Making Monies From Big News Events…

by Joel Walters

You probably remember not too long back when the Walmart riots happened on Black Friday, 2011. Jeeze some people are hard up for a bargain. I was watching TV with my girlfriend here in Australia when I first saw the scenes of grandpa getting his face owned, chubby guys ass crack flashing the security camera, and a crazy women spraying fellow shoppers in the FACE with mace. All over a $2 Waffle Iron.. among other things.

By the time I’d watched one of the videos it had 60,000 plus views. I thought: Here’s a perfect opportunity to capitalize on a massive surge of traffic. There was tons of videos of the carnage uploaded to youtube, tons of news sites getting traffic and all of the keywords like “Walmart riots”.

These are the kind of targets I bid on. Driving traffic through Traffic Vance.

There were a number of ways to monetize this. I didn’t really put too much thought into it though. I found a $1000 Visa Gift card email submit, made specifically for Black Friday.

For the landing page I decided that something controversial would be needed to grab the users attention. The headline said “Black Friday Sales Banned?” I got them to vote if they thought the Black Friday Sales should be banned, then sent them through to the offer.

The landing page worked very well because:

1. I set the expectations so the users knows that they’re going to get a $1000 gift card. Setting expectations upfront helps conversions greatly.

2. Shock tactics and controversy work with PPV. If you’re going to interupt peoples browsing by springing a pop-up, the shock factor helps to grab their attention. The youtube video footage on auto play was very shocking.

3. By asking them to vote, it becomes more engaging and interactive.

This campaign made hundreds of $$$ in a matter of hours. Turns out the news IS good for something.


1. To make a Youtube video autoplay add this code snippet to the youtube embed code as shown below:

<object width=”407″ height=”245″>
<param name=”movie” value=”″ />
<param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” />
<param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><embed src=”″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”407″ height=”245″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed></object>

2. The simple script for the Yes/No vote:

<form name=”form1″ method=”Post” action=”radioButton.php”><input name=”gender” value=”male” type=”radio” />Yes<input name=”gender” value=”female” type=”radio” />No</form>

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

tim January 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Clever way to monetize trends….!

Hopefully each day is a new day so we can monetize a lot of other trends! :)

Just 1 question, how long the campaign last?


Joel Walters January 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

Just under a week, then it started to trail off:)

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