Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Turning Viral Traffic into Cash
Making money from viral traffic is a bit different than making money from any other kind of traffic. People who land on your website generally come there for a specific piece of content, because a friend of theirs shared it. They often don't know who you are or what your site is about.
As a result, most people find that the bounce rate on viral traffic is much higher and their conversion rates much lower. That said, there are still many ways to make money from viral traffic.
==> Get People on a List
It's quite hard to get viral traffic to convert on a sale right away. Instead, a much more effective tactic is to get them on an email list and continually send them content they're interested in with an occasional marketing message.
If your opt-in rates are significantly lower than your home screen opt-in rates, don't be surprised. It's just the nature of the traffic.
==> Get Them on an RSS Feed
If you have a blog that's regularly putting out the same kind of content that got people to your site in the first place, they'll likely be interested in getting more content from you in the future.
Make your RSS feed big on your site and prominently promote your RSS feed. Once you have someone on your RSS feed, you'll be able to get them coming back again and again and build a relationship with them. Over time, the likelihood of them buying something from you goes up significantly.
If you have a consistently high volume of traffic that you're not earning much money from with your own products and/or services, look into advertising.
Advertising is tough to make money with unless you have a lot of traffic. But if you already have the traffic, it can be an easy monetization method.
Start with self-serve platforms like Google AdSense, then move on to direct advertising deals when it makes sense.
If you're getting a lot of viral traffic in YouTube, you may have a shot at getting into YouTube's partner program. You'll need to be regularly producing videos that get over 100,000 views to qualify, but the money can be quite decent. It's basically a revenue split arrangement with YouTube.
==> Get Paid for Leads
If you can't convert viral traffic into actual sales, one great way to monetize instead might be to get them to fill out leads.
Cost Per Action (CPA) companies are often willing to pay anywhere from $2 to $12 just for leads filled out in specific industries.
Let's say you're in the habit of producing videos about tricking out your car that tend to go viral. You can easily find insurance companies who'll pay you $2 per email that they get when you send people to their site. They never have to take out their credit card and you'll still get paid decent money.
These are some of the best ways to monetize viral traffic. As a rule of thumb, you want to move away from trying to make a first-time sale and instead use lower commitment methods of monetization.