Case Study
Dec 24, 2023

Buzzfeed affiliate program success tripled

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BuzzFeed is a leading digital media platform known for its diverse range of content, spanning from trending news and lifestyle articles to quizzes and videos. BuzzFeed has found success by leveraging affiliate program revenue. With Vendo, online media businesses are able to 3-5x their affiliate sales commission by launching an online drop-shipping marketplace. Here’s how.


Vendo is a one-stop-shop for all your marketplace needs, providing you with a marketplace platform automating day-to-day operation, a catalog of brands to pick from or an ability to invite your own brands, merchandising and promotional tools, ability to sell through multiple channels (your existing website, emails & SMS, mobile app, social media), and ongoing daily support scaling your marketplace business.   

Mastering the digital publishing landscape is a digital media platform that has revolutionized online content with its eclectic mix of news, entertainment, quizzes, videos, and more. Founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti and John S. Johnson III, BuzzFeed started as a lab focused on tracking viral content. Over the years, it has evolved into a comprehensive digital hub with a global presence, reaching millions daily. As of recent estimates, BuzzFeed attracts over 200 million unique visitors monthly, showcasing its massive influence in the online content landscape.

The recipe for success

Several factors contribute to BuzzFeed's remarkable success as an online publishing business. One key element is its unparalleled understanding of online trends and audience preferences. The platform's ability to create shareable, engaging, and relatable content consistently has cemented its position in the digital realm. Additionally, BuzzFeed's early adoption of social media platforms as distribution channels allowed it to tap into a broader audience base, fostering community engagement and loyalty.

Understanding the audience

BuzzFeed's audience is predominantly younger, with a significant portion falling within the millennial and Gen Z demographics. These audiences are digital natives, consuming content primarily on smartphones and other digital devices. They value BuzzFeed for its authentic voice, diverse content offerings, and its knack for tapping into cultural moments. 

Whether it's a hard-hitting investigative piece or a lighthearted quiz, BuzzFeed resonates with its audience by mirroring their interests, concerns, and humor.For many, BuzzFeed serves as a digital companion, offering a blend of entertainment, information, and community. Its mix of serious journalism, pop culture insights, and fun quizzes ensures there's something for everyone. 

Moreover, BuzzFeed's interactive nature, allowing users to engage with content through comments, shares, and reactions, fosters a sense of belonging and community. 

Recreating buzzfeed's success

While BuzzFeed's success story is unique, there are lessons to be gleaned for aspiring digital publishers. Firstly, understanding your audience is paramount. Conducting regular market research, analyzing data, and staying attuned to online trends can provide insights into audience preferences and behaviors. 

Additionally, fostering a culture of innovation, where experimentation and adaptation are encouraged, can lead to the development of unique content formats and distribution strategies. This relationship between BuzzFeed and its audience is symbiotic, with each feeding off the other's energy and interests.

The monetization game

Content websites like BuzzFeed have mastered the art of revenue diversification. While affiliate links play a significant role in their revenue model, they continually seek alternate methods to maximize profitability. This includes sponsored content, native advertising, branded partnerships, and subscription models. By diversifying revenue streams, these platforms can mitigate risks associated with fluctuations in advertising markets and ensure sustainable growth stands as a testament to the transformative power of digital media. Its success underscores the importance of understanding audiences, adapting to changing landscapes, and innovating continuously. 

As the digital publishing landscape evolves, one thing remains clear: content websites like BuzzFeed will continue to diversify their revenue streams, always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to monetize their vast audiences. But there's another, possibly more profitable, way to make money off of your online fan base.

Starting your own multi-brand marketplace on Vendo could, at a minimum, triple your affiliate sales commission elevating it to 20-30%. That’s 3-5x more than with affiliate links.


  • Book a demo call: We’ll set up your demo marketplace and populate it with products.
  • Customize your Storefront: We’ll help you craft a storefront that aligns with your branding guidelines.
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your favorite brands or choose brands from the Vendo brand catalog. We can also start reaching out to brands you’d like to sell on your behalf.
  • Select Products: Curate product collections manually or automate the process to efficiently manage your catalog and meet customer demand.
  • Embed products: Make your editorial content shoppable with products embedded right where your customers expect them to find. Simplify and streamline product discovery.
  • Start Selling Programmatically: Push products through multiple touch points: on your website, share it on social media, and include products in your newsletters. 
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands. No need to wait 30-60 days or worry about orders not attributable to your affiliate links.
  • Get Repeat Sales: Since you’re not linking out, your customers will keep coming back. We’ll help them with abandoned cart emails and promotional email blasts. 


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