Profiting With Facebook Ads

I’m taking a break today from the Harsh Reality series to report on some success with Facebook Ads, finally. Over the last 3 days I’ve found out that yes, you can actually make some money with Facebook. It does take quite a bit of trial and error to find an offer that works and to be able to write your ads in a way that will please the ad editors, but when you finally get everything right, Facebook converts like crazy.

Over the last 4 days starting with Saturday evening I’ve earned a little more than $300 by running several niche offers. The best ones are a niche within a larger niche and I have one in particular that’s earning about $3 for every $1 I put into it. I’ve never even come close to anything like that with Adwords so this one is doing exceptionally well.

Facebook SpendI’ve found the trick with making a profit on Facebook is finding an offer that obviously appeals to the college and career minded individual, of which there are millions on FB, and it has to be easy and, even better, free to join, something that doesn’t require a credit card, at least initially and requires not more than about 8 fields to fill out.

One thing that has come as a surprise to me only in the last month or so, is that you can make money with cheap leads where you only earn $1.50 to $4 or so. In my previous experience with driving traffic via Adwords, it took lots of traffic to even get one conversion, but as the payoff per lead goes down, they will generally be easier and less costly to convert.

Spending stats for Facebook are above and here’s my earnings stats from AzoogleAds over the last 4 days or so:

Azoogle Earnings

The Facebook campaigns were started sometime on Saturday afternoon so they’re for a little less than 4 – 24 days. Total revenue for the 4 day period is $548.10 with spending at $233.57 resulting in a profit of $314.53. Not bad for a few hours worth of work over not quite 4 days.

To get profitable I started out the campaigns at around 35 cents a click and pared some down to 21 cents per click trying to keep my CTR consistent. Even if you can get your clicks down by 5 cents and it takes you 6 clicks to get a lead, as it did with my top earner, you can earn 30 cents more per lead which translates out to $30 extra profit per 100 leads.

Now for a little rant. You can make a profit with Facebook ads if you don’t give up and just keep looking for an offer that converts, but it can be difficult because of the utter incompetence of the Facebook Ads department. It is a complete joke what’s going on there. Sometimes it takes 5 or 6 tries to get your ads approved and I even had one ad that took me 4 times to come into compliance with one rule only to be disapproved for a completely different rule on try number 5. All the while my best performing ad is apparently in violation of both rules, yet they’re letting it run.

I’ve had ads approved and run for 1 hour and then turned off because they’re violating some insane policy. The Excel downloadable reports are absolutely worthless because they aren’t divided by campaign or date, just a single row of info (why even bother making an .xls file?). There isn’t any way to get a monthly report by campaign or day, you must go into each individual campaign and get reports by the week which will make for complicated accounting at the end of the month and there’s even more.

The incredible shortsightedness on the part of the developers of the ad system at Facebook is mind-boggling and then to top it off by staffing it with people that must have zero experience in advertising or making money online is truly astonishing. Facebook could probably be making billions with their ads, but because they are so user unfriendly and must employ people like the soup Nazi on Seinfeld to approve ads, they’re probably bleeding advertisers, and more importantly revenue, by the dump truck loads. End rant.

The best way to get your ads approved seems to be to get them in early in the morning before 10 am Eastern time. I’m guessing there are thousands of ads to approve from the night before and they are probably spending less time looking at your ads and are less alert because their Starbucks buzz hasn’t kicked in yet. I’ve had the exact same ad, only targeted differently, approved in the morning and not approved in the afternoon or evening multiple times, so they may be spending more time looking at things after the workload dwindles throughout the day.

If you’re going to make money with Facebook ads just decide right now to suck it up, bring a pick axe and keep chipping away at the rock because there are little gems to be had in there somewhere. Just keep looking.

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16 Responses to “Profiting With Facebook Ads”

  1. *rofl* awesome posting Alan. I had bad experiences as well with FB ads. And it doesn’t even let me see my funding credits (which sucks bad ass by the way).
    Can you do direct linking with FB or is a LP required?

  2. Forget Facebook. It’s a great tool for building a network and keeping in contact with them, but in regards to an ad network it’s complete garbage.

    I feel sorry for people trying to pop their ppc cherry on FB ads.

    It’s poorly run and doesn’t deserve our attention until they wake up and realize this.

    Just my two cents.

  3. Alan,

    All in all are FB ads worth it?

  4. Hey Alan, great to see you are making some money off facebook. I should start writing about my facebook success/failures next week. They are ridiculous with their approval systems!

  5. Alan, blank your leads column. a simple bit of math just told me which campaign and offer is working for you.

  6. i’m glad you finally got something to work for u Alan. Keep it up!

  7. Curious. Can you see that scaling to the point where it will be worth all the time you’re putting in as well?

  8. Yes, I totally agree with you the Facebook ad department is utterly incompetent when it comes to approving/disapproving ads. It’s a joke… that’s why I stopped advertising on FaceBook.com. It’s not worth my time. If I couldn’t advertise anywhere else on the Internet than may be I’d come back to them. In the meantime… they not doing a great job in my opinion. Amateurs or something.

  9. Their ad department is so frustrating that I discontinued for a while… I picked up a few of those vouchers so maybe I can find some time to try a few new offers.. it looks like Advaliant has a nice diet offer going this week I’ll see if I can get FB to approve something for once…

    Nice job though! You have more patience than I do at this point haha.

  10. b2b guy,

    It’s hard to scale on Facebook. Once you choose your demographics there isn’t really any other place to take a campaign. You can try other related demographics, but there will probably be less traffic that from what you’ve originally targeted.

  11. Nice post. Out of curiosity, what’s your average CTR with your FB ads? I’ve always heard they are really bad…

  12. Super Affiliate Success,

    CTR is pretty low with FB. If I get a 0.15 that seems to be fairly good. Most of the time it’s below 0.10.

  13. I haven’t really looked into FB ads as of yet, I’m going to consider it after your case study.

    I’m just in the process of trying to get the whole PPC affiliate marketing thing going, touch wood I’m still in profit overall in my first week :)

  14. Thanks for this one dude. I was thinking the same thing! Using free offers that appeal to that college/career demographic!

    It’s good to hear of some success and it’s safe to say I will be trying my hand at this. I think it’s a little easier to try your PPC chops on this than Google, their clicks seem to be a little cheaper. I had some other offers on there for my own products, but was thinking about some of those free CPA ones…this post gives me a little nudge to go ahead and do it!

    Thanks Alan, I’m lovin the site!

  15. Alan,

    I’m curious…are you still making much money from ads on Facebook? I’ve been chipping away at this, but can’t seem to find an offer that converts at a low enough cost per click(or impression) to justify the ad costs.

    I’d love to hear if you’re still seeing success from this.

  16. Ben,

    I haven’t been running ads on Facebook for some time. It is very hard to get profitable at FB, but I’m thinking about giving it a good try again sometime soon.

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