My 2003 Top 10 Traffic Sources
by Jim Daniels

About half-way through each year I like to take a close look at
my stats to get a handle on my best traffic sources. My two
busiest websites, and receive thousands of visitors a day, and
WHERE the traffic comes from is always changing.

As usual, this year has brought a few surprises. Of course, I
still rely on low-cost and no-cost traffic sources, but the top
performers are not the same as last year. I'd like to share 
those sources with you today.

I think you'll find this list interesting. And who knows, 
you may even find a new way to get targeted traffic to your 

1. Affiliates

My number one traffic source again this year is my affiliates. 
In fact, my affiliates send thousands of visitors a day to my 
sites. Perhaps that's because I keep my affiliate network small 
by inviting only my customers to participate. This keeps 
competition to a minimum and rewards active affiliates more 

If you have not started an affiliate program for your best
products and services, I highly recommend you do so. Although
there are some costs involved with starting your own affiliate
program, it is well worth it. Justify the expense by telling
yourself that you are hiring thousands of sales people and 
paying them only when they sell. A web based affiliate program 
is just that.

Note: The software program I use to run my affiliate program is
called 'Your Own Affiliate Program' and you'll find it at - Paul Galloway, the
creator is a real wiz. Incidentally, if you run a rather large
site and need someone to handle technical issues, Paul has just
gone "for hire" at:

2. A Traffic Network?

OK, why the question mark? Well, this one even surprised me.
I've never been a big fan of start networks or traffic exchange
programs, but I'm glad I tried one called TrafficSwarm. It
quickly developed into my number two traffic source of the year.
There are lots of traffic networks to choose from on the web, 
and the few I had tried never impressed me. But this one now 
delivers an average of 500 highly targeted visitors a day to my 
sites. I now have a PRO account and at just thirty bucks a month 
it has been a self-propelled traffic generator. I do nothing. It 
sends traffic. I recommend it to any webmaster on a tight budget.

3. Repeat Visitors

A perennial top performer is "repeat visitors." You know, people
coming to my site who have already been there before. This is
something you used to hear marketing experts talk about a lot.
Now, it seems that the value of repeat visitors has been
overlooked. Yet repeat visitors are usually the people who end up
making purchases at your site. And there are lots of ways to get
these valuable repeat visitors. I get most of mine through my
follow-up autoresponders ( thank you )
and also through my free ebooks and my BizWeb eGazette opt-in
newsletter. I suggest you look at these strategies closely and
try similar strategies if you are not already doing so.

4. Google

In fourth place this year, and still delivering heavy traffic is
Google. The web's top search engine really delivers a high
quantity of high-quality traffic to my sites. In fact, I've
managed to help a growing number of my members grow their google
traffic as well. There are no tricks to it either. It really is
as simple as taking the recommendations directly from Google's
site at and then making sure
your site is properly optimized with the right keywords for your
niche. If you are a member of my private site, you'll find a case
study of one of my client sites and her google efforts at .
(Non-members see
to get a two year membership.)


This one is new to my top 10 list this year, primarily because 
it did not exist a year ago. Ken McArthur and I dreamed it up 
and implemented it in 2002. In a nutshell, it is a web based
resource that automates the tedious process of affiliate
marketing. And it can generate some serious traffic to any site
you want. Since it is viral, it is something you can set up and
then let run on auto-pilot. And that's pretty much what I've
done. Yet it continues to grow a steady stream of traffic to my
sites. At the very least grab the no-cost version and give it a

6. Reciprocal Links

Do not let the number six ranking here fool you. Trading links
with other webmasters has far more value than just the direct
traffic they deliver. In fact, every targeted link you secure
from a related website will help you improve your ranking in the
major search engines. So if you do not have a link strategy in
place already, NOW is the time to start. In my opinion, the very
best place to start is the URL I introduced last week -- a site
that shows people ethical, legitimate, REAL methods of getting
great links to a website, no matter what their site sells...

7. Yahoo

OK, maybe I get still a lot of traffic from Yahoo because they
are still using the Google database in their search results. But
I do not regret paying their hefty submission fee a few years
ago. They are still one of the web's highest traffic sites and a
good listing there is still worth the money. I expect that as
they change things over the coming year, the value of that
listing will increase even further.

8. MSN

Yep, is finally making a dent in the search engine
market, and they are making a concerted effort to expand in
that area. In fact, I've already seen traffic to my sites from grow steadily, especially over the past few
months. So if you have not added your URL to their engine, you
may want to consider doing it soon. You can get your site into
the MSN search engine as well as HotBot, Overture, Excite and
About by using Inktomi's submit service. (Currently $39 for the
first URL.)

9. Paid Advertising

Yes, I do actually spend money on advertising occasionally. In
fact, I receive a few hundred visitors a month from PPC (Pay Per
Click) advertising. The sites I use are and They do deliver solid traffic but my conversion
rate seems to be lower with PPC advertising than with my other
strategies. Therefore I do not rely too heavily on it. Another
source of paid advertising I use is Topica's opt-in email
newsletter network. Though results from them have hit somewhat 
of a plateau, they do still deliver cost-effective traffic. I 
also use a variety of other opt-in email newsletters. To find
newsletters that reach your target market, check out:

10. Articles

I have to admit, I've been lazy with this promotion strategy this
year. I only write a newsletter every month (a few years ago I
wrote one every week) so I have not submitted articles to other
ezines as often this year. But this strategy still works well
when I find time to do it, and I highly recommend it to other
grass-roots web marketers. In fact, even though I have submitted
only a few articles all year, I still get quite a bit of traffic
from my archived articles across the web. That just goes to prove
how effective this strategy is for long-term traffic, as well as
establishing expertise on your topic of choice. If I ever decide
to spend more time at the computer than on the golf course I'll
make this one of the things I pick up the pace on. ;-)

2004 Traffic Sources Being Tested...

Naturally, in the fast paced web environment, things change
quickly. So I am already trying new traffic sources for next
year's report. I'm confident that a few new techniques will make
the list.

So you can get an idea of what other strategies I'm trying, see
the example below. (You may want to try this too, while it is
still new...)

ExactSeek Feature Listings

If you have not heard of ExactSeek yet, it is just a matter 
of time. ExactSeek has an Alexa ranking of 2,355 surpassing 
WhatuSeek, ScrubtheWeb and many other second tier search 
engines. I chatted with the owner Mel Strocen and he is 
shooting to reach the Top 500 in the next 6 months. (And he 
has a knack for reaching his web marketing goals.)

Mel's ExactSeek now offers "Featured Ad boxes" that are seen on
two other engines, and Plus, the
ExactSeek search form can be found on thousands of other web
sites. That is the main reason I'm trying this strategy. Not only
can I capitalize on ExactSeek's rising prominence, I can get my
ad on literally 1000's of other sites in the process.

If you want to try ExactSeek's Featured Listings, Mel set up 
this special link so my subscribers could get a few added 

Article by Jim Daniels of BizWeb2000. If you're interested in
starting or growing a business on the Internet, Jim's sites
will help you save time and money. He's been making a
living online since 1996 and knows the ropes. Visit Jim and
get your free help!