Traffic Exchange Primer

Traffic exchanges are everywhere. A traffic exchange is a clever way to get hundreds or thousands of visitors to your website. The concept is very simple and the exchange process is easy to put into action. First, you join a traffic exchange program that includes individuals with websites to promote. Next, you set up the website you want to promote. Finally, you visit the websites of the other members and they visit your website in exchange.

There are both fr^ee and paid traffic exchanges. Some of the exchanges are good and some are not so good. They come in two basic flavors: manual surf and automatic surf. In the manual surf mode, you have to visit a website for a minimum period of time and then click on a button to visit the next website in the rotation. In the automatic surf mode, the websites are visited automatically for a specific period of time before the next website is displayed. The order of website visitation in both the manual and automatic mode is controlled by the traffic exchange webmaster.

A rotator or randomizer can be used to display the member websites one after another in either the automatic or manual surf mode. The rotator will display a different website in an order specified by the traffic exchange. In the auto surf mode, the rotator usually displays websites for a specific time period that usually ranges from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. The randomizer, on the other hand, will randomly select the website to be displayed. You earn credits as you view more and more websites.

A traffic exchange will expose your website to many Internet users on a worldwide basis. As a result, the exchange can possibly give your website a lot of hits. Visualize the traffic exchange in the same manner you would view a TV. The exchange provides you with websites to view similar to watching TV commercials.

The basic traffic exchange program works on the "credit" principle. You earn a full or partial "credit" every time you visit another member's website. In turn, you lose a full credit whenever another member visits your website. The typical exchange allows you to earn from 0.5 to 1.0 credit for every visit you make to another member's website.

You can usually obtain credits on the traffic exchange by:

  • Viewing the websites of other members

  • Referring other individuals to join the exchange

  • Purchasing credits from the exchange's webmaster.

If you purchase credits, you generally have a higher rate of conversion of credits earned and/or purchased versus credits used when you receive visits from other members. You have greater control over how you use your earned credits when you pay to receive credits. It is possible to get an display rate of your website that exceeds 1.0 for every 1.0 credits you earned or purchased.

As an example, in the basic fr^ee mode you might have to use 2.0 earned credits to display your website 1.0 times to other members. This is a 0.5 exchange rate. Depending on the traffic exchange and the number of credits purchased, you can increase the exchange rate up to about 2.0 displays of your website to other members for every hit you receive.

Some exchanges offer a sign-up bonus (fr^ee earned credits) to encourage you to join their traffic exchange. This enables you to start getting visitors to your website immediately.

You have the ability to enable or disable your own website for viewing by other members. If you enable your website, other members can view your site and thus consume your account credits. If you disable your website, other members cannot view your website and you conserve your credits. This allows you to continue to surf the other member websites and build up your available credits for use at a different time.

The traffic exchanges specify whether or not you can have multiple websites for display. However, you can only display one website at a time if you are permitted to have multiple websites. You can specify how many of your earned and/or purchased credits can be applied to each of your websites.

Most exchanges have a referral program where you can earn credits for the people that you refer to the traffic exchange program and their surfing activity. As a bonus, you may receive a certain percentage of their earned credits. Your downline levels may be unlimited or limited depending on the traffic exchange structure.

Most traffic exchanges earn money from the "purchase credits" feature they offer and from advertisements. In general, an exchange member can specify whether or not they want to see popups, adult or erotic websites.

Most traffic exchanges have restrictions associated with your use of the exchange. For example, exchanges generally specify whether you can or cannot have: (1) popup windows, (2) message boxes, (3) inappropriate content or adult material, (4) break out of frames, (5) site rotation, (6) URL or domain forwarding and (7) more than one account.

Furthermore, the traffic exchange may be able to delete your account if: (1) your account is inactive for a given period of time or (2) your website is causing problems for the exchange system.

Some exchanges let their members sell their earned credits for cash back to the traffic exchange. The rate of conversion from earned credits to cash is controlled by the webmaster of the traffic exchange.

Your website design and the time it takes for the website to load are very critical when using a traffic exchange. Your webpage will never get viewed if your site takes 15 seconds to load and the exchange rotates the websites every 15 seconds. You want to have at least a 10-second viewing window to give the surfing exchange member time to respond to your webpage presentation.

Keep your website clean of unnecessary clutter. You want your visitor to make a quick decision whether to ask for more information or pass on your offering.

Make your displayed website short and simple. Do not send your visitors to the sales page on your main website. Provide a killer headline followed by supporting bullets and ask for their name and email address. Don't make it complicated.

Put the lure on the fishing line and give your visitors a chance to say "yes" to your presentation. You need to get your message in front of your visitor quickly. Capture their name and e-mail address. You will have plenty of chances at a later time to market to your list.

Traffic exchanges can bring you a lot of traffic. It will take some work but the increase in your own opt--in list will provide constant inspiration. You should consider the benefits gained from traffic exchanges if you have the time and proper motivation.

About The Author

Copyright © 2004 - F. Terrence Markle has worked for over 20 years with public and private companies. He has an MBA in marketing and finance and has been involved with Internet-related businesses for over 3 years.

[email protected]

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