Cash is Good!

I have taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to post here as I am able.

Monday, December 14, 2009

$100 Free Google AdWords

Did you get a coupon in the mail in November for a free $100 worth of AdWords ads? I'm not sure who got them, but I did, and I spent a long time reading it all to see what the catch was. Well, there wasn't much of one. It really is $100 of free advertising. I had to pay $5 activation fee, but there is no contract for a certain amount of time or need to buy any additional ads. The one "trick" is that I need to watch how the funds are being used up, and cancel the ad when it is at about $100.

I decided to advertise my book, North Country Cache. After I got the ad set up, and paid my $5, I had to choose some keywords. I filled in a whole list of words and phrases relating to hiking, women hikers, trails, etc. (The book is my adventures while hiking 2300 miles of the North Country Trail.)

AdWords Graph

The second day, the ad was shown 88,000 times, and received 36 clicks, but no sales. As you can see, after day 2, the number of times it was shown falls off sharply. I think this is what has happened.

My book, although written so that anyone can enjoy it, is considered a niche book. On the first two days, I believe the ad was shown broadly across all of the keywords that I chose. Now look at the next graphic.

After some initial displays, Google analyzed which of those keywords were performing up to some standard, and stopped showing the ad on other keywords. So now I'm only getting about 1000 impressions a day on two keywords: "hiking," and "hiking trails." Of course this means that my $100 will last a lot longer since I only pay for clicks, and there have only been 0-1 a day with such a low number of impressions.

I was hoping to sell perhaps a couple of books before Christmas through this means. At this rate of clicks though, given some low percent of clicks that will convert to sales, I doubt I'll sell any.

Still, it's good to get the exposure. Research says that (on average) people have to see something 8 times before they buy, so I need to get my book in view. I doubt that I'll renew, but who knows, so far I've only used $15 of the $100.

See Books Leaving Footprints for North Country Cache

web ad income Dec 12 (6 blogs, 2 web sites, writing):
Adsense $1.09
Adgitize $.98
Project Wonderful $.02
Chitika $.04
Clixsense $.05
Neobux $.06
Total: $2.31


John | English Wilderness said...

It might be worth finding more specific keywords. Although the traffic will be lower, conversions should be higher and possibly the CPC lower. Use the Google Keyword tool for suggestions.

You didn't mention why the quality score is low (hover over the speech bubble icon). Often it's possible to fix the problem.

The wording of your ad can make a big difference. Try to include the keyword in the ad title. Unfortunately this means quite a bit of work setting up multiple ads.

By the way, I manage an Adwords account as part of my day job :-)

Mark said...

I had a voucher a little while ago. Unfortunately I made no money whatsoever - I figure I have a lot to learn about PPC advertising!! It did give me a risk free opportunity to play with Adwords though which was invaluable. When I am more ready to progress properly to PPC this experience will have very useful.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

John- I have a long list of very specific keywords, but they just don't get much use. Let's face it, compared to the 1000s of other topics in the universe women hikers just aren't near the top of the search list!

Mark- Yup, at the least I'll get experience. If I sell a couple of books it will be great.

cornyman said...


i got the voucher several times in the last six months but never had intention to advertise. After reading your article i had first to look again in my e-mails if i still have this voucher.

Yup, it's here. But it seems they have to check my ad. Takes already several hours after i made my payment for the activation. Hope i'm not one of these cases in their help forum who has to wait one week until it's approved :(

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Martin- Hmmm. My offer came in the mail and if there was an approval process it was really fast. Now you've got me curious, because I don't remember that there was one.

cornyman said...


it took around 30 hours until it was fully accepted in the broad advertising network (including partners). In the beginning it showed up very slowly (19th/20th Dec) on 21st and 22nd December it seems to be the same like in your case - a lot of page impressions - and now on 23nd they start to stop the less effective keywords.

And i see the price per click increase at the moment daily by one cent (5 cents at the start now 8 cents).

I'm not sure why i get mainly clicks from Pakistan, India and nearly no visitors from the USA. Seems the price is too low for such visitors.