Greg Elfrink

May 30, 2016

Wouldn’t it be nice to turn on a switch and watch hordes of traffic flow throughout your website?

Most SEO people would love to have this ability, instead of waiting months for a website to prove itself a winner or loser.

Luckily, there is a way to do this, through the power of paid advertising.

Paid advertising (sometimes called paid traffic) is like turning on or off a water faucet at command, and it is a fantastic way to test certain viabilities of your website. You casopn quickly see what your traffic likes, dislikes, whether they buy something, or leave your site as quickly as they came.

Paid advertising is done by buying advertising space on other websites. These ads link directly back to your site, so if anyone clicks, you’ll get new traffic and potential customers looking at your offers.

You can place an ad on Facebook, for example, or you could promote your website using banner ads on other people’s websites that you have brokered privately.

Unlike organic traffic, which consists of site visitors who discover your site on Google or social media, paid traffic can be scaled up or down within minutes. All you have to do is increase your daily ad spend budget, and typically the traffic will follow suit. Of course you should only be doing this after you have a funnel that is already converting traffic into customers at a profit.

Organic traffic, while incredibly valuable, is really a waiting game. There are only so many things you can do to speed it up, and it is a lot trickier to scale.

While many of the websites on our marketplace are dependent on organic traffic for their revenue, some of them bring home the bacon using various paid advertising networks.

What Are Advertising Networks?

A paid ad network is a company that has a large website or multiple websites that they sell advertising space on. Typically when people talk about paid ad networks, they are referring to the bigger players in the industry, such as Google AdWords or Facebook.

Here are a few examples of some of the paid ad networks:

  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Twitter Advertising
  • Bing Ads
  • Pinterest Advertising

Most of the big ad networks are often called “self-served ads”.

With self-served ads, you control how much the ads are shown. You can edit your ads, you can raise or lower your minimum budget, and you can target new keywords or demographics on the fly.

Non-self-served ads are typically static, like permanent banner graphics.

The ad networks mentioned above are just a handful of the thousands of ad networks that exist out there. These are the bigger ad networks and the ones most people are the most familiar with. But feel free to explore other options and lesser-known paid traffic sources.

If you have a content niche website that is making serious money after you deduct the expenses from the ad network that you are using, you might be sitting on an awesome opportunity to sell your website for some big returns.

How You Can Prepare For Your Paid Traffic Website to Be Sold

When it comes to actually selling a website that gets traffic from paid advertising methods, there is some preparation involved. In addition to all the other things, you should be prepping for the sale (such as preparing screenshots of earned income, Profit & Loss statements, proof of traffic etc.). Paid traffic sites have just a little bit of extra work that can be done that will ultimately make it a lot easier for a buyer to buy your website in particular over another.

Swipe Files

If you are the owner of a website that is driving revenue using paid traffic, one of the things you should consider doing is packaging all of your ads, headlines, demographic targeting and ad spend into an easy to read swipe file for the new buyer.

A swipe file is just a document that has all of your winning ads in one easy-to-find place. Some marketers will keep a swipe file of really eye-catching headlines so they can use those headlines at another date in their marketing. Or they will have entire demographics that they are targeting written out and show the best ads they are running to those demographics currently. This is especially useful if these ads are ran in seasonality, so that way the marketer doesn’t forget about them when it comes time to use them again.

This is very useful for someone who is just starting to learn your specific ad network (this goes double for lesser-known ad networks that might have a more confusing setup or just unique approach to self-serve ads, like PlentyofFish).

All they have to do is take that swipe file, upload it to their account, and they should start seeing more or less similar results as you.

Ad Network Strategy Guide

The next thing a motivated seller can do is to write out a small strategy guide on how they use these ad networks, how they increase their demographics, what they use for tracking, and how they split test their ads to squeeze out more margin.

A small strategy guide could easily be just a one-page document listing all the resources you use. Or it could be a full-length guide, including how to set up tracking properly if you are using more advanced tracking platforms like Voluum.  A buyer should be able to pick up this guide and more or less be able to do exactly what you are doing.

All of this is very appealing to a buyer, especially someone who is looking at your website with a different skillset.

For the SEO specialist, this is a great value-added benefit. It allows them to somewhat automate the process, while they start building out the content arm of the website to drive organic traffic.

Having the right guide, swipe file, and setup to make the transition process as streamlined as possible is clutch for an SEO buyer, or any kind of buyer, really.

The more you can make the process for running ads to your website rinse and repeat, copy and paste, the easier it’ll be when it comes time to sell your website.

Warning: Make Sure You Are Selling to the Right Kind of Buyer

Paid traffic sites can be an awesome piece to add to an active portfolio, but not every kind of buyer is interested in a paid ad site. In fact, some buyers avoid paid traffic sites altogether, viewing them as too much work.

This is important to realize, and why it is so important to create things like a swipe file and best processes for the new potential buyer.

Many buyers will never be a good fit, even if they could successfully run your ad campaigns.

The buyer persona Lifestyle Larry would likely be a bad fit with a paid traffic website. He is not looking to add more to his plate; he wants businesses that can be run passively for the most part, which usually does not include managing a Facebook ad or Google AdWords campaign.

Here are just a few of the downsides that might scare Lifestyle Larry away:

  • Competition could enter the space, meaning he would have to spend more on ads, and reduce his profit margins.
  • Another moving piece in the online machine. Running campaigns is an extra piece that the website owner has to manage: adding content, optimizing for conversions, possible SEO outreach, etc.
  • Paid ads are not passive endeavors. They require careful maintenance and keeping your eyes on the numbers to make sure you are actually making a return on your investment, instead of losing money.

However, there are still huge benefits to a paid traffic play that can grow a website into a profit-producing machine quickly, when the right ads are implemented to target the correct demographics.

Who Should Buy a Website that Relies on Paid Traffic?

Understanding who is the best kind of buyer for your paid traffic site will make the sales process go a whole lot smoother.

If you are reading this and wondering whether you should buy a paid ad website, this section is just as much for you as it is for a seller.

The ideal buyer for a paid ad site is someone looking to diversify their portfolio with a view to expand beyond just your typical SEO traffic source, with content. For the active website builder who is looking to seriously grow large online businesses, a paid traffic business model can fit right into their plans because of the ease of scaling the marketing.

Also, a good SEO player who wants to learn a new form of traffic might want to buy a website using paid traffic. They will have a learning curve to overcome in handling the advertising campaign, but they will also have an absolutely huge opportunity to optimize using their current SEO skills.

The perfect buyer for a website that drives paid traffic is someone who is willing to be a DIY David, who can dive deep into learning a new form of marketing, or someone who is already very familiar with paid ads and loves them.

Remember, you, as the seller, will want to document your entire advertising process, break it down into guidelines, and explain what you are planning on doing in the future with your ads.

You must also reassure your buyer that you will not be competing with them in this niche. Make them feel at ease with this idea.

When you combine everything above, you are positioning your site to be a far easier sale. By creating strategy guides and swipe files, you will attract more than just people familiar with your particular form of paid advertising. You could even end up inspiring people with another marketing expertise (such as SEO) to buy your website and expand it in that direction while using your guide to keep running paid ads towards the website. Doing all of these things together will help you sell this website easier and prepare the new buyer to make a good return on investment with their purchase. This obviously is what we want, since a win-win situation is always best.

But what if you want to get into the paid advertising game? Well, there is no better way to get into it then buying a business that is already producing profits with paid advertising. They already have the proven funnels, the proven headlines, and the right ad network sending traffic towards them. If you are looking for websites that might be good paid advertising opportunities, check out our marketplace here.

Of course, if you are ready to sell your website, you can do that here.


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