As a website owner, you should always be looking for ways to drive more traffic to your site. You should be employing a myriad of approaches, networking with other people in your niche, working on your SEO, and taking advantage of social media platforms.
One strategy that you may want to consider is a link or traffic exchange of some kind, but many of these existing systems are flawed. The guys behind Blog Traffic Exchange ordered this review to promote a new WordPress plug-in that alleviates some of these issues.
Sharing the Link Love
Sometimes, you’ve got to give a little to get a little. That’s the philosophy behind the Related Websites plug-in from Blog Traffic Exchange.
The idea here is that you can “increase blog traffic by using blog traffic to get blog traffic.” In effect, you are trying to direct some of your blog readers to related articles posted around the Blog Traffic Exchange network. In exchange, other members of the network will do the same for you.
Like some of the other systems out there, the Blog Traffic Exchange solution is automated, so you don’t have to establish relationships with the individual webmasters in the network. Unlike other systems that rely on simple text links or small banners, however, the Blog Traffic Exchange offers a little more information.
Outbound Related Posts
With a lot of blogs in the blogosphere, like John Chow dot Com and Beyond the Rhetoric, you’ll notice that the bloggers include a list of “related posts” at the end of their posts. Using the plug-in by the same name, this generates a list of internal links to related articles.
The Related Websites plug-in from Blog Traffic Exchange works in much the same way, but the related posts come from external sites instead. Here are the related articles that show up for a post on music blogging:
The titles of the related posts are followed by brief excerpts from the articles. This helps your readers better determine the subject matter of these related websites. Blog Traffic Exchange aims to keep these articles as relevant as possible, but this would depend in part on what’s available in the network.
The selection of related articles, based on keywords, is randomly rotated with each page load and globally every 24 hours. There is a “proprietary traffic balancing algorithm” that “rewards blogs that send diverse traffic into the exchange more frequent placement.” In other words, the more traffic you send out, the more you will receive in return.
Options and Preferences
The installation and activation of this WordPress plug-in is just like any other plug-in. You’ll download the zip file, extract it, upload it to your WordPress plug-ins folder, and activate it. That’s simple enough. From there, you can access its relatively straightforward options panel.
From here, you can configure how the related websites are displayed. As I mentioned, each link comes with an excerpt from the associated article. I personally think that the 50-word excerpt for five links makes for too much bulk, so it’s good to see that you can shorten the length of those excerpts. You can also select the number of related links to display, ranging from two to ten at a time.
How Much Does It Cost?
If you’re looking for a frugal solution, I’ve got some good news for you. The Blog Traffic Exchange Related Websites plug-in is completely free in a monetary sense. In order for it to work, however, you need to email Kevin at Blog Traffic Exchange to get a private key for your blog. This can take up to 48 hours, since Kevin screens for warez, pornograhy, illegal activity, scrapers, and so on.
Since this plug-in is free, you’ve got to wonder how it will ever make any money. As part of its description, it says that advertising will never be included as part of the traffic exchange. If I were to fathom a guess, I’d say that they may start selling impressions in the future for “premium” members in the Blog Traffic Exchange. I’ll let Kevin clarify when he sees this review.