A look at generating traffic and traffic exchanges

Friday, October 28, 2005

Over on the Romance Divas forum the other day, a topic on generating blog traffic was started. One of the divas had posted something in her blog and wanted others to see it so she posted to the forum. After seeing that, I got the idea to make this review of several of the blog exchanges I'm a member of. They don't call me the Grand Dame of Blogging on the forum for nothing.

When one opens a site, any website, whether it be a blog or a website selling their materials to the general public, they want that site to be seen. As writer's we want our sites to be seen in hopes that our books or future books, as the case may be, are seen by as many people as possible so they will be bought. Many writer's keep blogs, and the number seems to only be increasing these days. For others, they just want their sites seen for whatever reason. They also might have items they wish to sell or they might just like having a lot of people reading what they have to say.

Well how do you get the people to your site once it is out there on the World Wide Web? Generating traffic is not an easy task. No one will know your site is available if you don't promote it. If you don't shout out "Hey I'm here! Look at me!" there is a good chance your site will get little to no traffic on a monthly basis. There are many ways to get the word out there.

There are directories, both for websites and blog specific. You can list your site on these directories, and most of these listings are then picked up by search engines, and that generates traffic to your site. Some of the blog directories I know of are: LSBlogs, Blog Flux, Blogarama, and Blog wise. Links to others are on my sidebar. Some take only a few hours to add your site into their system once checked and approved. Other directories are so busy that is takes weeks in order to add your site. Be patient. Some directories get so many submissions each day that they are backed up for days.

Another way to generate traffic to your site is by the use of traffic exchanges. There are many different types of exchanges. There are some specific to only blogs and some that are open to all websites as long as they follow their terms of service. There are both manual and auto exchanges as well. In a manual exchange, you have to press a button in order to continue on surfing to the next site. An auto exchange automatically takes you to the next site, so you have to do nothing but let the site run. However, some do offer you bonuses if you watch the sites as they appear on your screen.

How do exchanges work? Exchanges work by giving you credits. One credit equals one visit to your site. Different exchanges award you different amounts of credits for each site you view. Most blog exchanges give one credit for every two sites. Other site exchanges vary between 0.6 - one credit per viewed site. Check this out when you decide to sign up. They will tell you how many credits you will receive.

Now what exchanges are out there for you to choose from? A lot. I'm a member of many. Some I join and don't use much for one reason or another. There are some that I enjoy using and I use them on a daily basis. Let me tell you about some of the ones I've used now.

Blog Exchanges


Blogexplosion is probably one of my favorite exchanges because it is so much more than just an exchange. Blog Explosion allows you to earn credits and visitors to your site in many ways. They only keep adding more to the site as time goes on. You have the exchange itself in which you do earn one credit for every two sites you view. The site uses a thirty second timer. While surfing through the exchange you can also earn mystery credits. This can be as little as two credits or as high as one hundred. I've earned fifty credit bonuses from time to time. Haven't seen a hundred yet, but they do pop up. They have a mystery credit page that shows who won what and where.

In addition to the exchange, you also have the Blog Rocket. You add your blog to the rocket, and it goes through a cycle of 25 - 1 before the site is bumped off at the top, and you can go through it again. People can earn mystery credits for visiting sites on the rocket, so this can earn you visitors to your site. Anywhere from 1 to as many as 20 during the busier evening hours.

Recently added is the Rent my blog service. Other bloggers can pay credits for a spot on your blogs sidebar. You can charge anywhere between 10 to 500 credits. The more traffic your site gets, the higher you can charge.

Like a little competition? Then hop on over to Battle of the Blogs and compete head to head for votes against another blog. Voters earn credits for each vote, and the winner of the competition wins 75% of the credits wagered for the competition.

You can also use your credits towards banner impressions that will show your banners throughout the site on surf pages and elsewhere. For every credit you get thirty five impressions. This exchange is probably one of the biggest and in my opinion the best.

Update as of 11/22/05: Blog Explosion keeps getting better and better. As of November 1st, they have added live support. As of November 20th, they added image hosting, and there is a lot more in the works. They are also revamping current parts of the sites as well. Still my favorite of the blog exchanges. I spend some time here daily promoting my sites in the Blog Rocket, Battle of the Blogs and surfing.

Updated 12/13/05: This blog exchange has added free image hosting, stat counters and more is to come in the weeks ahead.


Blogclicker is another exchange I use a great deal. This is more a pure exchange. No bells and whistles here. For every site you visit for 20 seconds, you earn 0.6 credits. This site is probably one of the fastest I've used. They also have banner impressions you can buy. One credit equals 25 impressions. These will be shown on the surf bar. Each week, they have a weekly surf contest. The top three surfers win credits, impressions and money. I've won third once. I surfed a lot that week. After some down time at the end of October to change to a new server, this site looks to be as good as ever. A surf problem popped up soon after the server change, and it was fixed quickly.


Blogsoldiers is a growing blog exchange. When I first joined up, I didn't like it very much, but they made some additions to the site in the last month, and now I enjoy this site a great deal. This is another almost pure blog surf exchange. The site runs on a twenty second time, and you earn 1 credit for each two sites viewed. The bonus credits are what I like about this site the best. They have three ways to give you bonuses by surfing. The letter hunt game, bonus links and bonus surf pages. As you surf, the three will pop up.

The letter hunt game is a level game in which you earn different levels as you continue surfing. The higher you go up the levels the more it takes to get to the next one because the word names for the levels get longer. At first I can earn a level in a few days, and now it can take me up to two weeks to move up. When you do move up, you earn about 250 credits, as well as banner and text ad impressions you can use to advertise your blogs on the surf pages.

For approximately every twenty five pages you visit, you also have the bonus page that pops up. Answer the easy question offered and earned 7 credits to your account. The last is the bonus link. These pop up randomly usually near a bonus page, and you get 8 credits for clicking on these. Site views tend to go through slowly, so your credits can add up a bit, but they are starting to move through faster as more people join.




Virtual Loop is another exchange I like. I don't surf this one as much as the others, but I pop in once or twice a week. I somehow built up a high number of credits soon after joining, and they are still working for me. The site has a lot of little features, but it is mostly a surf exchange. This site also runs on a 20 second timer, and you earn two credits for every three sites you visit. This site had some problems soon after I joined last month, but after a server move the site has come back strong, and they look to be adding more features. They have weekly competitions for credits as well. Their weekend block party is a standard competition, and during the week they pop up with random competitions for a couple of hours. You can earn anywhere between 400 to 50 credits to your account just by surfing a bit and winning.

EDIT: Updated surf ratio to 1/1 on December 9th.


Blogazoo is another smaller exchange that is picking up speed. The site runs on a twenty second time and like the rest you can earn one credit for every two sites visited. The exchange is smaller, so you can get anywhere from five to ten site visits a day by surfing the site. They also have a new way to earn credits and getting your blogs read, and that is by posting a gazoo on your blog. The site has so many homeless gazoos and while surfing people can spot these gazoos and earn credits by clicking the link. Admin is easy to contact, and you can ask for a gazoo each week.

BlogMad!


This blog exchange isn't officially open yet, but I somehow think it is set to do great things. Blogmad is in pre-launch right now, and the rumor is they will have an almost 1 for 1 credit exchange, which is unheard of in blog exchanges for free members. The best one can get right now is 0.6 and that is with Blogclicker, which I mention above. I just dealt with the help staff at Blogmad because I hadn't been able to access my account since I signed up. I finally decided to email once I received my most recent newsletter from them, and within 20 minutes I had heard back. Over the course of an hour, several emails were exchanged, and the problem was resolved quickly. I now have access to my account, and I see I have credits already added to my account. That is for doing nothing but signing up and having my referral link on both my blogs. In the most recent newsletter, they sent a screen shot of the service in action. You can take a look at them here: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Traffic Exchanges

Blog exchanges aren't the only way to earn traffic to your site. There are also other type exchanges that allow all kinds of websites to their systems. Some offer both auto exchange and manual exchanges. Some even offer cash and for surfing a certain amount of sites each day. Be wary of these though. Some are scams and don't pay you anything in the long run. Traffic exchanges are a good way to get new readers that might not otherwise see your site, and they also help you raise your rankings in the search engines. I'll talk about a few now.

I joined Pro2mote last week. It is both an auto and manual exchange. I've noticed not many use their manual surf though, so those credits tend to sit there. On this site the auto surf rate is one credit for every one site you visit. For manual, you earn 1.5 credits for every site you visit. Every twenty five sites, you earn a fifty credit bonus. not bad for a few minutes time. I have all three of my sites on here, and I've seen a steady flow of traffic to my sites daily. The auto surf runs on a fifteen second timer. They also say you can surf for cash, but I haven't seen that yet. You can also purchase banner impressions, text ads and paid to click ads with either cash or credits, and I am looking into doing one of those in the near future. I am collecting credits to do it. With the bonuses it shouldn't take me all that long.

Another auto and manual surf exchange I joined in the last few days is Free-n-easy Traffic. I've only been a member here a few days, and I can see this site becoming one of my favorites. A fifteen second time with both manual and auto surf. In the auto surf you earn .6 credits and in manual surf you earn .75 credits. For every twenty five sites you view, you earn twenty five bonus credits. On top of those credits, you also have bonus surf pages that seem to pop up A LOT. On these you can earn anywhere from 50 to 1000 credits, and I've earn a lot of bonus credits this way. Trick is here you have to watch as the pages cycle through or you miss those pages. That ensures your site will get viewed on this surfer.

A new traffic exchange I just joined is Breed Traffic. I'm still feeling this site out, but from what I can see already by just using one of my sites with it, the site does offer good traffic. It has both a manual and auto surf program. The surf window runs on a thirty second timer, and as a basic member you earn .75 tokens auto surfing and 1 token with the site's manual surf. They also have banner impressions, banner exchanges, and it appears text ads. Doesn't appear to be any bonus credits involved with this program, so you can just surf away without even having to be at the computer.

Surf Wizard is an exchange I recently joined, and I'm already loving it. It is a website traffic exchange with both auto surf and manual surf capabilities, and from what I can tell site members use both and use them often. This means traffic to your site. One thing I immediately noticed and liked about this site is they have a category for blogs that you can select to list your site in and also surf in. Not many website exchanges have this. They also have a great pay to click site that helps you build up credits quickly. Just check in daily to that part of the site and you'll have a good number of credits in your account already. If you have one blog or site added it will take you ten to fifteen minutes a day to add up a number of credits to direct hits to your site. I'm really loving this smooth running exchange.

Once you have generated some traffic you can also list your blog on some of the top sites available. Let the world know how you rank against other bloggers! Some top sites are: Top Blog and Blogtopsites. See how you stack up!

My advice when looking at generating traffic to your sites, if you want to use an exchange look at a few different ones. Join a few and try them out. Every person likes different things, and the blog exchanges are different enough that you might find yourself liking one over another. Exchanges are there to work for you. You can surf as little or as much as you want in order to earn traffic to your site. It is all up to you. I didn't mean to go on and on forever. I just felt the need to give the most information as possible so that you know what you're getting into if you decide to join any of the exchanges.

Updated: December 13th

4 comments:

Annalee Blysse said...

Linked to this on my links for romance writer's blog. Great information in here. :) I might try a few of the others after reading what you had to say. I have only tried Blog Explosion so far.

Wow, Gina! What a fabulous, informative post! I’ve only done a little bit of research on this subject and have joined just a smattering of places. Now, with your great info, I can take it a step further.

Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this. I think it’s really going to help a lot of bloggers!

Gina said...

Thanks ladies. I might also update information here as things progress or if I find a new exchange that needs mentioning. If I do that, I'll let everyone know in an entry. I think I might have found another traffic exchange the other night that looks good, but I'm still trying it out.

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