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Buying unique visitors for an online community

populating a new social network

     
9:09 am on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

Can anyone tell me, is it worth hiring a company that promises to redirect thousands of unique visitors to your website within a week or a month? How effective is this approach when attempting to populate an online community, such as a new forum or social network? How likely is it that the redirected visitors will be from your target market? And assuming that the registration process and layout is “very” user friendly, how likely is it that those redirected would register an account?

2:42 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Redirected users rarely "intend" to go to your site, they are redirected there or "forced" there in some way. Most people, (including me) would instantly hit back (and mutter something off-color) and go away.

Not likely this will help you.

5:05 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Buying bulk traffic is almost alway worthless. You get a flood of useless visitors that don't care to be at your site and leave instantly.

Better approach is to make sure your site is layed out very search engine friendly and build content that folks might be searching for that relates to your site. It can take months, but this will bring in traffic that might want to stay on your site.

Another tactic is of course pay per click with Google Adwords. If you write good copy that advertises what your site has to offer, you can attract some folks looking for that exact niche. To me, it is worth paying 5-10 cents for a visitor when they are highly targeted like in PPC.

Good luck!

7:24 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Alright, well I guess that's out.

Thanks for the advice.

7:34 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No problem. I know it was probably not what you wanted to hear. Sorry about that. I'm not sure there are many affordable quick hit methods. Most successful forums don't appear overnight. They grow over many years building quality content and a good name for themselves.
8:00 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you want to generate traffic quickly and have a budget, consider buying some ads or prominent links on appropriate content sites, or do some Adwords/YSM buys for relevant keywords. That kind of traffic may cost more per visitor, but should perform far better.
10:04 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ok, how about email? If you have accesses to a whole bunch of emails belonging exactly to the targeted audience, and you make use of this.. would there be any drawbacks to this approach besides the potential frustration of those who utterly hate unsolicited email? Are there any legal risks?

From what I've read, some of the larger social networks have made use of mailing lists and email spam during their beginnings.

[edited by: Kavkan at 10:06 pm (utc) on Dec. 27, 2006]

1:16 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Spam is overrated in my opinion. Your site can get a bad rap if you spam folks.

Now if it is a legit ad spot on a legit newsletter to a targeted audience, that is not spam of course. And that may be worth the money.

I had a free mention once in a huge newsletter (500,000 subscribers). Needless to say traffic soared that week. But if I remember correctly, the traffic faded back to close to normal a few weeks later. So just be sure your site is ready for prime time when you drop this cash on a ad campaign. You want to be in the best position to keep as many of these visitors as possible.