A “Secret” Method For Getting Traffic To Your Blog That You May Not Have Thought Of…

Driving traffic to your blog.

It’s one of the tasks that sometimes easy, and sometimes not.

Here’s another “weapon” you may not have thought of when getting traffic:

Re-tracking old posts.

When you read blogs on the web, have you ever thought “Man, I have an older post that would fit this conversation pretty well”?

Well, if you do, use your blog’s search function, find it, make sure it fits the conversation…then find the date of the post, and use your admin area to edit (if you have WordPress, which most blogs do).

Link appropriate keyword text if possible to the new post you were reading on another blog, and then add the new link to that post to your “trackback” area, and hit “Update post”.  So long as the blog author allows pings and trackbacks, your post should link to their blog post in minutes to days.

Once you get this process down, it shouldn’t take you but a few minutes to fully execute this strategy.  That’s worth a few extra visitors and subscribers right? Plus, if you get visited by the right blog owners, they may take your post and share it themselves…which gives you even more traffic.

Simple.  If you feel your readers could benefit, please share this post, or link to it…and feel free to comment with more traffic strategies below…

All Is Not Fair In Internet Business

Or the 80/20 rule, and who you REALLY have to focus on to succeed…

All the sales letters out there paint the “rosy” picture of the Internet marketing lifestyle, don’t they?

I am sure that most everyone that reads this article has at one point or another “fallen” for the carefully crafted words of an expert copywriter…and bought into the illusion.

This article contains a strong dose of reality people!

If you don’t want to see the real truth about Internet business, and want to continue to believe that there is some get rich quick, “make $23,594 in 60 days” program out there…keep searching. All of the sales letters will point you the way.

It is that very illusion that will keep feeding you the e-books, courses, and memberships that you will continue investing in until you realize there are no shortcuts to business…and eventually you will come back to this article to get your dose of the hard truth.

Onward…

I was recently visiting a forum I frequent and found a post where the founder of the forum expressed his feelings about some whining taking place by some members in one of the sections within the forum.

To sum it all up, people were bitching and moaning about posts getting bumped etc… the details really do not matter at all.

The point is they were investing time bitching about making money with this one idea, instead of just shifting gears and moving on to something else in their business if they were having a problem. The lesson here is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

And…

Guess what people? Business isn’t a fair and fluffy world for everyone!  Get over it!

On to another part of this lesson…

One of my coaching students was concerned about traffic to his sites. He was concerned because several of the methods weren’t working within the article marketing he was doing (which still works by the way). Almost frantic to the point of over-analyzing “why” most of his articles were not producing the traffic he would have liked (clicks to his blog).

But, he did produce at least one article that really rocked!

I mean seriously “masterpiece” quality.

This is an asset, or the first thing I look for when I have an issue in my business.

I look for use-able assets that I can convert into traffic, cash, whatever I need. Since I am a “massive action taker” when it comes to business, I am always in the process of creating these assets…and I do not allow little stuff like why articles are not working get in my way, because they won’t if I can just move on to another asset.

(you shouldn’t either, if you’re creating assets)

So I told my coaching student to take what he could from the article that worked, or his asset in this case.

Obviously, his readership liked what it found in this long article.

To date…this article has over 373 views on Ezinearticles.com, 8 ratings, all 5 star ratings, and many positive comments in only two weeks.

If you happen to create an asset like this, find out what you did right, and do it again for Pete’s sake!

Over and over again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big proponent of the “fail as fast as you can, so you can succeed even faster” mantra.

But you have to decide when enough is enough, learn from your mistakes and move on. Internet Business life isn’t fair for everyone, and sometimes you might think you are doing the right thing investing hours and hours into writing articles or what not…

But it doesn’t always work that way people!

Learn why it didn’t work that way and move on as quickly as you can!

Now on to the big lesson for today…

Let’s move on to a big secret in business, one that will be hard to swallow for most of you, but I am going to reveal it any how right here (I normally charge quite a bit for this kind of advice).

At first, it won’t sound like any big deal, you have probably heard it a thousand times before, but bear with me…

Ready?

Here it is…

About 80% of your revenue comes from about 20% of your total efforts!

On it’s face, you have probably heard of Pareto’s Principle. You have probably heard it a thousand times…but I bet that most of you have never taken massive action on it before. Honestly, only 20% of the people who read this post ever will take action.

Here is what I mean:

* If you work 40 hours a week on your Internet business…only 8 of those hours of work are producing 80% of your revenue generated. Wouldn’t you want to take that piece of advice and give your business an honest check up from the neck up, to see what 8 hours are producing that revenue, and do more of it?

* If you make $50,000 a year in net profits from your internet business… $40,000 of that revenue came from only 20% of all of the efforts you put into generating revenue for that Internet business in that year. Instead of bitching and whining on some forum about why your posts are getting bumped, why not concentrate on finding out more about that 20%, and do more of that instead?

* Instead of worrying about the 80% of the articles you write that are not generating the traffic you like, find the 20% that are, and copy that structure of article, topic nature, etc…

* If you have 100 customers (for the sake of simple math), and you now know that only 20 of them are making you 80% of your profits, which customers do you want to spend the most of your time with?

And really, that is the big secret here…

  • You should spend 80% or more of your valuable time with only 20% of your clients, the 20% who have followed your advice in your products, and used your copywriting skills, to make millions of dollars themselves.
  • The same 20% who invest in you again and again without question, who quite frankly feed your family and put a roof over your head.
  • This same 20% doesn’t complain about every little thing, because they know that if for some reason things don’t go right, you will make sure that they do…

Because you have created the time to do so by focusing 80% of your time and energy to only 20% of your clients.

Does that mean that the other 80% of your clients suffer?

Absolutely not. They receive polite and courteous attention, and you produce quality work or products for them, so they can benefit. They get 100% of you, for the entire 20% of your time you devote to them.

This concept might be a little hard to swallow for you, I understand that.

You might be thinking “Holy smokes Joe, it sounds like you are asking me to screw over 80% of my clients!”

But that is far from the truth actually.

You see, Pareto’s Principle can be expressed for this lesson in this way too:

80% of your clients really only need 20% of your time!

That’s right, about 8 out of every 10 of your clients are only going to use your services for one project, one consultation, buy one affiliate product from your recommendation etc… and that is it.

That does not require much time at all.

But 2 out of 10 clients will invest in your product or service for repeatedly, need multiple consultations, will invest in you for the 80% of the time you devote to them.

And those are the clients that keep you in business…Period.

There is a scary revelation that applies here as well…

About 80% of all small businesses fail within 5 years.

Which also means…

About 20% of all small businesses succeed after 5 years.

Could the 20% who succeed be the same ones that master the art of focusing on their 20%?

Are you going to at least start to think about who your 20% is?

If you don’t, don’t call me in 5 years when the money runs out.

Who is your 20%?

The Death Of “It’s Just Business”

There is a dangerous moniker floating around…

“It’s just business”.

You’ve used it, I’ve used it, but as of today, I’m going to quit using it.

Why?

Because I want my business to actually mean something to people.  I don’t want to be thought of or remembered as “a good __________ .”

Instead, I want my clients (whom I take on very selectively) to know that I really do, deep down, care about their business.  It’s my business to care about them and their business…period.

Do you care about each and every one of the top clients you serve with this much passion?  Or is it “just business” for them?

Folks, we are entering a new age of business here (yes old-schoolers, that means you too)… an age where your business doesn’t matter to the customer anymore.

That is, until you make it matter.

“Making it matter” to your customer means doing things that your competitors won’t do, or can’t do, for them…and doing lots of those things.

One of the many ways I accomplish this, is I tend to surprise my clients with little extra steps and phone calls that surely they would have paid for, but didn’t have to.

How can you “go the extra mile” for your customers (and I do mean mile, not a foot)?

Think about that today.  Then download my updated version of Success Is Straight In Front Of You and take action on 3 more things at least…today.

It Isn’t About…

Folks, it isn’t about Twitter…

It isn’t about Facebook, or Foursquare, or Digg.  It’s not about any one of those tools (which is all they are by the way).

It’s about the entire Internet. Quit getting wrapped up in a single tool to build a presence or business online…which is like trying to use a wrench to build a whole house.  It can’t be done…because you need a screwdriver, hammer, and a whole host of other tools.

(a really big secret is you have to know how to build a house too…but I don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box)

So, the point of today’s lesson is simple…if you’re trying to figure out how to “make money using Twitter”, or make money with Facebook advertising by themselves…open your eyes.

It’s much bigger than that.

See the whole picture, you’re using tools (Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc…) within a bigger “toolbox” (the Internet) which is part of an industry (Marketing), which is building your house (your business).

Don’t limit yourself people.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

–Joseph Ratliff

Case Study: Moving The Free Line, And Building Lifetime Customer Relationships

A current client of mine, Jeanette Hauser, represents not only an ongoing business success story in development, but also a solid case study in moving the free line and developing lifelong customer relationships from the start.

Aside from a couple of very brief conversations in the fall of 2009 that initiated based on articles I had written on the 5-Star Affiliate Forums…

The story of how our relationship really got started and initially developed to another level is a great examination of where I think most businesses miss the boat in 3 key areas big time:

  • The initial customer experience.
  • Moving the free line.
  • Demonstrating value and building trust from the beginning of a client relationship.

So let’s cover each of these 3 areas in detail, using my experience with Jeanette as an example (I’ve gotten permission from her to use her name and experience for the purposes of this lesson).

You may think some of this is basic, and you might even say “Well duh!” to yourself as you read this, but I guarantee that most businesses do not operate this way 100% of the time (mine is close, but not perfect), so if you claim to, I would love for you to tell me your story via email.

Let’s get started…

The Initial Customer Experience

My initial interaction with Jeanette (after the brief ones mentioned above) came as a result of a forum post on the SSWT internet marketing forum operated by a good friend of mine (and very successful marketer herself) Lynn Terry.

I didn’t realize that Lynn had decided to close the forum and posted some content on one of the sections.

Jeanette read that content, and PM’ed me letting me know that the forum was closing, and  that she missed my additions to that forum (free line technique) in the form of articles and participation…as I hadn’t participated in awhile.

She also asked for any advice/suggestions that I might have had to help her with her online business that she was frustrated with.  Here is where we get into the “meat” of initial customer experience…

I could have ignored her request for what most would consider “free information”, or I might have considered her request an attempt to get some free time from me…but I didn’t.

Trust me, I’ve seen so many examples of so-called consultants, marketers, “gurus”, etc… complaining about these very things, that it makes me sick to my stomach.  To me, business should be more personal than that, no matter how big your company gets (and yes, it’s possible, but that’s for clients only 😉  ).

But I digress…

I didn’t ignore Jeanette’s request, or even put it off, I sent her an email in response (taking the interaction from the forum, and to a more personal environment).

In that email I gave her my Skype ID and office phone number, and asked to chat with her about and letting her know I did have a spare moment if she needed it.  Her reply to that email is the inspiration for this case study…and I don’t understand why more people don’t take time like this to build an initial relationship with at least some of their clients (By the way, don’t say you don’t have the time, that’s complete B.S., if you feel you don’t, then you’re not managing your business or time effectively).

In Jeanette’s response, she indicated that my reply “surprised” her, and that she hadn’t been surprised in quite awhile.  (Quite sad to me actually)

She also indicated that she wanted to “schedule” some time with me, taking advantage of my offer for a “free chat”.  While I could have done what many would have done, I could have “scheduled” that time (and maybe never delivered on it)…I didn’t…and here’s where I took a simple action that “surprised” Jeanette even further (she’ll tell you I’m full of surprises 🙂  )…

I picked up the damn phone and just called her (her phone number was in her email sig file).

Unbelievable eh?  When Jeanette picked up the phone on her end, I said something that was in our email exchange, and she immediately knew it was me.  Needless to say she was pleasantly surprised by initiative, which to me is sad to say, as I figured that would be a “normal” thing for most business owners to do.

Surprises don’t necessarily have to be in the form of a phone call by the way, so I don’t get the email that says “But Joe, I only sell digital stuff, I’m not a marketing teacher!”.

Initiating business this way  isn’t the “norm” unfortunately, hence the inspiration for this post.

Now it’s time to “move the free line”…

Moving The Free Line

Returning to our story…

I just picked up the phone and called Jeanette, and gave her a “blank check”, I believe my words were “Jeanette, unload all of your business frustrations, and let’s get to work!”.

  • Could I have made this a total “teaser” session? Sure.
  • Could I have limited the “scope” of the session? Yeah.  But Jeanette actually did that herself (there’s just too much to cover, and most people respect that).
  • Could I have used this phone call to “sell” a private one-on-one session to her? You bet, but I didn’t, I let this initial phone call do the “selling” for me…and Jeanette actually moved us to the next step herself after I explained what the next step was (at the end of our initial call).

So where did I move the free line?

During the whole experience in this initial call!

I didn’t just focus on only one “thing” to move that free line…by opening that initial session up to an almost unlimited scope of conversation…that very conversation actually moved the free line by itself.  In other words, I just let the conversation with her “do the driving”.

And after a 3.5 hour call, which provided Jeanette with some solid direction and gave her inspiration to continue building her online business (she was very frustrated with her first attempt)…she wanted to proceed to the next step.

And by the way, yes, using 3.5 hours of my time this day did put me “behind” on some other things…but I saw the investment of that time with Jeanette as more important than “some other things”, which is what that stuff you “get behind on” usually amounts to.

But the most important thing, was that next step was natural, almost logical, and I didn’t need to “sell” her at all…as I had already proven myself to her by offering massive value upfront.

At this point, I had earned the trust of a client, but where most business owners make a grave mistake…I didn’t.

Most business owners think this is the point where they can “let loose” and think they have developed a “lifetime relationship” with the person who decided to do business with them.

In other words, they deliver their paid product/service, might do some basic follow up on the purchase/investment…and that’s it.  Epic fail. Because contrary to what most people think, I haven’t built the kind of trust required to separate myself from other coaches out there.

The type of trust that leads to the possibility of a lifetime customer relationship starts to get built when you over deliver on your product…

Demonstrating Value And Building Trust

So Jeanette and I decided on a private session to cover some important areas of her efforts thus far, and take those to the next level (along with her business).

She invested in the session, and we conducted the agreed upon session, where she was more than satisfied with what I delivered according to our agreement.

  • She had new direction…
  • She had discovered a real niche (at first, she was attempting to create an online business that would have required her to adjust her lifestyle goals)…
  • She was ready to get started building a solid lifestyle.

And sadly, this is where most business owners leave it. Client pays, the business owner delivers as promised (sometimes), and said client goes on some buyer’s list to get sold to again and again (not good enough in today’s hyper-competitive business climate I’m afraid).

And I could have left it at that as well, in fact, Jeanette said so (that I delivered as agreed).

But I recognized an opportunity to help her again, as it didn’t seem something was totally clear to me (our session uncovered an important need).  So I offered an “extended session” on another day (no charge) to make sure Jeanette was completely and more than taken-care-of.

The main point here is…I took the initiative to make sure she was taken care of completely and more, she didn’t have to issue a ticket at some “helpless-desk” to ask for that help.

Do you have processes in place to make sure your customers are taken care of, even when they might say they are?  And before I get the email that says “Joe, how am I supposed to know what will take care of my customers?”, while you won’t ever get to perfection (I’m not), most businesses aren’t even 50% of the way there, if at all.

Research, live, and breath your market…it’s why you have to get REALLY good at one thing, instead of focusing on one million things.  Use autoresponders, systems, and people to make sure you take care of the little things, because the “little things” that you don’t think matter…matter the most to your customers.

And here’s where the lifetime relationship starts to get built…

In our extended session, Jeanette and I hemmed and hawed, went back and forth…then something important happened…

Jeanette had what I would call an epiphany.

This epiphany was totally outside of the scope of the coaching that Jeanette paid for, and was the real reason I scheduled this session…because I wanted to make things “click” for her.

And “click” it did.

Now I had built the type of trust where Jeanette likes it when I call. 🙂  It’s the beginning of a lifetime of discussions and interactions between us.

In fact I called her today, surprising her again (which she’s getting used to, and should be, but she said she doesn’t take it for granted)…and she will be building the website for the online business that we discussed by the second week of May.  I will link that site to this blog post when it’s complete.

So, the big lesson here is, yes…it takes “going the extra mile” to develop profitable relationships with clients.  But if you’re not currently going the extra mile right now…aren’t your clients worth it?

You don’t want to join the Great Online Filtering do you?