A manual traffic exchange is a membership web site that allows you to view web pages selected by other members and allows other members to view web pages you select. In other words, a traffic exchange allows members to exchange traffic between their sites.
You can sign up as a free traffic exchange member or as a paid member with a monthly subscription. Once you sign up, you will have the opportunity to provide the URLs for several web pages of your choosing. You may also be able to include banner ads and text ads.
As you might imagine, your goal in joining a traffic exchange is to promote your URLs by having other members view them. You earn credits to have your pages displayed when you view other members' pages. Free members normally must view more pages to earn a credit than paid members. You'll typically view each page while a timer counts down, usually from 10 to 30 seconds, before you can move on to the next page.
You can also purchase credits or receive a monthly allocation of credits as a paid member. But, the most economical way to receive credits as a beginner is to earn them by surfing.
To earn credits as quickly as possible, you may want to surf traffic exchanges by opening up multiple tabs in your browser. You'll view a different traffic exchange in each tab. So, immediately after clicking to the next page in one traffic exchange you'll move to the next tab and click to the next page on that exchange. In this way you are not waiting for any timer to count down, but are earning credits on multiple traffic exchanges as quickly as possible.
Because most other members also use tabbed browsing, your page has only a second or two to capture their attention. Your page's headline must immediately interest them and distract them from clicking to the next page.
And because most members are clicking almost mechanically to get to the next page, they will need to see your page several times before they decide to do more than glance at your headline. This means you will need lots of credits to successfully promote your URLs.
These facts have a profound effect on your ability to make money using traffic exchanges. To make a significant amount of money from traffic exchanges there are two things you must do.
Build a Downline
First, you must build a downline. That is, you must encourage other people to join a traffic exchange from your promotional link to that exchange. This is important because most traffic exchanges give you credits that allow your pages to be displayed when members of your downline surf. You may receive credits worth 10% or 20% of the credits earned by the surfing of your downline.
A large downline adds significant credits to your account and allows your pages to be displayed frequently. It gives you tremendous power to promote money making opportunities on the traffic exchanges. This is why building a downline should be your first priority.
You can build a downline in two ways. One way is to cross promote. That is, you use a splash page from traffic exchange "A" on traffic exchange "B" and visa versa. So, when someone surfs traffic exchange "B" and joins traffic exchange "A" from your splash page, you've added to your downline on exchange "A".
The second way to build a downline is to make use of a traffic building resource like TrafficHoopla.com. TrafficHoopla tracks the performance of traffic exchanges and ranks them in order of effectiveness.
You can join TrafficHoopla and the traffic exchanges they monitor. After joining each exchange you can add your program ID for each exchange to TrafficHoopla's database.
Then, when you advertise TrafficHoopla, the links to the various exchanges will contain your program IDs. When someone joins the traffic exchanges via your TrafficHoopla link, you'll gain a downline in each of those traffic exchanges.
So, by advertising only TrafficHoopla you can gain a large downline in a number traffic exchanges. This is a very powerful technique for building a downline on the traffic exchanges.
Build a List
The second thing you need to do as you build your downline is to build an opt-in list. Building a list is one of the primary uses of traffic exchanges. A quarter of the web pages in a traffic exchange ask for your email address while another 38% of the pages will ask for your email address when you click to a second page.
An opt-in list allows you to send out newsletters that cover a topic of interest to your list members. As you cover topics relevant to your list members you'll build credibility with them. Your list members will then be more likely to investigate the products you recommend in your newsletter. And, when you recommend your own products or affiliate products you'll make money when your list members make a purchase.
You've probably heard that "the money is in the list." When you have a large list you'll be able to make money every time you send out a newsletter. The larger your list, the more money you'll be able to make.
So, remember that the most effective use of your time while starting out with traffic exchanges is first to build a large downline and second to build a list. Doing these things will put you head and shoulders above the average traffic exchange member.