Friday, February 19, 2010

Internet Marketing Tips from Team OceanSwell - Part III

Love 'em or hate 'em, Traffic Exchanges (TE's) are vital to the Team OceanSwell approach of promoting the TrafficWave product and affiliate pay plan. When Team OceanSwell was created, the idea was to provide a plan and a system that average people could use to finally have some success at building an online business. Traffic Exchanges are something that everybody understands how to use.

And if you took my advice and explored Affiliate Funnel a little bit, then you noticed that they have an entire tab devoted to TE's. That only makes sense. Affiliate Funnel was created by TE owners!

I'll be honest with you right up front. A LOT of people don't like TE's. Personally, I love them. It's a variation of the Safelist concept (which I also use), but they are like the trading pits in the Chicago Futures Market - it's raw competition at it's best! They are also communities, but I'll get into the important subject of social networking later on.

BTW, I think that everyone should sign up for Jon Olson's newsletter. Another one of my mentors, I've read his book and chatted with him in the affiliate funnel forum many times in the past. Jon is the king of Traffic Exchanges and, IMO, his word is gospel. He's also a TrafficWave user!

You can check out his newsletter here:

Doing this one thing will teach you everything you need to know about this often misunderstand method of advertising and Jon's newsletter will also keep you updated on current events in the industry.

You know, there's kind of a stigma to using TE's. A lot of people consider it 'beneath them' to ever go near one. For one thing, they can be VERY labor intensive - prohibitively so for many. And there is also the legitimate fear of catching viruses from malicious advertisers. Word of advice: Use good security programs like Norton Anti-Virus when visiting ANY online marketing sites.

Anyway, Traffic Exchanges are good and bad. Useful and useless. Effective and ineffective. It just depends on your approach. The challenging thing is, there really aren't any rules! However, here are some universal guidelines to using TE's effectively. Notice that most or all of them are incorporated into the Team OceanSwell system.

1) Remember that you are marketing to other marketers. Marketing affiliate programs in the exchanges is largely a waste of time. Instead, market the things that other marketers NEED, such as tools, services, systems and other information products.

2) Use squeeze/splash pages and keep them real simple. Think of your ads like billboards on a busy freeway. The drivers are speeding by and concentrating on driving. Your 'billboard' had better be eye-catching and it had better get the message across QUICKLY! Humor works very well in the TE's too, by the way.

3) Brand yourself by putting your face and name in your ads. People like that! They like to see you and (if you stay at this long enough) your face eventually becomes recognizable within the TE community. That helps you in a variety of ways, long-term. If you can't put your face in your ad, use one of the brandable ad-rotators that many of the TE's provide for free.

4) Use banners, because they work! Banners will generate a click-through about every 3000-5000 impressions, depending on the banner. Some exchanges really allow you to pile up the banner credits with bonuses, surf rewards and upgraded accounts. Amazingly, a large number of people simply ignore them! That's a mistake because you should be using every resource at your disposal. We've had numerous Team OceanSwell Members come up with GREAT banner designs, but here is a link to one Team Member's page that is really worth a look:

5) Keep your ads in rotation 24/7. Be consistent. They say it takes 6 or 7 times for a consumer to see an ad before making a buying decision. That may or may not be true on TV, but it takes a LOT more than that on the TE's! You need to keep your ad in their face every day.

6) Did I mention that you have to be patient? TE advertising is sloooooooow, but it DOES work - and there are new people coming into the exchanges every month, not to mention those who leave and come back.

Lastly, it's always a good idea to promote the TE's that you are a part of. In your blog, email signature lines or wherever. Getting referrals in the exchanges is another long-term marketing strategy because (in most cases) you can email them, they earn credits for you and some will upgrade and help cover your online expenses.

Speaking of which, there is a new TE that's kind of interesting in that there is NO free membership. Basic membership is 3 bucks a month and it's an affiliate matrix, like TrafficWave. I bring it up because there are those who like the idea of earning money by getting TE referrals and PowerPath GDI has encouraged their entire membership to join. Anyway, if you want to look at that, you can go here: 3x6surf

To your success,

~Rusty (TW OceanSwell Admin)