A website can be a large investment for a business. From conception to launch, the cost can easily be tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, many website owners find out that the old saying, “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t always hold true. After making a large investment to build a quality website, often there is little or no money left to generate traffic. Luckily, there are several ways to get people to your website using free methods.
You’ve created a beautiful website which contains everything you want the world to know, whether it’s about yourself, a cause, a product, or a service. You’ve managed to successfully host your website on the Internet, either on your own or with convenient technical help, and your creation is ready for the entire world to see. But how does your audience find your website to view it?
The Internet may seem a little like magic, but it’s really just a tool — an incredibly efficient, amazing communication tool that can connect you with people from around the globe. Assuming there is a whole host of people out there who cannot wait to see your website, they have basically three avenues to find your site on the Internet: through search engines, through links from other sites, and by obtaining the URL or website address directly and typing it into their browser.
Article marketing for search engine optimization has received a lot of attention recently, and for good reason. An effective article marketing campaign can drive an extraordinary amount of targeted traffic to a website, directly and through search engine ranking. Google seems to respect those websites who participate in article marketing because it isn’t quick, dirty, or unethical; therefore, it’s not considered black hat SEO.
In order for your article to be accepted to an article submission site, it must pass certain guidelines for quality. These sites exist to provide an end user with their choice of many quality articles to syndicate in order to keep their site’s content fresh. If an article submission site has a lot of spam or self-serving articles, many of their customers will start to search elsewhere. That is why the writers are held to such strict guidelines.
It might seem as though anyone who starts a blog can make it a successful enterprise. To borrow from a certain baseball movie: “If you post it, they will come.” Although this is the first step, driving traffic to your blog is not as simple as it seems and can be the most important aspect of your endeavor. There are a few techniques that you can take advantage of to obtain easy blog traffic and ensure that the world will see your website and perhaps even read your articles. Blog marketing can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.
One of the most common methods of building backlinks is to use forum signatures. This is considered by many to be a weak method of building backlinks, and in the opinion of this author not the best, but it can still be useful when done correctly. The art of signature backlink building is actually simple and easy to follow and you’ll find that it can produce great results when done properly. This article attempts to explain that process and goes into details on how to do this for both SEO benefits and relevant traffic.
The Basics of Signature Links
Posting forum signatures is a pretty straightforward process. They are the images, links, or text provided at the end of every post you make on a forum. The trick is to find forums that allow links in this section, particularly ones where you can choose the anchor text. Make sure to follow all rules on the forum regarding links in your signature. Make note of how many characters and links can be added, what is acceptable, and what is considered spam. You’ll have the best results when you follow the rules.
Share Ad Space owner Rod Baker sent out an Internet “Wakeup Call” on the status of the traffic exchange and PTR industries yesterday, urging members to actually pay attention to the advertisements they are surfing through instead of just breezing through them in multiple tabs to collect the credits. From my standpoint, his message is decidedly unsurprising. Although I was a frequent traffic exchange user from 2004-07, since the last time I reported on the happenings at Share Ad Space my focus regarding traffic building has shifted almost exclusively toward keyword targeting and search engine optimization, a strategy which has brought me much more success than I ever had with any kind of traffic exchanges or paid-to-click types of sites.
About two years ago, these industries began to experience significant decline, and the quality of traffic from these sources has become notoriously poor, as the SAS owner’s message seems to bear out. Also around this period, AdSense and other revenue-generating programs began to seriously distrust them because of the poor quality of traffic and the potential for click fraud. Although I played around with traffic exchanges somewhat during the early days of this site, I was ultimately forced to come to the conclusion that the extra exposure derived from these sources (including even Entrecard, which is not much more than a glorified traffic exchange) was definitely not worth the time and effort required to keep the “hits” coming. In the process, I have also protected myself from potentially crippling bans on my main revenue generators.
In my ongoing quest to test different monetization methods, I have finally installed a Scratchback widget on the sidebar and now have relatively cheap text link ads available for only $1.50 each. It is placed above the fold just below the RSS buttons. Any incoming link placements are set to remain on the site until 10 others are purchased and bump the first one off the list.
The popular traffic exchange EasyHits4U has launched its own toolbar today, hoping to provide members a convenient way to access the site’s surfbar along with many other options. Recognizing that some of my search engine visitors have been looking for information on this particular program, I have posted their latest news update below. Meanwhile, if you already have too many toolbars and are looking to remove some, you can look at my posts on uninstalling the Yahoo toolbar from Internet Explorer and Firefox.
To bring your EasyHits4U traffic exchange to the next level, we have created a special toolbar which is full of handy features and absolutely free for all our members. It has absolutely no spyware or adware. This toolbar platform is used by Greenpeace, Discovery Networks, Answers.com, Lufthansa and many other respective companies.
Preview of EasyHits4U toolbar — in reality it has way more features than above and highly interactive:
Here are some of the main reasons to use it:
- Direct surfing links and complete EasyHits4U site navigation;
- Highly customizable — if you don’t need some of its components, just choose “Toolbar Options” in the system menu between the EasyHits4U logo and the search box to remove those unneeded items. You can always put them back later if you change your mind.
- Email Notifier (get notified of new messages in your mailboxes), Messages Center, Community Chat, Web Radio, Weather, Google Search, and cool Gadgets (you can switch off any of these options any time);
- Optional popup blocker, cache/history/cookies cleaner;
- And of course, some special bonuses/contests will be available to our toolbar users only (as soon as our toolbar community gets enough members, which we hope will be very shortly
Try It Now!
Fully compatible with both Firefox & Internet Explorer. Installation takes about 15-20 secs.
Even if you were not going to use any kind of toolbar, just give it a try — simply install and use it. We really hope that you will like it and it will become your everyday tool with all those handy features inside.
Today I received an email from a traffic exchange that I have not used very frequently called Tip Top Traffic. Although this particular program is designed for manual surfing, the owner Thom Pearson has managed to implement a new technology that allows users to move to the next site in rotation without actually having to click on anything. Here is the official announcement.
No-Click Surfing, Hover Surf, and I’m sure there are other names for it
And Now - We Have it.
Save the Strain on your Clickin’ Finger.
Just move the Mouse over the link or button for next site, that’s all. no need to click.
If you have ever felt pain in your finger hand or forearm after a clicking session you will know just how good this news is.
I am REALLY looking forward to the time when ALL my favorite Traffic Exchanges have this.
AND WE HAVE IT NOW - Enjoy
That’s all for now folks.
As always, if you have any problems, questions, suggestions or comments, just use the support ticket system or forum. You are Always welcome to write to me about anything.
While typing this post, I have the Tip Top Traffic surfer open right now in a separate Firefox tab. The “clickless” surfing seems to work pretty well. As soon as the timer runs out for each page, the surfbar displays four little squares with distinctly different colors where the timer countdown numbers are located. To the left of these four squares is a fifth small square with the words “Next Site” to the left of it. This fifth square displays a color that matches one of the other four. Normally the user would click the colored square that matches the one beside “Next Site”. With the new system, I only need to move the mouse over the matching color and it automatically moves to the next page; there is no need to click.
Another benefit I noticed is that there are no longer any problems with wasted time because of accidentally mis-clicking and hitting the wrong square. Whenever I hover the mouse over any of the three non-matching colors, nothing happens at all until I move the mouse over the correct color. This is a time saver because under the old system, if someone clicks on the wrong color, the rotator would move to another page and display a “Wrong Click” message. The member would not be credited for the page view but would still have to wait for the timer to run down before being eligible to begin earning credits again. With the new system, there do not seem to be any “wrong” clicks - just keep moving the mouse until it hovers over the matching color in order to get the credit and go to the next page.
Right now, according to my stats I am receiving a relatively favorable 1:1 ratio on this exchange with a 15-second timer. The surfing is very smooth and there are chances for bonus credits and small cash amounts being offered for every 30 page views. This might be a good time to build up some credits for later use. Alternatively, you could use them immediately to promote affiliate programs or drive traffic to lead capture pages for list building purposes.
If you have arrived at this page from Entrecard, chances are that you have already seen all of the posts popping up everywhere about the new ebook and site improvements. Therefore, if you are already a current Entrecard member, this post will not contain any earth-shattering news; however, if you have not yet experienced the traffic building potential of this relatively new community, this might be a good time to take a serious look at it.
As I mentioned above, Entrecard has indeed implemented some significant site improvements within the last week. Probably the most important of these for most people is the capability to add multiple blogs to the same account. This will allow people who have multiple niche blogs to install the Entrecard widget on these sites and earn credits and traffic from them without having to go through the tedious hassle of setting up separate Entrecard accounts and managing multiple email addresses.
My own favorite improvements are the changes that have been implemented in the Campaign interface. It is now possible to sort the various blogs and their widget ads by several different criteria including cheapest price, most popular, most recent, or biggest advertiser. Best of all, you can click on the little “Advertise” line at the bottom of each blog’s widget and instantly send an ad request through to them with a single click — no more wasting time clicking through to every single profile page. For someone like me who is often sending out 100 or more ad requests per day, this has been a major time saver. As you can see from this screenshot of my Entrecard account, I have been having plenty of fun with the new advertising system:
Meanwhile, in addition to the site improvements, the Entrecard administrators have also published a very useful tutorial ebook along with their latest email update. It provides a nice step-by-step guide for how to get started with Entrecard and includes strategies for intermediate and advanced users so that everyone can participate in the system and enjoy it to its maximum potential. I was even fortunate enough to have my little banner ad displayed on page 8 of the book as one of the screenshots of the “On Your Widget” column. This is a good thing because as the ebook is distributed throughout the Internet and readership increases, more people will see the Karlonia.com site name in the picture, which will help with the branding aspect of my overall advertising efforts.
Entrecard is also offering a bonus of 2,000 credits for anyone who publishes a post about their new multi-blog contest and links to the ebook. The contest is for people who have multiple blogs that can be added to the system and are associated with an existing Entrecard account. Anyone who has at least two blogs registered and verified with Entrecard by June 25th is eligible to win 15,000 credits in a random sweepstakes drawing on that date. The full details about the contest and updates can be found at the relevant entry on the Entrecard blog.
For the first time in approximately two months, ShareAdSpace.com has released an important program update. Probably the most significant news is that advertising credit and upgrade prices have been reduced by 20 percent, bringing the cost of 100,000 credits down to $16. Although manual traffic exchange hits are usually not considered particularly high quality, this still looks like a pretty good deal for those of us who have affiliate or lead capture pages to promote.
In the past, I have usually been able to make one sale at Clickbank for every 10,000 to 12,000 credits. This actually represents a favorable conversion rate in this scenario considering the fact that an average sale for me nets $23.50, which is more than the cost of the entire 100,000 credit package. Therefore, the risks with this program are still relatively low even though the traffic does not convert as well as the visitors coming from search engines. Here is the actual text of the latest update: