solo ads and sour lemonSolo Ads and Lemons

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like sucking lemons.

It’s the sour taste, which can sometimes causes my mouth to smart.

There are, however, a lot of people in the world who do actually like the sour taste – if you are one of those people then good-on-ya! Because if we were all the same, then the world would be a pretty boring place.

A place where everyone wears the same clothes, agrees with the same things, thinks the same thoughts.

On the other hand, a place like that would be predictable and if everyone in that place sucked lemons, then I would just have to learn to like them.

So, in a place that is controlled and predictable, there would only be one solo ad vendor, approved and vetted by those in power.

I’m very glad that I don’t live in a place like that, democracy gives us lots of freedoms, including the freedom to choose lousy vendors. And that’s where my analogy of learning how to suck lemons comes back into play.

I have never placed a solo ad before – that is, not before Friday the 9th of May 2014.

I’ve done my research, scanned forums and social media for opinions and feedback on different solo ad vendors until I chose a couple to try out for myself.

Advice found from various sources all suggest taking the minimum package on offer from two, three or more vendors. It appears to be common practice for vendors to over-deliver and postings I have read on-line confirm that this is indeed the case.

Packages on offer take the form of number-of-clicks. Some vendors may offer a minimum of 50 clicks, others may have 100 as their minimum.

There also doesn’t appear to be any kind of fixed rule for over-delivery. Comments I have read from satisfied customers indicate over-delivery rates between 10 and 20 percent. But as I have said, there is no fixed rule and these percentages are just rough figures from my own estimations.

Spreading your budget amongst different vendors is also sound advice, which minimizes your risk and avoids having all your eggs-in-one-basket, as it were. Not forgetting, of course, that the whole point of doing this is to measure the quality of the traffic and the amount of opt-ins gained from it.

Tracking therefore, is essential to gather meaningful metrics from vendors, which will help you decide which one will be chosen for a larger campaign, by purchasing a greater number of clicks from them.

On the subject of tracking, I’ve come across three FREE ad trackers:

  • Prosper202  –
  • CPV Lab      –
  • ClixTrac       –

Prosper202 and CPV Lab are both self-hosted, which means that you will need to install them on a website you own. With ClixTrac, just create a free account. I haven’t tried any of them out myself yet.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post – solo ads.

Another very important metric is something known as Tier 1 traffic. Simply put, it is the amount of traffic – or clicks – originating from the USA, UK, Australia, Canada…. They all have strong economies and are predominantly English speaking countries. I don’t wish to insult citizens of other countries and apologies if I’ve left out other Tier 1 countries from my short list. I’m only reporting the information that I have found.

So, the best way to learn how to suck lemons – and maybe even gain a taste for them – is one segment at a time. Just like Solo Ad vendors, take small portions of what each has to offer to begin with, because spending a large bite of your budget on the first one you come across could leave a very sour taste in your mouth.


Mike Flanagan