2010 – Year In Review Special

It’s another 365 days gone into the history books in the traffic exchange industry and while we are still going strong, this past year was a real wake up call for a lot of owners. In this post, I hope to stir things up a bit and look back at the year that was in our beloved industry.

This past year we saw a huge push towards the ‘social surfing’ movement. With the launch of programs like Sweeva and the ever growing popularity of in-surf chat at exchanges around the net, the ‘social’ aspect of doing business was very prevalent.

We saw a change in mentality. The future is very bright for this movement and while a lot of people in the industry, like Traffic Hoopla, do not agree with me on the social front, we are seeing brand names being built and surfers becoming ‘famous’ in their own right, just by being active. It’s pretty exciting but that’s not all that happened in 2010.

Newcomer of the year award has to go to Carl Bailey. The owner of Instant Splash quickly became a fan favorite and his blog is one of the most read and commented on sites in the traffic exchanges. His programs are top notch and he has a fantastic outlook on business in the industry. I personally cannot wait to see what he has up his sleeves in 2011.

The traffic exchange of the year goes to Sweeva. I know, I co-own it but when I sat down to write this article I asked myself which program made the most noise this year. Lots of names came up like Traffic Swirl, EasyHits4U and the like but in terms of bringing something new to the table and igniting a fire in everyone’s behind…Sweeva did it. Please do comment if you disagree, because I don’t want this to come off like I’m bragging. I’m just trying to be honest =)

We saw a big change in how the ‘big boys’ do business. A few years ago, there was a whole lot more joint ventures, new launches and basic community between the bigger and more active programs. Now we are seeing more ‘surfers’ uniting. I see a lot of communities being built and surfers working together. The whole ‘team’ mentality was very popular this past year and while I think the idea was good, to work with like minded people, a lot of the promises left something to be desired…

I suppose that’s the way the cookie crumbles and I say kudos to the surfers. The people that are the life blood of this industry, 2011 will be once again your year to shine.

2010 is done. It’s been a fun year and I am very excited about 2011. Both I Love Hits and StartXchange will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2011 and lots more milestones will be reached.

What do you have planned for 2011? What do you want to see in the traffic exchange industry? Here’s to a great 2010 and an even brighter future in 2011!

Your A to Z Guide To ‘Olson-Isms’

I’m all over the place with my business sometimes. I mean I’m pretty focused on certain things, like traffic exchanges, list building, personal branding and social networking. But I have thrown a ton of information out there over the years and something I LOVE to do is come up with cool like acronyms for the stuff I believe in and practice.

Here’s my ‘dictionary’ of what I like to call Olson-isms…Enjoy =)

A.C.A. – Attention. Curiosity. Action. All splash and squeeze pages should follow this formula. Grab ‘attention’ by using something unique. Whether it be a video, a funny headline, a shocking image to get the view to stop surfing. Create ‘curiosity’. Pull them in with a claim, a shocking revelation. Get them to want to know more. And finally have a strong call to ‘action’. Finish the message of your splash or squeeze page telling the viewer what you want them to do. Fill out the form for more information. Click to bookmark, etc.

No More Than Four – This has changed over the years but the message behind it hasn’t. You want to treat other pages like you want yours to be treated. So try to limit the amount of sites you surf at once. I only surf about 3 or 4 at at time, but it’s really what works for you. However if people are loading up 15 traffic exchanges at the same time, how good do you think results will be?

Promote You First – It’s the theme behind Affiliate Funnel and company mission statement but it’s also something I stand behind and practice every day. Don’t promote the latest greatest program without YOU benefiting. Always promote your name and your list first, THEN promote any opportunity you want. If you practice list building and personal branding, ‘promoting yourself first’ comes naturally.

S.O.L.A.S.T. – Stick out like a sore thumb. Basically you want to promote like no one else. Be original. Be unique. Be engaging. The more you do things differently, the more effective your advertising will be.

T.E.B.A. – Traffic Exchange Brand Awareness. Essentially, this means to get your site seen as much as possible, for as long as possible, as often as possible. Traffic exchange users come and go and come and go, but they always seem to return. The idea behind T.E.B.A. is to be seen as much in 6 months as you are today because the ‘returning’ surfers will notice and remember you.

T.E.S.A. – Traffic Exchange Specific Advertising. The art of promoting directly to various traffic exchanges. For example, having a splash page rotating in Sweeva that has a headline that reads ‘Hey Sweeva Members’. This has been one of the most effective ways to advertise in the traffic exchanges for years. The more creative you are with this, the better your results will be.

The Two B’s of the T.E.’s – Building your list and branding your name. This (in my opinion) are the only two things you should be doing with your traffic exchange advertising. The surfers that have done this, have been around for years. The proof is in the results and list building / personal branding works!

These little tidbits have helped me so much in my business. Use them. Engage your fellow surfers. Stick out. And be original. You will see massive results!