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The Career Author Podcast: Episode 96 – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-Per-Click advertising can bring in a great return on investment or it can be a bottomless pit of frustration. It’s difficult to know if you should be running paid ads, how much you should be spending, and what kind of results to expect.

There’s a ton of information online about paid ads. And that too, is a problem. Who do you listen to? Zach and J. don’t have all the answers because they’re struggling with some of the same questions, but listen in as they share their insights on pay-per-click advertising and what might be next.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • What pay-per-click advertising is
  • How PPC advertising works
  • Why you should (or should not) be doing it
  • What platforms are available to authors
  • Who is having success with it
  • What might be next when the paid ads bubble bursts
  • Whose opinion we trust on pay-per-click advertising (for authors)

Also, discover why J. is now unofficially part of the FI movement.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: Do you use pay-per-click ads? If so, how?

Thanks to all our Patrons.

Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

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Links:

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Choose FI (podcast) – https://www.choosefi.com/ 

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David Gaughran – BookBub Ads Expert: A Marketing Guide to Author Discovery – https://amzn.to/32HOKh7

Brian Meeks – Mastering Amazon Ads – https://amzn.to/2VZWuIC

Chris Fox – Ads for Authors Who Hate Math – https://amzn.to/33QMT9R

Mark Dawson – https://selfpublishingformula.com/courses/

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13 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 96 – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

  • Morning guys.Great way today J. Wish I’d known about that kind of stuff 40 years ago.
    Thanks for the topic today because I am a ppc virgin; you did a great job explaining how it works.
    Trad publishers are bound to jump in with big money when they understand the potential gains. They may price individual Indies out of the current online market but do Amazon and FB and BB want to be in the pockets of the big 5 or 6 publishers? And how will newspapers react to losing advertising spend in these troubled times for print media? An opportunity for an Indie marketing guru to pool resources?
    I am an optimist and in the Indie community there are some incredibly talented and innovative people and somebody will come up with something new, something about which we will all say “why didn’t I think of that?” And looking at trad’s intransigence to get into Amazon and FB ads they will be slow on the uptake, so there will always be opportunities for Indies because in business terms we are “agile.”
    As Indies we accept the need to continuously adapt. Somebody once said; “standing still is the best way to move backwards in a rapidly changing world.”
    Great show.

  • Sorry, I left my question on the YouTube channel. I run ads now, have since last December. Sometimes it works pretty well, sometimes not. I’m still learning. Currently, my ROI for this month is 46.49%. Click to sales ratio is 38%. Not amazing, but not bad either, I’m thinking. Anyway, my question is about content marketing. Does that refer to blog posts, guest blog posts? Something else. I’d much rather do that than struggle with ad copy!

  • I’ve experimented with pay-per-click ads a handful of times. My issue is figuring out the targeting. I can never seem to find a target author/book that works. I’ve started to move away from these types of ads for now to focus on writing more books and building a series, since the common advice is that it’s easier to profit off of ads with a series with read through.

  • That was a bit disheartening! I don’t have any books out yet, so I wonder if the bubble will have burst by the time I’m ready to do any kind of paid advertising. Honestly, I’d rather spend my time doing content marketing than trying to figure out paid ads. I also get discouraged thinking about having to write a long series. I don’t know if I want to spend time writing a dozen or more books in the same world with the same characters. Thanks for the informative episode. It was helpful.

    As for the FI bit. J., you can make it happen! My spouse and I started working toward financial independence about twenty years ago with a book called Your Money or Your Life. It changed our lives. We gained financial independence about seven years ago through a combination of what you called Fat and Lean Fire. We now both work part-time, because we want to, at jobs we love, and I have been writing for the past few years. Good luck with it. 🙂

  • Dang it J, you’ve introduced me to the FIRE community and now I’m obsessed with the ChooseFI podcast.

    Slightly more on topic… I do a lot of advertising. My process is starting small, reinvesting about half the profits, and slowly scaling up. It works for me. At the same time, there’s a lot to be said for content marketing (or what the folks at Wistia call Affinity Marketing). I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition. Both are awesome.

    • Ha! Me too! I’ve binged the first 50 or so episodes and I’m hooked. I’m going for FI. No doubt.

      Nice work on getting the paid ads to work for you. I know that I honestly have not put as much time and effort into it as I should.

  • Late getting to this,but i was surprised to hear J. recommending content marketing after your zine experiment, after which you said “I think people in our genre just want to read books.” I know it’s big for some genres, but I’m wondering if you’ve had a change of heart?

    • Very few things work the first time you try them so although the zine bombed, I still believe there are content marketing opportunities for fiction. And for me, part of that is possibly expanding into genres where engagement is more important to readers.

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