not-free-150x150The quick rise of Internet Marketing and the ease with which it can help aspiring marketers and entrepreneurs create successful businesses are well-known by most people today, and represent a wonderful opportunity.

However, this vertiginous rise has also created a lot of misconceptions and unrealistic expectations that end up hurting a lot of people who attempt to join this industry.

The more I talk to people who are interested in this industry, the more I realize that the fallacy of “free traffic” is one of the main misconceptions that abound out there in relation to online marketing, and I will explain why…

A lot of people thinking about becoming online marketers believe that free techniques like blogging, article marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) will be enough to put their online business on the map and make it successful, without any kind of financial expenditure. This is part of the “something-for-nothing” mindset that the idea of online marketing seems to inspire in many prospective online entrepreneurs today.

While those free techniques do work if properly and consistently implemented, people don’t realize that they usually take a considerable amount of time to render significant results, (the kind of results that would allow a person to replace their income and quit their J-O-B’s). People may not spend money on these techniques, but they are paying in other ways that in my humble opinion are more detrimental than just spending money.

Time is a precious asset that is in many ways more valuable than money. By choosing to invest time rather than money in their online business, people make the uninformed decision to give up their ability to control the rate at which their business grows, and the potential volume that it can reach.

Free marketing techniques do not offer marketers the chance to control what happens to their business, but they do take a lot of time and effort to be crafted and implemented. You can’t control the way in which your article will circulate or how and why it will get linked once it is out in cyberspace, (in other words, you have no way of controlling or even influencing the amount of visitors you will get from that effort).

By the same token, your blog could well sit forever in your hosting account and attract the occasional visitor now and then, (unless you have thousands of uniquely crafted articles that have been published for years, and graced by the magnanimous mercy of Google and Yahoo, which is becoming ever more scarce and rare).

Even if you do start getting decent traffic at some point doing this, (which is unlikely), your investment in time and effort will have been VERY considerable.

In short, if you insist on using free traffic methods all you are doing is working a lot and investing a whole lot of precious time, just so you can end up waiting years for the traffic to show up on its own, (and to be honest with you, it almost never does).

The little traffic that you may manage to get in this situation is not really free, is it? You might have saved money, but your opportunity cost in time and sweat equity will horribly trump the marginal monetary gains you may achieve after having to wait forever for them.

In contrast to free traffic techniques, paid traffic offers online marketers the opportunity to exercise almost complete control over what happens in their business. It also offers the marketer the opportunity to scale up once a winning formula for high return on investment has been found…Free traffic techniques offer no such thing.

Money loves speed, and by using paid traffic even at a very small scale you can find out quickly if your efforts are going in the right direction of if they aren’t. Paid traffic methods provide the speed that money needs in order to decide which way it is going to go!

Like my grandmother used to say, you get what you pay for, and the things you get for free very often end up not being very useful. That principle applies to online marketing perfectly where traffic generation methods are concerned.

Do you want to work hard for years only so you can achieve marginal results very slowly, or do you want to boost your online business and create almost instantaneous cash flow and profits?

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Filed under: Mindset Fundamentals

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