7+ traffic sources for your blog (that aren’t Facebook)

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Er, probably not.

But speaking of the sky… (how’s that for a segue?)… I often look up and wonder about all those planets orbiting around distant stars. I think about how everything in nature is a series of repeating patterns, endless cycles, fractals, and spirals. Nature repeating itself over and over.

And if you’ve been around long enough in this Internet marketing stuff, then you’ll have no doubt noticed some interesting patterns of your own.

Remember when Google created the Adwords platform?

If you don’t remember, or if you weren’t involved with this thing of ours back then, let me explain.

Up until that point, if you wanted traffic to your website then you’d have to rely on search engines, keyword stuffing, forum signatures and begging other sites.

Targeted traffic wasn’t that much of a consideration because we didn’t have an easy way to get any. Oh if only we could click a few buttons and traffic would come rushing in! Google was listening and our prayers were answered.

When Adwords came along they gave us a way to beat the corrupt SEO system. We could instantly put our sites right in front of the people we wanted to reach.

And the best thing of all; it didn’t cost much.

The return on investment for a high-converting page was obscenely good.

So what went wrong?

Because the placement of the ad was determined through bidding, the more people who used the platform, the higher the cost of clicks increased. No biggie really, that’s to be expected – it’s just the market deciding what the value of a product should be, normal stuff. But because most businesses had a similar ad budget, the prices wouldn’t go crazy. So there was enough room for everybody.

But what happens when you’re no longer competing with businesses that are a similar size to yours?

Well, it wasn’t too long before the big guys got wind of things.

They came rolling along with their hundred-million dollar ad budgets. You see, no longer were they buying double-page spreads in national newspapers and glossy magazines, nope, instead they were splashing their budget all over Adwords, forcing prices up.

Regular sized businesses, and in particular bloggers and soloprenuers, just couldn’t afford to compete there any more. The price of clicks went from less than 10 cents right up to several dollars, and that pushed a lot of small businesses out.

Now, if I had to choose one word to sum up this online business thing, it’s ‘adaptation’.

Nothing stays the same online for long; we’ve all been there… if Google improves the search algorithm and your website drops to the bottom of the SERP’s.

Or if your autoresponder’s IP address gets blacklisted, and people stop receiving your emails. Or if your hosting provider says you’re using up too many resources and shuts you down.

The amount of things beyond our control is enormous, that’s why it’s important to put energy into the things you can control (like building an email list, yo).

The point is, your online business is always going to face challenges. If this stuff was super-duper-easy then everybody would be doing it.

So yep, those mega-corps can jump in and make things harder, or even make it impossible for us to use a platform, but that’s okay, we’ll adapt and recover.

But at around the same time that spending money on Adwords became a bad investment, the Facebook ads platform was starting to look like a fairly decent option.

So naturally a lot of small businesses set up shop there. And because of Facebook’s advanced data-mining capabilities that allowed us to target people in new and ridiculously accurate ways, we never looked back.

Until now, that is.

Right now Facebook is the place to advertise. It’s easy to use, its cost effective, the reporting is just outta-this-freakin’-world, and we can reach hundreds of thousands, if not even millions of people, very quickly.

But is history is about to repeat itself?

Some experts are beginning to think so, and I’ve also heard rumblings that the increasing price is starting to driving people away from the platform.

It might be just a few influencers getting jittery, or it could be an ultra-secret disinformation campaign designed to deter… oh wait, no it’s not, sorry. I do lurv a good conspiracy though.

But if things do go south then we’re gonna need a contingency plan, right? It’s a ‘hope for sunshine, plan for rain’, kinda situation.

So with that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of alternative advertising platforms, you know, just in-case (…bookmark this post, maybe?).

Bing ads

LinkedIn

Youtube

Stumbleupon

Yahoo ads

Quantcast

Yelp

Trip Advisor 

Taboola

Outbrain

Disqus

Ad Roll

Ad Blade

I might have already mentioned it in the video, but I only have experience with a handful of these and plan to test the others out in the next few months. Who knows, it might lead to a follow-up blog post, unless I’m silenced by the perpetrators of an ultra-secret disinformation campaign…

Anyway, hopefully things will stay relatively stable with Facebook for a long time to come, but either way it’s just a smart move to diversify your traffic strategy so you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

That’s all from me, for today. Take it easy.

How profit with Facebook ads (the right way)

Have you ever tried this?

…You nervously set a spending limit of $5 per day on a Facebook ad that shamelessly proudly promotes a product?

Then, you sit back and wait for all those lovely sales to rush in.

And how’d that work out for you? Not too good, I’m gonna bet.

Does that mean Facebook is a hot steaming pile of junk? Yeah probably, but not for the reason you think.

Does it mean you need to invest MORE cash? Absolutely not! …Well, probably not.

If you wanna know how to run PROFITABLE ads on Facebook, watch my video above (there’s even snazzy diagrams and stuff) – or read on below (no snazzy diagrams).

Why don’t Your Facebook Ads Work?

Its 3am in the morning here and I’m writing this because I can’t sleep, so I’m just gonna be blunt with you, ok?

If a complete stranger walked up to you and said, “psst… I’ve got that awesome thing you like, so gimme your credit card details and you can have it” …What are you gonna say to a proposition like that? Jog-on mate before I call the cops, amirite?

And when it comes to buying stuff online, our suspicions are always gonna be naturally higher.

Sure, sure, you might get the occasional dope who’s willing to hand his credit card info to just about anybody who asks, but for most people, they need to be warmed up a little first – wined and dined before they open their wallets.

They gotta know that a) you’ve got what they need and b) you’re trustworthy

Luckily, we can use Facebook to help us achieve both of these.

Facebook Ads Prep Stuff

Before we get down and look at the nitty gritty, we gotta do some prep. The first thing you need to do is install the Facebook pixel code on your website.

It’s gonna take about 20 visitors to activate it anyway, so planning in advance is going to work in your favour here.

Next, you’ll need one piece of awesome content for a blog post.

Then, you’ll need a way to capture email addresses so you can deliver a lead magnet.

Finally, you’re gonna need a sales page.

So there’s not too much to deal with, is there:

  • Pixel code
  • Blog post
  • Lead magnet
  • Sales page

I’m betting you probably have most of this anyway.

The Meet n’ Greet

Ok, all sorted with that stuff?

Now its time to put your best foot forward and shake hands with your potential customers. This is where you create your first ad.

First ad? Oh yeah, we need about 3 of them. Or 4, if we’re being extra fancy.

Don’t worry… you know how to copy and paste, right? Right. Then you’re all good, it’s a cakewalk.

Make your first Facebook ad and advertise your blog post – AND NOTHING ELSE.

“But, but, that won’t give me any sales!”, screams your inner-voice. And you’re right. The sale comes further on down the road.

Getting To Know You…

Remember the last time you read a blog post that… *coughs* genuinely helps you out?

The next time that blogger, that company, or marketer, or whatever, has something that will help you out even more, you’re probably gonna take it, right? You’d be mad not to.

So that’s where the second Facebook ad comes in; this time it’s for your lead magnet.

With this, you’re only advertising to the people who saw your blog post – AND NOBODY ELSE.

That makes your ad incredibly targeted, and really cheap to run. That’s two awesome things right there.

Seal The Deal

Let’s pause for a second and take stock.

Here’s the sequence of events so far…

Someone on Facebook checks out your ad and reads your blog post.

They go back to Facebook and see a new ad for THE SITE THEY’VE JUST BEEN ON… wow spooky… and now that site wants to give them even more awesome stuff, for free.

Of course they’re gonna hand over their email address to get it… hey maybe this is all destiny… or something? So now they’re on your email list and you can build a relationship with them, even if they don’t buy from you today.

This is where the third ad comes in; one that shamelessly proudly promotes your product. Finally! We’re there! Now your inner-voice can chill out.

So, after delivering loads of awesome value to your prospect, showing them that you really do know what you’re talking about (and you’re not one of those fake-it-’till-you-make-it idiots), the next natural thing for them to do is to buy your product.

BOOM. Now you got a much higher conversion rate.

Yeah ok, it took a few more steps to get it, but so what; waiting an extra day for a sale is better than no sale, right?

And you’ve contributed a bunch of good stuff to your marketplace in the process.

So here’s how it all looks:

  • Facebook ad 1 -> blog post
  • Facebook ad 2 -> lead magnet
  • Facebook ad 3 -> sales page

But wait, I said 4 ads, didn’t I?

The Extra Fancy Bonus Tip

If you’re totally new to Facebook ads, this is gonna blow your freakin’ mind.

Otherwise, it’s a bit meh.

That Facebook pixel can do some pretty advanced marketing though.

Ever hear of ‘cart abandonment’? Its when a potential buyer gets so, so, so close to buying but decides to ditch it at the checkout.

Maybe they got distracted or called away, or changed their mind, whatever, who knows. But with Facebook ads (and the right shopping cart) you can remind them about your offer and entice them back into the sales process.

So for this ad, you might wanna say something like “hey man I noticed you were about to pull the trigger on this, but for whatever reason you didn’t get round to it. So here’s a 5% discount that’s valid for the next 20 minutes.”

For the love of all that is good and holy… listen, don’t just copypasta my ad copy. But do look at the last sentence because it uses a one time offer combined with urgency; a couple of powerful sales motivators.

Personally, I’m not too keen on offering a discount because I think it’s kinda disloyal to the people who do buy the first time, but hey whatever, I’m just here to show you what your options are.

Now you’ve got a solid plan that will make your Facebook ads waaaaaay more effective.

Ok, so, all good? Learned some fairly decent stuff today? Well, guess what! I’ve got even more fairly decent stuff for you on my mailing list over here (you’re already here so you might as well take a look).

I’m gonna call it a day for the moment, hope you got something useful from this post and use it to make more moolah. Adios!