What are the basic control levers of your business? When you want to generate money, what buttons can you press?
Well, there are 3 basic money levers in your business. Your car has a steering wheel, an accelerator and a brake… and between those 3 things you can mostly control your car. Likewise, your business has 3 basic levers:
- A product offer to sell.
- A funnel that sells it.
- Traffic to run through that funnel.
Our last post in this Money Levers series addressed creating the product. We will be talking more about the funnel shortly (although it is covered in full in the Blog Profit Funnel Action Plan).
Today, we’re going to discuss traffic. Because I know that one of the biggest objections to people just getting started is that they don’t have enough traffic to make any sales.
How can you solve this? And, more importantly, how can you control it?
If you have to depend on lady luck to give it to you, then it wouldn’t be a money lever. For it to be a lever, you need to be able to control it on cue.
How To Get Traffic
If we look at how most bloggers work to grow their traffic, you’ll see they are inherently not in control. It usually looks like this:
- Writing a ton of blog posts on an aggressive schedule in an effort to get Google to notice
- Constantly fighting every little Google change to figure out how to SEO your way to the top
- Engaging on social media all day to try to siphon people over to your blog
- Trying to get guest post opportunities on popular sites
- Participating in traffic gimmicks like blog carnivals, list posts with guru quotes and link exchanges
Growing your traffic this way can work, but for many it feels like an uphill fight. It feels as if you’re depending on factors outside your control to send you traffic.
Let’s look, however, at the traffic that you CAN control.
Essentially, you have two basic levers at your disposal for generating traffic on demand. They are:
- Your email list.
- Paid media.
Your blog is a reactionary platform and just receives traffic. In order to generate it, you have to have owned media assets. And those owned media assets are either your email list or paid media.
If we look at those two traffic sources, though, we clearly see that one depends on the other.
Your email list is an asset which must be BUILT – and it is built using either free, organic traffic or paid traffic. The list is built up over time and then you have the ability to direct the attention of those subscribers at anything you wish on cue.
So, you should always be working to build your email list as it is, by far, your most important business asset. But, what if you don’t have a big list yet?
Well, anybody can do paid media. It is also controllable. If you pay for traffic, you’ll get traffic.
See, you shouldn’t be looking at traffic as something that is hard to get any longer. It is, quite literally, a commodity. You can simply buy it. Now, it takes real content marketing to turn that raw traffic into a true community and audience. But, you can prime the pump using paid media.
But, David! Pay For Traffic? Are You Crazy?!
It is the knee-jerk reaction of a newbie to write this off because it costs money. “I don’t want to spend money until I’m making it”, they say. It is a common rebuke, however misguided.
Simply put, the ability to run paid traffic is one of the biggest money levers you have. It allows you to reach your target market without having any email list. The “trick” is WHERE you send that traffic.
If you send the traffic into something which builds your owned media assets and presents an offer, then the idea is that you make enough money back to at least break even. Ideally, turn a profit.
Yes, this all depends on you having that product offer to sell. Then, it is just a matter of basic math. If you spend $5 on traffic and make back at least $5, then you essentially spent nothing.
How we do that so that our paid traffic efforts don’t become a waste of cash is a topic for our next post…
The Potentials of Paid Traffic
For those of you who have never considered paid traffic, let me present you with a few of the possibilities and benefits of it:
- You can place YOUR content and YOUR offers directly in front of the audiences of your competitors.
- You can place your lead magnets and/or offers in front of past visitors to your blog, regardless of whether they opted into your list or not. In essence, it is like having a “second list”.
- You can write content specifically tailored to certain audiences and then place it in front of those audiences like a needle.
- If you’re using paid tweets, you can put your tweet in front of the followers of somebody else.
You really have all the distribution potential at your disposal already for anything you want. You simply need to be willing to use it.
… and of course structure your site in such a way that the money doesn’t go to waste. For more on that, see ya on the next post… 🙂