The Facebook Experiment – Can You Make Money From a Niche You Know Nothing About?

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facebook experiment

I am always on the lookout for more ways to add to my online income streams. Whilst most of you will know I have not been very active in my Facebook efforts, I thought it was time to head into this giant and see what all the fuss is about.

But I wanted to do it from a non MMO niche – in fact I wanted to do it in a niche that I was not familiar with at all. So what niche did I choose? Well, more on that in a minute.

First, what was my plan?

My plan was simple – I was going to make a fanpage and then also make a simple WordPress site. The two would be linked and I would be able to monetise the page by driving traffic to the main site and also place occasional CPA offers and Amazon products on the Facebook page.

Now, I am not by any means an expert with Facebook – in fact I would say I was completely the opposite. But I wanted to get my feet wet with it so I thought I would give it a go.

The thing you need with Facebook pages is fans or likes as they are also known. And you need lots of them. There are two ways to get them – free or paid. It is as simple as that. Now seeing that my blog page only has a handful of likes as I have never done ANY advertising with it I was fine with the idea of putting up a little dollar in the form of paid ads for this.

So what niche did I choose?

I chose dogs. Yes, dogs – well, Labradors if you want to be specific. I have never owned a dog let alone a Labrador. I just know that they are a dog and they bark. That is about as far as my knowledge goes with our canine friends.

The Facebook Page

The page is called Labradors Are Awesome – and it was very simple to setup. Anyone with a Facebook account can do so.

Labradors Are Awesome

Arrr…. cute hey? I am not going to go too much into it but basically you just need to click on the link that says create page..

create page

Once you have done that, you then choose the type of page you want.

The rest is very straight forward.

Once your page is up and running its time to get some content on there.

Basically Facebook is full of people who like pictures, more so cute or funny pictures. The thing you want is interaction. And Facebook image interaction comes in the form of a “Like” a “Share” or a “Comment”  – so, the cuter – the more controversial, funny or spectacular the picture the more chance you have of getting one of those three.

My source for my pictures was Pinterest and Flickr. I found tons of pictures in there of just the sort of thing I was looking for.

dog pictures

After I had a few pictures on the page it was time to get some fans! This is where the paid ads come in. In this section you are able to choose your demographic, age range, interests plus loads more. I went with female adults who live in the United States to begin with. Why? Because most of the CPA networks target the US region, and females tend to find pictures of cute dogs more share and likeable…. which is what Facebook is all about.

The ads were simple. I split-tested about 4 ads. My best ad was this one below. Basically all I changed was the picture and some slight alterations to the text.

FACEBOOK AD

This ad got around 1.422% click-through rate which is pretty good with Facebook Ads – I have heard 2% is the magic number but none of my ads got that high.

All in all I spent $89.16 on my ads – most of which was experimental as this is unknown territory for me. With this though I was able to get around 2500 fans very quickly, a little over a week or so. The great thing was as I was getting some paid fans and they were sharing the pictures so I was getting some organic fans too.

I also spent $5 on a Fiver gig for somebody to do the header for me.

The Main Site

So, as I mention my plan was to also have a WordPress blog site running with this too. So, I purchased the domain LabradorsAreAwesome.com and quickly whipped up a site. Nothing fancy, just picked a free theme that was mobile friendly – why? Well, Facebook is used mostly by that of mobile or portable devices now. So – it had to be really.

Here is a complete run down of the main site:

That is it really. The content is all just PLR articles, none of which are unique. I have much wasted hard drive space full of PLR content so I may as well make use of it. I suppose if the site takes off I will get some proper unique material done. As it was for an experiment I was not that concerned.

Here is the site again to show you how simple it is: LabradorsAreAwesome

How To Monetise It?

Here is a breakdown of the ways to monetise the site and the Facebook page:

  • Clickbank offers – Say what you like about this place but it does have the products that cover most niches. I was able to find many that suit this site. The one I went with to begin with was “Dog Food Secrets”
  • CPA offers – I got approved with Peerfly and Maxbounty no problem at all as was quickly able to put a banner up with some CPA offer. For those of you who don’t know this is Cost Per Action. The offer I put on the site pays out $1.20 just on an email and zip code submit.
  • Adsense Code – I have put some Adsense code on the site, both in the articles and on the sidebar.
  • Amazon offers – Amazon has many thousands of dog products so I have many to pick with here. I can use this on the Facebook page too.

lab page

Will it work?

Well, the jury is still out I guess. It will depend on how long I stick with it. I have already had some CPA conversions and Adsense clicks so I guess it can work.

What does surprise me – and this is one big thing I will take from this for my own blog’s Facebook page is that people like to be told what to do.

Take a look at this picture for example – it had 42 shares and got exposed to over 1800 people. And this was when I had nowhere near the amount of fans it has now. And I told them to share it.

epic fetch

Plans going forward

I guess the next thing to do would be to put a squeeze page in there of some sort and start getting some subscribers on to a autoresponder mailing list promoting a product. I don’t know though – I may just mess around with it on Facebook for a bit more. I quite like it, I have nearly 3000 Labrador fans now itching to see what their new cute dog picture is going to be on their timelines…..

There is no question though – Facebook is huge and I am way behind in terms of marketing with it. It has most definitely opened my eyes a little.

What is your experience with Facebook marketing? What would you do with this page?

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. Ha ha…I loved this post! It is really interesting to see what can be achieved. Once you have the followers you can build any site and earn money from it…but you need the followers. Clearly tapping into your market with labradors is working well so far. I would be interested to see more posts from you with next stages of the experiment!
    Catherine Holt recently posted..100 Post Giveaway ContestMy Profile

    • Hi Catherine – glad you found the comedy side to the post! It was actually quite fun and I know when it all goes a bit crappy I will always have my Labrador lovers to turn to!

      Thanks for stopping by….

      John

  2. This is a great post John, we played around with pages a few years ago and as long as you keep the CPA offer congruent with the pages niche I am sure there is a lot of potential. And the beauty of it as you know is that when you have got a large following when using Facebook ads, after that it is free, people share your pictures and spread your offers. Which is good, any sales or money raised from and CPA’s has cost you nothing after the initially investment is recouped.

    Again, make sure the offer matches the page, a page about Jimi Hendrix with Christian Dating offers can really upset people however selling guitars would be accepted better.
    Andi Leeman recently posted..Buying Expired Domains With High PR For SEO Benefits For Your Main SiteMy Profile

    • Yes Andi – it was not difficult finding offers to promote, both CPA and products. And, if all that fails then you always have amazon….

      Thanks for your input mate.

      Regards,
      John

  3. Hi John,

    I really like the fact that you jumped into a niche that you didn’t know much about. I did the same when I started my site, and it’s probably the best way to learn.

    Facebook ads are something that I have been looking at recently, so having read your post I may just try that out. The fact that you got so much exposure so quickly just shows that it can work.

    Great post John… and yes, Labrador’s are awesome! 🙂
    Matt Smith recently posted..Can You Give Away All Your Info & Still Get People To Buy Your eBook?My Profile

    • Cheers Matt, yes it was a bit like stepping in to the unknown but the best way to learn is by doing right?

      If you want some quick and targeted likes then Facebook ads are a great way to go – having run this experiment I will definitely be trying this again for my blog page.

      Regards,
      John

    • Will do – may be some time yet as I am working on some other projects but I will keep updating this as I go along.

      I like my new canine fan base…. 🙂

      John

  4. Hi John,

    It is amazing to see you create a niche which is I think it is very competitive and you can get such a great number of followers.

    I plan to create a new niche site from scratch as well, your experience assure me that I can do it.

    Thank for sharing everything with us here. You are the great source to me now!
    Santel recently posted..Why I Blog? Even from the Beach …My Profile

  5. Hi John,
    Thanks for your post…It’s amazing to see what can be achieved in such a short space of time. I have had various FB ads running for over 2 months now and haven’t received more than 50 fans in total – in fact that’s being generous! – the other 50 or so being friends or organic. You clearly have knack which I don’t!!
    Will be interesting to see how this develops.

    • Hi Lena,

      I am happy to take a look at your Ads for you – like I say in the post, I am not an expert but I think I know what works… (sort of)

      Thanks for taking time out to drop a comment in. Drop me an email for the Ads….

      John

  6. Loving your work! The minute I read that the page was about labradors, I *melted*..hehe, having a 1 year old choc lab puppy myself!

    Would love your view on a service based FB page…like mine! 🙂

    Nicole

    • Hi Nicole – thanks for coming along.

      I would say it could work – in fact, I don’t know many businesses without FB pages these days.

      Service pages work well because of the live interaction with clients. If people have an issue they can contact you on the page, this is where you can show your whole fanbase how you deal with problems, which is a good thing.

      Regards,
      John

  7. Hi John,

    Your posting was interesting. I was really surprised about the amount of fans collected so quickly. I think it was the choice of subject. I have grown my page mostly by connecting with people in linkedIn and it’s been a slog. The subject matter was not dogs. I think almost any kind of pet is going to get follows quickly as people in some ways are more trusting of their animals than of Internet Marketing ads.

    You are very clever the way you found items to market on a subject you had no experience with. I am wondering how you figured out what ads to ad, which ones to pay for and where to get the products besides clickbank?

    You did well, Yoda!

    • Hi Daisy – great to have your input on this.

      The more I have been in this business I have learnt that you can monetise just about EVERYTHING, ANY NICHE….

      I mean Amazon for example has a product on everything so you could in theory make a page and just promote the occasional product pitch on there. This would work if the numbers were high enough.

      The CPA networks are not something I have used before but they too have loads of offers for various different niches, the popular ones are loans, dating, diets, gaming but I managed to find one offering discount pet food! Perfect for my FB fans…..

      Thank you for dropping by..

  8. Hi John,
    Really interesting experiment. In regard to your headline. Yes we can! Because the key is value. If we can provide valuable content for the viewers, monetizing a niche won’t be hard. I’ve done this with one of my niche blogs (which is anonymous).

    I think a niche outside “make money online” is easier to monetize. That’s based on my experience, and I believe your “dog” niche blog will be outstanding.
    Okto recently posted..Monthly Report May 2013My Profile

    • Hey Okto – thanks for dropping by.

      Yes, the whole thing has been a learning curve for me – and I think it will work. Whether i put the time and effort in is another thing though! Always so busy, but I do like this one.

      Best Regards,
      John

  9. Clever work John …… 🙂 Excellent post, and one I will be very interested to see how you fare with monetizing.

    I’m a dog lover so you’ve got my vote ….. and i know SO much about dog behaviour issues thanks to my own little bundle of fur, I’d often wondered how successful a page like this would be online – so please keep me posted!

    Great job …… Kudos my friend!
    Clair Trebes recently posted..The Importance Of Getting From A To BMy Profile

    • Hey Clair – glad to see you back.

      I thought you and your little canine friend would have appreciated this. It is amazing what we cxan learn from scratch – like for example Facebook fanpages. I am already in the process of starting my second after I saw the potential of this….

      I will write a follow up post in a few months with the results.

      Regards,
      John

  10. Hey John,

    Well, after reading the post you made and the experiment with Facebook, I came to a conclusion that Social Media can really be of great help to generate traffic to one site or page. It only depends on the knowledge of the person who is make the page though. Well, for instance, with the experiment that you just made, you already had a set plan for everything and that you know who to target first. If every person has a mindset that you have, a plan to follow, then I guess it wouldn’t be as hard to generate traffic like what you did with your experiment. What I’m trying to say is that little details such as planning should never be considered as a small time move.
    Farrell Conejos recently posted..One Piece Vs ZombiesMy Profile

    • Yes Farrell you do have to plan it. And although I had a plan, I am not sure it is the correct one.

      I have over 4000 followers now but the traffic to the website is not huge by any means. I have to think of a different angle……

      Thank you for stopping by.
      John

  11. Humm.. You are right!

    First of all this is my first visit to your blog. It is nice and awesome!

    Now after reading this post I can easily figure out the power of Facebook. The key factor of the Facebook is- it is too popular and maximum number of people are using this social giant. So, there is definitely a chance to get more human effort on a website or blog. But, the main problem is to make a perfect idea.

    In this section you have used paid ads. But, if somebody want to archive this success for free then he have to do lots of effort and experiments on the Facebook.

    Even so, one thing is very clear- that if you have a powerful idea then you will archive the success easily!

    Nice post…
    Majharul Hossain recently posted..Is CTR really important to publishers?My Profile

    • Hi Majharul,

      Welcome to the blog – its great to have your input.

      You make some valid points, having the idea is half the battle.

      Regards,
      John

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