Landing Your First PPC Job

Apr. 26

Today I’m going to discuss PPC careers and specifically how you can land your first PPC job. It’s exciting: I’ve received a ton of emails lately from PPC Ian readers about breaking into the corporate PPC industry. Many of these emails have been from current college students. When I graduated Stanford, I really fell into this industry out of pure luck and never looked back. Back then, the corporate PPC industry was just beginning so nobody really got into this industry intentionally (because it really didn’t exist as an established industry). They typically found it by accident and then enjoyed the amazing rewards as the industry exploded. Today, however, our industry has truly grown and there are very clear things you can do to ensure you land your first PPC job. Let’s jump into them!

Tip 1: Pursue The Right Major For PPC

PPC Jobs

Pay per click is very technical, but at the same time creative as well. We’re creating bidding algorithms, crunching numbers in Excel, and building financial models but are also writing ad copy, brainstorming clever new strategies, and managing high profile relationships with search engines. It’s really the fact that PPC is so incredibly diverse that it stays interesting year after year!

So, what majors will prepare you for all of this? While there are many different options, I personally recommend going with a technical major and then a more creative minor (or at least picking up some creative activities). What do I mean by technical major? I’m talking about computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, economics, business, and other related disciplines. I personally went with a computer science major and economics minor. I flexed my creativity by functioning as co-president of Stanford’s investment club.

Tip 2: Get An Internet Industry Internship

Experience is everything. If you want to get into investment banking, it’s critical to get an internship at one of the big investment banks. Now that pay per click has evolved, it’s incredibly helpful to have relevant industry experience via internships. Ideally, I would try to get an internship at an SEM agency or at a large direct advertiser in an online marketing capacity. (You may want to check out my post about three PPC career paths. ) That said, there’s no need to focus exclusively on PPC when you’re still in college. Any internship at an Internet company (especially one that has a strong PPC and/or SEO presence) will help tremendously. The experience you will gain by simply working in the corporate Internet environment will pay incredible dividends once you graduate and look for your ideal PPC job.

Tip 3: Start Affiliate Marketing While In College

I’m a huge fan of my friend Dino Vedo. Dino is a college student, but is also an affiliate marketing mogul. I can tell you first hand: There is no substitute for first hand experience, especially when your very own money is on the line. Whether you approach the affiliate marketing game from a PPC perspective or even an SEO perspective (like myself), this first hand experience will prepare you tremendously for your first PPC job. So, how do you get started in affiliate marketing? One great option is to work with an affiliate network like CPA Tank. CPA Tank, run by my friend Vito, will connect you with the best offers and provide expert advice on getting your affiliate marketing campaigns started!

So there you have it! Three quick tips that will help you prepare for your first PPC job while you’re still in college. In my opinion, PPC is the best career around and it’s an amazing opportunity for anyone in college contemplating their first job.

Image in this post © iStockPhoto – francisblack

Keyword Winner 2.0 Contest Winners

Apr. 19

I’m a huge fan of Dan Lew’s Keyword Winner version 2.0. Now that I’m leveraging this amazing SEO plugin, I can’t imagine blogging without it. Keyword Winner helps me optimize the titles of all my blog posts for SEO success. In addition to Keyword Winner, I’m a huge fan of my readers. Without all of you, PPC Ian would not be the blog it is today. That’s why I decided to run a neat little promotion for Keyword Winner. Basically, if you purchased Keyword Winner 2.0 in the month of March, 2011 via my affiliate link, I pledged to review your blog. Quite a few people ended up purchasing Keyword Winner 2.0 via my link (thank you) and today I’m excited to review the three sites that contacted me about the free review opportunity!

Great Site #1: Mintek


First up today is Mintek, an awesome 25+ employee company that provides mobile data solutions for customers across a plethora of industries. Mintek empowers its clients by providing access to customer, employee, and asset information well beyond the traditional office. As someone in the online marketing industry, I’m always looking for more leverage via advanced tools and software. As such, I can totally relate to Mintek’s mission of adding substantial value to clients via advanced mobile software solutions. Also, as someone who really believes in the power and future of mobile advertising, I can totally relate to Mintek on that level as well.

I’m impressed with Mintek’s website and suite of solutions. In particular, I recommend checking out their warehouse management, customer relationship management, and asset management solutions. Additionally, Mintek just launched a brand new blog. They definitely have a great website that is helpful to current and prospective customers. Thanks Mintek, and great site!

Great Site #2: CountingPips


Second up today is CountingPips, an awesome website about Forex Trading. I’m an investor at heart. When I’m not working on my online marketing campaigns, I’m focused on investing in the stock market. In fact, I’m actively funneling my online marketing profits into the right investments (make sure to check out my get rich money map). As a result of my passion, I had a total blast checking out CountingPips!

CountingPips is a very comprehensive website that offers Forex articles, a Forex blog, a Forex directory, Forex videos, and so much more. In short, this site is the Forex investor’s dream come true. I really like their strategy of offering Forex videos as I’m a huge fan of video and have really been focusing on uploading great videos to my portfolio of websites this year. CountingPips, thanks so much!

Great Site #3: Hacking My Body

Last, but definitely not least, is Hacking My Body by my friend Matt Ringstad. Matt is a frequent commentator here on PPC Ian and I am truly grateful. Currently, Matt’s site is under construction and it’s going to be big! Some exciting facts about Matt’s forthcoming website.

Hacking My Body, based on My 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, is a blog all about Matt’s personal journey towards physical fitness. On Christmas Eve, 2010 Matt had an unfortunate snowboarding accident where he broke his leg while snowboarding with his two boys. It was a difficult time for Matt and his family. Now that Matt’s in recovery mode, he has really committed to his physical health and balance for the long term. In Matt’s own words: "I look at this site as a way for me to share my personal journey towards a more balanced physical and mental state with a long-term commitment to myself and to my family. It’s a wake-up call on life."

Wow, that is awesome, I’m inspired! I’m a huge fan of physical fitness and can tell you right now that I’m going to be a frequent reader of Matt’s new blog. Matt, thank you so much!

So there you have it! The three winners of my Keyword Winner contest, three loyal PPC Ian fans. Want to check out more great sites? I recommend checking out my post about three amazing blogs you need to visit, the winners of my blog commentating contest (from 2010). Also, you may want to check out my favorite online marketing blogs.

Images in this post © and

A Day In The Life of PPC Ian

Apr. 14

I’m the greatest proponent of the corporate online marketing career path around. That’s why I created this blog, after all. In today’s post, I wanted to photo document my exciting day today, a day in the life of PPC Ian. This post will really highlight some of the advantages of working in this amazing industry, from a corporate perspective. In short, the benefits are unparalleled. While not all of my days are this fun, I do consider this to be a typical day when I attend online marketing conferences.

I Went To ad:tech San Francisco 2011

Adknowledge ad:tech

PPC Ian and Adknowledge at ad:tech

After getting into the office this morning and powering through some important projects, I headed over to ad:tech San Francisco. Since I work in San Francisco (the online marketing capital of the world), it was super easy to grab a five minute taxi ride and head over to Moscone Center West, the location of ad:tech. ad:tech is a really great conference. While I didn’t have a full pass this time to attend all the sessions (like I did at SMX West last month), I certainly had an amazing time catching up with both old and new friends. I spent a few hours going through the exhibit hall and meeting some seriously interesting companies and individuals.

Marin Software ad:tech

PPC Ian and Marin Software at ad:tech

Above, you can see an image of yours truly with my friends from Adknowledge, an amazing advertising network that has driven stellar results for me over the years across multiple verticals. My campaign secret for the day: Give Adknowledge a try if you haven’t so far. Their unique system delivers results, period. How? They have gone on an acquisition rampage and have consolidated many of the second tier search engines (including Miva), becoming the fourth largest advertising marketplace on the Internet. Even better: They have strong roots in email marketing and offer the ability to advertise (on a PPC basis) to their email lists. AdKnowledge’s email lists truly convert, they offer some of the most premium traffic I have experienced over the years (often available at bargain basement prices).

After catching up with AdKnowledge, I headed over to the amazing Marin Software booth. I’m a huge fan of Marin Software and even interviewed one of their executives, Matt Lawson, here on PPC Ian. As you can see in the picture on the right, Marin has an incredibly impressive booth. They leveraged the same booth that debuted at SMX West last month. In my opinion, it’s one of the best looking booths around and it was no surprise that it drew some serious attention.

Acquisio ad:tech

PPC Ian and Acquisio at ad:tech

After hanging out with my friends from Marin Software, I headed over to Acquisio. As you might remember from my post about SMX West, I met up my friend Marc Poirier, CMO and co-founder of Acquisio at that conference. This time around, I did not run into Marc but thoroughly enjoyed making some new friends. I couldn’t be more impressed with the Acquisio team and software. I particularly enjoyed getting a demo of the newest Acquisio functionality.

After Acquisio, I continued to walk around the expo hall for a while and was really impressed overall. Our industry is incredibly strong, the conference was absolutely packed, and the boots were cooler and more extravagant than ever. Want to see a really neat booth? Check out the LinkedIn one at the bottom of this post. (Side note: I highly recommend checking out my LinkedIn Tips, they will supercharge your online marketing career.)

Lunch At Straits Cafe

Straits Cafe San Francisco

Lunch at Straits Cafe SF

After a while, I started losing my energy and was ready for a nice lunch. Thankfully, I ran into some of my friends from Stanford who also happen to be in the online marketing industry. I’d show a picture, but these guys just started a business that’s in super stealth mode and said not to post any pictures or links. I hope in the future that I’ll be able to review their exciting business.

Anyways, we headed over to Straits Cafe and the food was simply delicious. I had been to the Straits restaurants in Palo Alto and Santana Row before, but never SF. I was very happy with the selection and really enjoyed networking with some old friends. In this industry, your personal relationships and your network is your single largest asset in my opinion.

Giants vs. Dodgers Game From Marin Software’s Luxury Suite

Giants Stadium Luxury Suite

Marin Software Giants Luxury Suite

After lunch, I was ready to head back to work. I got back to the office and powered through several hours of concentrated work. Thankfully, I was in the zone so I got a lot done fast. Then, it was time for fun again. As mentioned above, I’m a big fan of Marin Software. Right now, I’m a bigger fan than ever because they invited me to watch the Giants game from their luxury suite.

Have you ever flown first class before? It’s kind of like that. The first time I flew first class, I was floored. The difference between first class and coach is parabolic. It’s not the step up you would think, it’s a different world. It’s a world that makes me want to earn lots of money! That’s how I like to look at the Giants experience from a luxury suite. It’s not just a step up, it’s a whole other world, and I sincerely thank my friends at Marin for allowing me to enjoy the good life.

Marin Software Giants Game

Me and Marin Friends at Giants Game

I had such an amazing time at the game. I enjoyed a limitless buffet of food, several Giants staff members catering to our every wish, amazing drinks, popcorn, an indoor lounge area, an outdoor seating area (right behind home plate), and of course great conversation with new and old friends. In short, this is the way baseball was meant to be enjoyed! It’s experiences like this that really get me excited about our great industry. After the Giants game, I headed home, chilled out with my amazing wife, and then wrote this blog post.

Oracle Suite Level

Oracle Luxury Suite Level

Now, it’s time to get some sleep and then do it all over again. While tomorrow’s going to be a bit more standard than today, one thing is for sure: This industry rocks! There is always something exciting around the corner and that’s why corporate online marketing is the ideal career path! Any of you guys visit ad:tech San Francisco this year? I’d be super curious to hear about your personal experience!

Some More Pictures From ad:tech San Francisco 2011

ad:tech San Francisco

ad:tech San Francisco 2011 Digital Marketing Conference

LinkedIn ad:tech

The Impressive LinkedIn Booth at ad:tech San Francisco 2011

All Images In This Post ©

Kenshoo Launches Amazing Watchdog Platform

Apr. 06

If you’ve been visiting PPC Ian for a while, it will not surprise you at all that today’s post is about SEM automation software. After all, this is probably my favorite topic in the world. I’m particularly excited about today’s post, however, because I’m going to be discussing a new type of SEM automation software. I’m going to discuss software that fills a huge void in the world of large scale, corporate SEM. I’m going to talk about software that saved one retail advertiser $120,000 of potentially wasted ad spend (and $250,000 of potentially lost sales revenue) within just one short week after implementation. I’m thrilled to discuss the brand new Kenshoo Watchdog Platform.

What Is Kenshoo Watchdog?

Kenshoo 15 Billion Online Sales Revenue

So, what is Kenshoo Watchdog? Watchdog is basically software that functions as a 24/7 member of your team scouring your SEM campaigns for broken links, an abundance of redirects (bad for quality score), website failures, out of date products and promotions, and more. This patent-pending solution is the ultimate money-saver for those of us with enormous search engine marketing accounts with thousands upon thousands of ad copy all with different URLs, different promotions, and different messages. Watchdog comes from Sequoia-backed Kenshoo, one of the best and most innovative software companies I have ever seen. Due to the team backing this software, it’s jam-packed with innovative features such as prioritizing its audits on adgroups with the most spend and pages that were recently changed. If you’re in the corporate world of SEM (especially in a managerial level position), it’s really your duty to audition this tool, in my opinion.

Large SEM Accounts Can Get Out of Control

I’ve been in this corporate search engine marketing world long enough to know that it’s impossible to QA all campaigns, adgroups, and keywords on an ongoing basis. When you’re dealing with multiple accounts, hundreds of campaigns, tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands of adgroups), and millions of keywords, there’s no way you’re going to be able to QA it all manually. Now, throw into the mix that your website is constantly changing with new site releases. Once relevant offers are consistently changing, pages that once worked now fail to resolve at all. Despite your best efforts to make sure your program is perfect, that’s just not realistic in a manual fashion. Large SEM accounts at one point or another will get out of your control.

Even worse, your reputation as an online marketer is at stake. Executives at your company, investors, and customers are out there clicking your ads. The last thing you want is a broken link, bad offer, or outdated landing page tarnishing your reputation. So, what can you do to make sure your account is always in the perfect state and you’re spending all of your budget efficiently? Check out the next section…

Watchdog: Keeping Your Program In Check

Kenshoo Watchdog

I’m here to say that Kenshoo Watchdog is the perfect companion to your existing search marketing systems and practices, a companion that makes large scale audits of ad copy, URLs, offers, and landing pages possible.The best part of it all? Watchdog will work with any bidding and campaign management system you may already have in place. It’s a standalone solution. My prediction: I believe a huge percentage of large SEM spenders will be leveraging Kenshoo Watchdog within the next year because it’s so flexible and can basically plug into any existing program.

Kenshoo: Empowering The SEM Industry

I first got to know the Kenshoo team in 2009 and have been nothing but impressed. I know a good number of employees at Kenshoo across many teams (management, client services, marketing, and engineering), and they’re true thought leaders and innovators in our industry. As just one example, I highly recommend checking out my three part interview with Chad Baldwin, VP of Sales at Kenshoo (part 1, part 2, part 3). In short, these guys are doing amazing stuff and I truly recommend checking out Kenshoo, their world class Kenshoo Search platform ($15 billion+ annual sales revenue and $1 billion annual marketing spend is directed via this platform by the way), and of course the brand new standalone Kenshoo Watchdog platform. Watchdog is the platform to audition in 2011, in my opinion.

All images in this post ©

Scoring Record eBay Partner Network (EPN) Earnings

Apr. 02

Hey everyone! Just wanted to write a quick post today about my record eBay Partner Network (EPN) earnings for March. I hope this post encourages you to continue working hard towards your own affiliate marketing goals, while seriously considering eBay Partner Network as a great affiliate program. You may recall that my eBay Partner Network earnings have been volatile in 2010. After some of the volatility ended, my EPN earnings started to rock. In late 2010, I did really well as I received big bonuses from eBay due to my year over year growth (didn’t blog about the bonuses). In March, 2011 (see screenshot below) I’m thrilled to announce that my EPN earnings came in at $1,861.86. That’s my best non-bonused month ever!

Affiliate Marketing Works, Even If You Have a Job

I wanted to write this post for two main reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to show that someone with a full time, demanding job can still do really well in affiliate marketing. I work super hard in my full time job (and I love it!), but have also been able to build up a really sweet affiliate marketing business. I earn monthly passive income from EPN and also other affiliate programs such as Google AdSense, Commission Junction, Amazon Associates, ClickBank, and others. The skills I learned have even helped accelerate my corporate online marketing career since I have more value to add. My strategy: Build great websites with great information that offer significant value to the user. I now own 100+ active web businesses. The money did not come easily, but now I’m receiving a good deal of free SEO traffic. My EPN earnings have basically zero cost attached to them so they’re pure margin. My advice: Stick with affiliate marketing. Even if you have a full time job, you can invest a few hours each week for a few years (I’ve been in the affiliate marketing game since 2007) and then you’ll hit gold in the long run.

You Should Seriously Consider eBay Partner Network

Second, I wanted to highlight EPN as a great affiliate network. eBay Partner Network can be volatile (just look at March 31 in the graph below and you can see that my CPC tanked on the last day of the month) but my results have been super overall and I couldn’t be happier. My strategy: Focus on niches you’re passionate about, and review and recommend products and sellers on eBay that you’re personally passionate about. Better yet, review products and sellers you’ve personally done business with! Once you build that bond with you users, the quality of clicks you send eBay will be tremendous and then eBay’s quality click pricing will reward you. eBay will over-reward those affiliates sending the best quality clicks, clicks that convert! Looking for another great affiliate network to check out? I recommend CPA Tank, a great network operated by my friend Vito.

PPC Ian EPN Earnings

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