clicks. Two of my new merchants brought in no less than 964 of the 1,504 clicks in June. It’s proving tricky to establish that baseline of consistent performers I need to take things forward, but I’m getting there slowly. I now have two on board that are looking consistent. There’s 1 sort of inconsistent performer, but it’s got an awful lot of volume (comparatively) so I’m slowly reducing my max CPC and hope to hit a point with it where I can still make some profit without the traffic drying up.

I’m going to write a separate post about the basic performance indicators I monitor for each merchant so I can keep an eye on their overall performance in a few minutes a week. I’ll link to it here once it’s done. I think it’s important learning info and it’ll get buried (aka I’ll forget about it!) if I post it here.

4 Hour A Week Challenge

PPC Project Update May

Hey chaps. It’s been a while, I had a bit of a holiday mid-May with an old backpacking chum in the Netherlands and when I got back we had some work done on our house, and the wheels sorta fell off my work routine. It happens to me often. So I just allowed myself the time to rearrange my thoughts, and I’ve finally arrived back at the blog.

I’ve decided to output my results on a monthly basis now, weekly wasn’t really turning out to be terribly helpful – it doesn’t really show useful progress. My thanks to one of my readers Rich Hickson for helping me out creating this nice graph after I said I wasn’t getting my head around a way to embed something into my posts. Isn’t that a beautiful shape to chart progress?

PPC Project Results – April & May 2019

There’s only been two full months so far, and here’s how it’s all looking.


Clicks: 564

Average CPC: 0.15

Cost: £84.70

Commission: £193.44

Profit: £108.74


Clicks: 1,010

Average CPC: 0.17

Cost: £73.24

Commission: £291.09

Profit: £117.85

It’s Going Great! Isn’t It?

Have you heard of the saying about statistics and lies? Well, in April I made most of the profit from one strong performer. At the end of the month, they discontinued the lines I was making 90% of my commission from. I’d spent a lot of time refining keywords and ads to capture this lovely traffic and it wasn’t to pay off. Sigh. This is fairly typical of direct PPC. Although you can just as easily get a couple of years or more out of something with minimal input. Thems the breaks.

In May, I tried out a lot of new things (as we can see from the clicks doubling). The profit above? Almost entirely from one blinding left of field £135 commission I got after spending precisely £1.75 on traffic. By no means a bad thing, this is the Yin to the Yang of the often “sudden death” nature of PPC. Subtract that from my £117.85 profit and May could have been a different beast entirely!

However, these freak (and frankly wonderful) surprise commissions will always feature in the mix.

No Pressure

So yeah, no pressure for me in June eh? Fortunately, as I’m trailing behind a bit on my blogging updates I’m happy to say I’ve hit an even keel in June. I will say no more, fickle old PPC can burn through smugly regarded profit fast.

More from me on this at the start of July. I’m going to try to work out a way to do a series of mini articles about the thought processes around direct PPC. However, as many of them also stream into niche selection, and other affiliate research too – I need to try and come up with a useful framework to insert them into.

Please, if anyone has requests or suggestions for helpful content – drop me a comment or an email.

Till next time 🙂