$1000 Challenge Update #6 – Paid Ads

For those who are new, this is a progress update of my Ultimate Challenge – Creating a small business that generates USD1000/month (on the side) using a comprehensive business plan. Long story short, this blog will serve as a small business that I attempt to use to generate at least $1000 monthly income (on the side) by the end of this year

$1000 Challenge Update #6 – Paid Ads Click To Tweet

Why this small business challenge

This challenge was started to celebrate what 1 Day 1 Thought stands for – sharing information and knowledge to help you learn how to start and grow a business, even if it’s a side hustle.

I share updates about this challenge on a weekly and monthly basis covering these things:

  • My thought processes
  • Specific actions taken
  • Progress of this small business
  • Traffic details
  • Income vs expenses details
  • Progress vs goals
  • Anything else I think is relevant

By doing so, I hope for 2 things:

  1. If you already have a business idea that’s been lingering in your mind, or if you’ve always wanted to start a small business – I hope this challenge will inspire you to take action and just go for it
  2. You will be benefit from learning and applying some of the steps and strategies throughout this journey, saving you a lot of time and guesswork in your own small business

You can view all the progresses of this challenge via this link

Here’s the low-down for everything I did from 15th – 21st June

Paid ads for 1 Day 1 Thought

I’ve been holding back running paid ads previously because I feel that the foundation of the blog is not strong enough

This week, I think that 1 Day 1 Thought is finally ready to reach out to a wider audience and venture into the realm of paid ads:

  • We’ve got a pretty good base of articles covering a few interesting topics in terms of starting and growing a small business
  • There are lead magnets in place (more on this later) to help convert paid traffic into email subscribers

With that in mind, my main objective of my Facebook ads is to increase website traffic and also my Facebook page followers, all in the hopes of getting higher organic traffic later on

I started thinking about my Facebook ads strategy and finally settled with 2 ad types to start running on Friday:

Page like ads 

For my initial testing, I chose to run page like ads. To be honest, I have not done like ads in a very long time and I’m curious how much like ads costs nowadays

Plus, I can boost the awareness of 1 Day 1 Thought a little and increase the total number of followers

Total budget allocated until end of June: RM50 ($12)

At the time of writing, each Facebook page like costs me RM0.34 ($0.08). Not too bad for a start

Traffic Ads

I chose to use a carousel format to do a link roundup of all the most recent and interesting articles on 1 Day 1 Thought

This way, when people are exposed to my ad, I can achieve the following:

  • Determine which article is more interesting to the general public (and expand on sub-topics from there) 
  • Have a higher chance (and hopefully lower cost) for people to click through to my website

I also chose traffic ads over engagement ads so potential readers are directed to the website instead of engaging my Facebook page

By doing so, I can better understand reader behaviors in order to develop content that are relevant and more appealing in the future (I write more in depth about this in my article of why websites are so important for small businesses)

Total budget allocated until end of June: RM200 ($46.5)

At the time of writing, each landing page view costs me RM0.96 ($0.22). At this point of time, this cost looks extremely expensive and unsustainable

Facebook Ads Testing

I firmly believe that one of the key strategies for Facebook ads to work is constant testing

Therefore, the first thing I started testing about is which audience gives me a better return on my ad spend

Lookalike audience VS broad audience

I created a custom audience of people who visited 1 Day 1 Thought’s website in the past 120 days. After that, I created a lookalike audience based on that

On the other hand, I created a broader audience based on people who:

  • Are interested in topics related to small businesses and entrepreneurship
  • Have the title of self employed, small business owners, or freelancers

So far, it seems that lookalike audiences are working better compared to a broad audience.

If this holds true, the next thing I’m going to test with is probably Facebook ad objectives

Fine tuning 1 Day 1 Thought

Since I’m going to start running paid advertisements on Facebook, I optimized 1 Day 1 Thought in order to maximize the conversion of paid traffic and increase my chances of getting a blog income

Hire me!

I created a ‘Hire mepage on 1 Day 1 Thought to showcase and explain in detail the kinds of services that I can provide

On top of that, I also added the same services to 1 Day 1 Thought’s Facebook page

Subscriber conversions

I created a landing page featuring all the free resources available so that it is easier for subscribers to sign up

This week, I’ve also put up 3 new templates for subscribers to download

  • Idea validation checklist
  • Start up budget cost template
  • Breakeven analysis template

If you think any of the free resources can help you, feel free to head over to our Free Resources page to sign up

A more professional logo

1 Day 1 Thought’s logo also got a makeover this week ????

I changed the bulb logo to one that in my (extremely biased) opinion, looks more professional now

Ongoing optimization of older blog posts

This week, I went through old blog posts and continued fine tuning their SEO settings, such as Google preview snippet and improving readability

Writing

I wrote about the 5th update of the $1000 small business challenge, where the main highlight was a collaboration with Ashton NLP to join them in spreading the word about the importance of mental health and help people through their course

I also talked about how much money you will need to start your own business  by taking a look at the type of different businesses, common expenses across different categories of businesses, and also breakeven calculations for product and service businesses

A small acknowledgement for 1 Day 1 Thought

I joined some Facebook groups for small business owners this week

Originally, I just wanted to be in the know for trends in the overseas small business scene and get a better understanding of what small business owners in other countries are doing

However, I saw a few small business owners post some questions related to some of the blog topics I wrote before this and ended up answering their questions and pointing them to a few articles

This resulted in a conversation with another small business owner and him expressing interest in the $1000 challenge and the purpose of 1 Day 1 Thought

I have to say, given the previous traction of 1 Day 1 Thought, it feels good to know that what I am doing is relevant to small business owners and there are people who find it exciting and offered to share my work

Blog income related actions

I met up with a friend in the interior design industry this week for a chat. After letting her know what 1 Day 1 Thought does, she was interested and we quickly got into a discussion for some possible collaborations

Right now, we’re still at the ideation stage, but it looks pretty promising. Hopefully I’ll be able to give more concrete updates here soon!

Where I am vs my goals

Minimum 1 piece of long form blog post of 1500 words and above / week

This week I wrote 2 blog articles and continue to exceed the goal

However, I’m thinking of changing the update frequency of the $1000 challenge to once a month instead of once a week since my workload is starting to pick up

15% increase in website sessions on a month to month basis

This week saw a 323% increase of traffic to a total of 220 sessions. The Facebook paid ads helped boost the traffic a little but a lot of the sessions actually came organically from the latest blog article on how much money you need to start a small business

With the current projection, I don’t think it can exceed last month’s total sessions. Last month’s best article (10 small business ideas you can start from home) brought in 583 sessions in a week alone and is almost equivalent to this whole month’s traffic

Given this, I think I need to put more emphasis into rethinking content types that reach out to other small business owners

800 email subscribers

So far I have got a total of 4 lead magnets that are ready for subscribers to download

This is proving to be an effective way to collect leads. Last week itself we’ve got an additional 7 subscribers from these lead magnets

Next up – work on more lead magnets and hope to see a big boost in subscribers

1000 Facebook likes

This week the total number of Facebook likes increased by 42 people to a total of 190 people. As mentioned earlier, getting Facebook likes will not be much of an issue when paid advertising starts

$1000 monthly income generated by blog

This week remains at $0 income for the blog. Hopefully the collaboration projects will bring income in soon, and hopefully more collaborations will happen soon

Overall Snapshot

P/S: You can get access to my live goal tracker by registering for my newsletter in the form below

My thoughts

One small step ahead

Though very tiring, this has been a very exciting and productive week.

With all the optimization and also the start of paid ads. I feel like 1 Day 1 Thought is taking a small step forward, which could lead to more exciting things

With more and more meetings and work coming up, I’ll have to be more disciplined and efficient if I want 1 Day 1 Thought to be successful

I hope all goes well ????

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