If you’re looking to make money online, you’ve probably heard about the booming solo ad industry. But, have you ever thought about starting your own solo ad business? Not sure what solo ads are? Check out my post here all about the world of solo ads.
If you’re ready to jump into the world of selling email advertising, you’ll need to learn how to set up an effective solo ad campaign and run it successfully.
But – you might be surprised at the best and easiest way to do this …Intrigued? Then read on…
Table of Contents
- What Is A Solo Ad Business?
- What Do You Need To Start A Solo Ad Business?
- A Decent Email Provider To Send Your Solo Ads (Or Two, Or Three!)
- Control Of A Traffic Source
- You’ll Need Customers!
- How To Run A Solo Ad Business Without An Email List
- 2. Be A Broker For Someone Else’s Solo Ads – the easiest way to set up a solo ads business
What Is A Solo Ad Business?
Before talking about how to start a solo ads business, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what a solo business actually is.
As a solo ad vendor, your job is to sell clicks to people that you generate from sending out emails to your list.
Your customer gives you their link (usually to their squeeze page) and that’s the link your send out in your email.
Your job is to get as many people as possible to click on your customers’ link so they can make money off of them/build their own email list.
What Do You Need To Start A Solo Ad Business?
Starting a solo ad business is easier than you think. With some simple tools, you can make a great income from the comfort of your home.
So what are you going to need?
A Targeted Email List
Solo ads are all about emails (and clicks), so if you don’t have a responsive email list you’re dead in the water. And if you want to have a scaleable solo ad business, you’re going to need a large list – and keep it constantly refreshed. And it’s going to need to be a pretty good-sized list.
You’ll need to know how to create email messages that will interest people and keep them coming back for more. And you need to be able to make them click.
You must keep your email list warm so you can be sure of getting clicks when you’ve got customers.
In fact, you might be interested in the little article I wrote about how to write a solo ad – which you can read here 🙂
You’re also going to need to make sure that your list is super qualified for your niche.
Of course, how you do this depends on your niche, but most (not all) people in the solo ad world are in the make money online/biz op/crypto type niches.
But hey if you want to step outside of that, there are definitely gaps in the market!
How big should your email list be? Well, that depends on how receptive they are. But being honest, we are talking the 10s of thousands – 10k minimum (really bare minimum).
If you’re new to the solo ads business, you might be overwhelmed at first, but I’ve got some thoughts on how to combat that I’ll share with you later (and you don’t even need an email list – seriously).
A Decent Tracker To Monitor Your Solo Ads Clicks
If you’re setting up a solo ads business, you’re selling one thing – and one thing only. Clicks.
So of course you are going to need a system that will track clicks for you. This is important for several reasons:
- You need to be able to prove to clients they have received the clicks that they paid for
- You need to be able to prove you didn’t send junk traffic (don’t send junk traffic…)
- You need to be able to direct your clicks to client’s links
- You need to make sure you only send a certain number of clicks to a client and don’t massively over-deliver without meaning to
- You need to be able to control over-spill
The first two points are pretty obvious, but if you’re new to the solo ad business, the last three points might need some explanation.
You might think you just send out an email with your client’s link in it right? WRONG.
The link you put in the email needs to be a tracking link where you can control the destination at will.
What do I mean?
Well, let’s say solo ad client A buys 100 clicks (cheapskate…) and solo ad client B buys 500 clicks.
You’re sending out an email to your list, you need to put a single link in it, with the right tracking software you will be able to ‘tell it’ to send 100 clicks to destination ‘A’ and 500 clicks to destination ‘B’ – and then anything beyond that to destination ‘C’ (and maybe also to destination D – see below).
But what is destination C if you only have 2 clients? Well, it’s for you to decide what to do with your over-spill. But the most sensible thing would be to send it to a relevant offer (or offers if you want to split test) so that you can monetize your email shot even further.
That way you’re are maximizing your earning potential for every run you send out.
Of course, you’re going to have to have a good handle on the sort of open rates and click-through rates you normally get from your list, so you can gauge when it’s best for you to send an email shot and to know how many clients/orders/clicks you can manage in one go.
There are loads of different trackers out there, but ClickMagick and QLiker (not affiliate links) are very popular in the solo ad world as they have all the relevant stats and features you need, including the all-important ‘public’ stats link to send to your client.
A Decent Email Provider To Send Your Solo Ads (Or Two, Or Three!)
I know it’s an obvious point, but you’re going to need a system to build your email list in and send out your emails.
Email marketing systems allow you to send a large number of emails to your subscribers in a short amount of time. You can also track the open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate of your emails. You can also set up automations that are triggered by certain actions, such as the opening or clicking of a link in your email.
The goal of email marketing for solo ad vendors is get clicks on a your email links. Period.
Generally speaking, email marketing providers will be ‘mildly tolerant’ of affiliate marketing and (what could be perceived as) spammy emails. So you need to seriously have plans around this.
There are lots of email marketing platforms out there including Aweber, Get Response and even Mailchimp.
Personally I find GetResponse to very affiliate friendly – and this is a very very important point.
As a solo ad business, your ONLY source of income is your email list – if you email list gets shut down, basically you’re screwed.
So what can you do about this? Well, lots of solo ad providers will run multiple email providers at the same time for exactly this reason.
If provider A gets shut down, you still have provider B – this is an essential tactic for any successful solo ad business.
Control Of A Traffic Source
Different platforms you can run paid ads on in order to build your email list
If you’re going to keep your email list fresh and growing, you need to master an online traffic source or two.
Many people think that it’s impossible to grow an email list without a huge budget. However, there are different ways to create a list of email subscribers without spending a fortune.
When it comes to building your email list, there are two major options that you have when it comes to advertising: ‘Mainstream’ platforms (Google, Facebook etc) and ‘Not Mainstream’ platforms (for example push ads, and even other solo ad providers). While both of these approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, you are going to need to become a master of at least one of them.
Mainstream platforms are more expensive to advertise on and have more hoops to jump through in terms of compliance. But…the quality of the traffic will be very high, especially if you are using Google Ads, where you can really target the right people through their search intent.
You do have to be careful if you’re running ads in certain niches on Google because the algorithm is smarter than you think. It’s possible that Google’s machine learning can recognize certain ads as spam, which is why certain ad placements might get fewer clicks than others and in the worst case could get you banned.
‘Not mainstream’ platforms may seem appealing as they are very cheap (compared to Google etc) but, as with everything in life – you get what you pay for.
Push traffic is likely to be of way lower quality (many times people will accidentally click on a push ad when trying to dismiss it) or you’ll get a fair % of bot traffic. Now there is junk traffic on the mainstream platforms – but not nearly as much.
So the choice is yours really, easy and cheap (but lower quality) or harder and expensive (but higher quality).
The bottom line, is you need to be able to acquire leads at a low enough cost that you can make a profit selling the clicks on down the line. And you need that to be a constant flow of traffic.
This isn’t a skill you’re going to get overnight – it will take practice (and spending some money on ads!).
You’ll Need Customers!
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and solo ads are no different.
Of course, there are many ways you can find potential customers including networking, cold emails, building a website and social media.
You could just sign up a seller on Udimi (Udimi is basically like Fiverr but for solo ads)
That will take a lot of the hard work out for you as the system is set up to find you clients. Be warned though, without any (positive) reviews, you’re going to struggle to get those first few orders.
One strategy is to take a loss on your first few orders (ie selling clicks cheap) to get some reviews going then put the price up to a profitable level. If you do take this approach though – be very clear in your vendor copy that this is what you are doing. Otherwise people see cheap clicks and immediately think it must be junk traffic.
A lot of solo ad vendors get business from Facebook – and in fact, there are loads of Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling solo ads. So that’s definitely worth checking out as it’s completely free to use (Udimi will charge a commission on sales).
Running a solo ad business is starting to sound a little bit difficult isn’t it? So this seems like a good moment to talk about other options…
How To Run A Solo Ad Business Without An Email List
Given everything I’ve written so far, you might think I’ve lost the plot. But nope – it’s true, you can totally start a solo ad business with NO email list at all.
In fact, there are two ways you can do this:
1. Paid Traffic Straight To Your Clients Links
This is the riskier option as you are still actually paying for traffic. And as you aren’t building a list you aren’t building any kind of long-term asset for yourself.
But this can be a valid strategy to make a quick buck.
For this to work, you’re going to need a really cheap traffic source (you will bankrupt yourself if you try and do this with Google ads for example).
But push traffic is a perfect candidate. Not sure what push traffic is? Check out this article I wrote about traffic sources.
With a bit of ad optimisation you could easily find yourself only paying $0.10 (or less) per click for Tier 1 traffic on push networks. If you can then sell these clicks on for $0.40 + you are making a healthy margin on that!
Word of warning though, Push traffic will be way less qualified than what you get from say a Google search ad, so don’t count on your customers getting many front end sales – so they probably wont be back for more orders…
2. Be A Broker For Someone Else’s Solo Ads – the easiest way to set up a solo ads business
This is by far the easiest way to start a solo ad business, and you’d be surprised how many people are actually doing this!
So basically (for example) you buy clicks from a large solo ads provider for say $0.40 and sell them on for $0.60 pure profit.
You don’t have to worry about email lists, running traffic, or any of that. The only thing you’ll need is a tracker and that’s it!
This approach is the easiest way to set up a solo ads business by a million miles.
You’ll find many solo ad vendors on Udimi are doing this – of course, they won’t tell you that, but they are…
The only downside to this approach is that you are reliant on the other solo ad vendor selling you their traffic. If you fall out for any reason, your traffic source has just disappeared, so then, has your business.
However, if you stick to big vendors with a good rep, this shouldn’t be an issue.
This really is a good way to a solo ad business and ‘practice’ selling solo ads with absolutely zero risk to you. You only buy clicks when you have an order for clicks – so it’s kind of win win.
If you have an order you make money, if you don’t have an order you don’t spend a dime. Perfect!
So about now you’re probably thinking this all sounds great – but where can I find a vendor to broker clicks for? Well, you should always do your own research of course – but I can vouch for this solo ad vendor.
He is huge (selling tens of thousands of clicks per day) AND he actively encourages people to broker clicks for him.
All you need to do is create a free account here and then send a ticket explaining what you’d like to do and one of his team will get the ball rolling.
If you’d like a bit more background info on his solo ads, I did a full write-up that you can read here.
Setting up a solo ad business doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. The broker option means you can hit the ground running and be in profit very quickly. However longer term you will want to take the route of ‘doing it the hard way’ and building your own lists – as they are assets that will increase your profitability big time 🙂
Good luck setting up your solo ad business – now go sell some clicks!