When you first start an online business, you are faced with advertising your affiliate site or website on the Internet. You have quite a few choices in that advertising effort. The three that I want to discuss today are traffic exchanges, known as TE’s, text ad exchanges or ad exchanges, known as TAE’s, and safelists. And if you don’t understand the differences and what they are, don’t feel alone. It is sometimes a challenge to know what’s what. The purpose of this article is to help you with descriptions and definitions.
Traffic exchanges are sites where you “surf”, viewing one ad after another. These involve a timer, anywhere from 5 seconds to 20 seconds, and then clicking on an appropriate matching symbol. Most traffic exchanges have themes with games, and the symbols are all icons that relate to the theme. Some sites simply have colored blocks and you click on the color that matches. Most sites offer free and upgraded memberships. Upgraded members are given extra credits or impressions to their sites as incentives to upgrade. And you’re often rewarded, as an upgraded member, to earn when others upgrade under your link. Some sites pay as much as 70% commission on upgrades. As a general rule, we never recommend upgrading at a site that pays less than 50% commission. Another key factor in using traffic exchanges is the surf ratio. Surf ratios are the ratio between how often you have to view a site to have your site shown. I love the ones where I get 3 credits for viewing one site. The other factor to consider is that surfers may only see your offer for 6 seconds. So, splash pages and/or capture pages are the only thing to put into traffic. No one is surfing on TE’s to buy something. They are all there for the same reason you are, to earn credits. So, don’t waste your time trying to sell. Traffic exchanges generally charge monthly fees although you will find special offers from time to time or the best bet is to take the OTO (one time offer) when you first join. The OTO is usually going to have the best pricing you’ll get.
Text ad exchanges are somewhat of a marriage between safelists and traffic exchanges. Many offer the ability to post ads in either plain text or html. Text links are short ads that are only about 26 characters long plus the URL of your site. Some text ad exchanges also have the capability to surf ads. Banner ads, text ads, login ads, start pages, header and/or footer ads all keep you in public view. There is so much advertising available on text ad exchanges that it’s hard to explain it all. In addition, most text ad exchanges offer free or upgraded memberships, with the upgraded memberships quite often being life-time upgrades.
Here is a video I did on posting Text Ads efficiently.
Safelists are exactly what the title implies. These are lists of people who have agreed to receive emails from (exchange ads with) members of the safelist. Therefore, they’re considered “safe”. SPAM complaints aren’t a problem because rarely does anyone complain. They’ve all double opted-in. Even if someone does complain, the mail is not coming from your server or email address. Safelists range in size from only a few hundred to tens of thousands. Ads can be sent in plain text or in html. Generally, safelists are not as flashy as their advertising counterparts, TE’s or TAE’s, but at this time, their effectiveness is unmatched. With safelists, you will use 2 email accounts. One is your “contact” email and the other is your “list” email. You’ll be receiving a ton of email and should be using Gmail. (Get a Gmail account here: http://www.gmail.com) In fact, most sites require that you use Gmail. Once you’ve joined a safelist, you will be required to confirm the accounts by clicking a link in both your contact and list emails before being allowed to do a mailing. Most advertisers use the credit based mailer to send out ads in safelists. This type ad requires the recipient to click a link in the ad in order to be awarded credits. The idea is that people will actually read the ads so they get the credits.
No matter which advertising source you are using…and you should use them all…you must use capture and/or splash pages leading to capture pages. The best way to create your own personalized splash/capture pages is using Instant Splash. This is a free resource but you will want the PRO upgrade. It’s phenomenal.
If you remember, somewhere in another post or two, I’ve commented on the importance of building your list. You need to capture the name and email address of the visitors to your site in order for them to be on your list. Once they are on your list, you can stay in contact with them. The opportunity that you are currently advertising might have a special offer that you want to announce. Maybe you’ve found a great resource for banners or a really responsive ad site. If you have a list, you are in the driver’s seat. You can share whatever you want with that list.
Brand yourself. Build your list. Believe in yourself and what you do.