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Showing posts with label link exchange. Show all posts

Coolboards Are Cool

Today I discovered a wonderful thing. I asked another site for a link exchange (which was granted) and the webmistress mentioned something called "Coolboards". She said that I might be interested in setting up some forums on my web site.


I was intrigued, as this lady had a very nicely done site. Not only was I happy to get a link exchange (sure to boost my traffic) but now I was getting some tips myself!

I have very mixed feelings about extensions to web sites, as they are usually so tacky, so poorly done and so different looking than the web site that it's not even funny. I mean, look at all of the guestbook entry sites on the web. You get a "free" guestbook, which seems to be down 20% of the time, advertises a competitor sometimes, and also seems to pull your visitors right off your site! And to boot, it looks totally different. What I want is a seamless, coordinated experience for people who visit my site. It makes visitors more comfortable and more likely to stick around and to come back later.

Coolboards is totally configurable. I made it look exactly (and I mean exactly) like my site. Navigation menus, advertisements, everything. I even could add the hitbox counter to the site so I could find out how many people were using this feature!

But what does it do? Coolboards allows me to add message forums (places where people can post messages and receive replies - much like a newsgroup only using a web browser) to my website! Even better, other sites could add those same forums to their sites also! And best of all, each site that adds the forum makes it look exactly like his or her site.

I have my own list of forums, which are each linked to other sites all over the net. This means that people can enter the forum from many other web sites and post messages. They can also get my site URL, which translates to more traffic.

So you see what I mean? I've added over two dozen different forums, each of which links me up with other sites of similar interests.

This gives my visitors another reason to come back to my site - to post and review messages. It also links my site to others, which improves traffic. Now that's a great product!

Wanna Build Real Traffic? Then Exchange Links!

Okay, so you've created a web site. I'm sure it's a great web site, but no one seems to be visiting. What do you do?

build traffic exchange links

Well, the first thing to do is to check your site over again. Make sure it's finished (or at least there are not under construction signs and gaping holes), that all of the links work, spelling and grammer checked and so on. In other words, put a little polish on your masterpiece. Oh yes, be sure you have metatags and a title on each page.

Now what? Submit to all of the major search engines - BY HAND. There are only ten or so engines  and a few major directories (primarily Yahoo.com) so it's not that much work.

Search engines take anywhere from a few days to a few months to get your site listed. DO NOT resubmit more than once a month or you may get dinged for spamming.

While you are waiting, it's time to build a link exchange network. This is a way to build a large amount of traffic to your site - steady traffic from interested audiences.

To begin, add a section to your web site for your link exchange. This could be just a single web page or it could be a real directory with categories or topics. My own web site has over 80 categories and a submit link to allow people to add their own sites. Get as fancy as you want, but please avoid the temptation to make this all automatic using CGI or a free service. Why? Because you most definitely want to censor your list.

What's this about censoring? Be aware that many people will use this (as well as guestbooks) to try and get advertisements posted and you don't need to advertise someone else's affiliate program for free directly on your links pages. On top of that, you will get some submissions for sites you don't like - pornographic sites, for example. So it's a good idea to take a look at each submission and decide if it's appropriate.

Once your page or pages are set up, go surfing. Find your favorite site which is somehow related to your own site. See if you can find his links page or link exchange section. Most really big sites will not have one, but perhaps half of the other sites will.

If you find a link exchange page, follow the directions and submit your request to exchange links. A politely worded email stating your name, the purpose of your site and your URL is all that is usually needed. Now, surf all of the sites in HIS link exchange page. Do the same thing for any site which is related to your own topic.

Don't include any advertisements or anything else in your link exchange request. Personally, I don't even include a signiture line. And be careful not to send more than one request (at least no more than once per month). Why not? You don't want to have any appearance of spamming. You want to appear like what you are - a webmaster who wants to exchange links.

Believe it or not, you will get positive answers to most of your requests. Be sure and add them all as appropriate to your links pages, and always send a thank you message.

What does this buy you? I mean, it's a lot of work. Well, first of all, you are going to generate a lot of traffic just from the webmasters who visit your site to check it out. Since they all presumably have similar interests to your own, they may stick around, sign up for your newsletter and even purchase products. So just by asking you are getting traffic - very targetted traffic.

You will also get a few hits from each link that other webmasters create. Some sites may only generate one or two hits a month, others may create hundreds.

Ah, but there is yet another advantage. This will dramatically increase your search engine ratings, thus giving you a higher listing in some of the major engines. Don't expect that result right away - this can take months, but it is a definite benefit.

On top of that, you will be surfing sites similar to your own. This should give you lots of ideas of things that you can do with your own site. Don't steal anything! But for example, sometimes I'll find an article on a web site which I don't agree with and write my own article rebutting it. Or perhaps I will create a new article which has a different slant. In these instances, you can even propose to the other webmaster that both of your articles reference each other!!

What happens is your site gets better, you build a lot more traffic, and you get to communicating more with people who have similar interests to your own! It's truely a great way to get people to visit your own web site.