By Nicole Sims
It may be easy for some to pass off BuzzFeed as a site that specializes in funny top 10 lists, but this is a company that’s taking all those laughs to the bank. The company predicts it will make more than 120 million dollars in revenue by the end of 2014.
BuzzFeed’s founder, Jonah Peretti, has succeeded in providing free content to readers while still making his company profitable.
So what’s the secret to his success?
The answer is found in these two simple words: building traffic.
It’s pretty hard to find a trustworthy site that has headlines like “The 29 most Important Twerking Moments Of 2013,” while having the most recent information on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight.
BuzzFeed provides premium content that’s free for all to read because of how easy it is to share these stories among our social network friends.
In an interview with Fortune, Peretti describes the business model best by saying “BuzzFeed [is a] platform that enables us to understand how people are sharing and distributing things like entertainment content, journalism, [and] branded content…on this platform that we built.”
In the past year, the site’s traffic that has nearly quadrupled, and since first being founded in 2006, has peaked at 130 million unique site visits in one month. According to the media sharing tracker Scanvine, BuzzFeed’s 2013 sharing figures places it in competition with top news sites like The New York Times and BBC News.
Advertiser’s have taken notice. At first glance, a reader may be surprised that there isn’t an obnoxious amount to advertisements plastered all over the page. Look again.
BuzzFeed uniquely incorporates it’s use of lists and pictures into sponsored ads that are posted on the site like regular content that isn’t distracting, or overwhelming for readers.
So far Peretti’s vision has landed the company in liquid gold, and based off it’s rapid success, a 120 million dollar profit isn’t an impossibility.