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So You Want To Be A Traffic Exchange Owner?

Posted by blainjones | On: May 25 2012

Right now many new traffic exchanges pop up every single week. And most of them are trash. If you want to have a little bit of an edge over the competition here is a guide to help you out with your new traffic exchange.

We will start with the basics and move up from there:

1. Domain – You will need a .com domain/te name. If you use any other domain, I highly recommend you also get the .com name for it because no one is going to remember supercoolexchange.co.uk but will have a much easier time remember supercoolexchange.com. Also remember the key trick to domain names, if you cannot say it over the radio and have someone be able to get to your site, then it is a bad name. K.I.S.S. No one wants to try and find interenetwebtrafficsocialwebexchangeforpeople.com. For registering domain names we recommend www.GoDaddy.com . You’re price at www.GoDaddy.com to register is $12.99 a year.

2. Hosting – You need good hosting that knows how to work with traffic exchanges. Ronshostingspot.com probably isn’t your best solution for hosting. Cheapest isn’t always the best. You need reliable and almost guaranteed uptime. You will also need scalability, as your exchange grows, you will need to be able to quickly move to a larger server when the time comes. For hosting, we recommend LiquidWeb. They have a ton of great options and smart servers that allow scaling with the click of a button. LiquidWeb has hosting options that start at $24.99 a month to start.

3. Traffic Exchange Script – You will need a good quality, up to date script. Of all the script options out there we recommend you get the LFMTE script. Why? It is by far the easiest script to work with and is quickly configurable to your needs. It is a very simple script for a programmer to get into and add anything you may need without a major cause for issue. LFMTE also has constant updates to their script and simple install plugins that you can add to your exchange without the need of a programmer. A single LFMTE license costs $197.

4. Design – This is not a step to skip. You need a high quality design that makes your new exchange stand out from the hundreds of others out there. If you think designing your own exchange is a good idea, then you shouldn’t be an owner(there are a few exceptions to the rule here, if you are a designer and know what to do, then ignore me on this one). We recommend CheapMiniSite for your exchange design. Maksa does some great work and has reasonable prices. For a design, you are looking at anywhere from $200-$1000 plus $50 for the PSD files. (Hint: YOU WANT THE PSD FILES!!!)

5. Affiliate Tools – If you do not have affiliate tools, then your members will not be able to promote your new exchange, helping you grow. Just like design, affiliate tools are not something that you want to skip. If you are not a designer or writer, then don’t do this on your own. Pay someone. For a complete set of affiliate tools you are looking anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on who you buy from and what all you get.

6. Programmer – You will need to hire a programmer for any custom work that you are going to have done. Don’t plan on having any custom work done? Then Stop Reading Now, because your exchange is going to be the same as hundreds of other exchanges and has little to no chance of success, PERIOD. You can find programmers within the exchange community or you can check out FreeLancer. Programmers can be hired on an hourly wage or by project. Expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $1000+ depending on what you want added to your exchange.

7. Credits – You will need a massive amount of credits at various traffic exchanges to get you started and to continue your exchange growth. I would start with purchasing 50k-100k credits from the top 10 exchanges. 25k-50k from the top 11-25 exchanges. And 5k-25k for any other exchanges you feel necessary. We recommend using TrafficExchangeList and AffiliateFunnel to gauge the top traffic exchanges out there.

8. Start Pages – Start pages along with regular views have amounted to some of the best sign-up ratios we have seen. When used effectively this combination can be a killer one to get members looking at your new exchange. Start Pages range anywhere from $6.97 up to $169.95 for a week.

9. Support Desk – You need a high quality support desk, not a button where people can email coolguyteowner@gmail.com. Hesk offers a good support desk for anyone starting out. There are many others out there. Just find what is good for you and stick with it.

 

These 9 things should get you started off on the right foot. This list is NOT the end all be all of owning a traffic exchange, there is MUCH more involved. For example, when you purchase a TE script, take the time necessary to learn everything about it. There are so many owners out there that have the slightest clue about how their script works. How can you take full advantage of something if you do not even know and understand how it works?

Understand that starting a TE is no easy task, nor is it cheap. When you are looking to start a TE, you should be honest with yourself and plan to have around $10k+ to get it started and another $500-$2k monthly to keep it running and growing at a good consistent pace.

If you are not willing to go above and beyond with everything that you do, including setting up and starting your TE off on the right foot. Then we suggest that you not open a traffic exchange at this time. Right now there are nearly thousands of traffic exchanges out there, and if you do not step up and above the competition, your survival rate is slim. VERY SLIM. So do not sit around and think that you can start an exchange with little to no start-up costs.

If you have any comments or suggestions for anyone looking to open a new TE, then please provide some feedback by commenting below.

Related posts:

  1. Attention Traffic Exchange Owners! I’m Calling You Out…

22 Comments

  1. John Guanzon says:

    Great post! Can’t imagine I would be cut out for the te owner bit. :p

  2. Jon Olson says:

    Bravo!

    I think this post should be downloaded and printed and pasted in front of the eyes of anyone even THINKING about starting a new TE.

    There is a reason why some TE’s grow by dozens of new members a day, and why some have been in operation for years and only have 300 members.

    Follow this game plan and you will be off on the right foot. Ignore and think you can ‘budget’ your way…You will end up losing.

    Great stuff guys, awesome sauce!

    • blainjones says:

      Thanks for the great comments Jon!

      It is just tiring to see all the new TE’s opening everyday and knowing the chances of surviving are slim.

      With any luck, this will open up the eyes of some, get them to step up and take on the challenge.

  3. Mark Brown says:

    Hi Blain,

    I’m a TE owner as well. Great post by the way. I have to mention that the LFM TE script is not the only or best script out there. I use the LJ script and have had great success with it as well :-)

    Best regards always,

    Mark

    • blainjones says:

      Mark, I never said that lfmte was the only script out there. But I have worked with all of the te scripts and the LFMTE is by far, the best script to use as far as being updated, and the ease of ability to modify.

      What’s your TE?

  4. Thanks, Blain! I’ve seen a lot of other people in the past several years saying we only need to put in a few hundred for a script. A lot of TEs look like that’s all they did. Thanks for your honesty in how much we really need to start up, and keep it going for the longterm. It would be much better to start with total plan and the correct longterm budget. People need to keep their focus on the longterm and prepare completely for a rock-solid business that will last for years and stay successful and consistently bring in new members. That can be said about everything we try to do in online marketing, including advertising and time/energy/patience invested. Too many people are only willing to invest a peanut into their online ventures, and then give up within a very short time. Take ourselves seriously, and we’ll be taken seriously in business. I don’t own a TE yet, haven’t taken any steps toward it, if I was seriously planning to, I’d put in a lot of communications with owners and also put a lot of time into the thought & planning of ever opening one.

  5. Andrew Stark says:

    Brilliant post, shame it won’t register with the correct people. They will think that you’re just trying to scare them off as you don’t want the competition.

    It’s not 2005 where just launching a site makes you a gazillionaire overnight. People buy with cash now not credit, so you need to look different, be unique, and spend your own money to seed your campaigns in the other traffic exchanges.

    If you’ve worked hard then you can do promotions with more established sites, but it’s like running a real business where the chances of going bust in the first year are very high if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    Hopefully this post and the replies will convince people that starting a TE is for life not just launch.

    Andrew

  6. Great Article Blain! I consider this to be the foundation, or rather, ‘The Essentials’ for getting started. Like you said, it’s not the end of it, but this is definitely the starting points.

  7. Stefan Berg says:

    A great read and the same principles goes for Viral List Builders, Safelists, Mailers or what label you want to use…

    last few years every body and their dog buy a script and use the exact same copy even and some standard design and pump out sites… or even worse try to do it on a shoestring budget or do the design, copy yourself without having a clue of what they are doing.

    If it ever get’s to 1,2,3000 members it’s dead before that happens… That super duper Lifetime for $XX all of sudden became useless lol…. A great read …. thanks Blain you nailed it…

    It takes a lot to run a successful TE, List Builder… I would recommend any person who want to be a TE Owner to save this post… tick off each and every recommendation in it … Professional Design, tick done and so on….

    “To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art.”

  8. Agree 100% on all those points Blain.

    That is what it takes to get a proper start … however it is also a good idea to have some relationships with some other owners for JV too. Not everyone goes this route, but the first 1000 members are often the hardest to get.

    When I first started WebBizInsider in 2001, I had the support of Nick at Lifestyle Networkers, one of the early downline builder type programs and I would not have been able to get the momentum to really take off without him. Back then we didnt have as much communication and cooperation between exchange owners, like we do now.

    My last comment is the same as I tell anyone who asks me about starting any business. Ask yourself what your exchange will have that will substantially differentiate itself from any of the top 10-20 exchanges. If you do not have a really compelling answer to that question (cool design or a new theme doesn’t count), then find another business to be in. You need a solid Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to be able to market and build your business into anything more than a hobby.

    That’s my two cents worth!

    Matthew

  9. Anyone reading this post might be forgiven for thinking that opening a TE requires a lot of hard work, time, expense and effort…but it doesn’t.

    Opening a TE is easy.
    Keeping a TE open and profitable requires hard work, time, expense and effort.

    I am glad that more and more successful TE owners are willing to come forward and tell it like it is.

    Great post.

  10. Doug Forbes says:

    Man I am sure glad I never read this before I stared.
    I pre-sold Lifetime Memberships to Strangers to get my LFMTE license- with NO Mods or graphics-

    I still have Ugly Homemade Graphics- do all my own ad copy-and break just about every one of your recommendations.

    Any script with any graphic can be built into a Top 30 TE in very short time.

    All it takes is endless advertising on Safelists and Mailers and a dedication to get Members Results- and knowing how to do it.

    That is the problem that most TE Owners have-they think like Surfers and not Advertisers.

    They do not advertise to the right people-doing Promos with other TE’s will never get you were you want to be-

    Surfing at 50 TE’s will not do it-swapping Upgrades will never do it.

    Advertise on Every Safelist and Viral Mailer possible-tell the truth in your Ad Copy- 99% of that crap that people pay big bucks for is a joke-I have affiliates write better in their Spare time.

    The most expensive Graphics and Mods in the World will not do it.

    I will be shot down for this no doubt- but I am living proof that there are exceptions.

    Members seem to like what I do- ***Cheap Shot Removed***

    • blainjones says:

      This isn’t the place to be taking cheap shots at other people in the Industry. I have removed it from your reply.

      Why not just try to provide helpful information to anyone looking to open a Traffic Exchange? There is no need to be negative all the time.

      • Doug Forbes says:

        Negative?

        I am the one being positive! Anyone willing to work hard and treat members properly can be a success.

        That is Negative?

        Please point to me anytime anywhere that I have been negative? I am the most positive person I know- and also one fo the most successful I am told-and have nothing to be negative about.

        Do you mean my success story- which is 100% true btw is a negative? Sorry-that one confused me?

        What seems negative to me is trying to scare everyone away from the Industry- and I must wonder why?

        Saying people must have $10000 -that is a negative- and totally untrue remark.

        Fancy Graphics on the Outside has never converted an ad on the Inside, Graphics have never replied to a support issue in a timely and thoughtful manner.

        Professional Ad Copy Writers have never helped a member with a coding problem or solved any Members problem.

        Cheap Shot?

        What you call a cheap shot was totally meant as humour and I beleive the other Party would have agreed- he certainly has no problem using such remarks-and I would not want anyone censoring him either.

        If we can’t laugh at each other- come on…

  11. Thanks for the great post. That certainly takes some of the mystery out of it for me, not that I am about to buy an exchange but it’s great to read the detail about what goes on, so I can appreciate all the owners out there ever more.

    Nick

  12. Nathan Young says:

    Hi Blain,

    All your information on TE ownership is great advice. Although I don’t currently own a TE. I’m familiar with TE’s mainly with adult TE’s. And I’ve noticed there are a lot of similarities. However I have to agree that you have to stand out in order to get noticed. Probably more so with a normal TE like Affiliate Funnel and so on as in the adult world you have to stand out but not as much due to the nature of the beast. I had to let that TE go as I fell extremely ill and a few years later I’m finally getting to the point where I can do another one however I’m looking at doing a more traditional TE rather than an adult one as I have more passion for marketing than being an adult website owner. I do like everything you have on your blog regarding TE ownership. Great Job!

  13. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Blain,

    Man, this was written like a BOSS dude.

    It is straight to the point, no BS, not crude but informative and you have an amazing writing style.

    Hopefully this will save us (the surfers) from seeing more ultra-low quality TEs pop out of everywhere like there’s no tomorrow.

    Honestly, I think this should be read by EVERY single person that wants to open a Traffic Exchange.

    Two thumbs up Blain! ;-)

    Sergio

    PS. If you ever decided to do coaching (on anything) I think you already have an amazing writing style man, something to think about.

  14. schoolOFdj says:

    Thanks for the great guide !

  15. Bill Nelson says:

    There are lots of ways to run an online business, and lots of people will either try to run you off or tell you that it has to be done a certain way. The fact is that you have to develop your own business plan and stick with it. $10000? Naa. You can get a script for about $150 and some excellent graphics for about $150. Learn some php and html and customize your script. You need a catch, something that makes your TE unique. There are just too many “same ole” TEs and they are closing down by the minute.

    My advice … develop your own plan, have some unique ideas for your TE, and go for it. You will need some money for the script, graphics, and marketing.

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