Pros and Cons of Free vs. Paid Traffic
With those traffic generation methods in mind, I want to tackle
one of the more controversial topics I hear from readers out there - the issue of paid vs. free traffic. It's an
issue I hear about almost every day.
One affiliate marketer will come out with a program that tells how they made millions of dollars without a
single cent spent on advertising and the next will come out and say they never worried about organic listings and
reached an eight figure income in two years.
In reality, there are pros and cons to both sides, and a good marketer will learn how to put both to good use,
depending on how you've created your campaigns.
First, there's paid search. Paid search is a powerful tool - one that has been making and unmaking of millions
of marketers over the years. There is Google AdWords, as well as Yahoo! Search marketing and CPM networks where you
can post banner ads for a month at a time.
And with modern tools, paid advertising is pretty much instant. You can have your ads online immediately and get
feedback almost as fast. But, is it better than free traffic?
The Pros of Paid Traffic
* Immediate Traffic from Targeted Audiences
* You Determine Who Visits and How Much You'll Pay
* Multiple Markets and Methods of Choosing Your Traffic Sources
* Instant Analytics and Reports to Review Your Choices
* Ability to Split Test and Tweak Your Campaigns
The Cons of Paid Traffic
* You Pay for Every Impression or Click You Get
* Easy to Pay More than You Want for Traffic
* Popular Networks like AdWords Are Very Hard to Maintain
* Continuous Budgeting is Required
Moving on to free traffic, you have organic search listings and links from outside sources, for which you pay no
money in the long run.
Up front, you'll likely pay some money to create content and develop links to your site, but once you've
established listings in Google and other search engines, you'll be able to move up in the listings and stay there
to gain free traffic from your targeted search terms for months to come. Many people say it is better than paid
traffic, but there are two sides.
The Pros of Free Traffic
* Wider Potential Reach with Multiple Keyword Targeting
* Upfront Investment with Long Term Traffic Potential
* Organic Listings Generate More Traffic than PPC in Many Niches
* Some Niches Are Not Very Competitive - Making it Easy to List
* Effective Campaigns Can Be Replicated
The Cons of Free Traffic
* Organic Search Optimization Can Take Months
* Cannot Rank for Every Keyword on a Campaign List
* Making Changes is a Long Process
* Analytics Are More Limited
Making Your Decision
If you're anything like the other few million affiliate marketers out there, you've probably experimented with
both paid and free traffic. Most people find that paid traffic is a great way to get instant traffic and test a new
campaign, while free traffic is the long term goal they should always be striving for.
Having a recurring source of free traffic is very important as it will allow you to continuously generate sales
without having to invest any additional money into your campaign.
However, it does require more work on your part. You need to keep building links, keep writing articles for
article marketing, and keep monitoring your listings,
all things that paid traffic doesn't require. With paid traffic, the only goal is to have a high return on
As long as you make more money than you spend, you'll be successful with your campaigns almost across the board.
In the end, the best route is to use whichever method fits into your plans at the moment.
Short term measurements can gain quite a bit from PPC while authority sites and blogs can thrive with organic