When it comes to online publishing, building an audience organically with compelling content and monetizing it successfully with ads from big-name brands is extremely hard work. Luckily, there are much easier ways to make money.
A growing number of publishers have figured out that they don’t necessarily need a loyal, engaged audience to build a successful business when they can just purchase traffic from others, cram their pages full of ads, and skim a little off the top. It’s a simple numbers game — buy a pageview for X, sell it to advertisers for Y, and keep the difference. Don’t be fooled by the quality police: fly-by traffic can be lucrative.
Take CafeMom, for example, which attracts 9 million desktop uniques a month, according to comScore. Paid links to the site appear all over content recommendation widgets and point to articles like “5 Celebrity Nip Slips That Made Us Gasp” that are mom-related in a way. Those pages are literally covered in ads, in the form of both standard display units and content-recommendation modules from Taboola.