Promoting via PPC
Promoting affiliate products using PPC is one of the most widely used strategies for making money online. The attraction is that it's very quick to set up and to get targeted traffic almost immediately. The downide is it costs money and isn't guaranteed to make you more money than you spend. However, with the right knowledge and the right tools, you should be able to dip your toe, test the campaign and then jump in to whatever level you choose.
A key concept in many aspects of internet marketing is 'rinse and repeat'. What this means is start on a campaign (a campaign is a pairing of a page promoting a product and the PPC campaign to promote it), tweak it until it's profitable and running on autopilot and then when it no longer requires daily attention you can move on and set up a second. And a third and so on. So if your first campaign makes you $20 a day, you go and set up a 2nd until you have that generating $x a day. And you can keep doing this for as long as you want.
Some warnings are in order though before you get too excited. You must test, test, test before you fully launch your campaign. And you must regularly monitor after you launch the campaign. A campaign could turn from profitable to not in a short space of time. By expecting this and continually monitoring for it, you'll be able to quickly disable a campaign before it starts sucking money the other way.
Here are some of the key concepts to understand. Let's say we're promoting a 'teach yourself to play guitar' ebook. You've surely seen the adverts on the right of a Google search page - these are the paid results or sponsored links. Clearly we need an advert. But what determines when the advert will show?
Well since we're paying for this, we do! We tell Google what keywords we want our advert to show for. So if we bid on the keyword 'guitar', potentially our advert could show up any time someone searches for 'guitar'.
'Guitar' is the top level keyword but it's far too broad to be useful to us. We would be getting clicks from people that were looking to buy a guitar, people wanting to know how a guitar is made and so on. So we have to be more specific. How about 'play guitar'. That is much better because our ebook is about 'play guitar'. This would probably be the top level keyword of relevance to us.
We could also bid on 'learn guitar' and 'learn to play guitar'. Note that 'learn to play guitar' is much more targeted than 'play guitar'.
Useful PPC Resources
Keyword Elite is one of a collection of related programs from Bryxen software.
Advanced program for creating Adwords campaigns
A monthly fee and aimed at beginners - get up and running quickly
So, we can bid on a keyword and then our advert will show when someone searches for that keyword, right? Almost but there are a few other considerations. Since there are other people wanting to promote similar products, we're unlikely to be alone in bidding for that keyword. And to keep it simple, let's say there are 8 positions available in Google. Very simplistically, if we make the lowest bid we'll appear at the bottom and if we make the highest bid we'll appear at the top.
And again very simplistically, let's assume that the top is the most effective and the bottom is least effective. And let's say that we launch our campaign with the 3 keyword/phrases above and one good advert.
What will happen is that we will start to get traffic to our sales page and if we're lucky, some of those visitors will buy. The goal of this strategy is to ensure that a campaign is profitable. So I will state it though it should be obvious: Our campaign is profitable when we make more money in sales than it cost in advertising to get those sales!. Like I say, pretty obvious.
If you threw together that campaign, launched it and found you were spending $5 a day in advertising and making $50 in sales, would you be happy? You bet. $45 profit a day would be very nice thank you from one campaign. But what if you were spending $45 to make $90. Same profit per day, is that ok?
Well it depends. The first example is a 90% profit margin while the second is only a 50% profit margin. On the first campaign, it's barely worth optimising the campaign because it won't affect your profits - all you'd want to do is to see if you could get more volume to make more money. But the 2nd campaign might well benefit from some optimisation. After all, if we could get that $45 down to $5 for the same sales, we've nearly doubled our profit.
Optimising a PPC Campaign
And this brings us to another key concept - optimising a campaign. You might not find many campaigns that run for long at a 90% profit margin where it doesn't really matter whether you optimise or not. In fact a more likely scenario is that you barely break even to begin with. So let's explore why that can happen.
Suppose we find we exactly break even. What's essential here is that we get some kind of measurement of our 3 keywords. We might well find that one keyword is responsible for all the sales while the others produce clicks (cost us money) but don't result in sales. So what do we do? We almost certainly throw away the two keywords that don't make sales.
Doing that would instantly boost our profit as we'd make the same sales for far less cost. Now this is a very simplistic example and in reality we'd have more keyword phrases and it wouldn't be as black and white as this.
I've only been able to scratch the surface here but hopefully this explains the main concept of promoting with PPC. There are many, many guides and tools to help you if you want to get involved in PPC (see the resource guide above). I will also be adding more articles that go into more detail in the future.