Update 4/30/15: I removed pictures of my adsense account because it is against their Terms of Service. I’ll rack my brain for another way to show some proof :P.
I made a mobile-optimized site for hosting facebook quizzes with multiple responses and monetized with Google Adsense. (Similar to those “What is your spirit animal?” type quizzes).
Note: If you really hate the programming side of this, I am selling the complete, customizable site script with directions here.
Here’s what it looked like:
- Cost: $7 in Facebook Promotion for website visits
- Gross Profit: $16.25 from Google Adsense
- Net profit: $9.25 in two days or ~$4.60 per day or $138 per month (this is optimistic though, more below!)
- Time: 20-25 hours including both simple site design, writing the quiz, and coding the quiz (less if you’re a more efficient programmer than myself).
On my best day (yesterday as of updating this), I earned $13.50 in adsense revenue.
This was generated from my quiz here:
Here are results from the first two days I ran the quiz in January.
- Learn some php, facebook open graph, and how to work with html forms 🙂
- Great and quick return on investment
- Relatively easy to replicate
- Can go “viral” and generate much more income
- Feeling of shame for generating “click-bait” content
- Requires some time/energy to make a fun quiz
- May not get many shares
- You have to pay to promote on facebook unless you have lots of friends
- Last, I want to note that I had less success when I ran this same quiz campaign again and I’m not entirely sure why?
- The revenue you get from clicks may vary and decline if the traffic is not deemed “high quality!” (Which it probably isn’t, in all fairness after all).
- A $5-10 FB promotion budget
- A domain/host that is php enabled (tutorial coming soon)
- A Google Adsense account (which you can create if you don’t have yet)
- Free google analytics account to track your progress!
Step 1: Write the quiz!
Before you spend time on this, brainstorm some quiz ideas on paper or in a doc. Remember, you want something viral so consider doing some research on what people are interested or use your own experience. Consider using BuzzSumo, playbuzz, or the infamous buzzfeed to get ideas.
For me, I wanted to not feel too skeezy, so I decided to make a quiz on finding the right classic novel to read next. (I just finished Cat’s Cradle before writing my quiz, which I highly recommend).
Also, recommending a product someone could buy meant that I could link the results with my Amazon Associates account.
My next step was drafting the sample quiz, which I decided should be five questions and have four possible outcomes.
Though not perfect, I assumed most people probably wouldn’t realize there are only four outcomes unless they happen to see their friends’ results or take the quiz multiple times (both of which are positive regardless!).
Here was my draft quiz:
Step 2: Register aN FB Developer Account
To build your site and share information, you want to register your website as an FB app and create a developer account, which offers some powerful tools.
The steps are thankfully quite easy :).
1. Visit the FB developer site and “Add a new app” under myapps.
2. Select “website” as app type and the rest of the registration is pretty straightforward.
3. Checkout your App ID, which is one of the most important things you’ll need to customize scripts.
Step 3: Build the basic code for your quiz
Here are the basic requirements for the project:
- Multiple pages – While coding one page is easier, we want to make money from ads. The quiz will generate more clicks if people have to click from page-to-page. Because my quiz was 5 questions and one page would be for results, I needed 6 pages total.
- A way to pass data between pages – With PHP, the most basic solution would be to use Sessions, which W3 has a great tutorial for. I toyed with this but found that for the simple page, it was easier if each page passed a variable to the next page in the form, such that page 1 passed its result to page 2, and page 2 passed the variables for both page one and page two to page three, etc.!
- A php function to calculate which book is most preferred- This was actually easier than it sounds. On the results page, I used the following:
- A form- read up on W3 schools for form basics… it won’t take you long to get the hang of these!
- Facebook Like/Share buttons for the website- These are easy to generate, and you’ll need to do a quick review of FB’s documentation.
- Unique Facebook Timeline Shares- People are going to want to share their result. That said, there could be multiple results. The solution? Use the facebook documentation on sharing a timeline story and use variables to choose which book gets shared.
- A Mobile-Responsive Front-end- I used Foundation, which is easy to install/use and has great documentation. Because mobile users are probably more likely to click an ad, we really need a mobile-responsive site!
Last, you’ll want to add FB OG-Graph Meta tags that determine what shows up in someone’s feed when they share! It’s awesome that you can choose which image will be used. Also, please use the FB debugger to check and make sure your meta tags are generating the right post! It’s really invaluable.
For instance, the debugger tells me this is what people will see when they visit my nextifier page:
Once again, I would be happy if you buy the script and all :).
Step 4: Create an FB Page
This is really easy, and you are actually required to create an FB page for your app in order to create a promotion!
It doesn’t really matter at this point if you spend much time on the quality of your page. That said, you will want a nice looking icon since people will see it next to your promotion!
Here was my page:
Step 5: promote your quiz
First, go to the facebook Ad Manager on the left-hand column. Once there, click create ad. You’ll want an ad that sends people to your quiz:
Alright, after you enter the url, it’s important to spend you time on the next page!
You’ll need to play around, but take time selecting the interests, behaviors, and age/gender you want to see your quiz! This is one of the most powerful features of facebook ads.
After you set the budget, consider using a picture from the “library.” Facebook has some great stock photos that have worked well in my campaigns.
Last, choose a powerful title and description for your post! Consider this amazing chart to find several titles you didn’t know were powerful! (Pun intended… see that got your attention!)
Step 6: Sit back, refresh Adsense, and Tweak
This is the best part… you sit back and within 30 minutes to an hour, people will probably begin interacting with you post. Next thing you know, you’re generating revenue with adsense!
Once again, you can purchase and download the entire quiz here.