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Click Arbitrage

January 8, 2013
Orginally published back in 2007 on Yahoo Voices

…Almost everyone and their mother has heard of Google, because right now it’s quite possibly the most well-known Internet entity that there’s ever been. On the other hand, a lot of people don’t remember 2nd or 3rd tier search engines like Northern Lights, Ask.com, Lycos, or AltaVista. As a result, the prices to advertise on 2nd/3rd tier search engines is much lower than it is to advertise on 1st tier engines like Google or Yahoo. Differences in prices like this example is the foundation of how Click Arbitrage works — you simply buy traffic where it’s cheap and figure out a way to redirect it to people who will pay for the traffic.

Most things are easier said than done, and this is no exception, but it’s by far much easier and less risky than nearly any other money-making proposition on line I’ve ever heard of. The method most commonly used for this sort of thing is a model that goes something like this. First you need a website that is based on some niche. For the purposes of this article, we’ll say our website niche is clothing. Well to make money with this site with Click Arbitrage, I’ll need two things: 1. A way to buy traffic to send to the site, and 2. A way to sell traffic by ending send it from our site to another site.

For the first part, we can use some sort of paid advertising. MSN’s adCenter has been running campaigns lately giving away anywhere from $50 to $200 in free advertising credits, so that might be a good place to start looking. For the second part, we can use different services to host advertising on our pages, and set up our sites so that we are implicitly trying to get the visitors to investigate the offers the advertisements are describing. Usually this part is free, and I think currently Google Adsense is the most popular advertiser used.

Once you get the traffic flow going, you have a number of variables you can monitor and a number of variables you can control, but the basic idea is that you want to get to the point where you are making more from the advertisements than you are spending on getting traffic. The amount you’re paying for traffic, your site’s click-thru rate on ads, and your site layout and content are just a few of the variables you’ll need to take into consideration, so it seems like it can get complicated fast. And trust me, it can.

Thankfully, this is a good application for a concept known as split-testing. Basically, you run two versions of your site, and split your traffic evenly between them. After enough traffic is sent, one site will be performing better than the other. You then get rid of the “loser”, design another site, probably based off the “winner” but with a few small changes, and then run some more traffic to your “winner” site and the new site. You repeat the process of picking a “winner” based off of your statistics you collect and adding in a new site to test against, and as a result, you’re constantly beating your best, and increasing your profits.

All in all, Click Arbitrage is something that’s very easy to get into, very easy to get out of, and very easy to maintain once you get going. You can get started for next to nothing, and can have decent results without having to put a whole lot of money into it upfront. Like anything else though, the more time you put into it with split-testing and coming up with new ideas, the more successful you’ll be. So next time you wonder if you really have a chance at making a passive income, maybe you should consider trying out Click Arbitrage.

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