Understanding The Sales Curve

A few readers have questioned the $13,500 income made by Rich4Life.Us. If they did indeed made so much, then why are they flipping the ad again? The answer is actually quite simple – most of the sales were done in the first few days when the ad was fresh and new. Sales have now slowed to the point where Rich4Life.Us would make more by re-flipping the ad.

The sales curve is a lot like a Digg or John Chow effect – there is a huge spike follow by an equally huge drop unless the advertiser does something to maintain momentum. My review of The Million Dollar Wiki generated 110 page sales in the first two days. My post about the Million Dollar Wiki contest resulted in 11 page sales the following day. A classic case of the sale curve at work. Most people who wanted to buy bought when the offer was first presented.

For Those Who Asked For Proof of Earnings


Making $13,500 from a $1,000 ad spot does seem incredible so I can understand if readers doubt the claim. It seems Rich4Life.us has read the comments and decided to address them. Not only have they posted the above screen shot of their earnings, they’ve also made a video of them logging into their account to show the screen shot wasn’t doctored. To date, the ad has produced 30 sales and made $15,250.

65 thoughts on “Understanding The Sales Curve”

  1. Making a new add image could help stir up a few more visitors. At the least, this ad flip and re-flipping has made for a very interesting experiment.

    1. I think that was a great idea.. now it also gives his ad flip MUCH more value.

    2. Debo Hobo says:

      I agree this internet real estate flipping is a fantastic accomplishment. My question is John how much control do you have over the appearance of the ad showing on your blog? What if an advertiser moved in that is tacky and does not match with your blog theme or is of an let’s say unethical nature? How would that reflect on you and your blog?

      1. Amanda says:

        It definitely was worth it to walk away with an approximate 20,000 profit THAT IS GREAT.

      2. John Chow says:

        I have full control over ads appearing on the blog. Any ads Rich4Life submits has be approved by me first.

        1. Debo Hobo says:

          I kinda figure as much, but thank you for taking the time to answer my question 😛

        2. You should be charging for ad edits, I’d be tired of continuously changing ads for other people.

    3. Or telling John you’re going to reflip it will bring the surge back up.

  2. Court says:

    I don’t doubt it at all John! People will pay a lot of money for life-help products and services. If you think about it that sort of thing is worth thousands if it helps a person to be more productive and successful. I’m sure their product has a huge price tag and it probably should.

  3. Peter Koning says:

    Cool – that’s Post Affiliate Pro they’re logging into. One of the better affiliate tracking scripts.

  4. Simon says:

    That was a short but interesting post, it makes a lot of sense that things would slow down after the initial surge, I never thought about it before. Smart move by Rich4Life.


  5. Wallace says:

    John, how much the guy paid you…

    1. John Chow says:

      So far, nothing! I’m hoping she at least buys me a beer.

        1. Debo Hobo says:

          Girls are smart too 👿

        2. Steven says:

          Yes, Rich4Life is ran by a girl.

      1. ben says:

        John, you should watch ur belly lols…don’t beering so much lols

    2. Nothing, which is ridiculous, for all the success.

  6. That’s simply amazing!

  7. John Bennett says:

    Only 15,200 in sales? I don’t think the ads in the right place 😉

    1. $15k in sales since Jan 2003. I’m still not convinced…

      1. Shaun Carter says:

        That’s commissions not sales. Sales would be 4x that as the commission is about 25%.

        1. Sorry, I meant commissions.

      2. John Chow says:

        The site was created on 2007-08-08. The reports has Jan 1, 2003 as the start date because that’s the default. I guess she should have changed the date range.

        1. Well that’s also assuming that this site is the only one that they’ve been using to promote it as well.

          1. John Chow says:

            She claims it was in her blog post.

          2. exactly what i was going to say.

            she states somewhere on this blog (I think it was in her mail to John that you posted) “this is the highest converting advertising im using” or something to that effect.

            Im still not convinced that this is the only advertising, but that is neither here nor there.

            The important thing is that there is value in that ad spot.

  8. Nabloid.com says:

    I think one of the most unbelievable things is that rich couldn’t find another affiliate program to use on your site for the remainding period… instead of flipping it.

    I’m also wondering if you’ll (JC) consider doing more affiliate marketing to see how high you can get the site income… if that particular spot can be used to get 7 or 8 grand a month then why sell it as ad space for 2?

    1. John Chow says:

      Affiliate offers are one of this site’s biggest moneymaker. However, I have never used a banner to promote it before. I may have to change my stand on that.

      1. I’ve never used a banner advert to push products like this because I always assumed nobody would buy from something that looked “tacky”. I blame Google a bit as well for brainwashing us about text adverts.

        It’s nice for somebody to prove that it’s worth doing.

        1. Simon says:

          You should definitely use the ad space to promote your own affiliate programs. At least test it out to see what happens, then tell us all about it. That would be pretty cool if you can pull 15k or maybe even 20 or 30 grand. :mrgreen:


          1. Spud Oregon says:

            I remember Steve Pavlina doing very well with some kind of Speed Reading program. Sure, he blogged about it, but also had banner ads on his blog with the text “Recommended by Steve Pavlina” below them.

            If not link directly, you could link the banners to the pre-sell blog post.

        2. Google…brainwashing…? It is well known that in internet marketing an ad should APPEAL to visitors attention, what best appeals than a graphic ad banner? A video spot maybe .. 😉

          I had no doubts she has made the money off of the ad … but i kinda don’t like the “flip again” thingie…

    2. Geedos says:

      Good point in theory but wasn’t one of the main reasons it was able to make so much because of all the attention drawn to the fact that this was the first time John sold a private ad spot in place of Adsense on this site?

      That and the hype behind the fact that the initial person who bought it immediately sold it on. From there the hype just grew and grew with more and more people wanting to see what had been done with the ad space – hence all the affiliate sales made initially.

      If this was a regular occurence the hype wouldn’t be there and people wouldn’t be as interested to see what the ad (or affiliate scheme) was all about.

      This is best illustrated by the fact that the earnings from the affiliate scheme have plummeted recently after an initial spike.

      1. Mubin says:

        wonderful insight. Glad to see someone showing some sense around here, and letting people know what really could happen.

  9. John,

    My doubt isn’t in the fact that they produced these results. It seems entirely possible, and now, it seems clear that it is true. My issue is, despite the sales curve, we are only talking about 8 affiliate sales over the course of two weeks. Given the fact that they have made $11500+ since you posted about them making $3500, doesn’t it stand to reason that the ad spot is worth more than $4000 for the last two weeks or more?


    1. Exactly. This site get’s new visitors every single day and while the initial rush is over, you would think that it would still be worth it to keep the ad.

    2. John Chow says:

      My guess is if she doesn’t sell out, she would use the unsold spots to continue to advertise her program. Her ad is still running and will continue to run until the 28th.

    3. kingjacob says:

      According to the site they are selling it for a minimum of 4k they could get more depending on bids. Also there arent too many affiliate programs that can make 4k off a ten day ad spot even if it is on jc.com

  10. Click Input says:

    Simply insane ROI. Interesting about the curve too John

  11. Alan says:

    The sales curve idea makes sense, and applies to pretty much anything. Movies always start out packed at the theaters and then dwindle off to being rentals.

    1. Mubin says:

      Yes, than the movie comes out on rental, and than a multi-package dvd blah blah blah.

      Thats what a good internet marketer would have done with this spot UPSELL!

  12. Call me the eternal skeptic but why not limit the time of the report to the days since the ad has been running here. The screen shot is showing all affiliate earnings since Jan 2003.

    1. I’m convinced enough, just looking at the number of impressions would seem to match nicely to John’s traffic figures.

      As for ROI, I’ve had clients in the real estate area make $250,000 sales commission from $300 on Adwords spend so I’m not such a big doubter about peoples claims.

    2. Simon says:

      You are the eternal skeptic :mrgreen:


  13. Andrew says:

    wow… incredible

  14. Kevin says:

    hi john im readin your make money online ebook and thanks for the advises your giving on that book, just wanted to tell you that your Kontera ContentLink link isnt workin for me, is there a reason? doesnt it exist anymore? thanks for an answer

  15. thien says:

    wow … coool

  16. Jason says:

    I was one of the 110 that bought a Million Dollar Wiki page on your first post. For those that didn’t and your still considering it, well let me tell you this. This thing has caught the eye of the media and is just going to keep gaining traffic which means more exposure for you. Nuff said! Get get one. ➡

    1. Click Input says:

      Yeah it’s like a snowball… now all we need is for it to appear on the BBC!

  17. Very impressive!! Is there any way to make a long tail sale?

    1. Mubin says:

      Write an ebook.

  18. windyridge says:

    Fantastic the way this stuff generates income.

  19. Earl says:

    Man you should not have to explain its all logical

    1. Geedos says:

      Not all that logical it appears if you read the previous post on this and the controversy it caused!

  20. Not a Square says:

    So, John. when you gonna do a post thats not about your ad space or web host that sponsors your site. I waiting on some good advice.

    1. Mubin says:

      Heh, that was a good one.

      Seems the blue fur promotion is really catching up.

  21. sandossu says:

    Well it seems that’s true so he really made a great deal. Good marketer 🙂

  22. CatherineL says:

    John – it was great that you did so well with the Million Dollar Wiki. But, I thought I’d have a few days to choose what topic name i wanted – I didn’t think they’d go that fast. Now all the good ones have probably gone. 😥

  23. Softsled says:

    I won’t say I told you so. Yeah, I will.

    I told you so John. You should have dumped google adsense from that spot awhile back. That said, I am simply amazed at the value of this advertising spot.

    I was thinking you could put something in there for awhile that would equal what you had been making during non summer months, but I never imagined that adspot turning that kind of profit for the buyer.

    If you found some really good affiliate products that converted well, I bet you could rotate 3-4 of them and sell off 5 or 6 more spots to rotate throughout the month and equal or exceed your blog’s income with just that one adspot.

    Regardless of what you do, I think your blog’s selling power has been more than proven through this little “experiment.”


  24. ben says:

    Smarter way to earn income. i heard many people talk about ad flipping Hmmm but i just don’t get it lols.

  25. Geedos says:

    Fair play – and after all the criticism and skepticism it’s good to see her come out and defend herself with a report of her earnings.

    Even though some people on here still don’t want to believe her. Ultimately does it matter? Everybody who’s come into contact with that ad space has made money out of it so well done to them all.

    Everyone else is just left to analyse the figures and wish that they had the timing and / or cash to get in there first.

  26. Anyone have any idea how good their affiliate program is. Its steep at USD 1995. Anyone signed up who can vouch for it or provide a fair review?

  27. “The sales curve is a lot like a Digg or John Chow effect”

    What’s the “John Chow Effect”? Can you show me in simple terms on my own web stats? 😉

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