If you are looking for good ways to advertise paid to click sites (or any other business you are running on the net), one popular source for free traffic is by surfing traffic exchanges. These sites can also be cheaper alternatives to traditional ppc advertising programs (like Adwords). Many internet marketers use traffic exchanges to promote their businesses and can be a useful way to promote your business depending on how you use Traffic Exchanges.
By the way, in case if you don't know anything about traffic exchanges, here is how they usually work:
1. Sign up is generally free (though you can also upgrade your memberships if you choose for more features).
2. You post the link(s) you want to advertise
3. You surf other peoples' websites and advertisements. Each time you view advertisements, you earn credits (or page views) that you can use to get exposures for your own websites and ads. As your credits accumulate, you can assign those credits to the link(s) you want to promote. After you assign your links to the sites you want to promote, your site(s) will also appear in the surf page window for other surfers to see (essentially giving you free traffic to your websites). By the way, every traffic exchange is different. At some traffic exchanges like Easy Hits 2 u, you can earn up to 1 credit each time you surf other peoples' websites for at least 20 seconds each (15 seconds if you upgrade to premium). You can surf as long as you want each day (I usually try to surf at least 1 or 2 hours a shot getting at least 100-200 hits a day), but once you decide to stop for the day, you can assign all of the credits you earn to the site(s) you want to promte, giving you free traffic to your site(s) too.
In addition to surfing other peoples sites, many traffic exchanges offers other resources you can take advantage too, including:
1. Posting banner ads or text ads (you can convert some of the credits you earn to impressions for banner ads or text ads). You probably won't get as much traffic to those ads as you would by surfing, but it is definitely another way to advertise.
2. Surf rewards. Some sites, like Top Flight Traffic and Rain Forest Clicks, for example, have a system where you can earn some extra rewards by surfing x number of sites each day and week. At easy hits 4 u, for example, surfing 1000 or more sites a week can net you $.30 in cash just for surfing that many pages each week (you can also earn $.30 a day this way too, though surfing that many pages each day will likely take a while to do). At Rain Forest clicks, for example, if you surf at least 200 sites in one session, you can claim either up to 50 free credits, 300 impressions for banner ads you have and/or 400 text ad impressions. If you surfed 1000 sites a day there, you could Receive 100 Credits or 800 Banner Imps or 1200 Text Link Imps from all of that surfing.
3. Referrals: you can promote the traffic exchanges you use (they generally have downline systems you can take advantage of) and earn extra credits whenever your referrals surf for traffic too. Also, whenever you get the few (in my experience, most people probably won't upgrade, at least not right away unless if you give them reasons to do so) that upgrade their accounts (or buy credits for that matter), you earn commissions from those purchases too. Also, most traffic exchanges offer downline systems too, so whenever you refer new members, they too might refer new members and you get even more credits (and possibly commissions) from their activities and purchases as well. Some TE's (like Rain Forest Click, Hit Safari, Traffic Taxis, and several others) even offer downline builders where you can enter your referral link information for participating TE sites and whenever people join the traffic exchange you use, you might also get sign ups at partner traffic exchanges you might use.
By the way, many TE's also come in their own unique forms, themes and sizes. Rain Forest Clicks, for example comes with a jungle theme to it. Max Traffic Pro comes with car style theme to it. Tezak traffic power comes with a space theme to it. This list goes on, but most traffic exchanges have their own unique themes and feel to them. Also, Traffic Exchanges come in 2 unique forms:
1. Manual traffic exchanges (these are probably the most common ones you will encounter and are the most popular ones on the net). At manual TE's, each time you surf ads, once the timer runs out, you usually have to click on a button, number or image (varies by traffic exchange) to advance to the next ad and earn credits for your surfing.
2. Autosurf traffic exchanges: these are similar to manual ones, except that once the timer runs out, you automatically advance to the next site(s). On the plus side, you can usually get significantly more traffic to your site(s) from auto surf exchanges as you can almost simply start surfing and do your own thing while the site is "surfing" for you. On the downside, these sites naturally tend to have less conversions than manual ones too (for obvious reasons) and are usually aimed at more advanced traffic exchange users (people who know what they are doing).
Here is a relatively short Youtube video showing a random dude surfing the Dragon surf traffic exchange. This is to further demonstrate how these sites work:
Pros and cons about Traffic Exchanges (as a whole)
+ Free advertising
+You can also see what other people are advertising and how they go about advertising their systems.
+ The more you surf, the more traffic you get to your sites (and ultimately the more potiential responses you get to your ads).
+ Can be somewhat entertaining too given all of the sites and stuff people post (especially ones with videos).
+ Goes great with lead capture pages and splash pages and can be useful for lead generation
+ Some sites allow chat rooms and other social dialogue options.
+ There are many traffic exchanges to join too and it is possible to surf multiple sites at a time, assuming you have a tabbed browser like Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Torch, and/or Google Chrome. This allows for multiple streams of traffic to your ads and potiential conversion rates.
+ Great for testing out ads
+ Most TE's come with built in affiliate programs that come with memberships and you do earn extra credits whenever referrals surf for credits as well as commissions whenever you get referrals that upgrade their membership or buy credits.
+ Great for promoting marketing systems like Easy Downlines, TE Profits, and PTC Busines Builder.
- Expect a low conversion rate on your ads. After all, most people will probably view your links for the credits. Also, some ads will likely have better conversion rates than others.
- Can be time consuming too. You will probably want to surf at least 1-2 hours a day minimum for best results (the longer you surf each day, the more credits you get obviously). If you don't have time to surf at least 1-2 hours regularly, then traffic exchanges are probably not for you.
- Requires time and patience
- Like ptc sites, some sites people post do have annoyances, such as pop up ads, frame breakers, live chat pop up windows, and rarely, viruses/malware.
- Watch out for restrictions on what you can advertise. What might be permissible on one site might not always be permissible on others (especially when it comes to advertising paid to click sites as some are more friendly to ptc sites than others). Another classic example is rotators. Most TE's allow rotators (allows you to advertise multiple sites under 1 link), but some do not allow rotators (like Traffic Swarm). So it helps to read the site(s) Terms of Service for TE's you want to join. Obviously you don't agree with the rules of the sites you want to join, you can always go to their competitors.
- Not always the best quality traffic
- The affiliate programs tend to be over-rated since most people probably won't upgrade (at least in my experience they don't).
Warnings about Traffic Exchanges
1. Google AdSense sites Be careful about advertising a website that has Google AdSense ads on them, as surfing TE's promoting sites with Google AdSense can put your google adsense account at risk. I made that mistake myself advertising an adsense enabled blog I have on Traffic Swarm for example, and a few days later, I found out my adsense account was disabled. Yeah, it sucked, but I learned my lesson. By the way, Google does not always warn you if you are doing something they do not like and can terminate you without warning (especially when you are close to the $100 minimum payout threshold). If you must advertise an AdSense enabled website (or similar affiliate programs that have restrictions against Traffic Exchange promotion for that matter), you will probably want to set up a splash page to promote your site. This way, anyone who views your site(s) via traffic exchanges are people who actually want to view your site(s) as opposed to general traffic. Need a splash page? You can build one pretty easily at AdKreator. Ad Kreator gives you the tools, templates and resources to build a website. Sign up is free, though it appears free members can only create 1 free splash page. If you decide to create more than 1, you will have to upgrade your account. You can also use lead capture pages too and send email updates to your prospects. Four good sites for creating lead capture pages (though they do cost money to join and use) are Stiforp, Traffic Wave (new members get a 30 day free trial just for signing up, which can be useful if you are looking for services to try out), and My Lead Company (pretty much like Stiforp on steroids where you can actually buy qualified leads in addition to generating your own leads). You can also create squeeze pages using Instant Squeeze Page Generator too.
2. Viruses and malware: while most advertisers on traffic exchanges are legitimate business people and the vast majority of sites people post on traffic exchanges are genuine, sometimes you do get shady advertisers that think it is funny to post virus and malware sites. One good way to avoid virus sites is to use Google chrome and take advantage of the safe browsing feature (I wish Internet Explorer had similar features). Also having a good antivirus software (like Microsoft Endpoint Protection) can also be your best friend at Traffic Exchanges. Don't have antivirus software? You could probably buy one for relatively low prices at Amazon.com, Office Depot or Compusa. Don't surf unprotected for your own good.
3. Low conversion rates
General benefits and features of traffic exchanges:
1. Free advertising
2. Can be useful for getting a "feel" for what other people are advertising.
3. Useful for connecting with other internet marketers.
4. Popular for promoting paid to click sites (at least some of them), affiliate links, marketing systems, ebooks, as well as multilevel marketing companies (especially Global Domains and Traffic Wave).
5. Extra of income are possible with TE's (at least if you manage to refer people that upgrade their accounts).
6. Great for lead generation
7. You can also connect with more experienced marketers as well.
Tips for getting the most out of traffic exchanges:
1. Surf regularly. The more you surf, the more traffic you get to your links. You can also buy ad credits if you want, but it does cost money to do so.
2. Don't feel like you have to upgrade at every traffic exchange. I recommend choosing one or 2 traffic exchanges to upgrade at and stick with those initially.
3. Try not to join more traffic exchanges than you can handle. I recommend starting with no more than 10 at the most.
4. Consider experimenting. You never know what ads are more likely to convert than others.
5. Don't give up
1. List of traffic exchanges I use
2. Traffic Exchange Resources page
3. Downline builders I recommend
4. Information about Safelists (similar to traffic exchanges, but are email based).