How to make more money with viral websites

There are many ways to monetize a website and make money online. One avenue that often gets overlooked is creating viral content that drives thousands of users to your site. This method is one of the easier ways to scale a website and create a recurring income.

In this article, we’re going to show you a very simple monetization mode using viral traffic which you can scale to get the highest eCPM rates with Propeller Ads. In the end of the article you’ll find some real examples of viral traffic monetization.
One of our very own publishers uses our monetization solutions and some of the tips below, and here are the results:
viral-onclick-4blog
They generate as much as $350 per day! Want to know how?

Getting started

Our concept is simple and is currently being used by thousands of successful online marketers. You will need to:

  1. Build a website.
  2. Create viral content.
  3. Set up a Facebook page and promote your content.
  4. Monetize traffic using Propeller Ads.

The key to success relies heavily on steps 2 and 3 in which you’ll create content and drive traffic. Viral content is any piece of media that is shared rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another and becomes an online sensation. Viral content can be just about anything, but current news stories, sporting events or amazing nature stories usually work best.
If you’ve ever come across viral content, you’ll notice that most of it is in visual form, generally photos and videos. People don’t like reading thousands of words, and visual content has been proven on numerous occasions to provide better engagement than text.

Since image- and video-heavy content doesn’t rank well on Google or drive viral traffic, we suggest you use Facebook. Content that goes viral on Facebook will receive lots of comments, likes and shares, which allows you to increase the reach of your content without having to do too much work.

Most shared posts from FacebookSource: eMarketer

One of the most popular humor-focused British websites UNILAD regularly creates viral content and shares it on Facebook. Just look at the total number of interactions on their last update:
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One of their latest posts so far has gained 9,214 likes, 552 comments and over 1,600 shares, all from a single piece of content.
Internet users today are using sites like Facebook as a news source. If you can catch trending topics and get them to go viral on Facebook, you can drive thousands of visitors to your website in hours.

Build a website

In 2015, building a website has never been easier. You don’t need coding skills as most platforms today are either drag-and-drop or allow you to install a ready-to-go theme. We suggest using WordPress to build your site as it’s the easiest platform to use and grow your website.

To learn more about setting up a WordPress website, check out this startup guide from ShivarWeb or visit the WordPress site to learn more.

WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from, and most are mobile-friendly and work with Propeller Ads. Most of them are paid, but we recommend you spend some money to get a premium theme with a lot of customization options and good support. One of the best optimized themes for viral websites are TruePixel and Codelight. For more theme suggestions, check out this great post on the top WordPress themes optimized for ad placement.

Creating viral content

Arguably the hardest part of this model is finding and creating viral content. With the right tools and research, finding topics can be a piece of cake. Viral content can be anything from:

  • Celebrity news
  • World or political events
  • Sporting events
  • Funny videos or images
  • Cat pictures
  • Memes
  • Anything of interest (niche specific)

Here’s a viral article posted by The Sport Bible, which received more than 3,500 likes, 167 shares and 391 comments in 17 hours:
image11
ViralNova managed to get 589 likes and 439 shares within 13 hours for viral content about pigs:
image13
Viral content can be anything interesting, fun, weird, wacky or downright disgusting. Google Trends is a great platform to source topics that are currently trending and being searched by users:
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Twitter also reveals trending hashtags that will help you come up with article ideas for trending topics:
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Sites such as Upworthy, Reddit and BuzzFeed are all great resources to find trending stories, too.
The more articles you can post per day, the faster your website and Facebook page (discussed later) will grow. Ideally you’ll want to post a new article every 4-5 hours and post it directly to your Facebook page. This means you will be creating anywhere between 4-6 articles each day.
All articles should be 100% unique and re-written in your own words. You cannot copy articles directly from other sites and pass them off as your own. Facebook will ban you from their platform and you could get in legal trouble for doing so. If you decide to use someone else’s picture or video, always link back to the source and provide appropriate citation.

Remember, all content must be organic and re-written in your own words!

Set up your Facebook Page and promote your content

After you’ve set up your website, you’ll need to set up a Facebook page next. They can be created for free and will be your main platform to distribute and promote your viral content through your page, Facebook Adverts Manager and Facebook groups.
Why Facebook traffic is so important? Facebook currently has more than 1.4 billion active users and unlike SEO, you can send viral traffic to your site instantly. If a user comments, likes or shares your content, it aggregates to their friends’ newsfeeds and gets more eyes on your content. Research has shown that Facebook refers more users back to a website than any other social media platform:

image09Source: Shareaholic

There are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your Facebook page, but if your website is new, the best way to get people to see your content is to pay for them to see it.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful forms of promotion on Facebook, and some people rely on Facebook ads to get hundreds of thousands of likes. The objective here is to promote content on users’ newsfeeds so they interact and engage with it. When they engage, your content will distribute onto their friends’ newsfeeds who hopefully engage as well, and the process continually repeats itself. If you spent $10-20 per day to promote a Facebook ad, then your Facebook page could potentially get thousands of likes and shares every month. As you keep doing this, your Fan page will grow as will the amount of traffic hitting your website.
facebook-advertising
Remember, Facebook reviews every ad before accepting them. Content must provide value to the reader and must not use click-bait headlines when paying to promote. You can find Facebook’s ad policies by clicking here.

Please note, driving a traffic from Facebook Ads to a page that contains pop ads is not allowed! Use Facebook Ads to promote your FB post (this will give you a lower CPC) and then drive traffic to your website.

Buying traffic on Content Discovery Networks

Content Discovery Networks are ad networks that place native ads in the “Recommended Stories” sections commonly found on entertainment and news sites. The ads are designed to look like recommended stories related to the content of the article.
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Such promotion is suitable for new websites, because the clicks are relatively cheap if you send visitors to a content rich page, not a landing page. If you’ve filled your site with high payout ads like Propeller Ads Onclick ads, you can make money through ad arbitrage. Do not forget to optimize your website advertising placements to make as much ad revenue as possible.
Here are some of the largest Content Discovery Networks:

  • Outbrain.com
  • Taboola.com
  • Content.Ad
  • RevContent.com
  • Disqus.com

For many viral websites, Content Discovery Networks are in the top of traffic sources:

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Using Propeller Ads to monetize your traffic

If successful, you’ll be bringing in thousands of website visitors each day, and you’ll want to monetize that traffic. The benefit of driving viral traffic is you can receive huge amounts of traffic within a short period of time doing very little work. The downside is that once a visitor lands on your website, unless they like your Facebook page, they will most likely never visit again. Because of this, most online marketers use ad networks to make the most of their traffic and a number of different ad units to maximize profits.
We are one of the few networks that offers ad units that will monetize every visitor your viral content attracts.

Onclick Ads

Onclick Ads, a form of pop-under advertising, appear in a new browser window hidden under the main page the user is viewing, thus usually only seen once the user closes or minimizes the main browser window.
The Onclick is the most effective AD format to get paid for every visitor, because a publisher’s income does not depend on the number of clicks on the ads.
Onclick pop-under ads don’t require any optimization or testing and are why the CPM and revenue amount is a lot higher than traditional banner ads, making them ideal for viral traffic. They also don’t impact any existing banner ads (or Adsense units) you have placed on your site, allowing you to monetize your traffic further by using other ad units.
Some website owners avoid using pop-under ads because they afraid that such advertising may have a negative effect on their site audience’s loyalty or harm the website’s ranking in search engines.
We work with thousands of high-ranking websites and our experience shows that if your content is of high value and provides your visitors information, entertainment or any other positive outcome, pop-under ads (or any form of advertising) will not harm your audience or your website search rankings.
This isn’t to say you should place as many ad units as possible on your site. Too many ads will impact the user experience on your website, and more ads doesn’t mean more revenue.

If you have any concerns about the negative impact on SEO or user experience that these ads may inflict, our managers can manually configure your ads to behave how you want them from each unique traffic source. They can adjust frequency caps per user and even set up delays based on the user’s session time and clicks.

Mobile Dialog Ads

Mobile Dialog Ads is an universal advertising format that adapts to any mobile device forms a systematic notification with buttons for proceeding to the advertiser’s offer or for closing. The conciseness and universality of this format enables advertisers to get interested users and enables the owner of the site to maintain the loyalty of the audience. Despite the fact that our Onclick Pop-Under works on virtually any device and provides monetization of the larger part of your mobile traffic, to get the maximal income we recommend combining it with Mobile Dialog Ads. Here is a case study that shows how to maximize a publisher’s revenue with Onclick + Dialog Ads bundle.

What are the rates?

The amount you earn with Propeller Ads as a publisher depends on a number of factors. Some of these factors are in your control, while others depend on traffic performance. But we could say that viral websites with a large share of traffic from social networks like Facebook get higher rates than websites with other traffic sources and reach 7 USD per 1000 impressions (including the traditionally “hard to monetize” countries). Below are some examples of our publishers’ statistics.

Case #1: Funny videos blog

  • Audience geography: Eastern Europe
  • Traffic sources:

image12* Based on SimilarWeb stats

  • Ad unit: Onclick Ads

image08

Results: past 8 days revenue = 777.33 USD; avg. eCPM = 4.79 USD

Case #2: Local entertainment blog

  • Audience geography: Africa
  • Traffic sources:

image01* Based on SimilarWeb stats

  • Ad unit: Onclick Ads

image15

Results: past 8 days revenue = 988.63 USD; avg. eCPM = 4.34 USD

Case #3: Blog about celebrities and famous persons

  • Audience geography: USA
  • Traffic sources:

image04* Based on SimilarWeb stats

  • Ad units: Onclick Ads + Dialog Ads

case-3-1* total revenue (Onclick Ads + Dialog Ads)

case-3-2* Onclick Ads revenue only

Results: past 8 days revenue = 8829.62 USD; avg. Onclick Ads + Dialog Ads eCPM = 1.73 USD; avg. Onclick Ads eCPM = 2.68 USD

Summary

Earning as much as $300 per day or more using Propeller Ads is a lot easier than you think. The Facebook platform promotes engagement and sharing of great content. If you can find the right topics, craft awesome headlines and use wonderful imagery, there is no reason why you can’t start the next viral news site.
Setting up a small advertising budget of $10-$20 per day to promote your page gets the ball rolling and your content into Facebook newsfeeds. If users find it interesting, they will like, comment and even share your content. This has a knock-on effect and within a few hours you could drive thousands of visitors to your website.
Happy monetizing!
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