Once someone has made the decision to join the adult world and has built their first site, their next question is always about where they can get their traffic from. Traffic generation has many factors affecting it, ranging from webmaster creativity to your budget and many, many more. There are any number of ways to get visitors to your site, you just need to know about the major avenues and how to use them to your advantage.
Now, most people know about the TGP sites and submitting galleries to them in exchange for traffic back to you. While they may be good for producing a large volume of traffic, the visitors they send are notorious for not signing up, shoving your conversion rates through the roof and sucking up bandwidth like there is no tomorrow. If you have something new and exciting, maybe something custom or exclusive, then there is a small chance that TGP traffic will convert for you. But as a general rule, they are good only for creating traffic, not for making sales for your site.
There is also now a new breed of TGP site called the TGP2. There are two main differences between a TGP gallery and a TGP2 gallery. The first difference is in the number of pictures in the gallery. Whereas a TGP gallery has at least 20 thumbnails and pictures (and sometimes up to 30), the TGP2 only has 5 thumbs. The other difference is that the five TGP2 images are generally a lot less explicit than the TGP images. The reasoning behind this is that if you give the surfer less, they will be more inclined to click a sponsor banner and signup, since there is not enough for them to get off on in the TGP2 gallery alone. TGP2s also help to stop the spread of free porn, since they don't give that much away, there just isn't that much content getting out there, which helps all of us. But, the whole TGP2 concept seems to taking off very slowly, if at all, but it is still worth your effort to try.
To get more targeted traffic, traffic that is more likely to convert, your site has to be optimized for, and listed on, the major search engines. There is a lot of little things that can be done to get a decent rank on the search engines and all need to be done in order for your site to be found. Search engine traffic is always good traffic because the surfer is actively searching for something and if you have what they're looking for, they are more likely to sign up with you or your sponsor.
If you find that you are having trouble getting a decent rank on the search engines, and you have money available for marketing and promotion, then you might want to look at the paid placement search engines. These are search engines where you bid for your rank, the higher you are willing to pay for each click, the higher the rank of your site. This is a very good method for getting good targeted traffic to your site, since you fully control where your site appears in the listings. Just be aware that some of the big paid placement engines, such as Overture, can generate a lot of clicks very quickly, depending on the terms you bid on, and thus can create a very large bill for you in a hurry.
Another good way to get targeted traffic is to trade links with other sites that are similar to your own. Not only will there be an interest in your site, since the users are coming from a site with content that is like yours, but the traffic is free. And by creating a network of links among a bunch of similar sites, you are creating relevant links that search engines can find. Why do you want them to find these links? Because a lot of the engines, Google especially, use the links to and from your site to help establish your rank. The thinking goes that the more similar sites link to you, and that you link to, the more important your site is and the higher the rank you'll get. ...the more similar sites link to you, and that you link to, the more important your site is and the higher the rank you'll get.
Other than search engines, there are the directories, such as the Open Directory (DMOZ). Directories are more of a database of links within categories, that searchers can drill down into to find what it is they are looking for. There is not as much a ranking issue here (though there is a bit, in that people can search the database, but the ranks are generally alphabetical in the categories) as making sure that you submit your site to the most appropriate category so that people looking for what you have will find you. You may be able to get listed in 100 categories, but if 99 of them are not applicable to your site, then 99% of your traffic is not going to be interested in what you have, thus wasting your time, bandwidth and money.
The above methods of traffic generation are pretty much the main channels through which most sites get most of their traffic. There are all sorts of paid advertising options, but those are best left for another article, right now I am just talking about the ways to build a solid free traffic base. Once you have the solid numbers coming to your site and are making some money from your visitors, then you can buy pretty much as much traffic as you want, delivered in any method you so choose and can afford.
So, if you have tried all of the above, what else is there that you can use to your advantage and get visitors (and hopefully signups) to your site? There are a lot of other ways that are not as well known, but that can still help you build your visitor base. Just because some of the following ideas are ones that you may not have heard of before does not mean that they do not work. The goal here is to get you thinking creatively, finding any and all ways to generate traffic to your site, hopefully without costing you a lot of money.