educational

10 Traffic Essentials: 2

Stephen Yagielowicz
In part one, we began our look at some fundamental traffic-building avenues. In this conclusion, we'll round out our listing of the basic means by which adult webmasters may drive traffic to their websites.

Traffic Trades
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 will send very little traffic in return — and ask 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.

Here, scripting comes to the rescue. There are a variety of traffic-trading scripts available and 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. I'm not referring to so-called "circle jerk" scripts here — a practice in which sites trade traffic through endless consoles feeding mercilessly off of each other.

Exit consoles are one common solution for paysite traffic trading. Take the tour at most major paysites and you will be fed from one site to another within their "family," and usually end up with a final exit console advertising the paysite'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 amount of memberships from Site B. This level of trading is typically done with a phone call, although custom scripting does help keep things straight.

Mailing Lists
Email is a powerful and flexible tool for promoting your site, and I'm not talking about spam, where you buy or scrape together a list of email addresses and blast out an offer. I'm referring to targeted, CAN-SPAM compliant 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 that was, in fact, replied to. The only real way 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.

Banner Exchanges
When used properly, banner exchanges can be a fabulous source of traffic. In 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 members' sites on your own, and your banner on the other exchange members' 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 runs 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 display on targeted specific site niches, and as an added bonus, have them display your own banner.

I like to use banner exchanges on my TGP galleries, so a gallery that pulls 50,000 visitors will generate 25,000 additional banner impressions. This is an easy way to drive extra traffic to your site, or straight to your sponsor, since you can use a sponsor's banner and link code when you join most exchanges.

'Traditional' Media
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 breasts 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 website ad.

Even small ads in specialty newsletters and magazines can really pull. Stephen Geller (www.slg-inc.com) can put you in print 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 you and your site's visitors telling friends about it! There is a variety of "tell your friends" and other viral scripts available, allowing visitors to your site to enter their names and a friend's email address. With a click of the button, their friends receive a message customized with a personal touch directing them to your site. You can reward each visitor who sent a referral by giving him a bonus video or photo set — a sure way to boost this technique's productivity.

One effective technique for amateur site operators is "flirtation." I know some girls who work the online personals ads to lure guys to their sites, and the same can be done by working chat rooms, newsgroups, message boards and online communities like MySpace. 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 to make a sale.

There you have it: 10 ways to send traffic to your website, and most of them only take time and energy to implement. Hopefully this new look at traffic-building classics will give you some good ideas.

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