I want to spend $1000 to get hands-on practice with Google AdWords.

19 replies
This is what I am currently thinking about:

Spend $1000 running, analyzing and tweaking ad campaigns on Google to see what works and what doesn't.

My primary motivation here is learning and getting hands-on experience.

If I happen to make a few bucks along the way, great, but it's really not the point.

So I have a couple of questions.

1. Is this a good idea? I believe in combining academic and theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience as the best form of learning. So I am a looking at this as my "lab time".

2. I don't have a product to sell, so I am thinking about doing affiliate promotions of some variety. Any thoughts on how to get started?

Appreciate the help.
#adwords #google #handson #learn #practice #spend
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Hi Andrey,

    I think the general consensus will be for you not to hurl $1,000 right away into Google PPC. (Saying that, I learned it the same way. But it's a long experience and I don't recommend it.) If you're set on this route, I can tell you what I find better: Facebook and YouTube. Targeting and conversion optimizations are better, IME. I also wouldn't recommend you heave $1,000 at it. I'd recommend FB for starters and setting a small budget. Use your spend to grow a combined audience: Page and email list. You'll get better bang for your buck that way.

    On top of that, you have the budget to get into content marketing, which I actually prefer. If you have skills or interest in video, photography, image work, and, in sum, video sharing and social media, you have the budget to get started very nicely. We talk about these subjects quite a lot on WF, so I'd recommend you read around thoroughly first before jumping in. I understand what you're saying about buying experience. Most of what I know in IM (after 23 years) has come from taking the exact same approach. But I had very few educational resources back when I got my start. Were I starting out today? I'd digest everything I could on platforms like WF and then take baby steps. Most newbies fail. I think a lot of the time it boils down to simply choosing the wrong initial route. PPC may seem like a great idea, but perhaps only because other business models are unknown to you at this stage.

    Anyway - whatever you decide - best of luck!

    Cheers,

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrey Norin
      Originally Posted by Tom Addams View Post

      Hi Andrey,

      I think the general consensus will be for you not to hurl $1,000 right away into Google PPC. (Saying that, I learned it the same way. But it's a long experience and I don't recommend it.) If you're set on this route, I can tell you what I find better: Facebook and YouTube. Targeting and conversion optimizations are better, IME. I also wouldn't recommend you heave $1,000 at it. I'd recommend FB for starters and setting a small budget. Use your spend to grow a combined audience: Page and email list. You'll get better bang for your buck that way.

      On top of that, you have the budget to get into content marketing, which I actually prefer. If you have skills or interest in video, photography, image work, and, in sum, video sharing and social media, you have the budget to get started very nicely. We talk about these subjects quite a lot on WF, so I'd recommend you read around thoroughly first before jumping in. I understand what you're saying about buying experience. Most of what I know in IM (after 23 years) has come from taking the exact same approach. But I had very few educational resources back when I got my start. Were I starting out today? I'd digest everything I could on platforms like WF and then take baby steps. Most newbies fail. I think a lot of the time it boils down to simply choosing the wrong initial route. PPC may seem like a great idea, but perhaps only because other business models are unknown to you at this stage.

      Anyway - whatever you decide - best of luck!

      Cheers,

      Tom
      Hey Tom,

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      I really don't want to do any content marketing or creation. Multiple reasons for this, but mainly because I want to keep things transactional instead of building a lengthy relationships. Also, it strikes me as a high effort/low reward play. Or something people do when it doesn't make sense to purchase traffic. What I ultimately hope to get out of this experiment is an improved marketing and online business IQ.

      Failing is cool, my goal with this experiment is to start testing the market and being able to figure out how much demand there is for a certain product or offering. Doesn't it sound like I need to be doing some kind of an affiliate play with this approach? Or is there some other business model that I should learn about to be able to do what I am thinking about?

      My buddies use AdWords to drive super qualified traffic to their physical location (a martial arts gym) where the prospect is put into a high converting sales process, resulting in a contract with recurring billing. Is there any way I can involved in something similar as a middleman?

      I feel that it's crucial to start using your own money, because the magnitude of the lessons learned with real money on the line can't be beat. But I see what you mean about not blowing a wad of cash at once and rather stringing it out over multiple smaller engagements/campaigns.

      Regards,
      Andrey
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
        Originally Posted by Andrey Norin View Post

        I really don't want to do any content marketing or creation. Multiple reasons for this, but mainly because I want to keep things transactional instead of building a lengthy relationships. Also, it strikes me as a high effort/low reward play. Or something people do when it doesn't make sense to purchase traffic. What I ultimately hope to get out of this experiment is an improved marketing and online business IQ.
        Hey Andrey!

        You have the wrong idea about content marketing. I say this just so you don't overlook it.

        Felix does quite well.

        In all, he earns £20,000,000 (probably more) each year. And then you have myself. This month, through content marketing, I'm managing close to 9 figures in traffic volumes a month. Free traffic sources, through content marketing.

        Question is, do we have to choose between the two, between free traffic and paid traffic?

        Answer - no.

        A chap like myself? I'm addicted to traffic. (And donuts.) I buy traffic. I get free traffic.

        In a nutshell, Andrey, a pro' marketer will go where his audience goes. The trouble with forgetting all about content marketing and simply diving into PPC, in this case, is you increase your exposure to risk.

        The lure of PPC for a newbie is instant traffic. Thing is, you can get instant traffic without paying for it, so it defeats the purpose of a newbie wishing to learn the ropes by spending a hefty few bucks.

        Most newbies simply wish to turn on the traffic and get earning.

        They don't want the fuss of learning.

        I'm not saying this applies to you; just saying how many newbies view IM in the beginning.

        IMO, the sensible approach for any newbie is to start small and limit their risk. I've known my daughter to spend the equivalent of $1,000 on a Saturday afternoon. She pays £40 for a bath bomb. Point is, $1,000 really isn't a great deal of money, but it's a huge amount of money for a newbie to start an IM business.

        Most newbies start with 10 bucks (which is more than fine, for any newbies reading this - yes, talking to you, I see ya there).

        What I would do, Andrey, is put $500 into YouTube Ads or Facebook Ads, putting another $500 into the content marketing arm of your business.

        You cover your bases that way and get the best possible start.

        I've known newbies who start with $0. Literally zilch. And I've seen these kids turn nothing into a great deal of something. None of them did it without hard work, but it happens all the time.

        You can get started (very well) for just the price of a domain and some inexpensive hosting.

        About $10 to $20.

        You have $1,000 to throw at IM. So my suggestion is just that you don't blow it all on the wrong thing. Spread it out. The danger is that you'll lose it all and leave IM, never to return. Which is the norm.

        Anyway - have a think, matey.

        Cheers,

        Tom
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        • Profile picture of the author Andrey Norin
          Originally Posted by Tom Addams View Post

          Hey Andrey!

          You have the wrong idea about content marketing. I say this just so you don't overlook it.

          Anyway - have a think, matey.

          Cheers,

          Tom
          Tom,

          Just so you know, matey, I am definitely having a think!

          Sometimes it takes me a little bit of time to connect the dots inside my own head.

          But the more I learn about IM, the more I am realizing how content marketing can potentially be useful for me.

          Maybe not in the context of the question that I originally came with, but as you know , when your awareness expands, the questions also tend to change.

          Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author smartadset
    As Tom said, Start with Facebook advertising as it's less technical that Adwords (both of them a great advertising platforms) , And yes your budget is very good to start with.
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  • Profile picture of the author tristatemedia
    I am sure you know, advertising is also about testing , testing, and more testing. there are skills to learn but testing is key.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eve Jones
    What made you think directly for $1000?? You can even get hands-on experience with less investment than this and the 2 cents of Tom Addams are very generous.
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  • Profile picture of the author gordonchoi
    If you have already decided to test using $1,000, then at least go through these items:

    1. Do a thorough keyword research. Use a paid keyword suggestion/research tool that provides many good keywords, such as SEMRush (and/or a few other keyword tools). If you aren't investing into keyword tools, then at least get your keywords through AdWords keyword tool, and Google's related searches (i.e. bottom of Google SERP).

    2. Build a landing page to "catch" your AdWords traffic. If you are to sell an affiliate product, that's fine - Put it on your landing page. Make sure you write some good content (including text, images, or even Youtube videos - if they can help with conversions). Launch your site on Wordpress, with your own domain name, and use one of those landing pages builders such as Leadpages, ClickFunnels, etc.

    3. Install Google Analytics on your website. Link your Analytics account with your AdWords account. This gives you the power to use goal tracking as conversions for your AdWords account. Or you can stay with conventional AdWords conversion tracking.

    4. In AdWords, start with "search campaign" (i.e. no display advertising). You need to start somewhere in AdWords. Using keywords with Search campaigns to get the clicks, then "read" AdWords reports - Start with campaign reports, then keyword reports, then mobile/desktop reports, then geo reports, etc. Make sure you read through most of the help section content on Google AdWords' official website before you start - This will reduce your casualty (in burning unnecessary money). If you have done your keyword research well enough, you can rely on only phrase match and exact match keywords in your AdWords. These match types can avoid a lot of unnecessary money burning.

    5. Keep checking the reports in AdWords. If not sufficient data, then check the reports in Analytics. This is the way to figure out what keywords are burning you unnecessarily, and what keywords are good for conversions (or assisted conversions).
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrey Norin
      That's great. Thanks for the play by play gordonchoi.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ketan Pande
    I think taking calculated risk will help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author FA8891
    Andrey, Google AdWords is great for but for companies especially. So, if you're going to try it, then make sure you carefully add your keywords, some keywords have hundreds of dollars per click, and it's not related to one niche or two, but many. So, as I can see, you have some theoretical knowledge or at least, you want to learn.


    I saw friends losing thousands without any ROI, on the other side, I know small businesses making a lot of money with cheap ads, simply because there is no big competition, so, make sure you try a niche that has a few ads or no ads at all is better (target keywords with a few searches per month, like 100 or so). You can also choose another country with cheap PPC.


    Alternatively, Bing and Yahoo have cheaper PPC and you can get better results with them. So, give Bing ads a try. You can get 200% or so more clicks than Google (just an estimation). So, you can have more data to analyze and compare things together than with Google.

    Finally, don't let Google optimize your ads, it will cost you all the money you want to invest, so manually tweak things and see how I work. Also, search Google for some AdWords analytics, case studies, strategies from popular marketer or bloggers. That can help to have more data to use and test with. Good Luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrey Norin
      FA8891, thank you for the suggestions.

      May I ask you to elaborate on what you mean by the case studies a little bit? I think case studies could be a very useful tool for me.

      And you are 100% correct, I am aiming to learn.

      Specifically, I want to learn how to find and test niches and use PPC responses as a gauge of interest.

      In other words, I want to learn how to find problems and test if they are compelling enough to my target customers by working the search engine.
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      • Profile picture of the author FA8891
        Many entrepreneurs, bloggers, and even companies share some studies with tips about making their PPC campaigns more profitable, so, they share blog posts with what they used as a strategy to find what work and what they should ignore completely. So, they say, here is what we used, and how much we invested to get this or that goal, and here is what we got, and what we've learned from Google Adwords.

        That way, you don't need to spend years testing with thousands of dollars. Instead, you can learn from other peoples mistakes and tweak things the way you want. I tried Google Adwords once, however, I found it not for me. So, you can search Google for Adwords case studies, and here are two great article I found:
        https://www.boxcrush.com/case-studie...rds-case-study
        https://webrunnermedia.com/shopify-ppc-case-study/
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        • Profile picture of the author Andrey Norin
          Originally Posted by FA8891 View Post

          Many entrepreneurs, bloggers, and even companies share some studies with tips about making their PPC campaigns more profitable, so, they share blog posts with what they used as a strategy to find what work and what they should ignore completely. So, they say, here is what we used, and how much we invested to get this or that goal, and here is what we got, and what we've learned from Google Adwords.

          That way, you don't need to spend years testing with thousands of dollars. Instead, you can learn from other peoples mistakes and tweak things the way you want. I tried Google Adwords once, however, I found it not for me. So, you can search Google for Adwords case studies, and here are two great article I found:
          https://www.boxcrush.com/case-studie...rds-case-study
          https://webrunnermedia.com/shopify-ppc-case-study/
          Those are excellent. Thank you!
          I read the boxcrush one will check out the second one in a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author RiseAndShine
    My quick 2 cents...

    Someone here suggested that you start with FB Ads because they are less technical. That person has a point. They are worth looking at.

    Secondly...you will never really know how Adwords works for real if you dont dive right in...I suggest you jump right into it, with a budget of about $200 and see how that goes.

    Of course your success depends on a lot many things - how your landing page looks like, what product you are selling, etc.

    Best of luck though!
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  • Profile picture of the author samjaynz
    Good to see that you want to test Adwords by doing. IMO that is the best way to learn. However, doing affiliate promotions with Adwords could be tricky.

    Do you have a physical business you could promote? E.g. a local service biz that is owned by a family member or friend, for whom you can provide a "pro bono" service in exchange for learning.

    That is a better way to learn in my opinion (I've been doing Adwords for years now).

    Reach out if you want any personalized advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrey Norin
      Originally Posted by samjaynz View Post

      Good to see that you want to test Adwords by doing. IMO that is the best way to learn. However, doing affiliate promotions with Adwords could be tricky.

      Do you have a physical business you could promote? E.g. a local service biz that is owned by a family member or friend, for whom you can provide a "pro bono" service in exchange for learning.

      That is a better way to learn in my opinion (I've been doing Adwords for years now).

      Reach out if you want any personalized advice.
      YESS....I would love to promote a physical business.

      I do have friends with businesses that I could practice on. That is a great idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oz Affiliate
    First of all.. you WILL NEED SOMETHING to advertise...
    second.. why not start with $100 .. you can always scale up when you see some success.
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  • Profile picture of the author AshleyRivera
    I wouldn't spend $1000 on it just for an experiment. I would try $50 and if you get good results from that ad, keep running it. If not, try another one.
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