As you no doubt know, generating traffic to your website is the most important thing you can do. This is NOT Field of Dreams, where, “If you build it, they will come.” No, if you build it, they may never know about it. So you have several objectives when it comes to getting visitors to your site:
- Drive traffic
- Get visitors to return to your site
- Get them to buy what you're selling
There is one way to drive traffic that I want to share with you today and that is using an advertising network to get the word out about your site. More specifically, I want to talk about a free network called Entrecard.
The idea behind Entrecard is really very simple. It's an ad exchange of sorts that uses credits rather than currency for its transactions (you can buy and sell credits for money, though, but that's not the main way to conduct the exchange). Sign up for your free account, customize your ad widget, and start “dropping” your Entrecards.
Here's how it works in a nutshell. Once signed in, go to Entrecard's site and click on the “Campaign” button at the top of the page. Then, click on a category and you'll see a list of sites. Hover your cursor over each of the icons and select “site.” This will take you to the site. Find the site's Entrecard widget and click on the “Drop” link. You've just dropped your Entrecard on that site and have earned one credit. You can drop up to 300 cards each day.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. There is a whole cult following of “reciprocal droppers.” That is, if you drop your card on a site, that site's owner will drop his card back on your site. This amounts to an instant visitor.
Admittedly, these visitors may not be highly targeted, nor may they stay on your site any length of time, other than to find your widget and drop their card on it.
However, if your site is getting very little traffic, you can give yourself a boost by using Entrecard.
Plus, if you ever want to sell ad spots for your site, you can legitimately claim these as viable visitors.
Now, you can advertise on other sites within the network. There are two ways to do this. You can use your credits that you earned by dropping and getting dropped on, or you can buy credits. I have never bought credits, but it is another option for getting the word out on member sites.
Watch your Stats! You want to continue using those sites where you're getting results, and drop those ads that don't work. Try a variety of niches, too. Since the credits are free (if you drop and get drops), it's easy and cheap to experiment.
Entrecard is a super-simple way of generating traffic to your blog. It may not be the most targeted traffic, but it is traffic. And when you're just starting out, any traffic is better than none at all. By the way, there are some pretty substantial websites on the network.
I highly recommend Entrecard. It is one of the first things I install and put to work when I start a new blog.