Paid Traffic Sources

Hopefully in the last chapter I’ve convinced you that paid traffic sources are way better than “free” traffic sources.

paid traffic sources

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Now let’s dive deeper into paid traffic sources.

There are hundreds, and hundreds of different traffic sources you can buy from. I know it can be overwhelming, but this is a good thing.

One of the biggest issues in business is what I call “concentration of risks.” It means if your main traffic source isn’t working for you, then you have other options.

What sets the traffic sources apart?

1. The Type of Audience

What kind of audience does ESPN have? Probably men that are into sports. Do you think advertising women’s shoes would be effective? Nah.

Understand the kind of audience your traffic source has.

Ngo Tip: You can ask your traffic source for a report on which countries they have the most volume in. Sometimes they can even give you more detailed information such as age, gender, and other demographic information.

If you have a great offer to promote to Singapore, wouldn’t it make sense to only work with traffic sources with significant Singaporean traffic?

2. The Targeting Options

Targeting is your ability to promote your ads to a select portion of the audience. The more targeting options the traffic source has, the better.

Some examples of targeting options

  • Age
  • Gender
  • The state they’re in
  • Their favorite television shows
  • The time of the day they’re viewing your ad
  • What device the person (Mobile or Desktop, iPhone vs Android)
  • The website they’re visiting (also known as placement or SiteID)

Targeting lets you promote to the most profitable segments.

Imagine if you had a pet walking business.

You spend $100 for 1000 flyers. You want to put the flyers in the places where your audience are most likely to be.

Putting them around Groceries stores and Walmart MAY work, but they can be even more targeted.

You can put them around pet stores, dog parks, and veterinarians.

That’s what a big part of running campaigns is: You need to figure out WHO wants your offer, and then TARGET them.

That’s why Google and Facebook are considered the top traffic sources. It’s not just because of the amount of VOLUME they have but also because of their TARGETING ability.

3. The Costs

Each traffic source also has different ways to pay (different bidding models).

One site might be overpriced due to the competition. Another one might be a “hidden gem” and have plenty of high converting sites.

4. Rules and Regulations

This is huge.

Some traffic sources are more strict than others. That means you’re limited to what you can promote.

traffic sources

5. The Amount of Traffic Available

Not every traffic source is capable of generating 5-figures a day. I always tell people to go big.

Hint: If you’re a newbie, don’t worry about hitting the big numbers. Big paydays will come later. Focus on making your first $100 a day.

6. The Competition

There are some traffic sources out there that are amazing, and not too competitive. If there is a ton of supply and not much buyers, then it can be underpriced.

7. The QUALITY of the Traffic Source

“The Leads are weak? No, you’re weak!”

I’m gonna tell you straight up, some traffic sources suck.

Maybe there’s a lot of FRAUD traffic.

  • You think that click you paid $.50 for was a real human who can convert, but it was actually a bot from a publisher.
  • You THINK that click was an iPhone user in Singapore. But in actuality it was an Android user from Malaysia. Great traffic sources have the funds / people to re-invest in better technology so this doesn’t happen as often.

The Different Types of Paid Traffic Sources

There are hundreds if not thousands of traffic sources out there. The easiest way to understand the difference is to put them into different CATEGORIES.

Social Traffic best traffic sources

Social traffic sources refer to targeting users based on demographics, interests, or a number of other similar targeting options.

Social ad platforms qualify users based on advertiser targeted options like age, interest, geo, etc. If the user meets the advertiser’s requirements, then the ad will be shown.

Social traffic allow creative advertisers to tailor ads around a specific user base.

Social Traffic Sources:

  • Facebook
  • PlentyOfFish
  • Pinterest

Although there are tons of social networks available to buy traffic, we’re going to focus on the biggest one: Facebook.

With a huge selection of targeting options and its nearly unlimited supply of traffic, Facebook is one of the most lucrative traffic sources for affiliates.

Main Testing Variables on Facebook:

  • Age Brackets
  • Interest Keywords
  • Bidding Type
Search Traffic

Search traffic simply describes traffic that comes from search engines.

For the sake of keeping things simple, we’re going to only discuss Google, the biggest search engine (and traffic source) in the world.

With Google being the #1 search engine in the world, it is the most visited website globally.

Google is a powerful, attractive traffic source because it allows keyword targeting (the search queries that are typed in the search box). You’re able to provide ads specifically for what users are searching for.

For example, if you go into Google and type “big screen tvs,” you’re going to be immediately shown search results and search ads relevant to this query.

Notice that there are two types of results being shown:

  • Organic Results
  • Paid results

Google’s paid search platform is known as Adwords.

Advertisers are able to pay their way to being listed at the top for targeted keywords.

Your Cost Per Click is determined by which keyword you’re bidding on and the relevancy of your ad and website to that keyword.

Google’s ad platform is user-friendly and has a host of tools and settings to help you create the most relevant, powerful, and cost-efficient campaign in minutes.

Paid Search Traffic Sources:

  • Google Adwords
  • Bing (Microsoft)

Main Testing Variables on Search

  • Keywords
  • Ads
Mobile Traffic (Advertising on Cell Phones)

When affiliates refer to mobile as a traffic source, it means advertising on cellphones.

Mobile is the fastest growing traffic source. What I love about mobile is we’re able to advertise in countries we weren’t able to before.

5 years ago I couldn’t imagine advertising in Indonesia, Iran, and Colombia! Now these countries love cell phones and we’re able to monetize them.

Remember that plenty of traffic sources like Facebook and Google have desktop and mobile traffic.

Hint: Always set separate campaigns for desktop and mobile. You don’t want to mix the traffic together because it performs differently.

Within mobile, the most popular forms of advertising are:

Display / Banner


Redirect – When the visitor lands on a URL, they’ll automatically redirect to your landing page.


Push Notifications

The biggest challenge in mobile is the optimization process. Improving a campaign is hard enough, now you gotta add in:

  • Carriers
  • Operating System
  • Handsets
  • and more.

Ensuring things like your website or ad being displayed properly on all cellphones or how fast it’s loading can be a headache to optimize for many affiliates.

But the potential for mobile is huge, and its reach spans all over the world. Mobile as a traffic source allows advertising in untapped markets globally, allowing for cheap advertising spend with high ROIs. (There are many countries where access to a cellphone is far easier than to a computer).

With its growing popularity, there are tons of traffic sources specializing in only mobile traffic. In fact, there are traffic sources that specialize in only certain types of mobile advertising like “mobile pops” or “mobile display.”

DOWNLOAD The List of Mobile Traffic Sources Here

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The increasing popularity, the low barrier to entry, the number of countries available to target, make mobile an extremely attractive traffic source.

Because of its variety of geos and variables to test, affiliates can test an endless supply of unique campaigns and angles, thus making it a great place to start for newbies.

Main Testing Variables on Mobile:

  • Carriers
  • Operating System
  • Site ID’s

Mobile Traffic Sources:

Native Ad Traffic

You’ve seen these “Recommended Content” or “Promoted Stories” at the bottom or on the side of articles and news sites.

Native ads allow for a natural, native blend into articles. People have become blind to banner ads in general. Native is a way to for us to “sneak” in ads to people.

Native advertising has been around a long time but has had a huge popularity surge the past two years.

The key to native is acquiring cheap CPCs and competing for available traffic inventory (site placements).

Many native affiliates are building relationships and securing the profitable placements.

Popular native traffic sources include:

However, be warned, native traffic sources are becoming increasingly strict about promotional methods and offer types (although not as strict as Facebook and Google).

Native Ad Testing Variables

  • Site Placements
  • High CTR Ads
Adult Traffic

This means to promote offers on the adult porn sites.

It’s estimated that 30% of all internet traffic is adult-related so I wouldn’t dismiss it just yet.

A major benefit to promoting on Adult is that they’re not as strict on what kind of offers you promote (who are they to judge :-))

Major Key: Think of them like they’re a traffic source with a heavily male demographic. Everyone assumes you can only promote dating offers.

But think…What else would a male probably be interested in?

The major adult traffic sources include:

Adult traffic is attractive for affiliates because:

  • HUGE volume of traffic
  • Lots of freedom in offer promotion advertising methods

The downsides include:

  • Extremely competitive nature has made the top site placements overly saturated with the same offers
  • Many big players make it difficult for newbies to enter the market
  • Sending quality leads to some offers
PPV Traffic

PPV (pay-per-view), also known as CPV (cost-per-view) is toolbar traffic.

PPV traffic networks install toolbars on people’s computers (with their consent) in exchange for the network to advertise pop-ups on their computers.

(Users are incentivized to install these toolbars so they can play games, win prizes, get free wallpapers, get access to weather, or other novelty items)

PPV primarily works on URL and keyword targeting.

Advertisers can choose to bid on URL targets and/or keyword targets.

Here’s an example of URL targeting:

John visits

If the advertiser bid on “,” then when he visits, it triggers a pop-up (usually an 800×600 ad) from the traffic source.

The pop-up could be an ad promoting a competitor car insurance policy.

The PPV network is receiving all of the advertising revenue.

An example of keyword targeting would be:

John goes to and types in “geico.”

If the advertiser bid on the keyword “geico,” then John will be shown a pop-up.

Keyword targeting in PPV means your ad will display when users type in the keyword in the search bar.

The interesting thing to note is that Geico doesn’t receive any of the ad revenue, only the PPV network does.

This means that you can advertise on sites like (normally very expensive), for just a fraction of that cost.

The two most popular PPV networks are:

There’s not much difference between the two. The minimum deposit for first time advertisers on both networks is $1000.

The benefits of PPV include:

1. Landing pages are generally very simple on PPV.

2. PPV networks ad guidelines are much more lax than most other traffic sources (meaning you can promote a variety of offers very aggressively).

3. Targeting is much cheaper than traditional traffic sources. (You can bid on URL targets for a fraction of a penny).

The downsides include:

  • There are not many PPV traffic sources.
  • Those traffic sources require a high minimum deposit ($1000)
  • Competition and saturation has made margins very slim
  • Traffic quality tends to be doodoo.

Key Takeaways

There are major difference among traffic sources including costs, what they allow, targeting options and the type of demographic they have.

It’s easier to understand traffic sources by putting them into different categories.

Next Actions:

I have given you all the forms of traffic sources available to affiliates.

I usually recommend newbies start off with Mobile, Native, or Facebook traffic (promoting clean stuff).

Stop having “analysis paralysis.” There is no best for newbies. Pick one and go.

Your assignment is as follows:

1. Pick one traffic source type to start with. Example: Mobile

2. Find a specific network within that type of traffic to start with. If you’re starting with Mobile, you can start with PopAds for instance.

3. Deposit money into the traffic source. Start with the bare minimum.

4. Talk to your affiliate manager for recommendations on offers / verticals to run for that type of traffic source.