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Facebook Ads for Traffic

UPDATE: Listen to a short audio detailing the facebook marketing strategy outlined below.

Q: What is the easiest way to drive traffic to a new directory or authority site? Should I concentrate on SEO? Should I focus on Google Adwords? What about Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms?

facebook for website traffic

using facebook to drive traffic to your website is one of the absolutely BEST ways to build a directory style business from scratch

A: In my own experience, using Facebook is the absolutely EASIEST way to drive traffic to a new website from scratch…..and this is even far more powerful when it comes to running a web directory, a community or an authority site style business. Why? For a lot of reasons, actually – but in my view, Facebook makes segmentation so silly simple, that anyone who understands their ideal audience can immediately target and deliver hyper relevant, and super engaging ads to folks who will not only engage or interact with the content, but who also, are MUCH more likely to want to “join” your directory or community, pay for a listing, or announce themselves (on your facebook ad or otherwise) that they are a professional peer in your niche, market, industry or vertical.

For example? Think about running an ad that is hyper localized from a geographical perspective, and asks a highly subjective, yet engaging and interactive question about, lets say….the best “Pizza place” in your city/town/province or local community. Not only will you get lots of “public” people interacting and sharing and opining on this sort of content, you’ll get PROFESSIONAL (the pizza places) also getting involved in a myriad of ways – either by having been “taggged” by one of the public people who says, “Hey…..@JOESPIZZA is the best, hands down” (which of course, Joes will share/comment/like/etc) – but you’ll also have lots of pizza places that will visit your directory out of curiosity – see OTHER places already listed (let’s say…..places you’ve seeded or manually added by hand) and they’ll be far more likely to be like – “hey…..what is THIS local site that ranks/rates/reviews local establishments in ABC town/city/province” and why are WE NOT yet included?”

None of this, of course, is rocket science – it’s human nature, and the power of memes and marketing in happy collision with social media. Facebook, in my view, is the absolute BEST way of doing exactly this, and that – even if you have no experience, and a very bootstrap budget to begin.

Again – the cost of your FB ads to do this sort of campaign will be pretty low (let it run for a while, and your costs will go DOWN and your ROI will go up) and ultimately, using a directory style monetization model, you SHOULD in fact, pretty quickly, be able to cover the cost of your ads with premium directory listings (featured or otherwise) and truly, you are limited ONLY by your imagination when it comes to scaling this idea in a number of fun, and creative ways.

Listen to the audio below

How to become a Marketing Consultant (Using the Online Directory Model)


One of the absolute BEST ways to build an online agency is to have an existing audience of the EXACT clients and customers that your IDEAL AUDIENCE (your professional niche) needs to grow their OWN brand or business

This is why building a directory, and a little bit of a social media presence in your niche, that is focused on the PUBLIC (rather than the professionals) is a great place to invest some time, energy and even income… it will be well worth it later on.

In this short(ish) video – I cover a really specific and super simple strategy for approaching professional peers (your ideal audience from the “Agency” standpoint) – and demonstrating how your existing perceived authority in a niche, market or vertical can be super valuable to THEIR brand and business, even if you are giving them stuff for free.

(NOTE: You can use the exact concept covered in this video to offer “premium” or featured listings as well – e.g. – when you are featured on our “directory”, you get XY and Z…..PLUS, you’ll get a featured interview that we’ll promote to our facebook fans, our newsletter subscribers, etc) you can make the offer to be “featured” (something many directory owners struggle with monetizing) SO incredibly irresistable (and provide real metrics that they can see and visualize and get excited about), that it’s almost stupid silly to say NO to your offer.

Check out this video where i demonstrate a really simple “Content Community Continuum” approach to recycling a short piece of free content across a few different platforms – and then use the results to demonstrate to my ideal audience – “hey, let me do this for YOU as well”!

This is especially valuable when your professional audience (like mine) are “makers” or creators at heart – or who have services to sell – as it becomes super easy to demonstrate how appealing this sort of offer is to help them extend their universe of influence and appeal to a new audience. (in this case, mine 🙂

Any questions?

Feel free to ask! Want to work with me to build YOUR directory? There is no better way to develop a profitable online agency than using the authority site model, and i’m happy to work with a small committed group of clients who want unique, innovative and ethical approaches to transforming your business in 2017 and beyond. Get in touch and put (Online Agency) in the subject line!

How to Write Better Book Titles

In the “oldie but goodie” category (do people really say that, or did I just really date myself?) here is an article I wrote a few years ago on using attention grabbing words in your article titles to amp UP click through rates and increase conversions for, at the time….article marketing campaigns.

(who else remembers how effective article marketing used to be for free traffic….man o man, has that tactic jumped the shark!)

Want to know what hasn’t? Using wild, wacky and wonderfully weird words to get extra attention for your books, blog, brand and business…..even when the rest of the content is exactly the same.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting a bit with some ads to promote a bunch of new book titles I have coming out this month, both my own stuff, some group stuff, and some collaborative content and courses (we’ll be releasing on our Mindfulness learning platform you can see here) – and it’s amazing how well using unusual words STILL works in amping up interest. Yes, it can sometimes feel like you are writing a 2am infomercial title, rather than poetic prose, but if the point is to get more people to actually absorb your ideas, I’ll do whatever it takes to get them to stop and peek my way.

This list of 51 words is still my goto list for increasing conversion on both book titles as well as blog posts – and as i’m hoping to demonstrate in the weeks to come, they DO still work wonderfully well.

Download the whole list here.

The truth is, I shared these a few years ago, and I still get emails every week from folks who are using them in their own content campaigns to lift open rates, improve click through rates and radically re-invigorate blog post titles and headlines with compelling, curious and creative copy that beg to be noticed.

* Explosive
* Proven
* Overlooked
* Unsung
* Extraordinary
* Bizarre
* Peculiar
* Absurd
* Weird

Vantage 4.0 Directory Theme:

We’ve covered a lot of questions about building an online directory in this series on using the “authority” site model to grow your online business.  (or to use directories as a way to build an online agency of higher end offers that target the professionals (or peers) who are the ideal audience for your content, and community.

There are lots of different directories and frameworks to choose from, which is a good thing.  I recommend Listify overall (notwithstanding the tongue in cheek critiques I made here 🙂 and am currently using the Astoundify suite of stuff (Listify + plugins) to drive a new directory project with a few partners – and in general, I really appreciate the quality of their work.

(especially being someone who is more of a marketer than a developer at heart or expertise – so the “ease of use” factor is high on my priority list when it comes to being able to scale an idea using this model – without the need for expensive outsourcing, custom code, etc)

With that in mind, I’d like to re-visit Vantage, by Appthemes, as *potentially* the best option of the bunch.

My most active directory – even today, is running on Vantage.  And while the looks are really dated, the responsiveness and mobile friendliness factor can’t compare with Listify (or any of the other derivative themes like Listable, or competitors like Templatic’s Directory with a dedicated mobile “view” etc) – the support from appthemes (the folks behind Vantage) has been a bit spotty in places…..BUT, for an all in one directory solution that just “worked” out of the box, on day 1…..with integrated events, easy to apply payment packages (no Woocommerce extensions needed) Vantage has been pretty hard to beat.

Even so, I’ve resisted using them on any new projects for a while, simply because I think the looks and theme aesthetic are dated to the point of being a distraction, especially if you are driving most of your traffic from social media, where “mobile” experience is critically important for both the public, and the professionals you want to appeal to as well.

(this can be circumvented a bit using “child themes”, of which, there are a few Vantage marketplace “child” styles that really improve the aesthetic, most notably, Directory (the name of a popular child theme) that I’ve bought, used and really like.

The good news if you are a fan of the great Vantage functionality, but hate the dated looks?

The long awaited directory update, now called Vantage 4.0 – is set to release later this month.  (within the next few weeks I’m told)

From the screenshots, the theme looks like it’s going to get a total aesthetic upgrade, will be really mobile friendly, and have a lot of the user friendly elements that Vantage has excelled at all along.  (including a great “user dashboard” which I’ve always found the other more modern themes havent’ done nearly as well – and IS really important to users, both the public….and your professional audience as well)

The potentially bad news?

I may be reading too much into the blog post announcing the update – but it appears like some of the functions that have been baked into the framework in previous versions, may be put into “plugins” as upgrades or options, which is being called a WP best practices move.

(something I agree with as a general rule – but not if you are moving “events” and “reviews” and things that are central to the theme functioning in a world class way as a directory and making them suddenly paid upgrades or additional options)

I don’t know that this is true of course – or what their pricing structure would be if it is, I did leave a comment on the announcement to inquire…..and it hasn’t been “approved” yet – so hopefully it will be, and they’ll address it there.

Overall though – even with the Biggie Smalls approach to building WP solutions out of the way (“Mo plugins =mo profits”), I do think Vantage, if it looks as good as it’s competition, could actually be the absolute EASIEST way to launch a good looking, highly functional directory out of the box – for a hundred bucks or so – in any niche, market or industry you’d like.

I would love to see them build some sort of integration that seamlessly allows your users (the professionals who are listed) to sell products and services DIRECTLY from their listings – as this has been a great benefit to building this sort of community with something like Listify or Listable.

(as you can have offer your featured listings the ability to set up a “store” on your site, with services, products, programs, etc – all embedded in their listing which amps UP conversion for them, and amps UP the appeal to be included in your community for you!  This set up does require a few extra plugins to pull off – but well worth it for sure)

So I’ll definitely be buying Vantage 4.0 when it is released, and i’ll share a full(er) review when I do. Or, if you get to it first, and want to share your experience, I’m sure many of my readers (which is about 8 🙂 would love to hear your thoughts.

Quick Video update: Let’s look at building traffic, interest and engagement to your directory…….regardless of what theme or framework you use








Magic, Meaning & Mushrooms

When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain –

I often think about how rewarding it would be to work with people who are dying.

Which is the biggest niche there is of course.

Because we’re all dying. Some sooner than others. And I guess that’s the general rule of the race. To always be in the later camp.

Run, run, run. Keep looking straight head. But not too far ahead. Just enough to stay on your feet.

Because if you look far enough, you’re going to trip, at the end of the trip, one way or another.

Some days I really fear dying. Other days, not so much.

But my fears are more about withering and weathering away.

I fear getting old. I fear my body breaking.

I fear my vanity shaking.

I fear failing to have accomplished much of anything at all – and as things go, that appears to be a well founded fear.

I’m pretty sure death isn’t the end.

I’m not sure what it is. Exactly.

But I think I’ve seen a slender slice of a much wider world. It’s difficult to really talk about, because language fails.

And because my intuitions of what awaits don’t arrive or appear from conventional places or spaces.

I’m not religious. I recently told someone I didn’t like organized religion. He asked me if I preferred “disorganized” religion. Which was a great line. And a great reminder why these conversations tend to go badly.

But other than on, where the options are a bit limited, and your chances of getting laid go down exponentially based on the boxes you check, I cringe to describe myself as “spiritual, but not religious”

It feels so trite. And cliche.

I used to think of myself as a (culturally) Jewish Atheist.

But with a twist.

Because I do believe I’ve seen something bigger. Beyond.

Bright, big, blissful and beckoning. Somewhere close to here. Yet, still – entirely somewhere else.

The more refined my own practice becomes, the more often those places and spaces seem to appear.

I know that many people think this sounds crazy, but I believe that psychedelics can change the world.

Not because I do them. (at least not often, or recently) But because they open up something sacred and special.

Something that’s close. But so hard to see.

But when you do see it, it’s carved into your consciousness and welded onto your worldview in a way that becomes impossible to ignore.

Meditation can get you close to that space.

And certain practices, closer than others.

And these days, that’s my preferred path.

And if you are really, really good, or really dedicated, or really lucky when it comes to having the right sort of brain, you get there faster than others.

But, as the late, great Terrence McKenna once said – and I paraphrase – meditation is like lifting a safe and sturdy sail on the trail to transcendence – whereas psychedelics are like climbing on the back of a rocket and hitching a ride.

I really feel more and more called and purposefully pulled to write about these experiences.

More the meditative ones.

Both the magical, and the mundane.

I spent a good portion of the last week tethered to my TV, watching about 10 hours of documentary footage of folks doing work with various plant “medicines” in exotic spots all over the globe.

I have such envy for those who dive in and make this their life’s work….as I truly believe, without any reservation – that access to this information – and exploring these experiences will change the world in big and beautiful ways.

I’m so incredibly inspired and excited to see work being done, safely – and compassionately – and the sick. To see people transformed.

Their fear of death – gone.

The sense of something bigger, bolder and more beautiful beyond – having an experiential ring of truth you can never get from a book.

When I think to the times in my life that I’ve been at the death bed of a loved one – it’s those ethereal experiences, those strange sacred trips into wild, weird and wonderful worlds – those are the healing words that could have been spoken with truth and power – that I regret never having had the courage to share.

It may be the one “disruptive innovation” that can change us.

Save us.

Heal us.

From killing ourselves.

And each other.

And most likely – the punchline has always been – it may have been the only battle ever worth fighting at all.

He would keep touching the nodules on his neck, where the cancer had announced itself. He flew to Europe to celebrate the end of treatment and his graduation from college, but abruptly returned to New York, terrified to be away from oncologists. He began drinking daily, hard, jeopardizing his fragile health.

Alarmed, doctors suggested the psilocybin study.

He took the capsule and began tripping. After seeing himself on a hospital stretcher, he recalled: “I had an epiphany.”

“Why are you letting yourself be terrorized by cancer coming back? This is dumb. It’s in your power to get rid of the fear,” he told himself. “That’s when I saw black smoke rising from my body. And it felt great.”

Three years later, Mr. Mihai, now 25 and a physician assistant in Las Vegas, said, “I’m not anxious about cancer anymore. I’m not anxious about dying.” The session, he added, “has made my life richer.”

When Facebook Rejects Your Brilliant Ad

There is nothing worse than discovering your exciting new Facebook advertising campaign has been rejected.

Okay, there are probably many, many things that are worse. For example, I woke up this morning with a strange zit on my lip that didn’t come off while shaving. That feels like it’s probably worse.

It’s still pretty deflating. I was sort of kind of excited about running my new “Get Lit, it’s Hanukah” ad campaign for a new Tee shirt, until that ignominious notice from FB that you’ve violates one (or more) of their advertising TOS.

It was actually pretty interesting to learn (3 days later) what triggered the rejection.

happy hanukah tee shirts

I guessed (and did write in) that it was the “marijuana” theme of the ad that was causing a problem.

I also thought that having “screw it” in the ad copy was problematic.

It turns out, I learned this morning….that having the word “bitches” on the Tee shirt, is what caused it to be flagged.

I know what you’re thinking:

“Clearly Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t like Paris Hilton.
But why should you be punished for that?”

You and I are on the same page on this, which is why we’re friends. If you have a blog, I will be equally as supportive, I promise.

Anyway, I’m having a ton of fun with this whole Shopify Tee shirt store idea. It’s making me zero dollars – but I’m getting some nice comments and emails and likes/shares and community business connections as a result, which is fun and potentially interesting as well. Plus my parents are finally happy I’m doing something to celebrate my Jewish heritage.

(although i’m not sure the “get lit for hanukah” is exactly what they had in mind)


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