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General advertising and promotion - Multiple streams of Traf
by: Eric Koshinsky
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Contact at: artpub@newbie-guides.com

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General advertising and promotion - Multiple streams of Traffic: PART II

There are a variety of ways that you can advertise and promote
your site or products. In this, Part II of the 'mini-series'
on Multiple streams of traffic, I'd like to take a look at a
couple of the more commonly known methods of online promotion.
Some are much better than others, and some are more suitable
than others. Our goal then is to look a little more closely at
them to determine if they are suitable for your needs. Read on
for more...

Banner ads

Using banner advertising and displaying banner ads on your site
has changed a lot in the last 2 years. The cost and value
(benefit) of banner advertising has dropped significantly. I
won't talk about them too much other than to say that their main
use is now principally as 'branding' tools. A way to get your
name/product/site in the front of people's faces quickly. For
the average person, it is nearly impossible to get the kind of
reach required to really get much benefit from banners. That
being said, if you can get good exposure in a niche that fits
your market, go for it, it won't hurt.

On the other side of things, displaying banners on your site as
a source of revenue is only worthwhile if you are getting
thousands upon thousands of hits/month. The average CPM is now
only about $2.00 (that means you earn $2.00 for every 1000
banners displayed!). Considering that when you display a banner
on your site you are promoting a product or site that is not
your own, you are giving visitors an exit that does not generate
income for you. It isn't any wonder that the top online
marketers (Cory Rudl, Jimmy D. Brown,
Ken Evoy
etc.) don't display ANY ads (banners or anything) from any
other site.

I am not knocking banners here. They serve a purpose. You just
need to be sure that they suit your purposes. I have found
that the FastClick Ad Network
provides very good service for all your banner advertising needs.

FFA's and traffic swaps

Let me be very blunt about FFA's. They are a waste of time for
anyone except the person who owns it. No matter what the claims
may be, they will not produce traffic. Traffic swaps and exit
exchanges have to potential to produce reasonably large amounts
of traffic, however the problem is that for the most part it is
untargeted. Most traffic swaps are based on a system of credits,
where your site gets a visitor in exchange for displaying the
traffic swap link on your site, or visiting a member site
yourself. The real problem is that much of the traffic is simply
other webmasters trying to boost their own credits. They are not
interested in visiting your site except to get the credit. I'm
sure you can see the problems with that. In a way, you can think
of traffic swaps as an online equivalent of a highway detour.
Lots of traffic gets re-directed your way, but it doesn't really
want to be there. If you are interested in learning more about
traffic swaps, you can go
here
to take a look at a popular one.

More recently, a slightly different breed of traffic swap has
emerged. These focus on generating ezine subscribers. The way
they work is basically the same as the a normal traffic swap,
however because they are directed specifically at getting
subscribers, they don't create junk traffic. Every time you
display the pop-up containing the ezine registration form, you
earn an impression for your subscription link on another site.
When visitors see the pop-up with the links, they choose to sign
up for your ezine. There are still very few of them around, so
they are very effective and produce good results. There are a
few services that provide opt-in services for a fee (usually in
the range of $1.00/subscriber), but I prefer free ;-). I have
had very good results with
this service.
It is 100% free and generates dozens of subscribers a week.

Ezine advertising

Ezine ads (both solo and classified ads) can be very effective if
done right. They can also be utterly useless. The key is to get
your ads in ezines that are very closely related to your
product(s), and that don't run tons of ads. There are literally
thousands of ezines out there that are essentially advertising
rags. Their only purpose is to run ads for you and every other
person willing to spend $15. Before you advertise in any ezine,
get some information about the ezine. A decent publisher will
know their subscriber base and be able to tell you with reasonable
accuracy how responsive the subscribers are, how many ads they run,
and if someone has recently run an ad like yours (similar products).
If they can't do that, you might want to think twice about
advertising with them. Realistically what you want is an ezine with
a reasonably large subscriber base (1000 or more), that is closely
related to your product, and only accepts limited advertising
(e.g. 1 ad/issue). Stephan Peirce's
book goes into great detail on how to find good ezines and what to
look for and what to avoid - it costs less than a solo ad in a decent
ezine, and will save you tons of money in avoided mistakes.

A final comment:

Anyone who claims they can provide you with 100,000 (500,000,
whatever) guaranteed visitors is selling junk. Think of it this
way, if it were so easy to get that many targeted visitors (and
you only want targeted visitors), you can bet companies (scammers)
wouldn't be selling them because they would be raking in millions
in profits by directing those visitors to their own products and
sites! Do a little math, 1% conversion (a very low rate) from
100,000 visitors = 1,000 buying visitors. Sell a $10 product and
you have $10,000. If such a profit is possible, why the hell
is this kind of traffic sold for $50-$200? Quite simply because
it is junk traffic, frequently created by piggy backing on traffic
exchanges and FFA's.

In the next section of the series we will start to look at some
of the less well known methods of traffic generation, and how you
can put them to use to generate a more stable and consistent base
of traffic for your own sites.

---------------------------
Eric Koshinsky: webmaster and guide at Newbie-guides.com
We aim to provide useful tips and guidance for those who
are new to personal online marketing. Learn more about
programs, techniques, and software that can help you
reach your online marketing goals. Come on by and
have a look.
http://www.newbie-guides.com/?aa
Join our newsletter: news@newbie-guides.com

About the Author

Eric Koshinsky: webmaster and guide at Newbie-guides.com
We aim to provide useful tips and guidance for those who
are new to personal online marketing. Learn more about
programs, techniques, and software that can help you
reach your online marketing goals. Come on by and
have a look.
http://www.newbie-guides.com/?aa
Join our newsletter: news@newbie-guides.com

 



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