I used to think that advertising was only for people who didn’t know how to engage their audience and for hardcore Internet marketers. I thought that if you needed to advertise, it meant that you were a failure. Here are a couple of the ideas I’ve heard over the years:
- The more you give away, the more people will come to you.
- If you provide what people need, they’ll flock to you.
I discovered from my own experience that although those ideas are true, they don’t make me money.
Why is that?
I’ve built up my website’s traffic at www.ellenfinkelstein.com to a pretty high level by providing free content. In the last 30 days, I got almost 200,000 page views according to my Google Analytics account. In the middle of the week, I get almost 10,000 page views per day. (It’s much less on the weekends.) Also, 81% of my traffic is from new visitors. Here you can see the stats for the last 30 days.
At the same time, I’ve built up subscriber lists of 9,000+ and 11,000+ for my AutoCAD Tips Newsletter and PowerPoint Tips Newsletter. (I’m looking to cull the AutoCAD list and will soon delete people who haven’t viewed at least one email in the last few weeks. They’ve been warned!)
You might think that I make a lot of money from those lists, but I don’t. Especially the AutoCAD list — which is why I want to cut it back. That’s because some subscribers chose to subscribe BECAUSE it was free. A few of them resent it when I try to sell my products and services — even though that’s how I make my living.
Why I’m going to start advertising
The immediate reason is that I’m participating in a 90-day coaching program with David Perdiew, President and Founder of NAMS. I highly recommend that you become a member of the NAMS community because you’ll have access to a huge base of tutorials and other content on Internet marketing. I go to the semi-annual workshop regularly. (You can learn more about membership here. This is an affiliate link.)
David has challenged me to up my knowledge of more sophisticated marketing tools, and one of them is advertising.
So this week, I’m going to learn about Facebook marketing by plunging in and creating 1-2 ads. The word out there is that you lose money at first, but if you pay attention to the stats and make adjustments, you can make it work well for you.
It’s a little scary for me. About 8-10 years ago, I tried some Google Pay Per Click ads and the results were dismal. But I have to learn how to make advertising work.
My accountability mentor in this coaching program is more experienced than I am. Here’s what he said:
“One defining line for top online marketers is their regular use of ads for traffic. SEO, social media, etc are all subject to variables and shifts in rules by Google and the social media platforms. Ads provide the best direct source of traffic in more direct control of the marketing.
“The key difference (and why it is typically the top online marketers) is it takes up front money to advertise and the advertising methods change over time just like SEO and the other forms so you have to keep up with the best sources that deliver the lowest cost per click for quality leads.”
So I’m going to learn!
The long-range reason is to expand my reach beyond my subscribers — to bring in new subscribers and customers.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Do you advertise? Where? Does it work for you? What have you learned about advertising? Please share your experience!