Issue 220 – The Web 2.0 Side Of Traffic Exchanges

I mentioned last week about how I thought a traffic exchange could even be considered a Web 2.0 type of site. You see, it fits the bill. It’s user generated content, the members decide what goes into it and there is the potential of a lot of communicating between members.

Traffic Era really got a lot of folks thinking when they launched about the massive potential these programs could have, if they embraced the 2.0 way of doing things. This week I Love Hits took it one step further and introduced the ‘ILH Profile Pages’. So what are they?

Here’s an example and while they are still a work in progress, the main idea is for I Love Hits’ members to communicate with each other, use the best social networking sites on the net, and help build their personal brand within the system and outside of it.

I’m pretty pumped about these new pages, and plan on really doing a lot of work with them to create a brand new ‘angle’ in the I Love Hits community. I’m a big fan of personal branding and I hope these pages go a long way in helping people realize the power of their personal network and how important it is in their business!

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

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Jon Olson
The Traffic Exchange Guy

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The News

– I Love Clicks, one of the first and largest traffic exchanges on the net, has closed it’s doors this week. What’s more, on the front page they are trying to sell the domain, script and all it’s assets. That’s fine, but they also say they will not discuss the ‘workings’ of the program. You know, the good stuff like how much does it make every month, how many subscribers, how responsive is the list. What a shame, especially for all us old timers that have been there since day one. This was a one time GIANT in the industry.

Dragon Surf added dynamic surfing to the program this past week and here is something that has been added to a lot of traffic exchanges but actually helps the members get even more traffic to their sites. Simply put, the more you surf, the higher your surf ratio increases. Surf more, get more. A very simple yet effective concept!

– What is going on at the AMCS traffic exchange service? Rumors had it that all the databases were lost for the dozens of traffic exchanges on their server, and then another side of the coin said everything was fine. You can read more about it by visiting the Net Marketing Forum.

– A big ‘pat on the back’ has to go to 24/7 Traffic Pro for taking the bull by the horns and starting a customer survey. This has been a WONDERFUL trend I have seen this past month in the traffic exchanges and I look forward to seeing even more input from surfers around the industry!

– Congratulations to ‘Brian Rickert’ 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 – Want to see how to properly brand yourself in the traffic exchanges and build your list at the same time? Check out the latest capture page from Paul Conway! 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 At The Races
3. TS 25
4. Traffic Swarm
5. Traffic Splash
6. Max Traffic Pro
7. StartXChange
8. Traffic Era
9. Easy Hits 4 U
10. Traffic Wonderland

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

Tell Em Why You’re Mad!!!

I love a good rant! So this week, I’ve got the perfect topic and a wonderful platform on which to spread my ‘fumes’. Ready? Here goes…

This wee saw the launch of a new traffic exchange that was…Well…A copy of any other traffic exchange that has been released in the past few months. Sure, it had nice graphics, a very tempting JV offer, great potential and a new owner that looks to be dedicated for the long haul, but other than that, it was a plain jane traffic exchange.

Now here Jon comes along and releases the ‘Profile Pages’ at I Love Hits which is something new in the traffic exchanges and should increase the awareness of these programs around the internet but do you know how much coverage I got? Nada. In fact, a popular ‘T.E.’ blog that talks about everything that happens in the traffic exchange industry didn’t mention my Profile Pages at all, and of course had their affiliate link pasted everywhere on their blog for that new T.E.

Am I bitter? Not really because I’m always in this stuff for the long haul but here’s the kicker. In a few months, the whining will start that there is ‘no innovation’ in the traffic exchange industry. And how close we are to total collapse. And how we need to change the way we do things or else. Or how we HAVE to find new members that will join ans surf the exchange…

I will then mention people go read this blog post again and laugh because here’s something innovative that could potential raise the stakes in this business, but we are concerned about earning 5 bucks a month from promoting a new traffic exchange.

Ahhh the irony of it all. I’ve come to the conclusion that this industry does not want innovation, they want ‘sexy’ new launches. They want their 5 dollars a month commissions. They want their JV launches. They want all this, but heaven forbid we actually develop tools to HELP our members…That would be shocking wouldn’t it?

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

Traffic Splash announced it has over 26,000 members this past week. All I can say is, wow!

– S.W.A.T. Traffic has a brand new merchandise store!

– Funny Contradiction of the Week – A new auto surf investment scam telling people on it’s front page that it’s ‘bringing back the good old days of auto surfing’. I wonder how many millions will be lost this go round?

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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!

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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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