My 2004 Top 10 Traffic Sources
by Jim Daniels
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,
make-a-living-online.com and bizweb2000.com receive thousands of
visitors a day, and exactly where the traffic comes from is always
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...
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.
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 webbusinesswizard.com ) 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.
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.
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 www.google.com/webmasters/
and then making sure your site is properly optimized with the right
keywords for your niche.
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
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.
Yep, MSN.com 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 search.msn.com 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: http://submitit.bcentral.com/msnsubmit.htm.
Although this traffic source moved down the list a bit from last year,
Yahoo.com 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
Over the years I've put together a number of "sister" sites
offering various Internet marketing information, products and services.
These sites include my WebBusinessWizard.com, Work-at-Home-Site.com,
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
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 www.ezinehub.com
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 Make-A-Living-Online.com.
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! http://www.make-a-living-online.com
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