Does It Pay to Buy Ads to Promote Your Blog?
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Does it pay to buy ads to promote your blog? Well, one sure way to get site visitors is to advertise. Yes, it can get immediate results, but it requires an investment. Ideally, if you spend $1 in advertising, then you want to see at least $3 in sales to cover your overhead and make a small profit. The higher the Return on Investment (ROI), the better. If you are going to advertise your blog, you want it to pay, not just throw money away.
An ROI is not just the income that flows back to you. It is a metric that measures the gain or loss on your ad investment relative to the amount of money you invested in it. The equation looks like this: ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100. It is a useful equation to measure the financial success of any business endeavor.
The Challenge to Overcome
The problem is, you may not be selling anything at the start, so your ad money is lost. You may be getting traffic because you picked a great blog topic or other reasons, but you are not getting an immediate return on your investment, and that can hurt financially.
You may have bought page views and built your readership, but that may not be of value if visitors don’t return. That, of course, is why capturing email addresses is so important. You have additional chances to convert visits into income by providing news about your blog, or selling your own products or servers, or making affiliate offers by email. I discuss setting up an email capture system here.
The key idea is that you do not want to buy ads too soon in the development of your blog, if at all. Here are things to consider.
A Common Advertising Scenario
When people think of advertising their blog, what do they think of first? Generally, they think of Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. People are conditioned to believe it’s the sure way to get site visitors to read your blog and get income.
One of my Facebook friends told his story of failure selling his online product (a course) via his website. Let me summarize what happened. It is a common scenario and provides a workable alternative.
- He said he thought he would become an “overnight millionaire” by using paid traffic to a special “free offer.” He thought he could sell his course to those who accepted this marketing bait.
- He spent $4,700 in Facebook ads in one week trying to get that traffic. It didn’t work and the money was lost. After this staggering loss, he said he would never advise newbies to use ads.
- With advertising money squandered, the man used turned to methods that required more time and less money to drive traffic to his site. He started writing blog posts that evoked a response. When people left comments, he engaged them. He offered them lots of free personal input via Private Messaging (PM) and email.
- Once he found like-minded people (he said the numbers reached up to 30 per day), and he built a rapport with them, he invited them to take his course.
The result? This friend was able to make over $20,000 in 30 days following this relationship-based campaign.
This is a story about a person who used his blog to sell his own product. But it is also a story about the power of relationship marketing.
It’s not a new or unique story. Aesop discussed the phenomena is his fable about the Hare and Tortoise. Many bloggers want to be the hare and rush to riches by buying ads to get blog traffic. But it’s the Tortoise’s steady, purposeful perseverance that wins the race.
A Better Blog Advertising Plan
Does it pay to buy ads to promote your blog? It can, but if you want to use advertising to get immediate traffic, there is a better way to do it. I’m not suggesting that a new blogger should advertise. I’m just saying if you decide to get traffic by advertising that you need a prudent plan so that you don’t end up like my friend.
Pick a Platform
The best plan is to pick a single advertising platform, like Facebook, for example. They give you the option of selecting particular demographic segments. You want to use the tools they offer to select the type of people you want to know about your blog. If your blog is about roses, you want to pick gardeners, for example. Select all the relevant factors that relate to your blog.
Design an Ad
Next, you need to design a “creative,” the ad itself. That could be text, image, video, or a combination of all three. You want to target it to the audience you have already selected, and you want it to grab attention instantly. People on Facebook scroll quickly, so you have to reach out and grab them.
Link the Ad to an Income Producing Page
It always makes sense to link from the ad to a page where they can find a product or service you’re selling. At the very, least your email newsletter sign-up form. That means you’ll be more likely to get a result that helps underwrite the cost of your ad, rather than just linking to your home page.
Test to Limit Spending
This is the most critical part of the process. You don’t spend a lot of money to run the ad. Test it with $20-$30. If your results are good, budget far more. If your results are bad, then you want to tinker with your demographic or create a new advertisement, and test again.
Measure Your Success
Does it pay to buy ads to promote your blog? You won’t know until you have a benchmark to decide if your results are good or bad. One way is to offer a product for sale. If you get a good ROI, then you can count it a success.
Another way is to offer a digital download for free and count the number of downloads. You don’t want to pay more than about 25-50 cents per download in ad costs.
How will you recoup the money that slips through your fingers if you have a bad ROI? By using your email list to sell them products or services to visitors later. Either way, they visit your blog. When you capture their email address, you can build a relationship with them, and sell them something later. That is the desired result.
You want blog traffic. But buying advertising to get it is seldom the right way to start. For your blog advertising plan to pay, it must be highly focused and well-tested.
Here’s a summary of how to go about buying ads on each platform.