How To Immediately Lose $100 in 1 Minute


So I started out with a new ad network earlier today knowing that I think the traffic source would be there and knowing that it would make sense to run a specific offer on there. So I tested 3 offers, only the first one which was approved got the surge of traffic. Within literally a minute, I have already spent $100! I had to just pause my campaigns because I needed to know how fast those clicks came in and how, where, when, why – all the necessary affiliate questions.

While I was watching my prosper202 spy window just seeing the surge of traffic, I was pretty sure it was the new ad network I was working with. My whole spy view on Prosper202 was just filled with the same campaign, what a surge of traffic literally within minutes or might be seconds I launched the ad on the network.

Below is a screen shot from the network, which shows the impressions and my CTR – which cost me 100$ pretty fast, literally in seconds after I launched and it got approved. I saw the pop up notification from my Thunderbird saying it was approved, then a minute later another email notification saying I need to fund my account! I was like DAAAAAMMMMNNNN.


So I had to look at my other stats that related to this traffic, luckily prosper202 has day parting. You can see it was withing 2 hours but I think I might have been caught at the 00:58 and 00:02 mark of the hour. I remember starting the campaign and waiting for it to get approved. Well below is the quick surge of traffic and the death of it.


Some issues remains questionable, like my clicks didn’t match up with the network I was advertising on. I have to call them up on this situation, what is considered a click on their end vs impressions.

So lesson learned here. When starting with a new ad network, make sure you know their platform very well. Prior to starting with this new ad network, I did call them to ask questions. I got the basis and the information I needed to hear. I signed up ; got approved, started a campaign and immediately lost. Definitely a lesson learned.

The lesson learned here is pretty simple, good thing I started small first, I would have been piss at myself if I funded it with a larger amount. But get a better understanding of the ad marketplace or network. This way you can see and have a better understanding of how your ads are counted as impressions, who they are targeting, what is considered a click, etc.

When starting with an ad network or advertising marketplace make sure you…

  1. Call them up and talk to a person that is knowledgeable of their system
  2. Ask about their traffic
  3. Ask about how clicks are considered and same with impressions
  4. Ask how the network displays your advertisements
  5. Start small with an unfamiliar network
  6. Ask what is the the best way to start on their network

There are other things, make sure you ask so you understand how their system works. Since this is a new platform and a new venue for the advertising world – it was a good learning experience with the network – but I will be more careful now when advertising on a new network.

Finding new traffic sources is always fun! 🙂

>> task to do >> call ad network to get a better understanding of how they display ads

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  • That’s the lesson I learned the hard way with AdCenter, except mine was over about 4-6 hours.

  • Same thing happened on another network.
    Campaign went from inactive/paused to live and burned through $150 going to a dead test URL i set up.

    Re: yr campaign. Did you get any conversions?
    sounds like fraud to burn through clicks that quickly (unless you were bidding on “watchmen”….)

  • Ian

    > andrew
    just one conversion 🙁

    > joe
    yea man – I was like whoa! good thing I didnt fun more

  • But were you profitable? That’s the real question.

  • Thats a huge loss, really. Lesson I learned while reading your post is, there is no harm in asking, but there “is” without asking. Jeezz, 100$ loss in that span of time can make me go crazy.

  • 100$ in a minute?! That’s insane! I haven’t realise that those ad networks are that expensive…

  • Lol Ian,

    Believe it or not! I experienced this myself too and mine was $200. Totally understand how you feel. When you don’t keep track and things just go wrong!

  • Damn Ian, that’s crazy. $100/MINUTE for one conversion is not worth it for sure, and it doesn’t cause me to wonder if fraud is a possibility. Wow, that’s awful. Sorry to hear man. Definitely a lesson well learned.

  • Ian

    > hip hop
    yup – need to call them up and check with them how my ads are advertise and all that good stuff.

  • Ian,

    In my case is different because I tell google to spend $100/day and it only spend $10 🙁

    I have to learn how to optimize my campaigns to get more clicks and eventually more leads 🙂

  • i got the lesson but i like Google because i know how it works , also don’t ask for much traffic with new ad network i think i need to test them first and then i start spend more and more .. much traffic in minutes can be bad if my server or hosting fall down but maybe work in marketing and promotion .

  • Damn man that’s some real sh*t but hey no risk no reward. You learned a lesson and thanks for sharing it with us.

  • I think all the lessons are necessary in our life and the experience one has got makes the person more careful and wise.

  • xentech

    It seems bad but think about it, if you manage to get it profitable that is gonna be one HELL of a campaign!

  • That does suck, and I agree you really have to know what you are doing with any PPC and really know the platform well, the money can be gone in a hearbeat, sounds like there maybe some issues going on there as well.

  • Doesn’t sound to good! Obviously you do have to find out about the platform. I guess that happens if you start up to quickly

  • Sounds really awful. Can you give a clue on what startup network it is actually? 🙂

  • I’ll be sure not to do what you did then. I’m never going to pay to increase traffic. Even though you had a huge increase in traffic temporarily, probably 99.99% of them never came back. I always like the idea of quality over quantity.

  • Good advice.

    I hate learning lessons like this, but I suppose it’s really the only way to learn them. I’m sure you’ll earn back more than enough in the future from it.

  • … Or not 😀

  • That stinks for sure that you had to lose 100 dollars, but I guess sometimes we have to learn those lessons to better ourselves. After all some of the great millionaires, and successful people in life advise that you gotta learn lessons before you can climb higher in life.

    Till then,


  • Hello, i think all the lessons are necessary in our life and the experience one has got makes the person more careful and wise. 🙂

  • Thanks for the great post!

  • Really Helpful. I’m looking to start with an advertising marketplace and want to be on the right track.

  • You’re better off going to a casino.

  • Hey Ian- I had a similar “test” with Admob for my initial ad campaign last year following a less than stellar “guru” product. Since then I’ve learned a lot and have run anumber of profitable campaigns…

    We live and learn…now how cool is that?


  • WOW that ad spend is a lot faster than even a PPV campaign gone wrong. Online advertising in 2010 with networks like Google, Facebook, Plenty Of Fish, PPV etc has becomme so expensive.

    I’m thinking a lot of my ad spend would be better spent setting up decent SEO sites and getting search engine traffic for free. Well not totally free as outsourcing and time does cost. But I see it more as an investment. Whereas these days Im finding paid traffic such a gamble that only the ad networks and affiliate merchants prosper on our hard earned dollar.

    By teh way, I have a few collegues makig huge coin lately from their SEO sites. They did paid advertising but gave up because of dodgy conversions.

    By the way Ian, I love the layout (homepage) and features on your blog. Would love to know which blogging platform you use and the plugins. Maybe a post about how you setup your blog would be greatly appreciated.

    Take care,

  • Ian

    I use a theme called Arthemia – I also have several plugins, but I am going to get my blog re done soon.

    glad you like it… and I tried SEO it just takes too long, I rather get data and manipulate it to make the conversions work.