A traffic exchange is a site where you can get new visitors to your web site in exchange for viewing the sites of other members. There are many hundreds of traffic exchange sites on the internet and finding the ones that are good can be difficult. There are two types of traffic exchanges, manual surfing and auto surfing. Most sites are either a manual or a auto traffic exchange, but some have both options.
Auto surfing: These kinds of sites requires no clicking but some require the browser to be maximized. However, on many sites you can minimize the window, allowing you to do whatever you like while earning credits in the background. The traffic from these kinds of sites is not very good, but they can give your site a lot of page views.
Manual surfing: These sites requires you to click a button every 6-30 seconds in order to view the next page and earn credits. There are usually some kind of security measure to prevent users from resizing the window too small. To prevent bots, the user is often also required to enter a captcha code regularly while surfing. This means that the surfer is much more likely to see your site on a manual traffic exchange and click through to your site.
Credits: Besides surfing, it is also possible to earn credits in other ways on many traffic exchange sites. On most sites, you can earn credits by referring other members. Sometimes you can earn credits by subscribing to a mailing list. Many sites also have regular competitions of different kinds where you can win more credits.
Buying credits and upgrading your membership: Most traffic exchanges offers membership upgrades which gives you benefits such as increased surf ratio, more credits from your referrals and bonus credits. Another option is to buy credits, you can usually get about 10,000 credits for $50. However, before upgrading or buying credits you should always test the traffic first. Assign a couple of hundred credits to your site and see how it works. You should also try to optimize your splash page before buying credits.
Make small changes and see if the conversion ratio improves. Make sure to get the maximum return on your investment, there is no reason to pay for visitors that don't make you any money.
If you start using traffic exchanges and it doesn't work for you, don't dismiss them completely right away. There are hundreds of other traffic exchange sites and what doesn't work on one site, might work on another. And even if you are unsuccessful, all you have lost is a couple of mouse clicks.