Earlier we wrote a post on how you can monetize viral sites. We felt it imperative to discuss on how we can build an ever increasing traffic for social websites and thus, today’s post. A lot of websites use traffic arbitrage to generate profits from AdSense and other ad networks. Building a traffic arbitrage model can be quite successful if you have the right content strategy and focus on creating a highly engaging Facebook page which can act as a perennial source of traffic.
Viral and social sites are created based on these models, where the publisher spends money to get visitors on their site via different channels like Facebook, native ads and make revenue from Google AdSense and other ad networks.
Content Marketing Strategy for Social or Viral Sites
Take a look at the websites like Buzzfeed, The Mind Unleashed, WittyFeed, Upworthy, ScoopWhoop etc. Each of these sites are targeting specific niche audience and geography. Whatever be the content niche, it needs to have the ‘share’ factor. All these sites are hugely successful because their content are shared across social media posts, and thus, they are hugely successful in generating traffic. Once you come up with a well-defined content planning, there are a few things that you need to know while publishing your post.
- Spend time on titles – Your titles should be catchy, shareable and bang on. Needless to say, it should have simple English and without jargon. It is the title that makes your post shareable across social media, so take a lot of time to experiment with titles, and create different copies and see what performs well on Facebook. You can use Yoast’s SEO plugin to create separate title tags for search engine so help you get SEO traffic as well. This is recommended since the title for social and seo traffic will be highly different.
- Meta description– Choose those 155 characters carefully. They, in short defines the entire content matter of the article and are crucial. Try to be crisp and create a story, an appeal with those 155 characters, enticing readers to read more about it.
- Images speak a Zillion words– Visual messages are impactful… They tell a story in itself. Making the right choice for your feature image is again one of the most important
Not all WordPress themes are suitable for viral sites. In order to run a viral site, you must have a site which is a bit different is design and layout. It should have post share buttons which are displayed at primary locations, superfast theme and features which are unique to viral sites.
- Voice– Voice is a well-designed and a fast loading theme that you might take a look at.
- Bimber– Bimber is a BoredPanda styled theme that can be a good choice.
- Boombox– Another recommended viral theme that can get you started well. A Buzzfeed styled theme.
I would personally suggest you to either choose Boombox or Bimber. I am not telling much about these themes and I leave it upto you to explore them and choose the one you like.
Must have WordPress Plugins to Increase Traffic for Social or Viral Sites
AddThis has come up with a number of features, especially to boost engagement and increase page views per visit. This typically means an increase revenue per session. Their content recommendation plugin can help you increase your sites page views by almost 15-20%. Additionally, premium features are available at $10/month. You can particularly recommend some specific posts in the content recommendation/related post feature. The jumbo recommend content footer is quite an interesting tool.
If you have any existing site that brings traffic, you can serve pop-under to those visitors and increase the visibility of your new site. If the content is good, people are likely to stay on your site. However, pop-under works better for desktop sites, so you need to have a good volume of desktop traffic. You can use DFP to create pop-under of your choice and link it to any target url. Here is a tutorial that shows you how to do this.
It is important to have sticky banners, header or footer bars etc. You can use DFP to create 300×250 auto-refresh banners and add them on your sidebar as sticky with the help of Q2W3 Fixed Widget WordPress plugin. The most interesting stories, aligned with beautiful creatives can create an appeal and likelihood of a click. If you’re finding difficultly to create auto-refresh banners via DFP, do let me know and I will create a new how-to tutorial.
Full Page Popups
Services like SumoMe, Connecto.io provide marketing tools that can help you redirect visitors to interesting content. Use exit intent technology of these marketing tools to generate more page views per sessions.
Advertising on Facebook and Native Ad Networks
For viral sites, creating an arbitrage model is one of the most primary source of profit. You need to spend some money on getting visitors to your site. Facebook is one of the preferred sources of traffic and engagement. You need to have a solid Facebook marketing and re-marketing plan to get more traffic to your site. Additionally, there are a few other sources of cheap traffic as well. For instance, you can use native ad networks to advertise you most viral titles. I would suggest you networks like Taboola, Adnow, Content.ad etc. As for Adnow, I have a self-serve advertise account with them. Their CPC starts at around $0.008 for Indian traffic. So you can get some 120 clicks for a dollar of spend. Growtraffic also provides somewhat similar CPC costing.
You need to test the various sources of traffic buying, and additionally, you primary goal should be convert these visitors to ‘Like your Facebook page’ so that any post you upload gets viewed by them (when you do a paid reach campaign). The model depends on the organic reach after initial paid reach, so everything depends on the content headline, image and the appropriate short description you provide.
To create a successful viral site, you need to right combination of marketing tools, the best curated content and some initial advertising promotions. Also, there will be few posts which will get viral, not all. But that would be sufficient to create a brand awareness for your blog. Till then, you just need to stick around. Happy blogging!
If you haven’t read my article on monetizing a social/viral site, you’re definitely losing money on the table. Do check this out.