Here’s my second progress report on my new website adventure with PPC ads on Facebook and Adwords. However, before I get started, I thought I’d report on the latest Google algo change rocking the IM world directed towards EMD’s.
I know a lot of people on forums I frequent are reporting significant damage from this algo change. I had a few of my sites disappear from the SERPS, and also a few move up significantly as well. Nearly all sites impacted had AdSense on them, and the biggest loss was my biggest earning AdSense site which has now disappeared from the SERPs completely. The site was nearly three years old, and in the past three years it has earned me over $9k. It had survived nearly all the past algo changes (although Penguin dinged it down a few spots in the SERPs). Oh well. The site had about 20 articles of content on it, most written by myself, and I had probably invested about $200 in it over the years in terms of hosting and domain fees, so all in all it had a good run.
I may try replicating it elsewhere, possibly by using a different domain extension – but for now my focus is on my current PPC project.
Just a refresher – the site is in the ebook niche, and I’m focused on building a mailing list and Facebook subscribers. To date, I have used a free $50 Facebook credit and a free $100 Adwords credit to promote the site. Being that this is my first real attempt at PPC advertising, having $150 of free ad credit has certainly encouraged me down this path… although those credits have now run out and I’ll being paying out of pocket from here on out.
This week I was running Facebook ads at $3/day and Adwords at $5/day. The site is not ranking organically yet for any keywords (it’s only five weeks old at this point), so nearly all traffic is paid – or coming from existing Facebook or Twitter followers.
Last week = 951; This week = 1,027
Up 76 subscribers – or about 11 new Facebook “likes” a day
Aweber list subscribers (double opt-in):
Last Monday = 21; Today= 51
Up 30 subscribers total (I also had two unsubscribes) – or between 4-5 new subscribers a day.
This week I had my first paid order to be featured on the site as a “book of the day.” I had initially set the rate to be featured on the blog at $25, but did not receive any interest at that price. So I dropped it to $10, and within a few hours, received my first payment.
Paid submissions earning for this week = $10; Last week = $0
I also had Amazon earnings that were nearly exactly the same as the previous week, although actual clicks using my tracking ID were up by 139 clicks. Actually, Amazon was having an issue for part of this week with reporting digital orders, so I’m not sure I trust their figures 100%, but still – that’s all I have to go by right now.
Amazon earning this week = $17.54. Clicks = 718; Items Ordered = 57; Items shipped =56
Amazon earning last week = $17.28. Clicks = 579; Items Ordered = 57; Items shipped = 59
Total earnings for this week: $27.54 (or about $4/day) (last week=$17.28)
This week I also tried testing running the same ad on both a CPM and CPC basis. Amy Porterfield of FBInfluence suggests that CPC is usually cheaper (although she also states you need to test this). I found that CPC generated very few clicks at all. It was cheaper- but also generated very few leads/likes. I’m not sure why this is yet – as I was targeting the same audience with both ads (the only difference being that I selected CPC for my target). So for now, I’m sticking with CPM.
As of now, all my ad credits have run out, so I’m going to scale back my ad usage to the $5/day level ($3/day for Facebook ads and $2/day Adwords) and see how that impacts traffic. Given that the site is currently earning around $4/day, that level seems about what I’m willing to risk at this point in terms of paying out of pocket for advertising. However, if the number of Facebook likes and list sign ups drop dramatically, I might raise that amount back to the $8/day level – and cut back on business investments and expenses elsewhere.
At $8/day, I’m getting around 11 Facebook followers and 4-5 email subscribers a day. Is that a good return on my money? I really don’t know yet as it’s still to early to tell what the site’s earning potential will be. However, at that rate, I would have nearly 2000 Facebook followers and almost 500 email subscribers by the end of the year. I’m setting those numbers as my tentative end of the year goal for this site. After I reach that level, I should have a better idea if the PPC model works for me or not.
Comments and questions are welcome. Thanks for reading!