Stop. Feel Like You’re Marketing With a Blindfold On? Not Getting Results? Here’s Help!

Stop Hold it.  Let’s put on the brakes for a moment.

After totaling up the amount of hours you spent marketing your site last week, you discover you’ve spent 4 hours on blog commenting, 3 hours posting to Facebook, 3 hours on Pinterest and 2 hours on article submissions.

It’s been at least four months since you started this routine, but you’re seeing minimal results.

You’re frustrated and starting to wonder if you’ll ever have some kind of breakthrough and you long for any signal that shows you’re moving in the right direction.

So what now?

I understand the frustration.  There’s so much information out here, it can be difficult for a new marketer to figure out where/how to start and what to focus on.

But there’s also a false belief among many who feel that if they just put in X amount of hours, they will be guaranteed some kind of income.

I’m often asked, How many articles should I write before I start seeing X amount of traffic? or How much time before I make $X per month?

The truth is, this is not a gig that rewards you for the quantity of work or hours logged.  It’s less about how much time you spend, and more about if you’re using your time effectively and actively measuring the results.

Because if you’re not careful, you can waste massive amounts of time on busy work that gets you nowhere.

Social Media

If you’re just starting out with social media, my advice is to start with one or two sites instead of trying to master too many.  For example, if your site is visually-oriented and targeted toward women, Pinterest may be a great place to start.

And in case you haven’t heard, they recently launched brand pages, so now you can create a business page for your site by either upgrading your existing account or creating a new one.

This growing network is now one of my top 3 traffic sources for my hair website.  And it’s quality traffic that yields 4-5 page views per visit and a 50% bounce rate.

Remember, all traffic is not created equal, so it’s important to measure what people are doing once they land on your site.  Maybe you received 50 visits from a campaign, but how valuable is that traffic if 90% of the people bounce and spend less than 10 seconds on your site?  Did you set a goal? Was it met? How’s the engagement? Always measure the results so you can spend more time on what works and less time on what doesn’t.

Now just because I’m recommending you start small doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of the major networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc.)  Test them all and see which ones fit best with your business.

In fact, I highly recommend creating accounts with all the major sites just to protect your brand and establish a presence in case someone wants to reach out.

For example, I don’t use Pinterest for this site, but I did create a business page just to grab the 2createawebsite name.

But if your site is not a fit for Pinterest, don’t feel pressure to join and post pictures just because everyone’s talking about how great it is for their site.  Pinterest may work well for someone else, but become a major time waster for you because of your niche.

For this site, I spend more time on Facebook because that’s where I see results.  I track results from links I post compared to other networks and it just makes more sense to focus there.  I also receive the best engagement.

Do I completely ignore the other networks?  No, but I prioritize my time spent based on the benefits gained.

When I posted a link to my Clickbank guide a few weeks ago on Facebook, that link instantly received hundreds of visitors.  I don’t get this kind of traffic from links I post on Twitter, but it is still very valuable to me because of the connections.

People often reach out to me with questions and I like being accessible.  So I may not see instant traffic rewards from Twitter like I get from Facebook, but being accessible still provides indirect benefits.

Understanding the roles the various networks play in your business will help you better prioritize your time and marketing.

Experiment with services like JustRetweet and find the right balance between automation (HootSuite) and manual interaction to determine what combo works best for your site.  And of course, everyone’s strategy will be different.

SEO Time Wasters

This is an area where I feel people waste too much time today. Not because SEO is a waste, but many of the strategies we used to rely on have died/are dying.

SEO is becoming more and more manipulation proof.  In other words, activities that can be easily replicated will have less impact than they did before.

Anyone can submit a bunch of articles, forum signatures, amass oodles of links through schemes, submit to numerous directories, etc.  Spending hours per week on those activities will no longer give you the same benefits you may have realized years ago.

So you could spend your day chasing backlinks or write one really solid article for a popular blog like ProBlogger or Basic Blog Tips.

Of course, the idea is to guest post on blogs that are relevant to your niche.  Check MyBlogGuest to look for potential sites.

By the way, if you want to keep up with what’s going on with SEO, subscribe to SEOMoz.  There’s always current and useful information there — especially the Whiteboard Fridays.

A couple of weeks ago they published a thought-provoking post about how anchor text may be replaced by co-citation, thus impacting SEO even more in the near future.  Definitely worth a read.

graph Track Results and Feed Your Brain

So in the end, measuring the results from your efforts and educating yourself on what works/what doesn’t with regards to marketing is one great way to stay focused and prevent you from spinning your wheels on activities that may leave you exhausted and feeling stuck.

Just because you are working hard doesn’t mean you’re working smart, and working smart starts with educating yourself so you can stay up on the changes in the industry.

If you are just blindly posting links everywhere and not tracking what’s working and what’s not, you could be headed down a long road of frustration.

Here are links to some useful articles that will help you stay on track and up to date with Internet Marketing today and in the future.

Search Engine Optimization

Post-Penguin SEO Link Building: The Naked (URL) Truth
How Your Social Media Reach Influences Your Google Rankings

Prediction:  Anchor Text is Dying and Will Be Replaced by Co-Citation

How Does Google Consider Sitewide Backlinks?
All Guest Posting is Not Beneficial for SEO
3 Quick Tips for Building a Solid SEO Foundation With Google Webmaster Tools

Google is Trying to Tell You Something, Are You Listening?

Social Media

40+ Tips on How to Become a Social Media Rockstar on Twitter, Facebook and Google+
The Best Times to Post to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc.
7 Social Media Tactics Your 2013 Budget Needs to Succeed
Finally Achieving SEO Value From Google Plus

Email Marketing

The Future of Email Marketing (2012 Edition)
How to Use Email Segments to Get Higher Open Rates

5 Tips to Empower Your Email Marketing


4 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Success
5 Simple Metrics to Track Your Social Media Efforts
How to Best Use Goals in Google Analytics
Using Social Reports in Google Analytics

Need a Dose of Inspiration and Fresh Marketing Ideas?

Since we’re talking about strategies that work, I cannot close this post without giving a shout out to the BlogCastFM podcast.

Srinivas (the host) always manages to unearth successful, out-of-the-box thinkers you probably have never heard of before.

The interviews are always chock full of practical strategies and actionable advice that will shower you with fresh perspectives, ideas and inspiration.

If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a marketing rut and are growing tired of reading the same ole’ recycled tips, I guarantee you’ll learn something new with each and every interview.   Definitely make room on your iPod for this podcast.

The Wrap Up

I realize the Internet is noisy and you may feel as if you have to learn everything today. Start small.  Focus on a couple of strategies and track results as you go along.  Remember, all busy work is not effective work.

And finally, always make time for education and inspiration.  The articles above will give you a good start on the education part, and BlogCastFM has enough inspiration to get you through the next few years…

At least. ;)

Here’s to your success!

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  1. says

    I think that Social has more impact on ranking than the number of backlinks to any site. This has been confirmed by the SEO expert Josh Bachinky. I guess that this post is old, so the stuff is outdated.

  2. says

    Thanx a lot very helpful post for me.. I am agree with you and duykhoa social media sharing makes greater impact than building hundreds of low quality backlinks

  3. says

    Congrats on your progress and I couldn’t agree more with persistence. Most people give up too early and it definitely takes time.

  4. says

    Hey Lisa,

    I was looking for a good quality post and then my attention was suddenly caught by your title so I clicked it and saw this post that you have. Such enormous amount of useful information are being shared and I am very lucky that I clicked the title of this post. Thank you for sharing these very helpful tips and info’s.

  5. says

    Thanks Lisa, I feel that time wasting is what I am doing at times . I also consulted with a local marketing company here in my town. They reviewed my site and said it was not seo friendly. They said for a fee $5000.00 they could build me a site that would get me noticed. Well I feel I wasted time there also. Don’t have that kind of money. I don’t want a new site would like to improve the one I have. The advice and info you give is so useful !!!

  6. says

    Thanks Lisa, I feel that time wasting is what I am doing at times . I also consulted with a local marketing company here in my town. They reviewed my site and said it was not seo friendly. They said for a fee $5000.00 they could build me a site that would get me noticed. Well I feel I wasted time there also. Don’t have that kind of money. I don’t want a new site would like to improve the one I have. The advice and info you give is so useful !!!

  7. says

    Your website is awesome and you impress me so much, Lisa. But I’m overwhelmed and frustrated with trying to show up in the search engines, as I have been since I started my website in 2008. I like writing and sharing my photos, and when I do that I’m happy and my readers love my stuff.

    As soon as I try to make my website visible on Google I get bogged down and depressed because nothing I do seems to make Google understand what my site is about. So I read things like all your amazing tips and I get inspired and I try them but nothing changes.

    The only thing I’ve been able to improve dramatically is my Alexa rank, which I changed from 1.5 million to 350,000 in 3 weeks by commenting on about 60 or so high ranked blogs, and it’s still climbing by 25k a day. But Alexa rank doesn’t count… Arrrghhh…

    How can I make friends with Google? Of the top 10 queries Google has for my site only one is related to my content. It’s the 4th one and it generated 170 clicks (the highest number of clicks for any search term at all, and more than 3 times the next most clicked search query)… I get 25k pageviews per month with a 70% bounce rate (because the queries are not correct for my site)…

    I know I asked this in another comment too, but I’m just so sad… I have a great site and I can’t seem to put it in a place where people who would love it can find it…

    I know part of the problem is that I have too many links on my home page. Could another problem be that I have too many 301 redirects? When I converted to WordPress last summer I had to redirect my 225 pages from my old site to my new one… is that it?? Is it that I’ve used the keyword phrases that I want for my home page on my individual posts too? For instance, I want “sailing blog” to find my home page but I’ve also used it on individual posts in addition to other keywords… like “sailing blog mazatlan” so someone looking for info that a sailor who keeps a blog might have on Mazatlan can find it… does that confuse Google?

  8. says

    Great tips you have here! – Everyone should target real traffic and not just bots. Maybe social sites or video sharing sites can be added here since they can be means of traffic source as well. Articles can be put on slides as powerpoint then convert it to videos in order to produce video articles and share it on video sharing sites.

  9. says

    Thank you Lisa, its so true I 1st found myself overwhelmed with all the different things your told to do to market yourself. I sometimes burn myself out looking for what to do, so i appreciate what you said about working smart over working hard. Well, im going to start looking into those links you posted, thanks again!

  10. says

    Thanx a lot very helpful post for me.. I am agree with you and duykhoa social media sharing makes greater impact than building hundreds of low quality backlinks

  11. says

    Great post. Love your SEO-wasters part. I also agree with your approach on social media. Everyone seems to go overboard early in their business. Then a month later they’ve gone MIA.

    Appreciate your advice and helpful tips. Keep up the great work!


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