If you ever want your blog to really skyrocket, you need a way to scale.
You need to develop a system that will allow you to grow consistently over time, without hitting any sort of plateau. Without hitting a ceiling, or any limits.
I started this blog because I knew that this market had limitless potential. I knew that the possibility was there to make millions of dollars a year. I knew that any limits that were in place were set by me, and I had control over all of them.
It wasn’t like that in the iPhone market, where I used to work in. I took off, and within a couple years I hit the max I could ever possibly make.
Most bloggers will never hit that ceiling if there even is one, because they do not do what is necessary to scale their business.
Look At Your Resources
For most people, this means utilizing our power base, our money, and our time.
Here’s the thing. Two of those three things are limited.
Every person in the world only has 24 hours in a day to get things done. Nothing you can possibly do will ever make more time available then that.
Your power base, your connections – this can continue to grow, but it can only grow so quickly. Exponential growth with real, two way connections are again limited because you only have so much time in a day to connect with people.
However, the one thing that there is a practically infinite supply of is money.
If you are able to develop a system that’s profitable and you reinvest your profits back into that system, your growth can skyrocket quickly.
Best of all, assuming you’re in a market with huge potential, you’ll never really reach any limits.
[Tweet “You can scale your money, but you can’t scale your time.”]
You’ve likely heard of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising before. You place an ad out there, and you pay a certain amount every time somebody clicks on that ad.
A lot of people see this as something scary. Paying money for traffic? Why would you want to do that, when there are so many fantastic free methods out there?
I get it.
But free traffic methods aren’t really free after all. They take an even more valuable resource than your money. They take your time.
Which, as we know, isn’t scalable.
However, it doesn’t have to be scary. It is an investment, and it is a risk. But like any investment into your business, the point is to make more money from the outcome of the investment than what you put into it.
This is often called your “return on investment.” If you invested $10 into pay-per-click advertising and you ended up making $15 from that, you would be earning a 50% ROI.
When you take that money you get back and reinvest it back into more PPC advertising, you can see how this snowballs quickly. $15 becomes $22.5, $22.5 becomes $33.75, do that 10 more times and that comes out to nearly $2000.
That’s the power of compounding, and it’s what makes this type of advertising so powerful.
But look, I’m not one to simplify things, and make them out to be easier than they really are. If it were that straightforward, everyone would be doing it. However, using pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic to your blog, or to get people onto your email list (which is far more valuable in my opinion) isn’t as hard as you may think.
Know Your Numbers
Before investing a cent, you need to know the answer to one vital question:
How much is an email subscriber worth?
Rather than sending people who click on your ad to a blog article, I recommend sending visitors to a squeeze page and then sending them back to your blog once you have them on your email list, so that’s what we’re going to focus on heading forward.
Once you know the lifetime value of an email subscriber, you now know the maximum amount you can invest to acquire a new subscriber.
For example, if every email subscriber was worth $5, then I could spend up to $5 to acquire a new subscriber through paid advertising.
After all, if a subscriber would make me an average of $5 and I could get them on my list with PPC for $2, then it’d be foolish not to put all the money I can into that.
Therefore, to improve your ROI, you need to do one of two things.
- Increase the lifetime value of a subscriber (learn how to do this by enrolling in my email marketing course.)
- Decrease the cost of acquiring a new subscriber. This can be done by increasing your squeeze page’s conversion rate, which is also taught in my email marketing course, or lowering your advertisement’s CPC (cost-per-click.)
The second one goes beyond this article, and I may eventually create an entire course on PPC in the future that will cover this in detail. However, I still want you to be able to get started with PPC today, so let’s take a moment to look over the two primary PPC platforms that are best suited for beginners – Bing, and Facebook.
Utilizing Bing Ads To Acquire Email Subscribers
Let’s first talk about Bing. Bing is a search engine similar to Google, but it’s different in three major ways:
- Bing is a heck of a lot cheaper than Google, and a lot easier for beginners as a result.
- However, Bing doesn’t have near the search volume, which means there’s potential for less clicks.
- Bing allows you to link to landing / squeeze pages, where Adwords does not.
The premise however is the same – you bid on keywords against other advertisers. You set the maximum price you’re willing to pay for a click with that keyword, and Bing ranks you among other advertisers.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean bidding the highest will get you the top spot. Bing takes other factors like your landing page relevance and your CTR (click-through rate) into account as well. Their goal after all is to make the most amount of money possible from their platform, and an ad that gets twice as many clicks but is slightly cheaper will make them more than one with a more expensive bid, but hardly gets clicked on.
You’ll find that when you go to place bids on keywords, there are different match types you can bid on, and you can set different bids for each of these. I recommend using exact match, and phrase match when it makes sense.
Exact match is exactly what it sounds like – it will bid on that exact keyword, in that exact order, and nothing but that exact keyword. This is the most targeted of all the options, as you have the most control over it.
Phrase match will bid on keywords that contain the keyword phrase, but also keywords that have words before or after what you’ve chosen. For example, a phrase match bid for ‘iPhone cases’ will also show up when people search something like ‘blue iPhone cases’ or ‘iPhone cases for girls.’
As you can imagine, these aren’t quite as targeted, and can sometimes cause people to click on your ad when it’s not relevant to them at all. Therefore, you have to pay extra attention to how phrase match keywords convert for you.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to track how specific keywords convert, both on Bing’s dashboard as well as in Google Analytics so long as you have conversion tracking set up (which is again, taught in my email marketing course.)
I recommend at least $100 to start. From there, eliminate keywords that aren’t converting well, and increase bids where it makes sense to garner more clicks.
There is a lot of tweaking and testing involved to get a profitable system, but it only gets easier over time!
Utilizing Facebook Ads To Acquire Subscribers
Facebook can be just as effective as Bing Ads, but it’s handled a lot differently.
Instead of bidding on search terms, you’re bidding essentially on different types of people.
You narrow it down to demographics, interests, and habits, and try to target your advertisements to your exact target visitor.
This can be a little bit more challenging, because you can’t interpret the person’s intention when clicking the ad. For example, if you bid on the keyword “best blue iPhone case,” you know pretty well that the person is ready to buy, and you know exactly what they’re looking for.
This isn’t often the case with Facebook advertising. While you can craft your ad text to appeal to somebody with a specific intention, it’s not always easy.
Therefore, even more testing has to be done to ensure you’re getting the maximum ROI possible. You’ll also want to install Facebook’s tracking pixel on your blog, because unlike with Bing advertising, you can’t track which specific advertisements are leading to conversions in Analytics on its own.
However, the basic principles are exactly the same – test a variety of advertisements, track which are profitable, and make changes to ensure your ROI is as high as possible.
As you start to hit limits in terms of clicks with certain advertisements, you’ll have to settle for a lower ROI and branch out a bit further. In the end, it’s the total return that matters, not specifically the ROI. A higher ROI is more important at first when you’re more limited with capital, but once that’s not as much of an issue, total return should be your priority.
After all, who cares if you’re only making a 10% ROI if you’re getting a ton of new subscribers? Profit is profit.
Pay-per-click has its place in any good marketer’s arsenal.
If you’re able to develop a profitable system, it’s infinitely scalable, and is one of the quickest ways to start making a good income quickly.
It does require you to take financial risks, which I understand may make you uncomfortable.
However, a willingness to take calculated risks is one of the key differentiators between those who become a raging success, and those who never get anywhere.
And hey, you’re already risking your time with other traffic sources anyway… so why not try it out?
You’ll thank me later!
– James McAllister