The debate continues to rage. In one camp you have the Content Marketing Mavens and the Social Media Queens (most of the good ones are female) who are adamant that these so called ‘free’ methods are the ways to go for internet marketers and network marketers. In the other camp, you have the paid traffic advocates who say that paid advertising is the only way to scale your business.
Who is right?
Both are correct. There is merit in both arguments and in my own business I use both paid and ‘free’ strategies.
The Case For Paid Traffic
People like Jim Yaghi and Matt Lloyd are big advocates for paid traffic. They’ve built their business around it. But even someone like Yaghi, in reality, is ALSO a serious content marketer. But is their paid ads stance the right one? Read on.
The thing I like about paid traffic is that it is usually faster to yield a result than free methods such as blogging, article marketing and social media activities. When I ran my very first ad campaign in 2006 (using Google Adwords) I had traffic within a couple of hours, and leads or opt-ins by the next day. As a guy who had never used online methods before I was mightily impressed.
So SPEED is the main benefit – you can get almost instant action with the right paid campaign. If you are new to the world of internet marketing, here are the main paid options for you:
- Pay Per Click Search
- Pay Per Click Social
- Banner Ads
- Solo Ads
The Downside of Paid Traffic Strategies
Despite the fact that the paid advertising advocates rarely mention it, the fact is that paid methods are inherently risky. They can wax lyrical about its virtues but in the hands of an inexperienced person, it can be a recipe for disaster – you can easily lose a bunch of money with paid methods. Certainly in the hands of an experienced practitioner it can be the opposite – a license to print money, but newbies need to temper their enthusiasm with the stark reality that it can be risky, and expensive.
The Case For Free Traffic
There are two main types of free traffic:
1. Social Media
2. Content Marketing
My favorite of the two is Content Marketing. I am a natural content marketer – I’m always producing content for my blog and my You Tube channel. I enjoy it. Then I leverage the content onto social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+, which in turn gets me more visitors. Whilst it has taken time to learn it and then get some of my content ranked on the search engines, now I get free’ traffic every day to my two primary blog sites.
What I like about this strategy is that long after the work has been completed, it continues to produce a result.
I am also an active social media marketer, but I don’t find it nearly as satisfying as expressing myself via the written and spoken word.
The Downside of Free Traffic Strategies
The downside is that it takes time to learn the strategies and implement them. Simple as that. Critics also say that it lacks scale – in other words you can’t scale it the way you can with paid methods. But this is not necessarily true. There is almost a limitless number of keywords and related topics you can get ranked for on the search engines. Further, you can hire writers to produce some of the content for you, as I have done. Now THAT’S scale!
So What’s Best?
I advocate a balanced approach. Do some paid advertising while at the same time create some content and start engaging with people on social media sites such as Facebook. After all, success is really about creating and cultivating one on one relationships, isn’t it?
I hope you enjoyed today’s post
From Kim Willis
The Digital Nomad
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