Keeping It Juicy: Why Do People Sell Their Traffic If It's Good?
If you were reading last month’s “Keeping It Juicy,” you probably are asking, “But you didn’t answer the question. If traffic is really good, why sell it?
The short question is, because its easier to make money by selling advertising and traffic. The largest porn websites in the world sell their traffic, and its not because its worthless. Traffic’s true value only comes from those who are monetizing it, without revenue being generated from it, there is no value at all.
As an affiliate for 15 years, I initially made most of my money promoting membership websites primarily on revshare. Over time my website garnered valuable search traffic as well as quality trades. I got my first big break promoting Lightspeed Cash and “Tawnee Stone” bought my first car for me. As time went on and my websites grew, profits grew, and the traffic was good quality.
I squeezed six figures a year out of a website that attracted only 10,000 to 20,000 unique visitors per day.
I was commonly approached by people who wanted to purchase space to sell their own memberships, services, and products. Many didn’t have affiliate programs or understood that they could purchase a spot for less than they would earn in the long term. My sales included TGP spots, and banner ad spots. Later I started selling space across my network of websites after the development of JuicyAds.com, and I never turned back after allowing thousands of advertisers monetize my websites at their top dollar.
That’s the power of an ad network and brokering traffic. Even though I sold my websites years ago, this methodology is still true. Some publishers are amazing at monetizing their own traffic (and sometimes they can make more money doing it themselves) but even the best simply cannot be 100 percent effective all the time.
The solution is often to sell off what they do not convert well, but that does not mean that the traffic is not good. It’s about choosing your specialty and accepting that maybe someone else might be better at monetizing the rest.
Back in 2008 at the start of the financial crisis, I was just starting my stock investment portfolio (and was losing money at it as I purchased my initial positions in a drowning market). I watched MSNBC every morning and “Mad Money” at night during my workouts. Stockbrokers, analysts and investment firms cover different stocks, funds, sectors, and each one of them is digging into information, data, trends and anything else they can come up with in order to separate the good from the bad. Many of these people are specialists or focus on a very limited number of companies.
I was a long-term self-taught strategist and spent an enormous time reading and making decisions, and kept buying when everyone else was freaking out. Jim Cramer (“Mad Money”) commonly states that someone should spend at least one hour per week reading and reviewing for each stock they own. Clearly at over 52 stocks (at my peak) I owned far too many to be effective, so I pared down the investments and focused. My divorce forced the liquidation of my portfolio (at a profit) but the bigger gain was the lesson that focus was much more effective than trying to do everything and not doing the best job at any of it.
Similarly, after 10 years in business, JuicyAds has developed a network of advertisers who can outperform any single Publisher on monetizing their website. Monetizing traffic is about diversification and I’m yet to meet someone who can single-handedly do better across the hundreds of countries than thousands of media buyers and advertisers doing their jobs well. This is the power of using an advertising network instead of doing it all yourself. Even different segments of traffic in the same country (such as mobile versus desktop) will convert differently.
There are endless gradients of traffic to capitalize on and its impossible for any one person to do it effectively. The first step of being an effective Publisher (and a person as a whole) is to understand that you cannot do everything yourself. There’s only so much time and only so much life to live and would you rather spend it working or spend it doing something more important. Trust me, after being down the road of sacrificing a personal life for work, it ain’t worth it.
Think of it this way. Do the largest websites in the world sell their advertising space (instead of monetizing it) because its garbage? No. It’s because selling ad space is the more profitable and effective way to run a website for many publishers. Publishers have much more important things to spend their time on, and its always better to let the experts do what they do best. Publishers are best at publishing and advertising Networks are best at selling advertising.