W ell, you are not alone. My friend and I have also thought about making passive income online. Among the many crazy ideas that hit us one of them stood out; "Make a website that attracts loads of traffic then run ads on it". Considering this model is used by millions of websites like Facebook and over 95% of Google's total revenue comes from advertising, we wanted a piece of that. We thought we had hit the mark, but boy were we wrong!
Fast forward: We made the websites and as the user traffic started trickling in, we displayed ads on the websites and started earning some ka-money in our sleep. Unfortunately due to the niche of our content, user traffic was growing at a snail’s pace and this was also being reflected in our earnings. We had to act fast to find a solution to get more traffic and earn more money or watch our efforts go down the drain.
After trying many tricks in the book from improving our content quality to serial digital marketing to killer SEO, my friend landed on a somewhat non-conventional way to boost our ads earnings’ stream. Now here we shall take you back a bit.
The answer is simple;
Step 1: Have a Website/Blog
Step 2: Signup with an Ad Network/Agency
Step 3: Ad Agency displays ads on your site
Step 4: Ad Agency pays you for each visitor that views or clicks on these ads
Step 5: Live happily ever after
So the logic is the more people visit your site, the more ads are likely to be viewed and clicked on and the more you will earn. This is why Facebook and Google are earning big from ads since thousands of people visit their websites. You must be thinking to yourself, “instead of waiting for many people to visit the site, why don't you just visit the site yourself and click on the ads a gazillion times!”
Well, my friend and I also thought of that but thing is Ad Agencies have policies that explicitly prohibit one from clicking on their own ads and these agencies have algorithms that can sniff traffic referrals and figure out the person viewing or clicking the ads.
In a bid not to get banned by these Ad agencies my friend suggested that we try the non-conventional trick which is: “Create Virtual Traffic ourselves that is undetectable by ad agencies”
We leveraged our software development skills to create "SleekWebBot" a small internet robot that visits a website and clicks on specified elements. This bot was built in the festive season towards the end of Dec 2016 and start of Jan 2017 and we have been testing it since.
As seen in the snapshot above, all SleekWebBot does is:
Ask you for inputs about the site you would like to visit.
--> Opens Browser as a user from a different country.
--> Loads specified URL
--> Waits for specified time (x)
--> Finds specified element
--> Clicks element
--> Waits for specified time (y)
--> Closes Browser
--> Repeats process for specified number of times (z)
Our proof of concept works fine and my friend thought it would be good to make it free and open source to the world. Since it was our small test project we had to clean it up, refactor, comment and remove hard coded values then documented it to make it user friendly for the open source community. In case you would like to try out SleekWebBot, it's a free software you can now find it here on GitHub: https://github.com/kevinbazira/sleek-web-bot
For those who would like to use or contribute to the SleekWebBot project feel free, your ideas are welcome and we believe there are endless possibilities to the enhancement of this project. We encourage you to use SleekWebBot mainly for test purposes or academia and lawfully adhere to your Ad Network’s policies. We wish you luck on your quest for passive income online. SleekWebBot was named after my friend, who asked to remain anonymous.
Enjoy your money making