Papa Whale’s Comprehensive Guide on the Art of Media Buying

Papa Whale’s Comprehensive Guide on the Art of Media Buying

Media Buy

Written by

Papa Whale


December 16, 2015


Media Buy


Since so many of us tend to receive a little somethin' extra in the cash department around the holidays (thanks Grandma!), we thought it'd be a great time to revisit the topic of Media Buying... because well, you know…  

Why not put that extra holiday cash to work for you?!

Remember, a Media Buyer's #1 goal is to find ad space to negotiate a deal on, purchase, and then monetize by reaching the most number of people, at the lowest possible cost.

Luckily, our 3-part comprehensive guide from the archives covers everything you need to know about the art of Media Buying… and is completely free! .  Seriously, check it out!

1 - Playing with traffic

This first step consists in going back to the basics and learning to recognize the types of traffic you can buy and where to buy them.

Types of Traffic


This is a campaign in which your ads rotate on a network of sites; spots that are part of a packaged deal and can’t be sold separately. This traffic typically consists of different sources (websites, blogs, forums, etc…) and this in turn, creates the RON. Be careful though! A RON can mask top converting or rubbish traffic.


Remnant traffic is traffic at a discount.  Essentially, it’s the leftovers; it’s traffic the biggest media buyers in the game couldn’t do much with… and that is why it’s sold at such bargain prices.

But you know the saying, the leftovers of others make a feast for some! The harder-to-convert traffic of industry players may actually be to your benefit if you have a decent geo-targeting strategy– or access to the most efficient geo-targeting tools

Traffic Providers


The ad network is one helluva player in the industry: It’s the company that serves as a bridging point – as traffic broker – connecting buyers and sellers alike. The ad network can be thought of as a conductor in an orchestra leading a symphony of publishers and advertisers — baton in one hand, traffic in the other.

Among some of the best adult ad networks out there, there’s TrafficHaus, TrafficJunky, Traffic Force, TrafficFactory, JuicyAds, AdXpansionExoClick, PlugRush, EroAdvertising, CreamyAds, Etology, Plugz, and Star-Advertising.


The lone webmaster might look like an ant compared to the big, powerful ad networks out there but hey, as you know, when you put a bunch of ants together, they build wonders. By working directly with a few skilled webmasters and including them in your inner circle… well, just prepare to be a traffic magnet!

Wanna learn more about how to buy traffic? Check out our complete article on traffic acquisition!

2 - Monetization

Once, you’ve found your provider - CrakRevenue for Example - you’ll have to master the Media Buy language so you can monetize your traffic to its full potential. And knowing the performance indicators are no exception!

Key Performance Indicators for Measuring Success

CTR: The Click-Through Rate, uttered in percentage, refers to the number of clicks related to the number of impressions. For example, let’s say that 2 people clicked on your banners out of 100 impressions. This means that this banner has a CTR of 2%. The key is to always broadcast the highest CTR banners to get more traffic and, eventually, more conversions.


eCPM: It’s the Effective Cost Per thousand (Mile) impressions but it’s used to determine your earnings per thousand impressions. First, you need to divide your earnings by your number of impressions. Then, you multiply this number by 1000 to bring it back to your CPM. This is very useful for your final profit or loss calculation.


EPC: This term is way easier to comprehend than the previous one. The EarningsPer Click is your earnings divided by the number of clicks your ad received.

CPA: Cost Per Action is also referred as Cost Per Acquisition — As you might have guessed, this is the backbone of the CPA-based advertising model, where the advertiser determine how much is worth every conversion made. In this case, a conversion can be a click, a lead, a sale and so on…

For example, let’s say that your ad was clicked 500 times and that you were paid $1 for each click (Don’t get too excited, this example isn’t too realistic in real life).

In this example, the provider is reporting that you made $500 in new revenues. The CPA is calculated by dividing this number by the number of conversions (“sales” for example) generated. 


Learn more by accessing our complete Media Buy Monetization lexical here!

3 - Profit Calculation

Put theory into practice with an example

Let’s say that you bought a RON that brings you 4,000,000 impressions for 3 days of traffic. Now that those 3 days have passed, to continue making money now, you need to recognize which offer performed the best for your traffic, and which one turned out to be the most profitable.

In this fictional situation (and to make sure that you’ll get it), we’re gonna say that all costs are based on a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) model.  We learned that CPM is the price that you are paying for every 1000 views of your ad.

ECPM Calculation

Now you can calculate the eCPM, which you’ll recall, is your earnings per thousand impressions. In this example below, you’ve earned:

  • 20 cents per 1000 views with your Cam offer;
  • 10 cents per 1000 views with your Dating offer;
  • 5 cents per 1000 views with your Casino offer;
  • and, 15 cents per 1000 views with your Paysite offer.

We covered eCPM a little already, but here's another way to calculate it:

  1. First, you need to divide your number of impressions by 1,000
  2. Then, you divide your earnings by the number you’ve got in the previous step.
  3. Take the next campaign, Lather. Rinse. Repeat

For example, in the case of your Casino offer :

  1. You divide 1,000,000 by 1,000 which gives you 1,000 (Sounds redundant, huh?).
  2. Then, you divide your gain of 50$ by 1,000.

That’s how you find out that you’ve earned A HUGE 5 cents per 1 000 views.

Even if this calculation looks reaaaally easy in this example, it can sometimes be trickier than it looks because there’s never a guarantee you’ll get round numbers in real life!


CPM Calculation

Now it’s time to find out if these offers were profitable and we’re only going to be able to do so with the CPM – the cost you’ve paid per thousand impressions. In this case, let’s say that, in order to purchase the RON, you’ve bid a CPM price of 0.12$ — this means that you’ve paid 120$ for traffic towards each of your offers:

1 000 – the number you’ve reached in the first step calculating the eCPM – multiplied by 0.12 = a cost of 120$ for 1 000 000 impressions

You can easily calculate your gains or losses from there…


Wanna learn our complete cheat sheet to media buy success? Be sure to read our whole post on Profit Calculation!

Becoming a Successful Media Buyer

A data-driven approach is the foundation to media buying.

To make money, you’re going to lose money at times. You can’t win them all. There’s always going to be unprofitable campaigns, but the important takeaway here is to be smart and methodical enough to globally win – and win in the end.

Apply these practical guidelines to media buying, and you can bet your butt you’ll be flying high with profit and soaring to new heights.

Are you up for the challenge?

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