Traffic generation is one of the most important things you’ll need to do as an affiliate marketer. Simply put, without traffic you don’t have an Internet business.
The problem most people have with traffic generation is they understand the techniques, but NOT the mindset behind many of them.
Fortunately Logan has a great guest post which details a number of “Inner Game” strategies that can take your web traffic to the next level…
You’ve read all the blog posts, you’ve spent DAYS on social media, you’ve written until your hand aches and your pen runs dry…
…but the people are elusive.
They won’t come.
No matter what you do, your site remains a barren wasteland of unseen dreams.
Worthy of attention, but invisible to the masses.
Does this sound familiar?
You have an idea, you create a website, you spend COUNTLESS hours writing dozens (or hundreds) of blog posts.
No one links to you, almost no one comments, no one shares what you have to say and your analytics look like a heart attack victim.
In this post, I’m going to expose the TRUTH about what it really takes to get visitors.
Loads of traffic.
No…I’m not going to give you 29 amorphous “traffic tips” or any other rehashed B.S. We’re gonna dive deep…to the heart of the matter…and tackle your traffic problem once and for all.
Awesome. Let’s start.
Most people look at generating traffic completely wrong.
Like absolutely backwards.
Here’s the thing:
Building massive amounts of traffic is NOT about learning the latest “shiny object” tactic or strategy.
Not at all.
In fact, building traffic isn’t even about traffic.
It’s about CONVERSIONS.
It’s about getting actual human beings to click your ad, follow your link or “like” your fan page.
And how do you increase conversions?
First, you understand the deep inner desires, fantasies and “hot buttons” of your target audience.
You research your market and find out exactly what people are ALREADY looking for. The struggles they are going through, their pain points, the dreams that even they can’t put a finger on…
Then, you optimize your marketing to speak directly to these emotions.
You create a powerful “connection” between your conversion system and the needs of the people you are trying to reach.
You provide a solution so right-on-the-money that people are fighting like hungry sharks to get at your bait.
Literally banging your door down to get access to your material.
Once you can achieve this kind of “feeding frenzy” effect, you will never have to worry about traffic ever again.
But before we get ahead of ourselves…let’s take a step back.
Let’s take a deep breath and approach this traffic puzzle from square one: The place 99% of affiliate marketers never go.
Okay so before we dive into the “nitty gritty” of this post, I want to establish something of paramount importance: Your job as an affiliate marketer.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is simple: to provide solutions to peoples problems.
To cure pains.
To fix ailments.
NOT to tell/sell people what you think they need.
Sorry, but your readers don’t care about you.
Not even a little bit.
They care about themselves and their needs…and whether or not you can solve them.
With this in mind, if you want to make screaming progress you must identify an unfulfilled need…and then fill it.
Better than anyone else.
Fill it so thoroughly that people are left dumbfounded by the amount of value you’ve given them.
Reeling in the awesomeness of your content.
Unfortunately, this is not what most people do.
Most people write (mediocre) content and marketing about what THEY think their readers want to hear.
They focus on their credentials and fill their site with random musings while ignoring the hulking problem that is “emotionally motivating” their readers to search for a solution.
Don’t make this mistake.
Spend some time to uncover your audience’s hidden motivators and watch your traffic soar.
Okay, now it’s time for the good stuff.
You understand how flawed most people’s perception of traffic is.
You realize the importance of providing solutions.
Now it’s time to take this theoretical philosophy and bring it down to Earth. Tomerge it with the specific, actionable strategies that will create HUGE results in your business.
Here’s the deal:
Traffic comes last. Yep, last.
Before you even think about writing guest posts, buying Facebook ads or building links, there are four steps you must complete. Four steps that are absolutely essential to your online success–especially in today’s crowded markets.
Here they are:
It all starts here.
With you recognizing a need that is being unmet.
This can be a bit tricky and will evolve over time…but here’s a few tips to get you started:
1. Be an idea hawk
The first step is to consciously look for unmet needs while running your business. When you’re reading through comments, answering emails and connecting with other marketers.
Once you start looking for unmet needs, you’ll start to see them everywhere.
2. Run surveys
If you already have an audience, one of the best ways to uncover unmet needs is to run surveys. Use the free tool SurveyMonkey to compose regular surveys that dive into the fears, desires and frustrations of your readers.
This can be a great way to gain insight into the minds of your audience…but you have to do it right.
Surveys can come across as annoying and it’s important to ask effective, high leverage questions.
For a great “survey crafting” resource, check out Ramit Sethi’s “How to Write a $100,000 Survey.”
3. Use email
I’m all about automation, especially when it comes to my email list.
But there’s one (unconventional) email strategy I will never automate.
Here’s how it works:
Every time someone joins my list, I take the time to send them a personal email.
From my “private” gmail account.
In this email I thank the person for signing up, build anticipation for the value to come, and then ask one high-leverage question:
“What is your biggest marketing problem right now?”
This “insight gaining” question, combined with the relationship-building power of a personal email is extremely powerful. (I must give credit where credit is due. Thanks to Derek Halpern for sparking this idea)
In addition to this specific strategy, I also try to weave powerful questions into my blog posts and follow-up emails.
4. Actually Talk to people
While email and surveys can be effective, nothing compares to speaking one-on-one with your readers.
This can be via email or on social media.
Or IDEALLY…you offer free or paid consulting and talk with dozens of people over the phone.
However you do it, the most important thing you can do for your business is to spend time everyday interacting with your customers and asking what their needs, problems and fantasies are.
Remember: you are looking for an “emotionally motivating” UNMET need that people are ALREADY trying to solve but have few perceived options.
Uncover a problem like this and you win.
Trying to appeal to everyone is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as an affiliate marketer. It will ruin your business.
By trying to appeal to everyone–by not taking a clear and specific stance–you will end up appealing to no one.
By targeting too wide an audience you will dilute your message and end up not even connecting with your ideal customer.
Not want you want to do.
With this in mind, the next step is to determine a SPECIFIC segment of people who you want to “talk to.”
Who you’re going to direct your marketing at.
If you’ve done the last step, you should already have an idea of who you want to target.
Maybe it’s 30-50 year old chronically injured Republican male tennis players.
Maybe it’s 18-30 year old females who want to lose weight but hate exercise.
Whoever it is, here are five guiding questions to help you identify your ideal target audience:
- Is this person experiencing an emotionally motivating pain, problem or (as Eben Pagan calls it) “irrational passion?”
- Is this person already looking for your solution?
- Does this person have few or no perceived options?
- Is there potential for a long term relationship? (can you make money over and over again?)
- Are other people making money targeting a similar audience?
If you can answer yes to all five of these questions, you’ve got your audience.
Above all, remember this:
When defining an audience…go narrow, polarize, and talk to one specific group of people.
Not ten, one.
People follow leaders who stand for something so speak enthusiastically to one group and IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE!
Okay so by now you’ve uncovered and unmet need and defined a narrow target market.
The next step is to craft a USP that speaks directly to your audience’s “pain points.” A message that makes people stop DEAD in their tracks and give your site their full attention.
While I could create a whole course on this topic, here are a few key things you need to remember:
1. Give people what they want, not what they need
When crafting your contagious marketing message, you must speak to the DESIRES your audience has, even if that’s not what they need.
For example, people looking to build a popular website want that one killer strategy–that “magic bullet” tactic that will virtually guarantee their success.
And as you probably know, such a tactic doesn’t exist.
What that person really NEEDS is a holistic education in marketing, copywriting, traffic and conversions.
But people don’t want to hear that.
They want a push-button solution that will solve their problems fast with little or no effort…
…and your job is to give that to them.
To draw your audience in with a killer tactic that will excite and motivate people to take action, THEN give them what they really need.
While marketing is all about fulfilling expressed desires, you can still give people the holistic solution that will give them real, long term results.
Just not at first.
2. Make it tangible not abstract
People are FAR more motivated when others speak to tangibles rather than intangibles.
I realize that sentence is probably horrifically intangible, so let me put it another way:
We are far more motivated by hard, real world, “tangible” things than abstract, up-in-the-air concepts and ideas.
For example, “gain financial freedom” is quite abstract.
On the other hand, “Have $1,325 deposited directly into your bank account in two weeks” is much more tangible. And much more motivating.
You can “see” it in your mind.
In order to captivate your audience, speak not to “wishy-washy” concepts but to real world tangible BENEFITS that represent their problem being solved.
3. Use the words they’ve given you
When you’re interacting with your audience, pay attention to the words they use to describe their needs.
Are there certain phrases that keep popping up?
Are there certain ways of describing the problem that you hear over and over again?
If there are, you may have just found your marketing.
If several people are using a similar “emotion filled” phrase to explain their problem…chances are it will resonate with many more.
4. Make it Purposeful, Original and Pithy
In the (fantastic) book Pop!, Sam Horn lays out three rules for creating a marketing message that stands out:
- Make it Purposeful: Accurately articulate the essence of your offering. Make it clear not clever.
- Make it Original: Offer something unlike anyone else. Create a “new tell-a-friend phenomenon.”
- Make it Pithy: Make your message concise and impactful. People are impatient so make your long story short and motivating.
Like much of what we’ve talked about here, creating and refining your message will be a process.
You won’t get it exactly right the first time.
But with enough testing and refining…you’ll eventually be able to “crack the code” and initiate a frenzy of excitement from your audience…every single time.
The final “pre-traffic” step is to create a system designed to convert traffic into internet gold: email subscribers.
Like traffic, most people approach conversion entirely wrong.
They ask for the opt-in/sale BEFORE they demonstrate value. Before they show the prospect that they can solve their problem.
This is a huge mistake.
As you’ll see when you visit my site, I take a radically different approach.
I create a “system” that is designed to demonstrate enormous value, invoke curiosity, and MAXIMIZE the leverage of my actions.
While my “gift package” is only one way to convert visitors, there are two things you need to remember when designing a conversion system:
- You must “emotionally motivate” your visitors. You must speak to your audiences “pain points” and “sell the dream” in a way that inspires them to take action.
- You must deliver value BEFORE you ask a visitor to take action. Unless they see that you have information that they want, why should they care?
As you can see, there is more to building traffic than meets the eye.
Before you even think of buying Facebook ads, writing guest posts or creating a Youtube funnel, spend at least a few days (yes, days) sorting out who your audience is, what problem they have, and how you can speak to them with a dynamic marketing message.
Yes this will require significant effort, time and testing…but the results can be mind-blowing.
If you spend the time to sort out these critical aspects of building traffic…your analytics will take a sharp turn for the heavens. Click through rates will skyrocket, conversions will increase, your email list will flourish.
I know I’ve given you a lot to think about in this post, but don’t become overwhelmed.
As I said earlier, this is a process. It won’t happen overnight.
They key is just to get started.
Put up an opt-in form, plan a survey, take action and then tweak your site/message/conversion system along the way. Hundreds of tiny improvements can add up to one helluva traffic system.
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