My thoughts on paid traffic and why people aren't making money...

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Here's an article I recently put on my blog after getting tons of emails and complaints about how paid traffic doesn't work (especially the source I talk about in this article). Here's some insight as to why you may not be making money or sales.

The Truth About Traffic

I feel like this is an article that is long overdue

In fact, I haven't read anything like this anywhere online so know that these are my personal opinions (sort of, I know some other big time traffic guys that 100% agree with me).

If you've never ventured into paid traffic before then this article will be a nice introduction into how you should view online visitors. If you've driven a lot of traffic before but still aren't making money this article will serve as a wake up call and hopefully shed some light on where you've gone wrong.
Is there an issue with online traffic?
This will depend entirely upon who you're talking with.

If you're making a solid income online, then there probably isn't much of an issue (although I'll be the first to admit everyone can tighten up their game)

Now, assuming you have a great offer you're promoting, traffic is by far the biggest obstacle to overcome. It can make or break your bank account very quickly.

So why are people losing money so quickly?

Even affiliate offers that are proven to convert aren't making sales with some of today's "hottest" traffic spots.

What is exactly is going on?

The Herding Effect
Internet marketing has a massive herding effect in terms of where to advertise, what to advertise and the how to get the highest R.O.I.

As soon as anyone with a name or status mentions something everyone runs in that direction without thinking twice.NO-This ties very closely into the shiny object syndrome "epidemic" most people face (if everyone is doing this, it must work).

With just about every traffic source you'll see the herding effect. It isn't always a bad thing, however, if we take a closer look at the true purpose of advertisement it can create a massive problem for anyone looking to make the most out of their limited ad budget.

Advertisement as a whole starts with content being created that offers value, which in turn puts eyeballs on that outlet (website, television, newspaper etc.) Very simple.

Remove that benefit the content provides and here's where the downfall begins.

Let's use television for example. Assume their was an incredible show that <em>everyone</em> watched and by t.v. standards was a hit series.

Now ask yourself, what happens when the writers get fired, or the main actors leave, or the story takes a turn for the worst? The content that was once at it's peak has now diminished.

As the content goes, so do the eyeballs.

So how does this tie into online advertising?

Value? Or Incentive?
One of the hottest sources of advertisement at the moment is Solo Ads, there's no arguing that.

You can build a list up very quickly and put offers in front of hundreds to thousands of eyeballs literally in hours.

Now, most profitable list owners take care of their list (many still do not). They maintain it and put a watch on everything it sees. There is value present as they provide good content to the readers. Just like the television show, people are hanging around because of the value being added.

So what happens when that list owner decides to start publishing ads to his list? Nothing big, maybe once per week.

The value is diminished but for the most part it's still there.

However, he realizes there's money to be made. He doesn't have to do any work or even create a product or do the marketing. Could he sell 2 ads per week? 3? What about everyday?

All of the sudden the loyal following of 20,000 people he once had is being bombarded with offers everyday, sometimes twice per day (and don't kid yourself, these people have offers being forced down their throat at all times).

The list grows weak and tiresome, they don't buy products like they used to so that list owner is now a full-time list vendor.

Riding the Waves...
There are Solo Ad vendors online everywhere now. It has come to the point where they seek you out to advertise to their list and most wreak of desperation.

The Solo Ad vendors are now getting less and less response from their worn out lists so they swap lists with each other.

The problem is, there's still no value.

They're able to swap leads and emails by offering free giveaways, in turn they build their list with more and more people who aren't interested in buying anything.

They get more emails added to their list, the leads get more free ebooks and everyone wins!

Except you...

As someone looking to make money through sales, you want your product offer in front of the best customers. Most of these lists however are filled to the brim (I'm talking 100k leads) with people who are trained to receive free information. There is no value, every lead exchanged is based entirely upon incentive.

What's worse is that the price of Solo Ads is going UP!

Scary Fact: I recently spoke with a list owner who offered me a spot in her list swap (I respectfully declined). She told me she was selling Solo Ads and had a list of about 14,000 leads. I was impressed considering she had only been doing this for a little over a year with a small budget.

She then went on to tell me when she's not advertising solo ads she sends out offers to her list. The same offer. Everyday. Two times per day.

And through mailing her list of 14,000 leads 2 times per day throughout the week, on average she makes 1 sale per week.

What? The same list we're paying 60 cents per click for? Yep...

How You Should View Traffic (And Make the Most of Your Ad Budget)
Start looking at traffic as eye balls on content.

Before you do a Solo ad try to get on the vendors mailing list. Are they hammering the list every single day with ads? Are they congruent with the offers they're sending? (Or are they sending an Empower Network ad one day and Clickbank Software the next?)

By adding this inspection into my routine before I advertise with any vendor I immediately eliminate 75% of list advertisements.

After that it comes down to testing.

Testing is essential (and unfortunately requires a good sized budget) in online advertising, but the process really isn't too complicated. Scrap the losers, pick out the winners and stick with them until you start losing money.

With my membership site I'm constantly testing new ads and giving the data back to my members for them to go ahead and use the winners. I recently tested a Solo Ad for 500 clicks. Now, keep in mind my front end offer converts well at roughly 3.5% on quality traffic. Of the 500 clicks she sent I made ZERO sales. Pathetic.

And while I have taken some bad losses like this, it's also allowed me to develop a strong network of lists, newsletters, sites and demographics that I can target and will almost always come out on top.

Traffic Models
It doesn't matter if you're using Google PPC, Facebook PPC, Solo ads... you have to view the source as a piece of content and see if the fans and viewers of that content are a match for your offer. There's no sure fire way to tell if you'll make money (and if I knew I probably wouldn't share it), but if it all makes sense it simply comes down to testing.

Some experts will advise you come up with a "perfect customer profile" but I've had everyone from Mom's in Delaware to businessmen in Toronto buy my products. Am I casting my net to wide (should I focus in more on a specific demographic)? I don't think so.

However, before I put out an advertisement I'll continue to research everything I can about the platform I'm advertising on, the viewers that see it and what my ideal customers are looking for in their products. After that, it's a roll of the dice.

It's a bit of a read but if anyone did go through it all I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
#making #money #paid #people #thoughts #traffic

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