Welcome to the ultimate paid traffic sources (advertising networks) overview.
You’ll find more traffic here than you’ll ever be able to handle! 🙂
Let’s dive in.
It’s too easy to forget - especially when operating 100% online and the numbers get huge - that when we’re talking about traffic, we’re dealing with real people here.
Let’s keep that in mind, especially when we’re scaling our campaigns at a later stage, and dive deep into our tracking numbers and funnel analytics…
Traffic = Real People
When online affiliate marketers look for suitable traffic sources for a specific product or offer, there are a few approaches:
- explore the biggest and most popular traffic sources available online - we’ll do that below.
- research and understand the different traffic types - we’ll do that below, too.
- spy on the offer and reverse engineer the traffic sources currently used by other affiliates or the product vendor
- learn everything about our dream customers, and then finding out where they are already congregating online - that works especially well for niche-markets.
- choose with a traffic source we are highly familiar with or prolific at
- follow the recommendation of other affiliates, or affiliate network contacts (affiliate managers), or the product vendor
- hear or read about a rather new and under-utilized traffic source and test it
- come across an overview (like this one) and try different traffic sources out
There’re likely a few more ways that I forgot.
But my point is as online marketers, it’s our job to find and work with different traffic sources so that we never have to rely on just one.
Therefore, let’s make ourselves familiar with what’s out there.
Testing Is Critically Important
At one point we need to get out of our “research phase” and enter the “test and optimization phase” - and that means: Taking a lot of action!
We’ll never know 100% in advance what’s going to happen until we go out there and test in the real market.
Yes, me might “lose” a bit of money.
We simply buy data to make decisions.
But if we did our homework and set our tracking up properly in advance, we’ll gather important data.
Tracking Is Key
We need to track everything that we can, so we can make solid decisions.
Therefore, we need to setup our tracking properly.
Only then we can find out and know with confidence what’s working.
Organic Traffic Vs Paid Traffic (aka Media Buying)
I forgot where I read or heard it first, but this quote might totally change your view on marketing and business in general:
If you can’t pay for a new customer, you don’t have a business.
- Some Dude
Here’s my take on “free”/organic traffic:
It can be really awesome and it’s how I started myself.
Simply put, you really have to put in a lot of work (instead of paying for attention/traffic) in order to be seen by enough people.
At the same time, I wouldn’t call it “free” as you’ll have to put in a lot of work upfront and considering opportunity costs, there’s an hourly pay rate involved.
Plus, organic traffic is not very scalable.
The amount of people who made it to “super affiliate status” and built extremely successful online businesses on entirely organic traffic is rather low.
Yes, there’re a handful of exceptions, and “gurus”, etc.
But I wouldn’t rely on that when building my online business and growing my list, and scaling my affiliate business…
$1 In → $2+ Out
That’s the ultimate goal of profitable media buying. (direct response marketing)
If you’re building an email list of clients, I’d consider it already a huge success if you’re able to break even on the front-end.
Because at this point you’re generating new clients to your business
- at will,
- at no cost, and
- you have the ability to follow-up with them. (… sell them more stuff)
Can you see how powerful that is?
If you get to this point, you’ve practically built yourself an ATM.
Therefore, I think it’s very worth working on this goal to make it work…
Would you agree? 🙂
The Biggest Traffic Sources Available Online
Let’s start out with Alexa’s Top 50 Sites in United States and SimilarWeb’s Top 50 Ranking Sites in United States.
These websites represent the places where the most people congregate online.
The exact order isn’t important.
Let’s start with the 3 traffic giants:
Insane Amounts Of Traffic - The Big 3
Let’s take a look at them, one by one:
- no introduction needed, right? 🙂
- organic traffic opportunity: Ranking websites (search engine optimization), content marketing on third-party, high-ranking authority websites
- media buying opportunity: Google Ads
- biggest online video-sharing platform
- organic traffic: Ranking videos, commenting on videos
- media buying: YouTube Ads (via Google Ads)
- biggest online social media network
- organic traffic: Reach via profile posts, FB pages, group posts and direct messages (FB messenger)
- media buying: Facebook Ads / Facebook for Business
More Traffic Than You Ever Need
If you focus only on any of these 3 traffic giants and their traffic opportunities, be it organic or paid traffic or both, you would easily be able to scale your business to 7 figures and beyond.
The available amount of traffic on these platforms is practically unlimited.
Plus, almost every type of niche/vertical is represented on them.
Unfortunately, competition is also the highest here. (and that’s true for organic traffic opportunities as well as relatively high costs when buying traffic)
But it’s a fact that entire businesses were built on these platforms alone.
More Traffic Sources
- Amazon.com, Ebay.com - ecommerce, shopping market place
- Craigslist.org - classified advertisements
- Yahoo.com - news & media, verizon media advertising
- Bing.com - search engine, organic and ads via Microsoft Advertising
- LinkedIn.com - business-oriented social media, organic and ads via LinkedIn ads
- Twitter.com - social media, organic and Twitter Ads
- Reddit.com - social media & discussion board, organic and reddit ads
- Quora.com - question-and-answer website, organic and ads via quora for business
- Instagram.com - social media, organic and ads via Facebook Ads
- Snapchat.com - multimedia messaging app, organic and Snapchat Ads
- Twitch.tv - video live streaming, organic and ads via twitch advertising
- Wikipedia.org - potential organic reach, no ads
- Traffic Junky and ExoClick - adult traffic ad networks
- Cnn.com, Nytimes.com, Foxnews.com - news, ads via Google Ads
- Weather.com - the weather channel, ads via Google Ads
Different Types Of Traffic
Keep in mind we’re only taking online traffic sources into consideration that allow buying advertising on/media buying.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is one of the most targeted ways to buy traffic online.
By bidding on keywords (related to the search terms that users of the search engine enter) you’re putting your ads in front of people with a specific search intent.
That’s extremely powerful.
Basically, we can buy advertisements that appear on search engine results pages.
Therefore, we bid on (high intent) keywords that users of the search engines regularly type in when they are looking for certain solutions to their problems.
Social Media Marketing
Let’s get straight to the point:
Facebook allows us (advertisers) to place ads in front of a very specific, extremely targeted group of users of their platform.
It’s not so much the social platform itself that is so incredibly valuable to advertisers, it’s especially the targeting options.
Native Ads / Content Marketing Networks
Native advertising blends the ad into the native content of the website.
The ads basically match in the form and function of the website upon which it appears.
Usually, these ads lead to advertorials, articles, videos, or editorials.
Pops / Pop-under / PPV
Redirect / Domain Redirects
Popular Advertising Networks
- MGID - native
- Revcontent - native
- Taboola - native
- Outbrain - native
- Adcash - pops, push, native, banner
- Zeropark - pops, push, redirect
- PropellerAds - pops, push, in-page push, interstitials
- Tacolo - push
- Evadav - pops, push, in-page, native
- Pushground - push, in-page push
- Ungads - pops, push, native
- Richads - pops, push, native (here you can find their remarkable blog)
This article is a work-in-progress.
Please come back soon for updates.
I hope you find this article helpful!
Thank you for your reading and stay awesome,
Tim for Online Business Dude
PS: Start And Grow Your Own, Profitable Online Business From Scratch, Today!