My first Adwords PPC project [thoughts]

Posted on January 29, 2013 in Projects

Looking for a mini project to create to practice PPC skills (and hopefully make money with).

There’s so many choices to make!

  • Which broad category should I target?
  • Which niche?
  • Which audience?
  • Is there much competition?
  • Is there a market?
  • Are there products to sell?
  • Is PPC cheap?

I could literally spend days searching, so instead of wasting time I’ve spent 30 minutes and decided to build a landing page with a free download (email capture) of woodworking plans. I think I’ll offer free plans to build a garden shed first. Then in email correspondence (I’ll set a number of autoresponders) I will advertise using some Clickbank products and maybe Amazon too (tools etc).

Not sure whether I should just target UK (which makes Amazon targeting easier), or all English speaking countries. If I target all English speaking countries, will my PPC be higher or lower? Will definitely be less targeted and thus lower conversion. I think I should target the UK only for now, even though traffic will be lower…

(I’m literally typing as I think here, so apologies for poor grammar etc)

The are a few reasons for using this niche:

  • There’s a market for woodworking plans (GAKT shows lots of searching, lots of long tails KWs too)
  • Good commission on (many) products available – Clickbank
  • Lots of support for affiliates via Clickbank (i.e. images, user reviews, landing pages, etc)
  • Loads of sub-products to advertise (i.e. Amazon)
  • I can build an email list at the same time
  • It’s easy to offer a free download as lead generation (not so easy with physical products)

I have made a brief keyword list which I’m going to target roughly that can be imported into Excel. I will then organize by campaign, ad groups, ppc etc. (more on this later)

At the moment, the plan of action/to-do list seems as follows:

  • Build a lead generation website for the woodworking plans
  • Make content for the website (maybe semi-complete shed wood working plan, email for complete plan)
  • Buy domain, set up server, sort out GIT
  • Sort out autoresponder emails (probably mailchimp)
  • More keyword research, and begin creating ad groups
  • Begin advertising with Adwords
  • Split test landing page
  • Split test ads

I’ve chosen the domain Choosing a domain wasn’t too difficult. For the moment my only traffic strategy is via PPC. However, I did keep in mind that if the site was successful it should:

  • Have a catchy name
  • Name can’t be too long
  • Name must actually make sense – not some stupid arbitrary name
  • Must be extremely relevant to what my plans are

I think CarpentryHQ satisfies all of the above conditions. Not to mention the fact that it has the potential to become an awesome authority site.

Bought the domain for $10.87 from Namecheap.

Total spend so far: $10.87

Thought: This business model is very easilly ‘flippable’. With proven revenue I could sell the site very easily and then reproduce the same model in a different niche. (or of course just keep creating value to the site and make it an authority)

Thought: Future of site could also be a good membership site. Drip-feed content… User uploads… Best project voting… Community…

Thought: This could have been a nice foray into responsive design, but I’m not sure i’m going to bother directing traffic to mobile devices yet…

Edit: Wow 10 minutes wasted simply trying to login to 1and1. What an awful website… I was going to and putting in the 100% correct credentials. Nothing. Tried resetting password. Nothing. Thought I’d been hacked, checked websites in the account. They’re fine. What the..? Turns out I had to go to 1and1.CO.UK to log in. They could have at least suggested that may be why I wasn’t able to log in? Or they should do a quick ajax search on their domain to check if there is an account number that matches? Sort it out 1and1!

Need a good lead generation template to work from. Going to get inspiration from a number of places. Off the top of my head right now:

  • Google ‘lead generation templates’ etc
  • blog
  • I want to check out all the sites advertising in Google for things like ‘lead generation template’ etc to see what theirs looks like. However, I don’t want to click as they’re obviously paying for it… I guess I’ll take note of the site and type it into browser 🙂

So I’m going to need targeted landing pages to send visitors to from my PPC campaign. Since I have a mixture of time AND money constraint, I’m going to spend probably a bit more time making more targeted landing pages as opposed to just throwing money at a single page. What I mean by this is, I don’t have to rush so much that I only have time to send ALL keywords to the same landing page.

For example, one of my keywords might be “Things to make from wood”… In which case my landing page would be more general woodworking plans, and the free download might be a few random woodworking plans

However, for keywords like “how to make a shed out of wood” etc, I can make a landing page targeting that exact keyword, in which case the free download would be plans for a shed.

Another example- “cool things to make out of wood” – in which case I would make the giveaway a small selection of actual cool woodworking plans

Choosing email marketing company. Got experience with Aweber and Mailchimp. Aweber was OK, but it’s more expensive than Mailchimp. I love Mailchimp’s design and how they treat their customers (not to say that Aweber is bad at this), but I’m going to go with Mailchimp.

Their monthly option costs $10/m. My primary reason for doing this is to get rid of the Mailchimp logo at the bottom of the emails. I don’t think I’ll breach the other limitations of the otherwise free plan.

Total spend so far: $20.87

Just realized that maybe sheds/blueprints etc aren’t the best idea since it’s relatively seasonal. Rubbish weather lately so people might not be searching for this stuff.. Whoops. This only means less traffic, shouldn’t affect conversion too much I think, since I’m going to be targeting buying keywords especially.

Some calculations on my chosen offer. Chosen offer is this:


AdWords ended up costing too much to be sustainable. I tested out 4 different adverts on Facebook ads instead, and ended up getting around £0.14 per click (ish, I haven’t worked it out properly). Here’s a screenshot of the Facebook backend:


I’ve not had enough time to continue working on this particular project, but I ended up converting around 20-30 visitors into email subscribers, and got a few clicks through to the clickbank product. With some testing and more time spent on this project, i’m confident I could turn it into a small money maker. I’ll update this in a few weeks or months time 🙂

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