How to make ad banners for Free and without watermarks

I have noticed some people are still relying on cheap software or free online sources that are questionably bad at making banners. A simple banner can be attractive and need not be “flashy”. One site that has been of immense help to me and some of our users is http://bannerfans.com. Here you can upload a picture or use the plain background colors with some effects to start making any of the standard size banners with your text etc.

The interface is fairly simple and self-explanatory. You will be out with a decent banner in 5 minutes or less and no filthy watermarks to distract your viewers.

Granted it’s not complex but for those who have neither the expertise nor the budget to get a swanky banner this is the fastest and most reliable method to get a quality banner that won’t suck and most likely to get approved.

There was at least one more awesome banner maker, or rather gif maker, that is very good. It is also an online service that allows you to make or edit gif images online with lots of features. Unfortunately the name escapes me at this time. I will update once I have trolled through my bookmarks.

If you know of any other freeware sites or software that are as good or better we would like to hear it from you. Your input could help others a lot, bring karma etc. Not to mention we are all about “exchange” remember? :)

If you do find good free software (that don’t add watermarks) or sites where one could make banners then please do share and I will make it a point to list it in the post.

Note: We have no affiliation with the site/product mentioned. It is here for reference.

 

List of Free banner makers

www.bannerfans.com

www.pixlr.com

 

Traffic exchange made easy

A quick word about traffic exchange

If you are new to traffic exchange look out for our next post on how this all works for you to promote your site for free. For now lets discuss for those who already know about traffic exchange either manually or via traffic exchange networks.

It is quite obvious that traffic exchange can be a gamble. A webmaster has to ask himself these basic questions before signing up with one.

  • How much can you trust the network.
  • What if you don’t get anything in return, it could be waste of time and traffic.
  • How do you know you are not linking to bad/malware sites or sites with bad intentions. Loosing credibility with your visitors.
  • What if the exchange shuts down without filling up my quota and I loose my clicks.

Possibly a hundred other questions which I cannot think of right now. I will however attempt to answer these and any other that are asked of us.

The trust issue. Give all the information.

Best way is to look at how much information is provided. BingeSite provides detailed stats, clear ratio of exchange and open to requests from all users on problems and suggestions. A forum is also in place so we can help each other out.
How many sites are using the network. Bingesite is new but we have signed up at least 10 sites in a day. We are also pretty clear that we give back 80% of the traffic and we go by clicks not impressions. This is to prevent bad placement by sites in order to leech traffic. Only clicks return traffic. Sounds fair right?
Balance 20% of your clicks is used to promote the network itself or paid advertisers. Both is in effect beneficial to sites who use the exchange. The network being promoted provides for more sites and the more the merrier. This is how exchange benefits everyone. Secondly the advertisers buying clicks directly pays for cost of hosting and pays us for doing the work for you.

Right now, we are not having any advertisers to allow the network to grow and all sites to benefit first.

Why traffic exchange don’t work or go bust.

None of the traffic exchange networks out there are inherently bad or wrong. They just did something wrong along the way. Let’s discuss some of the things.

Using a free or shared hosting provider. I have personally seen several good and upcoming traffic exchange being shut down by their web host. To be honest you cannot run a serious Internet based business on shared web hosting. Specially not something like traffic exchange which involves a lot of bandwidth and server resources.
We have started of on a reliable VPS with backups ready. As soon as we hit enough traffic we will move to a dedicated server. Which is also already available. I have background in cloud computing technologies personally so if cost permits we might just move to Amazon AWS for utmost reliability.

Not validating and VERIFYING banners and sites. Sometimes traffic exchange operators are not from technical background and outsource some of these tasks. They do not consider that it is the single most important core of traffic exchange to maintain quality. It could be that it was one man’s dream project and the task became overwhelming eventually. Sites that contain infringing content, illegal content or worse: malware can impact everyone in the network and the traffic exchange itself can be blacklisted by Security Scanners, Search Engines and Browsers.

Bingesite Traffic exchange solves this problem with two approach.
1. validate all banners manually. Similar to Adwords. The banner need not be professionally done but at the very least it should not flash and blind the visitors, you know those attention grabbing types from the 90s? yeah those. Also that it should not contain inappropriate content as decided by our ad approving team. This ensures that quality banners are available to all sites and across all broad categories. We go a step further to ensure that banners are placed in the correct category so you do not see unexpected banners. Ofcourse each exchange user is free to choose which category and ad type they want to display themselves.

2. Each site listed is scanned first from known database of malware/illegal/spam sites from several sources. Secondly we will be running the scan regularly on all active sites listed on the exchange to ensure quality sites get the best returns. We also verify that sites do not trade traffic in unrelated category. For example , A video games site is ok to display ads from most categories. However an Adult site can ONLY choose their exchange code from adult category. For this to be enforced we will manually visit (but not click) the user’s website and the banner locations to verify this randomly.

Experience:

We run a registered private limited company based out of Singapore. We employ people directly offline and online and work together as a lean mean machine. We have done several projects before including a 300k impression per day image hosting site running for a 5th year and totally free. Look it up 3ezy.net. We have no personal stake or conflict of interest when we run the traffic exchange. Some of us have been running projects like these for over 10 years. Most of them are still around. Above all, we know what we are doing.

Support:

It is important to help each other. These days it is becoming harder and harder to promote your site. We have been there, we know. You want to play this right and not spam. You don’t have a huge advertising budget. There are ways to help you get going. Traffic Exchange is just one of the ways. It is NOT the only way. However It is free, it only requires a bit of your time and that too one off to set up the codes and the banners. ¬†We will do our best to reply to your support tickets, approve banners and sites asap but you are still welcome to join the forums and get help or help someone else out. For security reasons forum accounts are not shared. Forums is not even hosted together with the traffic exchange server. This is the forum http://forum.bingesite.com

Search engines have become smarter, linking to Page ranked sites with irrelevant content is not going to get you anywhere. Getting your bored visitors to a new site or get new visitors back from other sites is very much the way to go. Keep up your SEO etc but do look into traffic exchange. It is a great way to get the word out for everyone.

I hope you join us on our newly setup exchange. http://bingesite.com/exchange/