I haven’t updated this blog in a while because I was busy with other personal stuff for the past few months. I have lost almost 90 lbs in just 6 months believe it or not by going on a strict diet and adding more exercise to my daily routine. During summer I was doing almost 30 miles per day on my bike!
It was quite a challenge to be honest, but it feels great and I believe I have prevented many health problems I would have if I didn’t follow through.
Anyway, it’s that time of the year when people get together to wish each other all the best in the next upcoming year (unless the world ends again somehow), so I decided to publish a report I sold a few months back. It was called Traffic Project X and it showed people how to take advantage of content suggestion engines to drive massive traffic to their content sites.
It’s paid traffic, but it’s cheap and most importantly high quality.
In my opinion these traffic sources I am talking about are the future of content marketing.
It’s going to be an extremely long post but if you are trying to market your content by doing a lot of SEO then I highly recommend that you read everything on this page and take some notes.
Are you ready? Here it goes…
Oh man, I don’t even know where to start but since this is an introduction let’s talk about how I stumbled upon this insanely profitable business model that can literally change your life.
First of all, I was like you not too long ago pulling my hair out over SEO and how to get more traffic from Google. It kinda felt like I was trying to escape gravity of the earth and travel to the moon on a glider. It sucked!
Google doesn’t want you to manipulate their algo and no matter what kind of content you have they will crush your site if you keep building links like a mad man.
With my business model you won’t have to do any of that SEO crap. In fact, for me link building is a thing of the past now. I actually wrote a post about it not too long ago titled “Why I Am Abandoning Link Building” – You should read it later.
I thought that if I had quality content I was immune to spammy links. Sure I have built some myself over the years here and there but I also know that someone spammed me to hell. I noticed those links in November of 2011 but I was like most of you: “Those links can’t hurt me, so who cares!”
Comes March 2012 and Google made us all look like idiots. Businesses went down literally overnight and webmasters got the famous “unnatural links warning” message.
I couldn’t believe what was happening to be honest with you. Here I was sitting comfortably concentrating on building a quality blog and then all of a sudden I dropped from the serps within just a few days after getting the warning message in my GWT account.
Stupid me…I thought they made a mistake or something at first. Yeah, I have a big EGO! So I went ahead and submitted a reconsideration request because in my mind there was nothing wrong with my blog. I couldn’t control who links to me plus it’s impossible to go and remove tens of thousands of links. (I did manage to remove about 6k of them later on though but no luck with Google)
So anyway, shit got really serious after 3 months into the penalty. I had other sites that didn’t get whacked so at least I had something left.
Funny thing is that some of my other sites weren’t that big and established like my blog so I was surprised to see them untouched.
I figured it was time to act and find something new. I wanted something fresh that doesn’t rely on Google’s traffic but could somehow influence it or force them to give me rankings without SEO.
I started researching and doing all kinds of stuff. I knew that I needed to build a site that would be user friendly to encourage social sharing and at the same time optimized for paid traffic. I figured that if Google ranks sites that get a lot of traffic then maybe I can create a content site that would make money or at least break even by driving paid traffic to it.
The problem was that if you try to buy traffic from all the major ad networks it will cost you a ton, so you would have to pretty much promote a landing page with hard presell for an affiliate product or a lead offer. I didn’t want to do that though. I wanted the content to be helpful to the user because otherwise it wouldn’t rank on Google plus I wanted to create a real business.
Anyway, later in June I was reading an article on FoxNews.com and this little widget at the end of the post caught my attention.
It said “Also on the web”. It looks like this on almost all the big authority news sites:
I was wondering how these other sites get linked to from FoxNews? Can’t be free right? So I noticed that little tiny link that says “What’s this?” and when I clicked on it I learned about Outbrain.com which is a content suggestion engine.
I was like …well holy smoke! I wonder what it costs? So I created a test site with like 20 pages and submitted one of our posts. To start out they had me paying $0.15/click which is their recommended bid based on their network performance.
I didn’t know at the time how Outbrain works and how to maximize your traffic while lowering your CPC. I kept it running for a while and decided to optimize the page so that when people click on ads I would get paid. At the beginning we just placed links within the content to an offer that paid $30/lead.
The next day I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was banking some serious dough promoting a refinance offer while paying only $0.15/click. I mean WTF…this is way better than Adwords I thought.
Check out these stats:
Unfortunately it didn’t last long because I didn’t read Outbrain’s TOS all the way through lol
They don’t allow affiliates. You cannot have affiliate links within the content. They don’t care about what you have around your content or on the sidebar but not within the content itself, unless it’s a sponsored link from Google Adsense or something.
I am glad you are reading this report because I am going to save you a lot of frustration and headaches that I had to go through to figure all of this out myself.
Rule #1 – No naked or cloaked affiliate links within content!
So, I decided to create a whole new site with a partner of mine and this time we were going to hit it big because I knew the traffic was there and it’s converting.
Our plan was to build a real site with really useful content that people who browse through all the big news sites would share on social media and link to from other places. I can monetize the site more heavily with Adsense I thought and some other ninja stuff which I am going to talk about later in this report.
You want to start with Outbrain first though because they have a self-serve platform. You can control easily how much you pay per click and your daily budget.
But here is the kicker…Outbrain charges you for the traffic only once per month. So if you have some ideas on how to get profitable and get paid before they charge your credit card then you can seriously do some damage right of the bet.
So let’s get down to business and let me show you how to put this into action.
So let’s talk about Outbrain first. It’s a content suggestion engine that allows you to drive cheap traffic to your content site or blog. They have thousands of publishers and many of them generate millions upon millions of page views.
Sites like CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC etc. all use Outbrain. It’s premium US traffic that normally you would pay $3.00-$10.00/click on Adwords.
I honestly believe that they have an endless supply of traffic to send you if you got the funds. It’s better than doing SEO or buying traffic from Google Adwords.
In my opinion content suggestion engines are going to get HUGE in the next couple of years. Small businesses are losing the SEO battle and are being squeezed out by bigger brands. But sites like Outbrain can save them from the inevitable.
You can also build your own massive brand thanks to these content suggestion engines and there is no need to do SEO if you are doing it right.
Right now I know of these 3 content suggestion engines:
– Nrelate (smaller player but you can also get $0.04 clicks)
Let me just put things into perspective for you here. Check out Outbrain’s Alexa rankings.
They have been growing steady for a few years and almost every big authority news site has their widget.
Why is Outbrain advertising better than buying ads through Google or some other ad network like AdSonar?
Well, the widget is usually placed below the post or article. People that click on them are in the reading mode and very interested in what you have to say. The average time per visit on my site from this traffic is 3 minutes and 5 secs! A lot of them click through ads, pages and share the content through social media.
Here are some of my stats from GetClicky for the last 14 days:
Think of it as SEO on steroids. But it’s even better because you can instantly monetize that traffic. Aren’t you tired of writing posts hoping that they will perform once they get ranked after 5-10 months? How about instantly knowing if the visitor gets engaged with your content? Well, now it’s possible my friend.
But it even gets better because the way Outbrain works is that you can get clicks for as low as $0.01:
But before you get too excited you need to realize that it’s not as easy to run at $0.01/click as you think. You need to learn how it works.
I didn’t think it was possible until just recently myself. You need to watch the traffic like a hawk to notice the point at which you can lower your CPC that low. I am going to talk about it shortly, but first let me show you some more stats 😉
The traffic they can send you flows like a river.
In fact, my record was 102 people online at one time on my site, but I am just warming up because I can get it much much higher.
The trick is to be able to understand how Outbrain works. It’s pretty much all about CTR. The higher your CTR of the title of the post you submitted the lower you will pay per click. It’s that simple!
So before you hit publish and submit your content to Outbrain you need to brainstorm title ideas. This is why I love this model so much. I no longer think in terms of SEO, I think about the users that will click on my link and read my content.
Anyway, I started driving paid traffic to my new property on August 9th and we are already getting about 1000 visitors per day on average (sometimes more). Of course I am already in the process of scaling it up too but I will explain how to do that in the other section of this report.
As you can see this is no joke. It’s serious stuff and I hope that you take action on this before it’s too late.
Millions are being made off this business model and I am going to grab my piece of the pie. So with that said let’s get into the technical stuff and how to actually put it to work.
Keep in mind that it’s not a fly by night gimmick. You can’t slap a 3 page site and run with it. It requires preparation. You need to choose the right niche, layout, monetization methods etc.
The main reason why I have decided to share this with you is because I know that most thin affiliates won’t be able to pull this off. Don’t get blinded by the easy money and build something that matters!
If you can’t beat them join them! Never fails huh? You need to become like the brands. Your sites needs to look like theirs.
The system is basically all about good headlines and quality engaging content. The good part is that that is all you have to worry about not SEO or where you are going to get traffic from.
Let me give you a visual here:
Of course there are a lot more news sites and authority brands using Outbrain but the image shows what type of traffic you are going to get.
What you are going to do with it is up to you but I am going to show you stuff I’ve learned so far.
This system is extremely powerful so please do not abuse it. Outbrain is pretty strict. If they just smell an affiliate link they will shut you down. Follow their rules and you will be fine.
My 2 primary concerns nowadays are:
– Title of the post I submit to content suggestion engines
That’s pretty much it. No more SEO bs, building links, killing myself over tracking stats and all that crazy stuff.
This system will NOT work for affiliate review sites!
Do not submit affiliate reviews, landing pages, sneaky redirects, cloaked links, promotional posts with affiliate links etc.
This system is for people who want to build a real business. Something that you can count on for many years to come.
It’s great for building authority sites and then flipping them for tons of money 😉
So here is what I do:
Getting Headline Ideas
First of all, you need go to all these big news sites and start watching the headlines served by Outbrain. If you see some that show more often than others for a while then it’s a good indicator that their headline is getting a great CTR.
I open a notepad and copy as many as I can even if they are not in my niche. I am looking for the structure of the headline and what emotional buttons they are pushing.
Then I write mine similar and send them to my content manager. I do not write my content because I prefer to enjoy life lol
The only site I do write content for is my blog at Affhelper.com.
Publishing The Content
Once you have the content written you just make sure the headline looks good and hit publish. I use WordPress for my sites because it’s easy and fast to install.
When you have published the article on your site just login to Outbrain and submit it. I am going to walk you through it too.
By the way, you can give Outbrain your RSS feed as well. They will then automatically pull your posts into their system for syndication. It’s freaking amazing!
Signing up with Outbrain
If you already have a quality blog or site then you are pretty much set. But if you don’t you might want to skip to the part where I talk about what niche to get into because not every niche is good for this type of traffic.
To get started simply go to Outbrain.com and click on the Amplify Self-Serve link.
You will then be taken to the next page where you get some more info on how their stuff works. Go ahead and click on the “Get Started Now” button.
The next step is to set your daily budget and how much you are willing to pay per click.
You want to start with their recommended CPC of $0.15/click. $0.15 is pretty high to be honest but once you see which posts drive the most traffic to your site and your CTR is above 0.30% you can lower it probably by half.
The higher the CTR the lower amount you will pay per click. I have posts that get CTR as high as 0.80% sometimes which allowed me to get my CPC to $0.01 during some days.
But there is a big downside to Outbrain’s system which I am going to talk about later on. For now it’s important that you get your content approved and running so that you can see how the traffic reacts to your content.
Ok, so on the next screen you will have the option to either submit an RSS feed or Handpicked posts.
I recommend to start with handpicked content because that way you can drive traffic only to posts you want. You might not have all posts performing well as far as monetization goes so only submit those that you feel can make you the most money. I will explain shortly.
Keep in mind that Outbrain will automatically pull titles from your meta tags and you cannot change it after it’s already running. You can change the title after you spend some money with them though, but you will have to email them and ask them to change it manually.
This is why it’s so important to choose killer titles for your posts before hitting the publish button in your WordPress dashboard.
Click on the “Proceed to checkout” link and give them your billing information. They only accept credit cards at this time.
Once you have your content submitted it will be pending approval. They usually approve posts within 24 hours. When it gets approved it will automatically gets syndicated to their entire network.
At first, you won’t be able to geo target but majority of their traffic is from US. After you have spent about $200 with them you will need to email and ask them to geo target your account for USA only.
They don’t allow you to do that from your account yet and there is nothing about geo targeting on their site. In fact, they say they don’t provide that option but trust me they can do it manually if you ask for it.
You also cannot target specific sites in their network. This is a downside but not really. If they allowed to do that, advertisers would destroy their system and start bidding wars. This keeps their network clean and thin affiliates usually don’t stand a chance.
The Downside Of Outbrain
Like I said you cannot target by site, but they automatically match your topic with relevant articles within their network.
You also won’t be able to target by country at the beginning. You need to run with them for a week before asking to geo target your account.
But here is the biggest downside of all.
Let’s say you submit 20 posts into their system. You keep it running for couple of days and 1 of them catches on fire. It drives massive traffic and you can lower your CPC to like $0.02/click. Things are looking good right?
Well, if the post is not making you money you are just flushing traffic down the toilet. Sometimes you need to disable high performing post in order to drive more traffic to posts that you want, or come up with better titles for them.
You can also try to edit the post with high CTR to direct the traffic to other pages of your site that are well monetized.
Warning: Do not slap affiliate links on it after it’s been approved and it’s running. If they see that (and they do check it) you will get banned. They have a strict policy against affiliate links within content. You can, for example, link to another post from it on your site that reviews a product or a service.
I submit about 3-4 posts per week now so the chance for one of the posts I want to go viral is much better.
With this system you need to constantly pump out good quality content until you get the hang of it.
Then there are weeks when you ride a nice wave and the CTR is perfect for the content you want to drive traffic to. It’s a beautiful thing when that happens 😉
But the best thing is when you have a few of them on fire lol
That’s why you need to come up with a plan before you go ahead and start running campaigns through Outbrain. At first it’s going to feel like you are just blindly spending money but as soon as you fully understand how it all works you can make a ton of money with this.
Remember, it’s all about CTR!
Setting Yourself Up For Success
You need to get out of the affiliate mindset as quickly as possible. We all have been there before but it’s not sustainable long term.
I understand that you want to make money as fast as possible but because of that the chance of you failing is much bigger.
It’s time to start thinking about how to build a real business that lasts. With this system you can grow as big as you want. You can build your own traffic network and expand to all kinds of different markets. If you follow my blueprint you could own the media in your niche.
The first thing you should ask yourself is this: Does my site provide value?
Without value this won’t work. The people visiting your website need to engage with the content, click on ads, subscribe to your newsletter, or buy something.
You need to build a content site if you are selling products. It could be a blog attached to your domain name, but you need good informational content that people are interested in.
Stop thinking like an affiliate already! Affiliates are getting squeezed out left and right. There is a reason why all these content suggestions engines don’t want affiliate marketers. We tend to destroy everything that we touch. It’s because of everyone copying everyone.
Think about it, you see someone advertising on Adwords an affiliate site and making bank…what are you going to do? I know I would copy his shit and run too! (not literally copy his page but reverse engineer it)
But you know what? You have those affiliates that will copy anything word for word too. They are like a disease of the entire industry. The quicker you differentiate yourself the better.
The moment when I stopped thinking like an affiliate and started brainstorming ideas that could help me grow a real business that’s when things started to click.
If you don’t have a content site yet start building one now! Put a lot of weight on the content and don’t think in terms of SEO anymore either.
SEO is just a side-effect that comes kinda by itself after you implement this blueprint. In mainstream markets (outside of IM) people share stuff on social media without thinking twice. It’s easier to get things going and rank when you get traffic. Trust me on that.
I have completely abandoned keyword research and all the other SEO activities now. I might want to rank for some product names in the future but for now it’s all about content and getting people interested in that content. They share it and link to it from all kinds of other places that I didn’t even knew existed on the web.
Let’s talk about content now
Your content needs to have a purpose. It needs to trigger emotional buttons in your readers. That’s what’s going to drive more traffic to your site when they share it.
You need to have content that appeals to masses. You want to go broad with this and enter biggest markets possible.
From my experience headlines that trigger curiosity and fear drive the most traffic so keep that in mind.
What really works great is when the reader does not agree with what you say. Then they get mad and share it all over lol
I always thought that haters were the best fans. They always make a lot of noise and try to let their friends know how much they don’t like you, or how much they don’t agree with what you wrote. Those are the best people to have because they get your content seen for free.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should just constantly rant about things or make things up, but a little bit here and there doesn’t hurt. It adds a little spice to it.
Use images in your content! Outbrain pulls the first image from your post automatically and crops it into a thumbnail. This is very important because if your image catches people’s attention then they are more likely to click on your link. Just so you know though it’s not like with Facebook advertising where the image is everything. The bigger authority news sites don’t use thumbnails from Outbrain so headlines are much more important than the image.
Make sure the content is easy to read. Don’t use tiny fonts. I usually make them 15pt so when the user lands on the page they can start reading right away.
Remember those people are in a reading mode, so the quicker you catch their attention after the click the better. You want to engage them so they stay and read the whole post.
Don’t throw ads in their face right at the top of the content. From my experience that doesn’t work and actually lowers your Adsense CPC, but I’ll talk about it later on.
Short posts do not perform as well as longer pieces (1000 words). Reason for that is because when they are done reading in less than a minute they are more likely to hit the “back” button on their browser. If they stay for longer than 3 minutes the chance is that they will start browsing your site and giving you more page views.
This will also increase the chance of them clicking on your ads or reading more about what you have to offer on your site. After 3 minutes a lot of people forget how they got to your site so the more compelling your content is the more money you will make.
What Niche To Get Into
Go big or go home as they say is true here. You need to go into mainstream markets because people that hang out on all those big authority sites are interested in reading about everyday life topics.
Another reason why you want to go into big industry is because you can’t target sites you want to display your links on.
So here is what I am going to be working on:
– Health & Fitness
– Real News
– Personal Finance
– Celebrities & Gossip
– Politics (maybe..just to rant about everyone)
There are more that will do well I am sure because I see all kinds of stuff being syndicated on Outbrain all the time but sites in those 5 show most frequently for me.
You need to pick one and get to work. Start setting up your site as soon as you are done reading this report because it’s a true gold mine out there. Huge amounts of traffic is ready for you to tap into without worrying about SEO and stuff. Just go out there and get it.
The big sites get a lot of their traffic from Outbrain believe it or not. It’s like they have been hiding it from us for years and we haven’t even noticed it.
They are probably counting their millions and laughing at us while we continue to fight for scraps all the time. Screw some measly affiliate commissions if you can build a massive site that attracts thousands of people each day and sell media to people like us who sell affiliate products for other merchants!
See the big picture yet?
There is reason why the big authority sites write about almost every single topic there is. They know that they can tap into an endless amount of high quality traffic that pays.
Are you going to just do nothing and let it all happen right in front of you? I know I am not.
Start brainstorming about how you are going to build your site and in what niche. Choose your niche wisely because it’s important.
What I suggest you do is to get a domain name that doesn’t give away the niche, so that you can write about anything if you can’t get the first one to work. Create a bunch of categories and start filling it up with content.
Once you have the traffic flowing you will be able to tell which topic performs better for you and which one makes you the most money. Then you scale.
Don’t worry about competition. It’s irrelevant with this system. The one with the highest CTR wins no matter how big they are or what they sell. Nobody can influence anything like it is happening with Google Adwords and SEO.
Google surrounded themselves with big brands to squeeze the little guys out, so you need to become a brand. How do you do that? Through content suggestion engines like Outbrain!
Building A Killer Site
This is an important step that you need to pay attention to. Your site cannot look like some thin affiliate page. It needs to look good.
It’s all about the packaging. The first step is to design your layout. I like running with 2 column layout – main column and the right sidebar.
Create a twitter page, facebook page, and Google + page. Make sure you promote them on your site in the footer or sidebar. It adds credibility to your web property.
Get a designer to come up with a good header and footer. Make it look professional so you are not associated with affiliate stuff.
For your WordPress theme I recommend using Thesis. There are other ones of course that will do the job but Thesis allows for some serious customization so I build all my sites on this theme.
It’s important to choose the right theme from the start because when you start growing and need some custom coding done it’s going to be much easier, for example, to find a good Thesis designer than any other theme in my opinion.
Your header shouldn’t be too thick. I keep the height of my headers no more than 100px because I want the user to see the content as soon as possible without much scrolling. Get a cool logo designed and use colors that are easy on the eyes.
Your footer should obviously match the color of your header. It can be much thicker than the header so that you can place other important links inside and customize it the way you want. I like to include all my social media links in my footer, disclaimer links etc.
I actually went out to all the big authority sites for ideas and designed my footer the way they do.
I like the main content column to be wide enough so I can fit in the 728×90 Adsense text block inside the content. I got this ideas from LiveStrong.com
If you go and check out their articles they place the 728×90 text ad right in the content in below the post.
Here is what I mean:
I have tested this layout myself and for me it produces the best ROI with Adsense. I tried many different combinations but this one just proves to be the best for some reason.
The next step is to setup your commenting platform. All the big brands use Disqus so I install that too on my sites. I want to blend in as much as possible when I run my campaigns on Outbrain.
By the way, Disqus just launched their own content suggestion engine. It’s called Promoted Discovery. Soon Google won’t have much power over traffic like they used to have. It’s all heading in that direction.
Your sidebar should encourage clicks to more pages on your site. I always like to display recent posts, popular posts, trending topics etc.
The longer they stay and read the higher the chance of them clicking on ads. It’s absolutely crucial for this to work.
Another thing you should do is display related posts links below your content. Outbrain offers a widget that you can place on your blog and they will automatically display related posts. Plus when you use their widget they are more likely to let you get away with more stuff once you spend some money with them.
To get their widget just go to Outbrain.com and look for the “For Blogs” tab. It takes like 2 minutes to get it installed.
I am not going to teach you how to install a blog here. If you bought this report then I am sure you know how to set it up yourself plus there are a lot of free resources online that will help you get everything going.
Optimizing Your Site For Paid Traffic
Did you know you can actually make money with Adsense with this system? Not only with Adsense but also with other contextual ad networks.
It’s all about optimizing your content site for paid traffic. It’s possible to load up your site with ads without making it look too cheesy and ugly. The big brands do it all the time.
You know how they get away with so many ads and still rank good in Google? Because they get a ton of traffic each day.
First of all, when designing your site you need to think about advertising opportunities. This is why I keep my main content column wide so I can place the 728×90 text ads in it.
The 728×90 is my best performer. Check this out:
I also use 2 300×250 and 2 336×250 ad units.
Before you start driving traffic to your site you need to have a decent amount of content because people that will browse through your pages need to have something to read. If one of your posts goes viral you need to have other content pages to keep them on your site. The longer they stay the higher chance that they will click on your ads.
The ads need to be around the content. I have discovered that if you place Adsense below the post it will generate higher CPC for you.
Google measures how long people stay on your page before clicking on the ads. Clicks that happen after 2-3 minutes generate more money than clicks generated within 3-4 seconds after a person landed on the page.
This is why you need decent amount of pages before running with this system. You need to get the user engaged in your content.
I have been observing a lot of the big brands and how they structure their content so that I can model it because they tested the crap out of it. They already know what works best so keeping eyes on them is a smart idea.
For example here is screenshot of a content page from Mydailymoment.com
All the yellow areas are sponsored ads. Notice that they also pull sponsored results from Outbrain below the sponsored widget from Taboola lol
Their page actually doesn’t look too bad and still provides good user experience. This is how you need to structure your site.
I used this layout as my control layout for my first site. Then I began testing other stuff. It works really well.
At the beginning you won’t be able to use sponsored results from Outbrain because you need a lot of page views to get accepted but Adsense is a go.
Another very well optimized site for paid cheap traffic is CNN Articles.
Look at their structure:
They are making a killing with Adsense! Do you see the widget from Outbrain again below the content at the bottom of the page? Yeah, they are all using this model and raking in the millions while we continue to hit our heads against the wall trying to game Google’s algo and rank. You can’t outrank them because they got what you don’t have and that is traffic before they even rank.
Start designing your site so that you have plenty of space to insert good performing ads.
Your content needs to be well placed around the ads not the other way around.
By the way, if you are using Thesis you can easily insert ads within content after a certain paragraph with a custom function.
Here is the function I use for that:
You can search for that in Thesis forums. I believe I found it by searching “ads within content”.
We need to monetize our traffic or we are going to waste money. When I first started with this system in June I thought that if I could just break even on Adsense it would be great because then it would mean I am getting traffic for free.
Imagine driving 5,000 visitors per day for free. It’s possible with Outbrain. Once you have the traffic you can work with it. You can sell advertising, create your own sales funnels etc.
The thing is I am now actually making a profit with just contextual ads.
I use Adsense mostly at the moment because it pays really well. It’s simple math. If you can get the click for $0.04 and then sell it for $3.00 it’s a no brainer.
You should also use Adsense at the beginning to see how the traffic performs on your site.
Then you can add other ad networks into the mix.
For example, I now use Media.net. I put their 300×250 ad unit on my site with their “webbar”
Their ad units get high CTR for me and produce revenue just as good as Adsense on some days.
Here is how their content ad units look like:
You can change their sizes too. They automatically optimize colors to match your site once the ads start getting impressions.
Here is their web bar:
It shows up at the bottom of your page. When people click on the keywords they are taken to another page with sponsored ads from MSN Adcenter.
Media.net gets me pretty decent RPM
Here are some stats after 6 days of using it on one of my sites.
That’s all mostly from a single 300×250 ad unit 🙂
But before you go and apply to Media.net as publisher you need to make sure your site is ready and already in the Outbrain system.
I applied after I was already playing around with Adsense and my Alexa rankings was below 100k for the USA.
I got approved after 4 days of filling out the app and now I don’t think I will run without them. They also pay by Paypal each month.
Another way to monetize your content is through text links from ad networks like Kontera, or Infolinks. Those usually don’t perform well from my experience but you will need to test it yourself because every niche is different.
It’s pretty much all about testing and being able to find the sweet spot for your site because each site is different as well.
Build a list!
Even if you are just breaking even on the traffic flow you can build a list for free then.
Offer something of value and sell on the backend later on. This is such a cool way to increase your revenue and I am sure you already know that.
The problem before was how to get traffic, well now you know how and you can use it to build a list for free if you offset your advertising costs with contextual ads.
There are many plugins (free & premium) that you can use to display your autoresponder form.
You can also use a popup that shows after certain number of seconds. This is what I am testing right now.
People are more likely to optin after about 1 minute than those that leave the site within the first 30 seconds.
On the backend you can promote all kinds of affiliate links without worrying about Outbrain rules against affiliate links. Their rule applies only to the content itself that people land after clicking on the link suggested to them based on their interests.
If you are getting 5,000 visitors per day you can start selling ads directly to the advertisers for much more than what Adsense is paying.
For example, MoneyNews.com (owned by NewsMax.com) sells sponsored links all over their site at like $1,500/month.
They advertise on Outbrain on massive scale. I see them all over the place and if you check their Alexa “clickstream” you can clearly see where most of their traffic is coming from.
Ok, check out their layout structure.
Yellow color shows sponsored ads (Adsense, Direct ad sales) and blue shows their own product offer!! Right in the content! Since it’s not an affiliate link they are allowed to do that. Keep in mind that at the beginning Outbrain might not let you get away with this but after you spend some cash with them you can pretty much sell right in the content itself as long as it’s not an affiliate deal.
So let’s talk about some advanced Outbrain techniques. First of all, submit at least 20 posts at once to get some data first. I like to submit them all around 5-6PM so that they get approved the next day.
They review them around 10AM EST. They also do not work on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to run something over the weekend you must submit it on Thursday so it gets reviewed Friday morning.
Remember when I said it’s all about the CTR?
Well, you need to think hard about your titles before you publish your content. Remember they automatically pull the title right from your meta tags and you can’t change it after it’s been approved.
For example check out some of my posts that do well:
That 1 post at the top is pulling traffic like crazy but it’s only because the title is well planned so the CTR is high. Anything above 0.40% is really good. Some will work great and some won’t.
But here is another thing. Once you run with them for a week or so you can request an account manager to help you run your account. They will manually change your titles all the time to get the best CTR possible. This will give you a better chance to drive more traffic to your content site and you won’t have to put out so much content to get something going after that.
I always shoot for 0.40% CTR but it’s not as easy and you will need to test this yourself. Sometimes when I think a post will do well it doesn’t perform well at all.
When you have a post that is doing extremely well you need to lower your CPC asap!
I normally don’t run at $0.15/click longer than 2 days. I lower it to like $0.05-0.07 then when the traffic keeps flowing I go sometimes as low as $0.03 (or at one time I had it at $0.01 for 3 days lol
If you CTR is below 0.40% you won’t be able to get clicks lower than $0.07. Just my observation so far but it changes too.
When one of your posts starts pulling insane traffic quick then start lowering your CPC every 10 minutes.
Once you have optimized your site and it’s pulling good revenue or you are breaking even then you can start concentrating on creating more content and grow it as big as you want.
I strongly recommend that you DON’T do anything that is against their rules.
If you get banned for having affiliate links you will have to open a new account under a different name or entity. It sucks!
Now here is a little blackhat strategy for you.
You can’t have plain affiliate links inside your content but you can have sponsored links within the content right? So, what you can do is use DoubleClick For Publishers and hide them behind Google’s server.
Create a bunch of ad blocks and insert the doubleclick code where you want them to appear. Mark them as “sponsored links” and you should be good to go.
With this system you need to first get good content page running on Outbrain with good CTR and then try to monetize the page with a targeted offer. If you do it the other way around it might not work because you don’t know if the post will fly or if it will totally flop.
Use stats like GetClicky for this operation. It gives really nice data that helps me determine which posts are getting most clicks and how I can plan my future content.
To get a better idea of what demographic data you are going after just look it up on Quantcast.
After you run it for a week Outbrain will show you where most of your traffic is coming from under your “Paid Distribution” dashboard:
What I do then is take all the urls and look them up on Quantcast to see what kind of people are visiting my sites.
This allows me to come up with better titles and future posts.
Scaling It Up
You can scale it as big as you want. The trick is to pump in as much content as possible into the Outbrain syndication system.
The more posts you have the more traffic you will get and more money you will make.
I now work on a huge project that I believe will become one of the major brands. We broke through 100k Alexa ranking after just 5 days and it just keeps getting lower and lower each day.
It’s all in the content but you can’t put out crap. It has to be quality or it simply won’t work. Quality doesn’t mean extremely long posts. Sometimes shorter posts go viral and get shared by people all over the social media.
Once you get a hang of it it will all make sense to you. In fact, it will be clear to you once you see the traffic flowing through your site and its magical effect right on your screen.
What I suggest you do is come up with a plan and fully concentrate on just this business model. It’s the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion.
If you think about it…when you have a big site like that getting 10k-20k visitors per day you are no longer some average Joe. You can do a lot and you have a lot of power too.
Do you know how much I could sell a site like that for? I could easily flip it for millions of dollars and start working on the next one 😉
This is serious stuff my friend, and really I hope that you are starting to see the power of content suggestion engines like I do. It’s the future!
I now spend most of my time browsing through sites like FoxNews and CNN looking up best titles for my posts.
It’s an awesome feeling knowing that I don’t have to worry about SEO anymore and just concentrate on building the best site I possibly can. The only thing on my mind now is content and titles for my posts. That’s it.
I don’t worry about where I am going to get traffic from, or if I am going to rank on Google in 5 years, or if I get penalized by some competitor doing negative SEO on me. It doesn’t matter because I got traffic and when you have traffic Google doesn’t really give a shit about your links as much.
I am giving Google what they want….I am building brands not sites.
Owning The Media
But there is a next level to all this. If you can build one brand with this then obviously you can build another.
Demand Media owns Ehow.com and many many other properties that rake in insane amounts of money each year.
In fact last time I heard Demand Media was worth something like $1.2 billion dollars.
What is their business model? Content sites! Ehow’s content isn’t really superb but because the entire operation is on massive scale and they receive so much traffic Google can’t help themselves but to rank them well in the serps.
I want to build something of that size. I am building 3 other properties right now and my next goal is to have 1000 posts in Outbrain’s system for each site within a year or less.
What am I going to do next? Probably flip 1 of them for massive profits and invest into growing the other 2. Or possibly get rid of 2 of them and just create 1 big monster.
You can own the media in your market or 3 or freaking 4 markets if you want to. It’s all about being able to scale quickly and properly optimize your site for paid traffic from Outbrain.
Then when you get huge amounts of traffic you can strike direct deals with other brands and cross promote each other like NewsMax.com does right now with Fox. If you haven’t noticed they now display a small widget on the sidebar that pulls content from Fox and they do the same thing for them on their pages if you look at the bottom below the Outbrain widget. It rotates so it’s not always showing but I know it’s there.
To get deals done like that you need to grow your site to at least 2k-3k Alexa rankings. I believe I can get there in a year with this new traffic getting method.
Stop buying WSOs and build your content site asap. If you don’t take advantage of this you will miss out BIG! Right now it’s possible to get cheap clicks but who knows how it’s going to be in 2-3 years from now when everyone wakes up and wants the piece of the pie for themselves.
I know I am going to run with it and by then I will have the funds to squeeze all the small players out. I should easily be able to dominate the market I am getting into by the time all the small publishers realize it’s time to jump on this bandwagon.
Google continues to commercialize their search results with their own properties and only big brands will be allowed to play with the big dogs.
You can keep doing what you are doing now or follow my plan and forget all your traffic problems.
It’s time to act! This train is already moving and it’s speeding up so don’t get left behind.
Honestly…I wouldn’t engage in any blackhat stuff anymore. Concentrate on quality of your content instead. This system will not work for affiliate sites, review sites, or any other site with promotional content. You want to provide real value so your readers want to share it. That’s the key to making it work!
Some people who bought this report a few months ago have done great using this system, but some had problems getting their sites approved. I have noticed that one of the main reasons why people can’t get it to work is because their sites look cheap. Make it look like you are one of those big brands. It doesn’t cost much to have a good looking header designed these days. Treat it like a real business and care about the quality of your content. That’s all there is to it.
By the way, Outbrain added geo targeting option right into your dashboard now which is really cool for those who are just starting out.