- What Is A Traffic Exchange?
- Traffic Exchanges Are Useful Tools For Your Business
- Traffic Exchange Credit System
- Different Types Of Traffic Exchanges
- Finding Traffic Exchanges The Easy Way
- The Second-Most Easy Way To Find Traffic Exchanges
- Advertising on Traffic Exchanges – Best Practise
- Yet More Advertising
- An aside
- My Top Tips For Super Surfing
- Assigning credits
- Using Downline Builders
- Summary And Some More Ideas
This is probably going to be a work in progress. I’m going to start with what I know about making money with traffic exchanges and then you may if you wish, add your – helpful – comments to make this blogpost a really useful resource: I hope!
(Yes, I’m going to put in some product recommendations – many have free membership options, but as long as they are ‘legal, decent and honest’ you may put yours in too, as part of your comment. But please don’t go off on a tangent; this is about traffic exchanges and how best to use them. Let’s keep it that way.)
What Is A Traffic Exchange?
(If you already know, you can skip this section)
A Traffic Exchange, sometimes called a ‘Hit’ Exchange is another means of getting your website promoted. They are a bit like advertising directories , but instead of you choosing which pages to look at, each page is put in front of you for a short (sometimes very short) period of time – anything from 6 to 40 seconds. You can decide whether to take a longer look at the page or move on to the next one. (I’ll go into the technicalities of all this later.)
You can join any traffic exchange (TE) for free and once signed up you can add your own links – websites, banners or just simple text – for other members to see. But don’t go off and do anything now – there’s still a lot more to explain so that you use them properly.
First, you need to register for each exchange. Now, you could go and find some exchanges by running a search on Google or Yahoo and then signing up for a few, but frankly you will be wasting your time.
So let’s get down to basics and then I’ll show you some stunning ways to put it all together to make money – after all, that’s what most of us are here for, isn’t it?
Why use traffic exchanges?
Because Traffic Exchanges Are Useful Tools For Your Business
Traffic Exchanges are very useful tools to have as part of your business arsenal.
– Get your product seen by a diverse audience – thousands and thousands of people surf TEs every day
– Worldwide audience. TEs are surfed by people 24/7/365
– Get yourself branded, find leads and even make sales
– See what your competition is doing and how
– See what’s out there – period
– Use as many traffic exchanges as you can manage (I have a selection of about 80 at the moment. That’s 80 sites where I show at least 3 of my splash pages and 5 banners and a couple of text links!)
They can be as inexpensive as FREE – when you will just need to spend your time surfing, or you can upgrade your membership to receive credits (hits) to your sites automatically every month, or just buy credits as and when you need them. Personally I upgrade in a select few AND surf there manually as well because I get extra bonuses and rewards if I do.
You can advertise whole web pages (not recommended), splash pages, squeeze pages, banners and text links. I’ll go into each of these further down.
Traffic Exchange Credit System
The nuts and bolts of how they work
Traffic Exchanges operate on a credit system. As a member, you earn credits by surfing the pages which are set to change after anything from 6 to 40 seconds; you simply click an icon, number or word to get credit for having seen that site and the next page rolls up. These credits are then used to show your pages to the other members. It’s all very clever. The system is designed so that you don’t see your own sites too.
The more you surf = the more credits you get = the more times your site is shown.
Many of the sites have little competitions in them which can add more credits to your account – and add a bit of fun. Some have bingo-like compos – I won 1000 credits the other day just by surfing normally. Different membership levels will also give different credit ratios. For example, some TEs make you surf (view) 4 pages to get one credit, others are more generous and give you 1:1. I’m on a couple of TEs whch give me 4 credits per viewed site at certain times of the week.
If you are seriously promoting your own program, then you can add to the credits you gain from manually surfing either by buying more, or by upgrading, which usually includes hundreds or thousands of credits per month depending which level you choose. You buy extra credits with one-off payments per thousand or more. But before doing this, check if an upgrade may provide more bang for your buck.
Now, don’t go away on me yet, because there are still some more things you need to know about Traffic Exchanges.
Different Types Of Traffic Exchanges
Manual surf or auto surf – that is the question
In a nutshell, there are two types of traffic exchanges manual surf and autosurf.
In manual surf TEs you must click through to get your credit/s and view the next site. There are measures in place to make sure you are a real person. Here are some I’ve come across:
* click on a particular picture
* add or subtract two numbers and pick the correct answer
* click a colour or symbol
* where to click moves to a different place on the page
* the icon to click is not always in the same place
* little competitions, questions to answer, bingo, open-the-box etc
The autosurf exchanges are considered by many to be a waste of time as they can be left to run without any interaction at all, so no-one needs to look at the pages. You can go to bed with your computer set and wake up next morning to show 1000s of pages that you have ‘surfed’. This also means of course, that on the other side, so did hundreds of other people – so no-one sees anyone’s pages! (Except the truly dedicated who watch because it’s the ‘done’ thing to do.)
However, there are one or two autosurf sites which have extra benefits in place for those who are watching, so I would say these might be worth adding to your TE portfolio – but as additions, not the main set. I usually have one tucked on the end of my manual set.
==>> MagicHighway AutSurf (watch out for bonus pages) – CLICK HERE
(BTW, I cloak most of my blog links so I can track them – and they look a bit nicer.)
Some TEs offer both manual and auto surf – of these I would always use manual unless the auto surf requires your interaction (MagicHighway has both). There are ways and means of checking which is actually working; if you’ve heard of ‘split-testing’ you’ll know what I mean, but I won’t go into depth about this here.
So, now you know what traffic exchanges do, but how do you find them and decide which to use?
Finding Traffic Exchanges The Easy Way
and how to make them really work for you
Hopefully I can save you a lot of time here.
Before I discuss finding traffic exchanges on your own, be aware that there are some brilliantly clever ready-made programs sitting out there just waiting for you to join them. For the most part, they will have everything set up for you – recommended traffic exchanges, splash and squeeze pages for you to use, banners and autoresponders with your personal code. They will cost something for you to join them, but as online businesses go, it’s not very much at all, but they are usually completely free for about 30 days unless you want to put some small costs in up front – $10 – $15, for example.
This one is my recommendationand one in which I am actually making money right now – My Instant Biz. Margaret Albright is the brains behind this system and it is very easy and fast to get started. You still need to wait a couple of days for Margaret’s message to say all is ready for you, and there are a few things you need to sign up for first, but it’s an excellent system with a very supportive forum.
==>> My Instant Biz – CLICK HERE
What makes MIB so good?Because it uses a system. All you need to do is add your ready-made, personalised splash pages to the exchanges and surf away – as much as possible every day. (More about strategies later.)
It shows you where to find the links you need to the TOP traffic exchanges; the ones which have proven their worth and which are ideal to get started on.
It provides the splash and squeeze pages, banners, main landing pages and the autoresponder stocked with messages. Margaret even sets up the autoresponder with your username and messages.
Overall, the best advice I can give you, from my own bitter experience, is only to join ONE programs and work really hard to get it going – to the exclusion of all else. Trust me, trying to more than one at once dissipates your energies.
The Second-Most Easy Way To Find Traffic Exchanges
… if you really must DIY
If you are adamant that you want to go it alone, then TrafficHoopla is the place to look – and it’s free to join. lists the top TEs and it’s free to join. It has two lists – a Top Five and a Top Ten. These lists are updated every week so that you can adjust the TEs you surf accordinlgy.
==>> TrafficHoopla – CLICK HERE
Another excellent source is Affiliate Funnel; once you have registered you can go through to sign up for the top exchanges which are rated every week. What is so marvellous about Affiliate Funnel is the wealth of fantastic resources you get as a member – worth their weight in gold! Excellent forum support too.
==>> Affiliate Funnel – CLICK HERE
In both of these, to get started sign up for the top five – it will give you an idea of how they work before you add more.
Advertising on Traffic Exchanges – Best Practise
So, you’ve registered for some Traffic Exchanges, but what do you do next?
Don’t start surfing yet – unless it’s just to see how they work; there are still a few things you need to understand. Remember, you will be clicking away with yoru mouse so that you can get your own pages shown. So the next thing to do is put your own pages into the traffic exchange system ie ADVERTISE .
You may already have your own program or programs that you want to promote, or perhaps you signed up for one of those I mentioned above. You now want to use the Traffic Exchanges you’ve joined to place your ads onto their system. These ads can include splash/squeeze pages (which link to your main site), banners or simple text links. How you do this is explained in each TE and it’s always very simple. (If you joined MIB this is all ready prepared for you and everything is explained.)
This next paragraph is important!
Most people, when they have a program they want to promote, make the fatal – YES, FATAL – mistake of simply showing their main website page in the traffic exchanges. This is a waste of your time, effort and space. You really don’t want to do this.
Why not? Because your fellow surfers just won’t have time – or take time – to read a whole page. Even now I’m seeing many pages which look so full and cluttered that I don’t even bother to stop and find out what they are about – so I get my credit and go off to the next tab.
Here’s why using your main web page just doesn’t work:
* loads too slowly
* may not load at all (it may have as little as 6 seconds, remember)
* has too much information crammed on the screen
* may not be obvious to what it is promoting
* has the opt-in out of site (aka ‘below the fold’)
* doesn’t open a new page when clicked on (assuming someone has bothered to get down that far)
* interrupts the surfing process (has pop-ups, fly-ins etc)
Surfers won’t take any notice of them because they are:
— surfing very quickly
— just want to see the main message
— will decide in an instant whether they are interested
— need to know that if they click on the page it will open a new window
— really just want the click credits before they move to the next tab
So, how do you get round this if the surfer isn’t going to stop?
Well, they will stop if you use a good splash or squeeze (opt-in) page. Preferably the former. Why? Because this sort of page is small and simple, it loads very quickly and if it has been properly set up, your viewer can click anywhere on the image and have the main web page (the one with all the details) open in a new window.
As a surfer, when I’m on a roll I really don’t want to be distracted right then and there; I want to keep surfing.
I’ve allotted an hour or so just for this purpose. So, what I do when I’ve seen something I may be interested in is right click on it so that it opens in a new tab. Once I’ve finished all my surfing the page is sitting there so that I can take a closer look – when I have time.
(Don’t forget that if you use a squeeze (opt-in) page, you will need to set up an autoresponder campaign. There are many different autoresponders which all work in a similar way – to capture the name and email address of parties interested in what you have to offer. This is a whole blog topic in itself. MIB uses TrafficWave, so don’t sign up for an autoresponder just yet.)
In the system I’ve mentioned above (My Instant Biz), there are 5 or more different splash pages which you can use. You can place all of them into the same exchange, spread them all through different exchanges. MIB also has a single link (URL) which is a rotator and therefore shows all five automatically).
Many TEs now offer a free splash page generator as well as a rotator.
There’s a really neat program called WidgetQuik which lets you put more than one page on each of the surf pages.
==>> WidgetQuik – CLICK HERE
Yet More Advertising
Banners and Text Ads
As well as webistes – in the form of splash or squeeze pages – you will also have the option to show banners and small text ads on the exchanges.
A banner ad is usually a long horizontal bar which links to whatever you like – a squeeze (opt-in) page would be good so that you can ‘capture’ the person’s information before sending them to your main page. Banners are shown as ‘impressions’, you can swap your surfing credits for banner impressions – and some TEs are very generous, offering 20, 40 or even 60 times impressions for your credits.
But there’s a good reason for this – banners probably do not perform as well as splash pages. But to be honest, if they are included in your membership, use them – but don’t buy banner impressions on their own and don’t swap all of your surfing credits – just a few to keep the banners showing.
I would say text ads are even less useful than banners – I do use them as they are there, but in some TE’s I may only have one or two so that I can allocate most of my credits to my websites.
If you fancy making your own banners, take a look at this program:
==>> Instant Banner Creator – CLICK HERE
What’s all this about ‘capturing contacts’
The whole purpose behind splash and squeeze pages is to get someone’s name and email address so that you can slot them in to your autoresponder sequence.
So this is the last thing you MUST set up before you are ready to get started sending traffic to your site.
As I mentioned above, they all work in a similar way. Here’s the gist:
* create a campaign
* set up the personalised emails 12 or more is good
* schedule the messages so they are sent out regularly over weeks or even months
To use autoresponders properly, you must
1. create the opt-in form
2. place the code for the opt-in form onto your squeeze page (if you are using a splash page, then the code goes into the webpage that the splash page links to.)
There’s a very neat program you can get which makes this as simple as possible:
==>> Instant Squeeze Page Generator – CLICK HERE
If all this seems a bit to much right now then you really do need to join one My Instant Biz. Simply because Margaret does most of the hard work for you and painstakingly walks you through everything else (and there’s great support in the forum too). Once you’ve learnt the ropes with this you can branch out on your own – but you may find you won’t need to.
My Top Tips For Super Surfing
Slick and easy – getting the most out of your time
I’m going to assume you are manual surfing. This is the way to start out a) because you learn how it all works and b) you can start buying membership upgrades and credits once you have some real money coming in.
This is the free way lots and lots of people use it to get started – myself included.
Having said that, there are still good ways and bad ways to surf the exchanges.
Open ONE traffic exchange, login, go to the surfing section, wait for the page to load, click the required icon, wait for the next page, click the icon, wait for the next page etc etc. On average each page will take you 15 seconds (some are faster, some slower), so that’s 4 pages a minute – 240 per hour.
Very slow, very boring, very inefficient. If I tell you that I can surf at least 800 – 1000 per hour… read on.
Open several traffic exchanges (4 or 5), each one in its own tab, login to each one, go to the surfing section and start surfing, click the next tab, login etc. Click through them all in sequence and keep going round and round.
Hopefully the first one has finished re-loading when you get back to it and you don’t get RSI from all that mousing!
Optimum way – here’s how I do it.
* I open TEN traffic exchanges each in its own tab.
* If available, I use the direct URL to start surfing without logging in searately.
* Where I can’t do that, my password program has filled in my login details, so I just need to click once and then go to the surfing page.
* I use a single button to move between tabs.
* The only mousing I do is to click on the correct icon.
My surfing rate is increased by about 40% over the Good Way!
Here’s the wordy breakdown of the optimum way, from one of my own articles (it would probably be better as a YouTube video!):
Top Ten Traffic Exchange Tactics For Surfers
If you are an avid user of manual traffic exchanges, you will want to get the very best out of your surfing so that you actually make money. If you are already making money surfing manually, then are you sure you are making as much as possible?
Here I list my top ten traffic exchange tactics so that you can get the best return for all your effort.
1. Use a tabbed browser. There are many browers available, but Internet Explorer and Firefox are the most well-known and most used. I use Firefox because not only does it have tabs (each page can be opened in a separate window), but there are several add-ons you can get which make it even more efficient. For the rest of this article I will refer to add-ons which I know work with Firefox.
2. Surf more than one exchange at a time. I recommend at least five, but no more than ten. (I did try 22 the other day as an experiment, but everything took a long time to load – it was fun trying though!)
Whatever you do, don’t open just one traffic exchange and wait until each page loads (Bad Way above). Yes, you want to read the ads, but you should be able to manage at least five different tabs – ten once you get the hang of it and implement the ideas in this article. (More than ten reduces your efficiency!)
3. Store your logins in a password manager program. Ideally you will have a different password for every exchange, but whether you do or not, you don’t want to have to keep typing in your username and password on every exchange. Have a program do it all for you. Roboform is good for this and LastPass, which is a Firefox add-on works just a little bit better by automatically filling in your information so you just have to click the login button. Also, see if the exchange gives you your own surfing URL – you then save this in your bookmarks so it takes you striaght to the surfing page when you open the link.
4. Join more than ten traffic exchanges. You could have as many as you like, twenty or thrity perhaps, – BUT – don’t try and surf them all at the same time! The reason for the variety is that lots of TEs (traffic exchanges) seem to show ads for the same programs; using some of the non-standard TEs may just have some different ads for different programs. makes it more interesting and shows your ads to a wider audience.
5. Bookmark your traffic exchanges into sets. You do this by opening an exchange and before you login hit ‘CTRL+D’ or in the Bookmark menu go to SAVE PAGE.
Make a new folder called, say, Surf One, and add the page there. Now open the next traffic exchange and bookmark that page by saving it in the same folder. When you have at most ten saved, start another folder called Surf Two. Or you can name them after days in the week – or however you please. The reason you are doing this is so that you can open all of the exchanges under each folder just by right-clicking and choosing ‘Open all in tabs’. They will all open up neatly one beside the other, and if you have LastPass set up, most of them will have your login details already in place so that you can start surfing as quickly as possible.
6. Now you may find ten tabs will disappear off the end of the tab bar, meaning that as you get to the end, you have to click an arrow to get to the next exchange – which is a waste of time.
Introducing Tab Kit, the (of course, free) FireFox add-on which lets you have as many rows of tabs as you like: three is good. You can find it through your Firefox tools/addons/get addons menu.The default settings are OK to start with.
Oh – just one point about multiple tabs – whether you can surf 5 or more will depend on your internet connection speed and the speed of your computer. What you are aiming for is not having to wait while a page loads.
7. Some exchanges open a new tab when you start surfing. If you are using the Tab Kit, you can move the non-surfing window to the row below, so that only your surfing windows are on the top row. You can usually close the first window instead if you want to.
8. Now you need a fast way to surf through all those tabs. Clicking the tab bar with your mouse and then finding the correct icon to click to load the next page can be a bit tedious, if not hit and mis when your hand shakes!
Use the free version of ‘Quick Tab Change’ by Jay Hines. This lets you select a single key to switch between tabs. For example, I use my mouse with my left hand and use the right side windows key with my right hand to move to the next tab. I can get up quite a bit of speed like this, (stopping when I see something interesting, of course). I also swap hands for a change.
==>> Quick Tab Change – CLICK HERE
(The free version works extremely well, but the paid version has more options and works faster.)
9. Aim to surf for at least one hour a day if you want to make money. It’s no good thinking you will get anywhere by just doing 20 pages on each site. Occasionally you may be able to surf for longer – eg when watching a TV program that doesn’t need your full attention. I often surf late evening to wind down before I go to bed. (Yes, I do find it relaxing.)
10. Switch the sound off on your computer! Many pages autoload the audio and it can become very noisy. Firefox has add-ons you can get to stop this from happening, but it can stop necessary things from working.
11. Join a system/program.These are a bit like syndicates, but usually offer real business benefits ie help you make money. Their benefits are in a) giving you something to promote, b) referrals which will increase your earnings and c) support to help you make the most from your surfing activities.
12. If you can, swap mouse hands every other day to reduce the risk of RSI – or use a trackball instead of a mouse.
(OK – so that’s actually twelve tips – but I was enjoying myself.)
There’s a lot more to surfing traffic exchanges than meets the eye. Yes, it can be a bit monotonous, but it can also be very lucrative in the long run. It can also be lots of fun as many exchanges have little competitions built-in as a way to check there is a real person surfing – but you do get some credits for completing them and they break the monotony.
————— article ends —————
Before I close this section, once you are part of a program you can join or start a team in some TEs for that program. Teams surf together to get bigger rewards from their combined efforts. Not every TE has them, but some of the good ones do. I myself am a Team Leader in StartXchange for Team MIB and I am a team member in Lords Of Traffic (where we have hilarious fun with the smileys) and TrafficEra.
You don’t have to belong to a program to do this, you can join a team as an individual – but why not benefit from all the other advantages of a proper program?
A quick note about assigning credits. You will usually have this option in the TEs you use and they say something line ‘minimum credits to assign 100%, 50%, 25% etc. Do at least what they say for each site. So for example, if you have entered 4 site URLs and the minimum says 50% you divide that 50 among the 4, so 3 get say, 15% and one gets 5% – or 3 get 12% and one gets 14%. This just means that of the credits you are earning by surfing, or with your upgrade, 50% will automatically go to those sites. The balance you can use to convert to banners or texts, or simply add them to your URLs yourself manually. I usually put 75% as assigned and use the rest in this way.
Using Downline Builders
Many of the TEs now have included (free) downline builders. These are often a list of other TEs and are there so that you can have people sign up under you in those other TEs as long as you are already a member (if you aren’t , then any new people in your downline will go under the person who introduced you to the original TE.
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, but is to explain.
For example, you join TE A.
It has a downline builder whch has ten more TE’s B-K.
You are already a member of TEs B-E, so you would put the membership number or username you use in TE B into the downline builder for TE B.
In You are not a member of TE K, and decide not to sign up with them just yet. Anyone who signs up for TE A under you and then joins TE K through the downline builder, would be registered – only in TE K – under the member above you in TE A.
Referrals can come as random allocations from the TE admin, from your own efforts when you advertise that TE by putting its URL onto other sites, as part of your upgrade package. They are useful as a proportion of their surfing will be given to you as credits; you can also email them to introduce yoruself, offer help, and some TE’s let you put links to outside biz ideas etc (many do not let you do this).
As with banners and text links, if they are in the system, use them, don’t waste them. However, if you are planning to build strong downlines, especially in a program such as My Instant Biz then all your people need to sign up for the TEs via TrafficHoopla and Affiliate Funnel. If their downlines are encouraged to do the same then everyone benefits and some huge teams can be built.
Summary And Some More Ideas
We’re Nearly at the end
** Don’t forget to put your own URLs into the exchanges so that you get your pages, banners etc to show as much as possible.
** Only upgrade your TE account/s if you can afford to – if you can’t afford to, then use your time well by surfing as efficiently as possible.
** Do the little tests and competitions to get extra credits – and join a team.
** When you finish your surfing stint, make sure you go into your members area to allocate all the credits you’ve earned – DON NOT let them build up for weeks on end. You want people to see your pages. Some TEs do this totally automatically, others you need to do this manually.
** TEs are for getting traffic – eyeballs to see websites.
** Use a URL rotator. I’e listed some at the end, but if you use a rotator it means you don’t have to go around 20+ sistes to change a single URL – it’s all done in one place.
** Don’t get RSI – if you can, switch hands or use a trackball.
** Use Quick Tab Change and if you have Firefox get the add-ons LastPass and Tab Kit.
** Browse as efficiently as your connection and computer allow. You may find it useful to make up sets of exchanges which have the same timers ie 10 seconds, 20 seconds. If all have 10 seconds, then you just want to use 5 sites at a time; 20 seconds – open more sites. Ideally, the icon should change just after you get back to the page.
** If you want to monitor your surfing to see which TEs are working and which are not – use a link cloaker/tracker. Hitsconnect is rated as one of the very best online trackers, but you can set them up yourself on your own domain.
==>> HitsConnect – CLICK HERE
Well, I think that’s just about it for now. I’m sure I will come across other bits and pieces I will add from time to time. Do check out the TE Browser system – it has put a lot of what I discuss above into one simple package – FREE too (with upgrades available).
Now it’s up to you – please do make comments and add to this with your own ideas.
I started surfing traffic exchanges a long time ago, well it seems as if it was. I didn’t get anywhere, so stopped for a couple of years. However, in that time they have come on leaps and bounds and are vastly improved on the early days. It helps that most of us have fast internet connections and more powerful computers too.
I actually enjoy doing it, too. I have a core set of just 2 business programs which I vehemently promote, as well as using some banners to promo a few of the TEs themselves. I’m satisfied that I’m surfing as efficiently as I can using the methods I’ve outlined above.
I hope you have found this useful and I really am looking forward to your comments.
Happy and prosperous surfing.
Here is a summary of the links from this blog page, in the order in which they are mentioned:
==>> MagicHighway AutSurf (watch out for bonus pages – makes it semi-auto) – CLICK HERE
==>> My Instant Biz – CLICK HERE – a proven system and the main one I promote
==>> TrafficHoopla – CLICK HERE – lists top traffic exchanges
==>> Affiliate Funnel – CLICK HERE – also lists top traffic exchanges but also a mega downline builder and resources (and so much more!)
==>> WidgetQuik – CLICK HERE – a smashing way to show your sites
==>> Instant Banner Creator – CLICK HERE – banner design
==>> Instant Squeeze Page Generator – CLICK HERE – squeeze page design
==>> Quick Tab Change – CLICK HERE – to speed up your surfing
More site rotators (all have free options and include basic tracking stats)
==>> HitsConnect – CLICK HERE
==>> PageSwirl – CLICK HERE (another tracker you can get form here – Pro Tracker Plus)
==>> Free Rotator – CLICK HERE
==>> TEToolbox – CLICK HERE