In affiliate marketing traffic is very crucial without which nobody can succeed. Without traffic, it’s like sailing a boat without water. There are basically two kind of traffic free and paid traffic. In this post we will mainly discuss about paid traffic sources.
Type Of Traffic Sources
Free Traffic Source: – These are the kind of traffic which is generated for free. There are many ways to get free traffic but the most proven source are organic traffic from search results by doing SEO and from social marketing from sites like facebook, youtube, pinterest, instagram etc. It sounds good but requires lot of hard work and patience as it can sometimes take even years to rank a site on page of search results. In affiliate marketing no offer last that long so free traffic in not an idle solution for affiliates. In fact, most of the successful affiliates don’t even bother waiting for so long and that is the reason all of them opt for paid traffic as its fast to get highly targeted traffic.
Paid traffic Source: – Paid traffic generally refers to buying traffic from advertising network. Paid traffic is highly targeted as an affiliate (advertiser on traffic sources) target their audience based on several factors and can place their advertisement on targeted sites. This helps in receiving laser targeted traffic fast and producing high quality conversion. Paid traffic can be classified into several category based on the type of advertisement, bidding model, type of traffic which is generated. Below is the complete list of paid traffic source and its categorization.
List Of Paid Traffic Sources – Complete Advertisers Guide
PPC or pay-per-click is an internet advertising model which is charged for every click/visit which is sent to the advertiser’s website for related search query/keyword. These ads are generally shown on search engines when a user types any query/keyword and searches for it. The advertisement with highest bids is shown alongside search results and when a user clicks on those ads, they are redirected to the advertiser’s website.
Google is the leading search engine on the net and acquires the highest volume of search market shares followed by bing, yahoo, ask & aol. All the search engines follow the pay-per-click advertisement model.
Google Adwords: Google adwords is the advertising program which show keyword/query specific advertisement on Google search engine result pages and also on publisher’s websites which is affiliated with Google Adsense. With over 63% of total search market share, Google Adwords is the most popular advertisement platform online due to immense amount highly targeted traffic. Supported advertising model by Google Adwords are CPC (Cost-per-click), CPM (Cost-per-impression), CPA (Cost-per-action), Re-targeting, Pay per call, Local ads etc.
Note: Google Adwords is very competitive and the most expensive paid traffic source. They have very strict rules and are not affiliate friendly at all.
Bing Ads: Bing Ads from Microsoft is similar to Google Adwords. Bing now has 1/3rd of total US desktop search volume according to comScore but for rest of the countries the search volume is quite low. Generally, Bing can provide 1/10th of total Google search traffic (worldwide). Even though the traffic volume is low on Bing Ads but the traffic quality if quite high and cheap as compare to Google Adwords. On top of that Bing Ads is very affiliate friendly.
Note: Bing Ads has low and limited amount of traffic so it’s hard to scale any winning campaign much further.
Yandex Advertising: Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia and has a search market share of over 50%. It is not a self-serve advertising platform and has huge volume of traffic targeting only Russian audience. So, if you want to promote something on Russian market then Yandex can get you good traffic and it’s fairly cheap.
Note: Very few traffic outside Russian market and it’s not a self-serve advertising platform.
Keyword Research Tool
Google Keyword Planner: With this free tool inside your adwords account you can find highly relevant keywords for your campaign. It gives you a clear idea about search volume of each keyword on google search engine, the number of click it receives and its average cost per click.
Bing Keyword Tool: Very similar to the Google keyword planner, but everything here is related to bing and not google.
Long Tail Pro: The best paid keyword research tool. It is a very useful to find high volume keywords and saves lots of time.
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Display ads and PPC ads has dominated the market overs years. It has been over corwded and has become expensive. So as the market changes, affiliate marketers adapt to the new changes as new form of advertisement has been introduced to the market.
Native Advertising is the hottest buzz in the industry and it’s gaining its popularity very rapidly. Native advertising is basically a mixture of image and text ads and looks like editorial content on the website where it is placed. One can hardly distinguish between the content and the ad. And that is the sole reason the CTR and conversion ratio is better for native ads than display or PPC ads. Native advertising ad networks follow CPC pricing model. In other words, native advertising is simply content distribution and aims at generating instant traffic.
Below are the lists of native advertising networks:
Taboola: Taboola is the leading and most popular native advertising self-serving ad network. It has the highest reach among all native ad networks. It’s ads appear on top quality premium sites like Daily Mail, NBC News, Eurosports yahoo and other top quality premium sites. It’s ads appear in a customizable widgets on top, bottom, side-wise or within feed.
Reach: Over 1.4 billion monthly users
Traffic: 50% of their traffic is from Tier 1 countries such as the US, UK, Japan, and France.
Pricing: From $10 per day.
Outbrain: Outbrain is one of the popular native advertising platform. It’s ads appear in popular and premium quality placements like Mashable, CNN,FOX News, The Guardian and lots more of such top-quality sites.
Reach: Over 1.2 billion monthly users
Traffic: 50% of their traffic is from Tier 1 countries such as the US, UK, Japan, and France.
Pricing: From $10 per day.
MGID: Next on the list is native ad network MGID. MGID has over 32000 partnered website across the world to deliver high volume of diverse traffic. It’s ads are served on popular sites like MSN, The Daily wire, Newsweek,Investing.com and many more.
Reach: Over 850 million monthly users
Traffic: Europe, the USA, Asia-Pacific, etc.
Pricing: The minimum amount required to start advertising on MGID is $100. The minimum bid for tier 1 countries is $0.015 per click.
Revcontent: Revcontent native ad network has over 4800 publishers website which accounts for over 50,000 monthly visitors. It’s ads appear on Los Angles time which drives a significant amount of traffic.
Reach: Over 50,000 monthly visitors
Traffic: 50% of visits come from the USA and UK.
Pricing: The minimum amount required to start advertising on Revcontent is $100. It allows both CPC & CPM.
Yahoo Gemini: Yahoo Gemini has roughly around 400 million active users in the ad networks database. The ads are generally served on Yahoo’s home page and other Yahoo’s publications such as Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Entertainment, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo News, Yahoo Lifestyles and others.
Reach: 400 million active users in it’s database
Traffic: More than 50% of traffic comes from the US, UK, and France.
Pricing: The minimum amount required to start advertising is $25.
Adnow: Adnow is a self-serving native ad network. Adnow has over 160,000 publishers website which delivers roughly around 980 million monthly unique users. They only allow CPM based bidding.
Reach: Roughly around 950 million monthly users
Traffic: Most of the traffic comes from countries like UK, USA, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Poland, and Greece.
Pricing: The minimum amount required to start advertising with Adnow is $30. CPM can range from 10 cents to 2$.
Above are the top native ad networks out there in the market. However, the quality of native ad networks are growing rapidly and will continue to do so in near future. Below is a list of few more native ad networks:
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Push Notification has taken the affiliate marketing and CPA world by storm. One of the main reason why it has gained so much popularity in a short span of time is that it works on almost any vertical. Push ads engages with a real user and is a great communication tool which can result in high CTR and higher conversion rates. Brands has been leveraging push ads for quite sometime.
Push notification ads has huge volume of highly targeted real users traffic. So if you want to take your affiliate marketing/CPA journey to next level then it’s the right source of traffic for you. Below are the list of top Push Notification Ad Networks list:
Reach: 1 billion daily impression in more than 180 countries.
Bidding: Only CPC
Minimum Deposit: $100
Social Media Advertising Paid Traffic Sources
We all know the ever increasing popularity of social networking sites and the sheer amount of traffic they hold. With so many monthly active user’s and huge pool of traffic, social media is booming at the moment. No wonder why the ad spend on social media paid traffic is skyrocketing every year.
The main advantage of paid social media traffic is that advertisers can get advanced targeting options due to the user’s data collected by the social networking sites. It helps in creating brand awareness, getting more exposure with a growing audience and of course generating more revenue. Social media traffic is everything small business needs to grow. Below are the lists of best paid social media traffic source.
Facebook Ads: Facebook is the biggest social network site with over 2.934 billion active users (as of july 2022) and growing. Facebook ads also known as Facebook for business is the advertising platform of Facebook. Facebook ads really stand out of the rest advertising ad networks because of the huge amount of traffic and advance targeting option. Facebook not only allows targeting audience based on demographics but also on their interests which help is getting better conversions. Search ad networks like Google & Bing has advance targeting options, but doesn’t allow targeting based on demographics, interests, behavior. That’s what makes Facebook ads unique with laser fine targeting option. Facebook ads don’t only help in getting clicks to website, but also help in branding, exposure, building audience base, helps in getting more installs for mobile apps, boosting fan page post and getting more engagement.
Note: Facebook is super competitive just like Adwords so the prices can be steep. CPM/CPC pricing is directly related to the CTR, the higher the CTR the lower the price for CPM/CPC and vice-versa. It also depends on the demographics and targeting. Also make sure to go through Facebook Ads TOS because if you don’t comply by their advertisement guidelines then you are going to get your account banned.
Twitter Ads: Twitter is the biggest micro-blogging social platform with over 238 million monetizable daily active users(as per latest earning reports by twitter on July 2022). Twitter ads lets you advertise on twitter with promoted tweets, promoting accounts & promoted trends. Twitter advertisement perfectly suits for getting more engagement to the tweets, getting more clicks to website or app installs, getting more followers & gaining visibility. It has great traffic quality and it has fine demographic targeting option just like Facebook ads with recent inclusion of keyword targeting which makes it even better.
Youtube Ads: Youtube is the most popular video sharing platform currently owned by Google and has an Alexa rank of 2. So that means it’s the second most visited site on the internet. It is also the second largest search engine. Youtube lets you advertise on Youtube through Google Adwords account. Advertisement formats for Youtube Ads supported are displays ads, Overlay ads, Skippable & Non-skippable video ads, banner ads and sponsored card. More details about Youtube Ad formatting can be found here. Youtube has huge amount of traffic and the cost is cheap too. If you are into video marketing and want high quality traffic then Youtube ads should be your best choice.
Note: To make most out of Youtube ads, you need to have some killer videos. The better your videos will be the better engagement it will receive.
LinkedIn Ads: LinkedIn is the most popular professional network with reach around 849.6 million users( As of July 2022). LinkedIn ads have 2 ad formats Sponsored updates and text ads with CPC/CPM bidding model. Like Facebook and Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads has advance targeting option and allows you to target audience by their job title, industry, profession etc. The only drawback of LinkedIn ads is that they are costly and its minimum CPC is $2, but it works great for B2B marketing.
Note: Very expensive social media traffic source and very hard to get profitable with limited budget unless every lead’s life time value is very high.
Instagram for Business: As you know Instagram is the most popular photo sharing website and currently owned by Facebook. It now has around 1.21 billion monthly active users. Though it’s not as big as Facebook, but it’s growing rapidly. Instagram for business lets you advertise on Instagram. Support ad formats are image ads, video ads and carousel ads. You can create Instagram ads from your Facebook account.
Tiktok for Business: Tiktok has over1 billion active users from 141 countries as of July 2022 and is expected to grow even more. It has the highest social media engagement per post. Tiktok for business lets you advertise on their platform & support ad formats are In-feed native ads, Brand takeover ads, Hashtag challenges. It’s quite expensive for small business to advertise on tiktok.
Snapchat Business: Snapchat currently has around 400 million active users. It now has around 1.21 billion monthly active users. Snapchat has the most younger(under 35+) demographics among other social media sites. So, if your targeted audience is younger demographics then it is perfectly suited for you. Snap ads, Collection ads, Story ads & Dynamic ads. You can create your snapchat account and then create your snapchat business account.
Note: Snapchat business is not for everyone. Business targeting younger audience(below 35 yrs) is perfectly suited for Snapchat business.
Pinterest Ads: Pinterest is a social networking site where majority of the users are female. To be very specific pinterest has around 80% female users. Pinterest allows you to advertise with promoted pins. You need a US business account to get started with Pinterest Ads. Pinterest isn’t accepting advertising from any other country.
Note: Since most of the users are female, so business/products targeting women does well on Pinterest.
Reddit Ads: Reddit is a popular social news site with over 234 million unique users. It gets around 542 million monthly visitors and 82.54 billion pageviews. Reddit allows two types of advertising programs self-served and managed. Self-served ads only allows to advertise ‘sponsored headline’ while managed ads allows you to advertise through banner, mobile and video ads. There aren’t any targeting options available except the sub-reddit.
Tumblr Business: Tumblr is one of the popular micro-blogging platform with over 500 million users, which is currently owned by Yahoo. Yahoo acquired Tumblr for s sum of $1.1 billion in the year 2013. As per the report Tumblr hosts around 334.1 million blogs and gets an average 555 million monthly visitors. Tumblr lets you advertise through sponsored posts, videos, day & carousel. It’s a perfect fit for brand exposure.
It’s a mobile era and mobile industry in expanding every year. People love to spend their time on mobile than on computer. Thanks to the smartphones and tablets for making life easier with better connectivity. Advertisements also take a huge leap and didn’t miss out the chance to tap into the huge pool of mobile traffic. With mobile advertisement you can show your banner ads, text ads or multi-media video ads through mobile apps or websites. You can also send push notifications from some networks which allow such service.
InMobi: InMobi has a huge inventory and tons of high quality traffic. They have 1.5 billion plus unique mobile device access and receive over 200 billion ad request monthly. They also have over 32000 publisher apps which produce tons of traffic. InMobi does have different tracking option but don’t have any dynamic tokens for tracking and optimization except the campaign ID and creative ID which is one of its drawbacks. So that means you have to have a very good budget to get InMobi working for you.
Airnowmedia: Airnowmedia is a mobile programmatic advertising with a leading mobile display network. It has a reach of over 100 million monthly active users across 300,000 active mobile devices and sites. Supported ad formats by Airnowmedia are video,push notifications, interstitial & in-app banner. It is also a perfect place for media buying by app owners.
StartApp: StartApp is a mobile ad network which helps in user acquisition and lead generation though in-app promotion. They have around 1.4 billion active users. Supported ad formats are App Icon, Full Page Ads, InApp Ads, Interstitial & Video. They have CPA, CPC, CPI & CPM pricing model. StartApp also uses smart targeting for better results in term of advertising. They have a very nice user interface and use all necessary analytics and managing tool.
Note: If you are looking for exposure and want high quality leads then you can get started with StartApp ad network.
BuzzCity: Buzzcity is one of the oldest mobile ad networks and its user interface is back dated too. Buzzcity allows banner and text mobile ads with CPC & CPM pricing model. Their traffic volume isn’t that huge and most of their traffic is from Asian and African geos. Recently Buzzcity has migrated all their adult publishers to Reporo network so that means they won’t have any adult from now onwards. It also lacks good targeting option. Pricing Model: CPC & CPM
Note: If you want traffic from Asian and African geos then you can give it a go. Now they won’t allow dating/adult campaigns as all of their adult publishers are migrated to Reporo ad network.
Smartyads: Smartyads serves mobile and in-app ads via programmatic platform. They offer premium ad placement through their DSP. Supported ad formats are banner, in-app, interstitial, native, video, and rich media ad formats. They allow CPI or CPM pricing model.
Go2Mobi: It has a very clean interface and is also a real-time optimization network. Supported Ad formats by Go2Mobi are banner ads, video ads, rich-media ads and mobile native ads. There traffic is also cheaper as compared to other RTB networks. Go2Mobi allows only CPM pricing model and they have very good targeting options. They also provide good number of dynamic tracking tokens for proper tracking and optimization of campaign.
Note: The traffic is cheap and if you want to test out mobile campaigns Go2Mobi can be the perfect traffic source. It’s a very nice ad network and can bring great ROI on some campaigns.
Tapjoy: Tapjoy is a mobile CPI ad network. It’s an incentive app install service intend at helping advertisers grow their install numbers on their apps. Since the install nature is incentive, so the quality is low which leads to certain percentage of apps uninstall. Tapjoy follows a pay-per install pricing model and you will be charged every time an install and required action is complete. They also allow a feature called ‘Reconnect’ where the user will revisit your app and perform your specified action.
Note: If you want to grow your app’s user base, then you can use this ad network for incentive app installs. But don’t promote CPA offers which have high retention restrictions because you won’t be able to maintain the retention rate.
Pop under or pop up is a form of advertisement which opens a full webpage in a new window (either pop up or pop-under) parallel to the website the user is trying to access. This form of advertisement is really annoying for the user as it distracts them from the original content they are trying to access. Pop up/ Pop under advertisement follows pay-per-view advertisement model. You pay each time your webpage is shown on a pop up/pop-under window.
Due to its annoying nature visitors are more prone to close it even before the window loads completely (especially for pop up traffic) resulting in low engagement and higher exit rate. Pop up/Pop under is also the cheapest form of advertisement and traffic quality is also low as compared to PPC or social media traffic.
Domain redirect traffic is basically the kind of redirect traffic which comes from parked domains. Publishers purchase expired domains which still have traffic through their web presence and sell those traffic to you via any redirect traffic ad network. Domain redirect traffic has a mixture of high and low-quality traffic depending on the quality of the site it is originating and it happens to be very cheap.
Adcash: Adcash is one of the leading traffic source network and it has many advertising formats. Adcash support Display Ads, Pop-Under Ads, Interstitial Ads, Slide-In Ads, Background Ads, Footer Ads, Video Ads & In-App Ads. They has sheer amount of traffic from top domains in almost every country which has both desktop and mobile traffic. They also have lots of low-quality traffic. Apart from that Adcash provides good targeting options for proper tracking and optimization.
Note: If you want to scale any of your profitable campaigns, then Adcash would do the perfect job. But do remember they have huge amount of traffic so filter as many variables as you can. Adcash is more focused on gaming and entertainment traffic, so offers on those niches perform very well.
PropellerAds: PropellerAds is an Ad network based on the U.K. Supported Ad formats are pop-under (huge traffic), banner ads, mobile dialog ads, mobile interstitial ads, video ads and direct links. They have huge inventories and claims to have 400 million pop under impression daily. I have tested their network and I surely can vouch that they have a good amount of pop under traffic. PropellerAds also have better targeting options. You can only target by location, language, OS, device, connection type, carrier browser etc.
Note: It’s a great traffic source and perfect ad network to scale profitable campaigns.
SelfAdvertiser: SelfAdvertiser is a media technology company, a division of Intango. They have huge inventories and claims to have 830 million views every day. They have both domain redirect & pop traffic. Top performing verticals on SelfAdvertisers are ecommerce, health & diet, finance, sports, utilities, mobile content, travel, casual gaming etc
Adsterra Popunders: Adsterra is a multi ad format ad network. Adsterra hsa over 10,000 direct publishers from 190+ countries which delivers an estimated amount of more than 25 billion ad impressions every month across all its ad formats. They have advance targeting options like Geolocation, Language, Device and Vendor, Operating System, Browser, Connection type etc and also retargeting option.
Note: If you already have a profitable campaign and want to scale it up then you can try Adsterra.
AdMaven Popunders: Admaven has decent popunder traffic. Admaven can deliver more than 500 million daily impressions directly from their publishers. 90% of the traffic from Admaven comes directly from their direct publishers unlike other pop traffic source which provide third party traffic. Admaven’s top performing verticals are Mobile offers, Mobile app installs, Push subscription offers, Sweepstakes, Credit Card Submit, Single Opt-in and Double Opt-In Offers, PC Cleaners, Forex, Binary, and Crypto, Dating.
Popads: Popads is one of the pop traffic source which has huge amount of traffic in every geos for both mobile and desktop. They also have good amount of low quality traffic like many other pop traffic sources. So it’s always suggested to cut out the low converting variable as soon as possible else they would simply drain your budget. Popads has fine targeting options with many tracking tokens which help to optimize a campaign to the max ROI. Since there so many variables which can be used for optimization, so most of newbies find it hard to master the traffic source in short span of time and with limited budget. It is also the first choice for affiliates who is just getting started with affiliate marketing.
Note: The competition is huge and you have to monitor your bid position several times a day. It’s pretty common to be out-bided on a successful campaign. Also, the low quality sites have the worst quality of traffic so from my personal experience I would suggest to stick till quality 6 websites.
Popcash: Popcash is another pop traffic source similar to Popads. They have tons of traffic and it’s quite cheap. Again its traffic quality is of low standard and most of the traffic comes from adult & torrent sites. It doesn’t allow such fine targeting like Popads or Adcash and is considered as one of its drawbacks. Popcash allows targeting by country, OS and categories.
Note: Sweeptakes, app install, pin submit and dating kind of offer converts pretty well on popcash.
ZeroPark: Zeropark is the leading ad network which provides high-quality domain redirect traffic. Apart from domain redirect traffic, Zeropark also has pop up traffic and search traffic. Both domain redirect and pop up traffic is available for mobile and desktop. Zeropark has tons of traffic and also provide plenty of targeting options for laser targeting. They also support a good amount of dynamic tokens for proper tracking and optimization of campaign.
Note: If you are looking for sheer amount of redirect traffic then Zeropark is great. They have high quality and quantity traffic for both mobile and desktop. It’s a perfect traffic source for scaling domain redirect and pop up campaigns.
Tonic: This name “Tonic” must be new to the affiliates. Earlier it was known by the name “DTNX” and they re-branded it to TONIC. Like Zeropark tonic has redirect traffic and are also integrated with Zeropark & Parkingcrew network. Apart from they also provide pop up traffic, email traffic, display traffic & exit traffic. The only thing that seems to be on the downside is the number of dynamic tracking tokens. Tonic provides just 2 dynamic tracking tokens and they are [sourceid] for domain source tracking and [match] for keyword tracking.
Display advertising is simply showing your advertisement on specific websites in ad formats like text, image, video, flash & audio. Display advertising follows CPC and CPM pricing model which means you have to pay when anybody clicks on your ad (CPC) or views your ad (CPM).
Display ads helps in getting quick exposure and huge traffic in a short span of time. However, the ROI for display advertising is on the lower side as compared to PPC traffic as it depends on several factors like relevancy, nature of business, user experience, landing page, creative (banner, video, flash, audio) etc. But, display advertisement is perfect for branding and big companies use display advertisement for that. Below are the lists of paid display advertisement networks:
Retargeting is the form of advertising where you target users who have visited your site earlier but didn’t take action. This is a very effective form of advertisement because it has a very high ROI. Research shows that less than 5% of the visitors who visit the site for the first time actually convert into customers. So retargeting the rest increases signup and sales.
Major advertising platform such as Google, Bing, Facebook etc. allows retargeting. There are also independent networks which allow retargeting advertising. They are mentioned below:
The name says it all. Most advertising networks don’t allow promoting offers adult or explicit in nature. But these ad networks allow all sort of adult offers as the traffic itself is adult in nature. The traffic comes from all the tube sites or image sites which have adult & explicit content.
Variety of offers works pretty well on adult traffic such as dating, adult toys, cams, antivirus etc. Most of the networks allow ad formats like banner, pop up/pop under and they follow CPC/CPM/CPV pricing model. Below are the lists of adult traffic sources and they are classified according to their traffic quality.
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There are so many traffic sources listed here. I personally haven’t tested all of them, but I use traffic sources, according to my needs. I use some to scale up my profitable campaigns. Likewise, you don’t have to test all of them. Just use the one which fits your requirement and your budget.
Paid traffic is very effective and can bring you a huge return of investment (ROI) if you do it the right way. You need to track your advertising campaign all the time and optimize it based on the data you receive from your ad network. If you fail in doing that then you would end up losing advertising money. The key to making profit with paid traffic is proper strategy, tracking everything and optimizing ad campaign to its best.
It has been a very long post and if I have missed something then do let me know. Would love to hear your opinion in the comment box below.