No “Happy New Year” greetings from me! And where has half of January gone? The pandemic seems to have created a new rhythm and rhyme in life for many of us. And I’m lucky to not have a job to do remotely or kids to supervise and watch for the slightest sign of illness. My angst comes from countless days at home. Maybe losing count (it’s Thursday again?) is what keeps the time flying by. I worry about trips out for groceries and the occasional sinful meeting with friends, fingers crossed that nobody has an invisible case of Omicron.
Even the dog has the Covid angst. He wants to sit on my lap all the time and gives me that “treat time” look at 6 p.m. when he already had his bedtime treat at 4 p.m. Ingenuity or dementia?
Last week I had the sniffles, so cancelled everything and stayed home for 4 days working on my book business and watching movies on TV. With a special lunch out planned for Friday, I scheduled a rapid PCR test for Thursday. Yes, I could have paid for the whole lunch for less than I paid for the test, but I knew by Thursday evening that I was negative for Covid and good to go. And it was worth it! See photo above.
My friend is going on the Egypt tour that we both planned a year ago, but I backed out. Do I really want to be in a foreign land where I don’t know how many are vaccinated or what the infection rate is? Not to mention the many hours of travel wearing the dreaded mask. Two hours of being the masked woman is about all I can take. That’s good for a movie in an uncrowded theater, but that’s about it.
So, once again I’m sitting at the computer mid-morning, still in my bathrobe, with nowhere to go and not much to do. More work on my book ads perhaps, a little reading, and maybe a Zoom meeting later today. Yawn. I can always put on the national news to get my heart rate up, but that probably doesn’t count as exercise. Perhaps a dog walk will cheer me up. I wish a speedy recovery to the world, from Covid, mis-trust, hatred, hunger, and desperation. Let the new year bring something new and wonderful . . . please!
In 2019, I paid a consultant to create an Amazon Ad campaign for my book, Laugh and Live, Advice for Aging Boomers. I had experimented on my own early in the year, but I didn’t know what I was doing and the results were not worth mentioning.
With the consultant’s help prior to the holiday shopping period, I had two ads running which helped increase my sales, but the cost was high. In November my royalties were $342, but the ads cost me $390. Way to go, Amazon! I came out ahead in December by about $70. Not much, but I was happy to have sold 90 books. Fortunately, I’m not planning to live off my profits! Things got better in January of 2020, but in February and March, I lost money.
Lucky for me, once the virus put me in my chair staring at a blank screen and wondering what to do with my time, I happened on Bryan Cohen’s Amazon Ad Challenge course, a free, 5-day course on maximizing profits with Amazon ads. Believe me, learning about marketing is not something that rings my bell. Bryan, however, is an excellent teacher above all else. He presented the material in chunks that I could grasp, gave homework that urged me to understand, create ads, and post them on the challenge’s Facebook page for everyone else in the class of thousands to comment on. There were several sessions with communication directly with Bryan and his staff. I took voluminous notes.
For the month of April–I started the new ads mid-month–I came out $150 ahead. June is looking similar. My royalties, as I plot them from day to day, are averaging twice what I am spending on ads. Thank you, Bryan!
The Amazon adventure is way too complicated to boil down to a few simple rules and I highly recommend you to Bryan. He has an ongoing school for which he’ll charge you, but I am satisfied with what I learned from the free week of classes. Here are a few of the things I learned.
Have lots of ads, new ones all the time, and make them short range–a month or two.
Do automatic ads and category ads and keywords ads (the latter work the best for me)
Write new ad copy all the time.
Bid low. Bryan suggested 30 cents a click
Look at your keyword data–which ones produce the most clicks?