Issue 219 – H.E.N.’s Back And Soren Jordansen Speaks!

Last week was stressful to say the least. I got home on Tuesday night and had a text message from my host that Hit Exchange News and everything on that server was lost completely and could not be retrieved. Not a problem right? I should have just sent in my back ups and presto, site restored.

Not so fast Turbo! Jon relied on a script that he bought like 3 years ago that did automatic back ups. Guess I should have been paying attention because the silly thing hadn’t been working for like a year. Talk about a slice of humble pie!

Long story short, thanks to the amazing effort of Rich Taylor and the best host in the traffic exchange industry Jon Atwood of Zoot Host, the entire server and database has been restored.

Here’s a lesson to be had…Do weekly back ups, if not daily back ups of all your web sites. And even though you assume that your site is being backed up, get into the habit of doing one yourself!

Have a great week and thanks very much for being a reader of Hit Exchange News!

sig

Jon Olson
The Traffic Exchange Guy

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The News

- I Love Hits and S.W.A.T. Traffic got a brand new blog this past week and it’s official, both exchanges will now deliver their weekly news on the ILH / SWAT Blog. It’s been a long time coming but I am thrilled with the turn out. I really hope everyone enjoys the new look and feel of the newsletters and this format was chosen because almost 70% of ILH / SWAT members voted to have a blog to read the news!

- Traffic Era released their ‘Club’ upgrade option to 100 of their members this week. It has been promoted in their system since the exchange launched months ago that this was coming, it’s still debatable if a $50 a month upgrade can sustain itself but it’s a good deal for people that spend a ton on advertising at the program.

- New Way 2 Surf is fulfilling it’s promise of being much more than just a ‘hover exchange’. While other ‘hover surfs’ have just added the ability to use the technology, the trail blazers of hover surfing have added a new ‘Create Your Squeeze Page’ feature that allows members to create attention grabbing squeeze pages within the system. Thumbs up from me for another great addition!

- Congratulations to ‘Crystal Martin’ for winning last week’s copy of Hits, Clicks and Misses. Want to win your own copy of the best selling traffic exchange book on Amazon.com (actually, it’s the only published book about T.E.’s on the planet), simply post a comment about this week’s issue of HEN!

- Splash Page Hall of Fame – Blue Surf is having a massive ‘surf promotion’ for the next few weeks and this splash page is sure to grab even more attention from the surfers! Note: Why do I focus on splash pages every week? Simple, you MUST be using them in the traffic exchanges to get results. Get a custom made splash page by clicking here!

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HEN Top 10

The Famous Hit Exchange News Top 10 (Disclaimer: These are my top performing exchanges for the past week. Alexa rankings and fancy numbers have nothing to do with how I rank my list. This is based on my results and my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.)

1. Dragon Surf
2. Traffic Splash
3. Traffic At The Races
4. Traffic Era
5. Easy Hits 4 U
6. Max Traffic Pro
7. Royal Surf
8. Traffic Swarm
9.Hit Safari
10. StartXChange

Note: Analysis and Tracking by Hits Connect – The Official Link Tracking Service of Hit Exchange News! Sign up today and get your 30% Discount!

Question: Hey Jon, how come I Love Hits, SWAT Traffic and Click Crazey are never on the top 10 list? Since I own them, I feel it would be a conflict of interest to place it on any of my rankings. (But we all know how great they are anyways lol)

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Deep Thoughts – Jon’s Weekly Rambling

How Much Does Jon Love The Web 2.0 Stuff?

I have to admit something, I’m as stubborn as a mule. Especially when it comes to this entire Web 2.0 stuff. I mean take a look at this blog for example, I knew that ‘blogs’ have been extremely popular for years, heck I remember my friend Rich Taylor talking to me about them in early 2003. On top of that, I had the guru of all Word Press blogs, Mike Paetzold BANG it into my head that I should be in a blog environment for all my newsletters. Well….years later it finally sunk in.

User generated content is essentially what 2.0 means, of course there are other things in the mix but basically the ‘community’ decides what the content will be. So in a nutshell, I guess you could say that the traffic exchanges are a form of Web 2.0. Oh wow, I can hear the nay sayers at the Warrior Forum already.

So I took the plunge these past few weeks and joined everything from Twitter to Facebook and even got a brand spanking new blog for I Love Hits and SWAT Traffic. So have I embraced this 2.0 stuff? Absolutely! And I do now feel for the first time in years, that this can do huge things for your business. Embrace it, it’s scary at first but well worth the learning curve!

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Special Guest Article From Soren Jordansen

I recently did a survey of my Dragon Surf members. While the main purpose was to get some feedback that will allow me to continue to improve Dragon Surf, I also asked some more general questions.

The results were quite interesting – in fact so interesting that I felt I had to share them with loyal HEN readers like you, along with my comments, conclusions and tips.

What Kind Of Internet Connection Are You On?
This one really surprised me, I thought a lot of people were still on dial up connections, as it turned out only 4% are. DSL and Cable connections made up 45% and 40% respectively.

So what did that tell us? It’s probably not that important to have dial up users in mind when you design your pages – however due to the nature of traffic exchanges you still want make your pages load lightning fast, after all you are probably on a 10-15 second timer and if you are lucky you have 3-5 seconds to catch people’s attention.

What Browser Are You Using?
No real surprise here. Internet Explorer may be the biggest browser world wide, but in the TE world Firefox wins. The score was almost 60/40 in Firefox’s favour with all other browsers fighting over scraps.

So, what can we take away here? First of all it’s extremely important that you make sure your pages work (and look good) in both Firefox and IE. Also keep in mind that a lot of Firefox users may be blocking scripts on your pages, so make sure you page makes sense even if the scripts are blocked. I’m not saying you should not use scripts, audio, video etc., you should consider using them because they usually increase conversion (remember to test and track).

Are You Tracking Your Results (Conversion Rates) On Dragon Surf?
Now this one was not surprising, but scary nonetheless. Only 24% are tracking their conversion rates, 37% are just tracking number of hits and a whopping 39% are not tracking their TE campaign at all. And here’s the fun part, a large proportion of the people who said they aren’t tracking then proceeded to say they got a better or worse conversion rate at Dragon Surf than at other exchanges.

You need to track your conversion rates… period. How else would you know if you are getting a good return from the hours you spend surfing or the money you spend at given traffic exchange? How else would you know whether you need to make changes to your pages and campaigns – Tracking your conversion rates, and taking action to improve them, is ultimately what separates successful surfers from the wannabees.

Are You Using Dragon Surf To Capture Leads For Your Own Email List?
53% said no, 23% said sometimes, and only 24% are using Dragon Surf to build a list. As with the tracking these numbers are truly scary. There is absolutely no denying that the most effective and profitable way to build an internet marketing business, is to always focus on building the list and then make the sales on the backend. Get people on your list first and then sent them to whatever it is you want them to join or buy. This way you can market to them over again (creating your own traffic on demand) – if you are not build your list you are just building someone else’s list – Yep that can be profitable but it’s a lot harder, you get stuck in a rut where the same amount of work creates the same amount of sales and very rarely will you be able to scale that up to a full time income.

Are You Promoting Your Own Splash- Or Squeeze Page On Dragon Surf?
The answers here were a bit more encouraging. 47% are promoting their own splash pages while the rest are stuck with a generic affiliate pages.

You really need to use your own attention grabbing splash page on the exchanges. You need to brand yourself and in order to get results you need to stick out as a sore thumb as
Jon usually puts in – a generic affiliate page will very rarely get you any results at all.

Side note: since more and more people are catching on to the splash page idea, your page needs to be even better than 1-2 years ago. The $15-$20 bucks it will cost you to get one professionally done is likely money very well spent.

And Now For The Golden Nuggets…

As you can there are still a large number of people who don’t know how to (or don’t know why they should):

* Get their own splash page
* Track their conversion rates
* Build a list

And with traffic exchanges being what they are, hundreds and even thousands of newbies are coming in every day – It’s a safe bet to assume that they don’t know about this either.

Fortunately that presents an unique opportunity for you. You can set yourself up as an expert and teach other surfers how to do all this, by…

1. Write a short report, make some tutorial videos etc. and the promote them on a squeeze page on the exchanges. You build a list, and by being the expert that teaches them how to use traffic exchanges you build an instant relationship with them. You can now send them to recommended resources and you have a list you can market to over and over again.

2. Take it one step further and create a product and/or service that will teach them how to do all or some of the things above. Even better create something that will hand it to them on a silver platter.

I know there are already products, services and newsletters out there doing this very thing – but judging from my survey stats this is still an untapped market, ripe for picking.

*** Note – Soren is the owner of Dragon Surf and one of the best guys I have met in this business. He has in just over a year developed one of the strongest performing traffic exchanges online and released some of the best products this industry has seen.

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

- See those cool little ‘plug buttons’ on each issue of Hit Exchange News? Don’t be afraid to click them, it helps us spread the word about traffic exchanges! =)

- I need friends! Be sure to add me as a friend on both Twitter and Facebook!

- I Love Hits has something big about to be released…

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StartXchange Owner Tim Linden is giving away
20,000 hits to a random subscriber of his blog!
Subscribe by Sunday May 25th below!



 

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20 Comments
  1. I’m glad you got HEN back up and running Jon. Kudos to Rich Taylor and Jon Atwood for their dedication!

    Excellent article, Soren! I’ve been working on building a list through my traffic exchanges for the past few months, but I have recently started building a list during the promotion of other products too through squeeze pages. I’m also working on understanding my conversions better at different resources.

  2. Hi Jon,

    I’ve recently “rediscovered” TEs and your H.E.N. is very informative. Sorry to hear about your recent troubles with the server meltdown. Glad that you’re back!

    There are some golden nuggets there in Soren’s interview, in particular what TE users would like to learn more about. Confirms my own suspicion about what my subscribers would like to hear more about.

  3. You’re always talking about tracking, heck anybody with any part of their brain left is! My problem is where do I find an inexpensive tracking service that works on TE’s, shows clicks AND actions, and doesn’t require code placed on the splash page, as I don’t own the domain. And one that really works–is accurate and reliable?

    Thanks

  4. Whew! I’m glad to see you back up and running. I’m learning so much from you. Thanks so much! :o)

    ShellyJo-The Packrat Entrepreneur
    Admin of PrizeHunters.com

  5. Brian – check out Hits Connect. There is a button on the top left of this blog. It’s the best out there, inexpensive and owned by a fellow T.E. owner.

  6. I like your website design and appreciate your newsletters.

    However, I can barely read them. I have to highlight the text to read it. With a brown background, white text would read much better.

    Best regards,
    Marion

  7. Hey Jon!

    I am giving a resounding – hooray!! that the blog is back.. I have been lying low – but thinking of you and your situation none-the-less, and am REALLY glad that you are back and kicking butt :)

    It’s also fantastic that you are getting into the social networking side of things! I think that it’s a fantastic way to go – and will be developing some stuff and getting more involved in it very soon! I added you at Twitter – look forward to following you!

    All the best!
    Cindy

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