Are Internet Freebies On The Way Out?

Written by Robert Taylor

We have ridden a long wave of Internet freebies. Free ISPs, free e-books, free ezines, free email accounts, free software programs; you name it, and it has been onrepparttar Internet as some type of freebie.

We have all taken advantage of these freebies, some of us more than others. Many of these came with a small price tag such as providing your email address or other personal information and/or agreeing to accept a certain amount of advertising in exchange forrepparttar 113276 freebie.

Some freebies were not worthrepparttar 113277 time it took to download and install them, and others were literally worth their weight in gold. Some of us went into a freebie frenzy, downloading everything that we found for free. We wound up with so many ebooks and programs we didn't have time to read or use them and they wound up simply taking space on our computers.

More and more Internet businesses are finding it fruitless to give away freebies which do not produce buying customers. Making a profit isrepparttar 113278 bottom line for any business. Where there is no profit motive it is a hobby and not a business.

Recent events indicate a strong movement toward less freebies. The search engines are a leading indicator. Some ofrepparttar 113279 largest search engines have gone from free to paid listings. There is a growing trend of ezine publishers switching to a paid subscription model fromrepparttar 113280 old free model. Other ezines which provided valuable information and services have simply stopped publishing.

Free Stuff: Banner Exchanges

Written by Richard Lowe

Personally, I am not crazy about banner exchanges. I've tried them all, and without a single exception every one of them is completely lame as a traffic generator. In fact,repparttar only thing that I've found that's worse than banner exchanges for getting hits to your site is Free For All lists (especiallyrepparttar 113275 mass FFA services).

All right, that being said, what is a banner exchange? These programs are a way for sites to be advertised at no cost on other sites. The concept is simple. Create a banner then submit it torepparttar 113276 banner exchange. You must also add some code to your page (or pages) which displays a randomly chosen banner fromrepparttar 113277 banner exchange program.

Each banner exchange program has a display ratio. A ratio of 1:1 means for each time you display one ofrepparttar 113278 banner exchange banners, some other site will display one of your banners. A ratio of 2:1 means for every two banners you display, one of yours will be shown. Obviouslyrepparttar 113279 higherrepparttar 113280 ratio,repparttar 113281 more often your banners will be displayed.

Some banner programs will give a higher conversion ratio if you includerepparttar 113282 banners onrepparttar 113283 front page, and an even higher ratio ifrepparttar 113284 banner is onrepparttar 113285 top of your home page. The theory is this will giverepparttar 113286 most exposure to banner ads.

Some banner exchange programs also include a referral program, which usually gives you a higher conversion ratio if you get people to sign up. This can be useful if you are good at selling, although if you can sell people on banner exchanges you might consider selling a product which actually returns you some money instead (in other words, don't waste your time and efforts on these silly programs).

Most banner exchanges work withrepparttar 113287 standard banner size of 468x80 pixels. Many programs also handle other size banners as well, allrepparttar 113288 way down to buttons of 88 x 31. A few exchanges also allow for text links, although they will usually require a 1x1 pixel web bug to be able to measure impressions.

When you submit your banner, virtually all services will not display it immediately on other sites. Instead, they will require that it be examined by a human being to ensure that it meetsrepparttar 113289 qualifications ofrepparttar 113290 service. These qualifications include:

Size -repparttar 113291 better programs limitrepparttar 113292 size ofrepparttar 113293 banner. Generally,repparttar 113294 smallerrepparttar 113295 better. Remember, this isrepparttar 113296 size of banners that will be displayed on your site as well as others. Programs should not allow banners greater than 10k.

Animation - some programs do not allow animated banners.

Suitability - The banner program will examine your banner to ensure that it is aimed atrepparttar 113297 proper audience. For example, if they do not allow pornographic banners, than yours will be examined to ensure it is not adult in nature.

In addition, any decent exchange program will always hold your banner for examination if you resubmit a new one. Before you get angry at this practice, remember that it protects your site from unsuitable banners as well.

As I said atrepparttar 113298 beginning of this article, banner exchange programs of all flavors are an exceptionally poor way to generate traffic to your site. Because of this, be sure that you never, ever even consider paying anything for this service. Spend your money on something useful.

Remember that banner exchanges may not cost money, but they are not free by any means. Banners require:

- Additional load time on your pages. This can result in visitors leaving your site faster.

- Other people's web sites are advertised on your site, which can pull more traffic from your pages than you get fromrepparttar 113299 program (especially with a bad conversion ratio).

- The danger thatrepparttar 113300 banner exchange programs will sell or give your personal data (email address) to spammers or other evil doers.

- Since banner exchanges are such terrible traffic builders, you may be able to spend your time promoting your site in a more useful manner doing something else.

Some ofrepparttar 113301 things that you should look for in a banner exchange program include:

- High conversion ratio. 1:1 or 7:8 is good. Many programs are 3:4 (barely acceptable) and some are 2:1 (I wouldn't bother). Anything worse - go somewhere else.

- Ensure that all banners are hand checked by human beings onrepparttar 113302 initial submit and resubmit. If their help pages do not state this explicitly, then ask. This protects your site from unsuitable banners.

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