if I could travel back in time and tell my younger self to focus on ONE thing, it would be this …
… (drum-roll) …
(there’s a close second (and a third as you’ll see below), but here’s the winner;-)
as in PPC and its brothers and sisters.
NOT: “hey, I’ll pay someone on fiverr to build me a link-pyramid so I can get some free SEO traffic”
There are so many reasons why, I don’t even know where to begin, so here are 2 in random order:
1) you can switch paid traffic on/off at will, so you can support short-lived campaigns and profit from them (think launches):
fat chance trying to do that with SEO…
2) you learn soooooo much faster than with ‘free’ traffic (SEO, social-viral-something, forum posting, article marketing, ….)
last week I set up a campaign in the weightloss niche, and ….
… it bombed spectacularly.
Not a single signup to my webinar.
Man, that sucked.
But it didn’t suck nearly as much as it would have had I spent ages setting up a site, finding content, doing or outsourcing SEO ….
…. just to find out that nobody is interested in this particular offer.
And of course, there’s the flip-side:
did a quick $10 experiment in a niche where I NEVER thought I’d get any response, and this thing has gone viral.
Every day I’m getting FB notifications that new people like my page (which incidentally has precisely ZERO content….)
…. but the title of the page itself apparently has an enormous appeal….
Can you test an entirely new marketing for $10 using any of the free methods?
(without spending more than $10 worth of your time? … because setting up the test-ad took 3mins tops!)
ok, step back for a second now!
This post is actually inspired by a conversation I had only a couple of days – with a guy who has been at this “Internet Marketing” thing for years, and still is at square 1.
I’m absolutely serious:
If you are stuck at Square 1…
(and want to move from Square 1 to Square 2, then Square 3….)
aka: “If (only) I could travel back in time and tell myself what I should focus all my efforts on” it would be
- PAID traffic
- (close second): high converting sales-funnels.
which both have a fundamental (and very re-assuring) ‘truth’ to them:
the ONLY way to master either of these is through TESTING.
(it’s reassuring because TESTING requires ZERO special powers whatsoever, and even works for those of us who constantly think “that’s just too bloomin’ simple, that would never work“;-)
Yes, you can shorten the learning curve by learning the ropes from someone who’s actually done it…
… but when you get around to applying it to your own market, the real gold at the end of the rainbow can only EVER be reached through TESTING.
So, here’s the thing:
2014 is rapidly nearing its end.
Look back over what you’ve achieved in 2014.
And tell me:
could you have achieved a whole lotta more had you focused on paid traffic and then converting that traffic with a nice lil’ sales-funnel?
I’m willing to bet, in 99.9% of all cases, the answer is YES.
I’m also willing to bet that when you look at the money you dumped down the virtual Internet drain on random products you never used, well, there’s a nice lil’ PAID traffic budget for you.
And when you look at the lost opportunity cost, it’s starting to feel a little ridiculous you’re doing ANYTHING but
‘Paid Traffic First, Ask Questions Later’
But, hey, I’m just TESTING a hypothesis?
What’s your take?
Leave a comment below!
PS: just in case you’re wondering: I do feel your pain! I REALLY, REALLY wish I’d done this YEARS ago myself, instead of gradually discovering it the hard way!
PPS: I’m also TESTING the idea of putting together a free primer on “conversion” funnels.
Would you be interested?
If yes, let me know below what specifically you’d be interested in! (just pretend you’re about to put your first/next conversion funnel together. What’s the first question that pops into your mind where you go “man, if only I had the answer to THAT!”)
Norma Rickman says
Putting together a membership site right now I want to start running traffic to soon.
My question is: Are there tactics more likely to increase paid traffic conversions to a continuity-based product? This is not in the IM niche.
lol, shock-horror, there’s a world outside the IM niche?;-)
great question Norma, and yes, I’ll cover that!
Great post. Thanks for reminding those important two factors – paid traffic and high converting sales-funnels. Want more posts from you on this topic.
It’s a tough question Veit.
But think I’d go with being a really good copywriter
(I wanted to say great copywriter but am trying to stay real)
Really good sales copy is hard to do or get.
If you get it you most likely paid A LOT
If you wrote it you made a lot
It’s a skill that will be in demand for years to come.
very interesting point … when I started out I bought into the same idea: you have to be a great copywriter to sell anything.
turns out, it was just an excuse not to take action.
bought all the courses, including [insert ‘famous’ copywriter’s name] kick-ass, take no prisoner, full of power-words course, and er … hated it.
Using power-words just isn’t my thing.
Turns out ‘being real’ and aiming to have a genuine conversation with people trumps ‘power copy writing’ most of the time
at least for me;-)
Norma Rickman says
Dave, check out “Stopwatch Copy” from Jason Fladlien. It has everything a beginner copywriter needs. I learned tons from that little course…I think it sells for $47 or something like that.
you could of course also follow Norma who knows a (6-7 figure) thing or 2 about copy that converts….
Hey Veit …from my perspective I would love to see a guide / program that took you simply through the whole process of buying paid traffic starting with a small budget and expending …thanks and appreciate your insights
yes, that’s the aim of the primer!
so, any *specific* questions?
e.g. in what general market, as an affiliate or for own product?
Tony C says
So really ‘testing’ is what you’d wished you had learn’t then isn’t it Veit?
If you had learnt testing first then you would have found out about paid traffic earlier.
Who knows what a high converting sales funnel is until you test it?
I agree with Dave, copywriting is a great skill to learn. Only surpassed by the skill of getting the client to ‘Leave it as I wrote it’
To be a really great copywriter also includes the element of design I’ve found. You can say/write what you like but if you put it over with the right design, it’s effectiveness increases manyfold.
Good luck all.
ha, I’m sticking with “paid traffic”, and here’s why:
with paid traffic you can leverage other people’s copywriting (aka: affiliate offers) and learn how to get a great traffic-to-offer match.
Whilst you’re doing that, you’re honing your copywriting skills anyway.
if you start with copywriting alone, and have no traffic, er, well, what’s the point?
But yes, fundamentally the main skill is TESTING: test which offers work, which ads get clicks, which traffic-to-offer match works ….
the beauty is: anybody, and I mean ANYBODY can test their way to success.
it’s just a matter of taking those “man, that sucks (aka: what, not a single person wanted to sign up to my webinar?;-)” moments without taking them personally, learn from them, and then move on.
Yes I am very interested.
Hi Veit –
How about paid traffic for selling affiliate-offers and selling Teeshirts on Teespring, both using Facebook.. because that’s where it’s all at! That’s what I want to start doing, so any help and guidance/advice would be great.
hey John, great ideas, thanks for the input – I’ll see how I can work them in
Jillian P says
I’d like to know more about using affiliate products in that way too.
Been longing to start testing with paid traffic, but no product of my own means it would have to be sent to an affiliate offer, and that sounds a bit too risky!
Jillian, doesn’t have to be risky at all … with the right traffic to offer match you can be profitable very, very quickly.
think of all those CPA offers … most of them are ‘traffic arbitrage’ (traffic straight to offer), and they do work.
but, you don’t even have to do the ‘typical’ CPA offers, plenty other ways of connecting traffic to the right solution to their problem
Wayne Cochrane says
Look at this, I actually clicked thru from your email 🙂
Personally I’m very interested in learning about paid traffic and sales funnels.
As for copywriting, it’s only needed by people trying to sell something they don’t believe in.
Trying to manipulate people is not useful.
If one believes in one’s product, then being open, honest and transparent along with the natural accompanying enthusiasm is enough.
(I’m a phenomenal “salesman” because I ONLY sell stuff I 100% believe in and am extremely enthusiastic about.
How many “copywriters” could match my last long “offline” sales “campaign” [which spanned about 5 years] and resulted in a “lead to customer conversion ratio” of 99.375%? (Exactly 1 person out of 160 visitors did not buy.)
lol, shock-horror, 1 out of 160 didn’t buy? Shame on you Wayne;-)
You should talk to Craig Desourcy, he has a very similar track-record!
Followed you for a while now and am looking to progress my business into making sales online both with affiliate and our own products. I have to agree that building and maintaining free traffic website are a complete and utter time suck – until you know you have a winner.
It would be great to hear what type of paid traffic you use and how to actually split test to get the best results.
ok I am sold how long to wait before purchase?
Barbara Gathany says
I’m starting a business that will be outside the IM world (yes there is such a world or so I’m told) and would like to know how to go about getting paid traffic for it.