I have an important question for you before get knee deep into some free traffic fun . . .
"Is seven minutes worth $1,685.77 in free traffic to you?"
Now the answer to this question is important because if your answer is YES, then I'll make you two promises:
1. Focusing in and paying attention to what follows will take you no longer than 7 minutes
2. I'll show you exactly how to, in less than 7 minutes, get up to $1,685.77 or more in free traffic.
You game? Good! Let's roll . . .
THE first questions I get asked when I talk to someone new to marketing is "What's the best way to get a TON of free traffic."
Now personally, I don't like this question.
To me, it's like asking me "How can I be an absolute cheapskate and make money?"
That mentality doesn't fly with me. Because it's a mental position is completely juxtaposed to building a million dollar (or more) online business. It's a hobbyist mentality that rarely leads to positive returns. I just suggest you let go of the search for the perfect way to get rich for free. It's a waste of time, but . . .
With that said, there absolutely is a "BEST" free traffic generation strategy, in my opinion, and that's what I'm here for today . . .
Pound for pound, from my own stats, the traffic you will garner, and the leads you will generate, from what follows tends to convert 2.5 times more into recruits and profits than more complicated paid strategies. Here, let me show you what I mean:
"How To Turn Free Articles Into Mortgage Payments"
The evergreen, tried and true, strategy of article marketing is by FAR the most profitable long term strategy for generating, not only cash in the bank, but leads - quite literally, for life.
There are articles that I wrote back in 2005 that are still paying my bills today.
Nothing is better than "set it and forget it marketing," and distributing free content is the goose that keeps on laying the golden egg, if . . . You do it right (or kinda right).
What I mean is, I started using free content back in 2005, and what you're seeing below are my statistics to date from a batch of 779 articles I've distributed to just one article directory.
Since then these articles have been viewed 397,000+ times and I've generated 14,050 visitors for free from this one location during that time. And the thing is, I didn't even do that good of a job. Check out the click through rate 3.7% - leaves much to be desired.
Still, that's a LOT of visitors for free. Let's put that 14,050 visitors (clicks) into perspective.
Playing by the same rules, you'll see below the stats for one of my adwords accounts since its inception.
You'll see I spent a lot (I made a LOT more than I spent, but that's a discussion for another day). What I want you to focus on is the fact that, on average, I paid about $0.38 per click over this account's history. So . . .
If pay per click traffic and article traffic were equal, per click, in value, which they're not (I'll explain in a minute why) that 14,050 visitors would be like getting $5,339 in free advertising, that's still churning out clicks to this very day. That ain't bad right?
Do you see the value of what I'm talking about? If so, let me take a step back and tell you the basics of . . .
How Article Marketing Free Traffic Works
1. You create some content that your target market might like to read in article format (you don't even have to write and we'll get to that).
2. You submit it to article directories online.
3. You attach a resource box to the article where you can display a link to your landing page (see below):
4. You get traffic, leads, sales, and recruits.
Pretty simple right?
Now that we understand the basics, let me share with you WHY this process is so powerful.
First: You don't pay a dime and you don't even need a website.
You simply submit your content to article directories, and they win because they take your content and get more search engine traffic for it, and more money from their on site advertising.
You win, because those who read your article (if you do a few things right we'll talk about) will click your link in your resource box, visit your site, and become your lead.
Second: You've got THREE unique ways to generate traffic and leads with this method.
You're going to get internal traffic from people searching within the article directory who find your article.
You're going to have other website publishers find your content, like it, and then publish it on their site. Your article is going to propagate the internet virally.
Finally, if you follow a few steps you stand to get a TON of free traffic for years from the search engines.
Check these results out, these are articles getting a ton of traffic from the search engines from within my account.
It's not that hard to do the same, and we'll get to how as you continue to follow along . . .
How To Arbitrage Your Way To Massive Free Traffic
It might surprise you, but I didn't even write the articles above to reap the rewards. It's true.
In fact, my most traffic getting articles, are some of the worse written and I didn't write them. I paid some one less than $6 each and then just popped them out on the net. As Ron LeGrand would say, "the less I do, the more I make" and when it comes to article marketing it's true . . .
Here's the secret to paying someone else to write content for you so you always make money.
Let's take my stats as example . . .
14,000 clicks and 700 articles (numbers dumbed down to make the math easy on me).
That means that for each article I get about 20 clicks. Twenty clicks paying $0.40 per click (as I would with pay per click) means each article, on average, is worth about $8.
As long as I pay less than $8 per article I'll end up making a better financial decision, long term, in choosing to pay to have someone write articles for me than I would using that money for pay per click marketing. Make sense?
If I pay $6, for example for an article, and I get 20 clicks on average from it, then I'm getting clicks at $0.30 instead of $0.38 in pay per click marketing.
I bet you never thought about hiring an article writer that way before have you? Well, again, that's what I'm here for:)
Let's Stack The Odds In Our Favor For Getting Even More Free Traffic From Our Articles
At first, I had no idea how to do article marketing correctly, and as a result, as I showed you before, I was getting very few people to click through my link in my resource box.
Over time I've gotten a lot better. My recent articles get up to a 60.3% click through rate with decent traffic.
4 Rules For Doubling Free Traffic From Your Articles:
1. In general, keep your content short - less than 400 words. People have a short attention span so help them out.
2. Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve formula. Start your articles with a problem, make it worse as they read your article, and then solve it, but . . . solve it incompletely so your reader feels an intense urge to get more information from you.
3. At the bottom of your article, tell your reader to read your resource box and click the link in.
Now they've got a partial solution, they want more, you tell them the solution is through clicking the link in your resource box, and they will.
The funny thing about people is, they follow directions well. But if left to their own devices, they don't do much of anything, so give them something to do.
4. Write your article to people, not to the search engines. I've found that in the content that I've done this in, I tend to have a drastically higher click through rate.
If you follow the advice above you should more than double the number of people clicking your resource box links from stats and tests. Give it a shot in a few, I'm not quite done with you yet . . .
Why Free Content Traffic Is 2.5 Times More Valuable Than Pay Per Click Traffic
Remember, we're stacking the deck in our favor right?
If at a bare minimum, each article on average gets you 20 clicks without the strategies we just covered, well, with them you're going get at least 40 clicks. In other words, for every article you submit from this point forward you can send me half the difference - $4 to info[at]daegansmith.com via paypal. I'm all about win-wins.
Let me stack the deck even further in your favor . . .
Article traffic is just flat out better than PPC traffic on average. The reason is, you're developing a relationship with your prospect BEFORE they take an action to move towards you.
In other words, if I read an article by you, and I like it, I'm "focusing" my full attention on reading your genius words and at the end I want more of what you've got, so . . .
I decide to click your link in your resource box and decide to get on your list.
I've just done a lot of thinking before becoming your lead, and because of that, I've just increased my value to you (How responsive a lead is is determined by what's going on in their mind, not how much you pay).
It might seem counter intuitive, but the more hoops a person has to jump through to get to you, the better quality of a lead they become.
3 minutes reading an articles is far more work for your prospects than just willy nilly clicking on a pay per click ad.
Further, if a lead reads something from you, then opts into your lead capture page, and then gets emails from you, he or she is already used to your way of communication via text.
I've also found that leads derived from articles tend to remain active on your list longer (on average) than more expensive pay per click leads, and that again, increases their value.
If an article lead is worth 2.5 times a pay per click lead, then it logically follows that each click derived from article marketing is worth 2.5 times as much, so . .
If you're paying $6 to get an article written and on average you're getting 40 clicks now with our conversion updates, and we were equating those clicks to being worth $0.38 (like a pay per click site view) we see that, really, those clicks are worth way more - Closer to a $1 each.
Now, all of sudden, as we look at things a little closer we see that each of those $6 articles is worth close to $40, that's HUGE value (just don't ever tell the guy you hire to write this stuff for you that though . . .)
Keep reading because it gets even better . . .
4 Steps To Stealing Free Traffic From The Search Engines With Your Content
As Emeril would say "Let's take it up a notch" . . .
So far, we've only discussed the true value of your article traffic and how to increase your conversions internally from what you do in your articles.
Here's how to vacuum in even more free traffic from the search engines.
This little article, I had written for me for the keyword "Internet Network Marketing" has been nested at the top of the search engines for years, soaking in views for me simply for following the simple steps I'm about to share with you.
(BTW: Did you notice the site right under it amongst the 68,000,000+ results. That's right it's the very same site you're reading right now. - But again, that's a discussion for another day - a blogging discussion)
It's pretty simple.
Step One: Use The Google Keyword Tool To Find Keywords That Are Ripe For The Picking
What you do is you head over to the Google Keyword tool and search out a keyword you'd like to write an article on. Copy and paste the listings to a text editor.
Step Two: Time To Play Inspector Gadget
You take the list of keywords you've copied and pasted, and then you go back to Google and do searches for them.
If you find the top 5 listings don't have good SEO put an asterisk* next to it. (What I mean by bad SEO is the there does not appear to be any good on-page optimization for the keyword. The keyword isn't in the title tag, the page isn't named for the keyword, and you don't see the keyword that many times in the text itself)
Step Three: Get Excited Because You're About To Get Some Easy Extra Free Traffic
Take the keywords that you found that, within Google, there were not many sites with good SEO for and start writing.
Step Four: Write And Then Submit Your Articles As Follows
Make sure you use the keyword in your articles in the following key places:
1. In The Headline For Article (at the beginning)
2. Once Per Paragraph In Your Article
3. Bold The Keyword A Few Times In The Body
4. Have One Link Hypertexted With Your Keyword
That should about do it.
Now here's how it works . . .
Why Thinking Like Barry Bonds Will Make You A Killing In Free Traffic
I've submitted a LOT of articles, and if there's one truth that supersedes them all, it's that free content traffic is a game of percentages.
Barry Bonds didn't hit the ball out of the park 100% of the time. He hit the ball exactly 29.8% of the time.
From my stats, you're looking at about the same odds with your articles. You're not going to get all of your articles to the top of the search engines for massive traffic home runs, but sometimes you will.
The way you increase your odds is by playing free content marketing as a volume game.
The more content you submit, the higher the chance you're going to start getting your stuff to the top of the search engines.
The Golden Rule: Submit A LOT Of Articles To Win
And that brings up one more thing . . .
Don't just submit a lot of articles, submit them to a LOT of article directories.
Wait! I know what's screaming at you in your head right now "What about the duplicate content penalty Daegan?"
My answer: Who cares.
The Phantom Ghost Of Duplicate Content
New marketers tend to concern themselves with things that don't matter and the phantom ghost of duplicate content is one of those things.
I've been to many a news site that have the exact same article. Do they care about duplicate content? Neither do I and neither should you.
Here's why . . .
If you can't quantify how something will effect you, then don't worry about it. I, to this day, have not been able to see any negative effects from submitting the exact same article content to multiple article directories.
The benefits greatly outweigh whatever ghostly negatives there may be.
As I see it, as long as you put your article - first in the place you're likely to get most traffic, you're good to go.
By submitting your article elsewhere the only thing you do is increase the overall long term traffic yield - and that's a good thing in my book. Again, increasing the value of each individual article we produce.
1. You'll get traffic internally from multiple places
2. You'll have more places for website publishers to republish your content on their sites (i.e. even more traffic)
3. You may even get that article ranked in the search engines more than once
So I ask you, where's the phantom ghost of duplicate content? I don't see him.
Let's do a quick final tally for how much our articles are really worth . . .
We left off at $40 each conservatively, well, with multiple directory submission and simple search engine optimization (which can increase your traffic by a factor of 20X or WAY more) I'd wager to say we can add at least a 30% premium on things. That's at least $52 per article. More than you thought right?
By my stats, in fact, my top producing article, an article I didn't write, has produced to date 1,365 clicks.
Here's The Math Equation For Getting $1,685.77 In Free Traffic For 7 Minutes Of Effort:
1,365 clicks X $0.38 (price of a PPC click) X 2.5 (true value of an article click) X 30% (search engine traffic + multiple directory submission bonus) = $1,685.77 in free traffic from spending 7 minutes submitting one article I paid $6 to have written
(Man, I'm selling myself on content marketing, so let's end this so I can get to it.)
Here's A Few Ideas For Churning Out Articles Without Writing
Now, before we close out, let me say this . . .
Even though you can reap huge rewards from content marketing without writing, I personally think writing your own content is always better. With that being said, you don't have to. Here's a few ways get by the lazy way:
1. Do as I've done and hire outsourced writers to do the work for you.
2. Record yourself on a hand held voice recorder and have the content transcribed.
3. Take all recorded interview or audio content you have and have it transcribed.
4. Take all video content and have it transcribed.
NOTE: For #3 and #4 you can even do this with content you didn't originally produce. Now, you can't use that transcribed content verbatim, but you can re-organize it and put it into your own words. Now that content is yours as well (unless copyrighted of course).
I'm done. After looking this over, I'm thinking I should've charged for this, but I'm ok with giving this to you for free on two conditions:
One: I ask you to share this via FaceBook and Twitter by scrolling up to the top of the post and using the buttons and pay it forward.
Two: If this is your first time here, make sure you subscribe below, because if you liked this . . . You ain't seen nothin yet:)