I built an entire business off free traffic before, I am sure you remember MySpace.com and Facebook in the early days, those were the days countless hours of "beast mode" promoting to get people to the night club that night with posts and invites, pictures, and flyers. My how things have changed in this pay to play world. - Brian
Traffic it's how you get potential customers to visit your landing page order form or advertorial.
Let me give you an example of a cell phone store that is looking to get more customers.
They will need to so some marketing either free or paid.
The free methods:
Have a guy stand on the corner with a sign that points to the door of the store.
Do a post on the fan page on the company Facebook Fan Page of the cell phone store.
Get reviews on Google or Yelp from customers recommending the store.
Here are some paid methods:
Running an ad on a local TV station.
Paying a company to an advertisement on a billboard.
Finding a local celebrity to endorse the store by having him promote it on his blog or social media.
For the most part the free requires a lot of work and it's also technically not free because you had to do some work to get the reviews likely, create the fan page, and pay a guy to hold the sign in front of the store by the street.
Usually, it costs quite a bit more money obviously a TV commercial or a billboard ad is going to be significantly more, it's usually more effective to show quicker results, hopefully now you understand where I'm coming from.
Now let's get back to affiliate marketing…
The Affiliate’s job is to get traffic to the offer but you are promoting.
Let's look at both kinds of traffic.
There are many different ways to get free traffic but let's talk about the biggest ones specifically for affiliates.
1. Content marketing
There are a lot of forms of content marketing including a YouTube blog post and Facebook pages.
You become an expert in a niche, and build up a following and then you recommend actions or services to that tribe.
A good example is a tech guy that does product reviews on YouTube and then has affiliate links to the products that he's reviewed.
The audience or tribe typically trusts the expert and are happy to buy from someone that gave them good advice and recommended a product.
I personally have bought a camera based on the recommendation from a product reviewer, and expert from their affiliate link.
2. SEO or Search Engine Optimization
You probably heard the word organic results before.
SEO refers to natural results when you search for a term on a search engine.
When you optimize a website for search engine results you're trying to rank your website higher in the search engine.
Just based on common sense, I'm sure you can tell that this is not an easy process and you certainly can't just pay Google the number one in the organic search results; you have to earn that.
When you're searching the internet it’s not actually searching the web you're searching the index that the search engine has created.
Google just happens to have the biggest index.
SEO is a very attractive source because it is "free".
What could be better than ranking number one for bachelor parties in Las Vegas for my bachelorvegas.com web site?
There are hundreds of variables that make up the Google algorithm and determine how and why a site is ranking.
What worked three years ago is no longer working and was working right now may not work 2 years from now.
What we do know is that links from other websites that link to your web site are important especially if they come from a similar site that is already ranking.
One good popular link from a high-ranking website is worth a lot more in Google's eyes the a bunch of links from sites that don't mean much.
This is called a back-link a website links back to your site.
Backlinking is big business and if you have quality backlinks it can make a huge difference in your rankings, so SEO guys have a variety of ways of getting links some are paid (which is frowned upon) and some are "organic."
This is just one of the variables that determines your website rankings, but most would say that it's the most important.
Even if your side is perfectly optimized it could take months or years to really achieve the rankings you're looking for in a competitive industry.
Google is constantly changing their algorithm as well we've seen updates over the years and many changes have occurred.
You may have heard people mention the Penguin or Panda algorithm update.
This is one of the major dangers of relying on search engine traffic as your primary source of traffic.
I personally had websites ranked number 1 Google did some kind of change the next thing you know I'm on page 3 or 4, there goes my traffic.
The top section are the paid Google ads, keep in mind Google is a for-profit company so they're going to put their money making stuff on the top.
Below is the “organic search” results.
If you searched the web in the last 20 years you’ve seen banners, pop ups, and all sorts of different advertisements on different websites.
These are paid advertisements most likely bought by some affiliate in order to drive you to some sort of offer.
To put it in simple terms every time someone clicks typically you're paying money for that.
There are three main ways you pay:
Cost per Mille(CPM) - basically you're paying for every 1000 views you get. Example would be a $3 CPM your ad is showing 10000 times you would pay $30
Cost per Click(CPC)- this one's pretty simple whenever someone clicks on your ad you pay. If you are bidding $2 per click every time someone clicks on that ad you pay $2.
Flat Rate- this one's pretty straight forward, you pay a fixed amount to basically rent the space no matter how many clicks or views you get.
Hopefully, this is all making sense it's really not that scary you have complete control over how
A. You spend your money. B. You can set the bids. C. You can set the daily budget, if you can only afford $15 a day will then that's your daily budget. D. You can stop the campaign at any time, we call this pausing the campaign.
Free Traffic is SLOW boat to China, We Prefer Paid
What paid traffic you gets is instant results, you spend money within minutes or hours you start seeing results.
With content marketing and SEO mentioned above you might not see results for six months or longer.
You're not depending on just one traffic source there are many ways you can buy traffic
You can make a lot of money faster with paid traffic.
There are plenty of Affiliates out there that are making 5 figures a day and even six figures in some cases.
It's not too often the other way around where the SEO guys are making that kind of money.
Over the years I've seen a lot of people switch from SEO over to pay traffic
So my question is, are you playing to win?
My team and I focus on pay to play traffic for the remainder of this guide that's all we will focus on. This is our specialty you have to spend money to make money.
In some cases lose money to make money down the road.