Everyone’s main goal when working online is to get traffic. Rather it’s to a complete website or a landing page to a product/service you’re trying to promote – you want to get traffic. When I got started in 1998 that is literately ALL I wanted; I didn’t even want to make money! I just wanted my content, created in my bedroom, to be viewed by people all over the world. This morning I want to talk about one of my recent projects that’s now reaching over 800,000 visitors a month:
Sustaining this level of audience allows multiple monetization methods and the ability to create a long term business model that will leverage your career for the future. With the success of affiliate marketing campaigns, there are too many people in the industry that are blinded by short term success, and neglect creating assets that are going to create consistent revenue and allow for growth. To create a successful long term website you need to produce engaging quality content, focus on driving organic traffic, and not get in a hurry to make money.
Inside our Private Community I see a trend with many new marketers that come online. They start out very motivated on how they’re going to create this massive website, make money all these ways, and become a millionaire in under five years! Normally they’ll reveal all of this in a thread and talk about how much they’ve researched the niche and how much they’re interested in it. Unfortunately 9/10 “new” marketers give up before the site launches. To produce engaging quality content you have to work in a niche that you have a passion for. Creating a website just to make money isn’t going to keep you motivated to write 5+ hours a day.
Let’s take IMGrind.com for example. Ruck and I have a passion for talking about making money online and how to develop long term business strategies. It’s our passion so it’s not hard to product a lot of engaging quality content daily. Even in the affiliate marketing industry you see a lot of really good blogs get started but eventually dry up because it takes a conscious effort to update daily. Before you even register your domain or decide you’re going to start a website, ask yourself, do I have a passion for this niche? If it’s not something you could see yourself talking about all day everyday then don’t go with it.
The lure of buying traffic ruins some marketers from the very beginning. Some just getting started feel like instant success lies in the fact that they can buy thousands of hits to their website in a couple of hours by setting up an account with Google Adwords or Facebook. While it is possible to purchase a lot of traffic to your website or landing page you also want to be able to drive organic traffic. I personally like to use Google Adwords as a supplement to my SEO traffic. Some keywords that I’m not quite ranking high enough for I’ll setup ads and see how well they perform to determine if I should focus a lot of efforts on increasing the organic ranking. The same goes for my Facebook campaigns. Before I start spending money on promoted posts and paid advertisements I build up my brand organically and share my engaging content that’s going to interest people and add value.
It’s almost amusing to me the number of individuals that build businesses purely based on paid traffic. In the screen capture above not 1 of those visitors were paid for. They all came organically from search engines and social media platforms. If this website solely relied on paid traffic what would happen if the traffic source shut down the campaign? Visitors would stop and so would any of the monetization efforts. Also, take notice at the number of returning visitors in my screenshot. You want to produce content that people want to come back and read. People don’t want to be sold too. Spark their interest, add value, and eventually they will buy what you’re selling. Instant success isn’t a way to approach a business regardless of it being on the Internet.
As I mentioned above, when I got started creating websites, I didn’t want to make money. I just wanted visitors to my website. The problem with people just getting started they’re in such a hurry to make money they have blinders on with what’s important. Before they even have their first page of engaging content they already have their ad units planned out. This isn’t a good approach. Regardless of your niche you want to first build your audience and engage them. Once you get the traffic, then you can work on monetizing it. If you don’t have a passion for the niche and can’t drive the traffic then you’re simply going to be forcing your monetization and most-of-the-time it doesn’t work. Build, engage, and then monetize.
In conclusion successful online businesses aren’t built over night. Your content, rather it be a complete website or a landing page, must be of quality and be able to engage the audience. Instantly purchasing traffic isn’t a good solution because you’re going to be spending money without knowing how to drive traffic organically. Unless you have a tremendous budget you’re going to spend a lot of money testing to see what keyword responds the best and yields the highest lifetime value customer. Monetization should never be “forced.” The money will come as long as the site is of value and keeps a person’s interest. Following some of these simple steps will help you create a long term business from the beginning and allow you to develop an asset that’s going to be around much longer than others that have the “money blinders” on.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.