Internet marketing productivity can sometimes be a difficult skill to master. That’s because productivity often implies tasks which are neatly measurable and which produce direct results. Most internet marketing, however, is all about building relationships and getting your name and website out to the people who might be interested in it, all while unselfishly building value and meeting the needs of your customers. Such efforts can be very difficult to track.
Here’s an example to help you see the problem. You’ve decided to take on forum marketing as a way to build back links. It takes you 20 minutes to find a suitable forum and 5 more minutes to build your profile. You know you have to be “useful and interesting” when you post to the forum, so you spend another 2 hours looking around the forum to see what’s already been said. By then, you’ve found perhaps 3 threads you feel confident about speaking to. You spend 15 minutes composing posts. Is that productivity, or have you just wasted a lot of time? After all, 3 back links is not a lot—and you’ve spent almost 3 hours on the task. No wonder the too-good-to-be-true automated software “spammer” packages turn out to be so tempting!
However, if you’re treating internet marketing as a process then you’ll realize you haven’t done too badly. Let’s say that forum marketing is pretty much going to be your focus for the time being. So you’ve created a 3 hour workday if you don’t do anything else for your site. Now let’s imagine for a moment that you manage to get 3 posts out 5 days a week. At the end of one month you’ll have 60 posts that are all very good posts. You don’t look like a spammer because you’ve taken the time to build the relationships and offer the value. Your 60 posts are suddenly much more meaningful because more people are going to have a lot more reasons to click on the links in your signature bar—you’ve made a name for yourself on that forum, and you’ve built trust that you couldn’t have built by blitzing 60 links in a single day. At the end of one year you’d have created 720 different places for people to find you. Given that Google actually indexes forum content fairly quickly and given the content of forum threads does show up in Google search results you will have generated quite a lot of traffic.
“Hitting your stride” on that forum might mean that it takes you only an hour to jump back into the conversations, say what you’ve got to say, and get on with your day. You have a process that both builds on itself and gets shorter with time. All this means you spend less time and less money searching for a non-existent “magic bullet” solution capable of generating a whole bunch of traffic for you in a matter of seconds.
Internet marketing productivity gets very easy to measure when it’s placed in these terms. When you understand your efforts this way you can focus on the relationships without allowing yourself to feel frantic or desperate. In time this approach will pay off, perhaps by making your site a top ranking authority in its niche.
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