Sep 26

Solochecker Is Live!

Very happy to be able to share this one with you today guys – and it’s all good news for anyone involved in solo ads 🙂 Yesterday Solochecker.com launched – the world’s first real-time solo ad marketplace.

SoloChecker.com

Whether you buy clicks, sell them, or both – you have to check this site out NOW. If you’ve been doing IM for any amount of time you will have no doubt heard the phrase “game changer” used over and over again – but in this case it really does apply. Like every new iPhone release – this. changes. everything!

So what makes Solochecker so good? Read on and I’ll tell you all about it 🙂

Firstly – joining up to the site as a buyer is 100% FREE! Unlike Safe-Swaps, there is no monthly charge if you want to buy solo ads thru Solochecker. Sellers – if you join up and get started selling soon, you can bag one of their exclusive limited free seller accounts.. but you better be quick….they are going fast!

It’s worth pointing out here too that Safe Swaps recently introduced an 11% charge on all transactions processed thru their site. Which is a) a total piss take, and b) even more reason to go take a look at Solochecker if you are in the solos business. This is going to cause a big shift in how things are done.

Next – as a solo ad buyer or seller – have you ever seen this when you log on in a morning? This is what my Skype and Facebook notifications look like every single day when I get out of bed… (groan)

Good Morning!

One word – bunfight. There’s way too much going on here. Yes, IM is a 24 hour business and we all know this – but look at all that information. It hurts my brain just looking at it. The sheer number of mouse clicks, scrolling and page views needed to even catch up on everything is insane. As things stand now :

As a buyer, I have about 50 different rooms and pages to choose from where I can go and look for clicks. All this takes time. There’s no real order. Everything is just piled in on top of the previous posts and you have to scroll down to see what’s been going on. You could well have missed a good deal from a few hours ago. Furthermore, there’s rarely any indication if clicks have actually sold once they are advertised, so I could easily waste heaps of time getting hold of sellers – only to find they have no more clicks left. The whole process is massively time consuming, and the last thing you need when trying to buy solos.

As a seller, I have to copy paste any ads to the same 50 different rooms and pages. Again – all this takes time that I haven’t really got. Once I post my ad it takes about 4 seconds for someone else to paste theirs and knock mine down the Facebook page or Skype group chat. 2 minutes later my ad is pushed all the way down where no one can see it, buried in a mass of other people’s posts. If I do make a deal and sell a click package from an advert of mine, going back to every copy of it and indicating that it’s been sold, would take forever. I often post an ad for a click package, sell it within minutes, then have another 6 people message me wanting to buy it over the next few hours. It’s extra hassle explaining to them that it’s unavailable, then takes even more time and effort trying to sell them packages for another date..

howifeel

You can see from what I have written here that the current way of buying and selling solo ads online is… outdated? Stupid? A waste of time? Disorganised? Soul destroying? Yep – all of these things and more!

In short – it’s time for Solochecker.com

Solochecker is the world’s first real-time solo ad marketplace. Everything is done in one central place – making it super easy whether you are buying or selling solo ads. This gives you complete visibility of all available solo ad offers, and best deals.. for any date. Simply put, this means you spend less time searching for your perfect solo ad, and more time on what is important to you! Find and reserve your solo ad in seconds, not hours! I’ll add a couple of screenshots of the members area right here…

Members Area Screenshot

As a Solo Ad seller you can instantly display your offers to their ever growing audience of buyers searching for high quality, and dependable traffic. Solochecker’s newly developed real time technology guarantees your solo ads will be visible to the entire marketplace the very moment you include them.

Members Area Screenshot

I’ve been hawking solo ads for the last 9 months and am personally over the moon that Solochecker has launched. The whole industry has been crying out for something like this. I could spend more time going on about the site’s good points and benefits of being a member but why bother – just click this link here and read all about it for yourself over at the site! As I said before, this is a game changer. A real one. If you are involved in solo ads in any way – you owe it to yourself to get joined up over there immediately.

Lastly – Tim, one of the developers/owners of this site, is a good friend of mine and we’ve been working together on other projects for months. I know more than most how much time, energy, blood, sweat and tears has been put into getting this site developed and off the ground. It’s nothing short of exceptional.

Up your IM game! And join the Solochecker revolution today.

Sep 25

July 1st, 2013 – I Quit My Job To Do Solo Ads!

Wow I am a lazy ass

I'm A Lazy Ass!

Big apologies for not updating this blog for FOUR WHOLE MONTHS jesus (hangs head in shame)

Truth is – my solos business went into orbit and I was able to quit my job on July 1st of this year! I’ve been so busy that updating this blog has taken a bit of a back seat for a while. I barely left my apartment for the first half of 2013 – working up to 18 hour days, 7 days a week. At points I thought I was going mad, doing my previous (at home) IT job plus hustling solo ads on the side. If I wasn’t at my computers, I was in bed. It was one or the other. This was me – for 6 whole months. Day and freaking night… 🙁

2013

Slowly but surely my solos business started to earn more and more money, and it crept up to making what I was earning from my job. It then overtook that, and got better, and better…. and better 🙂 Finally after 6 months of nearly working myself to death I felt financially comfortable enough to be able to turn round and fire my boss! Take that slag!

Dude - I Quit!

The satisfaction I got from being able to turn round and say “I QUIT” was one of the best things ever! No more boss. No more deadlines. No more crappy company ‘politics’. And no more low pay! I now get up when I want, work when I want, have no one telling me what to do – and I make a LOT more money.

Yep. I’m generally living the IM dream that you read about so often 🙂

More than anything, this blog post is proof that YOU CAN DO IT TOO! Solo ads are a tried and tested business model that will make you money, provided you follow the steps laid out to you here on this blog, and in much more detail in my free ebook. Get your download now – over there on the right!

Back to business now, look for more posts coming very soon, including the next step(s) of my journey

Jan 16

Solo Ads Step 2 – Creating Your Funnel

For part 1 of this journey – please click here

I will detail step 2 of my journey here – creating a funnel, or squeeze page as they are also known.
This is the web page with an offer and email form on – where you will send clicks, to get your leads (email addresses) and build up your list! Note : leads are also known as ‘subs (subscriptions) or ‘optins‘.

Squeeze Page Design/Coding

Once you have a domain name and hosting (see part 1) you will need to design your webpage(s), and upload them, then surfers can see them – and more importantly you can start to buy solo ads which in turn will build up your subscriber list! The way I see it you have two choices :

1) Install WordPress on your domain (free), plus a copy of the Optimize Press plugin ($97)

If you have no experience in programming html, and you have some spare ca$h – you may want to take this route. Most hosts will either install WordPress for you or have oneclick installs available in their admin. If not – installing it yourself is easy and doesn’t take long. There are oodles of help pages and tutorials on how to do this – just search Google or Youtube. Once you have this installed – Optimize Press is a great WordPress plugin that does all the hard (funnel design) work for you. Click here to get it. It’s $97 I’m afraid, but as I said, if you can’t program your own web pages it’s money well spent. So many people I know doing solo ads use this plug in and make some great sales pages with it to boot – you can go and check out the sales video they have on their page, and see if you think it would work for you. 🙂

2) Design your own pages using an html editor such as Dreamweaver and upload them with an FTP client.

If you are short of funds, don’t mind programming your own webpages, and are happy to use an FTP client – then this route may be the one for you. I’ve been using Dreamweaver for years so didn’t have an issue making my own pages. If you don’t know what an FTP client is – this is the software you need for uploading webpages to your server space. For PC or Mac, Filezilla works great and is free.

So how did I decide on a design? Well simply put I looked around a lot in the Facebook Solo Ad Society group – if you aren’t a member I highly recommend you sign up now – and quickly found a lot of threads with people posting their funnels, asking for opinions/advice on them, etc… so that is a good place to find ideas and inspiration. I also posted some examples of squeeze pages in part 1 of this journey thread so go and check those out too. A third way of finding good squeeze pages is to just browse the web and look for them – Google is your friend 🙂 Any pages you find that you think are good, bookmark them, or keep a text file of the best ones. (I do this) A quick hack to making your own funnel is to simply download one you found online, open it in Dreamweaver, play around with it, change colours, strip out all the links and replace with your own, then upload and test! If what I have written here in option 2) seems like too much hard work, or beyond your skill set – no worries – don’t get discouraged! Just look at option 1) instead. If you missed it the first time, the Facebook Solo Ad Society group is an awesome place to meet super helpful people who are very open with their advice, tips, suggestions, and what to do in the world of solo ads. Don’t hesitate – jump in and join the group today 🙂 If all else fails and you can’t do either of the 2 above steps and have some spare money, you can always pay for a designer to make you a squeeze page. 

So back to design…now I’ll be the first to admit that when I first started making funnels, I had no idea what I was doing. I just threw something together that I thought might work – click here to see my first attempt at a funnel. The design isn’t bad, I mean it looks ok, but I uploaded it, then did what you should do too – make contacts, add people as friends who are in the Facebook Group, and on Skype too, then ask their opinion on what you’ve done. 99% of people I’ve met this way have been more than helpful, and given me so much advice on how to improve all elements of what I am doing with my solo ads business. I uploaded my first squeeze page, hit a few people up on Skype, and half an hour later, slightly amazed over how eager to help everyone was – I had loads of pointers on what to do next. General opinion was that this page had too much text, was too ‘busy’. Too much going on. I learnt that funnels need to be short, sweet, and to the point. After playing around with some more variations of this page – you can see them here, here, and here, I went back to my new friends on Skype, got the thumbs up from them, then started buying solo ads straight away – to test out my pages and see how they performed. 🙂

The results weren’t good 🙁 The pages above were getting a 21-36% optin rate.
Hang on a minute – what’s an optin rate? This is easy to work out with simple maths!
Say you buy 100 clicks and get 35 optins to your list. This would be a 35% optin rate. (35/100)
Say you buy 200 clicks and get 87 optins to your list. This would be a 44% optin rate. (87/200)

Whenever buying solo ads this % is one of the most important things to keep an eye on.
The higher the better, and you definitely want as close to 50%, more if possible.
Keep tweaking, testing, and trying to improve your squeeze pages all the time!

I went back to the drawing board, got stuck into Google and the Facebook Group, and looked around for more funnels. I kept seeing simpler and simpler squeeze pages compared to the designs I had done, so decided to dump my original funnel completely and start afresh. After some messing about in Photoshop and Dreamweaver, I ended up with a brand new one that looks like this.

Eager to see what the results would be like, I bought some more solos ads straight away. The results this time round were amazing – I was hitting 50-55% optin rate, and up, on pretty much every order – even getting 61% in one case! Not only that, my Skype friends were telling me I could improve this conversion rate even further by split testing. (more about this in another blog post) It was at this point I knew I could start putting more money into buying solos, and increase the size of my Aweber list.

Solos is purely a numbers game and here is why your optin rate is so important. Say I continued to buy clicks on my older low optin rate of 21-36%. 100 clicks will cost you around $40, so putting in that $40 will get you back in between 21 and 36 new leads, roughly. So per lead that works out at inbetween $1.11 and $1.90 each. (40/36 = $1.11) (40/21 = $1.90)  Sounds expensive right?

Let’s do the same example with my new higher optin rate of 55%. $40 for 100 clicks in this case should get me back about 55 leads. This time each lead will cost me about $0.72. (40/55 = $0.72) It’s not perfect by any means, and I really think this % could go even higher by playing around with my page some more, but you can see the vast difference between the first example and the second. You simply get more bang for your buck, or more email addresses for your dollar in this case 🙂

Now I had a vastly improved optin rate on my funnel, it was time to dump some more money in to this project, buy more solo ads, and increase the size of my Aweber list.

Note : Before you buy any solo ads for your new funnel – make sure you have an OTO (one time offer) page set up for the surfers to be redirected to once they optin! I have detailed this in the next step of my journey.

Ok I hope this post has been helpful for some people, please do post your comments below if you have any. 🙂 Don’t forget to join the Facebook Group, keep adding new contacts on Skype – network network network!

Click here to see part 3 of this journey!

Dec 15

Solo Ads Step 1 – Getting Started

What is a Solo Ad?
I’ll try and keep it as simple as possible here. A ‘Solo Ad’ is when you (generally) pay someone to mail their email list, on your behalf, with a recommendation and link to your free optin offer squeeze page, otherwise known as a ‘funnel’. This builds your email list, and once it is big enough, you can 1) sell your own Solo Ads to other people in exchange for cold hard cash, and 2) Do ‘Ad Swaps’ with other people in order to build your (email) list up even further. The quicker you build your list, and the more people you have on it – the better. Solo Ads is truly a numbers game.

Eh? Squeeze page? Funnel? Ad Swaps?
I know I know… like any strain of IM (internet marketing), Solo Ads has loads of terminology, acronyms and abbreviations going on. The quicker you learn them all the better, but in the meantime I think showing people examples is the best way to go. So I’ve linked to some typical squeeze pages, or funnels – here, here, here, here and here. Take a look at these so you get a clearer idea of what I’m talking about. Just writing these first few lines has made me think I should do a page explaining all the terminology, so I’ll get onto that soon enough. Make sure you keep an eye out for it. An ‘Ad Swap’ since you asked, is where two people mail each other’s lists in exchange (no money involved, just a straight email swap). As long as the two people can send each other the same amount of clicks, everyone is happy and both lists will get more subscribers, which is the name of the game here.

What will I need to get going with Solo Ads?
Money lol. Thought I’d get that in there straight away. You will need at least a bit of money in order to start, specifically for a domain, hosting and an AR (auto responder) email service such as Aweber (the best in my opinion). For registering domains, I seriously recommend Namecheap over all the others. As my tools page says, I’ve been buying domains for over 15 years, and have had total nightmares with GoDaddy, CheapDomains, NetRegistry and all the others. Namecheap have never once messed me around, hijacked any of my domains, buggered anything up… they are a solid registrar and I can’t recommend them enough. You can get a .info over there for less than $4 which is a small price to pay when you are first getting started. For hosting, hmm I can’t suggest anyone off hand for a beginner as I’ve used mine for over 10 years and host a lot of sites over there, so they are quite expensive. Checking Google is probably your best bet, I’ll ask some people about this over the next week and come back to edit this post if they give me some good suggestions.

So once you’ve got your domain and hosting up, you now have some webspace to upload your funnels to! I’m afraid I can’t get into all the details of how to set up your domains/hosting/ftp transfers here, it would take way too much time. If you are a total n00b (don’t worry we all were at some point!) just get on over to Google – where there are endless help pages and video tutorials on how to do all of this stuff.

Next you are going to need an AR (auto responder) email service in order to collect email addresses and build your list. Like I already said, the best in the business is Aweber as they have the highest delivery rate. You can get a trial of their service for a full month for just $1 by clicking this link. Ok  – domain(s), hosting, and AR set up and paid for – now you can move onto building your first squeeze page, or funnel.

Click here to see part 2 of this journey!