Ebook-Site News, Issue #001 -- Traffic
Exchange Sites Part I - Some Things You Should
April 09, 2005
----------------- Table of Contents -----------------
- Site Update
- Final Message
Thank you for subscribing to ebook-site news. It has taken longer than expected to get this ezine off the ground. I apologize for the delay but hope you find the wait worthwhile.
Ebook-site was originally meant to be a hobby site to keep me amused on rainy days and generate a little income for the sunny days.
At least, that's what I thought until the first few pages were published. Since then, I have spent more time on this than on any other of my past interests. Perhaps if I'd known more about niche markets and had a better understanding of keywords and search engine submissions, things would have been very different.
With more than 65 million sites on the internet, the larger your niche, the more difficult it is to get noticed. Having said that, however, if you are willing to put enough time and resources into your chosen field, you will get noticed.
Before reading on, here is a little background information. I have made many career moves over the years. Some planned and some not. During my working life, I have learned a diverse range of skills and experienced many different situations. However, I have now reached a major crossroads where a decision must be made. At this junction, there is one particular road that offers more opportunity than any other. The Internet. This road is certainly not straight, is far from being the easiest, and may not suit everyone. It is now my choice and is what I believe to be my final career change.
There are a few obstacles in the way that need removing or re-arranging before I can give up my day job. Until then, I will continue as best I can.
I must also confess that I know very little about writing an ezine. However, it's an opportunity to learn new skills, and there are a few ebooks around that will help. Wherever possible I will use American English because it seems to be more widespread than its UK counterpart and it's an excuse for spelling or typo errors.
For being amongst the first subscribers to this ezine and as a special thank you, I have made freely available for download, an excellent time management book by Michael Green. I have never been a time management fan and have argued about its limitations and effectiveness in the past. But this is worth a read.
You can download it at http://www.ebook-site.com/members.html or alternatively by selecting the members area navigation bar on the home page. Your password for the members' area is subscribed04.
Since this gift will not be
available to later subscribers, it will be
removed from the members' area before the next
ezine publication in May.
From the date you subscribed to this ezine there may have been a number of changes to the site. Please look around and don't forget to download any of the free ebooks. There are plans to add a good selection of ebooks to the members' area, where you will be able to download or read them online.
The majority of people that I have come into contact within my first year on the web believe that writing articles is one of the best methods of generating traffic to your website. Well, I intend to find out, and hope that I can write articles that are good enough to justify it. I don't expect my first few articles to be brilliant or even good. But, I will give it my best shot. Being an ebook website, the articles written may cover a huge range of topics, unlike small niche sites. This at least will give me the opportunity to unload some of the 'information' that I have acquired over the years. Before unleashing some of the more interesting topics, I will take the prudent route and choose one of the most talked about issues on the web today. Traffic. This is a huge subject area but I do not want to spend the next five years writing about it. In any case, there are experts more capable than I already in this field. I have taken one of the topics that has recently risen in popularity.
This month’s article is about
traffic exchange sites. Before you hit the
delete key, you may find something of interest
here. I have included the article in this ezine
but in future may insert a link so that you can
read the article at your leisure. This also has
the added bonus of shortening the newsletter. If
you are anything like me; you don't always have
time to read all your email, especially the long
These are sites where you get page views of your own site in exchange for visiting others. Many such sites are available. However, choosing the right one or a combination of them can be a very time consuming process.
Basically there are two types. Manual surfing and Auto surfing. Some Traffic exchanges cater for Manual surfing only, some cater for Auto surfing only and some cater for both.
Manual surfing - This requires your input by clicking a button after a specified time period, generally 15, 20 or 30 seconds, although there are a few other variations. With manual surfing, the surfer is expected to view each site. However, with most exchange sites, it is possible to minimize or resize the windows. This defeats the purpose because it allows multiple sessions to be run simultaneously. On the better exchange sites, security measures are often used to deter this. These are normally random prompts that require user input. For example, after x number of page views, you may be required to enter a code, select a color or image or perform some other variation of this.
Auto surfing - This requires no input. However in reality, your input may be required because of popup or frame breakers. Some traffic exchange sites require that the pages run are maximized and although you can minimize the page yourself, it will automatically maximize at the next refresh. You will also find that with some exchange sites, pages will run on top whereas with others, pages will run quite happily underneath, allowing you to do what ever you like without ever viewing the page content.
Both manual and auto surfing will bring traffic to your website, but there is a much greater likelihood of your web pages being actually seen with manual surfing.
Credits - As well as surfing, credits are usually acquired for subscribing, for referrals and for any winnings associated with exchange site lotteries, games or competitions. These credits can then be used to increase the traffic to your site. Some exchange sites will also allow you to sell your credits to other members.
Free or Paid - The majority of Traffic Exchanges offer a paid option. This option may give you a better surf ratio, bonus credits, money for referrals or other benefits. Before paying however, it is important that you test how targeted the traffic is that you receive. There's no point in paying for extra traffic if it doesn't generate any more income for you.
Click for Credits or Buy Credits
- Is it worth buying credits?
Let’s take an example
At the time of writing the cost of 2000 credits for free members at Traffic Swarm was $40. This works out at $0.02 a click. For pro members the same $40 bought 2200 credits.
With the number of clicks limited to 250 per day and page views of 20 seconds this means that in theory it will take you 250 X 20 = 5000 sec or 83 minutes 20 seconds to view the 250 pages. However in practice you must allow extra time for clicking the next button, clicking the title of the page you will be viewing and any sites worth looking at.
Since I am a firm believer in practical results, I viewed the 250 pages. It took me 2 hours and 12 minutes to accomplish this. During that time, I accumulated 854 credits. To buy these credits would have cost $17.08 as a free member and approximately $15.53 as a pro member. Allowing for rounding up, this equates to almost 390 credits per hour or $7.80 per hour cash value.
By now, you are probably wondering what my point is. Well, after a slow return of sanity after all those clicks, it seems the Traffic Swarm team has done their homework on the cost analysis. You get fewer credits for your money than with many other traffic exchange sites but you get good value. You also get targeted traffic, unlike many other exchange sites. At the end of the day, It's up to you to decide what value you put on your time.
I must emphasize that this is only one example and that other results will differ because of the random allocation of credits. It is shown here only as an example and to give you an idea of the cost implications for one particular traffic exchange site. The cost of credits may differ dramatically for different exchange sites. If you buy or intend to buy credits from a traffic exchange site, you can apply what is shown in the example. There's no need to click on a large number of websites to find out if your exchange site is giving you enough credits for your money. A sample of around 50 sites should give you enough information to produce a rough value-for-money guide.
If you enjoy this sort of thing, you may want to expand on this. Increase your sample size, increase the number of samples, select a good representation of traffic exchanges and tabulate your results. Choose enough sites and you will be able to create your own league table. Personally, I would prefer to watch football.
Whether you use traffic exchange sites or not in the quest for more visitors to your site, you should at the very least know what they are and what they do. But don't totally dismiss them. They are part of an expanding market. I recommend that you try at least one traffic exchange site. You could read every book on the subject, but without active participation, you will not be qualified to comment on their worth or suitability. The time taken for a few mouse clicks is a small price to pay. If it works for you, you have learned. If it doesn't work for you, you have learned.
If you surf a large number of traffic exchange sites but have difficulty managing your links, Cyberwheelers may suit you. From one webpage, you can manage up to 56 traffic exchange sites. There are 50 free 'Only Manual Surf' sites and 6 Pro 'Only Manual Surf’ sites to choose from. You can join as many or as few sites as you wish. I am reviewing Cyberwheelers and the associated exchange sites. My findings, good or bad, will be published in Traffic Exchange Sites Part II
Always remain focused on your reason for using traffic exchange sites. There is the danger of becoming a surf addict. You may laugh, but like computer games, what you thought was 10 minutes, was really 40 minutes. Just one more level or one more click. Unless you have a lot of free time on your hands, limit your surfing to reasonable levels.
Ensure that you have good up-to-date virus protection software and a personal firewall as a minimum. I have come across a few Trojans when surfing that have been copied to the temporary internet files folder on my PC. Sadly, there are also a small number of unscrupulous sites that use unsolicited spyware software. In the past, spyware was relatively benign but now there are some very nasty spyware programs around that can record personal data, steal passwords and credit card numbers. Some will even hijack your browser, bookmark unwanted sites or grab your web dialer.
The subject of Spyware is beyond the scope of this article. I mention it here to highlight that the more web pages you visit, then the more likely you are to be exposed to this malicious software. Although never 100 percent secure, Your best defense is a good firewall/anti-virus combination. There are many tools available to identify and remove spyware from your system. But, by then the damage could be done.
I have spent a great deal of time researching many traffic exchange sites. Some of them have returned some surprising results. I will reveal all in Traffic Exchange SitesPart II
You may use this article in your opt-in ezine, web site or ebook. However, You MUST NOT make any changes to the article and the Resource Box below MUST be included.
(c) 2005 ebook-site.com All Rights Reserved
About The Author
Bryan Quinn is an IT consultant. He is a Microsoft Partner and a member of The British Computer Society.
You ate invited to visit his
site at http://www.ebook-site.com
Thanks again for your subscription to this ezine. Every effort will be made to improve content and quality. There's a lot of work yet to be done, so please feel free to email any comments or questions you have.