When I started buying solo ads, there was no solo ad marketplace.
When you Googled “solo ads” nothing came up.
There were just a bunch of safelists and traffic exchanges selling fake email drops.
The only way to get clicks was to be invited into a secret Skype room where a handful of solo ad sellers hung out and sold clicks to each other.
There was no Fiverr, no Udimi, no solo ad directories.
Just the secret Skype rooms with less than 100 members. It was an elite society of highly advanced email marketers who exploited every loophole ISPs still haven’t sealed to squeeze thousands of clicks out of lists as small as 3,000 prospects.
I’m not joking.
Back then you could make $10,000-$30,000 per month promoting affiliate offers to a list of 5,000 free optins (not customers!). The subscribers were much more responsive because they checked their email on their computers and not on their smartphones on their way to the urinal.
Major autoresponder companies still haven’t begun their war on marketers.
Aweber and GetResponse welcomed affiliate marketers. It was the golden era of email marketing where Inboxing was simple. It didn’t require marketers to get creative.
I could load an email swipe less than 150 words long full of spam-triggering words and inbox twice a day.
I consider myself lucky to have somehow come across these secret Skype rooms.
The marketers who hung out there knew how to get a lot of clicks for you. They allowed you to promote to their lists for pennies compared to what marketers were paying on Adwords.
And best part…
It was such a tight-knit community, there was almost no chance you got scammed buying solo ad traffic.
Because the word would spread faster than California wildfire and who ever sold you bad clicks would get expelled from the tribe.
They’d never be able to sell solo ads ever again.
And many were expelled, matter of fact, because they got greedy and tried selling crap traffic to people.
Being barred from this group for an email marketer was like being kicked out of Harvard if you’re a lawyer.
It came with a cost.
And some even tried sneaking back in under a pen name with little luck.
The reason they wanted to get in so bad is because nobody knew what solo ads were. If you were competing for a spot on the leaderboards in a program like MOBE or Empower Network, you possessed an unfair advantage that shot you up the rankings overnight.
But that wasn’t going to last. Nothing does.
Eventually, Solo ads went mainstream.
I saw it coming early on and that’s why I decided to become one of the major contributors to making that happen.
In fact, alongside guys like John Cornetta, who was considered the King of Solo Ads at the time, I became the leading authority on solo ads within a couple of months.
John since got bored with solo ads. He moved on to eCommerce. That was way before eCommerce became a thing. He always had a knack for spotting marketing trends before they occur. But I digress…
I took a huge part in spreading the word about Solo Ads. I created several information products and I even ran a Solo Ad coaching program where I taught people how to sell solo ads.
Of course, first I had to teach how to build a list using solo ads, which has become harder over the years compared to what it has been when I started. The click prices started rising. There were new solo ad sellers popping up every single day. The solo ad industry was booming.
Around this time another part of the industry boomed – the solo ad scams.
Conmen and women who noticed this giant wave of people looking for traffic to promote their online business started creating low-class one-page websites and fake Facebook profiles. They offered clicks at dirt-cheap prices luring newbies with bargain clicks. Soon the market was flooded with scam artists selling fake traffic.
Anyway, I was busy coaching people how to buy and sell solo ads, so I didn’t pay much attention to where the solo ad marketplace was going.
Eventually, however, I got tired of coaching and invested my time and resources into building Igor Solo Ads into world’s most trusted Solo Ad Agency it is today.
Once solo ads gone mainstream a whole bunch of Solo Ad Marketplaces sprouted online. They all offered the same thing:
They encouraged people not to buy solo ads from independent traffic vendors and use the solo ad marketplace rating system to quickly pin point the best solo ad sources and buy only from the best.
I’m talking about sites like Udimi (ex safe swaps), solochecker and others.
But this promise is flawed.
Because other than price, there’s no real way to tell who’s sending you good clicks.
The rating systems are inherently biased.
They could be easily manipulated by sophisticated scam artists and mediocre traffic pushers who offer great customer support and are willing to send couple hundred extra clicks to keep customers from complaining or worse – from posting their real results.
There’s no real way to differentiate between sellers on these marketplaces. Not even their pricing.
Let me explain:
The sellers who charge an extra 15%-20% per click have been caught re-selling traffic through the solo ad marketplace to cheaper sources and pocket the difference.
And some sellers start several profiles with different pricing creating false sense of choice.
Does it mean you should never buy through a solo ad marketplace?
There’s some good traffic on those marketplaces.
It’s just you’re going to have to plow through dozens of bad sellers in disguise to find one decent source.
When you shop for clicks, you should keep in mind that you’re gambling and they got the house advantage.
You got no control besides posting a bad review that’s only valid in the solo ad marketplace and is not visible to the general public. This review could also be easily removed if the solo ad seller is in good standing with the network owner who wants the seller to sell more clicks because he’s getting a cut of every transaction.
Yes, that’s another big reason not to trust the solo ad marketplace websites.
The owners are always “in” on the transactions.
That’s how they make money.
The more orders occur on the network, the more the network owner makes.
Which naturally tips the scales of solo ad justice, so to speak.
In short, you’re putting your hard-earned money at risk when you rely on the internal tracking and rating systems.
A way to minimize your risk to a bare min is to get traffic from an established time-tested and top-earner-approved source. Someone your team leader or team mate recommends. A source that’s listed in more than one rolodex. A source that’s open to having a conversation with you before you order.
And best of all – someone who offers a guarantee on their traffic.
The worst thing you can do is chase cheap clicks. That’s a recipe for getting scammed and building a dead list. With solo ads you always get what you pay for. Wherever you get your clicks from, keep that in mind, because the scammers will always try to bribe you with a sweet deal!