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Give Them a KISS Ad, or Traffic Exchange Programs – Ideas, Tips and Tricks


I like traffic exchange programs! But you probably already knew that if you read my first article about this theme: Traffic Exchange Programs – Are they worth your time?.


“Why do you like them?”, you might ask. They are not the most effective way of advertising, they are not all quite cheat proof and they sure are not very targeted; 3 mayor flaws they share with most other types of free advertising. And yes, that’s all very true, BUT traffic exchange programs are free (mostly), you can do things to make them more effective and what if your target group is prone to use traffic exchange programs as well and it fits your business strategy? What if you are a beginner and you just need to start somewhere? What if you have a new site that just needs some initial traffic?


Of course your strategy should not be entirely build upon the use of traffic exchange programs, but if you have the time, why not take some advantage of them? Use a multi page browser, take heed of the following advise and if you enjoy surfing, these programs are right for you!



Strategic considerations


Questions you should ask yourself are: What is your business strategy? What is your target group?


A good strategy for beginners is to try to sell high ticket products in a niche market. The efforts and costs of selling a high ticket product are quite the same as trying to sell a low ticket, cheap product, so why not start with high ticket products? If this is your strategy, you would be wasting your time with traffic exchange programs.


I believe that most people that are surfing these programs are not interested in this kind of products. They are more likely interested in low ticket products and free offers. They are most likely interested in marketing tools (auto responders and such), free traffic, downline builders, new opportunities and programs.


My business strategy is largely build around getting downlines and targeted at people with lots of time but who are not willing to invest a lot of money. This is a very slow and long term strategy and does not involve a lot of actual selling. Traffic exchange programs are a good place to start recruiting. People who surf these programs expect to see ads for new opportunities and programs, downline builders, free ebooks, tools etc.


Normally I do not promote the idea of using your home page for traffic exchange programs or to use auto surf programs, but there are exceptions. When you have a new site and want some initial traffic, sign up for a few programs and benefit from the start bonuses. When you have a new page (offer) or site and you are not interested in Page Rank, you could use auto surf programs to get your ticker starting and get some traffic (but never do this with your main site!).



How long do you need to surf?


How much do you need to surf for credits? Well, there are people saying that you need to surf at least one hour per day! That would be the people who are in your upline I suppose. Actually, I do not have a recommendation for the time you should spend, that’s totally up to you, but can I tell you how I do it? At this very moment, writing this article, I have 4 programs running and I am playing a bit of solitaire. Point is that I am running a special offer at this moment and I need some extra credits, so when I stop writing for a while, I continue surfing for credits.


Mostly I surf when I feel like it and have no other urgent matters at hand. Or when I am doing something and need something else to distract me for a little while or when I need some fresh ideas. I surf in bursts, only with a few programs at the time and try to get the credit ticker running to get some of the bigger bonuses. surfing too many programs at the same time isn’t that effective and seems a lot like working, and I try to avoid that. Typically I surf traffic exchange programs when I feel like it and that is about 2 or 3 times a week for about 1 to 3 hours. And I get a lot of bonuses this way (extra free traffic).


What kind of Traffic Exchange Programs?


There are so many of them, so which should you join? Well, I would be inclined to say that you should just join those that appeal to you (as those are likely to appeal to others as well). But there are a few thing you could or should take into consideration.


First of all they should have a good anti cheat system. Most manual traffic exchanges have rather good anti cheat systems nowadays.


The timer, or the time to show the sites before you can go to the next site should not be too short. People should have the time to see your ad.


The bonus system should really benefit the heavy surfers with lavish bonuses.


I like traffic exchanges with lots of extra features (for playing a game while surfing, to change banner credits for site credits, a site rotator, free ebooks or other offers, chat room, bribes and that sort of things).


You will need to be able to pause your sites from being shown or there should be a mechanism to assign only a certain percentage of your credits for displaying your pages.. Sometimes you will need extra bursts of advertising and you should be able to build up a reserve amount of credits.


A strong pro would be if they have the ability to specify your target group or market a little more and provide an option to display your pages to certain categories of visitors.


The sites they show should appeal to you and should be changing a lot. Sometimes I am surfing programs and I keep seeing the same sites over and over again. Not a good sign!



Give Them a KISS Ad

The design of your page or ad should be as simple as possible. No jokes, no pictures, no music etc., just plain text html. I am a firm believer of the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple) and dealing with traffic exchange programs, that is just a MUST. My most successful ads are just simple sign up forms (with little more) or a plain text page where I invite people to push the button (that opens in a new window) “to learn more about ..”. They load super fast, are short and to the point. People can actually see what the page is about while they are looking for the “next” button.


Rotate your pages


Rotate your pages and ads in time and space! Use the program site rotator to rotate your offers or sites. In your hosting statistics you can see which rotator actually sends you traffic and which don’t. Try out different offers on the different program rotators and see which work where and which don’t. Rotate the offers and rotate the rotators and keep track of them. Don’t let the same offer run too long on the same exchange program, because it will become less and less effective. If you promote an opportunity or program, let the ad run for about two weeks, take it away and rerun it after a month or so!



Long term campaigns


Suppose you are a member of a MLM or multi-tier affiliate program and you want to build up your downline. You could of course just keep sending your affiliate page to the traffic exchanges (and there are a lot of people who do just that!) but that way, you will probably not be very successful.


Build your own site featuring your opportunity and send teasers to the traffic exchange programs to lure them into visiting your site. Prominently on your home page (or using a pop up, although I hate those) you should place your opt-in form and your personal recommendation for that program. You will have all the time of the world (so to speak) to try out different offers, teasers, wording and formatting of your ads. You should find enough material for those with your affiliate program, if not, you are probably in the wrong one.



Short term campaigns


Sometimes you will be send an offer that seems to be to good to be true (or something like that) and you will want to fire from all ports to advertise it. Hopefully you have build up some reserve credits so you can take the internet by storm!


Well, it happens to us all and it is good to be prepared for such an event. Being fast and being the first are always good tactics in these. Pause all the other pages in your rotators and feature the new offer and bombard the programs for a few days. If it is a good offer for the kind of people who surf the traffic exchange programs, it should actually work quite nicely! You could even consider joining a few other exchange programs, if only for taking advantage of the initial free credits you will be allotted.


 

Pro or Contra

 

Actually, there is a lot more to say about traffic exchange programs and you will always see people fervently in favor or in contra. When you start reading about them or even investigating the theme, you will soon see why. Take a look at their background and their site. That will tell you enough. Somebody who is interested in downlines and cheap tools might favor them, someone selling advertising or mainly concerned with search engine optimization will generally not favor them. I just plainly like them, and as they fit my general strategy, I frequently use them.. And maybe you will permit me a last word about free advertising.

FFA, or free for all pages are definitely out of the question. They are not effective and even can be harmful to your site. Safelist were quite an alternative until recently, but since the appearance of automatic submitters, they have gone down considerately in effectiveness (although there still remain some opportunities out there). And probably the best way of free advertising is “targeted free advertising”, but I will leave that subject for another article!


I am not saying here that traffic exchange programs are the answer to all your prayers or even the most effective way of advertisingFeature Articles, but they sure can give a starting marketer a break. Any questions or comments? Drop me a line!


Martin Thomassen is an economist and system analyst who took to the internet to apply his knowledge in this area. His aim is to provide useful information and help to ebiz starters to setup their business for free. Visit his site, Ebiz Setup Tutorial, Starting a homebased business for beginners

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