Guide to Buying Traffic

August 14th, 2008 Posted in Increasing Traffic

While many niches depend on PPC search traffic, there’s a wide group of sites that benifit from bought traffic from individual sites. Often times you can get very high quality traffic that converts very well from niches that tend to deal in a more direct site to site type traffic deal, rather than 3rd party ad networks.

This guide is mostly to be used when buying traffic from forums, from individual websites, and from “plug” type packages, yet there are many things that transfer over to more traditional PPC outlets. Without further ado, on to the guide:

1. Know what they are sending. Get 3rd party tracking software and use it. I use LinkFacts.com. I’m sure there’s TONS more. The great thing is, this tracks in real time and tracks BEFORE ANYTHING LOADS… It also tells me uniques vs. raw and countries that traffic is from.

I use this to track links FROM my sites for most larger campaigns (mostly just to check my system numbers and give a 3rd party view of what happened if there’s problems). Often times you will find that it’s not the traffic, rather it’s the way you track it.

2. Don’t buy out of your means! If you need the profit for paid traffic to buy your next meal, you’re probably going to get burnt. Remember, the return for your traffic isn’t always going to show up right away. As you grow, you also have more opportunities, more places to trade with, better sponsor opportunities, etc. Also, don’t buy HUGE packages from BIG sites just because they are big.

3. Understand that traffic is only worth what you can make on your site. This is where too many sites get in trouble. You don’t have any idea what traffic is worth on your site. You should know exactly how much every visitor on your site makes. You should know exactly how much you can spend to break even.

You should know how much a homepage visitor is worth and how much a plug visitor is worth. You should know exactly how much you make every single day and how much visitors are worth to you every single day.

Once you start buying more traffic, you will see the X,XXX amount of traffic from one day to the other and see exactly how that affects every single aspect of your income and see if that traffic is better or worse than the average. If you know you only make .01 cents a visitor, don’t buy traffic for .015 a visitor and “figure something out later” unless you can take a hit.

4. Learn how to test traffic. This is similar to my last point, but vitally important. Buying one plug or one day of traffic doesn’t mean anything. Buying traffic from 10 different sites all on the same day also is very hard to track. All sites have ups and downs.

Testing for one day does no one any good… If you get a slow day, it looks like they under delivered. If you buy on a great day, you will assume more than you are going to get. Remember, even the big boys have traffic swings of up to 20% or more.

5. Create a plan and stick to it. Budget for multiple months. For most people, the key is to grow gradually… Over a month, maybe advertise with 10 new companies and have them start your campaigns 3 days apart. That way you at least have an idea how that new traffic is affecting things for 3 days before you jump into something new.

This not only allows you to see what’s going on, but also helps spread out your budget and puts your site on an upward trend. Too many people buy TONS of traffic to start… get all these trades rolling, etc. and then when at the end of the month find out they didn’t make enough to renew, don’t have money to buy more traffic, which in turn hurts all your trades and suddenly you’re back exactly where you started down money.

Unless you have a big budget that you can throw money at a site while you test, you need to take that above approach.

6. Remember who you buy from needs to make money too. Personally, I sell my traffic for what I would make off it by keeping it, on average. The big advantage to direct sales is you get the money upfront rather than net 30 or net 60.

If you are buying traffic to make money right away, USUALLY you’re going to fail. Think logically about it… If the traffic I send is making $.02 and i’m selling it for $.005, I’m an idiot! If I sell it for .005 and you make .007 that’s probably a good deal for both of us…

You get more traffic, more exposure, ability to increase trades, potential to get bookmarkers, etc. I get my money up front. Too many people think buying traffic is the magic formula… It’s ONLY a tool… Don’t expect more than it is!

7. Do Your Homework! This is my biggest pet peeve. I sell plugs. You can go to my homepage and see EXACTLY how much traffic every plug is sending and the date it’s submitted. If that information isn’t available publicly, find out. You can see that one plugs gets 5,000 visitors and the one next to it gets 1,500. GO FIND OUT WHAT WORKS! It’s all right there for you! If you buy a plug and it under performs, it’s USUALLY your fault.

I track all my 100×100, 300×250, & 120×120 banners… Some of them send 8,500 a day… some send 700. And I was often surprised which ones did the best. Do some research. Test and track on your site (even if it’s a small scale) and use those banners or content when you buy.

The BEST way to make money with bought traffic is to OUTPERFORM the averages. For example if you buy a plug for $15 and it send me 6,000 you’re getting a GREAT deal. If EVERY plug got 6,000 visitors, the price would go up… That’s the law of averages. If most plugs get 2,500, that’s usually what they will base the sale off of, so in essence, writing a great ad, using a great image, or using something creative could get me a HUGE discount.

Most of the time it’s up to YOU to get a great deal…

8. Be professional. If you have a problem with someone, be professional about it. If you go and start accusing them of lying, cheating, etc., you aren’t going to get anywhere. It can be very frustrating, especially as a small site who thinks they are being taken advantage of. It’s especially hard when you’re depending on that traffic to pay bills, etc.

But just come to the person in a nice, calm demeanor, explain the situation, ask for clarification, ask what can be done and what YOU can do. If you are on top of things, you’ll notice it isn’t working in 3-4 days and can go talk to them rather than waiting a month, checking your stats, and being SHOCKED you didn’t get what you paid for.

Another note… BE PATIENT. If a plug/advertising has been up for 2 hours, don’t come asking me what’s wrong… Most people will make time to help you, but it doesn’t always have to be on YOUR terms.

Author -

who has written 27 posts on [Re]Encoded.com.


Contact the author


Leave a Reply