How to Use Blog Traffic Exchanges to Make Money with Affiliate Programs

blog-traffic-exchange-make-money-with-affiliate-programs.jpgThe key to making money through affiliate programs or other forms of advertising is traffic, which is simply the sheer number of visitors who arrive at your blog daily.
In terms of affiliate marketing, the more visitors you have, the more opportunities or capacity you will have to recommend or successively promote any products, services or websites.
There are many different ways to market your blog and gain more visitors which will eventually allow you to make money through blog-based affiliate marketing.The use of blog traffic exchanges is one method you should consider.

How do Blog Traffic Exchanges Work?

Blog Traffic Exchanges are simply websites which operate on a reciprocal viewing ratio, whereby you’ll manually surf and visit various blogs in the network, in return for other users to visit your blog.
For example, by logging into a blog traffic exchange and visiting one blog in their network, I would earn one credit which means that I’ll get one visit in return from another blogger who is using the same traffic network.
This is the most basic principle of all blog traffic exchanges, although some exchange networks will allow you to buy credits which will translate to visitor traffic from other users.

What are the requirements to use a Blog Traffic Exchange?

The most basic prerequisite is that you will need to own a blog. Registration for these blog traffic exchanges are usually free and all you’ll need to do is to submit your blog and start surfing to accumulate traffic credits, which will ensure that other users surf and visit your blog as well.

Do I really need to use a Blog Traffic Exchange?

I would say that these exchanges are very useful for new blogs who need to get more exposure but established blogs with strong organic traffic from search engines, probably do not need to use them.
Note however, that this post is less about getting traffic or exposure to your blog and more about how to make money through the targeted monetization of blog traffic exchange visitors.
As such, it could apply for both new and more established blogs as long as the blogger in question is looking for a way to make money off their blog through affiliate programs.

Types of Blog traffic exchanges

There are several of them out there and most of the ones I’ve tried seem to have similar blogs on their networks. BlogExplosion and BlogMad are two of the largest traffic exchanges out there and I suggest only using them if you don’t have much time.
Here is the list of four blog traffic exchanges I’ve come across and used so far:
1. Blog Explosion

2. BlogMad

3. Blog Soldiers

4. Blog Advance

Benefits of Using Blog Traffic Exchanges

  • Free exposure for new blogs. New blogs usually have very little referral or search traffic and the focus is on getting people to know your blog actually exists. Blog Traffic exchanges can perform this function and may even help to increase your initial reader base before organic traffic from search engines starts to kick in.
  • Building long-term referral traffic. Traffic exchange visitors are all bloggers and are the people you want to attract when you are trying to build a much bigger readership. The more bloggers you have reading your blog, the more potential for incoming links and future referral traffic.

Disadvantages and Limitations of Blog Traffic Exchanges

Here are some points to take note of, if you are interested in using blog traffic exchanges for your blog. Only after taking these factors into consideration, should you proceed to the six steps that I’ve outlined in the later part of this article.
  • Negative Effects on Publisher Accounts with ad networks

    Some bloggers have suggested that advertising networks like Adsense do not allow the use of traffic exchanges, because they generate artificial traffic and ad impressions.
    I have used blogs with Adsense on them in the past and have not received any warning. But this was probably because I was not actively using traffic exchanges on a regular basis.
    I would recommend that you email your ad network to confirm if they allow the use of traffic exchanges. I personally would not run any advertising programs while using these exchanges.
    If you want to monetize this traffic, I would suggest purely using affiliate programs for products or services.
  • Visitor Traffic is Poorly Targeted Blog traffic exchanges are similar to StumbleUpon in that you’ll never really know what to expect. For some exchanges like Blog Explosion, you can choose to surf blogs only in a specific field but I’m not sure how many users actually use this function.
    Unlike search traffic, visitors coming through traffic exchanges do not require or seek specific information so anything you offer could be hit or miss. I suggest sticking to general topics if you are promoting affiliate programs.
  • Limited Market Scope The traffic that you are trying to monetize is actually limited only to the users of each Traffic Exchange. This means that after consistently using each exchange for a while, the quality of the traffic as it relates to affiliate programs might decrease.
    One can only hope that by then, you would have build up a strong enough audience base which you can tap for future monetization efforts.
  • Manual Surfing is Time-consuming Unless you buy traffic credits, you’ll have to manually surf other blogs through the traffic exchanges in return for other bloggers to visit your website. This can be a time consuming process and can also distract you from other tasks at hand.

How to Use Traffic Exchanges to Make Money from your Blog

Before I get into the gritty details on how you can effectively monetize blog traffic exchange visitors, I’ll be very clear on what type of blogs will work best for this.
  • Your blog should have unique content and should not just be a feed scrapper blog which reposts articles and links. Spam and copyright issues are of some concern to blog traffic exchange networks.
  • The blog must not be a sales letter or website in disguise. I’m referring to blogs whereby every single article sells a product or contains various affiliate links. Bloggers and exchange network admins can usually identify these sites as spam, not to mention that it might negatively impact the trust level of a new visitor.
  • Blogs with cookie-cutter templates will not work as well as blogs that have unique and well designed themes. This is a simple fact because you only have less than 30 seconds before the visitor clicks through to the next blog. The design must magnetize and capture the blogger’s attention.
  • The first blog post on the blog should not use excerpts or the more tag. The blog post should be displayed in full so there is less risk that the visitor will ignore it. Other non-monetized posts without affiliate links should be excerpted.

Six Steps to Easily Monetize Blog Traffic Exchange Visitors

The emphasis here for both new and established blogs is to ONLY start using blog traffic exchanges immediately after one has publish an article that promotes a specific affiliate program or website.
This is because your blog post (with affiliate links) will be right at top in your homepage and this is where most visitors will direct their attention.
Traffic exchanges are time consuming and if you have not written a post which promotes an affiliate program or product, I see no reason to waste your time on them because the monetization potential is just not there.
Remember, don’t use these exchanges everyday for every single new post you write. Only use them extensively after you write a post which contains affiliate/referral links that will allow you to make money through personal recommendations.
The emphasis is on getting visitor to read your post, click through on the links and proceed to either sign up for the recommended website or make a quick purchase.
Here are the six steps you should take:
  1. Write a great post or review about a specific affiliate product or website. Offer an authentic opinion which provides both pros and cons of the program. Do NOT aggressively sell the product. Write naturally in a conversational style.
  2. Remove all other advertising networks on your site. It helps to build a little credibility while centralizing focus on the article. You can always put them back up after you’ve done a few rounds of traffic trades.
  3. Dress up your sidebars and the area after your post by prominently displaying buttons, banners or text links which either lead to a review page on your blog about the affiliate product or an affiliate landing page or original product website through your referral link. This is another net to catch visitors who don’t click through within the article itself.
  4. Start to surf the blog traffic exchanges. Open up two or more exchange websites in separate tabs and start manually surfing. If you don’t mind spending money, an alternative would be to purchase some traffic credits.
  5. Monitor the number of click throughs through basic stats programs like Google Analytics or MyBlogLog. Also check to see the number of signups or purchases through the affiliate center for the programs you’ve promoted.
  6. Repeat the entire process if there is an acceptable number of conversions. A minimum of 5% conversion ratio, i.e. five new signups or purchases per 100 visitors over two days would be considered an appropriate standard.

Conclusion: Blog Traffic Exchanges & Monetization

We have examined the use of blog traffic exchanges from a very targeted perspective, which only emphasizes the importance of getting multiple visitors to view specific affiliate program recommendations on your blog.
As such, blog traffic exchanges could also be seen as blitz marketing tools which will allow you to get rapid exposure for a specific post within a short time frame.
It is important to note that the use of traffic exchanges should definitely accompany a well rounded monetization strategy that focuses on building consistent organic and referral traffic from search engines and other websites.


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