How is web traffic sold?
You generally can’t just sell literal data in a 1 to 1 exchange, since it’s illegal in many contexts and countries, but you can sell access to certain web traffic without compromising their privacy, safety, etc.
A good example is Facebook ads. You’ll never be able to pay to find the specific Facebook use data of individual people, but there’s enough information in aggregate that you could send ads that are distributed to general demographics of people, like ones who are interested in certain topics or who use certain parts of Facebook more often.
Let’s discuss this more.
To sell web traffic, firstly you obviously need a website that gets a lot of it. Assuming that you manage to get sufficient traffic to your website so that you could sell access to it, here are five ways of doing that:
#1 Direct Selling: This is when you sell ads on your website directly to a buyer. Basically renting out ad space on your site.
#2 Pay Per Click (PPC): With this, you earn from each click that a visitor does on the ads placed on your website by the marketers. Making these platforms and optimizing them is expensive, but it gives the site a lot of control and is commonly done for grand-scale social media sites.
#3 Cost Per Mile (CPM): With this, you sell ads in thousands of impressions. For example, you can charge $10 per 1000 visitors. Let’s say, your website gets 10000 visitors daily, then you would earn $100 from featuring a marketer’s product or whatever on your site. In short, you get paid for the number of daily views, calculated in thousands.
#4 Cost Per Action (CPA): With this, you get a certain amount of revenue share. For example, if you make a sale for another website through your blog, then you would get a fixed share. This model resembles affiliate marketing.
#5 Pay Per Lead (PPL): With this, you sell leads to other sites such as subscriptions, downloads, etc. It’s generally more active on your part, where you’re recommending the marketer’s product or service and telling your audience to sign up to check it out. It’s a common model with joint ventures.
Web traffic gets sold usually in the above ways, provided the traffic is of quality. There can be some other ways depending upon the niche of the website. Here, I would like to clarify a point. For selling web traffic, there needs to be a huge volume of traffic for which ordinary ways are not likely to work very well. You need to implement a specific method for that. I use One Minute Free Traffic (OMFT).
In conclusion, selling web traffic requires you to have quality traffic on your website first. After you manage to get that, you can sell that by implementing the ways suggested in this answer.
Please feel free to reply to me if you have any questions.