Building YOUR Business - Part 1
Traffic Exchange Basics
A traffic exchange is a website promotion system based on the concept of reciprocation. In simplest terms, you achieve exposure for your own web site, banner ads, and even text links by viewing the sites and ads of other people.
These programs provide you with a very powerful way of:
* Putting your product or service in front of a very diverse audience
* Seeing what other folks are promoting
* Getting an idea of how your competition is targeting their campaigns
* Branding your name, gather leads, and yes, even make sales
Traffic Exchanges are member based, so you must open an account with each exchange you intend to use. This is a simple task that can be completed in a couple of minutes, and it's usually free.
The initial sign-up process will require you to enter your name and a valid email address. Additionally, you may be asked for information about your web site.
In some cases, you are also asked to select a username and password with which to access your member's only area. Other exchanges will assign you with a user number and an auto-generated password.
Once you have completed the sign-up form, you will receive a validation email. You will need to click the link indicated in this message in order to validate (prove that you own) the email address you have used to register your membership.
All traffic exchanges operate on a credit system. Members earn credits by participating in a variety of ways, and then "spend" these credits on website visitors, banner ad impressions, text links, and in some cases, even email advert's.
By maintaining active memberships in a few good exchanges, you can generate a tremendous flow of traffic for any web site you wish to advertise. When used properly, these resources are an excellent way to promote just about anything.
After you complete the sign up form for a traffic exchange, you will need to validate, or prove that you own, the email account you registered with. This is required to insure that you receive important communications such as support responses, program updates, and so forth.
Look in your email folder for a subject line that reads "Validate Your Account", "Verify Your Account", or something similar. Open this message and you will find a clearly marked validation link. Simply click on the designated link within the validation email and you will be taken to a confirmation page.
Once your email is validated, you are ready to login to your account with your username and password.
Setting up your account
Setting up your account basically involves adding your web site, banner ad, and (if applicable) text link. Look to the member navigation menu for a link that reads ‘My Websites’, ‘Add Sites’, ‘URL Manager’, or something along these lines.
This link will take you to the page where you may enter your Target URL(s). A Target URL is the website address you wish to drive traffic to.
Just enter a title for your site, along with the URL, and submit this information. Some exchanges will also ask you for a brief description or give you the opportunity to select an appropriate category for your site to be rotated through.
Your site must not be a frame breaker, (a site with code that "breaks out" of the surf bar) as this type of site will disrupt the process of generating traffic for other members of the exchange. In some cases, you will be required to click a ‘test’ button that checks your site for frame-breaking code before it is accepted into the system. Alternatively, the site admin may check each URL manually before approving them.
Also, each exchange is likely to have its own set of rules regarding the types of sites that are allowed. For example, some exchanges do not allow the use of rotators. Other programs have banned paid-to-promote type sites and apparent ponzi schemes from rotation. Be sure to read the terms and regulations of each exchange before submitting your target URL(s).
The procedure for adding banner ads and text links is pretty much the same as that for adding your target URLs. Just find the appropriate menu link and insert the correct information into the submission form to enter your banner and text ads into the member rotation.
There is sometimes confusion in getting your banners set up properly. First you must have an image of the banner hosted somewhere on the internet. Usually, the program that you are promoting will give you an image url or tell you that you need to copy the image and upload it to your own hosting account.
Either way there will be two urls to be added when entering a banner. One will usually say" target url". The "target url" is the page you want a person to see when they click on the banner (the page you are promoting). The other will usually say "image url". That is the location on the internet where your image file is hosted. The final thing that some exchanges will have when entering a banner is an "alt text:" box. Alt text is what someone will see if for some reason the banner is not available because of some sort of server glitch. (Yes even the best hosts sometimes have glitches). This will also show whenever some one mouses over the image.