Launching a New Site: Recycling Traffic for Longterm Profits

Apr 8th

It doesn't hurt to buy a bit of exposure to get traffic for a new site. If you can nearly break even while buying and selling ads that send RELEVANT visitors to / through your site without making it look cheap, tacky, or untrustworthy you are ahead, because that traffic will improve the algorithmic trustworthiness of your site. I recently launched a new site, and due to a competitive market and various distractions have been slow to rank it. I have been buying low cost exposure, and one couldn't even imagine how many good deals and offers I have got just because the site looks and feels real and is getting a bit of paid traffic.

Getting traffic to even a bad site can lead to it being trusted more. I have seen blogs with cheesy designs and roughly a dozen $1 posts blogrolled by experts on spam and related topics that are frequently featured in the mainstream media. Why would they link to it? Who knows, maybe they were in a rush, but as people are exposed to your site and brand some will like it. Exposure breeds exposure, etc.

As a marketer there is no reason to hope that quality + free is enough to get your site where it belongs. Spending a few dollars a day can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in audience building and link building expenses.

Published: April 8, 2007

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Comments

Craig Harper
April 8, 2007 - 9:31am

Hey Aaron,
Great Post!
I have always tried to get FREE exposure but it is very time consuming. Are you able to 'recommend' some good low cost options to get started. I would like to experiment with paid exposure.

Craig Harper

April 8, 2007 - 9:47am

Hi Craig
I am a big believer in search. I try to buy ads for relevant keywords that people writing about a field might find interesting, even if they have limited or no commercial intent. I go after the researchers.

I also buy direct ads on small independent publisher sites (many of these ads sell for far less than they are worth) and do contextual advertising, like buying AdSense site targeted ads on top ranked competing sites.

Other common traffic sources (though typically of lower value thusfar to me) are

  • StumbleUpon Ads
  • email newsletter sponsorships
April 8, 2007 - 5:00pm

Aaron,
I've been thinking about buying StumbleUpon Ad traffic, ever since you posted about it last week (I think). $0.05 per visitor doesn't sound like a bad deal.

I'm looking at putting up a general info site in a niche that, on paper, looks like it should be profitable.

When you say the SU traffic is lower value, how exactly do you mean?

The site i'm working on will either have AdSense on it, or I will funnel all traffic to an affiliate link or 3.

I figure, if I can pay $25 for 500 of SU's "targeted" visitors, surely out of 500 people, at least ONE PERSON should click through on the affiliate link and take action (which pays $40 on a CPA basis), right?

April 8, 2007 - 6:23pm

Almost none of the StumbleUpon traffic will convert in the traditional sense the way a searcher would. 1 in 500 buying from your site via StumbleUpon would be surprisingly high for most markets.

April 8, 2007 - 7:13pm

How about buying StumbleUpon traffic for articles that you're trying to get started on digg? If you put a digg button on the page, it seems like some of them would click it. You might also get a few stumbles, driving the traffic higher.

April 8, 2007 - 9:16pm

I get quite a bit of stumbleupon traffic - but, then, I've been actively participating there for nearly three years and have over 1000 "friends." I'm trying to maintain a low overhead for my internet work, so have not bought any advertising, yet, in any venue. However, I would not consider buying stumbleupon ads because people are "stumbling" to discover interesting and valuable sites. They're not there searching for specifics so would be less likely to click on an ad there.

jay
April 9, 2007 - 12:45am

Aaron, great post as always. I never invested in advertising so far and relied on other blog posts and link bait to build my sites. What would you think is a decent starting capital for an adwords campaign? Is there even a minimum?

I would like to get my feet wet with Adwords because I have some own physical products to promote very soon and want to gather some experience before I really jump in. Is 100$/month too less to experiment in a relative uncompetitive niche?

April 9, 2007 - 1:10am

Hi Jay
You really have to test the market and learn from it to know what you should be spending. Nobody can tell you what budget is right, especially without knowing your site and your vertical well.

jay
April 9, 2007 - 12:54pm

Thanks, I thought it would be like that. I read a lot in Andrew Goodmans group where people offer great advice on PPC so I will just get into it.

Brian Turner
April 9, 2007 - 2:03pm

"there is no reason to hope that quality + free is enough to get your site where it belongs"

Damn right - learned this the hard way. :)

Kenson Goo
April 10, 2007 - 7:09am

Aaron,
You said you bought links on small websites. Usually if you buy through text-link-ads, you pay like maybe 40 dollars per month. My question is do you keep paying the links forever or you stop at certain point after google has indexed the links?

Thanks.

Kenson Goo

April 10, 2007 - 7:14am

I buy a few key links until a site gets enough traction, then ease out of the link rentals as I get more organic links.

Samsara
April 11, 2007 - 4:32pm

Re: StumbleUpon

Exposure: Yes
Conversion: No

Aaron's right. People click the Stumble button, see your site and they've been there less than 5 seconds as they hit the Stumble button again.

Mmm. Unless. UNLESS you personalize a page for the Stumble visitor and submit THAT for Stumble Advertising and a "Take Advantage Now" or "For Stumblers Only" offer. Maybe that could help with the offer of a Free Download/Tool/EBook.

Thing is, they were Stumbling along, not expecting to buy anything and not even looking to buy anything and then your site is there Commercial in all its glory. What conversion?

But traffic yes. Absolutely StumbleUpon if that's primarily what you're needing. Can't be beat then.

PS. Sucks Aaron. [Getting rid of URL due to spam. It could have been a good PR tool for Commenters who used it wisely. Is there no way to use Spam Karma or another similar plug-n post filter? I have mine set to moderate for more than one link and certain words / terms are blacklisted altogether.]

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