Get More Visitors to your Website using Free Traffic Exchanges

Trying to get traffic to your new website or to your gateway pages for an affiliate program can be difficult if you are just starting out and have little or no advertising budget.

This article will explain how you can use traffic exchanges to get a steady stream of visitors to your website, without having break your budget or spend hours on end clicking away to get credits.

In simple terms, a traffic exchange is a place that you can join and view other members web pages in exchange for having your own web page viewed. Every time you view another member's web page for a period of time (e.g. 20 seconds) your balance of credits increases. Every time a member views your web page for the same period of time your credit balance decreases.

There are two main types of traffic exchanges ? manual exchanges and auto exchanges. A manual exchange requires a real human being to view the web page and click on a link to proceed to the next web page, whereas an auto exchange can be left running in your web browser and will automatically refresh to a new web page.

Although both of these methods will bring hits to your website, the use of a manual exchange is far more likely to bring a visitor who will actually read what is on your web page. The auto exchange user who leaves their computer on all night, surfing web pages while they sleep is unlikely to buy your product! It is for this reason that I have not ventured down the path of using auto exchanges.

So how do you go about choosing which traffic exchange(s) to use? First let's take a look at the most common features of a traffic exchange, so you can differentiate between the competition.

* Credit Surfing ? all traffic exchanges allow you to earn credit in return for viewing other member's web pages. Also look out for bonus credits. Many exchanges will give you bonus credits for signing up, for surfing a certain number of pages, or for winning competitions or sweepstakes.

* Minimum Time Limit ? when surfing for credits, most traffic exchanges require you to view a site for a minimum amount of time before you earn a credit. This is normally somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds.

* Anti Cheat Mechanisms ? to ensure that a real person is viewing your web site most traffic exchanges employ anti cheating mechanisms. This usually means that instead of clicking a "Next Site" button you have to click on a specific graphic such as a number, letter, picture or coloured icon from a selection of a few, to proceed to the next site. Repeated failure to do this correctly means suspension or termination of your account.

* Referring Others ? this is the fastest way to build up your credits. Most traffic exchanges provide you with referral pages and banners. You can use these to recruit yourself a downline. When someone signs up from your promotional web page or banner they are placed in your downline. This can earn you an immediate bonus plus a percentage of your downline's credits e.g. 1 credit for every 10 sites surfed.

* Paid/Pro Memberships ? most traffic exchanges offer paid memberships as well as free memberships. Normally a paid membership earns you privileges such as an allocation of credits per month plus an increased number of credits for your own surfing and the surfing of your downline. Most exchanges also allow you to purchase extra credits. I don't recommend going for a paid membership or buying credits until you have tried out the traffic exchange for free first.

A quick search on Google, using the keywords "traffic exchange" will reveal almost 200,000 results, including hundreds of differently themed traffic exchange websites. Within minutes you can sign up for an account, submit your URL and start surfing for credits. Easy? Yes, but how do you know if this traffic exchange will give you results? How do you choose between the hundreds of different traffic exchanges?

I use a report from a company called Traffic Hoopla to decide which traffic exchanges to sign up with. This report is updated weekly with the top 50 traffic exchanges and the top 10 new traffic exchanges. You can find out from this report who delivers the highest unique percentage of visitors and who will deliver traffic to your website in a timely manner. Armed with this information you can sign up for only the best traffic exchanges and get the biggest reward for your efforts.

Once you have signed up for some of the top traffic exchanges, you now need to earn some credits. There are three ways to do this:

(1)Personally surf for credits

(2)Purchase Credits

(3)Build a downline

In the beginning you may want to set aside a few hours each week to personally surf for some credits ? in fact some traffic exchanges require you to surf a certain number of sites to activate your account.

However, the best way to be successful with traffic exchanges is to build your own downline. This way you can keep the credits flowing in by letting your downline do all the clicking for you.

You can do this by using the referral web pages of each of the traffic exchanges that you have signed up with or you can sign up with a downline builder such as Traffic Hoopla or Profit Rally and build downlines for all the best traffic exchanges by advertising a single link.

I chose the latter method and after signing up for the top 10 traffic exchanges I had over 60 people signed up under me in the various programs after the first week. I can't quite put my feet up and stop surfing yet, but every week I can spend less time clicking on traffic exchanges and more time deciding how to use all my credits.

Suzanne Morrison is the webmaster and owner of http://www.homebiz-direct.com Visit her website to learn more about Building your Downlines

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