My favorite paid traffic source is Facebook, but its getting more expensive to advertise on. In quarter four of 2018 we cracked the Pinterest code and will continue innovate as affiliate marketers. - Brian
By now I hope you're convinced that paid traffic is the way to go in affiliate marketing.
Now let's take a look at the main traffic sources my team and I use.
Literally hundreds of different traffic sources you can buy from, I know that's overwhelming but in the end you tend to buy from a few really good ones.
What makes a traffic source different from the next?
1. Audience type
What type of audience does Snapchat have?
For the most part younger people and millennials.
Do you think advertising something that is known to be for senior citizens back pain will do well on Snapchat?
I think you know the answer for that?!
But for a car brand, that has a target market of people that are 18 to 22 years old. Snapchat will be a perfect platform to reach them.
The most important thing you need to understand is what type of audience your traffic sources bring you.
2. Options for Targeting
This is your ability to select portions of the audience on a traffic source or segment.
Here are some common targeting options
- Favorite television shows
- Location, for instance the city where they live
- What type of cell phone they have Apple or Android, or desktop or mobile
- The website they are visiting from this is commonly called the site ID
- What time of day the ad is viewed
Being able to Target lets you gather data on which segments are the most profitable.
In Las Vegas I used to run the promotions team for a major night life company. Based on your production on the day before you were able to pick your location on Las Vegas Strip as to where you were going to promote for that day.
Obviously, certain locations on the strip have more traffic and better quality people for the nightclub.
So you always had an incentive to do well and work hard so you could pick early your target the area with the most people that would most likely attend the nightclub. This is a real life example of targeting.
Google and Facebook are the top traffic sources in the world because they have an incredible amount of traffic and you can laser target your preferred audience.
3. The Costs
Every Traffic source is different, for the most part you are on a bidding platform and can bid to get the placements you want.
You may find traffic sources that are extremely under-utilized and find hidden gems of under-priced traffic.
4. Rules and regulations
This has become quite the hot topic lately that some traffic sources are very strict on offers you can run on their network, this means you're limited to what you can promote.
Make sure you are following the GDPR rules in the European Union. This is European Union General Data Protection Regulation.
5. The Amount of Traffic
Some traffic sources like Google and Facebook have seemingly unlimited traffic with the amount of users on their platforms.
Other traffic sources are not quite as large not have as many users. In some cases it's difficult to scale a smaller traffic source.
If you find something working on one source it's very likely you can bring it over to another source and run it on that traffic as well.
There are a lot of traffic sources out there that are really good and not super competitive.
In some cases you can find very under-priced traffic. This occurs when the supply is greater than the demand.
7. Traffic Source Quality
Some traffic sources are terrible; the traffic they bring is just plain garbage.
There is such a thing as bot or fraud traffic.
Quality traffic sources typically have better budgets and better systems that don’t allow this to happen. Just be aware that there are sources out there that are junk.
Paid Traffic Categories
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of traffic sources out there.
Let's look at the different kinds of categories.
I'm sure you've heard of social media?
Websites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Plenty of Fish.
These are social platforms where people go to interact with each other. They typically have strong targeting options like age, gender, interest, location, that will allow you to determine who will see your ad.
There are a lot of social networks out there but in this training we're going to focus in on the biggest one which is Facebook.
It's been my honey hole for the past 5 years and has made a lot of affiliates millionaires. Including me.
The main variables for testing on Facebook
We mentioned this earlier when we were talking about SEO.
Search traffic is basically an index of different websites when somebody searches something the results come up.
Google is the number one search engine in the world, and some other options are YouTube (owned by Google), Bing, and Yahoo.
All these search engines there's going to be paid traffic and organic traffic typically the paid traffic is on the top.
Google’s paid ad platform is called Google Ads and used to be called AdWords. So people still call it that if you have been around a while.
Advertisers can pay their way to the top of the page for the keywords that they want to advertise for.
The cost per click depends on the key word your advertising gone how competitive it is it's like an auction/bidding system.
The Google ad system is very user-friendly. It has a ton of options to help you create cost-effective and relevant ads in minutes.
The main testing variables
Mobile Traffic - this is advertising on cell phones
Mobile Traffic means you're advertising on cell phones.
Some people even consider mobile to be devices that are on Wi-Fi like an iPad
Mobile is the fastest-growing traffic source it has been for quite a while now.
Check out these projections going into the next number of years
One of the best things about mobile is it has opened up opportunities in emerging nations.
When I first started in affiliate marketing most of these countries were pretty much unreachable, but now they all have cell phones and can be monetized.
Facebook and Google both have desktop and mobile traffic and you can test both.
I would always recommend separating your desktop and Mobile Traffic test to see your results.
The most popular forms advertising within mobile:
- Display / Banner
3. Redirect - this is when a visitor lands on a URL and they are directed to a landing page automatically
One of the biggest challenges in improving a campaign is the optimization process for mobile operating systems.
- Wi-Fi vs Non Wi-Fi
Sometimes it can be difficult to make sure your creatives are displaying properly on cell phones and often times there are many different versions of cell phones an operating systems.
But, there's a huge potential for mobile that reaches all over the world.
It's fairly inexpensive to advertise especially in some of these untapped global markets.
There are certain traffic sources that specialize in justice mobile for pop ups and display ads, some of my favorite mobile traffic networks are
When testing variables on mobile you will be optimizing for
- Operating system
- Site IDs
Native Ad Traffic
Everybody’s seen "paid content," "sponsored posts," "promoted stories," or "recommended content"
These are advertisements that intend to blend in with the content on a website, a.k.a native ads.
It may seem a little sneaky to make people think they're actually still on the original website but they are really popular and increasing in popularity.
Entire businesses have been built based on higher authority websites that get a lot of traffic and the business model is to sell advertising, native advertising.
Some affiliates are bypassing traffic networks and going right to the websites to buy the native ad real estate directly.
They are doing what's called a Media Buy, buying prime paid placements on the websites exclusively
Some of the popular native ad networks we've worked with are:
- Rev content
One word of caution is native ad networks are becoming more strict about what they let you run on their placements.
Testing add variables for Native ads:
- High CTR ads
- Site placements or site IDs
Adult traffic is exactly what it sounds like these are going to be your porn sites.
Some estimates say 30% percent of the internet traffic is adult related so don't count adult out.
One of the advantages is they are not as strict when it comes to advertising and potentially offers that you run.
This is typically going to be a male-dominated source.
One of the major traffic sources I've used in the adult category is EXOclick and had great successes.
Why is adult traffic great for affiliates:
- Lots of freedom to promote offers
- A huge amount of volume
Some of the downsides of adult traffic:
- Very big players make it difficult for newbies to get traction in the market traffic quality can be an issue
- The top site placements are typically over-saturated with many of the same offers
This is toolbar traffic PPV stands for pay-per-view also known as CPV or cost-per-view
Toolbars are installed on people's computers. PPVnetworks have users consent.
Typically users are incentivized to install these toolbars so they can play games, win prizes, get access to weather, novelty items, and free wallpapers.
PPV primarily works on Key Word Target and URL Targets, advertisers can choose to bid on Keyword Targets and URL targets.
Here's an example of URL targeting:
Joe visits www.target.com
The advertiser bids on www.target.com, then when Joe visits www.target.com a pop-up ad banner ad will appear, thead will typically be (800 X 600) from the traffic source.
Two of the most popular networks are:
- Propel media (Formerly known as Traffic Vance)
Generally these advertisers have a minimum deposit of around $1,000
Landing pages are usually very simple on PPV
Targeting is much cheaper than traditional traffic sources only (bids are a fraction of a penny for URL targets and key words) These networks have very lax ad guidelines, so you can promote offers very aggressively
The downsides include:
- There's a high of minimum deposit
- You're very limited in the amount of PPV traffic sources
- Traffic is typically low quality
- Saturation of competition makes margins very slim
I started out on mobile traffic and had some success and then went over to Facebook and made a ton of money with it.
I recommend that you start out with clean white hat offers or even e-com offers on Facebook traffic from affiliate networks.
Pick one traffic source and go with it, get really good on it, learn it, I recommend Facebook to start.
One of the reasons I like Facebook is you can test with low budgets.Be warned that Facebook has tendency to shut down accounts these days for no good reason and they sometimes put low budget caps on new ad accounts.