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 is how you get people, potential customers to visit your landing page, quiz, 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 do some marketing, either free or paid.

The free methods:

  • Have a guy stand on the corner with a sign that points to the store's door.
  • Do a post on the company's Facebook fan page.
  • Get reviews on Google or Yelp from customers recommending the store.

The 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 promoting the store 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 more than likely, you had to do some work to get the reviews, create the fan page, and pay a guy to hold the sign in front of the store by the street.

Usually, Paid Traffic costs quite a bit more money. A TV commercial or a billboard ad is going to be significantly more. Paid Traffic usually shows quicker results; hopefully, now you understand the difference between free and Paid Traffic.

Now let's get back to affiliate marketing…

The Affiliate’s job is to get traffic to the offer you are promoting.

Let's look at both kinds of traffic.

Free 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 many forms of content marketing, including a YouTube, blog posts, 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 who 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 who gave them good advice and recommended a product.

I purchased a camera based on a product reviewer's recommendation and purchased from their affiliate link.

2. SEO or Search Engine Optimization

You probably heard "organic results" before. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to natural results when searching 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.

If you know anything about search traffic, it is competitive and not an easy process.

You can't pay Google to be 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 happens to have the most prominent index.

SEO is a desirable 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 what I am doing right now may not work two years from now.

We know that links from other websites that link to you are essential, especially if they come from a similar site already ranking.

One useful, popular link from a high-ranking website is worth a lot more in Google's eyes than a bunch of links from sites that don't mean much.

We call these links to your site back-links when 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. SEO guys have a variety of ways of getting links; some are paid (which is frowned upon) and some are "organic."

Links are just one of the variables that determine your website rankings, but most would say it's the most important along with quality content.

Even if your site is perfectly optimized, ranking on Google could take months or years to achieve the rankings you're looking for in a competitive industry.

Google is continually changing its 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.

Counting on SEO alone is one of the significant dangers of relying on search engine traffic as your primary traffic source.

I had websites ranked No. 1 on Google, and they made some changes. The next thing you know, I'm on page three or four with zero Traffic.

The top section in the search results is 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 that is the "organic search" results.

Paid Traffic

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 advertisements most likely bought by some affiliate to drive you to some offer. In simplistic terms, each time someone clicks, typically, you're paying money for that.

There are three main ways you pay:

  1. Cost per Mille(CPM) - you're paying for every 1000 views you get. An example would be a $3 CPM which mean to show your ad 10,000 times, you would pay $30.
  2. Cost per Click(CPC) - this one's pretty simple - whenever someone clicks on you add, you pay. If you're bidding $2 per click every time someone clicks on that ad, you pay $2.
  3. Flat Rate - this one is pretty straight forward. You pay a fixed amount to rent the space, no matter how many clicks or views you get.

Hopefully, this is all making sense. It's 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, then that's your daily budget.
   D. You can stop the campaign at any time. We call this pausing the campaign.

Free Traffic is a SLOW boat to China. I prefer Paid, also known as Performance Media buying.

Paid Traffic drives instant results, you spend money within minutes or hours, and you start seeing results.

With content marketing and SEO, as mentioned above, you might not see results for six months or longer.

As a business owner, you shouldn't rely 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 making five figures a day and even six figures in some cases.

It's not too often the other way around where the SEO guys make that kind of money.

Over the years, I've seen a lot of people switch from SEO over to paid traffic.

So, my question is, are you playing to win?

My team and I focus on paid traffic for the remainder of this guide. Performance media buying is our specialty. You have to spend money to make money.

In some cases, I lose money to make money down the road.

If you're looking into an SEO type site, you might want to check out my buddy NeilPatel.com. If you're interested in doing YouTube, there's a couple of guys I follow, my buddy Sean Cannell, Roberto Blake, and Tim Schmoyer.

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