From my notebook: "There is no such thing as a traffic problem..."

34 replies
I am a voracious note taker and actually re-read my notes from time to time. Here's one I thought you guys might find interesting. It's from some notes I took during the 2013 Black Friday Boot Camp with Ryan Deiss and Frank Kern.

Unfortunately, I didn't write down which one of them said this, but here it is:

"There is no such thing as a 'traffic problem' there are only 'offer problems.' If you spend all your time on the offer, you can't fail. If the offer is great, everyone is going to want to promote it, and you'll make enough money to afford the best SEO guy, the best ad guy, etc... People think they need more traffic, but what they really need is a great offer."

Years ago, when I wrote a pretty popular humor blog, people used to ask me how I got so much traffic. I used to tell them my secret was to deliver really good content and people would start showing up. It's kind of the same thing, isn't it?

What do you guys think? Do you focus too much on trying to get traffic and not enough on the offer?
#advice #marketing #notebook #seo #traffic
  • Great advice! Ofcourse doesn't help if you are an affiliate marketer the you are the guy on the other end.
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9236981].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brendon Zahrndt
    William,

    They likely prefaced that statement with the fact that you must be sitting in front of the correct target market.

    Pitching the best bison beef in the universe likely won't convert many vegans.

    Assuming what should be obvious then, spending time crafting your offer and then testing and tweaking it after the fact is vital.

    One thing the big boys all have in common (that we should all take lessons in) is getting the right message in front of the right people.

    That should never change.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9236994].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
      Originally Posted by Brendon Zahrndt View Post

      William,

      They likely prefaced that statement with the fact that you must be sitting in front of the correct target market.

      Pitching the best bison beef in the universe likely won't convert many vegans.

      ...

      That should never change.
      I totally agree, but what they seem to be saying is if your offer is good enough, it will automatically find it's way in front of the correct target audience.
      Signature
      Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237017].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thejimy
    You hit exactly the real problem...

    In my many years of accompanying website clients, I have seen all kind of situations. Some did great with little traffic, others had huge traffic and yet no conversions, some just couldn't get neither of both.

    The source of the problem was always the offer or product (unless clients had taken no marketing steps at all, which I have seen also). My suggestion has been always to adjust what is offered. In some cases, the product itself was not problematic, just the how it is offered.

    Unfortunately, a majority doesn't take the proper or any action at all regarding this.

    On those that do, I happen to have seen sites receiving "magically" more traffic out of thin air, when no additional marketing efforts was done, just by improving the offer or the presentation/performance of a site/offer.

    I know, because I have experienced all kind of cases, as that I can only agree with you!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9236996].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    It's 100% accurate man.

    If you have an awesome funnel, and an awesome offer, you literally can't lose.



    (You can buy all the traffic in the world, and since the offer is so badass, you'll profit).

    The trouble... Naturally... Is developing that killer offer.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237026].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      I'm sorry but I totally disagree with this. My business model and subsequent collapse of it proves that there IS such a thing as a traffic problem.

      Briefly.

      I used to get all my traffic from article marketing using directories like Ezine Articles to drive traffic to my opt in pages and eventually to my offers. I was making close to 5 figures a month. I had some amazing offers.

      Flash forward ahead to when Google put the screws to the article directories and my traffic dried up literally overnight and eventually my income.

      Same offers. No income.

      Sorry, totally 100% disagree with traffic not being a problem.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237035].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I'm sorry but I totally disagree with this. My business model and subsequent collapse of it proves that there IS such a thing as a traffic problem.

        Briefly.

        I used to get all my traffic from article marketing using directories like Ezine Articles to drive traffic to my opt in pages and eventually to my offers. I was making close to 5 figures a month. I had some amazing offers.

        Flash forward ahead to when Google put the screws to the article directories and my traffic dried up literally overnight and eventually my income.

        Same offers. No income.

        Sorry, totally 100% disagree with traffic not being a problem.
        Maybe your offers weren't quite as great as you thought. If they were truly great offers, people would be excited to promote your products and thus sending traffic. Is it possible you were force-feeding less-than-perfect offers with truly-great article marketing?

        Was there even an affiliate program in place for your products?

        I certainly don't know and don't mean any disrespect. But, it's a possibility, isn't it?
        Signature
        Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237061].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by DeadRooster View Post

          Maybe your offers weren't quite as great as you thought. If they were truly great offers, people would be excited to promote your products and thus sending traffic. Is it possible you were force-feeding less-than-perfect offers with truly-great article marketing?

          Was there even an affiliate program in place for your products?

          I certainly don't know and don't mean any disrespect. But, it's a possibility, isn't it?
          No, there was no affiliate program. I kept 100% of every sale. What does that have to do with the "offer"? Does every great product have an affiliate program? No. You're completely sidestepping my point. I had my offer, many of them to be exact, and by generating traffic via article marketing, those offers sold well. If the offers were bad to begin with, they would have NOT sold well. Certainly not to the tune of 5 figures a month.

          Traffic died, income died.

          If the offer was bad to begin with, no amount of traffic would have mattered. That is what you're saying, that traffic isn't a problem. It's the offer. Well, I made lots of money so my offers had to be good. No refunds either. So it wasn't like I fooled people through great "article marketing" into buying crap.

          My testimonials were off the charts great. I had pages of them.

          Again, traffic died, income died.

          You can dance around this all you like, but you're wrong. Traffic, and knowing how to generate traffic matters. You can have the best offer in the world, but if people don't see it, you make NO money.

          Again, you are flat out dead wrong.

          No disrespect intended.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237073].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author BizQ
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post


            You can dance around this all you like, but you're wrong. Traffic, and knowing how to generate traffic matters. You can have the best offer in the world, but if people don't see it, you make NO money.

            Again, you are flat out dead wrong.

            No disrespect intended.
            Exactly.


            Thank you for posting this dose of reality.
            Signature

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237108].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            No, there was no affiliate program. I kept 100% of every sale. What does that have to do with the "offer"? Does every great product have an affiliate program? No. You're completely sidestepping my point. I had my offer, many of them to be exact, and by generating traffic via article marketing, those offers sold well. If the offers were bad to begin with, they would have NOT sold well. Certainly not to the tune of 5 figures a month.

            Traffic died, income died.

            If the offer was bad to begin with, no amount of traffic would have mattered. That is what you're saying, that traffic isn't a problem. It's the offer. Well, I made lots of money so my offers had to be good. No refunds either. So it wasn't like I fooled people through great "article marketing" into buying crap.

            My testimonials were off the charts great. I had pages of them.

            Again, traffic died, income died.

            You can dance around this all you like, but you're wrong. Traffic, and knowing how to generate traffic matters. You can have the best offer in the world, but if people don't see it, you make NO money.

            Again, you are flat out dead wrong.

            No disrespect intended.
            I'm not offended in the least; you're not saying I'm wrong, you're saying Ryan Deiss and Frank Kern are wrong. All I did was post their quote.

            Having said that, you're not giving it the full credit. Part of what they're saying is if you have a great offer people will want to promote it and the traffic will come, at least in part, from that promotion. They also mention ads and SEO. It's not like you're hanging your offer out there in space.

            Your product didn't have an affiliate program, so I don't think you can judge whether what they say is right or wrong--at least as far as your product was concerned.
            Signature
            Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237305].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by DeadRooster View Post

              I'm not offended in the least; you're not saying I'm wrong, you're saying Ryan Deiss and Frank Kern are wrong. All I did was post their quote.

              Having said that, you're not giving it the full credit. Part of what they're saying is if you have a great offer people will want to promote it and the traffic will come, at least in part, from that promotion. They also mention ads and SEO. It's not like you're hanging your offer out there in space.

              Your product didn't have an affiliate program, so I don't think you can judge whether what they say is right or wrong--at least as far as your product was concerned.
              I am replying to your post AS stated. If you want to add caveats or disclaimers to it, fine. Do that. But to flat out say categorically that the ONLY thing that matters is the offer and that traffic is NOT a person's problem is so far out in left field that it's laughable.

              I will not comment as far as the person's responsible for this ridiculous quote out of respect to rule # 1 of this forum.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237331].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
              Originally Posted by DeadRooster View Post

              Part of what they're saying is if you have a great offer people will want to promote it and the traffic will come, at least in part, from that promotion.

              This is CORRECT. If you're looking for affiliates, it is ESSENTIAL to have a "great offer." And, by great offer, I mean one that converts.

              This is Internet marketing 101. Ideally, before you even approach potential affiliates, you should test your offer (typically via PPC) to see what your conversion rate is. If the product is good and your conversion rate is good... you'll attract affiliates and THEY will drive traffic for you.

              On the other hand, if you do NOT use affiliates, your conversion rate STILL matters... but traffic becomes much more of a CRITICAL issue.

              I think you and Steven are BOTH right -- but the two of you are talking about different scenarios.

              John
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237452].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                This is CORRECT. If you're looking for affiliates, it is ESSENTIAL to have a "great offer." And, by great offer, I mean one that converts.

                This is Internet marketing 101. Ideally, before you even approach potential affiliates, you should test your offer (typically via PPC) to see what your conversion rate is. If the product is good and your conversion rate is good... you'll attract affiliates and THEY will drive traffic for you.

                On the other hand, if you do NOT use affiliates, your conversion rate STILL matters... but traffic becomes much more of a CRITICAL issue.

                I think you and Steven are BOTH right -- but the two of you are talking about different scenarios.

                John
                You're absolutely right John. If you have a great offer and decide to let affiliates do all the work for you, sure, they can do all the traffic driving leaving you to take care of all the other stuff, which is considerable.

                But if you don't go after affiliates, something I never did, then traffic is the only thing that matters because with tons of traffic, even if your offer is crap, you can still make money just off of Adsense if you want.

                Case in point, my friend's royalty free music site sells nothing. He gives all his music away for free. He makes $6,000 a month just off of ad clicks.

                Had he not had the kind of traffic he gets, no way in hell he makes that kind of money.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237469].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Wealthyclark
                Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                I think you and Steven are BOTH right -- but the two of you are talking about different scenarios.

                John
                Johnny is 100% correct, they both matter and you are both correct. You need both a good offer and traffic to succeed, it doesn't matter who generates the traffic the fact is you need it.

                Wishing you all much success,
                WealthyClark
                Signature
                Now Accepting All Countries! Earn $5.10 Per Free Referral, Totally Free To Participate!
                WealthyClark.com
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237822].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author talfighel
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I used to get all my traffic from article marketing using directories like Ezine Articles to drive traffic to my opt in pages and eventually to my offers.
        That is the problem today Steven.

        Too many gurus STILL recommend article marketing, especially in the make money online niche. Many of us know that article marketing in today's internet marketing world does not work well like it used to 2-5 years ago. Complete waste of time.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237347].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

          That is the problem today Steven.

          Too many gurus STILL recommend article marketing, especially in the make money online niche. Many of us know that article marketing in today's internet marketing world does not work well like it used to 2-5 years ago. Complete waste of time.
          Of course it doesn't work. That's my point. Same offers, poor traffic generation method, no money.

          Ludicrous that traffic doesn't matter.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237354].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author BWHadam
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I'm sorry but I totally disagree with this. My business model and subsequent collapse of it proves that there IS such a thing as a traffic problem.

        Briefly.

        I used to get all my traffic from article marketing using directories like Ezine Articles to drive traffic to my opt in pages and eventually to my offers. I was making close to 5 figures a month. I had some amazing offers.

        Flash forward ahead to when Google put the screws to the article directories and my traffic dried up literally overnight and eventually my income.

        Same offers. No income.

        Sorry, totally 100% disagree with traffic not being a problem.
        what about repeated traffic, why customers didn't return? what was your niche?
        Signature

        Lowest Possible Price Servers- PawnHost.com

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237390].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by BWHadam View Post

          what about repeated traffic, why customers didn't return? what was your niche?
          It wasn't that kind of business. These were products that you bought once (mostly information) and that was it. And yes, I did create hundreds of informational products. But after a while it was pointless to keep making them. New traffic (which was non existent) didn't warrant the time spent. I was putting in 40 hours of work for $300. It just wasn't worth it.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237428].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author timpears
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      The trouble... Naturally... Is developing that killer offer.
      Yes, so how do you produce the killer product? I know someone who had done it over and over again, but to have him work for me on a project costs $5.000. I ain't got $5,000 so that is a moot suggestion unfortunately.
      Signature

      Tim Pears

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9238278].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mrgoe
    You can`t just expect to get traffic with good offers, didn`t you hear that story that was going around years ago here ? It`s like opening a great mall in the desert and expecting people to show up without any roads to it. You need to make your website known, you need to send some people to it before it gets known
    Signature
    I Use SiteGround For Hosting
    And SpinRewriter For Unlimited, Unique Content.
    Try Them
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237115].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ekup
    You are right, there is no thing as traffic problem if you have a quality product. Your product will get traffic even if you have very less number of people promoting it. It is your customers who will give voice for your product.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9237726].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Evan H
    Agreed...You can have all the traffic in the world but if you have an offer that doesn't convert or just a mediocre sales funnel...what good is the traffic?
    Signature
    Powerful Blogging & SEO related content published weekly...Follow the journey here: EvanHoeflichMarketing.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9238234].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    When you are Frank Kern and Ryan Deiss, you never have a traffic problem. Easy for them to say. They have already built their traffic. Now all they need to focus on is the offer.

    "The only advantage I want," I reply...


    "Is...

    A Starving Crowd!"


    Think about it. When it comes to direct marketing, the most profitable habit you can cultivate is the habit of constantly being on the lookout for groups of people (markets) who have demonstrated that they are starving (or, at least hungry) for some particular product or service.

    This comes from the great Gary Halbert, read the article here: Direct Marketing To A Starving Crowd


    And I know Frank Kern either worked with or studied Gary Halbert, as evidenced here:

    Another thing I learned about myself from these blogs is, I have teamed up with a man named "Frank Kern" and have written a long, scammy letter which has made us both millions of dollars. I don't even know Frank Kern. Maybe I met him at a seminar once and perhaps we shook hands. But then again, I'm not clear about that.
    You can read that letter here: The Gary Halbert Letter

    Now, don't get me wrong. Frank Kern is a brilliant marketer. But you have to remember, his is still a marketer.

    So, he knows, you need a starving market first, then you find or create the offer to fit.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9238258].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
      Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post


      I have teamed up with a man named "Frank Kern" and have written a long, scammy letter...
      LOL. That's hilarious! I love Gary. He was such a genius and I really miss him. My #1 mentor... I'm always saying: "What would Gary Halbert do?"
      Signature
      Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241343].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author themusiccoach
    I know this is referred to a lot but this 3 page report from Eben Pagen (which I have seen 100 times and finally read and NOW I get why it is always referred to!) helped me understand the issue being discuessed so here it is. REGARDING THE NICHE
    Signature

    Peace And Possibilities,

    Kyle O -
    Prinicipal , Student, and Teacher
    The Web Traffic School

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9238299].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
      Originally Posted by themusiccoach View Post

      I know this is referred to a lot but this 3 page report from Eben Pagen (which I have seen 100 times and finally read and NOW I get why it is always referred to!) helped me understand the issue being discuessed so here it is. REGARDING THE NICHE
      Great ebook! Thanks for the share.

      I especially like how he explains why you want to narrow your niche: when you have a headache you don't pick up a bottle labeled "medicine" but look for one specifically for headaches. Great stuff.

      The link you gave leads to a 27-page ebook, though, not a 3-pager.
      Signature
      Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9240016].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
        Originally Posted by themusiccoach View Post

        I know this is referred to a lot but this 3 page report from Eben Pagen (which I have seen 100 times and finally read and NOW I get why it is always referred to!) helped me understand the issue being discuessed so here it is. REGARDING THE NICHE
        Originally Posted by DeadRooster View Post

        Great ebook! Thanks for the share.

        I especially like how he explains why you want to narrow your niche: when you have a headache you don't pick up a bottle labeled "medicine" but look for one specifically for headaches. Great stuff.

        The link you gave leads to a 27-page ebook, though, not a 3-pager.
        With respect, Eben is discussing nothing new - it is the principle taught on and off line all over the business and marketing worlds. All Eben, and others do, is reframe it, and give it plenty of "WOW" factor to excite you. The idea is easy... implementing it isn't quite so easy
        Signature

        The quickest way to build your list and evaluate/optimize your opt-in message. Want to know how my clients get their results using Low Cost Solo Ads? Find out here

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241368].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
          Originally Posted by Ian Jackson View Post

          With respect, Eben is discussing nothing new - it is the principle taught on and off line all over the business and marketing worlds. All Eben, and others do, is reframe it, and give it plenty of "WOW" factor to excite you. The idea is easy... implementing it isn't quite so easy
          Oh, yes... I've heard it all before. But, what impressed me was the story he told to clarify it. You make a great point though, we are constantly learning the same things over and over again...

          I think it was Dan Kennedy who said he has been creating and selling new products using the same 35 points in different packaging for years.
          Signature
          Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241406].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
            Ultimately though, unless there IS a market demand (as suggested by the Wagy), then there is little point in creating a product (your "fab idea") to sell, regardless of its quality.

            Many pitches on investment programmes fail because of this basic principle.
            Signature

            The quickest way to build your list and evaluate/optimize your opt-in message. Want to know how my clients get their results using Low Cost Solo Ads? Find out here

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241450].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Steve B
              Debating whether a great offer or the ability to drive traffic is most important is really not the point.

              It's not the point because you don't need to be deciding between one or the other.

              Both are possible and that should be your goal.

              A great offer might sell itself . . . but you know that if you can drive tons of targeted traffic to it you're going to make more profit from it than if you don't.

              On the flip side, sure if you're good at driving traffic you can sell a mediocre offer . . . but you know that if you have a fantastic and compelling offer you're going to make more profit from it than if you don't.

              "It doesn't matter how thin you make the batter, a pancake always has two sides."

              So the question becomes: how can you craft a fantastic offer and then drive tons of traffic to it?

              Figure that out and you'll make more money than if you simply debate the issue and set up camp in one side or the other.

              Steve
              Signature

              Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
              SteveBrowneDirect

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241556].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
                Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

                Debating whether a great offer or the ability to drive traffic is most important is really not the point.

                It's not the point because you don't need to be deciding between one or the other.

                Both are possible and that should be your goal.

                ...
                Absolutely agree with you, Steve.

                After re-reading the original quote and thinking about it a bit, I think the reason they said what they did about it is because so many people but such a lopsided amount of time on the traffic aspect and, after the sale page converts half-way decent, tend to ignore the offer aspect.
                Signature
                Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241869].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    If you truly have a great offer, traffic is easy to come by.

    If traffic isn't easy to come by, you 1) don't really have a great offer and/or 2) have a strategy problem.
    Signature
    "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
    ~ Zig Ziglar
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241280].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jeremy49
    Excellent book, thanks themusiccoach

    Also liked the fact that niche's are discovered and not chosen. Many Gurus still preach that you chose something you know about or like. This seems to imply you should start with a very painful headache, then provide the pill.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241291].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Which came first...the Chicken or the Egg?

    Without traffic the greatest offer in the world is worthless.

    You can drive millions of people to a crap offer and make zero.

    Frank Kern and Ryan Deiss,
    We're unworthy, we're unworthy... (;
    Signature
    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9241385].message }}

Trending Topics