Buckets of Banners – Free Banner Exchange Program

Happy Thursday!

Got a banner ad you want to promote?

My friend Steve Ayling (aka “The Duckman”) is launching a new banner  exchange today which I will be using to generate thousands of impressions for all of my banners.

You can check it out here:

buckets of banners

In spite of what you may have heard banner advertising is NOT dead.  In fact, I still get quite a few click throughs on my banners every day.

Probably the biggest benefit of promoting banner ads is branding!  You gotta get your face or logo out there as much as you can.  People really do remember things and the more often they see your banners the more they will think of you.

Buckets of Banners gives you multiple ways to earn free impressions for your banner ads.  There is even a free affiliate program that let’s you earn cash commissions and free banner displays from your direct referrals.

This is something I have never seen offered before and is sure to become very popular.

Sign-up for Free here…

buckets of banners

Banner Advertising 101

With the recent release of Instant Banner Creator by John Merrick & Soren Jordansen I thought I would say a few words about how to take advatange of banner ads to advertise your websites.

To read my recent review of Instant Banner Creator and see some of the banners I made click here.

Banner advertising has been around since the mid 90s and provided the economic foundation for Internet marketing during the late 90s.  Today, many people see banner ads as an annoyance and are often ignored making it difficult to generate decent traffic from them.  However the real value of banner advertising comes when they are used for the purpose of branding.

Banner advertising is cheap.  For a few dollars a day you can buy thousands of impressions to get your banner seen across the Internet.  Even though you won’t be getting much direct traffic from these ads when you promote banner ads that include your picture or company logo you are creating a brand awareness that over time people will begin to recognize.

When people see a commercial on TV they don’t generally jump off the couch and run out to buy the product being advertised.  However the next time they are in the store and they see that product they might be more compelled to buy it.

With Instant Banner Creator it is very simple to create a banner that allows you to brand yourself or your company.

Before doing any banner advertising I would suggest signing up for a free banner rotator like the one offered by IntelliBanners.  Even if you only plan to promote one banner I would highly suggest you use Instant Banner Creator to make a few extra banners that you can test against one another.  With IntelliBanners you can track how many people are clicking each of your banners.  You can then determine which banners get the most clicks and delete the ones that don’t work.  You can then make more banners and continue testing them against each other to find out which ones are the more effective.

IntelliBanners will also help you determine the best sites to advertise your banner ads.

Here’s my IntelliBanners list of the top 10 sites showing my banner ads:

Source Hits Unique Hits % Unique Clicks CTR
01 traffic-splash.com 74281 15500 20.87% 18 0.02%
02 startxchange.com 62533 22108 35.35% 16 0.03%
03 dragonsurf.biz 25001 7793 31.17% 30 0.12%
04 bootscootintraffic.com 18040 4161 23.07% 6 0.03%
05 blue-surf.net 14902 4331 29.06% 7 0.05%
06 fasteasytraffic.com 13442 1523 11.33% 3 0.02%
07 trafficbunnies.com 12236 531 4.34% 1 0.01%
08 hitsafari.com 11898 2106 17.7% 4 0.03%
09 royalsurf.com 9234 1683 18.23% 2 0.02%
10 ilovehits.com 8268 3568 43.15% 10 0.12%

It’s easy to see here that Traffic Splash and  StartXchange.com brought me the most impressions but Dragon Surf and ILoveHits by far have the best click through rates.

I get a lot of my traffic from traffic exchanges because it is extreamly cheap and it fits into my niche.  If you don’t have time to surf for credits you can also use the IntelliBanners advertising co-op to show your banners for you.

Click Here to Join IntelliBanners

Instant Banner Creator Review

Happy Monday!

Today I got a chance to sit down with John Merrick & Soren Jordansen’s new Instant Banner Creator website and play around with some of the some of it’s unique features.  In case you don’t already know, John & Soren are also the guys responsible the success of Tweet My Blog and Floating Action Button which are two tools I use almost every day to promote my sites so my expectations for Instant Banner Creator were pretty high.

For the record I suck at graphics.  I can drive traffic to websites, write copy, and make pretty decent splash pages but I am almost totally lost when it comes to photoshop.  I can get little things done but I usually need to set aside a few hours to figure out how to make photshop do what I want it to do.

Since I am like most people I skipped the Instant Banner Creator tutorials and jumped right into creating my first banner.  Probably not a good idea since I jumped right into the advanced “Do It Yourself Template” and proceed to make a 10×10 banner that was practically invisible to the naked out.  Oops.

For the record, you can make a banner almost any size you want you want with the DIY template and it’s always a good idea to either watch the tutorial video and at least skim through the pdf file.

I tried again with one of the default templates.  Keep in mind, one of the things I hate about doing graphics is how much time I can spend tweaking the smallest things that don’t matter.  Instant Banner Creator was created to save you time by making the process of creating a banner simple but still give you the tools to be a little creative.

So I spent about a minute going through all the default templates to pick out one I liked.  Since i’m all about branding I wanted to make a banner with my picture on it.  I spent about a minute resizing a picture of myself and placing it on the banner.  I then spent about 3 minutes picking out a font I liked for the text (there’s a lot of fonts to choose from).  The result:

Ok, it’s no Dogs Playing Poker but considering that only took me 5 minutes with 3 of those minutes being spent picking out the font (it’s called “World of Water”) I don’t think it’s that bad for a first try.

I figured now that I had the hang of it I thought i’d try something more advanced like an animated banner.

With Instant Banner Creator you can make an animated banner just by making two regular banners and setting the delay in between.

I spent about minute picking out a better looking background (that last one was kinda boring).  Since I had already uploaded my clip art it took me 5 seconds to drop it back on my new banner.  I looked for a better font but I really liked that water one.  This time I added a little shadow which took about 30 seconds to see what they would all look like.

The “Click Here” part of the banner took another 4-5 minutes picking out clip art and a font so it took less than 10 minutes total to come up with this:

Possibly the best thing about Instant Banner Creator is that they will host your banner for you.  That means you don’t have to worry about having your own webhosting or dealing with ftp’ing files.  You save your banner and Instant Banner Creator generates a link for you to start promoting.   Of course you can save the banner to your computer but for people who don’t have hosting this is a great option.

I haven’t even begun to play with the custom buttons and peel-away ads.  I had avoided doing my own graphics for a long time but now that I know I can make a good looking graphics with only a few minutes of clicking I will probably find myself using Instant Banner Creator quite a often.

Grab your Instant Banner Creator membership now, while it’s still free!

Click the image below.