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My 2004 Top 10 Traffic Sources

by Jim Daniels

About half-way through each year I like to take a close look at my stats to get a handle on my best traffic sources. My two busiest websites, and receive thousands of visitors a day, and exactly where the traffic comes from is always changing.

As usual, this year has brought a few surprises. Of course, I still rely on low-cost and no-cost traffic sources, and I'd like to share those sources with you today.

I think you'll find this list interesting. And who knows, you may even find a new way to get targeted traffic to your websites...

1. Affiliates
My number one traffic source again this year is my affiliates. In fact, my affiliates send thousands of visitors a day to my sites. Perhaps that's because I keep my affiliate network small by inviting only my customers to participate. This keeps competition to a minimum and rewards active affiliates more handsomely.

If you have not started an affiliate program for your best products and services, I highly recommend you do so. Although there are some costs involved with starting your own affiliate program, it is well worth it. Justify the expense by telling yourself that you are hiring thousands of sales people and paying them only when they sell. A web based affiliate program is just that.

2. Repeat Visitors
A perennial top performer is "repeat visitors." You know, people coming to my site who have already been there before. This is something you used to hear marketing experts talk about a lot. Now, it seems that the value of repeat visitors has been overlooked. Yet repeat visitors are usually the people who end up making purchases at your site. And there are lots of ways to get these valuable repeat visitors. I get most of mine through my follow-up autoresponders ( thank you ) and also through my free ebooks and my BizWeb eGazette newsletter. I suggest you look at these "relationship building" strategies closely and try similar techniques, if you are not already doing so.

3. A Free Traffic Network?
OK, why the question mark? Well, this one even surprised me. I've never been a big fan of start networks or traffic exchange programs. But I'm glad I tried one called TrafficSwarm --- it quickly developed into a top traffic source, and has remained near the top for some time now. There are lots of traffic networks to choose from on the web, and the few I had tried never impressed me. But this one now delivers hundreds of highly targeted visitors a day to my sites. I now have a Pro account and at just thirty bucks a month it has been a self-propelled traffic (and income) generator. I do nothing. It sends traffic. I recommend it to any webmaster on a tight budget.

4. Google
In fourth place this year, and still delivering heavy traffic is Google. The web's top search engine really delivers a high quantity of high-quality traffic to my sites. In fact, I've managed to help a growing number of my members grow their google traffic as well. There are no tricks to it either. It really is as simple as taking the recommendations directly from Google's site at and then making sure your site is properly optimized with the right keywords for your niche.

5. Links/Content
Getting lots of incoming links to your site is important. Not only will traffic arrive via those links, but a site with lots of incoming links does better in search engines than sites with few links.

Getting links, starts with content. You write articles based on your niche, post the content at your site and share the content with other webmasters. You can do this "on-the-fly" by including a short footer after your content that tells webmasters they have permission to reprint your article at their website or in their newsletter. Be sure to let them know that they need to include a live link to your site. You may even want to tell them exactly how to link to your site. (Preferably with a short description of your site and a hyper linked keyword or two. This will help search engines determine that the sites are related and give the link more relevance.)

There are lots of websites in need of decent content. Supply it and you can benefit greatly - your links will grow continually with no effort on your part. And the beauty of this strategy is that only sites in your niche will use your content. This means your links will be high quality links from sites in the right 'neighborhood.' This goes a long way with the search engines. If you would like to see this content-sharing link growing strategy in action, visit my marketing articles archive.

There are lots of other ways to get links into your site, and you really need to use your imagination in this area.

Affiliate Showcase makes my top 10 list for the second year in a row. It is a web based affiliate program search engine that is brandable for anyone promoting affiliate programs. It automates the tedious process of affiliate marketing and can generate some serious traffic to any site you want. Since it is viral, it is something you can set up, then let run on auto-pilot. And that's pretty much what I've done. Yet it continues to deliver a steady stream of traffic to my sites. At the very least grab the no-cost version and give it a try.

How do super-affiliates do it? The answer may surprise you. Visit Affiliate Showcase for the web's best affiliate programs and the newest secret to affiliate success.

7. MSN
Yep, is finally making a dent in the search engine market, and they are making a concerted effort to expand in that area. In fact, I've already seen traffic to my sites from grow steadily, especially over the past few months. If you have not added your URL to their engine, you may want to submit it at:

8. Yahoo!
Although this traffic source moved down the list a bit from last year, still delivers quite a bit of traffic to my websites. But search has changed quite a bit recently at Yahoo, and with those changes comes cost to webmasters. If you have the budget, consider using their new SiteMatch service. Or at the very least, use the Free URL Submission Yahoo now offers.

9. "Sister" sites
Over the years I've put together a number of "sister" sites offering various Internet marketing information, products and services. These sites include my,, and a few others. Naturally, these sites contain references to my main sites. So as the traffic has grown to the sister sites, the traffic to my main sites has grown as well. Putting up additional websites is easy, with discount website templates readily available, and web hosting fees at all-time lows. So it you are sticking with just one site, it may be time for you to explore a bit of expansion. Just keep costs to a minimum and make sure all your sites complement each other. Before you know it you could have an entire network of sites all helping each other grow!

10. Article Submissions
Although I have not submitted articles to other email newsletters as often this year, this strategy still works well when I find time to do it, and I highly recommend it to other grass-roots web marketers. In fact, I still get quite a bit of traffic from my archived articles across the web. That just goes to prove how effective this strategy is for long-term traffic, as well as establishing expertise on your topic of choice. If you are not using this strategy, try it! Visit an ezine directory like and find some ezines in your niche. Then send your best, current article to the editor. Make sure the article is helpful and includes a small footer at the end, about the author.

About The Author
Article by Jim Daniels of If you're interested in starting or growing a business on the Internet, Jim's sites will help you save time and money. He's been making a living online since 1996 and knows the ropes. Visit Jim and get your free help!

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