Not that long ago, it seemed like every second online marketer owned a traffic exchange.
That isn’t the case anymore. A combination of oversaturation, Paypal penalties and changing markets have caused significant casualties in the marketplace – with Traffic Exchanges, List Malers and the curious hybrid Text Ad Exchanges that became really popular about six or so years ago all feeling the pinch.
Today, I received a notice from the owner of Traffic Deluge informing me that he intends to close the site down when the domain renewal falls due on June 15. The notice is significant for me because it is so unremarkable. The market is correcting itself to some extent.
I don’t know the specifics of Traffic Deluge’s situation, but it seems that the owner has spent a decent amount of money setting up and maintaining the site. It would be hard to walk away, but there comes a time in every business where you have to bet the farm or walk away.
There’s no harm or shame in walking away. Running a business of any type requires a great deal of courage and an enormous amount of blood, sweat and tears. People don’t see that. They think running a business is a licence to print money. That’s a long way from the truth.
The advertising market is a particularly difficult market to crack and is highly competitive. There are nearly two hundred traffic exchanges listed at TE Command Post and I suspect that there would be at least two hundred more.
Of those, I suspect a handful are making serious coin and maybe about 10% are growing steadily. Picking which ones to use and invest some time and money in can be a confusing prospect. That’s why one of my golden rules is to never invest in an upgrade until I’m satisfied that the Traffic Exchange (or mailer) satisfies my criteria for doing so.
Rules to Run When considering Upgrades.
Is the site well presented? Do all the graphics load? Are there any broken links? Is there consistency of presentation across the site?
What makes the site distinctive? If there is nothing unique about the site that’s a big red flag right there.
Is the site up to date? One thing that really stands out to me is competitions that finished a long time ago. (I saw one site that had a “current competition” that started in 2018). That’s a huge red flag that screams that the owner has given up, or is going through the motions.
What payment options are there? Has the owner adapted to the changing landscape? Do they have Coinpayments, FirePay or HivePay as an option?
Does the owner keep in regular contact via email? It doesn’t have to be every day and half the time, I don’t read communications from site owners, but consistent emails tell me that they care about their business and they want me to be involved.
Do dead pages show up regularly while surfing? It’s going to happen everywhere. People spend money and time earning credits and then lose enthusiasm. Domain names expire and membership payments are missed. Vigilant owners can’t catch them all, but can and do suspend sites that are no longer active.
Is the advertising content acceptable? I’ve caught more than an eyeful of inappropriate content on more than one occasion. Good owners nip it in the bud.
Is the site busy? In Traffic Deluge’s case, this was certainly not the case. Surfing numbers had slowed to a trickle. I suspect that it’s really hard to halt a downward spiral once it becomes apparent. That’s why there is so much competition for your attention with Traffic Exchanges. Your activity ultimately is the lifeblood of the exchange’s business. Without it, there is nothing to sell.
The affiliate program must be fair, but not silly. When a program offers large commissions for upgrading, they’re not selling anything but the ability to earn large commissions.
What does a well run Traffic Exchange Look Like
Right now there are what I like to call the Big 5 Traffic Exchanges. They are Traffic Ad Bar, Leads Leap, Infinity Traffic Boost, Hungry for Hits and Ezy Hits 4 U. They all have something unique to offer and are very active. Let’s look beyond them at the tier below and see what makes a good traffic exchange that you can have some confidence in.
Top Photo by Charles Parker: https://www.pexels.com/photo/fake-gravestone-placed-as-decoration-for-halloween-celebration-5859617/
Mark Hodgetts is a freelance writer, veteran online marketer and failed musician. Many years ago woke up and found that he'd become a Bank Manager. It wasn't the life he'd planned.
With fingers and toes crossed, he jumped ship and started a new life working from home. Despite a few stumbles, he has never regretted the decision.