There are numerous aspects to consider when you’re on the verge of picking a traffic source to start playing the affiliate marketing game:
- The Cost of the Traffic Source
- The Amount of Traffic Available
- Restrictions, Regulations and Rules
- The Overall Quality of the Traffic Source
- The Targeting Options Available
- The Niche or Audience
Let’s check each aspect one by one, shall we?
1. The Cost of the Traffic Source
Each traffic source has a certain cost, depending on the type of traffic it has, the number of GEOs you can monetize in, the quality of traffic provided, etc.
Some web traffic sources can brag about having traffic that converts well while others don’t showcase the same powerful traffic.
Due to incredibly tough competition, some sites may be overpriced at a certain moment, whereas others are cheap and can actually help you make a cash cow.
Learn More: Trail the Unexplored Path – Explore Gold Mines
2. The Amount of Traffic Available
The ability of marketing sources to provide campaigns that can allow you to generate a whole lotta sweet cash isn’t all the same.
On some ad networks, you’ll be lucky to play with Tier 3 GEOs with huge volumes and fewer costs.
On other networks, you’ll only be able to make some cash with the most expensive GEOs, since the traffic quality is also related to the price you pay for your visits.
The amount of traffic is different from ad network to ad network and also from vertical to vertical.
There are a whole lotta networks that may have a lot of traffic available.
Even so, the quality of said traffic is really low!
Based on the offer you’re promoting, you must decide where to buy traffic and which volumes you’re interested in.
3. Restrictions, Regulations and Rules
In some traffic sources for websites, there are tough restrictions you should watch out for.
These generally have to do with misleading banners, used to attract customers but which don’t respect the guidelines and regulations you can find on every single traffic source.
You should always read the restrictions of each traffic source carefully.
Because you may get banned for playing with fire.
Moreover, mind the content you’re actually able to promote.
Wanna promote adult content on a mainstream ad network?
You may not have the campaigns approved!
4. The Overall Quality of the Traffic Source
There are two things which can impact the overall quality of a traffic source:
- the fact that – even though the traffic is not bot traffic – some networks just have lousy traffic quality
- the fact that there’s a whole lotta bot traffic
Ever heard of the ultimate plague in affiliate marketing?
It’s called affiliate fraud and it has obvious impacts for internet traffic sources.
Imagine that a traffic source is rumoured to be teeming with fraudulent traffic.
The clicks or visits are generated on a click farm located in Eastern Guizhou and affiliates start getting out, picking the sort of “clean” traffic that’s not gonna make them lose money on fraudulent traffic.
Another case of fraudulent shenanigans?
The owners of shady networks can simulate conversions so as to fake quality.
Why does it work, you ask?
Because this gives the affiliate community the appearance of offer success, which means people become enticed and decide to bet like crazy on that specific fraudulent network.
What should you take from this?
The more real traffic a network has, the more quality traffic it can brag about, and the higher it ranks in the minds and hearts of affiliates.
Yes, it’s a matter of business reputation.
Moreover, it’s also a matter of survival.
Be careful and ALWAYS make sure you’re playing with a credible traffic source that’s been explored by someone you know or that has a clean reputation in the market.
Shady online traffic sources selling El Dorado that seem too good to be true probably are.
Bot traffic is super real:
You check your stats and notice a click coming from Switzerland, a Tier 1 GEO.
That click is coming straight outta Cambodia and it’s as fake as it can be.
Don’t worry, though!
Most legit traffic sources and affiliate platforms have internal fraud control teams whose priority is to analyze traffic and weed out the bad seeds.
5. The Targeting Options Available
Targeting is quite the powerful tool in the industry.
It basically allows you to decide which specific aspects of your campaign should be targeted.
Here are some examples of targeting options:
- Time of Day
- Operating Systems (iOS vs Android)
- Devices (Mobile vs Desktop)
- Traffic Sources, etc.
Traffic sources, you said?
There are targeted traffic sources you can play with, too.
Some traffic sources don’t allow you to target a specific GEO.
Some others will say no when you ask to target a particular browser.
What to do?
Bear the features and limitations of each specific traffic source in mind before diving in.
Since targeting allows you to select a part of the lovely audience and promote your ads just to those few, you should understand that the more traffic sources are available to your affiliate self, the better.
Targeting is huge!
By deciding who should see your ads, you’re basically picking a select pool of users you KNOW will be more prone to give you a cool conversion.
It’s all about the money, am I right?
6. The Niche or Audience
If you’re a Mobidea Academy fan, you know we love writing about the most profitable niches in affiliate marketing!
Why is a niche so important?
Because – by focusing on a niche and learning a whole lot about it – you’ll be able to know a particular affiliate marketing vertical through and through.
This allows you to know everything about the offer types you’re playing with.
This affiliate traffic game is all about info.
Which means what?
Specify yourself and become fully acquainted with the particular vertical you wanna play with.
Some paid traffic sources perform well when you promote offers within the Nutra vertical, whereas others will prove to be the sweepstakes kings.
It all depends.
And that’s why it’s so crucial for you to check everything about a specific traffic source before jumping in.
Let’s say you wanna promote traffic in Thailand, a great GEO for both beginners and more experienced marketers.
You should probably pick a traffic source that specializes on that GEO, right?
You got it!
Now that you know what to LOOK FOR when picking a traffic source, it’s time for you to become fully knowledgeable about the best traffic sources around!
The Best Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing
As I’m sure you know, there are myriads of traffic sources out there.
That’s why it’s important that I categorize each one, putting them into separate tiers.
Ready for these awesome traffic sources?
Here’s the full list of the different category types of affiliate marketing Traffic Sources!
- Mobile Traffic
- Push Notifications
- Search Traffic
- Social Traffic
- Native Ads
- PPV Traffic
- Mainstream Traffic
- URL Shortening Tools
- Adult Traffic
1. Mobile Traffic
Wanna buy mobile traffic like a king?
Then it’s your time to shine!
Mobile affiliate marketing isn’t really a trend:
It’s an overwhelming money-fest and a capitalist phenomenon you’ve gotta go for.
It also happens to be the fastest-growing traffic source on this green earth.
Even though some developing countries are still huge fans of feature phones, mobile revenues are going through the roof.
For instance, Facebook’s shares are showcasing a record high value, and this surge in revenue is linked with a consistent dominance in the realm of mobile video advertising.
Google – another tech masterpiece – has had a huge revenue growth.
Thanks to what?
I told you mobile traffic sources were banging!
Google has managed to make nearly 50 billion dollars from mobile in 2017.
This traffic source isn’t playing around.
On mobile, you can opt for:
- Redirects (users land on a specific URL and are instantly redirected to your lander)
- Push Notifications
You should be careful, though:
There are lots of web traffic sources which have both mobile and desktop traffic.
Always remember to separate these two types, since they convert differently.
On mobile, you can optimize a whole lotta different aspects such as Operating Systems and Carriers.
It may be tough to make sure that your banner ad is being displayed correctly on all the different smartphones out there.
Even so, the mobile realm is out of this world, and it does allow you to explore cheaper ad spends with high revenues coming your way.
See Also: List of The Best Ad Networks
2. Push Notifications
Push notifications are a new type of ad format that’s been making huge waves for advertisers.
They may have started as a means for mobile users to get instant email notifications on their device, but they have since evolved into a powerful ad format that it’s impossible for affiliates to ignore.
They typically have a higher CTR than other ad formats, with rates approaching 30% for some verticals.
This means you can see great results when using CPC or CPM cost models when buying push traffic.
Push ads aren’t just the next big thing, they’re already a big thing and with more networks adding them to their available formats, the impact of push ads is only set to increase.
As an ad format they have a lot in common with native ads, and this is reflected in the user retention and engagement rates for push traffic.
The opt-in rates show a similar story with an industry average of 20%, making them the ideal format for increasing your subscriber lists.
What’s so special about them?
Well, for one, push traffic only includes genuine users who have opted-in to receive notifications, so you always get high quality traffic.
Plus, the ad is always visibly displayed on the user’s device at eye level, so every ad impression is seen by a real user.
You can customize the ads with titles, descriptions, logos, images and emojis, which makes them perfect for split testing your creatives and grabbing user attention.
And then there’s the reach.
You can target millions of global users in all GEOs, right down to the city level so you will always be able to find enough volume for your campaign.
They can also work in just about any vertical, but you will need a high converting landing page and killer ad copy to make sure your campaign is a success.
How can you make money with push traffic?
Push ads can work well for any vertical but they tend to excel in sweepstakes, coupons & vouchers, mobile content, nutra and finance offers.
Create engaging ad copy and test multiple variations of your creatives, choose your GEO’s and frequency cap and pick the winning campaigns.
Is there anything to watch out for?
Users that have been shown less notifications are generally more likely to convert for your offer.
So the quality of the traffic relies on the age of the user and how many notifications they have already be shown on their device.
You may find the cheapest traffic to be at the opposite end of the spectrum, so monitor your data and optimize your campaigns to make sure you maintain a positive ROI.
Want to know where to buy push traffic?
The great thing about push ads is there easy to set up and buy, if you know where to look.
Check out the platforms below that will turn you into a push ads ninja, even if you have no knowledge of the ad format to start with:
Wanna work with a platform that will give you access to over 20+ push traffic suppliers to kick start your campaigns?
Check out Mobidea Push to manage your push campaigns from a single dashboard with built in bot traffic detection.
You’ll be able to launch your campaign in less than 5 minutes and it comes with advanced campaign optimization that you can use with any offer.
3. Search Traffic
What is Search Traffic?
There are two types of search traffic:
- Organic Traffic
- Paid Ads or PPC
Organic traffic is unpaid traffic that comes from the search engines.
Paid ads has to do with Google Adwords, which is an advertising service created for businesses which want to display advertisements on Google.
Organic traffic is the best thing of all time.
If you get someone to actually visit your website or ad who’s coming from Google’s organic search listing, the chances of conversion are 7 times higher than if you’d gotten someone coming straight from a paid ad.
Why do paid ads fail when compared to juicy organic traffic?
Because Google has been around for decades and people aren’t stupid:
They’re intelligent enough to realize that you can’t pay to be featured organically.
This means users (or potential customers) immediately respond to organic as “proven”, “officially commendable” ads.
It’s like a digital seal of quality.
When your product happens to be sitting atop of the SERPs for a specific keyword, that basically means Google is tapping you on the back and saying:
“Your product is the bomb!”
Google is simply the most visited website on earth.
It lets you perform keyword targeting, catching search queries like a hawk feasting on mice!
This means you can go super specific, allowing the right users to check your ads.
On Adwords, your Cost per Click (CPC) is determined bearing the keyword you’re bidding for in mind + the relevance of your website and of your ad to that specific keyword.
Google Adwords is user-friendly, and provides the tools you’ll need to be able to monetize to the max with remarkably effective campaigns.
Summing up, getting organically ranked for your chosen keyword is definitely gonna allow you to use the most famous, best-converting, and consistently profitable traffic source around – Google.
Are there other online traffic sources for search traffic?
You can promote on Bing, Baidu, Gigablast, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, Yahoo, etc.
Since Google controls about 65 percent of search, this also means Google offers you more chances for you to monetize traffic like the best of them.
There’s power in numbers, right?
4. Social Traffic
Social media ads are awesome ways for you to monetize.
Traffic sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram are packing some serious revenue and you don’t wanna miss out.
Related Content: The 5 Best Alternatives to Facebook Ads
When it comes to social traffic, targeting is king!
You can target based on interests, location, demographics, age, etc.
Let’s say you create a Facebook Ads campaign targeting Spaniards living in Canada who are aged between 27-56, and have “Bullfighting”, “Chess” and “Car Tuning” listed as interests.
Facebook has an amazing algorithm that’s sure to only show your campaign to those highly-specific users.
You can check data in amazing detail, getting to know how many of your users are “Outward Bound”, how many consider themselves to be “Country Enthusiasts” and so on.
Source: Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook provides a huge amount of data on your reports.
Facebook Audience Insights helps you perform your primary research.
Optimize based on the data you get on your report.
Moreover, if you manage to insert the Facebook pixel on your offer or lander, go for it.
Summing up, social ads ensure you can efficiently segment and target to make sure your ads are seen by the EXACT kind of users/customers you want them to be seen by.
Moreover, since Facebook and other social media platforms have billions of users, scaling up on social media advertising is easy stuff!
5. Native Ads
Native ads are an ad format designed to resemble the feel and look of the specific context in which they’re displayed.
It’s all about lack of intrusiveness and makes you think about a chameleon doing its thing.
As the primary concern of any publisher happens to be user retention, and since Native Ads blend in and are less prone to be hated and vilified by users, it’s only natural that this traffic source is proving its worth in affiliate marketing.
In fact, according to Business Insider, Native Ads will be responsible for 74% of ALL ad revenue by the year 2021.
For publishers, native ads also happen to represent a retention rate that’s way higher than banners.
Three times as high.
For advertisers, native ads represent a cool engagement increase of approximately 60%.
The trick in Native Advertising?
Getting dirt-cheap CPCs and making sure to compete for site placements.
What’s the problem, then?
In Native Ads, the rules are stricter, especially as far as Banner + Prelander + Offer is concerned.
Avoid misleading banners or you’ll be caught in Native Ad lava!
Really interested in exploring Native Ads?
Don’t know anything about it and want a reliable platform that’s specialized in native advertising?
Check these four awesome platforms you can explore to the max:
Want to be able to play in one of the most popular native advertising traffic sources?
Then check our MGID Review and dive into a newbie-friendly platform where having your own Account Manager can really help you monetize like crazy.
6. PPV Traffic
Wanna be a pay per view affiliate?
Then what the heck is PPV traffic?
PPV traffic stands for Pay-Per-View traffic and this basically means that you pay an advertising network every single time your ad or website is shown to a given user.
This traffic source is also known as CPV (Cost-Per-View.)
These traffic networks manage to install toolbars on a user’s computer and are not to be confused with PPC traffic sources.
Why do these networks install toolbars on a user’s computer?
So that the network can effectively earn money by advertising pop-ups on those computer screens.
It’s toolbar traffic mania!
The advertiser bids on a certain site and when users reach that site, they’re welcomed by an annoying yet profitable ad.
There’s also the possibility of keyword targeting.
Imagine you’re on a gaming website.
You write “Candy Crush.”
A pop-up appears, just because a shrewd advertiser put money on that set of words.
When users type in that specific keyword, the ad will appear and the money will enter the pockets of the PPV network.
Does Candy Crush get something from this?
Only the PPV traffic sources are gonna be laughing all the way to the bank.
One of the greatest PPV traffic source is RTX Platform.
On RTX, you’ve got 3 channels to promote in:
Display, Pops, and InText.
Wanna be a PPV affiliate?
Then pay attention now!
Awful things about PPV advertising networks:
- Margins are not what they used to be. You can thank intense competition for that
- The quality of traffic is not up to par
- The minimum deposit required is huge, as you’ve been able to see
- There aren’t a lot of PPV traffic sources. Reduced choice = a market that’s kind of a cartel
Great stuff about PPV traffic networks:
- Cheaper targeting. You can bid on URL targets like a master
- Simple landing pages that even a bozo can understand
- Restrictions are seldom and the guidelines are a bit more relaxed
7. Mainstream Traffic
Mainstream traffic is all the traffic which can be seen by the general population.
These are PG-13 ads that nobody’s gonna be offended by.
Therefore, it corresponds to about a trillion offers you can work with.
There are many awesome mainstream traffic verticals you can go for such as Mobile Content, Gambling, Nutra, Dating, Travel, Mainstream VOD, eCommerce, or Finance.
Great mainstream platforms for you to play with?
8. URL Shortening Tools
I bet you don’t believe me but it’s true.
URL shortening is a famous technique you can find online.
Basically, it allows a URL to be made much shorter, still becoming able to direct users to the page they wanna go for.
You’ve probably heard of Bit.ly, or Google URL Shortener.
However, there’s a somewhat peculiar but still profitable platform which monetizes shortened URLs with panache, which is Adf.ly.
By using the shortened URL, publishers get to make cash based on the users who happen to visit the link.
As soon as users open the link, they’re treated to 5 seconds of an ad.
Then, they’re allowed to actually skip that ad and move onto the shortened URL.
This’s known as Interstitial Advertising.
I bet you don’t feel satisfied and wanna know more about URL shortening monetization, right?
9. Adult Traffic
Ever heard about adult?
Those famous websites visited by hopeful young lads on the cusp of manhood?
They’re making a lotta people very rich.
In fact, according to Huffington Post, adult websites get more monthly traffic than Amazon, Twitter and Netflix combined.
Moreover, something like 30% of all data that’s transferred online is related to adult!
The adult niche is amazingly profitable.
And a great advantage of promoting on adult sites is that the restrictions are less harmful to your affiliate needs.
Now you’re thinking:
“But adult is super competitive because everybody’s playing with adult! The big sharks make it impossible for us newbie affiliates to walk in and eat a piece of the pie!”
Because the volume of traffic is INSANE.
What are the best traffic sources for adult traffic?
One of the most legendary adult ad networks is ExoClick.
Don’t know much about ExoClick?
Read our ExoClick Review!
You’re getting started and want another option?
Then check our list of the best adult ad networks.
How to Start Promoting Ads on Traffic Sources?
Select only ONE traffic source for starters.
Remember to insert some cash into the ad network.
It’s crucial that you both get your money and pay up when needed.
This will be HUGE when the time to scale up comes around.
Wanna invest less than my recommended 200 bucks?
That’s pure nonsense!
Because you won’t have enough money to run a decent campaign.
This means you won’t be able to collect enough data that could actually help you perform strategic changes during the optimization process.
You know how you need to fit in when in high school and form a clique so you can get adolescent news, and have humans to hang out with?
Make sure you create a bond with your Account Manager.
That person is like your entire group of acne-filled friends.
This is the person who knows the ebb and flow of traffic through and through and can definitely provide commentary, actionable advice, and also guide you when you need it the most.
There are a bunch of awesome internet traffic sources which can effectively help you promote ads and monetize like there’s no tomorrow.
Even so, just because there are a lot of desserts available in a downtown restaurant, that doesn’t mean you have to eat 10 different desserts like an obese maniac who’s seemingly okay with precocious diabetes.
What to do?
Keep reading about the best traffic sources, start checking Mobidea Academy’s updated list of adult ad networks, and then play the game with intelligence, ability to analyze, and some appreciation for risk-taking.
It’s all about learning what you want to promote, picking the right traffic source for that specific promotion, becoming ready to buy traffic that converts, and then seeing money pour like Gryffindor!