Ron Douglas – Facebook Ads for Writers

WriterHelpWanted co-founder, Ron Douglas, is well-known for his ability to grow large targeted audiences through Facebook Ads. Facebook offers a tremendous opportunity to tap into very specific audiences, so you can hone in on, engage with and ultimately sell to your target market.

In the interview below, Ron explains how he does that and how other writers can use the power of Facebook Ads to do the same. Keep reading to learn about Ron’s course and promised bonus for WriterHelpWanted members.

Get Five Dollar Posts & Claim Your Special WriterHelpWanted Bonus

In this interview, Ron mentioned his very affordable Five Dollar Posts course that will show you step-by-step how to make the most of your Facebook ad campaigns and use all the targeting features available to you to produce the best results for you can.

As a writer, you have unique needs when it comes to your advertising. Whether you sell your writing services, are a book author, information product seller or a blogger, we have plenty of ideas for you. That’s why when you make your purchase through this link (the bonus is automatically delivered from this particular link), we will also include our special report, “27 Ideas and Examples for Growing Your Audience with Facebook…Just for Writers”. It’s not and won’t be available for sale anywhere…it’s just an extra gift for picking up Ron’s course.

[00:00:08] Alice introduces Ron Douglas who is going to talk about growing your audience. This is often something writers try to avoid because we hope that our audience will grown on it’s own but that doesn’t usually happen. The idea of Facebook ads seems overly technical but Ron is going to help make it easy for us.

[00:01:23] Ron is a successful author, he got a book deal and became a NY Times best selling author. A lot of that was because he had grown his audience and you know Facebook ads is a way to do that and it’s something that he’s been doing for a number of years and has perfected it. People go to Ron all the time for questions and advice including me (Alice) but he always wants to bill me for his time. So we’re having this hangout to be able to answer questions for free.

[00:02:13] Alice: Why are Facebook ads a good opportunity to grow an audience and advertise?

[00:02:21] Ron: Everyone’s on Facebook. Facebook Ads: Everyone’s on FB over a billion users are on there and FB knows everything about everybody, including your relationship status, where you live, your age, and everything. So, it’s an advertisers dream, they know your interests, based on what pages you like so your customers are on FB and whatever you’re selling you need to be on FB.

[00:03:10] Ron: It’s just a matter of weeding through the people who aren’t your customers to get a lot of quality traffic to your pages. People use Google to do a search for something but people on FB are on FB right now during listening to this hangout. You want to pull people off FB onto your site based on there interest.

[00:03:43] Ron: Find a problem for your audience that you can solve and you can make a lot of money via FB ads.

[00:04:00] Alice: Think about how when you are talking about something on FB then you notice ads related to what you were talking about. How would you use FB to promote a book?

[00:04:19] Ron: First build buzz over time so that you can build up anticipation for the book coming out. You can do that by giving a free chapter of the book away, a free sample of the book of what’s to come using FB Ads. This can enable you to build a presence on FB via your page and a group, plus you can use it to get them on your email list. Then once you have them captured and you publish, you can then market your book to them at a lower price so people will rush out to get your book. When people start buying your book, like on Amazon, it propels your book up in the marketplace to the point now they start recommending your book when people buy or look at similar books.

[00:05:33] Ron: Say you want to monetize that right away so that you can earn back your FB ad money right away, you can give out a chapter of your book, then after they get the chapter, up-sell a resource to them that might be worthwhile to your audience. You’ll need to test different things to build anticipation for your book without breaking the bank.

[00:06:14] Alice: How do you know who to target with the ads?

[00:06:22] Ron: Based on the topic of your book, you can find people who are interested in pages that are related to your topic. If you’re doing a book on how to improve your golf swing, do research to find all the pages where people are really into golf. Not just a page like “” but a page where they’re interested in golf and not the celebrity, like Golf Digest something very specific that a golfer would be interested in. Using FB ads you can target those pages.

[00:07:11] Ron: You can also target by age, location, demographics, martial status, single men might play more golf or something. You can target people based on many things including income levels. For example, perhaps people who play golf make more than 100K a year instead of 20K a year.

[00:07:46] Alice: Can you do it on their work status? Ron: Yes you can do it based on work status, job title, such as president or CEO of companies probably play a lot of golf so let me target them. There’s never been a platform before that lets you have so many options in terms of drilling down and micro-targeting people.

[00:08:19] Alice: I did Google Ad Words for a long time but you could target things based on what people are looking for, but you didn’t know why they were looking or who was looking, so FB is really different. So what if someone has a writing service they want to promote how could they use FB ads to promote?

[00:08:41] Ron: A writing service, it depends on what type of writing service, you need to know who your customers are, what groups and pages your customers might be interested in. So if you’re running a writing service targeted toward maybe bloggers, internet marketers, you can then target your service toward them. The more you know your ideal customer the better you can target those folks. You can actually look into their friend’s pages and see what the conversation is, so not only can you know what they like you can follow the conversations and find out what the hot buttons are that they’re talking about. Based on the conversations you can find out what their problems are so that you can provide solutions to them.

[00:09:56] Alice: That’s very powerful too. You can go to the most busy conversations and make your advertisement about that topic. That’s very clever. You talked about how to make this affordable, because if you’re not careful you can spend a whole lot of money.

[00:10:19] Ron: When you start out, you can tell FB how much you want to pay per click, and you can set a daily budget, and a total budget too. When you initially start a campaign it’s more of a testing process to see what’s working without trying to scale up right away. Test out your ads to see if your ads are working. Ensure your landing pages are doing well. If you’re getting a lot of people clicking and going to the landing page but you’re not getting results, then you know you need to tweak your landing page.

[00:11:05] Ron: Your offer might not be clear enough or something. Change up the page and test. If you’re not getting a lot of clicks on your ads, then maybe it’s your ad. You may not have a proper call to action on that ad. Look at FB reports and you’ll have measurements for what to test and tweak.

[00:11:33] Ron: What I like to tell people to do is to target different interests so you can separate those interests in the reports. So you’ll run 5 dollars a day with whatever click-level you deem affordable for you. See how it does over a course of a few days, then if it does well, scale it up. You have to give FB what it wants. FB is a social network, people don’t come there to buy stuff, people don’t come there to see ads, they don’t want to see ads. They want content, something compelling, something to stimulate their down time. They’re really just wasting time on there, surfing, looking at what their friends are posting. You’re distracting them with your ad unless your ad kind of blends in with some kind of entertaining content that they’re actually looking for. They’re more likely to respond to your ad.

[00:12:48] Ron: You can get them interested by knowing what their hot button topic is. The better you can do that, the cheaper the traffic is going to be because you’ll get a lot of other people seeing your ads who will share the ad with others. If you have an audience who wants to learn how to improve their golf swing, and you’re targeting golf enthusiasts, you might have an article on your website “The Seven Proven Ways to Improve Your Golf Swing in 30 Days Without Expensive Lessons”. Your add will say something like: Number 5 will really blow your mind. People will click that to see the content on your site, and you give them that content and then below that content or above it you might have a way they can opt in to get a video lesson or even one of the tips that you’re giving could be “here’s how you do this but if you really want to know how to do this here’s my free video”. If your content is really good, they’ll share the content. You’ll build your list to get them into your sales & marketing funnel, then you can offer them other opportunities to buy. Lead in with content, pre-sell and don’t try to be a direct marketer.

[00:14:41] Alice: Yes and on the example you provided offers more content before the actual offer. A lot of people send people to traffic that is a sales page, this seems to add an extra step which makes sense in the context of FB. Is that right? You’re giving them something before you ask for the email address.

[00:15:10] Ron: Yes, you have to give before you get nowadays, that seems to be the trend of what people want. People are so accustomed to seeing aggressive sales pitches nowadays. People are skeptical, because of so many ads distracting them, so people are naturally skeptical. I’ve seen comments on ads that I’ve run where people are skeptical about getting a free eBook that I’m offering. You have to demonstrate you know your stuff, warm them up first. If you have a writing service demonstrate that your writing is good, give samples, tell them the benefits are. You gotta give, prove yourself first, then people will warm up and be more likely to buy your stuff. Your targeting them based on what they’re interested in, in the first place, so it should be a lot easier sell, but that one step of acclimating them and proving you know your stuff helps.

[00:16:25] Ron: You can test it both ways, you can skip the email list, and focus on getting them to buy after they see the content if you want to. Different things work for different things. A lot of people focus on building their customer email list, an email list of customers instead of an email list of freebie seekers. That’s another way of doing it. Test both ways to see what works for you.

[00:17:06] Alice: Yes, that does work. For selling private label content, I’ve never focused on growing an opt-in list, I just want the customer to buy something small then they’ll usually buy more stuff. How do you track it to make sure your ads are working?

[00:17:29] Ron: FB gives you a conversion pixel. Not to get too technical. A conversion pixel is a line of code that you’ll put on your website. If someone clicks the link, lands on your page, and acts as desired — FB will track that back to the ad that you were running to tell you how many people answered your calls to action. You’ll know that for example, every 100 people who clicked the link you’re getting 30 people to answer the CTA. FB tells you if you use the conversion pixel. Know that FB’s algorithm gets better over time based on the number of conversions that you get. Eventually, you can tell FB to send me people that are more than likely to convert after you switch it over from pay per click to a conversion ad where FB determines price per click but the algorithm finds the people who are more than likely to click on it based on the people who already clicked and converted.

[00:19:22] Ron: So FB can optimize your campaigns once you test out a PPC system.

[00:19:32] Alice: That’s important to know, so that no one loses their shirt. It’s a good reminder to ensure that they put each thing into place. It sounds technical and might put someone off at first, but once you do it it’s not that difficult.

[00:19:56] Ron: I share exactly how to do this in my course that’s coming up: 5 Dollar Posts, it’s coming up in a couple of days. I share exactly how to do it all, exhaustive, ridiculous amount of detail. Alice: Yes, that’s exactly how I learned, watching those videos. As painful as watching videos is for me, you kind of have to do that. They were good actually, you explain everything, very step-by-step making it totally make sense. Once you get it set up it’s easy, you wonder why you thought it was so difficult. So you’re saying they should do it per click first, then let FB choose. Do the ads get cheaper over time?

[00:21:00] Ron: Yes, as you’re improving your conversion pixel, it gets cheaper and more effective. Say you’re paying 10 cents for your ad and you get 1000 clicks for 100 dollars, and you get two sales at 30 a pop, you’ve now made 60 dollars. So now, you let FB do it and all of the sudden FB is sending you clicks for 25 cents, so now it’s going to cost you more but now they’re sending you 10 conversions instead of three. So you can’t really always think about having the ad as cheap as possible think of it as return on investment. If I told you that you had to pay 10 dollars per click but every 1000 dollars you spend you’ll make 1500 dollars, then it sounds more reasonable? That’s a 50 percent ROI right there. Look at ROI. How do I increase the amount of money I make off those ads. There’s only so far down you can go in terms of how cheap you can get traffic. Look at conversions as the focus not cheap non-converting traffic. Whoever spends the most wins assuming you’ve optimized your landing pages and so forth.

[00:24:00] Alice: Capitalizing on people who’ve already visited your site is something FB allows you to do.

[00:24:13] Ron: FB has a thing called re-targeting. This means that if you click an ad and now all of a sudden you’ll see that ad following you around. That’s called re-targeting. You can place a custom audience re-targeting pixel on the page or on your entire site so that when a customer visits the page, it drops a cookie on the computer that causes the ads to be re-delivered to the customer. Say someone goes to your checkout page and then leaves and does not order. This person may have got distracted, a phone rang, or their boss came in, or the baby was crying — this enables you to get them back to the page. You can run an ad that says “hey come back to this page” so that they know the offer is still out there. If they click a 2nd time they’re really interested right?

[00:26:07] Ron: You put that code on your site and FB knows that when someone clicks on a page, FB makes what they call a custom audience. This means when someone visits that page, they’re going to download the cookie, that puts them in the category of the custom audience who will now be delivered a specific advertisement that you’ve created and set up for them to see. I run those on a cost per click because it’s cheaper and it’s more effective for these re-targeted ads.

[00:27:11] Alice: You can also put in your opt-in list or customer list too right? Do you do that to target them?

[00:27:24] Ron: Yes, say you have a list of customers who bought your product you can upload that list of customers into FB and create a custom audience out of that list. Then you can target those folks with ads. Even the best internet marketer doesn’t have more than 30 percent of their email sign ups opening their email. Where are people? They’re on FB. If you have another product you want to sell show an ad based on those customers who’ve bought your product. You can also upload the customer list, to create what’s called a “look a like audience”. They are so powerful because first of all, FB based on your list you uploaded, they’ll create a separate audience that has the same characteristics, demographics and interest as those customers who’ve already bought your product. Now you can market to those people who are just like people who’ve already bought from you. This method of uploading a list is cheaper than other methods too.

[00:29:24] Alice: Back to re-targeting should you say something in those ads that gives the viewer any indication that they’ve been to your site before?

[00:29:36] Ron: I’ve heard mixed things about that, you don’t want to creep them out since most people don’t know what re-targeting is. You don’t want them creeped out like you’re a stalker. The way I do it is when I run ads, I run a special so when someone is a new subscriber they’ll get a five day offer for like 20 dollars off or something like that. You can tell FB to exclude customers that already bought and only include people who landed on the page and did not buy. So you run a separate ad, they already saw your coupon, so now you run another ad giving them a different coupon that says how many days are left for the coupon. This helps remind them about offers before they expire. A count-down clock can be installed on your website giving them the time left so that they are motivated to buy before missing out. Play on people’s fear of missing out without the black Friday trampling.

[00:32:44] Alice: Laura Hill from Raleigh has a question She’s looked at options for advertising. There are several formats for FB ads are you talking about the boost posts ads? It seems there are several options like promote website, promote page, etc…

[00:32:58] Ron: Right there are several options. I’m talking about website click ads. There’s post engagement ads, boost a post ads you’ll run if you have some really viral type of compelling content that you think will get a lot of engagement. But if it’s not a post with the potential to get a lot of engagement then it doesn’t make sense to pay to boost it. If not, if you want to get people to your site, and to control how much you’re spending per click then run website click ads and send people to your website. If you’re running an ad to send people to your page and you want to get likes on the page, then you’ll run a promote page type of ad. I don’t really advise that anymore because FB has made it so that people don’t see those posts that you post on pages as much as they used to because they want people to pay for ads and not get free traffic on their pages. So it makes sense to pay to advertise your website instead of your FB page.

[00:35:35] Alice: I noticed through the ads that you’ve done for WHW that a lot of people start liking the page from those posts. When they see the ad it gives them the option to like the page on top of the ad. So the more ads you run the more people who will like your page. Ron: You have to have a page to run any type of ads anyway. Create a free page in five minutes, and then you can run news-feed ads that appear in the organic area where the content area is. You’ll have to post on the page then run ads to the post.

[00:36:54] Alice: Any other tips for building a following on FB specifically? Ron: Groups are more powerful than pages because groups get seen more and they show the group posts to everyone on their news feeds more than they do on a regular page. So if you start a group on FB people are more likely to see your page. Get people on your email list, then invite them into your FB group so you can reach them in email and in the group. With pages you can tell the people who see your posts on your page to enable notifications, comment, like and more to get more engagement on your page so that they’ll actually see you.

[00:38:21] Alice: Can you advertise your groups? Ron: No, you can tell people about your groups via your email list but you can’t run an advertisement for people to join your group. Groups are good because people like being part of a community and a group.

[00:39:03] Alice: Do you want to tell them a bit more about your course? And I am actually wondering, you call it Five Dollar Posts and I want you to explain why that is.

[00:39:11] Ron: Five Dollar Posts — I just liked it because it seemed marketable. But, I don’t want to give people the impression that you just pay five dollars. I called it that because you’re making ads that promote different posts, news feed ads, right column ads, based on posts and you’re targeting different interested via micro targeting. You set your budget at five dollars a day, from there if it’s profitable, you scale it up. How to start out and ease your way into it. Scale up the winners. It’s a FB ads course for people who don’t have a 100,000 dollar a month budget but they can make it work.

[00:40:50] Ron: If you’re making more money than you’re spending, you can put the ad cost on the credit card to scale up after you’ve tested out your ads. Someone on a low budget can come in once they get their targeting right, landing pages right, etc… they can really scale up the budget to get a lot of traffic without breaking the bank because you’re making profits all along with the process and system.

[00:41:30] Alice: It goes into a lot of detail for things you have to know so that you don’t waste money.

[00:42:15] Ron: FB is cool because you can control what you’re spending. They can’t spend more than your budget that you set. I teach you how to do it and control your ad costs so you don’t get surprises.

[00:42:43] Alice: You can also set the ads to run only a certain amount of days so that if you forget about the advertisement your budget isn’t shot too. What kinds of things would people want to see on FB from a writer?

[00:43:33] Ron: If you’re selling a book you could make a post with a really good excerpt from your book about a particular topic, the more controversial or eye popping and viral the excerpt is the more engagement you’re going to get. The more people you’re going to get who want to click and share the ad. Take the best chapter from the book and give it away for free. It does depend on whether you’re writing fiction or non fiction. Cookbooks are stupid easy because you can share one of your best recipes. Recipes go viral on FB fast. FB is so visual so you have a delicious looking picture of a recipe, and that will go viral. They’ll tag their friends.

[00:44:48] Alice: People say food pictures are annoying on FB but that’s wrong because people love them.

[00:44:50] Ron: I love food pictures, are you kidding me? Alice: Me too! Ron: What’s the purpose of watching a cooking show, people love food pictures it’s an innate thing. People love to see food. Besides that, that’s a couple of things you can do for a book. If you have a writing service and you’re targeting people who need that writing service you can give out samples of the writing service or offer a special like 20 percent off ghostwriting service. Maybe you’re targeting people who want to be authors and they want a book ghostwritten. You can have an article Here’s How to Find a Good Ghost Writer. In that article you offer 8 tips to finding your perfect ghost writing.

[00:45:56] Alice: Or like Horror Stories — make them a little bit afraid but then tell them how you can help them.

[00:46:00] Ron: Here’s 8 Things to Look Out For So You Don’t Hire the Wrong Ghost Writer. Sometimes negative headlines work best because people are inspired by not losing out. Get then to the blog post then have on there “Get a free quote for your ghost writing job, leave your name and phone number and we’ll contact you” or some other content that you give away to get the lead. Give me a writing service and I’ll tell you how to promote it.

[00:46:45] Alice: Copy writing — Ron: Good! Copy writing, you target people who are product owners, entrepreneurs, information marketers and you can have a discount off your copy writing service or you can have a service where you review people’s copy, and give them feedback on the copy and guarantee the boost in conversions. You can offer a free review on one page of copy and you tell them free how they can improve on it and then they’ll hire you to do it for them.

[00:47:47] Ron: Think of the mindset behind the person who’s offering to review your copy. You automatically deem them as experts. It creates a teacher / student or consultant / client relationship right off the bat. Then they’ll hire you because of their mindset that you’re the expert. Alice: The reviews can end up as case studies so that the time doesn’t have to be lost.

[00:48:59] Alice: What about a book launch, or information product. You already mentioned about building buzz. How would you build buzz with people who are already opted in to your list and how would you get more people and get some excitement before?

[00:49:22] Ron: People who are opted in already to your list are easy. You can email those folks and tell then what’s coming. When you’re launching an info product, coaching course or something you want to give some of your best stuff up front to wet their appetite. Build up the anticipation by helping them in advance by giving them something helpful. Identify a problem they’re having, give them something helpful, they get results right away, and then you say OK this is part of the course. I’m doing it right now actually.

[00:50:17] Alice: Let’s get back on track with FB ads… Ron: Yes, run an advertisement on FB leading to the free stuff you’re giving away. I’m giving away some good stuff people can use to think about so they can save money and make money with. For example I can take this hang out we’re doing, and make it a YouTube video, and now you have this content based on this interview, and then I can run ads on FB leading to my number one tip for creating effective FB ads without breaking the bank… or anything we talked about, I can feature that as a FB ad to get people on to my site, get their email address, then show them this video. Then say if you liked this YouTube video my course is coming out and it’s going to show you exactly how to do all this stuff that you just saw. Building likability helps them to be more likely to buy your thing because you’ve helped them already. It all goes back to Give Before You Expect to Get.

[00:52:17] Alice: You’ve used the ads to get affiliates to promote as well, how do you do that?

[00:52:21] Ron: An affiliate program is like if you have a product you’re selling online you can give other sites and other blogs and people a commission automatically for referring people to your product. Their own special unique tracking link enables them to get a commission. It’s a huge industry. People are online making money online all the time from affiliate marketing. It’s just like offline with referral systems but it’s automated online with software. You can put your product on a network like, or WHW and find the affiliate link at bottom of page to sign up to make a commission off people who sign up for WHW membership.

[00:53:42] Ron: So, with your FB ads, you can recruit affiliates to endorse the product when it comes out. So you run ads targeting pages of people whoa re likely to be affiliate marketers that might be interested in seeing and selling your product. You tell them the benefits, the audience and so forth and let them test it out in advance so you can have numbers to share about your conversions. Getting affiliates on board to promote your product in advance and you’ll have a burst of sales coming out of the gate. I’m doing the same thing for this product I have coming out right now.

[00:54:38] Alice: I have lists of existing affiliates because I’ve been running affiliate programs since 2004. I can take that list and put it into FB and advertise to those people to get their attention better and get them interested in promoting my new products.

[00:55:09] Ron: You can email people and not everyone will open the email, but with FB you’ll get more people to view your offers. Often people give their spam email address to get freebies, but if you can pull them in with FB, then you can show them ads based on that. Some people don’t check their email at all, they skim through and delete. But they’ll see an ad on FB and especially if they know you, they’ll click it.

[00:55:55] Alice: Yea another thing with affiliates they intend to read the email and want to promote it, the reminder on FB will help them remember.

[00:56:35] Alice: Laura has another question she says it depends on your niche but what is the minimum amount of money it takes to test advertising?

[00:56:48] Ron: The minimum amount? That’s a good question. You want to get at least 500 clicks to have a good idea of what is working or not. So, it’s based on how much it will cost you to get 500 clicks. That depends on a lot of factors, niches, competition and so forth. If you’re paying 50 cents a click you’ll have to spend 250 dollars to get that many clicks. If you’re paying only 10 cents, then it’s only 50 dollars. It depends on how competitive your niche is and the bids are for the ads.

[00:59:46] Alice: Final thoughts? Where should people start?

[00:59:51] Ron: I worked in the corporate finance world for many years so I’m trained to think about math. I tend to think everyone has a mathematical mind but it doesn’t come naturally.  Start by learning your audience, visit pages where your audience hangs out, answer the conversations. Learn what they’re talking about and I teach some research tools you can use. If you have your own page on FB you can start by creating a page for whatever you want to market, whatever your service or product or book is. Create a page for yourself if you want to brand yourself. Create a page that’s associated with a website or whatever it is you want to brand. Then once you get 100 likes on the page, you can use insights to research your audience via other pages. You can add it to a pages to watch or to spy on and I show how to do it on the course, but you spy on those pages and FB enables you to see what the most active posts are from those pages. You can only pull in the active posts and examine the posts.

[01:02:04] Ron: What about these posts made people interested in them. You want to use that information to create posts that gets a lot of people interested, commenting, sharing, liking and that’s how you end up with the cheapest clicks on FB. Use the examples in your research to learn how your customer thinks, what their problems are and how you can provide solutions. You want to know your market, what they want to buy, what makes them tick and how they respond.

[01:02:47] Alice: There is a math component where we have to balance the budget and details but it’s still like writing because it’s research into what these people want. That’s the fun part for me so there is I think great things for writers to learn about their audience and what they want and you’ve provided a lot of good ideas on how to do that. Being able to watch the pages is a good idea to help you avoid the time suck of getting too involved in the pages you can stand back and watch and use their conversation to advertise and influence them.

[01:03:41] Ron: You can also use it if you’re doing research for a book you’re writing. It’s a great way to do research because you’re tapping into what people are thinking about. What makes them tick. What makes them upset. What makes them happy. What makes them want to take action. You want to learn these things about your audience. Everything you write will become more compelling because you have that information in the back of your mind.

[01:04:11] Ron: Go to to find out more information. It’s really an inexpensive course itself and very detailed. If you’re seeing this and the course is out go ahead and get it, but if it’s not out yet, get on the waiting list.

[01:05:02] Alice: It’s definitely worthwhile, it’s very detailed and I wouldn’t go bother to figure that out myself.

[01:05:24] Ron: If you’re a writer help wanted member you’ll get a bonus so buy through Writer Help Wanted when it comes out in the members area.



















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