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

My 4 Hours Work Per Week Challenge WK 4, 5, & 6

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a bit of a hiatus for some much needed family time. I did keep records every Friday though, so I’ll pop them below. I think from this point on I’ll limit these posts to once a month as the value of them here on the blog will get limited and repetitive. For anyone really interested in following along weekly, I do a tweet with my stats every Friday morning. You can find my Twitter here.

Week 4 Results

During this week I didn’t work at all beyond keeping an eye on my campaigns most days (Bing phone app – most handy!) to make sure everything was running as expected. As I suspected when I was getting frustrated in my last post, I just needed to give what I’d already done a wee bit of time to bed in.

Total Clicks: 122

Total Cost: £17.15

Revenue: £35.84

Profit: £18.69 

Week 5 Results

Again during this week I was enjoying time with family, so just the odd tweak here and there which took a minute or two each day.

Total Clicks: 116

Total Cost: £16.48

Revenue: £36.75

Profit: £20.27

This was all very encouraging. A few things I’d done in the week before I went on holiday were looking promising. One thing that had been running for 3 weeks and had 75 really targeted clicks hadn’t had any sign of a sale, so I switched it off at the start of week 6.

Week 6 Results

Back into things this week. I did a bit of adjusting of all the existing campaigns, made sure they were all triggering as they should, and added in new adgroups, search terms, and ad extensions to things that I’ve identified as working well.

Total Clicks: 127

Total Cost: £18.04

Revenue: £77.59

Profit: £59.55

Monthly Total For April: £98.23 profit

Oh yes. This is a bit more like it! You’ll see that the total clicks haven’t increased that much, but the revenue and profit has. This is because I’ve been stripping out stuff that’s not working, and enhancing things that are working. I’m really childishly excited because I’ve identified a new niche I wasn’t aware of before – that’s where a lot of this profit has come from. It’s converting like the blazes, so I hope to build on this discovery as much as possible.

I must just add, there’s likely to be a fair bit of flukery in this week’s stats. I wouldn’t really expect such a return on investment. This may be an atypical week of the very best kind. But I’m not complaining!

I am now 47% of the way to my monthly target of £211. That doesn’t mean I don’t have all that much left to do. I could lose a lot of this in a week’s time and have to grapple around to get it back or find something else. I love this aspect of affiliate marketing. I have always dabbled in PPC direct to merchant where I could because I do often find little niche gems without the need to laboriously build a site. I’ve now got a new bit of niche knowledge to work with and feed into other ideas.

I’ll update this section again at the end of May, and as I said check me out on Twitter if you are interested in a weekly heads up on how this is going!

4 Hour A Week Challenge

My 4 Hours Work Per Week Challenge WK3

Week 3 of my PPC challenge, I thought I’d keep a little day to day note of how I felt about things every day. Just for a bit of insight into the self doubt!

Day 1 – Started off the week feeling disheartened after a weekend of zero sales! Shattered, kids awful. But nevertheless I cranked out two new mini campaigns and did not enjoy it at all. The campaigns get a few clicks immediately. I go to bed feeling quite excited. I’m sure there’ll be a sale from somewhere in the morning

Day 2 – Still no new sales. God I suck, I really don’t know what the point of this is. Why are there no conversions? Really disheartened. I log into Facebook to distract myself from my feelings of impending failure. Everyone’s just been paid FFS. What’s the issue here!! But I’ve been here before. I get disheartened and stop the project. Two months later, everything’s working marvellous and I SHOULD NOT HAVE STOPPED. With great reluctance, I get my hour done and pop up 5 new adgroups.

Day 3 – sigh. Not a new penny. Also, discovered I’d stuffed up and left the “search partners” option activated on Bing. No wonder my click levels have been fluctuating madly. Now resolved. However, It did make me realise I’ve added a lotta adgroups since the start of my project. I’m up to over 120 now. I’ve popped up another 5 adgroups today to add into the campaign I did yesterday.

Day 4 – Small commission made, One new campaign set up. I only managed one Adgroup due to the time it took me to find the appropriate test areas to start off in. The merchant site I chose wasn’t in one of my “preferred” niche areas so I had to cope with a little bit of unfamiliarity.

Week 3 Results

Total Clicks: 111

Total Cost £15.97

Total Revenue £12.80

Loss: £3.17

Cumulative Results

Total Clicks: 238

Total Revenue: £31.91

Total Loss: £3.54

The Swear Jar is Rammed To Bursting

This right here is the point at which this sort of promotion drives you freaking batty! All the revenues over the three weeks have come from different places. What performed in Week 1 has died in week 2 & 3, or the traffic has vanished. Some of the new things I’ve added which make up the extra traffic have volume but have done nothing. I’ve been doing a lot of silent swearing under my breath this week as I check my stats, and really feel a bit disheartened. I’ve only spent £3.54 on all this though and I’ve gained 238 data gathering opportunities on the click front. I can’t see any reason to not just keep pushing on.

Giving My Work Time To Succeed

A lot of what these campaigns need is simply time. Bing in particular takes weeks for PPC to bed in. I’m also only using phrase and exact match for my little experiment as I mentioned in week 1. That does mean volume will fluctuate, as I have found you do need to venture into broad match with modifiers to really get the old Bing volume flowing. However, I’m not doing that until I can see who is converting as it’s fairly labour intensive to manage that traffic stream initially.

What I’m Doing in Wk 4

I said that in week 3 I’d be honing things, I didn’t do that. I added a new merchant every day because I remembered I am going on holiday this coming week. I won’t add in new things on holiday, and I won’t be doing my hour a day challenge in it’s full form. My kids will be in a log cabin with me, and I am incapable of concentrating on being creative around them. Also, they should get to enjoy a bit of Mum time without the “Shh. Working!” thing happening. I will spend time doing bid management and negatives though, when my darlings go to sleep.

Wow, Affiliate Marketing Takes Time!

That’s right Susan. Remember that the next time you see an infallable making money product online 😉