11 Steps to Making Money on Facebook

After 3 weeks of learning, testing and doing, I finally made profit on Facebook running an affiliate dating offer and got the formula down. Things like this don’t last forever though. Facebook could ban you, offer could get pulled out, among other things. So it’s obviously necessary to diversify your income sources.

So here’s a list of the steps I did on my way to profitability:

  1. Read blogs of other affiliate marketers who are/were into Facebook dating such as Martin Osborne, Riley Pool, Justin Dupre and WickedFire forums.
  2. Read books on advertising and copywriting by legends such as Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy that told about direct marketing tactics and the importance of TESTING and writing HEADLINES.
  3. Applied at networks Ads4Dough and Adsimilis. Called them up to let them know I’m no fraud.
  4. Culled some photos, created some headlines and copy, then started advertising on Facebook. Nothing beats hands-on experience.
  5. Copy, then test, test and test. I tested more than 10 headlines before I got my winner. I used the ad I copied as my benchmark.
  6. Get more images and tested some more. I was surprised at the winning images I got.
  7. Tried to tweak my targeting but I ended targeting broadly.
  8. Tested day parting.
  9. Tested age groups.
  10. Asked for payout bumps. This is IMPORTANT as I would not have been profitable at the starting payout I was getting.
  11. Expanded my campaigns to the other countries that the offer’s into.

I’m by no means done, there’s a lot of tweaking, adjusting and testing to do to keep this campaign healthy and scale. After I get these campaigns stable, I have to find new sources of traffic and offer to promote.

Dating on Facebook Part 4 – Success!

It’s been 18 days since I started my first campaign on Facebook. The past two weeks I spent learning all that I can about running ads on Facebook from forums, blogs and ran campaigns. Over time, as I was doing things right, I had a feeling I’d get to profitability soon and that day is today. I made $30 today from FB and $10 from my web properties!

So far I’ve spent $1,619.04 on Facebook. I have $1,273.75 on the networks so I’m still down $345.29.

My affiliate goal for February was to make $40 a month from all my affiliate sources, and it’s about end feb so I’m behind a month. Next month I’m gunning for $80 a day so that spells CRUNCHTIME!

Learned a lot of things as I posted on my Dating on Facebook Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 posts. On top of that, I learned a few more this week.

Yesterday I had a big surprise.

While running an ad on Canadian traffic, I wanted to drive more impressions. My original bid was $0.21 and I was getting around 15,000 impressions an hour, so I decide to up the bid to $0.25. After 10 minutes I checked my stats and  much to my surprise, I got 100,000 impressions in 10 minutes! Turns out I accidentally set my CPC bid to $25 instead of $0.25. My CPC cost was up to $0.51 and I was instantly unprofitable because my EPC was only $0.28. Lost $60 just like that.

Apart from that I think I’ve got the formula down for running dating offers on Facebook.

Here are some more lessons learned:

  • Broad demos do work. Running my successful ad over 4 countries on a broad demo got me around .08% to .19% CTR. Perhaps this could be further pushed with narrower targeting, but that still remains to be tested.
  • Using CPM is essential in getting low CPC, but your ad better be good. A CTR higher than 0.1% is necessary before you start bidding CPM. Otherwise, go back to testing on CPC.
  • Importance of Dayparting. Different hours have different CTRs and conversions, it’s important to test each one.

SEO Help from WickedFire

WickedFire has a lot of link building vendors who do different seo techniques. Some go as far as claiming to have guaranteed results. I decided to test them for a recent project of mine.

For this project, I bought 39 domains in the travel niche. All are exact match domains (EMDs) for their respective keywords which I want to rank for. Keyword difficulty for these keywords are between 45%-60% as computed by SEOMoz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. All domains have not been SEO’d prior to testing, and only one service is used for each domain, unless otherwise noted. Some services were used on several domains because they allowed for multiple anchors. Domains are renamed for anonymity.

Here are the results:

mohsinmajestic’s Social Bookmarking Service

Paid $12 for 400+ social bookmarks for 4 URLs in 2 working days. The top  sites he submitted to were StumbleUpon, Yahoo Buzz, Diigo, Jumptags, Blinklist, Delicious, Hotklix, Url.org, A1-Webmarks. Delivered as promised.

Results after 20 days:

ofsht.com: G #12 to #6, Y&B #4 to #5, #4 to #5
ptht.com: G #62 to #35, Y&B None to #18
bght.com: G None, Y&B None to #9
ciht.com: G None, Y&B None

Although 1 domain did not have movement, definitely worth the money.

jr_sci’s Squidoo-Wiki Interlinking

Paid $20 for 4 pages of PLR articles. 2 pages on Squidoo, 2 pages on Weebly. I thought I was going to get Wikipedia pages linked to Squidoo, but no. Misleading claims. Turnaround time was 5 days.

Results after 16 days:

slh.com: No ranking.

Very disappointed with this service. I was expecting it to have more effect than the social bookmarking.

jai_sree_ram’s WTS socialbookmarking 75 bookmarks for $2 dollars

Paid $18 for a total of 600 bookmarks for 3 URLs. 1 day turnaround. Half of the sites are PR0 and less, about 20 sites have good PR. Delivered as promised. Can’t complain for the price.

Results after 20 days:

sfht.com: G None, Y&B #15 to #20
htbgm.com: G #43 to #44, Y&B None
htgng.com: G #172 to #46, Y&B None

Not bad, would have gladly forked over $18 for taking that one domain from #172 to #146 on G.

Andrey’s Profile Link Pyramid

5,000 forum profiles that all point to 200 PR4+ forum profiles that in turn point to your money site. Paid $55 to do this for 5 URLs. 1 day turnaround. Delivered as promised.

Results after 21 days:

ltht.com: None
nublht.com: G None, Y&B #14 to #15
htmt.com: G None, Y&B #24 to #20
mmsbht.com: None
htdh.com: None

Totally useless. Perhaps profile links could work on some low tier pages aside from your money site?

reboore’s CHEAPEST LINK PYRAMID – SERP BOOSTER

Paid $20 to this guy in the Philippines. Got 3 sets of each having 16 Bookmarks, 4 Blog pages, 11 Forum Profiles and RSS Feeds. 1 day turnaround. Delivered as promised.

Results after 20 days:

bgmht.com: G #110 to #107, Y&B #4 to #3

Booster? More like a SERP nudger.

Marc_L’s Article Submission Service

Paid $20 to distribute 1 PLR article to 800 private blog network / WPMU sites and 1500+ PR0-PR6 article directories. Turnaround time 6 days.

Results after 14 days:

bhht.com: G #193 to None, Y&B #9 to #8
plwht.com: G None, Y&B #6 to #4

What?? Even got delisted from G? Whatever he’s doing, might be more useful for taking down your competitor’s sites.

Aneekalam’s Bulk Do-follow Blog Commenting Service PR2+

Paid $60 for 250 blog comments using 3 keywords. Healthy mix of PR0 to PR6 sites, but a lot were on the same domains. Only 134 links checked out on scrapebox. 3 day turnaround.

brcht.com had previous SEO applied and was ranking an average of #7 on G, according to G Webmaster Tools. After this it went to #1 on G for the local G server, but not sure if this had to do with it.

Red_Virus’s Social Bookmarks

Paid $19 for 100 social bookmarks. Amit bookmarks only 3 urls per account. Only 90 links checked out on ScrapeBox. He claims a 3 days turnaround time but it took him 6 days to finish mine. No biggie, but pricey for a bookmarking service.

StacyKohlman’s 400 C Class IPs Blog Posting Service.

Paid $50 for posts in 200 blogs with 3 keywords each. Half did not have PageRank, the other half had PR 0. All 200 blogs checked out in ScrapeBox. Turnaround time 7 days.

Used Red_Virus’s bookmarks and StacyKohlman’s blog posting service on the same domain. Used DripFeedBlasts to the blog posts created.

Results after 19 days:

esht.com: G#111 to #130, Y&B #23 to #7

Rankings dropped! Not sure what happened here, but for what its worth, it might be useful to take down a competitor’s site.

masterjani’s gov, mil and edu forum backlinks

Paid $30 for 70 backlinks from 30 edu and 5 gov sites. 29 out of 35 links checked out with ScrapeBox. 4 days turnaround.

Results after 15 days:

klht.com: None.

$30 for nothing? What a disgrace.

Le-Projects 300 Blogs posting service.

Paid $24 for 300 blog posts, all different blogs with unique host IPs. Most are PR0. 7 day turnaround. Sites are timing out upon checking.

Results after 12 days:

fbht.com: None
tht.net:  G None to #104, Y&B #11 to #4

Not bad, might have something here.

SteveJobs’ Article Submit – 300+ Approved Article Links – 600 Backlinks for just $20

Results after 12 days:

htt.com: G: None to #119, Y&B #35 to #40

SteveJobs’ Directory Submit – Snail Slow & Standard

Results after 12 days:

tsht.com: None

Currently clearing up issues with provider.

OnTheWayUp Super MiniNet

Paid $160 for

5 ezine articles
5 blog posts
5 wikidot pages
5 .EDU articles
5k profile blast

Results after 8 days:

tgtht.com: G None, Y&B #13 to #8

Noticeable SERP movement right after DeShea sent the notification that the linking was done. Google did not pick it up however as the site does not appear in the top 200.

Ravee1981 – [Dominate Google] 3 Stage Link-Pyramid, 100 Times More Effective Than Link-Wheel

Paid $80 for what is essentially a maze of forum post links and some blogs. Gave him 3 domains to link to.

Results after 12 days:

htac.com: None
htt.com: G none to #119, Y&B #35 to #41

The only benefit was that one of my sites got to #119, if that’s any consolation. Not worth the money.

HOTH2.0 5×5

This is by far the most pricey SEO I’ve spent at $200. Gave the HOTH 3 domains to work on and here are the results after 12 days:

htgng.com: G #172 to #46, Y&B None
htmt.com: G None, Y&B #24 to #20
mtht.com: G None, Y&B #7 to #8

Got weird results. htgng.com appeared on Google but not on Y&B. The other two appeared on Y&B. The only difference being htgng.com was bookmarked by jai sree ram 20 days prior, so I cannot fully attribute the ranking to the HOTH. If the other 2 domains were any indication, the HOTH sucked, or rather, I got suckered.

Diorex: Brandon Moore

While I was reading through Jason Akatiff aka Smax0r’s blog, I followed a link to Diorex.com which turned out to be one of the most insightful affiliate marketing blogs I’ve read.

Brandon Moore is senior VP of OneTechnologies from Dallas. He’s not your typical 19 year old affiliate making $20,000 a month. They’re a super affiliate firm and focus on doing SEM. Unlike other affiliate blogs, he challenges readers to look at the bigger picture and has a deeper understanding of this business we are in. His blog is one of the must-reads in my book.

Dating with Facebook Part 3

I’ve learned some really important things that I will have to test still, but I feel already has some merit. Dating ads should not be ran before 8pm and after 10pm on weekdays. I noticed that this window provided the best conversions. Sometimes a difference between getting 10% down to 5%.

I have in my mind theories about how Facebook’s bidding system works but I have to test it to be sure.

Today I ran my AU traffic from 7pm to 10pm only. I noticed that conversions picked up after 8pm. Spent $58.82, got $70. Will try and keep it consistent like this until I can say it’s stable.

As for the UK traffic, I bid $0.57, got 187 clicks but my CTR was the lowest last night with just 0.06% and 0.53 CPC. Barely profitable.

So today I’m gonna try and shoot for lower volume of clicks. Suggested bid is at $0.64 to $1.14. I’ll be bidding my average EPC for this campaign, which is at $0.38. I’ll run it a bit early at 7pm since I am very, very sleepy!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…… (After 5 hours)….

Received a trickle of clicks worth $8.70. Earned $13.80. Profit of $5.10. It’s worth noting that the ROI here is more than when I was getting a lot of clicks but only making $10.

Dating with Facebook Part 2

So I’ve been doing a UK and AU dating offer on Facebook for 10 days and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

After testing ads on UK I found an advert that clicks at around 0.1% CTR. At this rate, I’m paying for clicks ranging from $0.35 to $0.63.

Testing was a bitch because Valentines had the CPC fluctuating to as high as $0.90. Conversions were nice though as what would normally be converting at 10% converted on a handsome 33%. How I wish I was ready for Valentines. Perhaps next year.

I learned about when to be using CPM bidding and decided to give it a shot, since my advert is clicking at 0.1% already.

I figured the same advert would work on AU traffic so I tried using that. I bid $0.63 CPM. The first few hours of the evening saw around 10% conversions then dropped to 5% as the night progressed. Spent $47 and made $50 with an average of $0.27 CPM and $0.27 CPC. Seems like dayparting is REALLY important.

Later that night I ran my ads on UK traffic. Spent $28 on a CPM campaign that only gave back $9.20 because the CTRs sucked. I was bidding high but I guess I was too early because I was running them at 4pm to 6pm. The overnight CPC campaign spent $99 and earned $111.

Getting close to profitability!

Banked $16,983.86 from Google AdSense

Google prohibits disclosing CTR and other numbers

$16,983.86 is not much. It’s not even a million pesos and I know people running AdSense do earn this much or more per month. I just want to let you know that it’s very possible to make passive income online. Right now though, I wouldn’t recommend starting with AdSense unless you have at least 100,000 pageviews a month because Google’s AdSense  is the lowest form of monetization.

Aside from blogging, there are many avenues to making money online. One avenue is to publish database websites and that is what I did. You see, unlike blogging, database websites require little to no attention after the initial launch and traffic. Back then, it was easy to get the traffic.

I got my first taste of “making money online” back in 2000. Passionate about HTML, I made a portal (as this was the trend then) named http://www.PinoyHome.com. It had a directory, free email, lyrics and other knick knack stuff. Very amateur. For monetization, I ran AltaVista and other search engine’s search boxes because back then, they were paying publishers who sent searches to their engines. This was before Google and AdSense. I think I banked a check for $25.

Of course this wasn’t enough to sustain a living so I took on jobs until 2005. In 2005, I noticed that a lyrics website that I made started to pick up some traffic so I decided to do some SEO on it. AdSense was also just starting to gain traction and I put them on my sites. CPM’s must be through the roof because for what little traffic I got from a niche filipino lyrics website made me upwards of $1,000 a month.

I was making easy money and got lazy.

Two of my top earning websites are in the Philippine niche and I regret that I’ve been so stupid for not focusing on stamping out websites like these. CPMs are higher in developed countries and that’s where the money is in ad serving. You live and you learn.

So, moving forward, I think this “market” of publishing websites for AdSense monies is getting saturated to the hilt. Perhaps the IPO of Demand Media is a sign. I’ve rediscovered affiliate marketing and moving into the other side of this business — paid traffic. I’ll be working on combining paid traffic and affiliate offers and keep publishing websites on the side.