Affiliate Marketing

My Mysterious Vanishing Act  & The Great Blogging Blunder

Dedicated readers (and those who’ve just stumbled upon my blog accidentally while searching for cat memes) apologies for my absence.

I normally blog at least once a week but have missed the past two Friday editions.

My vanishing act was not because I found something more interesting, but rather because of an urgent, but mundane business demand

I am the master of brown paper rolls, sharpies and Post-it notes, and so at the end of last week, I was suddenly called upon to jump on a plane to lead a workshop for a few days to produce a detailed project plan for a client.

The trip needed urgent planning, frantic preparation and my full attention and so, I am sorry to say, I simply did not get round to blogging about the results of my Solo ads

Solo Ads. A blogging blunder.

Solo ads, for the uninitiated, are essentially a form of paid advertising where you pay someone with a large email list (the solo ad provider) to send out an email promoting your offer to their subscribers.

Shortly before I gat the call about the planning sessions, I decided to run three solo ad campaigns to see how running solo ads to get sign up to my newsletter would go….but….using  a double opt-in strategy

Sounds like a good idea, right? Well, not quite.

The crux of the issue lies in the fundamental difference between solo ads and double opt-in emails.

You see, double opt-in emails require subscribers to confirm their email address after initially signing up, that way you ensure that they are genuinely interested in receiving your content.

It’s like a digital handshake, if you will – a way for subscribers to say, “Yes, I want to hear from you.”

Now, contrast that with solo ads, where your email is being sent to a list of subscribers who may not have explicitly opted in to hear from you.

Sure, they might have opted in to receive emails from the solo ad provider, but they haven’t necessarily expressed interest in your specific offer. It’s like crashing a party uninvited and expecting everyone to be thrilled to see you – spoiler alert: they’re not.

So, why doesn’t this mismatch work?

Well, for starters, it’s a recipe for disaster in terms of engagement.

Sure, you might see a spike in your subscriber count, but at what cost? Most of these subscribers are likely to be disinterested or even downright annoyed by your unsolicited email, leading to high unsubscribe rates and a tarnished reputation.

And the results were…

I purchased 500 clicks

I got 152 single sign ups

I got 10 confirmed (double opt-in) subscribers

This cost me $140 or $14 dollars per confirmed subscription

So what’s the lesson here?

Well, for starters, I will steer clear of solo ads from now on, at least were my blog is concerned.

Instead, I will focus on building my email list organically through targeted opt-in campaigns and providing value to my subscribers.

It may take a bit more time and effort, but I believe it’s going to be worth it in the long run.

16 thoughts on “My Mysterious Vanishing Act  & The Great Blogging Blunder

  • Tony,

    It is great to have you back. Thanks for the run down on solo ads. I’ve never used them but I’m sure there will come a time where I’ll consider them. I do know that all lead sources have their value and usefulness. But right now I don’t have enough knowledge and experience to say how these type of ads would fit into an overall strategy.

    When running my insurance company leads would cost between 50 and 125 U.S dollars each. So $14 dollars for a subscriber seems inexpensive. What are you comparing it to? Just curious.

    Thanks for you input on these ad types.

  • Wow! This is so timely for me as I am investigating options! Thanks for providing this valuable information!

  • Tony, I did notice that you weren’t around. I hope your trip went well. I think I’m with you on solo ads. I have tried them in the past and even though you do get some optins I don’t think they’re really focused fans. And at $14 per confirmed optin is quite pricey. in this weeks coaching, Dean mentioned that they will be training us on Facebook lead ads which will be $5 per day minimum. Maybe give that a go first I’m planning to do that to supplement my organic traffic. All the best talk soon. Thanks, Atif

  • Tony, I to have experimented with solo ads, I find them to be difficult from an engagement point of view. That being said I have also made some sales through them, but I think your right in that your main effort should consist of your email list. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Hi, Tony!
    Great job turning a mistake into a blog post! This is very valuable information for us, thank you for sharing!
    I’m glad you’re back!

  • Tony,
    Thanks for sharing your solo-ads experience! I was exploring different avenues to drive traffic, but your insight has made me realize the importance of sticking with organic traffic.

  • Thank you so much for being honest about solo ads. I’m not quite there yet for my own blog, but you have confirmed what I was thinking.
    I always look out for your blog and was hoping you were ok.

  • Hi Tony,
    Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment and sorry to read at what cost though.
    Apologies for your absence accepted (just make sure you make it up with additional cat memes in future posts!) 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. I haven’t experimented with Solo Ads yet, but after hearing your perspective, I’ve decided not to. While I’m exploring various strategies and facing my own challenges, I believe in the principle of “slowly but surely” to make progress.
    P.S. The cat behind the laptop is adorable

    • Thanks Sasha, yes, best to steer clear of Solo Ads for a bit.

      For anyone that does not know, Sasha runs a blog where she shares her travel adventures with her dog,Zen. You can follow their travels here sasha and

  • Hi Toni,

    You gave it your best. And at least you did receive a few double opt in. But you are right $14 per person, isn’t very good. Although I would probably take one at this moment.

    I have been struggling myself over the past 2 weeks. I now have my head back in the game and looking into finding a niche I am passionate about. (crossing fingers here) Trying not to over complicate it, which is another issue as well.

  • That is a rough lesson to learn: $14 dollars per lead. But now you can shift your focus to a new strategy. I find Facebook Lead Ads to be under $2.00 a lead, but I haven’t started running them with the new email rules yet, using double-opt-in, but it is on my roadmap. What is your next strategy?

    • Thanks for the comment. I need to think about whats next, meanwhile I will keep on bloggiong

  • Sorry to hear that the Solo ad path didn’t work out. For readers like that, I think it’d be best to hit them up to have a look at a quick lead magnet and capture their info for just the single optin and then to add more content and get them interested in a double optin opportunity. But as you say – you’d have to juggle those results with avoiding a tarnished reputation.

    One thing I’ve learned coming through various online training ventures is that it’s the ones who test test test that seem to excel at being successful.

    I appreceiate your blog post this week.

    • Thanks Robert… it was an experiment, it just did not go the way I hoped.

  • I noticed your absence! Thanks for sharing your experience with Solo Ads. I can see why they may be received in a unwelcoming way. Live and learn, right? And for helping us learn from your experience!


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