Some people like to say I’m crazy. In some way, I am. But mostly because I love to test a lot of things even if I lose money.
Why? Well, it’s experience earned, and nothing can beat that. Not even the money. I’m going to start this by saying that this is my first post in 2014 (aside from a guest post) here at Stream SEO and I want to take a different point of view from now and forward. Like many of you guys, I’ve been fighting and struggling to build an audience in different niches.
I know how it feels.
I know the feeling of writing super great posts. I know THAT feeling of publishing it and feeling proud of it. And I know the feeling that comes a few days after when it received close to no visits and no comments. For a new niche blog, that’s pretty normal, and your traffic will grow with time, promotion and SEO.
But that’s the main problem for me. I don’t want to repeat this again and again year after year. Stream SEO is finally receiving a thousand visits per day (YAY!) and it earns at least $1k in revenue each month. NOT BAD, but that’s after 2 years of being alive. And I know I’m not as active as I “should be”, or I don’t write as much as I’d like, but the reason behind that is because I focused on different businesses on 2013, and I was happy with it. Otherwise I guess I could be earning at least $2-3k per month here. But thats fine.
The message I want to give you today, is that many of you have the guts and effort to grow a website like this. It works, but it takes time. But many of you are failing too. I guess around 80% or more that start a blog just fail.
So instead of working hard and reaping the rewards later (with SEO, it can be months or years), let’s work the “smart way“.
How’s that? By using the low cost resources we have on hand to achieve it in a few weeks, or even days.
First, let me show you this picture:
This is a website I created on January 13th (2014). As you can see, after 10 days it’s receiving almost 800 visitors and they day is still going. It will probably reach 1 thousand.
The power of Facebook and thousands of fans. Of course.
Now that I’ve got your attention here’s what I did in short words:
- Create a small niche site in WordPress and a Facebook Fanpage. It’s really important for you and your audience that you choose a niche you really like and love). This will exponentially increase the results and virality.
- Create a Facebook Ad and target super small interests in a particular country
- Publish 6 posts on the Facebook fanpage each day (I like to schedule them in the morning which takes 3 minutes or so)
- Grow a new page with likes, comments and traffic in 10 days or less
I’m going to try to be quick here and not create another 4k words post. Thus, I’m going to use images which will make everything easier for you guys. My new year’s resolution is to create more posts with less words, but keep it to the point and practical.
Step 1: Select your niche site and mount a WordPress Blog
I won’t talk about this here because I’ve written this in the past. Have a look at the next articles or simply opt into my list (you’ll find the opt in box after the post or in the sidebar) and download my guide with all the steps to create a niche site.
If you really don’t know how to start a blog (and don’t want to opt in because you’re a grumpy cat), read the following articles in the following order:
- Niche Site Challenge: Domain Name Generator Ideas
- How to point your Godaddy name to your host
- How to add a new domain to Hostgator
- How to install WordPress in 5 minutes with Fantastico
- How to install a WordPress Theme
After that, you should already have a niche selected and a theme installed. Go on and create at least 3 posts so your site doesn’t look empty. I created 5 posts instead, with no more than 200 words (because of the niche) and I was good to go.
Here’s how my website looks like:
Yes, I like anime and Naruto is one of the most famous animes and mangas in the world at this moment. It will last at least for a few years like that.
I used the genesis framework and the Metro Theme if you ask. But you can chose any theme you like. Again, I won’t discuss that here because the article is focused on how to grow your traffic quickly, not on how to create a blog.
Of course, initially it had less posts and no banners. But that’s not a problem at this moment. You can choose to show your Facebook likebox if you have a fanpage already. If not, that’s the next step.
Step 2: Create a Facebook fanpage and some ads
For this step, you’ll need some budget. Big or small, doesn’t matter. Of course big is better, but if you have at least $5-20 USD then you’re already good to go.
Go to Facebook and create a Fanpage about the niche you have just created. Make the fanpage name interesting, even if it doesn’t match the name of your website.
For example, Naruto is an anime series about ninjas. They fight each other and that kind of stuff. People love to read the manga and the anime, but there are many websites and fanpages publishing that.
I checked some forums and many people love to argue about who is the best ninja and who would win in different fights. So I took that angle instead, and created a fanpage called: “Naruto: the best battles”.
Most of the time I just publish images about different ninjas and who would win between a fight. Sometimes I publish cool images and from time to time, I publish a link to my blog, where they can watch the anime or read the manga. So I’m offering a different value for my fans, but at the same time, covering the basic needs by sending traffic to my website.
Now you need fans, so please read this guide on Facebook Ads. Just ignore the thing about sending traffic to a landing page. Instead, create an Ads with the solely purpose of getting likes for your fanpage.
Likes are cheap because Facebook loves to keep his traffic inside Facebook. And you create a new fanpage from scratch with good activity, traffic is even cheaper than paying for it on Facebook. The only different thing on Facebook now is that they allow you to upload up to 6 images for each campaign. A few months ago they would only allow 1 image per campaign, which made split testing more difficult.
Here’s how your campaign looks like when you’ve created it in the Facebook Ads Manager:
Here are a few tips I can tell you after experimenting with ads:
- Never upload more than 2 creatives/images per campaign. Facebook is weird and usually tests 1-3 images and ignores the rest. I say ignores because no matter how many days you wait, Facebook won’t give more impressions to the rest of the images and it will assume the images are bad. Trust me, they might not be that bad.
- I have said this before in my article about Facebook Ads, but better repeat it. Always use a catchy title/image and don’t forget to the call to action. You want the audience to LIKE YOUR PAGE, and even if the Ad is created just for that, you need to remember them to do it.
- Never pause any image of the campaign unless you’re sure you don’t want to use it anymore. If you pause a good image Facebook does weird things and the CTR goes down /cost goes up without any sense. If by error you decide to pause it and it was good, create a new campaign with the same image and kill your old campaign.
- Always select your targeted audience with interests, age and everything. Facebook likes can be cheap with proper targeting, but it can be really expensive if your audience is too broad and your CTR is low because of YOUR FAULT.
- Set up a budget per day and bid for likes (initially). If you forget this you might find yourself paying a lot to Facebook per day.
- Never create or start a campaign at night. Facebook will eat your budget in a few hours and your CTR/CPM will be bad.
- Never mix Newsfeed ads with RHS (Right Hand Sided) ads. Use separate campaigns or ocus only on RHS ads.
That’s it. Your campaign should be ready and I recommend you to spend at least $1-$5 per day. Don’t spend more, even if you can at this moment. In fact, if possible, create multiple campaigns with $5 budget instead of only one campaign with a $20 budget.
Let it run. And here comes the “easy” part.
Step 3: Watch your fans grow and post 6 images a day
Yep. That’s it.
Monitor your campaigns and watch how Facebook grows your likes on a targeted niche super fast. I decided to spend $5 dollars per day for a month. After 10 days i’ve used almost $60 and the results are incredible. But results were really good after day one. CHECK THIS OUT (embrace yourselves, photos are coooming):
Above you can see and recheck that I started my fanpage and the campaign in January 13th. Have a look at the graph and check this:
- I got a lot more fans than I expected per day. The CPM was low and the CTR was high, with highly engaged fans. I expected to get around 200-500 fans, but NO! I got 1900 fans the first day, just by paying $5.
- Keep in mind the number of fans will change a lot depending on the country you’re targeting and interests. In my Facebook experiment post, i got fans as cheap as $0.02 per like.
- In this campaign, for the first 3-4 days, I was getting fans at the cost of $0.003 per like. Facebook only shows 2 digit decimals so the price was $0.00 for Facebook. I’ll show you later.
- After that, I started to get 600-800 fans per day maximum, and it has tanked there. The reason? I was stupid enough to pause my best images to make some tests, and Facebook ruined it. Don’t know if I’m stupid or Facebook is, because nowhere says you shouldn’t. At the end, what they want is money, and if everyone bought fans as cheap as for $0.01, Mark Zuckerberg’s face would be like this 🙁
- As you can see, I’ve spent almost $60 until last night.
- Even if I got 8,980 fans with this campaign, I actually got around 10k fans because of the virality. I didn’t pay for those.
- Finally, but not less important, I’ve reach 411k readers out of an audience of 1,7 million. So I’ve still volume to get more fans without wasting my Ads.
After day 7, I wanted to go big and decided to create 2 extra campaigns just by duplicating and using higher CTR creatives/images. And it looks like this:
I even got a shot of one of my “new” campaigns which has been running for 3 days (same budget, target and everything, except the images of the ads) and it looks like this:
Yes. I’ve spent $12.73 more to get 3,461 fans (probably around 4k fans because of the viral effect) and that’s a rounded $0.00 per fan 🙂
Just make sure you post at least 4-6 posts per day, so you can start grabbing some traction and getting likes, comments and shares so Facebook Edgerank (or whatever you call it now) loves you and your posts reach a good quantity of fans.
I have spent a total around $75 at the moment, but you could spend a lot less if you can’t afford it. As you can see in the next graph on WordPress, you can still get some decent traffic with just 1-3k fans. Remember this image?
The first day I had 30 visitors, the second I had 100 and the third one more than 200. So you don’t need 10k fans or more to get some decent traffic running to your niche site.
Step 4: Frequently Asked Questions
So I hear you ask:
1. How are you posting 6 times a day?
I schedule posts in Facebook. Simple as that. I planned my strategy based on the Facebook insights of my fanpage which showed me this:
Hence, I publish my first post at 12pm, and then 5 more posts every 2 hours, with my last post at 10pm. This way I’ll get the best interaction, likes, comments and reach.
Super noob tip: never use tools like Hootsuite, buffer and similar. It will ruin your reach and you’ll reduce your engagement by almost 80%. Trust me. I have fanpages with more than 1 million fans. It’s the worst thing you can do at this moment. Give yourself 5 minutes and schedule your posts DIRECTLY ON FACEBOOK!
2. Do you post status updates, images or links?
I usually do images and links. I like to publish a link as my first post of the day and then just publish 5 more images. That was enough to get me the traffic you saw in the jetpack/wordpress graph before.
Images get a lot of interaction and more reach. Links will always be lower. I don’t like status updates just for this page, but for an informative niche I’d use them without hesitating (even with the latest Facebook change).
3. But, isn’t Facebook killing the reach and links and images?
Yes. They are and this sucks. But because you’ll have a new targeted fanpage with targeted fans, you should be able to keep it up. This is the main reason i told you it’s very important to choose a niche you like and love. You won’t be as good or effective on niches where you don’t know a lot and you’re just in for the money.
4. Facebook reach is less than 7% now! I just read it!
Yes, but with a targeted fans you should be able to reach more. Here’s my fanpage at this precise moment:
Yes. It’s got more than 18k fans now! In fact, as the moment of writing this post, it’s almost near 20k. I expect it to be at 50k by the end of the month (after 30 days, actually).
Here’s how it has grown:
And you can check the number of people talking about it (the real one, not the one that has been frozen on my page because of FaceBUG) here: Naruto Fanpage likes.
5. OK, But you didn’t prove anything about the reach!
Here I come!
This is an image I posted yesterday’s night (10pm). After less than 24 hours, it has reached 5,788 people. That’s almost 35% reach 🙂
6. What about the reach on your links? Surely you can’t do more than 7-10% without paying Facebook with the “boost post” option?
Just watch me 🙂
That’s a link with a preview image as Facebook recommends to do so. With more than 100 likes, 3 shares and a few comments, the reach is almost 20%. In fact, today I published a new one and it already passed 22% reach.
Again, the reach totally depends on the number of clicks, likes, shares and comments you get. So if you published a link like this, in a fanpage as big as mine, but you had only 5 likes, 1 comment and no shares, your reach would probably be below 5%.
The key is the interaction, and you need targeted fans for that. If you buy those fiverr gigs with 1,000 or even 10,000 fans for each dollar, you had already killed your page.
Here’s my insights on reach for the latests posts. You’ll see some good stats without paying any cent to boost your post:
7. Aren’t your fans perceiving your posts or images as SPAM?
Not really. Here’s the number of fans that leaved my page in the whole time according to Facebook:
Yes, that’s a growing trend, but I have lost a total of 20 fans after 10 days, while growing almost 20k fans. That’s a 0.1% rate. And none of them reported anything as SPAM. They just decided to leave, which is fine for me and for my Fanpage’s Edgerank score.
Step 5: Traffic like crazy and profits
It’s the time to write some awesome posts and get targeted traffic to your page. First of all, here’s my setup of wordpress plugins installed. I haven’t done any SEO or anything special at all. Just the usual plugins I install when creating a niche site:
I’m not even using some of them yet. I’m not sure If I should build a list or just use Feedburner. I know Aweber will cost me a good chunk because of the number of subscribers I’ll get.
Other than that, 3 or 4 of them are Genesis related (basic stuff), and there’s XML sitemaps to submit it to Google Webmaster tools, jetpack, quick adsense to put some ads, and W3 Total cache.
There’s one little plugin that I’ve been using called “Facebook comments importer”, which helps me import the comments on Facebook of any link I post to my blog directly to wordpress.
So if they leave 30 comments on my link in the fanpage, the comments will automatically appear in the blog. This looks great both for Google and for any other visitor. However, it seems to have the problem where it won’t import the replies of the comments. I’ll check more plugins until I find something better.
And here are some detailed jetpack stats of the clicks and traffic sources. In fact, even without SEO, the website is starting to rank for some keywords and from time to time I receive visits from Google, Yahoo or some other weird search engines. Without SEO, just because I post 3 times a week, receive real comments and a lot of likes in the posts.
Finally, you decide how and where you want to profit or not. Doing a niche site on something that you love, and grow it in 10 days to something that maybe only authority sites get is just fabulous.
You feel right and happy with yourself, and there’s nothing wrong on making some profit from time to time as long as you keep the experience.
I’d recommend going into some affiliate networks and look for products/services related to your niche. But if you feel too new for this, you can always try with Google Adsense. That’s up to you.
In my case, I put some Adsense ads here and there, and finally, I signed up for some great affiliate offers related to the niche. There’s one affiliate that allows you to watch the whole series with a minimum monthly subscription (similar to netflix, but for anime). And I’ll be exploring some related video games or guides.
Getting great affiliate offers shouldn’t be a problem if you do your homework. After all, I’ve spent:
- $10: domain name
- $0: Host, because I already pay a dedicated server for all my blogs.
- $0 for a theme that I already had
- $75 for Facebook Ads, but I could have stopped on $20 or $50. Depends on your budget.
- Total: Less than a hundred bucks!
I still haven’t earned that money back, but I know I will after a week or so now that I started to monetize it (just started yesterday and made a few bucks). Hopefully I can get some good affiliate offers and it should be enough.
What’s my plan?
Well, I expect it to grow to at least 50k fans, if not more. I have the budget and I will get that back easy with some affiliates. Fans are great and they seem to love the admin (A.K.A me). However don’t forget to interact with your fans from time to time, answer questions, like their comments and hear their recommendations. That’s a key point which you’ll only be able to achieve if you like the niche you’re in.
That’s it. The final result? BOOM!
The same image again 🙂
But you know what? I feel happy because:
- I didn’t have to write dozens of posts before receiving traffic
- I have comments and social interaction almost from day 1, and growing
- I’m doing something I love to do
- I don’t need to wait for months or years to receive interaction
- I haven’t done any SEO (yet) at all just to get slapped by the next big G update. Social signals work 😉
So this is my guide to go from 0 to 1 thousand (OK, more like 941 hundred) visits PER DAY, in just 10 days after launching your niche site.
If you like it, please share it, tweet it, like it or whatever… or you can always sign up to my newsletter and get more content like this.
If you didn’t like it, then it’s your loss. Your niche site is waiting for you and your fans to get some tractions, and if you’re waiting for search engines (without knowing SEO) and organic traffic, you could be one of the 90% that just fail after some time.
What are you waiting for?
Oh, and please, questions and comments below 🙂
I have received a lot of questions via email and i’d just rather answer publicly for everyone here instead of repeating the same answer again and again. Talk to you later!
P.S. Daaaamn! I wanted this to be a 800 words article, and it just passed 3.5k words! Shame on me 🙂