5 ads a day. $300 an ad. That’s $1500 a day that some WhatsApp Status accounts were generating just from ads they were posting.
3 months ago I set out to reverse engineer how these accounts were growing and generating revenue so that I can try replicating their success.
The basic idea is simple: Provide content that people want to subscribe to and then sprinkle in some ads to generate revenue.
Meaningful Minute WhatsApp Status provides its audience with inspirational and motivational content. That is why people subscribe to their status. People don’t come for the ads, they come for the content and once they have an audience they can sprinkle in some ads every day to help generate funds to support their mission.
This is how most of the WhatsApp Status accounts operate and generate revenue. (These accounts can also generate a lot of money through affiliate marketing but for some reason most of these accounts don’t. They are leaving cash on the table.)
The steps were:
- Setup a phone with WhatsApp Business
- Post relevant content to WhatsApp Status about 10 times a day.
- Drive people to subscribe to view my statuses everyday.
- Find advertisers that would pay me to post their ad on my status. Find affiliate products my audience would be interested in and share them on my status.
Each of these steps seemed relatively straightforward but all turned out to be more complex and challenging and there wasn’t anyone to ask for guidance from since only a handful of people ever tried this. There were no articles online and no tutorials on YouTube and there still isn’t. This was about trial and error and quickly adjusting strategies as I assessed progress every week.
So my first step was to order a new phone (critical step – more on this later) and setup WhatsApp Business properly.
I figure I can order a cheap Android phone from Amazon because after all the only thing I was doing on the phone was saving contacts and posting to my WhatsApp status. I quickly learned that cheap android phones under $100 are garbage and don’t work well with WhatsApp status especially as your subscribers grow.
After ordering and returning several phones from Amazon finally found the cheapest phone that worked well for what I was trying to do. I order the Google Pixel 1 from Amazon for $150 (now its even cheaper on Amazon https://amzn.to/2IHnhTC).
Now that I had my phone I had to get a new phone number to be able to use for WhatsApp. I didn’t want to pay monthly for service that I didn’t need. I only planned on posting content while at home where I already have WiFi. So the first idea was to get a Google Voice number but I quickly ran into issues.
To get a google voice number you need to connect and verify google voice with a regular phone number to get the account started. But Google had the policy to combat spam that you can only use a number once to verify a google voice account. So since I already used my personal cell number to verify a different google voice number I was no longer able to verify with my cell number.
After a lot of research, I found the cheapest way to get new phone numbers that can be used with Google Voice and WhatsApp Business. Its called the Pay as you go plan from T-Mobile. The plan costs $3 a month plus a $10 one time fee for the SIM card. So for $13 dollars, I got myself a brand new cell number that I was then able to port into Google Voice for another $20 one time porting fee.
I ported to Google Voice right away which cancels your monthly $3 fee from T-Mobile. So now I have new phone numbers for a total of $33 one time cost and zero monthly fees. I now have multiple phone numbers using this method I figured out.
(Do not use virtual or temporary numbers because if you lose the phone number your business is gone. You need your number to be owned by you forever and the safest way to control this is by using a google voice number or porting your number to google voice. Or the more expensive way by paying monthly to your phone service provider just like your regular phone plan. Do NOT use these free number app from the App Store or anything similar.)
Important steps while setting up WhatsApp Business:
- Business name
- Logo or profile image
- Setup a greeting message. This is an automated message sent to anyone that initiates a conversation with your WhatsApp Business account. This is where you will let the subscriber know they MUST save your number in their contacts to be able to view your statuses.
Here is the template I use for my greeting messages:
Thank you for subscribing to ______!
Please Note: You *MUST* Save this number in your contacts to be able to see our statuses.
To join please Reply DONE once saved in your contacts.
Share with your friends: [link here]
Someone just messaged me that we should be able to use https://www.textnow.com/ to receive the Google Voice verification text for free without the need for the T-Mobile hack. I tried many similar apps that Google would not accept. I did not use this app so I don’t know. If you try it with this app please let me know whether it worked or not.
You should set up your WhatsApp business account on a dedicated phone. Do NOT set up the account on your regular personal phone for several reasons:
- Your phone will buzz off the hook forever and you will 100% regret setting it up on your personal phone.
- You want to understand your metrics later on but if the business app is on your regular phone all your regular personal contacts will mess up your numbers.
- When saving numbers to your contacts you want to make sure you are only saving them to a brand new Gmail account so you know exactly who is subscribed to your status.
- If you don’t use a separate Gmail account to save your contacts you will regret it if you ever need to move the app to a new phone.
These are just a few reasons to make sure you use a separate phone and a new Gmail account to save your subscribers’ contact info.
Do NOT use textnow app as your number. Use it only to verify a google voice number.
Remember if you lose your number you lose your business and there is no way to get it back.
My second step was to decide what content I can provide on a daily basis that a large audience would be interested in subscribing to.
There are literally hundreds of types of content you can share and millions of resources to find the content as well. But first I needed to decide who I wanted my audience to be and then I can try figuring out what kind of content they would be interested in. Remember, to be able to monetize your status with affiliate products you need to match the offerings with the audience.
If you want to promote fashion-related products your status will need to be about things that people into fashion would be interested in viewing. Don’t make your status about cooking if you want to promote travel or fashion. Always try building an audience of people that would be interested in what you plan on promoting. This will have a direct impact on the number of sales you make when promoting affiliate products.
Think about it this way, you signed up to my statuses because you wanted to learn about making money online and building wealth. If I started promoting a fitness program you guys would be mad that I’m spamming you with content that you have no interest in and you will not purchase the fitness program. You’re not happy and I’m not happy. Lose-lose situation.
Alternatively, if I share books, resources, courses, and products about how to make money online and build your wealth, you will be very happy. You’re happy that I’m sharing things with you that you are interested in. I’m happy because you purchase some of the products or services I’m promoting. Win-Win situation.
The most valuable content to share that almost always results in the best outcome is:
- Your knowledge and experience!
People are thirsty for quality content shared with them in a personal manner.
I spend many nights sharing my own knowledge and experiences with you guys and that builds a real personal connection that people are craving. I spend hours responding to people’s questions after I post valuable content on my status. This, in turn, builds a lot of trust with many of you. When I promote products that I personally found helpful and valuable people are more likely to purchase because they already trust me and value my opinion.
This can be very exhausting and it requires time and energy to put together your content. This is what I do for this status account.
So I needed to find content I can share on my other status accounts that would require less than 10 minutes a day. (I own 6 status accounts right now)
So the first thing that came to mind was what I’ve learned about growing Instagram accounts from zero to 200k real followers in 6 months without buying followers. There are thousands of Instagram accounts that grow virally and they all follow the exact same process.
(not going into the specific Instagram strategy tonight)
These account owners look for content on Instagram that is going viral. The fact that it’s going viral means that people are interested in this content. They then share that same content on their own Instagram accounts. This is how thousands of large accounts have been growing to hundreds of thousands of followers in a matter of months.
(One way to identify these types of accounts is to find accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers but they are only following 10-30 accounts. Here’s an example account https://www.instagram.com/travel/ Notice how in the description of every post they give credit to the original account that created and owns the content.)
Here is a video explaining the process of growing an Instagram account from 0 to 100K in a matter of months. https://youtu.be/Jw55gaNO-BU
This is an invitation link to the tool he talks about in this video. http://bit.ly/2Itb5ar
So I created Viral Videos Status which is an account that shares viral videos from Instagram throughout the day. http://bit.ly/viralstat
Other places to find great content:
- And many more
Just google the topic and you will find an unlimited supply of content.
Remember! The content must be valuable/engaging/exciting/shocking… If its boring content people will not subscribe and people will leave….
Visit https://statusstories.com where I list many Status accounts you can subscribe to. Some are amazing and some are just boring. Some are extremely interesting to me (Travel Tribe) while some or very boring to me (Sports). Check out the types of accounts are listed and you will get even more ideas about the types of content you can share on your own statuses.
I know I have not gone into too much detail about content but you now understand how I can own several status accounts and share content that my audience is interested in. And all this takes me less than 20 minutes a day. (Not including this status account which takes a lot more of my time.)
Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Next time I will go into how I built up my subscribers and the challenges I faced and some of the challenges I’m still working on.
So how do you grow your audience on WhatsApp Status?
Growing an audience on WhatsApp Status is actually very difficult and gets increasingly more difficult as your list of subscribers grows.
There are several main reasons why getting subscribers is so challenging.
- There is no discover feature on WhatsApp. You can’t just browse to find accounts you want to follow. In order to get people to subscribe to your status, you will need to get in front of them and let them know you exist. (On Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest I can simply search for accounts.)
- Subscribing is a multistep process whereby someone needs to click a link that opens a chat on WhatsApp, send a message, save the phone number in their contacts, reply done. Then the Status account needs to save that subscriber number in their contacts as well. That’s annoying work. (On other social media platforms all you need to do it click the ‘follow’ button and your done.)
- People can’t preview your content to decide if they even want to subscribe. So many people just choose not to subscribe. (On other social media platforms you simply view the account and if you like what you see, you follow.)
So the first step I took was to post my new status accounts on my own personal WhatsApp status. (This is my business phone, not my personal phone.) Then I asked my family members to do the same on their own statuses.
Don’t underestimate the number of subscribers you can get just by you and your family posting a link to your account.
- Get family and friends to promote your status on their accounts.
- Promote your status in other WhatsApp Groups (be VERY careful to follow each groups rules about self-promoting and ads. You will get banned if you break group rules)
- Pay larger Status accounts to promote your status. (Dm me and I can help you get your ad onto larger accounts. Expect to pay anywhere from $20-$70 for every 1000 views. Careful that you don’t get ripped off)
- Reach out to other Status accounts with a similar number of views as you and request to do a Status Swap. Here is where each of you promotes each other account on your own account for free. Obviously, an account with 5000 views won’t swap with you if you only have 1000 views.
Things to know when purchasing ads on other status accounts:
- Many accounts won’t post status links so be sure to ask beforehand whether they post status ads.
- Most of the accounts that do post status accounts charge extra for status ads. So make sure you let them know you are asking pricing for an ad that promotes a Status account.
- Always ask how many views their status posts get and ask them to send you a screenshot to prove the numbers. Sadly, there are a bunch of liars out there and I’ve actually busted one guy yesterday.
- Calculate the cost per view or per 1000 views. The average cost per 1000 views right now is $53 or 5.3 cents per view.
- Not all accounts are created equal. Some accounts are more valuable than others. The number of views is not the only factor to consider when evaluating the price.
- Status View and Group Views are very different. Make sure to confirm whether the views you are purchasing are Status views or Group views. From my experience, Status views are a lot more valuable than Group views.
Getting back to WhatsApp Status. What else have I tried to increase the number of subscribers and views my accounts received?
We decided to run a $5000 Giveaway and all you had to do was subscribe to 8 status accounts. We built a website specifically for the giveaway. statusgiveaways.com
The first concern we had with a Status loop would be that people would get sick and tired of subscribing to each status account individually. It’s a multistep process and would annoy just about anyone.
The second concern we had was if hundreds or thousands of people subscribed, each of us would have to manually save each phone number to our contacts. We all know jumping off a bridge is easier.
So I built some software to automate as much as possible. The end result was great!
Anyone wanting to enter the giveaway and subscribe to all 8 accounts had just 2 steps.
Step 1. Enter name, email, and phone number.
(At this point we automatically sent you a text message with a vCard containing all 8 contacts.)
Step 2. Open your texts and save the vCard to your phone with one click.
On the backend, it also sent all 8 accounts a vCard with all the subscriber’s contact info which we saved with one click.
In summary, you entered your contact info on the website. You received a vCard with the 8 accounts. And the 8 accounts received a vCard with your contact info. Done.
We added an optional bonus to increase your chances of winning. Post about the giveaway on your own status and send us a screenshot after 18 hours and receive 10 bonus entries for every 100 views your status received.
None of us wanted to risk losing $5000 CASH if only 200 people signed up. We also didn’t want to lie or cheat like some other giveaways sadly do. We wanted to run this giveaway 100% truthfully and with integrity.
So we came up with a simple rule for the giveaway. $5000 CASH after 5000 people enter the giveaway.
We were willing to spend $1 per new subscriber which is cheaper than most of the methods.
Once the site was set up we all began posting the giveaway on our own statuses and asked family and friends to do the same. Within minutes the subscribers started rolling in.
But this was short-lived. It died down quicker than we had wanted. So a few days later we all posted about the giveaway again and asked some others to do the same. Some more subscribers rolled in.
To date, we have not hit our goal of 5000 entries.
The question is why not? What could we have done differently? Were people just not interested in a $5000 CASH giveaway? (Thousands sign up for wig giveaways so it would seem like $5k Cash would be a nice giveaway)
So for me, there were a few possible takeaways.
- People weren’t sharing info about the giveaway on their own status because we made it optional. We didn’t want to force people to share the giveaway on their own status because we feared people would avoid joining the giveaway altogether if it was required. But in truth, I now believe it is possible we would have had better results if we required everyone to share the giveaway and allowed it to get in front of a wider audience.
- People were skeptical is $5000 CASH giveaway was legit or just another scam. Many people have never heard of me or any of the other accounts and they were skeptical. What we could have done is invited at least one household name to the group so it will increase our credibility.
- It is also possible that people arrived on the giveaway website and were confused about what they were signing up for and how it all worked. Our analytics show that many people visited the website but only a portion of them actually signed up. How can we improve our messaging on the website to simplify the process to new visitors?
So the next thing I did was run Facebook Ads to the giveaway website and very quickly we received many new signups from people across the United States. Our costs for each new subscriber was a fraction of the costs of any other advertising venture we tried. We were onto something.
But then I identified an issue. About half the people signing up for the giveaway through the Facebook ads did not even have a WhatsApp account. This meant that the cost of each new VIEW was actually about double the cost of each new subscriber.
This was still cheaper than all other marketing tactics we’ve tried so far.
I can’t type all night so I’ll fast forward a little. We are now working on a new giveaway but this time we are including several large status accounts with a lot of credibilities. We will be improving some of the information on the website so it’s less confusing for some and more trustworthy looking. We already have several large accounts but we are still working on the details. We always want to impress with the best giveaway with the most value. Stay Tuned for more info on the next giveaway.
The current giveaway is still live and we will be trying several different tactics to see if we can reach our goal.
Also, just an FYI, I’m in the middle of building a program to automate the saving of contacts so all those that are getting lots of subscribers to their accounts can literally save all their phone numbers in 3 clicks. It should be a pretty cool tool! More on this later this week hopefully.
One last thing before I go for tonight. This week I’ll be working on our new website SmarterPockets.com where I will be sharing all my content and resources. My goal is to organize all the content in a way that’s easy to understand and follow through and also easy for you to choose what kind of information you want to learn about. It’s just the very beginning.
Many of you have completed my survey telling me what you were most interested in learning about.
Some of the most requested topics were Dropshipping, Deals websites, and Email list building for affiliate marketing.
The obvious problem is I can’t possibly teach you all everything about dropshipping, deals websites, and email list building…
My ultimate goal is to help people get control of the debt and personal finances, increase their revenue, and begin investing smartly so they can begin building wealth.
So I’ve come up with some ideas and still working through the details.
i have few questions to you
1) you wrote about the difficulties of getting your giveaway to bring you more subscribers, what are you doing until you reach your goal, are you making money from your whatsapp accounts?
2) i noticed that on your viral videos account you stopped posting frequent content, what’s the reason for that?
I’ll start with #2. I recently had my first child, a little baby boy… He has been taking a lot of my attention lately. I will begin posting more consistently across all my accounts immediately after Sukkot.
To answer your first question, we’ve been trying many different things some of which worked and some which failed. I will be updating this post with the latest as soon as I have a minute. Yes, I have been making money with WhatsApp and it’s only getting bigger and better by the day.
Feel free to ask questions on our Smarter Pockets Forums as well where others can share their experiences making money with WhatsApp.