Topix, an entertainment company, developed a strategy to profitably drive readers to the site using content based on four emotions to create relationships with readers through a programmatic ad channel.
Chris Tolles, Topix CEO, describes the four emotions as history/nostalgia, schadenfreude, humor and pride of knowledge.
The strategy helped him build an entertainment media site with 30 employees.
ONLY six are writers…
But those six writers have been producing content that generates between 2 billion and 3 billion page views monthly.
“The revenue per employee is about $1.8 million,” Tolles said.
Monetized By Ads
Topix makes their money by offering ads on every page of their quizzes and surveys… Most often native ads from companies like Taboola & Outbrain.
When one of their visitors clicks on one of those native ads, they get paid a certain amount for every ad click… Like Adsense, only with a little better revenue per click.
The company, which has been profitable since 2015, estimates annual revenue of nearly $50 million for 2018 — up from nearly $40 million in 2017.
“We’ve done this by harnessing six emotions and using data to understand what people want to read,” he said, adding that Topix — which generates more than a terabyte of user data per day — made about $1 million from a quiz.
It cost about $1,000 to create a “high-engagement” story based on images and text, he said.
For example, “23 Hilarious Hipster Wedding Trends That Need to Stop Right Now” used the emotion Schadenfreude.
The content from this piece drove 5.4 million visitors — and generated about $782,000.
Take away the cost of driving traffic to the article (again, using native ads on Bing or Taboola which I would estimate at 85% of total revenue or $664,700)
And you have over $100K in pure profit… From an article that cost $1K to produce.
Great for Them… But What Does That Mean?
It’s a simple example of what can be done simply using the power & numbers of the Internet.
Does Topix sell anything? NO…
It makes it’s money by simply creating engaging content… And then using an “arbitrage” model to drive visitors to their content.
If it pays 11 cents to get a visitor from Bing or Taboola…
And it makes an average of 22 cents from those visitors clicking on the native ads on their sites…
Because their quizzes, surveys, and articles keep people going thru page after page…
It doesn’t NEED to sell anything.
Think about this business model for yourself.
If you can monetize your visitors using a simple arbitrage system (buy low/sell high)…
You too, can actually make money without selling a thing on your site.
Here’s the link to the main article…