Paid Advertising In General
Look at paid advertising as your cost of doing business. The disadvantage is that it’s a bit more “painful” if you don’t have much money, but the advantage is that it gets results quicker than most other methods. Remember that once you work out your advertising strategy you should no longer think of how much it will cost – just think of how much it will make! (And a word of cautiion: don’t dream of making $100,000 if you can’t sell for $10 first…!). Once you’ve found the right formula – simply duplicate it. This is by far one of the most successful earning models on the web today.
An important thing to know about paid advertising is that if it’s not accompanied by “organic” promotions such as the majority of what is described on this site, it will, typically, only work for as long as you continue paying. But a combination of paid and organic promotional techniques can produce a sustainable and successful business.
Don’t go into paid advertising until you’ve got everything else under control. It’s all too easy to misjudge what is required, and the advertising costs can add up very quickly if you’re not careful. It’s essential that you first master at least the basics of SEO and niche research before you go into this one. Paid ads require vigilant testing and tracking, and… at least a little money you can afford to lose. You also need to develop an awareness of your target niche, the overall market and the best timing. But once you do, paid advertising can become probably the #1 best and safest way to drive traffic and convert sales.
So, where can you pay to advertise?
Essentially “anywhere” where there is traffic. Most popular sites accept advertising, and so do most small niche-sites. An advertiser must do some homework before spending money, however, so for this reason the most common places where ads are placed are the “safe bets”, i.e. the most highly trafficked sites. Those include the major social networks (Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, some of the major dating networks, Google, and more). Many advertisers prefer to focus on narrow niches and small communities. Not only will their ad campaigns thus almost certainly be cheaper, but they will also have access to the best-qualified audience for a particular niche product. Unlike with the big networks, the small sites are always open to negotiation on price.
There are many different kinds of ads. Some are subtle, almost hidden, innocently embedded within the text of your site (LINKS: in-text-ads), others are just simple links which other sites will display for their visitors to click on (e.g. blog-rolls or friendly links areas), others still can be banners of all shapes and size. You can even have audio or video ads – as long as a site is happy to display it, that’s how you can communicate with their members and visitors.
Some ads are permanently fixed on the given page, others rotate with other ads. Others still are displayed randomly. But the most common ads are those displayed to narrow target audiences, based on the demographic information they themselves have provided. This is another reason which the large social networks are so popular with advertisers. They know so much about their members that they can target an extremely precisely. But while the large networks like Facebook or MySpace know a lot about you, this pales by comparison with the level of detail some dating networks collect! PlentyOfFish, for example is not only a giant in its own right, it knows its members virtually right down to their underwear. And that’s a marketer’s dream.
But what about the little sites? Can you establish whether they’re worth putting money into? They will almost all HYPE you up with the huge numbers of visits they supposedly get, but very few will ever show you their site stats. And even if they do, it’s very easy to misread those stats. For example bot visits may be counted the same as human visits, or unique visits may be misrepresented. Even experienced web people can sometimes have a hard time to get the real story behind these on-site stats. For this reason there are dozens, even hundreds of sites on the web which specialize in “measuring” traffic. Estimating, more like. ( See also ranking and valuation sections).
Meanwhile, if you have already read through the introductory sections of this site, you’ll know all about Google Analytics. This is the one thing you must hook up to your site. It will be your ultimate (though STILL not entirely reliable) “proof” of how well your site is doing. But the real proof, for an advertiser, is always a combination of many different factors, starting with the ability to quickly find a site (SEO). Some sites may have huge traffic but if you don’t have the ability to target your ads, your conversions, if any, will be tiny.
Other very popular paid advertising destinations include blogs. Or at least the popular blogs. You’ll be reading quite a lot about blogging for a living within these pages.
So, let’s recap what we know so far.
The most popular types of paid advertising include:
- Pay-Per-Click advertising on Google, Yahoo, Facebook, PlentyOfFish, etc.
- Buying banner ads on other popular sites with lots of traffic
- Paying to run ads in targeted email newsletters or e-zines
- Paying for Press Releases, “Sponsored Tweets” on Twitter, etc.
- Buying Exit Pop-Ups (i.e. PPV) and other forms of low quality traffic (see ad networks)
- Also see the chapter on Traffic and Link Exchanges
Here are some additional resources and further reading on all this.
- http://www.internetmarketingsecrets.com/ (Michael Campbell)
Quick Research Tips
- Ffind money-making niches. Research who the market is. How do you define your market?
- Find well-paying affiliate offers: high converting offers that will make money. Find peopel who want what you promote.
- Sset up a Facebook campaign. Learn how it works, design the ad, make plenty of notes.
- Get traffic: target carefully
- Sell: price the campaign correctly. Decide whether the CPC or CPM model is best for you.
- After you get your ad approved, do A/B tests. Once campaign works, then scale it up.
- Spy on your copmpetition.
- Build a social list on facebook
- TIP: Instead of having to wait for the visitors to come to a site you’re building, go out and find websites that will allow you to buy ads so you can place your affiliate links there! Instantly you can test multiple offers and see if it’s going to work for you!
Paid Advertising Strategies
Jeff Johnson’s CPV Server Crasher
- Cost per view / pay per view
- Pay when someone looks at your ad
- A penny per view is average to start
- Highly targeted
- Serve up your landing pages from amazon’s S3 – do not serve pages from your blog (in case of overload!)
- Do not direct-link to anyone else’s site unless they give you permission
- Start out slowly at a few hundred impressions and go from there
- Do your research and buy traffic on sites that fit the demographics you offer
- Research tools for CPV
- google ad planner
- You can see what your visitors are interested in!
- Recommended cpv networks
- direct cpv
- traffic vance
Jeff Johnson’s PPC for Broke Students and Housewives (beginners!)
- Emulate other’s ppc campaigns
- Do a review site for a few products you have personally purchased in a market you enjoy
- Start your bids really low and move up from there
- Always split test your ads and your landing pages
- Set low daily spend limits on your campaign just in case you forget about them for a few days!
- Always use traffic to build list
- Always try to sell something to your traffic almost immediately in order to self-fund ppc costs
- Google improving online conversions for dummies http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/conversion/dummies.html
- Use Google adwords small business center http://google.com/adwords/smallbusinesscenter
- Use Adwords online classroom http://google.com/support/aw/bin/tatic.py?hl=en&page=webinars.cs
- Secondary ppc engines
- Yahoo search
- MSN adcenter
- Plenty Of Fish
- 7search (inexpensive, targeted)
- marchex (inexpensive targeted)
- findology (inexpensive targeted)
- YouTube promoted videos (backdoor to adwords) – cheap!