“Don’t pay for visitors to come to your website. Earn them!” It’s an intriguing slogan and it can be a successful part of your marketing efforts if you approach “surf for visitors” exchange sites with a plan.
Surf for visitors (aka click-exchange) sites are very simple in concept. You create an account, which includes information about your website, then begin to surf websites of other members. For each site you visit, you earn 1 credit, which can be redeemed for a visitor to your site. To enforce a quality visit, you’re required to spend at least 30 seconds on each website.
The marketing efficiency of a click-exchange is very attractive. In a perfect world, you could visit 120 sites in an hour however if you don’t hit the “Next Site” button right at the 30 second mark or if you take some time to browse interesting sites, it will reduce the number of sites you visit.
Let’s say on average you visit 100 sites (earning yourself 100 visitors) in an hour and let’s say you value your time spent on marketing at $30 an hour. That means your marketing efficiency is $.30 per visitor. Not bad when you compare that to banner advertising: If you have 1% click-thru banner that you’re paying $15 CPM on, you’re getting 10 visitors for $15 or $1.50 per visitor.
When picking a click-exchange to join you want to stick with the major players because the little guys only have a handful of sites so you’ll be seeing the same sites again and again and other members will be seeing your site repeatedly. Here’s a handy guide to the bigger and better click-exchange networks available:
Click Thru Network – the oldest, largest and best one available. You can target your site, see detailed stats on your account, win extra credits when surfing by clicking “bonus icons”, you can gamble your credits for a chance to win big, if that’s your thing. Sign up here first.
Join Click Thru Network
Traffic Generation Network – A simple interface puts their super serf bar in
a frame and gives you a 30 second countdown. After the counter expires you
click one of five random colors to surf to the next site.
Join Traffic Generation Network
Ezhits4u – Another simple interface with a counter and Next Site button in a frame as you surf.
I Love Clicks Network – A standard click-exchange network.
Join I Love Clicks Network
I recommend signing up for all four networks. Then pick one hour a week and
devote it to your surf for visitors campaign. Open up four browser windows
and log into each network and begin surfing. While one counter is counting
down, switch to a different window and start the counter there. By the time
you get all for started, you first one will be nearly finished. Don’t forget to look for Bonus Icons on the Click Thru Network – bonus credits from Bonus Icons account for over 1/3 of my total Cluck Thru credits. In this way you’ll be able to capture 400-500 visitors to your site in an hour!
If there is a down side to this marketing venue it is pop-up hell. Some of the sites you’ll visit will have one or more pop-ups and if you don’t deal with them, they will slow your computer and maybe even crash it. I deal with pop-ups in Windows by organizing my taskbar in such a way that I can easily tell which windows are pop-ups. With no programs running I start IE and create a total of four browser windows and log each window into one of the click-exchange networks. (When I start surfing on Click-Thru, I attach its floating nav-bar window to the main window by pressing the square looking attach button.) With the four networks ready to go I double click a folder or two on my computer and the taskbar puts them after my four browser windows. These act as spacers so that as I surf all pop-ups appear to the right of the folders and my main surfing windows remain on the left. Periodically I’ll clean out the pop-ups by right-clicking on their taskbar buttons and choosing Close from the contextual menu.
With just an hour of effort a week, this marketing venue can generate a thousand or more visitors to your website every month — all at no monetary cost. You may even find some great websites you never knew existed.
Anthony Zimmerman is president of AwesomeDrinks.com, a free site devoted to those who enjoy relaxing with a cocktail after a day’s work. To try some of the best tasting drinks known to man visit AwesomeDrinks.com. He is also a founding investor in PowerSat corporation – a company working to solve the energy crisis by providing cheap, clean power, forever.