December 11th, 2003, 05:38 PM
Click for Traffic: Free website promotion
Surf for traffic
I originally posted this in Tutorials, but I figured it might be of use to all you web-devs out there. This tutorial covers an often-overlooked aspect of website-building: promotion.
A lot of people have a website up and running. Some are worthwhile, others aren't.
But what if you have a nice website up and running, but no visitors?
There you are with your nice and shiny new website... and the only visitor is you. You refresh your page several times an hour to raise your visitor stats.
There you are with a lot of "visitors" a day, but only one unique...
You tell your close friends about it, hoping that they'll visit your site so your unique visitor-stats will rise.
And by the end of the week, you've had 400 visits to your site. 395 were you.
If you have a simple counter on your site, unique visitors don't matter. Your counter shows 400 hits, and nobody will know
395 of those visitors was you.
If you're serious about your site, though, you might want to place some ads. Maybe even install a banner-rotator. Or a link-exchange.
Most advertizers will want to see some real visitor-stats. And most advertizers will ignore your site if 99% of your visitors is you.
Surf for traffic
There are a couple of options. Of course there are the search engines, and they definitely should not be ignored. My impression though is that unless
you have a truly unique product to offer, search engines are worthless (unless you spend a lot of money to buy your way up). And unless you're on one of the first 5 pages of any search engine, your site won't benefit from it.
The option I'm aiming at with this tutorial are "surf for traffic" or "click for traffic" websites (SFTs from now on).
The idea behind these websites is rather simple, but highly effective: for every site (or two or more sites) you visit, you are guaranteed one visitor in return.
How does this work, practically?
You sign up (for free) on one of those sites (or all of them if you're serious about this and have some spare time). Most of the time, you'll be asked to provide a username and password, along with your email-address. You'll receive a confirmation email. Once your subscription is confirmed, you submit your site. And then you're all set up to start surfing. You'll be presented with a website just like yours, usually every 20 or 30 seconds. To prevent cheating, you'll be asked to click some kind of code after every website (more on that later).
Are you beginning to see the potential of this approach?
Every 20 seconds, you earn yourself a new, unique visitor to your site. That means 180 unique visitors every hour you spend on that SFT.
If you take this seriously and run 20 of those sites at the same time, you'll find yourself with 3600 unique visitors, for every hour you spend.
No other method will give you these results. And best of all: it's all free!
Let's not make this more difficult on yourself than it is, and get the right tools.
First of all, you'll need a puter and an internet-connection (HAH). The more RAM the better (to be highly effective, we'll be running dozens of browser windows at the same time... don't even think about that with 56MB of RAM). A broadband internet connection is highly advised.
Next: a browser. Internet Explorer just won't do the job. The perfect browser for the job is Crazy Browser. Download it (for free) here. Crazy Browser is a tabbed browser, and comes with a built-in pop-up blocker. A tabbed browser is what we'll need for something that requires you to have an overview.
Your site will need to meet some requirements as well. Absolutely forbidden are frame-breaking sites (since the surf-for-traffic programs rely on frames to credit you). Most SFTs allow your site to have a maximum of one pop-up/pop-under. Generally, your site needs to be in English, and adult content is not allowed.
Also, make sure your site loads fast. Since most SFTs only display your site for 20 seconds and you need to capture your visitors attention within that timeframe, slow-loading Flash-sites are not done. And make sure your site is online. People don't like watching a 404-message, and some STFs will even cancel your subscription if your site is not actually up.
Off we go!
We're all set up and ready to start surfing. Most of the SFTs are set up the same way. I'll be using WebMasterQuest as an example, since it's got most of the functions you'll find on most SFTs.
Here's a screenshot.
You'll see that your screen is divided in two parts (marked as 1 and 2 on the screenshot). Part 1 is the WebMasterQuest frame. Part 2 is the actual "site-show".
The rest is easy: once the countdown timer hits 0, you are required to click the symbol in the bigger white frame that corresponds with the symbol at the "Click"-prompt (a question mark in this case). This guarantees that your site actually gets viewed.
In the WebMasterQuest-frame, you'll also see links to your account (where you can change your personal info, add sites to the rotator, and get an overview of your credits), and a Report Site-link. If your site doesn't comply with the terms set by the SFT, visitors will click that link, and your account will be terminated.
All of the sites mentioned in this tutorial have anti-cheating measures in place. This means a little more work on your side (you'll actually have to watch the side-show), but at the same time guarantees that your site gets seen as well.
Here are some of the most common anti-cheats measures:
- You'll be presented with a symbol you have to match to one of the symbols in a box. The box will sometimes appear at the top of your page, and sometimes at the bottom.
- You'll be presented with the name of a color, and you'll have to click the matching color-box.
- You are presented with a word, and have to click the matching word in a word-list.
The method described in this tutorial involves some work and time from your side (as opposed to the auto-hit sites - sites that just display a lot of pages without interference from the user), but guarantees you unique visitors that actually take a look at your site. If your site is worthwhile, it will get noticed.
As mentioned before, Crazy Browser is the ideal tool for the job. The reasons are its tabbed features, plus the built-in pop-up blocker.
Here's how you set up your Crazy Browser:
Open a couple of SFTs (As much as possible. Just make sure your puter doesn't stall.) Once you have all the desired windows open, go to Groups and select "Save All Pages As Group". Select a Groupname and save the group. Now, next time you want to open this group, you just go to Groups, and select the Group you want to open.
Ratio: displayed as "x:y". This stands for the surf-for-click rate. For every x sites you visit, you'll get y visitors in return. Most often, this is 1:1 or 2:1.
Credit: your credit simply is the number of page-views you've got.
Referral: a referral is someone you refer to an SFT. As a bonus for referring someone, you'll get a portion of however much credits your referral has.
Here's a list of sites:
By far the most effective and easiest.
50 free credits for joining
No More Hits
I Love Clicks
30 seconds per site
1:1, 5:4 or 2:1 Ratio. Additionally, you can earn money with this thing.
A somewhat different approach. You'll be asked to rate other sites. For every correct rate, you earn a ticket in their credits-lottery.
200 free credits for joining
20 second timer
100 free credits for joining
You earn credits every time you open the startpage, plus for surfing in categories.
Add More Hits
100 free credits for joining
100 free credits for joining
Up to 1:2.5 Ratio
20 free credits for joining
Note: I average about 10,000 unique visitors each day using this system. When I started, it took me about 2 hours a day. Right now, it only takes me 1 hour a day. And it's all free!
December 12th, 2003, 11:58 PM
Hmm, I'm trying the Webcash system to see how effective it is, although I'm a bit pessimistic about how much traffic it will actually generate.