Solo ads are essentially one-off sales of an email to a potential lead who is on your email list. If PPC is spending money on an advertising platform in return for clicks (or some other result), then a solo ad is buying clicks from people’s email lists. Often, this means more relevant, targeted traffic with a proven history. And potentially a higher ROI. The difficulty is in scaling, as I will explain later. Think of it like arbitrage.
For you, if you can sell solo ads, you can create an incredible opportunity to build a business and you’re a few fantastic skills. This idea relies on several key skills before taking it further. Really, there are quite a few skills you need to have at hand to be successful here. At the minimum, you need to have knowledge of lead generation, list building and either traffic generation or PPC.
If you are able to generate subscribers on your email list for a relatively low cost, you can then turn around and sell the solo ads to other people. Being a provider of solo ads is an excellent way to start in the online marketing world.
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Pro’s & Con’s
Able to work from home
Difficult to start earning at first
Can scale very quickly
You must organise and manage carefully
Easy to sell your solo ad clicks
May take time to build a reliable list
People don’t generally unsubscribe, ever
You can’t spam your list too much
Very high ROI and easy to hit $100 a day
Very simply speaking, you are going to get email subscribers on your list. And then, you are going to sell a shout out to your email subscribers (or a portion of it) for $x.xx per click.
What this means then is your priority is to generate email subscribers for your list. Like many other 101 Ways ideas, we go back to list building.
Your next priorities are to manage your list, keep them happy and to then sell your ads.
Take note of each step here. Managing your list and your sales well is important. If you do not organise properly, then your buyers may be let down. If you spam your list too often or only give them low value content, then they will report you for spam or unsubscribe. They will also be less likely to click the links you send them. Which means providing a lesser service to your buyers.
And buyers who do not get a good service do not leave good reviews. Or return to buy again. And in this game, repeat buyers and honest reviews are the key to success. It allows you to command higher prices and maintain a consistent income. Which means you can then invest more into building your list, and selling more solo ads.
How I Would Do It
You’ll need an opt-in page, I recommend lead pages
Ensure you are tracking your clicks, bit.ly is good (to ensure your links are performing)
Have a great hook, eBook, guide, email series, video series, etc. Something that is well-worth clicking on an ad and supplying an email address to get (HIGH VALUE ONLY)
Next, get an email auto responder sequence set up in place, I recommend Drip.
It’s an oldie but a goodie, get Russell Bronson’s DotComSecrets and understand how autoresponder sequences work
You will ideally introduce yourself, your brand and what they will get from this email subscription, as well as the hook you offered
Continue to produce high value emails on a weekly basis to keep your readers engaged, you can, of course promote your own products and affiliate products too
Next is to produce traffic that will reach your opt in page, the easiest and quickest way is to buy PPC traffic, but that does cost money so may need to wait until you are generating money from your email list and solo ads
Alternatively, you can generate visitors from free traffic methods, an excellent list of ideas are available here.
As always, continue to optimise and split-test your ads, your marketing, your message, your images, your newsletters, your opt-in page and hook and anything else. A 1% increase in effectiveness of every aspect ends up being a very profitable difference!
Now that you are generating subscribers on your email list, it is time to sell your solo ads, there are numerous brokers and platforms available online through which you can sell them. A list is in the resources below.
The lists of solo ad groups, buyers, sellers etc. change often, as it does not seem to be a reliably long-term business model, there is a lot of churn
However, if you keep your email list happy, you can sell solo ads for a long time
There are also many, many excellent Facebook groups available, a quick search will turn up dozens!
Be sure to look at top sellers and emulate their style of selling and system. Even buy some solo ads through them to better understand the process.
And be organised, a calendar and excel sheet is usually enough. You’ll likely need to track who bought ads from you and when you are going to sell them. Be sure you have all the details you need to complete the job first.
You’ll also need to track the clicks, CTR and effectiveness of the ad in order to report back to the buyer after you send your email.
And always try and add a little extra, 10% or 20% extra clicks is sure to make buyers happy!
$100 A Day Math
You can quite easily sell solo ads for $0.50 or $1.00 a click, sometimes higher if to a high value niche (e.g. internet marketing) or geo (USA, UK, etc.).
Assuming $1.00 a click, we will assume you can only send an email once per week (to avoid burning out your audience). We will assume a 50% open rate for the sake of argument (it will likely be lower). Using this, we can assume you need to send 200 emails per day to generate $100 a day. Thus, you need to have, at minimum, 1,400 email subscribers to make $100 a day!
That is certainly do-able! And likely, 2,000 subscribers to be safe. I’m more than willing to bet you can do that!
Scalability – Can It Become a Million Dollar Business?
In combination with other methods, potentially. If you can generate leads for a lower price than you can extract value from them, then you can scale this very high. The difficulty of solo ads is that you are unlikely to have enough buyers to make a million dollars from.
So, on its own, solo ads are unlikely to make you a million dollars. But, they are an excellent starting place and method to build your email list and relevant internet marketing skills.