How One Blogger Grew His Blog to Over 2 Million Visitors In A Year

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Today, I want to introduce you to my friend Bobby Hoyt of Millennial Money Man and Facebook Ads For Bloggers. In just three years, Bobby has been able to earn over $750,000 in income from his blog, and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.

Bobby is a former band director who left his teaching job after making $3 from his blog (yes, just $3!). He’ll tell you that was not the best idea for everyone, but it worked for him and he now blogs full-time.

See, he’s doing something a little different than the average blogger, which is focusing heavily on Facebook to drive his traffic and increase his blogging income, and he has seen great success from it!

He grew his blog quickly with Facebook advertising, and he is here today to teach you all about it. He strongly believes that Facebook ads is a great way to grow your blog’s email list, increase your page views, increase your affiliate income, and more. He’s seen it work for him, and he uses this course to teach others how to have the same success.

With Facebook ads, Bobby was able to gain 2,000,000+ unique visitors a year in less than 36 months, and he also gets around 50-100 email subscribers every single day.

As you can tell, Bobby has been so successful with Millennial Money Man because of Facebook. It’s how he creates ads that target the types of readers who will be interested in hearing what he has to say. It worked so well early on because Facebook offers targeted ads at such a low cost.

He also has one of the most active Facebook community groups I’ve seen, with members who are focused on debt payoff, financial freedom, and more. There are around 10,000 users – around 9,300 of them are active on a monthly basis, that’s a lot!

He is an amazing personal finance blogger, and I find myself learning valuable tips from him all the time. I’m also proud to call him a real life friend, as he and Coral (his fun wife!) visited us while we were in St. Pete, Florida.

In our interview, Bobby will answer common questions about blogging and Facebook, such as:

  • Is Facebook dead?
  • Why are Facebook ads great for bloggers? What are the benefits of Facebook ads?
  • What if a blogger only has a small budget for Facebook ads?
  • How can Facebook ads help a blogger increase their blog income?

He even shares plenty of amazing, actionable tips so that you can start using Facebook ads for your blog right away, from creating ads, targeting an audience, and more.

Check out the interview below for more information and be sure to check out Bobby’s course Facebook Ads For Bloggers to learn more about how to use Facebook ads for your blog. Personally, I am about to start taking his course (I’ve been putting it off for far too long, and I am so excited to dive in). Facebook ads is an area that I have heard great things about for blogs, and I know it’s the next step I need to take.

Related content:

 

1. Hey Bobby, we’ve known each other for a while now, but could you tell my readers a bit about your story and why you’re an expert on this topic?

I’m Bobby, and I’ve been running Millennial Money Man for a little over three years, and recently I started another site called Laptop Empires. I’m a former band director, and I left my teaching job to run my blog after I had paid off $40,000 of student loan debt.

Since I left my job after only making about $3 (yes, crazy I know), I needed to figure out how to grow my blog quickly. So… I did the only thing that made sense to me at the time: get readers as quickly as possible using Facebook ads. They’re cheap, really effective, and I was able to build an incredible community for my blog!

I know that’s not the route most people take to grow a blog, but I’ve been using Facebook ads since practically day one and it’s been a huge factor in my success growing my traffic, email list, and revenue.

I’ve also been running Facebook ads for other businesses to make extra money for a few years, so I have a lot of experience using the platform.

My business partner for Laptop Empires, Mike Yanda, actually owns a very successful Facebook ad marketing agency. He specializes in using Facebook ads to grow bloggers’ email lists, so generating email subscribers is essentially his superpower. When we combined my knowledge of generating high-quality traffic on Facebook with his email list building skills, we realized that we had a ton to offer other bloggers out there that are intimidated by the thought of using Facebook ads on their blogs.

In less than a year since starting Laptop Empires, we’ve already generated around three-quarters of a million dollars by teaching people how to use Facebook ads, and nearly all of our customers found us through… you guessed it… Facebook ads!

 

2. Wait, I keep hearing that “Facebook is dead?”

I get questions about Facebook dying all the time, and it’s funny because I think we’re at a point when some people just WANT to see Facebook die for fun. It’s not actually happening though.

The reality is that Facebook has 204 million active monthly users in the US alone right now.

204 million!

That’s an insane amount of people if you really start to think about it.

Let’s put it this way:

I have been able to create audience sizes of more than 4 million people (which a tiny tiny fraction of Facebook’s US users) through Facebook’s Ad Manager, and after running ads to that audience for a year and a half…

…I’m still not even halfway through all the potential readers I could reach with JUST that one audience. I have several.

Facebook allows you to create massive audiences of potential readers based on finding users who are similar to your current site traffic, users similar to the people who are on your email list, or just good old fashioned user interest targeting through the ad manager.

The amount of people that you have the ability to show an ad for your site to is mind blowing. It’s just a crazy amount of people that you can reach.

The reality is that most people who really believe the platform is dying don’t actually have a grasp on just how large Facebook’s active user base is, or they don’t really know how to effectively use the platform. We’re trying to change that.

How many times have you heard someone say that they tried to boost a post and it didn’t work? Or, that the ads were too expensive and weren’t worth it? All the time, right?

That’s because most people are making small mistakes when creating FB ads that have huge consequences. They are choosing the wrong campaign objective, not targeting the right people, have the wrong audience size, or a dozen other common errors.

In the early days you could just throw an ad up and get cheap results, but as the platform has become more sophisticated and the amount of advertisers has grown, you have to be more strategic. But, once you know how to do things right and have those effective strategies, Facebook ads becomes a huge tool for growing your blog and increasing revenue.

That’s why in this course we focus on the basics, so that you understand the platform and how it works, and then go into various strategies for getting clicks, email subscribers, and testing your ads to get the best result possible.

And, the other funny thing is that most of those people who hate Facebook’s guts are probably using Instagram instead… which Facebook owns.

Fun fact: You can run Instagram ads and reach new readers on the same ad platform that you use for Facebook ads. It’s all housed in the same place and it only takes a few minutes to create an Instagram ad instead of a Facebook ad.

(We cover Instagram ads in our course as well by the way.)

I’ve been using Facebook ads for years now to attract new readers and customers to my blog, and I’m still getting thousands and thousands of people to my site per month with the platform at a very low cost.

You definitely can too if you’re willing to spend a little time to learn something new and then apply it in your business.

 

3. Why are Facebook ads great for bloggers? What are the benefits of Facebook ads?

Quick wins. It’s really that simple. I want to talk to new bloggers really quickly, and then address the more experienced bloggers in just a second.

We all know that there are way too many bloggers that stop right before their site could start doing extremely well. So, why is that?

Well… it’s actually pretty simple in my opinion. There are some elements of blogging that take a lot of time. It takes time to build an audience. It takes time to build authority. It takes time to grow your traffic through Google. It can be frustrating.

Understanding how to implement paid traffic through Facebook allows bloggers to have success much faster and ultimately stay in the game and grow their business. Have an affiliate product you want more people to buy? Cool. Run a Facebook ad. Want to get more people on your course sales page? Great! Run a Facebook ad. In fact, the vast majority of course sales we have done with M$M and Laptop Empires have been directly attributed to Facebook ads.

I also think it’s important to remember that I’m actually a blogger. I don’t just sell courses on Laptop Empires or coach people on ads. I implement everything I teach on my own personal finance blog every single day, and using Facebook to get quick wins and grow my audience is what I attribute most of my success to. I’m not a genius or anything like that – I just spent a ton of time learning the ad platform, experimenting, and implementing on Millennial Money Man.

If you’re an established blogger – Facebook ads are like an insurance policy for you. There’s a good chance that you already have some income streams in place and your existing traffic streams are doing well.

But, what if there’s an algorithm change? For example, the recent “Your Money or Your Life” Google update hit some of my money blogging friends hard. They lost traffic and revenue almost overnight! If you understand how to run Facebook ads, you can mitigate traffic and revenue fluctuations. It’s another tool in the belt that happens to work extremely well and helps you sleep better at night.

 

4. Why should a blogger take a course on this subject? Is it hard?

I’m not going to lie to you… if you haven’t ever used the Facebook ad platform before, it can be pretty intimidating at first if you don’t have any direction. Then you add in the fact that you have to pay for ads and potentially lose money, and most bloggers opt to try another strategy instead.

So when we created FB Ads for Bloggers, I had to dig pretty far into my education degree and lesson planning skills from my band director days. Our goal was to take away the intimidation factor of the Facebook Ad Manager while teaching proven strategies that I use to drive traffic and grow my email list every day.

Here’s the bottom line: Facebook ads ARE NOT hard. There is no reason to avoid them, and once you learn how to create a high-performing ad on Facebook, it’s going to translate over to all of your blogging skills (writing emails, selecting images, writing call to actions, etc.).

We made sure that there isn’t any fluff in this course and we don’t overload you with too much information. I understand as well as any blogger how intimidating a new platform can be, and my goal is to keep things simple and actionable so that our students can use Facebook and get results quickly.

 

5. What if a blogger only has a small budget for Facebook ads?

No worries! You can run successful Facebook ads for as little as $1 per day using the traffic and PPE (page post engagement) campaign types. I run a ton of traffic campaigns for Millennial Money Man and have tested this over and over again, and we also see our students having great results at just $1 per day.

Now you may have heard that you can’t run ads for $1 per day or that $1 per day isn’t enough to make the Facebook algorithm work correctly, but that’s simply not true. That’s a myth that has been rolling around lately, so I’d like to debunk it really quickly:

First, not all campaign objectives can be run for $1 per day. That is true. Lead gen and conversions campaigns are the big ones that actually have a $5 per day limit. Those are important for list building, but if you’re just starting out and you want targeted, quality traffic, then you can definitely do that for as little as a dollar.

But, the most important consideration is whether Facebook is getting enough data for the algorithm to show your ads to the right people. It’s not just about targeting, and at the end of the day, Facebook doesn’t care how much money you throw at it. That’s not how it works.

The algorithm is showing your ad to people who match your targeting, but it’s also looking for the people who are most likely to complete the action you choose as your campaign objective. Clicking to a blog post or subscribing to an email for example. But, your ad needs to collect enough data to be effective, and that means it needs a certain number of results per week.

What does that mean? Well, with conversion campaigns Facebook needs a minimum of  50 “conversions” within a seven day period in order to optimize and produce steady results over time. If you can’t get 50 conversions, you will need to increase your budget to get them or your ad performance will suffer.  

You really don’t have to worry about that with traffic and engagement campaigns that are designed to drive clicks to your blog though. $1/day is more than enough to generate plenty of clicks and get great results, especially if you’re using the strategies we teach.

I realize there is a good chance that I just lost a lot of readers by getting into the technical mumbo jumbo right there, but I want to make sure I really explain this for those who are interested.

Here is the real takeaway though…

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have great results with Facebook ads.

You don’t even have to understand all the technical stuff, and in our course we really dumb this stuff down so that it’s super easy to implement. I’m talking look over my shoulder while I show you what buttons to press simple.

All you have to do is spend what you can afford to spend, then as your traffic grows and your revenue increases, you can slowly ramp up your budget. That’s what I did! A slow build from $1 per day to hundreds of dollars per day with a great return on my investment.

 

6. How can Facebook ads help a blogger increase their blog income?

The magic of Facebook is that you can direct readers to specific offers on your blog very quickly and effectively while maintaining great margins because the ads are so cheap (when done correctly).

I want to be clear: this isn’t about blindly throwing money at ads and hoping that things go well. Every dollar is important for your blog. I very clearly remember the days when I was too scared to spend any money at all on Millennial Money Man. I wasn’t sure I would get ROI! So we focus on the things that can make you money, like growing your email list and optimizing blog posts to generate affiliate income and course revenue.

I even walk students through my exact process for optimizing posts on Millennial Money Man and show you my screen as I explain how we get people to affiliate offers and courses. These are basically the high-level things I’ve done to grow a multi-six figure (hopefully seven-figure!) blogging business this year.

This stuff works especially well if you do a lot of affiliate marketing on your blog (I’m looking at you Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing students).

Even our students who are newer bloggers are seeing great return from affiliate links in the posts they are promoting with Facebook ads. These are bloggers with no experience on Facebook who are spending under $100 in the first month and seeing an increase of $300 or more from the affiliate links in those posts. That’s a great ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) that can be reinvested back into the business or added to your income.

We really dig into this inside the course too, because Facebook ads aren’t just a great way to get traffic. They are great for affiliate sales, growing your email list, and increasing course sales.

Facebook ads allow you to amplify what’s already working in your business and quickly test new content and ideas quickly. Plus, we break all of it down step-by-step in the course so that you can use Facebook ads to grow your blogging income even if you’re a total beginner.

 

7. Is this passive, or does a blogger have to spend a lot of time managing their Facebook ads?

This is what I LOVE about Facebook ads (especially as a very busy blogger)!

Once you have them up and running, they essentially run on auto-pilot. You’ll need to check in on them every once in a while, but I have ads that have been running for a year and a half now that I haven’t touched. We do teach you how to check in on your ads and what metrics to look for to make sure that everything is going well. But, it’s actually better if you DON’T mess with a successful ad. You don’t want to throw them out of optimization by changing things.

We basically force you to leave them alone. It’s better for both you and the ad.

I wouldn’t say it’s passive because you do have to write the ad copy, select an awesome image, etc., but it’s not something that you’ll be buried with every day. Facebook ads allow you to get quick wins in the short-term while you focus on long-term growth strategies for your blog. But best of all, they allow you to flood your blog with new readers and grow your email list in the background every day while you focus on other things like creating great content and building an incredible community.

 

8. Can you share one actionable tip that can help the average blogger take advantage of Facebook ads?

Choose the right objective. The most common mistakes we see from bloggers who haven’t taken our course is that they are running the wrong campaign type.

The objective you choose will actually determine the type of people who see the Facebook ad, because the algorithm will find people most likely to complete the objective based on their past behavior. That means traffic campaigns will be shown to people who click on a lot of ads, where conversion campaigns will be shown to people who are most likely to subscribe to an email list.

Choosing the wrong campaign type will lead to fewer results and higher costs because the wrong people will be seeing the ad. So choosing the right objective is as important, if not more important, than your targeting.

Now, I can’t give away all of the strategies in the course, but here’s the first thing I would try if I was a blogger trying to use Facebook ads right now:

Start running paid traffic to one of your most popular posts.

Best practice would be to use a post that is already optimized well for affiliate offers and converting. Run some paid traffic to the post and see if you can increase your sales. You’ll want to be sure to use the traffic campaign type, because it will get you the most clicks at the lowest cost, and you can run it for as little as $1 per day like I mentioned earlier.

If you want to find a post that is a good candidate for paid traffic, here’s another tip:

Find one of your posts with a high click-through rate on whichever your favorite social media platform is. If it’s performing well organically, then it will likely perform well with paid traffic since Facebook ads work great as an amplifier of things that are already working.

To get the best results you’ll want to do what we call a 2×2 split test of different ad variations to get the lowest cost possible. All you need to do is write two headlines and two variations of the copy for the post, and then run them at the same time with traffic campaigns to see which one generates the most traffic at the lowest cost.

Even if you don’t have a post that is already converting affiliate offers well, you can still use this approach. Just choose a couple of articles and test them out until you find one that works really well with paid traffic. Once you find a winning post you can optimize it for affiliate income (using Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course) and start generating some revenue. This is a great way to mitigate the costs of your paid advertising, or even turn a profit!

There are plenty of other strategies, but those are two that can at least get you started and can help you make more money quickly.

 

9. What is your top piece of blogging advice that has nothing to do with Facebook ads?

Focus on your email list!

I think almost every professional blogger friend of mine probably feels like they should have started growing their email list sooner.

You always hear that “the money is in the list.” and as I’ve grown my own blog I’ve found that to be 100% true. There’s no way that I could have had multiple six-figure course launches this year if I didn’t have a decently-sized email list.

The sad part is that I kick myself because the launches could have been even more profitable if I had started seriously growing my email list earlier on!

So now, I’m always trying to create better lead magnets, better opt-ins, better sequences, and better newsletter blasts.

Here’s a simple tip: go to your top traffic-generating blog posts and either put some kind of content upgrade on them that requires an email, or optimize the entire post to get people to a high-quality lead magnet that you’ve created (free course, PDF guide, etc.) so that you can grow your list faster.

The best lead magnets are either going to take a deeper dive into the content of the blog post (a content upgrade) or they are solving a specific problem that the reader has. A good lead magnet helps the reader get a quick win by implementing the content.

The key word there is “implement.” Create something that helps your audience get traction and make progress, rather than just giving them more information.

 

10. Why should a blogger take your course? What will they learn?

I want more bloggers to be successful and make great money with their sites like you and I have been fortunate to do over the past few years. Bottom line.

I think anyone who has been around M$M or Laptop Empires can attest to that. I care very much about the people who take my courses, and I’m extremely hands-on in our course group.

Facebook ads are an extremely effective way for bloggers to grow their sites, make more money, and reach more people with their message. I believe in the strategies we teach and personally use them every single day on my own blog.

Here’s exactly what you’ll learn in FB Ads for Bloggers:

  • The exact methodology that I use on Millennial Money Man every day to drive traffic, increase email subscribers, and generate more revenue using Facebook ads. Most importantly, I show you how you can start for as little as $1 per day, but scale up over time until you’re spending hundreds per day like I do.
  • Facebook Ads 101, where we teach you all of the basics of running FB ads for your blog and how the platform works without any fluff. If we tried to cover every single thing about Facebook ads the course would be 4x bigger, but it would be harder to get results. Being a blogger myself, I know that you have so much you are trying to juggle to grow your blog, and so this course was designed to give exactly what you need to get results without wasting your time on things that aren’t relevant or won’t help you grow. That’s why we call it Facebook Ads for BLOGGERS, rather than for ecommerce or local businesses, because it’s designed with you in mind.
  • How to target readers so that you’re bringing the right people to your blog. You don’t just want traffic. You want readers, you want subscribers, you want BUYERS, and most importantly, you want people who are just like your biggest fans. With Facebook’s powerful targeting capabilities you can make sure you attract the RIGHT people to your blog, even using advanced features that target people who most look like your readers.
  • My signature “unicorn” strategy for finding your existing posts that will do extremely well on Facebook right out of the gate, along with all of our other cost hacks to keep your ad spend low. If you look around the internet you’ll hear a lot of talk about how expensive Facebook ads are getting, and it’s true to an extent. Costs are going up. But if you use the right strategies, you can still get incredible results for pennies. Just this morning one of our students posted that she is paying 13 cents per click for one of her posts using our strategies, and she only started running ads five days ago. Her goal is to get the cost under ten cents per click, and I have no doubt she will be able to do it.
  • How to use Facebook ads to grow your email list quickly and cost-effectively so that you can turn readers into die-hard fans who want to buy everything you sell. My business partner Mike, who co-created this course with me, specializes in using Facebook ads for list growth. It’s his super power and inside the course he gives it all away, teaching you the exact step-by-step strategy he has used to help dozens bloggers grow their email lists and make more money. There are very specific things you need to know about campaign objectives, targeting, audience size, and how to write ad copy to get the most out of your list building ads.
  • Our proven strategies for testing ads so that you can  get the best results possible. I gave you a bit of a preview up above with the 2×2 system, but it doesn’t stop there. We break down everything from what to test first – copy or images? – down to whether you should be testing at the ad set or ad level of ads manager to see the best results and get the truest split test. (This is super important and even some of the “gurus” get this one wrong.)
  • Learn everything you need to know about writing ads in a way that converts on the Facebook platform. It’s always important to keep the platform in mind when creating your ads, and writing in a way that’s specific to Facebook will get you better results. Same goes for Instagram, which is very different than Facebook and requires a totally different style of ad. (Don’t worry, we teach you the differences and how to write ads for Instagram in the course as well.) We break it down into some very simple guidelines and frameworks so that you can easily create your first ads.
  • A step-by-step guide where I share my screen and show you exactly how I optimize my blog posts on M$M, so that more of the traffic that you drive to your blog with Facebook ads will click through to your courses, affiliate offers, and email lead magnets.
  • Finally, you’ll get access to our blogging blueprint, which will help you develop an effective short and long-term strategy for running paid traffic systems to grow your business. We have even broken it down into two separate roadmaps so that you know exactly what to do whether you’re a brand new blogger or an established veteran.

If you choose our VIP package, you’ll receive a 12 MONTH MEMBERSHIP TO OUR COACHING AND SUPPORT COMMUNITY WHICH INCLUDES:

  • Unlimited access to 5 Facebook ad experts to help you troubleshoot any issues and answer all of your questions
  • Exclusive hotseats with personalized review of your active ad campaigns to make sure you get the best results possible
  • Weekly LIVE Trainings to increase your knowledge and understanding of both Facebook ads and other effective grow your business strategies
  • Live Coaching Calls each month from both Bobby and Mike so you can get personalized help growing your blog or with advanced paid traffic and funnel strategies
  • And access to our complete LIVE Training Library containing 50+ recordings covering topics dozens of topics including trainings on organic content strategies, copywriting, phone sales, creating lead magnets, Pinterest and Instagram ads, creating high converting funnels, and much more…
  • With our VIP program you will get the personal coaching and support you need to make sure that your ads are effective and profitable from day one

Please check out FB Ads For Bloggers by clicking here.

Are you a blogger? What are you doing to grow your blog?

The post How One Blogger Grew His Blog to Over 2 Million Visitors In A Year appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.