No Purchase Required: Inside The $0 Model That Profits on Curiosity Clicks
No Purchase Required: Inside The $0 Model That Profits on Curiosity Clicks
This Site Confused Everyone. How They Quietly Pull in 1.5M Visitors Per Month.
Published by: Team AdSkills
September 21, 2023
[Thank you to our sponsor Visiopt.com who help to keep this content free.]
Have you ever come across a website and thought to yourself “How on earth could this possibly be a profitable business?”
Well, today I want to take you behind the scenes of one such mysterious money-making machine - The Healthy Gem.
As an “arbitrage” site, The Healthy Gem relies on a unique model of generating revenue from ads, while also acquiring traffic from paid advertising sources. On the surface, it seems like a risky proposition - how could the revenues from ads possibly outweigh the ongoing costs of promotion?
I scrutinized their traffic sources, dissected their content strategy, and investigated how they turn a profit through this unconventional approach.
By the end, I was able to gain valuable insights into how their well-oiled machine operates.
Whether you run a website, market online or are just curious about unusual business models, keep reading to learn how The Healthy Gem makes arbitrage work in their favor.
How Their Website Beckons Clicks With Constant Promotions
The first stop on my journey was their website itself - HealthyGem.com.
Pulling up the homepage, it immediately caught my attention that this didn't appear to be your run-of-the-mill health and fitness blog. Sure, the layout looked similar enough with typical category headings and a few workout posts displaying.
However, the deeper I scrolled, the more anomalies I started to uncover.
For one, ads were absolutely everywhere.
And I mean everywhere.
It was literally impossible to browse more than a few lines of content without yet another advertisement interrupting the flow.
At first glance, the non-stop onslaught of promotions seemed jarringly excessive. I began to wonder if their overly commercialized approach would turn visitors off more than engage them.
But then I took a step back and considered this was likely a very strategic play on their part. By examining their business model more carefully, the ads bombardment began to make sense.
You see, as an arbitrage site their primary goal isn't direct sales, but rather indirect revenues generated from ad clicks and performances. So having the highest possible ad density would direct maximize this.
It was abundantly clear this website was set up as one big showroom, rather than an e-commerce storefront. At this point, I started to understand how this could result in profits.
The Surprising Traffic Sources Fueling Their Massive Reach
To really get a sense of whether The Healthy Gem was experiencing legitimate traffic or not, I turned to SimilarWeb for a deeper analysis.
At first glance, the numbers surprised me.
Despite being a relatively unknown brand in the health and wellness space, they were attracting an extremely solid 1.4 million monthly visitors.
Deeper insights on traffic sources also yielded some interesting findings. About 25% of their users were coming directly from display advertising - a remarkably high percentage for a non-ecommerce site.
Clearly whatever messaging and creatives they were using, the ads were ultra effective at driving quality clicks from people truly interested in health and fitness topics.
Breaking traffic down between countries revealed their outreach was laser targeted, with the USA overwhelmingly in the lead by an almost 2:1 ratio. Their core demographic of women also aligned perfectly with their niche focus.
Perhaps most impressive was average time on site - a lengthy 3 minutes. This engagement signified users were staying thoroughly immersed with their high-quality content offerings, not quickly bouncing as some low-value drive-by traffic might.
Through the analytics, it was abundantly clear The Healthy Gem knew precisely who to target and how to capture an audience truly receptive to their content messages. All of which translated directly into dedicated traffic at impressive scale for such a freshly launched brand.
How Native Ads Use Curiosity to Command Conversions
I was eager to dive into The Healthy Gem's advertising approach across networks.
Jumping between Facebook, Taboola, Outbrain and RevContent, distinct patterns began to emerge around their ad formats and promotions.
One theme in particular stood out front and center: quizzes, puzzles and games designed purely for entertainment.
Ads like "Guess your true age based on these attitudes" or "Can you name all 16 shows in this retro lineup?" leveraged the intrinsic human desire to learn and challenge ourselves. More than that, they indulged our collective love of nostalgia.
By framing ads as nothing more than fun distractions promising zero sells pitches or obligations, The Healthy Gem removed all typical friction associated with promotions. They understood clicks would come easy when people feel engaged rather than sold to.
Looking closer, I also noticed eye-catching visuals were used sparingly but to great effect. Teaser snippets of just enough intriguing content left viewers hungering to learn more without giving it all away.
Masterfully, The Healthy Gem embraced the "less is more" mentality rather than sensory-overloading prospects. Minimalism amounted to maximum intrigue and narrative building without overwhelming the consciousness.
Through curiosity-based formatting designed to influence organic shares, The Healthy Gem proved native-style advertising could deliver quality traffic at an attractive ROI when executed artfully rather than aggressively.
Inside Their Facebook Playbook for Low CPAs
I next chose to zero in on Facebook, which I presumed is their largest acquisition channel.
Sure enough, The Healthy Gem presented a relentless stream of quiz and trivia ads perfectly crafted for Meta. A prompt asking "We'll guess your city based on 5 questions" greeted us, followed by teasers for other local-based promotions.
Clearly they understood location targeting was paramount for tapping hyper-relevant audiences. Asking people to essentially "put their money where their mouth is" also activated competitive tendencies proven to boost social shares.
I noticed ads employing similar techniques around lifestyle indicators, professions, education levels and personality traits too. Any data point commonly included on personal profiles amounted to fodder for their creative guessing games.
Whether posts actually completed the promised tasks or served solely as attention-grabbers, the strategy was sheer brilliance. People simply can't resist the opportunity to learn more about themselves or pop that bubble of overconfidence.
Best of all, such lighthearted, frictionless formats inherently signal low-risk click decisions for leads. When prospects feelthey have nothing to lose, incentive to take the bait understandably increases.
Through championing entertainment over sales pitches, The Healthy Gem optimizes one of Facebook's most inexpensive user acquisition streams.
Rethinking the Rulebook
Diving deep into The Healthy Gem's unusual arbitrage business model revealed some valuable insights around content, advertising and audience targeting.
At first glance, their unorthodox approach seemed risky. However, their strategic formula demonstrates that reliable traffic generation doesn't always require typical methods. By leveraging an understanding of human psychology and curiosity/entertainment-based engagement, they unlocked new pathways to profitability.
Their tactics challenged standard assumptions, showing how innovative models can succeed by tapping into audience interests rather than relying solely on proven playbooks. The Healthy Gem's experimentation highlighted alternative strategies for digital businesses to thrive.
Creativity in content style and ad formats can unlock low-competition, high-quality traffic sources
Focusing on engaging rather than selling builds stronger connections with prospects
Niche targeting through psychographics and location allows pinpoint focus on receptive communities
Social platforms like Facebook present sizable cost-effective traffic opportunities when optimized properly
When paired with an intuitive user experience and novel revenue streams beyond direct sales, their arbitrage approach demonstrated arbitrage models can effectively expand reach online through unconventional means. With smart targeting, testing and adaptation, new monetization blueprints emerge.
This business modal continues to impress and The Healthy Gem remains a leader in this space with their ability adapt.
Keep an eye on them as I'm sure they'll continue optimizing their approach.
This is Jason signing off. Thanks for joining me on this deep dive and be sure to subscribe to The Edge for more case studies analyzing innovative digital businesses.