In this installment of our Basic Traffic Management series, I will outline some of the less well-known or underutilized methods for driving traffic into your adult web site. In the coming months we will examine each of these traffic sources in greater detail, as well as some unique new ways of combining them for maximum traffic flow. For now, let's take a quick look at a few more of my favorite traffic sources - those that every site can use:
One of the hardest things to do these days is to come up with a decent amount of equitable traffic trades. All too often the person wanting to link to your site can send very little traffic back in return — and is asking a major traffic source for a front-page swap. Other common problems include Webmaster fraud, where the link to YOUR site suddenly disappears once you start sending traffic to the linked site, or accidental deletion (often due to page renaming, directory shuffles, etc.) of the URL where your reciprocal link once was.
Once again, scripting comes to the rescue. You can find a variety of traffic trading scripts here. The best of these will periodically search for your reciprocal link (and automatically delete sites where your link back can no longer be found), as well as provide easy link submission and automate other tedious maintenance chores. You won't find any so-called "circle jerk" scripts here —- a practice that I frown upon where sites trade traffic through endless consoles feeding mercilessly off of each other.
Exit consoles ARE one common solution for pay site traffic trading though. Take the tour at most any major pay site and you will be fed from one site to another within their "family" and usually end up with a final exit console advertising the pay site's sponsors. Sometimes this is done on a straight commission basis (the standard referral program) and sometimes this is done on a measured basis where site "A" agrees to buy "X" number of memberships from site "B." This level of trading is typically done with a phone call - although custom scripting does help keep things straight.
E-mail is a very powerful and flexible tool for promoting your site. Now I am not talking about "spam" where you buy or scrape together a list of email addresses then blast out an offer, but targeted mailings to people who WANT to receive them; and the ONLY folks who want to receive your mailing are those who have ASKED for it!
This is known as "opt-in" because the recipient made a conscious effort to obtain your mail out. Even better are "double opt-in" lists where not only was an address submitted, but also a confirmation mailing sent to the subscribed address was in fact replied to. The only real way for you to obtain a true opt-in email list is to develop it yourself. This is not as difficult as you might think, and there are a number of simple scripts available for you to run your own list with. I have personally used Perl Coders "Simple Subscribe" for this, and been pleased with the results. You can find this CGI script (as well as other opt-in mailing list scripts) here.
When used properly, Banner Exchanges can be a fabulous source of traffic. In their simplest terms, a banner exchange is a free program that you join, and after setting up an account and submitting your own banner, you are given a linking code that will display banners from other member's sites on your site, and your banner on the other exchange member's sites.
This is not usually an even exchange: for example, your banner will be shown once for every two banners that your site displays. The extra banner impression is how the service running the exchange profits - and as they often host the banner for you, it is not a bad deal at all. Many exchanges also allow you to target specific site niches for you to display - and to have your banner displayed upon, as an added bonus.
I like to use banner exchanges on my TGP galleries, so a gallery that pulls 10,000 visitors will generate 5,000 additional banner impressions! This is an easy way to drive "free" extra traffic to your site - or straight to your sponsor, since you can use a sponsor banner and your linking URL when you join most exchanges.
Marketing your site through the use of more traditional media such as print, radio, and even television is an oft-ignored resource that Webmasters should consider. While the prospect of seeing a prime-time television commercial promoting your hardcore sex site is remote at best, there are a variety of available media suitable (and profitable) for you to exploit. Consider the Howard Stern show; he features an endless parade of young ladies willing to flash their tits in exchange for an avalanche of traffic to the URL of their choice, and you might be surprised at how many local cable TV affiliates and radio stations would entertain the notion of a tasteful adult web site ad. Small (or not so small) ads in specialty newsletters and magazines can really pull.
Small (or not so small) ads in specialty newsletters and magazines can really pull. Stephen Geller (http://www.slg-inc.com/) can put you in front of millions of porn aficionados while some carefully crafted (and properly targeted) press releases sent to a few appropriate venues may do wonders for your traffic and exposure.
"Word of Mouth"
This may be the most overlooked adult-site advertising tool; all it takes is for you, and your site's visitors, to tell their friends! Perl Coders' Friend Referrer CGI script available here allows the visitors to your site to enter their name and a friend's email address. A quick click of the button and their friend receives a customizable message directing them to your site with a personal touch. I have also used this handy script with impressive results.
One effective technique for amateur site operators is "flirtation." I know some girls who work the online "personal" ads, luring guys into their sites, and the same can be said for working chat rooms, newsgroups, and message boards. Anything you can do to spread the word about your site and what it has to offer is a big step in the right direction, and another chance for you to make a sale.
These are just a few of the techniques available to drive fresh, unique traffic into your adult site. Using a little creativity and a lot of motivation will enable you to dramatically increase the quantity, and quality, of your site's traffic. Good luck! ~ Stephen