One of the most interesting things I found out about these click bait articles I kept seeing is how low traffic costs were – As little as .03 cents per click on Outbrain.
I’ve had a few friends in the industry and I started to experiment with the ads but it was really competitive and really hard to get low cost traffic at a large scale.
It took me a while to figure out this system so I thought I would do a little write up on how I scaled my traffic by +271% per day.
I actually started spending so much I freaked out because I didn’t know how to pay the bill.
I was profiting just by ads so it was fine. But one of the major issues I found was covering the bill for the NET 20 to NET 90 some ad networks were paying out.
So starting this thing off. Why I chose Outbrain over the other networks is because they allow a NET 30 for payment (actually it’s more like 38 days since I usually get charged on the 8th).
This shortens the gap of when I have to pay out of my own pocket. Meaning I can spend a lot more each month.
They do have certain thresholds you have to make, I think it is like your first $100 dollars spent they will charge your card.
Then the next $500 and after that they will allow you spend as much as you want and charge you at the end of the month in full
If you are unfamiliar with Outbrain this may not even be an article for you, but in the simplest terms they promote content and push it across all their partnered websites.
The only downfall I found previously was that they had combined desktop and tablet.
You had to contact them and ask them to separate it. Now, they have updated their system so you can target all devices separately.
The other maybe downfall they have is they are really particular with approving content.
So you have to really study their content guidelines. Other than that I don’t really have any issues with them, overall I have found they have higher quality traffic than some of the other networks.
So as I said before I started scaling so fast I started freaking out about how I was going to pay the bill.
This will vary on your niche but Buzz Sumo definitely helps out writing better content.
Then the key is to “Skyscrape” it. If you are not familiar with the term, I will go over it soon.
With any site, for multiple reasons, I have found being super niche specific is always better.
You will get higher conversions, more returning users, higher paying ads for the right niche, etc… Broader is not better. So for any content be super niche specific.
There have been a lot of write ups on these steps to using Buzz Sumo to find top performing content, and it is pretty intuitive.
So I won’t go too far in-depth into this. Just search for keywords in your niche, find articles that you think match your brand and have a significant number of social shares, then from there improve upon it and add value.
Thus “Skyscraping” it’s just adding more value to an already valuable article.
Which once you have traffic being pushed to it, the likelihood of people sharing it will increase.
If you are monetizing with ads and only buying native traffic with not much else on your site.
Paginated posts work best (but I foresee this changing here soon). So on Buzz Sumo try searching numbers and keywords, this will show you paginated posts (or some of them).
This step is pretty easy, but set up a campaign per article. This way you can track everything separate. Do not make the mistake of just loading up a ton of urls on the same campaign.
- Keep a consistent and organized campaign labeling procedure
- Set up your targeting options
- Set your CPC high to any new campaigns for testing phase (couple days)
- Make sure you set up your UTM code’s properly.
I usually have pretty similar targeting and CPC. Really the only thing that ever changes is the name of the campaign for me(for the most part).
You can set up campaign defaults for every network in Herculous, I have everything set up to my liking so all I have to do is enter in the campaign name and hit submit and I am done.
Even the UTM code generates automatically. I can pump out a ton of campaigns fast with minimal clicks.
Here are my defaults:
CPC and Campaign Optimization
This is probably one of the most important steps and key to my ability to spend a ton at a low CPC.
Throughout the entire process I was adding new campaigns and ad creatives.
My traffic only really started to take off around the 12th.
After tons of testing my ad’s started to set fire because I had kept my CPC competitive, so even though I was losing money initially, when my ads caught on I was able to slowly lower it and still get a significant amount of traffic for a very low cost(3 to 3.5 cents).
My main GEO’s were US, UK, CA, & AU. Your site can differ depending on the market and certain topics may do extremely well in one area but suck in another.
For example: anything related to football(American I mean, not soccer) the other countries are going to be less likely to click on that type of article.
So ultimately even though you’re reaching a broader audience, your campaign CTR will go down significantly and you won’t really gain the traction.
So just something to keep in mind when setting up your targets. Like I said before, more is not necessarily better.
Once you have found some high performing campaigns, it is important to keep them healthy and spike their performance a bit every day.
Raising CPC at night will kickstart the day fast and you can lower throughout the day.
Herculous really played a key role in helping do this. There is an automation feature that you can set to raise at night and make more rules for CPC adjustment based on criteria.
The exact numbers will depend on your purpose and budget. But really it’s pretty standard across the board:
- Raise CPC a few cents at night
- As it starts spending, slowly lower by a few fractions of a cent.
Here is how you can set it up:
I would suggest you also reset your budgets lower so you don’t cap out your campaign at a really high CPC.
You can create these manually or use the bulk ad creator in Herculous. If you are already in the dashboard it’s pretty simple.
You can type a few titles, add a few images, and then it creates every variation for you.
Don’t abuse it though, do a max of about 6 ads per campaign. Any more than 10 is really excessive and actually will make ad testing more difficult for you.
You only want to be testing a few ads at a time per campaign.
When you find the winning ad creatives then you only want to create that one ad and put it in a few new campaigns(more on this later). That is just as easily done inside of Outbrain.
Crop your Images, this is often overlooked and I saw an uplift in CTR when I started cropping. So don’t skip it.
There are plenty of sites that you can do it online or just use photoshop. Outbrain image sizes is 1200×800, each network is different though.