Traffic isn’t nearly as hard as people like to make out. It merely takes either lots of cash or stubborn, persistent effort.
Most people don’t have the former and lack the discipline to stick at the latter.
But you’re a budding Online Empire Builder! You’re tough enough to stay the course.
And if you have a solid foundation to your business, you really only need a little effort before you can afford to start paying for traffic.
The trick is to use a little free traffic to make sure your funnel is converting, at least reasonably well, and then add paid traffic to speed things up. As you tweak and improve your conversions, your profits go up, increasing your cash flow and affording you more funds to spend on paid traffic.
First things first…
Start With Free Traffic…
Step One: Create one freemium funnel with at least 30 days of content and affiliate offers – be sure to use a 3:1 ratio of freebies to offer. (See “Every Successful Business is Built on a Formula” for more details.)
Step Two: Drive free traffic to your funnel. Sources can include…
- Writing “Hero” blog posts (epic articles with stunning levels of valuable information) and link them to your freemium.
- Creating a Recommended Resources page listing all your preferred software, resources, books and hardware (some of these can be affiliate links).
- Posting links to your blog posts and Recommended Resources on social media.
- Calling in favors with contacts that have related mailing lists to mail on your behalf.
- Inviting visitors and subscribers to share your content with their circles.
Step Three: Tweak your original funnel until your freemium and subsequent offers are converting, then add 2-3 additional funnels for related topics or sub-topics.
Step Four: Track your data and ensure every funnel is functioning and converting to a reasonable degree (don’t expect, or shoot for, perfection).
THEN Consider Paid Traffic!
Do not send ANY paid traffic to your funnels until you’ve carried out the first four steps. The last thing you need is to be burning cash on is a broken funnel. This is why we test with free traffic FIRST.
Once you’re happy that you’re going to be seeing a return on any investment into paid traffic, get into paid traffic sources.
Pay-per-click, pay-per-view, media buys, ad placements and banner ads are all viable and effective paid traffic venues. Just be sure to route ALL the traffic to your freemium squeeze pages. Don’t be tempted to send even a small proportion directly to your sales page – at least, not until you have a strong foothold in the market.
Don’t forget that we’re trying to avoid the “One and Done” mentality. If you route traffic directly to your main sales page, even if you get some conversions, everyone who doesn’t buy is lost into the ether.
Get your prospects onto your list and climbing the Ladder of Intimacy, and then you can introduce them to your product (for FREE) at your leisure.
Naturally, you’re going to track everything but, when you’re calculating the return on investment (ROI) for your paid traffic, consider the lifetime value. Because you’re sending traffic to your freemium, it takes a little while before you make your first offer. You should be considering not just how much each lead you purchase makes you on average after the first offer, but after the multiple offers you’re going to make over a period of months.
As the age and number of funnels you possess grows, the number of offers you make to each prospect will increase. This will, in turn, increase your profits and your overall ROI.
Making a profit with paid traffic ALWAYS gets easier over time… provided you’re building solid foundations.
A great freemium is essential to getting your customer relationship up and running, but the long-term success of your funnels will depend on what happens over the next couple of months.
Earlier in this article, I said that each funnel should have at least 30 days of content but, ideally, you should be pushing it closer to 60 before you introduce them to the next funnel. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of those first two months.
- We touched on this already but make sure you structure your main funnel and subsequent funnels so that every prospect eventually sees every funnel. This guarantees that, as long as they don’t unsubscribe, every prospect will see every sales offer that you make.
- Make a real effort to create GREAT content. If you stray into mediocrity, your readers will start skimming and eventually skipping your material. If necessary, hire a freelance writer to freshen things up.
- Make sure every email has a call-to-action even if there’s no sales offer. This could be as simple as “click here to read this blog post” or “click to share this video with your friends.” Consistently including a call-to-action in every email trains your readers to do something with every message instead of just being a passive reader.
- Always link to your blog in every email even if it’s just at the bottom in the form of a “read my latest blog post” link. Keeping a flow of traffic to your content ensures repeated views of your product and affiliate offers on your website.
- Keep your emails short, somewhere in between 400 and 600 words. Anything longer should be in the form of a blog post. If the email is giving away free content directly in the body, aim for something along the lines of “Power Tips” or “Quick Tips.” It’s usually preferable, however, to have content on your blog to get your readers used to clicking on links in your emails.
- At the risk of sounding repetitive, remember to stick to a 3:1 ratio for content to offers. And that doesn’t mean three dull, rushed-out blog posts just so you can get to an offer… your content should NEVER be filler.
There’s a rhythm to this formula and, once you get the hang of it, you can easily produce around 10 funnels during your first year.
Think about that for a moment…
Direct a prospect through all 10 funnels and, over the course of the year, they could easily see 40-50 offers for your products and/or affiliate products.
That is way, WAY, beyond the 7-10 contacts that are said to be needed for a prospect to absorb what your business does and what it has to offer.
Compare this model to the typical, ill-judged online model of creating a sales page and tacking on some squeeze pages around the outside.
With this formula, you have a solid foundation for generating traffic, building a mailing list, growing your relationship with your audience, researching your market and generating profits.
It gives you EVERYTHING you need to put your online business on a solid footing and give it the best possible chance to succeed.