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What is Paid Traffic And How Do I Get It?

In this post I’m going to talk about what is paid traffic, where it comes from, how to get it and whether you should be using it.

Paid traffic is traffic to your website that you pay for as opposed to organically generated traffic from SEO and Google.

As online business owners and entrepreneurs, we all know the struggles of trying to get traffic to our sites. Without a solid strategy in place that works and commiting to do the necessary steps on a regular basis, it’s virually impossible to build up traffic through SEO unless you get super lucky and something randomly goes viral on your website.

But it’s probably no surprise to you that viral content is also actually engineered!

What is Paid Traffic And How Do I Get It?

I’m going to be breaking up paid traffic into 3 main sections:

1. PPC Advertising

2. Influencer Advertising

3. Paid Traffic Websites/Sources

I know there are more than this but these are the big 3 and probably what you have heard of in one way or another. In fact when you say “paid traffic”, usually you are reffering to the 3rd of this list but i’m going to run through all three anyways just to make sure that we’re all on the same page.

PPC Advertising – Lead Generation Bread & Butter

PPC is honestly the bread and butter for lead generation. And the reason it’s so awesome is because you can target so much.

When you’re building your PPC campaign, you can choose the age, sex, location, interests, hobbies, professions, etc. of your target audience. It’s perfect for narrowing down to the people who are interested in your niche!

Without investing in PPC, you are going to spending a very long time doing things like making conversions, making sales, building your email list, etc.

SEO still works (I promise it does guys!) but it does take a while to do it 100% white hat. So you’ve got to have another strategy in the mean time. You also need something that is scalable and you can track easily.

What’s better than PPC for creating a nice scalable cash-flow generating system? Honestly nothing!

How to create a cash-flow generating system?

To quickly illustrate my point, let’s say that you’ve paid $25 to send 100 (which is 25 cents per click – pretty standard on a well done Facebook campaign, maybe even a bit expensive ) people to a link where you are selling/reviewing/promoting an item. Now let’s say that every time a lead purchases this item, you’ll get $20 in conversions.

So how many sales out of that 100 people do you need to at least break even? You got it – 2 conversions.

Let’s say you’ve tested this on 1000 people and on average, you get 2.5 conversions per every 100 visitors. That means you’re making $50 for every $25 you spend. Obviously, you’re going to want to scale this up as much as possible because you’re making 100% profit per each 100 visitors.

How to get PPC Traffic? 

Getting PPC Traffic is one of the easiest types of traffic to get because all you do is go to a source of people and create an ad.

Examples of sources of people:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Etc.

Some are more expensive than others, and you want to make sure that you do a test for profitability before you go crazy with how much you’re spending.

Also I cannot stress this enough: DO THE MATH!

People pull out all sorts of reasons why online businesses fail. The #1 reason businesses online fail is simple – the owners are not doing the math. They are doing all sorts of fancy things and praying that it gets traction.

Stop that, just get out a piece of paper and a pen and start doing the math. I know it’s painful but it will be over soon and you’ll thank me later when those numbers turn into dollars.

Influencer Advertising – All About Leverage

Influencer advertising is when you market your product, service, brand to the audience of another person or brand.

This is also an amazing system if you do it correctly because you’re targeting people who are already following and engaged with someone else in a very similar niche to you. So if they are already following this person/brand and potentially buying their content and interacting with their message, then they are that much more likely to do that with you as well. Also there is trust created almost immediately because you’re now associated with a person or brand that they already trust and have been following.

The most popular place to do this right now is through Instagram and that’s where you’ve probably heard it from but you can also do this through blogs, email lists, facebook pages and groups, etc.

What you’re doing is you’re leveraging the trust and credibility that this person/brand has with their audience. Kind of like saying “This person/brand you really love is trusting me to share my message with you so you should trust me too!”

A super effective example of this is Oprah and when she brings people or companies onto her show. Lots of companies actually will collapse after Oprah features them without them expecting it or being ready for it because their orders skyrocket, they can’t keep up with it and crumble under cash-flow issues and demand. Don’t you wish you had that problem? Haha

How to get Influencer Traffic? 

Getting down to the tactics, I’m going to use Instagram as an example because, again, it is the most popular place but the principles are the same for any medium you want to use. Email also works really well but it’s a little trickier and less mainstream to get into someone’s mailing list.

So what you want to do is email or DM large instagram influencers that are in a similar niche to you. In some industries, you want to try and avoid people who are in exaclty 100% the same space as you because it’s tough to compete with them you know? Like if you’re selling software, don’t pick someone who is selling exactly the same software as you. (I.e. If i was Aweber I’m not going to use Mailchimp, or if I’m Dell I’m not going to use Apple)

But this isn’t true in all niches so try and be logical. For instance, if you’re an author or a painter, you can 100% use other authors or painters even if they’re in the same genre because books and paintings vary so much, the audience can still get tons of value from you. Although even in these cases, it may be better to try and find a sharing account (those big instagram accounts that share other people’s stuff) to shout you out.

When you find someone suitable and contact them, you want to keep it simple:

“Hey @entrepreneurdaily,

My name is Martina and I own @dontwantaboss and I was wondering if you offer shouts/promotions and how much you charge?

Thanks,

Martina”

This way you’re doing 3 things at once:

  • telling them who you are and which brand you’re with so they can check you out
  • not presuming they even offer shouts/promotions but most big accounts do
  • asking them how much they charge

I would suggest messaging 10-15 because a lot don’t answer and also you want to compare pricing.

Once you find an account, send them whatever you agreed upon (i.e. description, post, story post, link, etc.) and they’ll post it on their account for you. You can either focus on shouting out your account to build your audience on Instagram, shouting out your website to get website traffic (make sure it’s a specific page with a specific CTA) or driving traffic to a landing page/sales of some sort to sell a product, service, collect emails, etc.

PRO TIP! 

Do not focus on the number of followers – focus on the engagement ratios (#comments/#followers & #likes/#followers). These are WAYYY more imporant. The giant accounts with millions of followers usually do not make good influencer accounts because they’re engagement has dropped so much by the time they’ve made it to that size and whoever is behind the account doesn’t care anymore and has moved on to other stuff.

It’s much better to find accounts with 10k-50k and awesome engagement rates over 10 or even 20%.

Paid Traffic Websites – What You Need To Know

Some of you may have already been having trouble with paid traffic websites and other sources while some of you may be thinking about it now.

Whatever the case, I’m so happy you’re here because this is the article I WISH I had read prior to making my mistake with paid traffic sources.

My Stumble Onto Paid Traffic

I was following my stats on Google Webmaster and I was watching the numbers soar into the hundreds of thousands of views per month. Numbers I could only dream of before.

I had done it! I had finally cracked the code to a successful online business!

I hadn’t made any conversions yet but I figured they would come with time, and my bounce rate was climbing to a stagering 90% but I figured that’s what happens when you have so many visitors, right?

Weeks passed and I was getting more and more restless.

Why wasn’t I making any conversions?

Why were my rankings DROPPING!

I watched my placement fall from an average of ~20th in Google to ~35th that month alone. What was happening?!

And my bounce rates were now into the 90s…

Why my Website was Dying a Painful Death

So, my first time buying traffic was for my horse blog and I thought it was the best thing ever. I couldn’t believe I could get thousands of people to my website every month for like $50.

After several very painful months and a lot of research, I realized that it was the paid traffic source that was causing all the problems – OBVIOUSLY! (Although not obvious at all to me at the time)

The problem with paid traffic is that it’s super low quality, and what I mean by that is that it’s not at all targetted.

So Wait, What is a Paid Traffic Website Exactly? 

Before I ramble on more, I should explain. Paid traffic websites and sources and basically websites that offer paid traffic for a certain amount of money per month usually. It’s incredibly cheap compared to other forms of traffic sources and it’s a guaranteed amount traffic sent directly to your website.

Specifically, the traffic is coming from other websites that are “google Adsense” type sites but that use other advertising networks.

The people who sell the traffic either have an arrangement or actually own these advertising networks, and link up your website into their network. Then when people click on that link, they’re taken to your website.

So you’re basically using ad space on some random site somwhere that are getting people through to your website.

The problem with this is that you’re not customizing your ads/links at all, you don’t know what website(s)you’re being advertised on which means there is no way of targeting your traffic at all.

Usually when you purchase paid traffic, you can specify your industry like “house & home”, “auto”, “insurance”, etc. but nothing more specific than that. Like for my horse blog I think I put “pets” but then if someone is on a cat website and clicks on some random link and is taken to a blog about horses, chances are they want nothing to do with that, right?

My Advice? Just Don’t Do It!

It also took me a while to get out of my payments because they had my credit card and NOWHERE on their whole website was there a place to cancel. I literally had to email them 4 different times using several different emails before they finally cancelled my subscription.

All in all, it was a nightmare, a waste of money and, worst of all, a waste of time.

So please please please don’t do it!

I know most of you are way to smart for something like that and I wish I was too at the time haha but hey, I learned eventually, right?

Spending More is Good with Good Math

If you’ve done your math, and you’ve done your testing, then spending more is actually good!

I know it can feel scary to spend a lot of money on stuff online, especially when you’re not familiar with it. And then it’s so much easier to fall for these things like paid traffic sites.

But you just have to become comfortable with the fact that spending money for good, quality traffic is actually the best possible thing you can do online. So don’t be afraid to do it!

Just make sure that you do your math beforehand. Even with the Influencer strategy, make sure you’re calculating engagement. And after your first promotion, ask the person who shouted you out to send you a picture of your promotion stats (they should know to do this anyways). See how many impressions, how many views, how many sales did you get?

If the promotion cost you $30 but you got 500 new followers, then that’s probaby worth the money. Also if you were sending people to a sales page and you got $40 in sales, then 100% worth it! You’ve just discovered a money making machine!

Hope this post was helpful for you guys. Please comment below if you have any questions or anything you want to add. I’d also love to hear about some of your experiences.

If you had simialar fail stories to me haha let me know and we can laugh at ourselves together 🙂 You really gotta learn to laugh these things off and realize everyone makes mistakes in this crazy world of online business!

Lots of love,

Martina

Martina

6 Comments

  1. Hi Martina,

    What a great post! 
    I tried to kick-start my website with Facebook and Google PPC ads. Facebook is better at targeting and a better option, in my opinion.
    My traffic soared, but I was careful in budgeting and doing the “math”. My CTR was pretty much zero and conversions were zero. Doesn’t take a genius to realize the math wasn’t in my favor, zero ROI (Return On Investment). No point in scaling up and throwing good money after bad.
    As soon as I stopped advertising my traffic dropped dramatically, but my organic traffic began to go up. Now, a couple of months later, with content and SEO, organic traffic is at the level of the paid traffic 2 months ago, my CTR is way up, and I’m getting conversions. 

    I would like to figure out how to scale up further using PPC however so what would you suggest?

    Thanks,
    Ed

    • Hey Ed, 

      Good for you for doing the math! I’m sorry that PPC didn’t work out for you initially but I’m glad that you figured out the organic traffic part of the equation. Thankfully PPC is much easier! Also you’re right for choosing Facebook as your PPC option for sending traffic to your blog. 

      It looks like your click-through rate was low even before your conversions were low. You mentioned that you were getting a lot of traffic through so I’m a little bit confused in terms of how your click-through rate was low but still leading to traffic? Unless you were really really high up on impressions? 

      But either way, I would say do the following: 

      – simplify your ad copy on Facebook and keep a conversational tone – pretend like you’re talking to 1 person rather than overthinking the fact that your ad is going to be seen by thousands of people 

      – click on “ongoing” & “PPC” in the options on Facebook ads & optimize for clicks 

      – use a photo with someone’s face in it, you can use all the shutterstock photos for free in Facebook ads now

      – on your blog post, it might be a good idea to start off with a video of you explaining the content you’re about to talk about and then transcribe it 

      Hope this helps, 

      Martina 

  2. thanks Martina! I am thinking about using PPC to get traffic, and I paid for days to trial the effect, things go like you told on your artcles, it do get the traffic for me but no useful! I am suspicious of the reason you mentioned, now I guess right with your share. you are so nice to tell us not to easily make our mind to start PPC, even influencer.
    thanks for share of your experience, my company need to find influencer and I will think it over according to your advice before choose which one to cooperate.

    best regards

    • Hey Ariel, 

      PPC is tricky but it definitely works! What I would steer clear from is paid traffic – the kind of website that promises you 10k visitors for 20$ or something like that. Ad networks with FB or Google DO in fact work you just have to be diligent in terms of your budgeting and keep track of your costs vs. profits so that you’re actually making money as opposed to loosing it 

      Influencer marketing is definitely the best option for beginners because you’re leaning on someone else’s authority so your job is to create a visually appealing ad & find a good influencer in your niche. Once you do that, the targeting and the trust is all done for you 🙂 

      Hope this helps clarify things, 

      Martina 

  3. Thanks for the insightful article. I am hesitant to pay for traffic for one of the reasons you point out, bounce rate. That can hurt your rank in Google I understand. I am not getting any organic traffic yet and PPC is too expensive.

    Do you think facebook ads is a good option?

    • Hey Steven, 

      Organic traffic takes time and a lot of work to build up, so you just have to be patient with it. 

      In terms of PPC, I always like Facebook as a starting point because it’s cheaper but tougher to get conversions so it’s a great testing platform because if it works on Facebook, you can 100% make it work on Google even though you have to be more stringent with your budget. 

      Facebook Ads is great as long as you keep your ad copy conversational, your images stand out and unique. It can be tough to get attention on Facebook sometimes. Also, you absolutely have to do the math. If you’re loosing money after 100 visitors to your site/landing page, then change your ad or ad strategy and try again. Try AB testing! The point is you need to make sure you’re keeping it small scale until it’s working.

      Once it works, then put as much money in as possible because you’re profitable! So all the money in is getting you more money out 🙂 

      Hope this helps, 

      Martina 

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