43 Niche Content Websites Buying Traffic (Ad Arbitrage?)

Woman winning at slot machine

4 years ago, if you told me I could buy traffic to content niche sites and earn a profit, I wouldn’t have believed you.

About 3 years ago I accidentally discovered I could profit with paid traffic to content websites and blogs.  This was back when using Facebook ads for getting fans was a widespread strategy.  What happened is it turned out my Like campaigns were actually generating profits on my site from display ads.  Not every campaign, but a few of them.  That was a game changer for me.

While I continued running like campaigns for a while, I started experimenting a lot more with clicks to website Facebook ads.  Profits grew (as did my email list).

In 2014 and 2015 I scaled up my paid traffic to spending over $100,000 some months resulting in some incredible profits.

And then organic traffic grew like gangbusters from all the traffic and content I was generating.

While I’ve enjoyed some decent paid traffic success to my content sites, there are other publishers who are absolutely killing it.

This post provides 40 content website examples buying traffic in 2016.

Before I get to the list, I’d like to set out why this post is helpful and a few caveats when analyzing examples.

Why These Examples Are Helpful

In addition to inspiring you, analyzing these websites can be extremely helpful.  I’m constantly analyzing what other websites are doing.  Here’s what you should analyze when visiting these sites.

Ad placement

Please do not assume that just because another site places ads (especially Adsense) in certain places that they are following the Adsense guidelines.  You must always use your own judgement.  I do not copy other sites just because they’re doing it.

That said, you can discover other ad placement ideas that are okay to do and may work well on your site.

Content ideas

This is huge.  The variety of content that works with paid traffic is pretty huge (although celebrity oriented posts seem to be the most popular).  Analyze above-the-fold content, the sidebar(s), pagination (if any), content sources, quality of writing and of course the topics.

Again, just because another site does something doesn’t mean you should do it.  Use your judgement.  For example, just because other sites copy and paste entire posts from another websites and gives attribution with a link doesn’t mean I’ll do that.

Website design

Pay attention to website design including colors, navigation, font… everything.  Most of these sites don’t reveal the WordPress theme used (assuming they use WordPress), however, analyzing design can give you ideas for your own site’s design.

One very popular WordPress theme for these types of sites, which I’m using on a new site I’m involved with as of mid-December 2015 is SociallyViral.  It’s the theme used initially by ViralNova.  It has some great features and looks really good.

Copy

Content sites that succeed with paid traffic have excellent copy.  Clickbait copy to be precise.  Analyze the topics and the headlines carefully.  I’m not suggesting you copy the topics or copy, but definitely get ideas such as phrases, words and of course niche ideas.

Monetization

These sites are well-monetized with display ads including Adsense, Media.net (although I’m surprised more don’t use Media.net), Taboola, Content.ad and RevContent.  In some cases, you’ll see Outbrain ads… but it’s not easy being approved to display Outbrain ads so they aren’t as common as the other networks.

More and more of these sites include affiliate promotion within the content or they create their own banner ad promotion of products they promote such as weight loss products, medical ailment products and financial products.

Pageviews per visitor

These sites generally garner a lot of pageviews per visitor, especially the sites with heavy pagination.  I’m not suggesting you copy their pagination

TIP
Be sure to check these sites on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.  Savvy website publisher optimize their sites for each device.  For example, some sites only paginate mobile views.  This is an important step because optimized desktop layout/ad placement may not be the optimal layout for mobile.  Moreover, there are further Adsense restrictions with mobile such as you can’t have 2 Adsense ads viewable in the screen at the same time

Email marketing

In some cases, these sites build email lists too.  It’s not as common, but some do it.  If they do and you’re interested in building an email list, join their email list to see what they promote and what type of emails they send out.

Caveats

May not be profitable

Just because a site is buying traffic doesn’t mean the site is making money.  It’s likely they are, but not a sure-thing.  That said, if you see the same site buying traffic month after month, you can assume it’s profitable at some level.

Profits may be immediate or long term

Also don’t assume a site is profitable immediately.  The publisher may have a longer term strategy in place.  Such longer term strategies include:

  • Build up social media channels
  • Rely on social sharing for additional free traffic that results in profits
  • Build an email list (profit on the backend)
  • Invest in traffic to improve SEO

The point is you can buy traffic for any number of reasons.  You must have a primary goal when buying traffic and be able to monitor results.

Age of Site

If you like a site, investigate it further.  Check it out on Alexa.com to see traffic patterns.  Some sites are brand new and may not last while other sites have been around for a while which signifies a degree of success.

Niches Represented In this List

  • Celebrity
  • Automobiles
  • Style/Fashion
  • Finance
  • Travel
  • Politics
  • General Interest
  • Lifestyle (i.e. Hacking)
  • Humor
  • Animals
  • News
  • Quotes
  • Health, Fitness, Weight Loss
  • Beauty

As you’ll see below, there are many niches that can work with paid traffic.

Moreover, this list specifically excludes the sites that focus on promoting products as an affiliate.  There are no shortage of those – but that’s a slightly different monetization model.  You’ve likely seen these ads and sites too – they promote weight loss products (usually pills), medical cures, get rich quick type of products in an informational manner.  I do not operate this model.

Finally, the sites in this list are primarily monetized with display ads.  In other words, I specifically excluded e-commerce sites and affiliate sites.

43 Content Websites Buying Traffic (Ad Arbitrage)

FYI, check out each site on Alexa.com.  There’s a section in the Alexa.com score showing traffic sources and it specifies native traffic sources such as Taboola.

1. WeekendCollective.com

  • Topics:  Politics, Beauty, Entertainment, Fashion, Food, Health, Living
  • Moz DA/PA: 24/29
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 41,570
  • Visit WeekendCollective.com

2. Wizzed.com

  • Topics:  Entertainment, Beauty, Fun, Gossip, Life
  • Moz DA/PA: 22/29
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 34,828
  • Visit Wizzed.com

3. TripCyber.com

4. StyleBistro.com

  • Topics:  Celebs, Hair, Fashion, Beauty
  • Moz DA/PA: 61/67
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 4,056
  • Visit StyleBistro.com

5. Forbes.com

  • Topics:  Wealth, Personal Finance, Business, Top Lists
  • Moz DA/PA: 96/95
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 166
  • Visit Forbes.com

6. TOPInTheWorld.com

7. Carophile.com

8. CelebrityMozo.com

9. Noozley.com

  • Topics:  News, Sports, Beauty, Health, Shopping, Travel, Funny
  • Moz DA/PA: 9/20
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 104,214
  • Visit Noozley.com

10. Dujour.com

  • Topics:  News, Style, Beauty, Culture, Lifestyle, Design
  • Moz DA/PA: 58/61
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 149,671
  • Visit Dujour.com

11. ViralMozo.com

  • Topics:  Culture, Entertainment, Life, Mystery, OMG
  • Moz DA/PA: 13/24
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 10,795
  • Visit Viralmozo.com

12. Flipopular.com

  • Topics:  Cute, LOL, Love, OMG, Wow
  • Moz DA/PA: 17/28
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 63,472
  • Visit Flipopular.com

13. TheFiscalTimes.com

14. VentureCapitalNews.us

15. Buzzlie.com

  • Topics:  Celebetries, LOL (Humor)
  • Moz DA/PA: 31/37
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 1,261
  • Visit Buzzlie.com

16. ExpertWanderer.com

  • Topics:  Cool Places, Adventures, Travel Tips
  • Moz DA/PA: 14/15
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 161,477
  • Visit Expertwanderer.com

17. ViralNova.com

  • Topics:  OMG, Science, Life, Culture, Entertainment
  • Moz DA/PA: 67/73
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 2,354
  • Visit ViralNova.com

18. Lifehacklane.com

  • Topics:  Lifestyle, Health & Beauty, Entertainment
  • Moz DA/PA: 9/20
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 20,509
  • Visit Lifehacklane.com

19. RoyalLounge.com

  • Topics:  Inspiration, Fame, Fun, Planet, Art & Style
  • Moz DA/PA: 12/21
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 26,141
  • Visit RoyalLounge.com

20. PressRoomVIP.com

21. VeryHangry.com

  • Topics:  Animals, Celebrities, Food, LOL, Sports
  • Moz DA/PA: 10/24
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 8,082
  • Visit Veryhangry.com

22. goodtips4wealth.com

23. TheCelebrityLane.com

24. Thump.vice.com / Vice.com

  • Topics:  Politics, Daily Vice, Mental Health, Culture, LGBT
  • Moz DA/PA: 87/88
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 169 (Vice.com)
  • Visit Vice.com

25. Timetobreak.com

  • Topics:  Celebrity, Entertainment, Love, Funny, Culture, OMG, Nature, Science, Cars, Food & Health, Travel
  • Moz DA/PA: 32/40
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 5,314
  • Visit Timetobreak.com

26. Ashamed.net

  • Topics:  Fun, Shopping, Entertainment, News, Travel, Finance, Lifestyle
  • Moz DA/PA: 14/22
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 168,764
  • Visit Ashamed.net

27. Uberhavoc.com

  • Topics:  Celebrity, Crazy News, Funny
  • Moz DA/PA: 19/28
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 6,042
  • Visit Uberhavoc.com

28. DailyQuenchers.com

  • Topics:  Celebrity, Funny, Life, Amazing, Science
  • Moz DA/PA: 14/26
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 30,787
  • Visit DailyQuenchers.com

29. HyperTomb.com

  • Topics:  OMG, Science, Life, Culture, Entertainment
  • Moz DA/PA: 21/22
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 95,649
  • Visit HyperTomb.com

30. ManBreak.com

  • Topics:  Trucks, Off-Road, Sports, Outdoors
  • Moz DA/PA:20/24
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 58,113
  • Visit ManBreak.com

31. My Diet Doctor

  • Topics:  Beauty, Health, Nutrition and Weight Loss
  • Moz DA/PA: 12/22
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 358,789
  • Visit MyDietDoctor.com

32. Peek Worthy

  • Topics:  Entertainment, Celebrities, Humor, Travel, News and Quotes
  • Moz DA/PA: 13/23
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 48,715
  • Visit PeekWorthy.com

33. The Barefoot Nomad

34. Interesticle

  • Topics:  Fitness and Health, Tech, Entertainment and Celebrities
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 32,969
  • Visit Interesticle.com

35. Teqzy

  • Topics:  Technology, Gadgets, Mobile, Startups and Reviews
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 169,576
  • Visit Teqzy.com

36. Jewish Journal

37. Money Morning

38. The World Weekly

39. Dollars and Cents News

40. LOLWOT

41. Fame10

  • Topics:  Entertainment, Celebrities, Style, Fashion, Beauty, Movies, TV, Music
  • Alexa Rank (Global): 18,184
  • Visit Fame10.com

42. InsideGov

43. Trending Ninjas

Alexa.com Score and Moz DA Discrepancy

In some cases above, a site has an excellent Alexa score (i.e. it’s popular) with a low Moz DA score.  These are interesting because they’re relatively new sites that are getting a lot of traffic (presumably).  That does not mean traffic levels will continue, but it is indicative of very quick success.

How I Discovered These 43 Sites

It’s not rocket science.  It took me about 90 minutes.  I did the research on January 6, 2016.  I tell you the date because it’s possible some of the sites in the list above will not be paying for traffic next month.

UPDATE:  Spent another 15 minutes researching more sites on January 19, 2016 and found 8 more sites doing ad arbitrage and 3 more on January 20/15 (via Outbrain).  I’ll stop the updates – as I see new sites in ads, I’ll add them to this list.

I just went to sites that displayed Taboola, Outbrain, RevContent and Content.ad ads.  That’s it.

Once I found a few, finding more was easy because most sites buying traffic also had the native ad widgets on their sites.

I spent extra time finding sites across a spectrum of niches just to illustrate buying traffic for content-oriented sites works in many niches.

While my list is a good starting point, it’s best to do your own research.

1 Example of How I Format My Posts

If you’d like to see how I generally format my posts with content and ads, check out my post 32 Well Paid Jobs and Careers You Can Do From Home.

Do you know of any other sites? Please list them in the comments

We can make this a great free resource. If you know of any sites buying traffic, please list them in the comments.  Thanks.



What do you think? Leave a comment!

  • Ryan says:

    Awesome content, as usual. I’ve been following and implementing your strategies with my own sites. I’ve found them to be the most common sense way to build a long-lasting, digital asset.

  • Henrik Flensborg says:

    Something is not quite right with the link to CelebrityMozo.com

  • Brian says:

    Couple questions:
    1. Do you think the general sites make much RPM since content is general and probably advertising revenue is volatile?

    2. From your experiencer is it better to target female audiences(female health/crafts/celebrity/parenting) who share a lot/engage more vs. Male oriented (cars/outdoors/sports)

    I did travel site simialr to examples above and revenue wasnt great with adsense. I also niched down To sub travel niche sites like cruises and adventure travel and built fanpages but didnt work great ..I tried travel offers but wasnt great

    • Doug says:

      I’d also like to add on to Brian’s question- in respect to demographic… do you think it’s better to target a lower sophisticated topic, vs a higher class one? Reasoning is that maybe lower class topics may share more, and get ‘tricked’ into clicking ads more, over a higher intelligence topic?

      • Jon says:

        I’m not sure I distinguish sites between high vs. low class. I think a better distinction would entertainment vs. informational. You can cover higher end topics such as business, finance, wealth etc. in an entertaining way or an informational way.

        B2C vs. B2B is also a good distinction. I find B2C earns much less per 1,000 visitors but potential traffic is huge while B2B will generally earn far more per 1,000 targeted visitors but audience is smaller.

        • Doug says:

          Thanks for the reply. I was just thinking in terms of who might be more or less educated… or, more ‘tech savy’ in terms of clicking on ads. Who would click on more ads- higher educated demo (higher class topics) or lower class? I think the psychology behind it could really help target niches. Your thoughts?

          • Jon says:

            I actually have no idea. I’ve heard ad revenue for big finance sites is really high and that’s presumably an educated audience plus the revenue per click is high.

            There might be something to it, but I have no info to say one way or another.

          • Doug says:

            Also- I’d love to hear your thoughts on Brian’s #2 question- is it better to target women oriented topics, since, women are more socially active?

    • Paul says:

      I would think that general sites would do better, since they can cover pretty much any niche, which means more content and more chances to get more traffic. Also, they appeal to a mass audience which equates to potential for mass traffic.

      • Jon says:

        This is a good point Paul and it’s definitely an appealing approach that does work. The only downside is affiliate promotion is harder if you wish to incorporate that into monetization.

        That said the freedom to publish on any topic is fun and if you’re buying traffic it doesn’t matter if a site covers all kinds of topics.

        My approach is to some how have an overarching theme to the site which means if I publish on a seemingly related topic, I frame the topic so it’s related to the general topic of the site. For example, if I publish a site on travel, it’s easy to do celebrity pieces, business pieces, style, fashion, etc. as it relates in some way to travel.

    • Jon says:

      Sorry Brian, I missed the other part of your question about men vs. women and ad revenue.

      That’s a great question. I’m in a niche that predominantly serves women, but I have a good number of posts geared toward men. I would say on the whole, I’ve had more success buying traffic targeting women in that niche.

      However, I bet cars/finance which are more male-oriented do very well too.

      I have no empirical evidence, but I suspect you’re right that women tend to share more. For example, I get a lot of Pinterest shares which is used mostly by women.

      With respect to travel offers on a site, I think they will perform best from organic search traffic. I think this is true for most affiliate offers. People who are coming to a site for entertainment aren’t going to buy. However, if they’re looking for something specific, they’ll eventually buy.

      That’s why I publish a lot of search-focused content with affiliate offers. I don’t promote these with paid traffic much, but once they get organic traffic, they do well. I’m happy to say affiliate promotions are becoming a bigger and bigger revenue stream for me on my B2C site because I’ve published a lot this type of content leveraging existing authority built up on the site from plenty of social traffic.

    • Eyal Katz says:

      I think the reason you see many arbitrage websites choose entertainment topics to run their arbitrage off of is that it’s a a topic that can easily generate a lot of (cheap) traffic. After all, before you can monetize you need to bring traffic.

  • This is an interesting article. I went over and looked at your web page you recommended ie.
    “1 Example of How I Format My Posts
    If you’d like to see how I generally format my posts with content and ads, check out my post 32 Well Paid Jobs and Careers You Can Do From Home.”

    I noticed you are running 3 adsense and 3 media.net and 2 google custom searches. So you handle you own ads and don’t buy from a agency to get access to be able to run 5 adsense on a page?

    I’m impressed with the searches have you customized them for your niche and the the websites you want to include?

    Thanks for the great article,
    Michael

    • Jon says:

      I do have 3 Adsense and 3 Media.net ads. I have Media.net set so Google ads don’t populate as backfill so I don’t have more than 3 Adsense ads.

      The search bars are not Google Custom Search. It’s a great plugin called Ajax Search Pro on Code Canyon. It’s buggy, but it’s the best one I’ve used (and I’ve tried a lot of them). It sets out search results in the stats section which is actually a fantastic keyword research tool too. On my biggest site I get a lot of searches with it which increases engagement, time on site and pageviews/visitor.

  • Brian says:

    Hi Jon-
    So, sites like Flipopular… I see the only ads there are Google AdSense. Obviously I’m a Noob- but- what you’re saying is that they’re buying traffic from Taboola, MSN, Google, etc (according to Alexa)- and hoping they click on one of their AdSense ads on their site? The profits come from the difference of their purchased traffic cost & revenue from the AdSense Ad Click? Am I understanding that correctly?

    Sorry for such a basic question- just trying to make sure I understand…

    • Jon says:

      You’re correct. That’s the model. It can work; many sites do it. The key is highly engaging ads/content that is well monetized with display ads. Usually sites have Adsense plus at least one other network (native ads and/or Media.net).

  • Sahil says:

    Everybody is not using media.net because it’s hard to get approval and it takes a long time to get a response from them.

    • Jon says:

      Yes, you’re right. I’ve heard this from several readers. All I can say is make a really good site and get some decent traffic. Approval is well worth it. These days my Media.net rev is right in line with Adsense. I guess their strict approval guidelines makes it lucrative for accepted publishers.

  • Peter Gustafson says:

    Great article Jon. It is another bang up job with loads of super information. Thank you!

  • Paul says:

    Here’s one I found:

    Gleems.com is a site that is doing 2 million uniques a month in the car niche, according to their media buy page: http://gleems.com/advertise.

    Alexa Rank (global): 20,360
    Moz DA/PA: 24/27
    External Links to Site: 3 (!)

  • Kat Nicole says:

    I see a lot arb guys using Revcontent, and it seems to be working well for them. I know Revcontent talks about 2-3X the RPMs of Outbrain and Taboola, and I plan on looking into that.

    • Jon says:

      Hey Kat,
      I used RevContent a little. I never got much traction for inbound traffic. I used their ad widget and the ads were not a good fit for my audience. But I think the ads are good for some niches and I suspect it pays decently for the right audience.

  • Francesco says:

    Hi there, interesting points in your post. I am currently trying to build my own traffic arbitrage site, do you have any feedback?

  • Benjamin says:

    Great post thank you! My question is content where are they finding the most suitable content and and clickbait writers? I considered Fiver, but unsure, considering that much of the content from the sites above seem fairly specialized or specific. Any recommendations? Thanks again

    • Jon says:

      That’s a great question Benjamin. I suspect each site finds their own writers from a variety of sources such as Upwork, writing agencies and/or maybe the publisher writes it themselves.

  • greg b says:

    in terms of articles and pictures are these sites you reference and your own for that matter, creating unique content in terms of the images and article body, not talking the headline or in the ads. when you use a celeb picture, for instance, are there any chance of lawsuits with content that may end up being libel or slander?

    • Jon says:

      I never copy content. Also, I only publish images to which I have a license or permission to use. For example, if you want a celebrity image, you can get them from Shutterstock (loads of them).

  • Saurabh says:

    Hi Jon,

    Great article !
    Do you know any such Indian websites, How can I find them ?

  • 90O91E says:

    Good Content Jon. How to get success in Arbitrage process. can you give the adnetworks to use and location also

  • FC says:

    It’s probably not as straightforward as it looks. From what I know, some of these guys will mix in total garbage bot traffic that costs very little and click on a lot of ads. If they run those 100%, they will be really profitable but the ad networks will shut them down. The strategy is to do a mix of real traffic (FB, Taboola, Outbrain, etc) and a mix of garbage/bot traffic. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s possible to make it profitable even if you are buying real traffic at $0.01-$0.02.

  • said moussaif says:

    thank u so much for that great post. am planning on starting a website at the end of that month and my main problem is how to target interested people on facebook

    like lets say that I have just posted an article like ” best 10 places in the world” what should I do to target people on facebook that would be interesting in that article like gender interest ETC..

    and thanks

    • Jon says:

      Hey Said,

      Targeting on FB with such broad types of content requires a lot of testing, but something like that I’d start with the following approaches:

      People interested in travel
      People who have liked similar listicle sites – ViralNova and others.

      I tend to be more focused so it’s easier to find relevant audiences via their interests and/or FB pages they like.

  • Barbara says:

    I’ve been testing a number of these sites on mobile and desktop and checking speed. Some are just painful loading times. Looking at the page source, I see they are using CDN and most likely caching also, and yet still slow. And the display ads are always slow loading.

    Besides caching and CDN, are there any other tricks for speeding this up – particularly the loading of ads? I’m currently still getting started and using Adsense primarily.

  • Jack says:

    Thanks for the article,
    I’m wondering which traffic is more profitable, desktop or mobile ?
    Do I have to focus only on desktop traffic ?
    e.g : buy only desktop traffic from Facebook

  • Fra says:

    I was wondering what is your opinion on sites for hosts in short term rental like AirBnB. I am not sure that may be a good fit for this…

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