Part 1: Facebook page is growing quickly + first viral post

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Hello again,

One important factor in my career and life is consistently getting a good night’s sleep. I usually fall asleep quite easily and manage to get around 8 hours of sleep each night. If it’s not necessary, I prefer not to leave my bed before 8 a.m.

Every few months, nights like last night happen and my sleep quality isn’t as good. I struggled to sleep well and after I wake up I was overthinking this email, its content, and how to structure it. My excitement and motivation were high, but this actually made it harder for me to sleep.

Today, when I attempted to apply those ideas at work, it proved difficult, and my motivation was low. However, as I’ve often done in the past, I decided to start writing regardless of my current lack of ideas or uncertainty about the email’s structure.

I understood that overcoming this barrier was a key part of the journey, and taking on the challenge could help boost my motivation once again.

As I mentioned in my previous emails, I started this challenge on April 1st. If you happened to miss that email, you can check it out here.

Here’s what you’ll find in today’s email:

  1. Choosing the right Niche
  2. Why Competition is Important
  3. The Importance of Choosing the Right Niche
  4. Creating Facebook Ads and the Results I Achieved
  5. Rapid Growth of My Facebook Page
  6. My First Viral Post and How Much Traffic I Had
  7. Creating Content and Selecting the Right Topics
  8. Earnings and Expenses (Profit and Loss)

1. Choosing the right niche

A colleague of mine has been working on this website for over a year. The primary strategy involves gaining traffic from organic search and Pinterest, with monetization through an ad network (in this case, Mediavine).

Throughout the year, she asked me several times if creating a Facebook page for this website would be a good idea, and my answer was always no. Yet, 12 months later, I find myself taking on the public challenge of growing the website’s Facebook traffic from 0 to $50K in revenue. Life is full of surprises.

In the meantime, I’ve pondered why I initially believed this niche wouldn’t perform well on Facebook, and I reached a conclusion.

First, I’m not truly passionate about this niche. I somewhat like it, but nothing beyond that. Due to this, I struggled to understand its popularity and, more importantly, the extent of people’s passion for it. Additionally, I concluded that even if those two factors were positive, I didn’t think people on Facebook would be interested in that type of content.

Testing ideas, using real data, and gathering feedback from the audience can provide the best insight into whether something is genuinely a good idea or not.

How Did I Come Up with the Idea to Grow Facebook Traffic for This Website?

Over the past few years, my focus has been on creating websites that attract organic traffic, and I’ve been quite successful in doing so.

Traffic from Facebook and Pinterest played a secondary role in my strategy.

A lot has happened in the publishing world in recent months, including several Google and Pinterest updates, major advancements in AI with ChatGPT, the implementation of those features in Bing, and the news that Google plans to do the same.

In light of these events, I want to stay in the game for the long term and make decisions before facing any unforeseen challenges.

During this time, I tested various approaches on Facebook. After checking real data in an objective and measured way, I decided to shift my website’s focus towards growing traffic from Facebook.

Currently, we produce SEO-focused content for about 20% of our websites. For the other 80%, we’ve chosen to create more engaging content for Facebook audience.

So far, I believe this decision has been quite positive.

2. Why Having a Competition is Important

Much like in the SEO game, I knew that if I could find websites and Facebook pages performing exceptionally well on Facebook, it would be a promising sign that I could achieve similar results.

Finding such pages isn’t easy, as there isn’t readily available data or methods for discovering Facebook pages within my niche.

My only option was to search for various keywords and phrases related to my niche to locate these pages. Surprisingly, I found more than 10 Facebook pages in my niche with excellent performance.

Next, I analyzed these Facebook pages using Strevio’s “Intelligence” feature, which let me input any page for analysis and evaluation of its performance.

I’m using “iHearDogs.com” just as an example.

I prefer analyzing a page by selecting at least few months timeline and observing post performance (likes, shares, and comments as engagement). This way, I can ensure that the performance is consistent and not just a one-time occurrence.

The pages maintained strong performance throughout the entire year. Confirmed.

All that remained was to review the content they were posting and decide if I could create something comparable or even better.

After sorting their top-performing content across different timelines, I became confident in my ability to achieve similar results.

Upon analyzing their titles, featured images, and article content, I concluded that we could create content that was at least as good as theirs, and possibly even better.

3. The Importance of Choosing the Right Niche

There’s a quote I once heard that I quite like, though I can’t find it now, so I’ll paraphrase it: “In life, you need to be smart just two times – when picking your career and when choosing your partner. If you choose either of these two things wrong, you’ll need to be smart your whole life.”

The same concept applies to selecting the right niche. From my experience, it’s a crucial first step, as your future performance greatly depends on it.

Two months ago, a friend in the same business asked me if a particular niche would perform well on Facebook. After a quick analysis on Facebook and browsing through the content, I found two competitor pages that were doing fairly well. I was also passionate about this niche and told my friend it was a great idea, even offering to become a partner if he needed investment.

Without conducting a deeper analysis using Strevio, I was convinced it would work.

However, after investing $2K in ads and creating and posting 100 articles, we discovered it wasn’t a good idea at all. The engagement we received was mostly poor or, at best, mediocre.

Upon examining the data more closely, we realized that only those two pages in the niche were somewhat popular, and their past post performance wasn’t as impressive as we initially thought.

We decided not to pursue this niche any further and let it go.

The positive takeaway is that there are MANY niches out there that perform exceptionally well on Facebook, providing numerous viable options.

I’d like to point out that I don’t want to disclose my niche. Not only would it not make a difference, but I also believe it would draw in numerous competitors (possibly hundreds) who might assume it’s the only worthwhile niche. This would make it extremely difficult for me to have a chance at succeeding in this challenge.

4. Creating Facebook Ads and the Results I Achieved

In this article, I’ve explained in depth how I create LIKE campaigns for my Facebook pages.

I used the same method for this website and its Facebook page.

I was certain of two things: I wanted to target an audience above 25 years old from the US, using one broad term in this niche. From my experience, this approach results in the best cost per like.

The only two things left for me to determine were the image and the description above, which would serve as a call to action for people to like my page.

I tested numerous ads and creatives with a $5 budget to determine which ones would yield the best results.

After a few days, I turned off the underperforming ads and let the successful ones continue. I used the data gathered from this process to create even better campaigns, and repeated the process multiple times.

After the first 15 days, these are my results:

As you can see, I spent $2,357 with an average cost of $0.06 per like, and in the first 15 days, I was able to grow my page from 0 to 38K likes.

Here’s a screenshot showing my page’s growth:

You may notice that I have 1K more likes than what I spent, and the reason is that I acquired those organically through Facebook post engagement.

I continue to test all my ads, and I plan to scale them even more in the next few weeks if I continue getting a good price.

6. My First Viral Post and How Much Traffic I Had

I’m including two screenshots from Google Analytics here, as they are necessary to provide an accurate picture.

I began posting articles on the Facebook page on April 2nd, and you can see the analytics for the first 13 days below:

The growth was impressive, going from 0 to 200 visits per day, which is remarkable for a new Facebook page.

However, on April 14th, I got really lucky, and one of my articles went viral. In just the following two days, I received over 8,000 visits.

Here’s the screenshot:

I want to highlight that I was fortunate with this one, and it’s challenging to expect this kind of result within the first two weeks of creating a Facebook page. I don’t typically experience this kind of success on other pages so quickly (similar results usually occur much later). I want to be clear that my overall strategy doesn’t rely on viral articles, but rather on steady growth. When this kind of event happens, it’s a bonus for which I’m grateful.

I won’t be showing screenshots of the viral article’s performance after April 15th, as I will cover that in my next email. However, if you’re curious, I can tell you that the viral article continued to perform well for a few more days before slowing down.

7. Creating Content and Selecting the Right Topics

The amount of traffic you receive from your Facebook page relies heavily on how engaged your audience is with the content you post. In the first two weeks, we didn’t have any posts specifically created for the Facebook audience. As I mentioned in a previous email, we handpicked 100 articles from our website that were initially designed for ranking on Google, but we believed they would perform well on Facebook as well.

Out of the 750 articles on our website, we thought only these 100 had the potential for good performance.

Currently, we’re posting these articles five times per day, traffic is growing, and we even had one viral article.

For the next few weeks, my plan to provide the most engaging content to my Facebook audience is to use Strevio to analyze my competitors, choose different timelines (months), and identify their top 100 performing articles.

Following this, I plan to create similar content using the same type of images and titles they use.

My colleague asked why I think this is a good strategy since she believes we could come up with even better topics. While I agree with her, the main reason I believe this approach is effective is that after creating content and topics similar to our competitors, we can measure our own against something. That’s the primary motivation.

I find it extremely helpful to compare our content ideas with a reference point, and this seems to be the most effective way.

8. Earnings and Expenses (Profit and Loss)

As I mentioned in my previous email regarding this challenge, I will count the 100 “SEO” type articles, which I have been posting on my Facebook page, as an expense for this challenge. While I don’t necessarily need to do this and am not even sure if it’s entirely fair, let’s make the challenge even more difficult. Why not? 😀

I paid $70 per article, so those 100 articles cost me $7,000. Additionally, I spent $2,370 on ads. Total: $9,370

In the first 15 days, I earned $205 on Mediavine.

Net: -$9,165

In the coming weeks, I’ll keep working on creating more engaging content, optimizing Facebook ads, and sharing updates on the progress made.

If you’ve enjoyed this email and found it beneficial, I’d be truly grateful if you could share it with someone else who might also find value.

Please feel free to reply to this email if you have any questions, feedback, or to confirm that my emails are reaching your inbox.

Thanks for reading,