Making money from viral traffic is a bit different than making money from any other kind of traffic. People who land on your website generally come there for a specific piece of content. Often, a friend shared a specific post or recommended your site for a specific reason. However, a new reader often won't know who you are or what your site is about.
As a result, most people find that the bounce rate on viral traffic is much higher and their conversion rates much lower than their organic traffic.
That said, there are still many ways to make money from viral traffic.
Here are a few quick tips to take advantage of your content when it goes viral to make sure you capitalize on the potential new audience.
Get Viral Traffic Audience Members on a List
It's quite difficult to get viral traffic to convert on a sale right away. Instead, a much more effective tactic is to get the audience on an email list. That way, you can continually send them content they are interested in (aka provide value first.) Then, you can follow up with an occasional marketing message once you have warmed up the audience to your brand.
If your opt-in rates are significantly lower than your home screen opt-in rates, don't be surprised. It's just the nature of the traffic.
Get Viral Traffic Readers on an RSS Feed
If you have a blog that's regularly putting out the same kind of content that got people to your site in the first place, they'll likely be interested in getting more content from you in the future.
Make your RSS feed big on your site and prominently promote your RSS feed. Once you have someone on your RSS feed, you'll be able to get them coming back again and again and build a relationship with them. Over time, the likelihood of them buying something from you increases significantly.
Advertise Your Viral Content to Increase Traffic
If you have a consistently high volume of traffic that you're not earning much money from with your own products and/or services, look into advertising.
Advertising is tough to make money with unless you have a lot of traffic. But if you already have the traffic, it can be an easy monetization method.
Start with self-serve platforms like Google AdSense. Then, move on to direct advertising deals when it makes sense.
If you're getting a lot of viral traffic on YouTube, you may have a shot at getting into YouTube's partner program. You'll need to be regularly producing videos that get over 100,000 views to qualify, but the money can be quite decent. It's basically a revenue split arrangement with YouTube.
Get Paid for Leads
If you can't convert viral traffic into actual sales of your own products, there are other ways to monetize the audience. One great way to research might be to drive the traffic to companies in your niche who will pay for customer leads.
Cost Per Action (CPA) companies are often willing to pay anywhere from $2 to $12 just for leads filled out in specific industries.
For example, let's say you produce videos about tricking out your car, and those videos tend to go viral. You can easily find insurance companies who will pay you $2 per email address that they collect when you send people to their site.
The audience from your viral traffic never has to take out their credit card and you will still get paid decent money. Plus, you don't even have to make or sell your own product!
While there are several ways to monetize viral traffic, these are some of the most popular ways content creators are taking advantage of. As a rule of thumb, it is always easier to start with low-commitment methods of monetization for a new audience (like having them sign up as a new lead, with no cost to them.) It is more likely to convert into cash for you than trying to make a first-time sale to traffic that has not gotten a chance to know, like and trust your authority in your niche.