The Change Direction Blog is about the joys, and practical impacts, of working from home online. It is about online businesses and techniques for internet marketing, traffic building. It is also about what it is like to work from home, working with family around, and all the practicial issues that arise on a day to day basis for someone working from home. Plus, an ex pat view of an English guy living in Palawan, a tropical paradise in the Philippines.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Wasted Time Getting Website Traffic

As always with a new year it is a good time to consider what of the old should be "out", and what new should be "in". For those of us who have websites, it is a good time to decide what has not worked, and is not working, in respect of getting traffic to the website. It is a perennial problem for webmasters, and there is no single, simple answer. It is a wide range of things.

Free website traffic is always to be welcomed, of course. But I have decided it is time to dump two forms of "free" internet advertising, and mostly dump another method of getting free traffic. Volume of traffic isn't everything, quality is much more important.

After reviewing my budget, and considering time I would have available, I decided to stop my classified ads site and FFA site. I set them up through Multi Links, and the service was excellent. But although it is free advertising, setting it up in a way that does not take up too much time, and gives you a reasonable system, does cost. I tested it out for a couple of months, or was it 3? I got a trickle of website traffic and sign ups to my mailing lists, but not enough to justify my monthly outlay. Quite frankly, it was a waste of time and money. Mind you, that is what I was expecting before I started the test. Some would argue I should have tested longer. But I had thought FFA's and classified ad sites had died a few years back, and something I had read (hype, no doubt) made me think it worth another try 8 years after my first FFA campaigns.

So, no more "free" traffic to my website, or merchant websites, from my own Classifieds and FFA's. I have better things to do with my time and my money. They belong with the "out with the old" category. I cover website marketing in far more detail on my new website.

Wow, it's hot here today. That's not unusual, of course, this is a tropical country. But the rainy season has made a welcome retreat, and I can't remember now when we last had rain. A few weeks back, at the time the Philippines was back in the international news with a natural disaster, as a series of tropical storms and a typhoon brought extensive flooding, mudslides and death in Luzon. That "natural" disaster was aggravated by man made greed, with deforestation being blamed for many mudlsides and thus deaths.

Here in Palawan, there is much rainforest left, and thankfully not too much illegal logging. It does happen, and will happen, but there is a lot of positive work going on too. In Puerto Princesa, whose boundaries extend out over a vast area of farmland, mountains and rain forest, the actual % of area covered by forest has been steadily increased over the last decade, recovering much of the area of forest lost to illegal loggers.

My next major task is build a website about Palawan's rainforest, to increase awareness of the rainforest, and at the same time hopefully open up the province more to ecotourism. Sustainable development and renewable forestry are part of the environmental programme here. I hope to do my own little bit. I will be getting involved too in the Community Based Forestry Management programme, just outside of Puerto Princesa city proper in Sta Lourdes.

That is something I will definitely enjoy, with my interest in wild life, plants and trees. The whole project will help the forest in the long term, and make more productive use of other land for the community, especially the children.


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