How to run a successful link exchange program
By Joe Balestrino
Link Exchanges are a very time consuming project. The time it takes to find the sites to exchange with, contact them and place a link on your page can seem like an eternity, but the hardest part about link exchanges isn't the research, it's the waiting. This article will give you some tips to help speed response time to your requests.
"How long does it normally take?" you ask.
The average wait can be 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes even longer. The reason for this is that many people operate their web site as a hobby or side business and may not be on top of their email. Keep these timeframes in mind before you judge the successfulness of a link campaign.
The first step is to find sites related to your web site that DO NOT have a large directory of links posted. You want to link to sites that have less than 100 links on their link page. Their Page Rank (PR) should be at least equal to yours. Higher is better, so always aim for the heavy hitters.
Now, on to the business of saving you time.
Once you have located a site to contact, send a short but poignant email. If your email is too long, it may not be read. What should be in your email? First of all, your email should be personalized. Don't send the same email to dozens of people, send one at a time. This will help avoid being thought of as a spammer. The personalized touch shows you are serious and that the email was sent by a real person. Nothing says "this is of little importance to me" like a form letter, so avoid using them. The letter should also include:
* The HTML code to your text ad. This will make it easier for people to add your link to their site.
* A link to your link page. This will make easier for whom ever you are requesting a link from to find your page.
If they ask for you to link first, do so. If you have already been to their site (and certainly you should have if you are requesting a link), you will more than likely know if they want a good faith link up. The email you send them should have a confirmation that their link is up and that you are requesting a reciprocal link.
Once you make contact with the web site owner, how long will you wait? A week? Two weeks? Honestly, it may be a month before you see your link unless you show some persistence. It doesn't always depend on how often they do updates. I would contact them once a week after your initial inquiry after checking their site first. They may have placed a link up without notifying you.
Go for it
Spend time finding sites that will be an asset to your enterprise to save time by not corresponding with those that won't. Succinct, personalized E-mails Include all coding and links necessary to make it easy on the site you want to exchange with Research their link policy ahead of time
Link exchanges are very time consuming. It takes patients and great recorded keeping to keep track of who has and has not added you. I do this with an excel spread sheet. It makes keeping track a lot easier to do. Especially, if you are doing large link campaigns.
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