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Traffic Pain Relief: Would a Map Help?

Over the last week, we’ve been talking about Traffic, and just the other day I asked about your frustrations about getting that traffic, and learning how to get that traffic. Dan Goodwin says he doesn’t know who to trust. Alex Newell says “It’s not just that there is a mountain of information it is not […]

Over the last week, we’ve been talking about Traffic, and just the other day I asked about your frustrations about getting that traffic, and learning how to get that traffic.

Dan Goodwin says he doesn’t know who to trust.

Alex Newell says

“It’s not just that there is a mountain of information it is not knowing which parts,of it are important and what to do first.”

Phil Churleington says

“We have a dozen or more people emailing us with different solutions. They may be GREAT solutions…but…What’s the FIRST THING? And then, what’s NEXT? There’s no one (trustworthy) to help us.”

And Margaret says

“I agree with the others – I have read so much info that I feel like my brain is on overload.”

Most of the comments seem to echo these, and include several very distressing stories about people spending $30k or more on an education that they don’t feel they’ve received yet (based on their results).

The truth of the matter is that there is NO magic wand. Anyone who promises you a flood of traffic tomorrow for your credit card payment today is a huckster.

The people who tell you that you CAN get traffic, but it takes some work and persistence and that you need to treat it like a real job (part time or full time is your decision) are more likely to care about your success.

And by no small coincidence, they also care what you think about them, the reputation they are building, and the value of their word, and their name.

They’re not here today and gone tomorrow.

And hopefully what they’ll tell you is this:


There are two parts to getting organic traffic online.

1) Set up your page so that any search engine, following its own rules and doing the automatic things it does, can easily figure out what your page is all about. This part of Search Engine Optimization is called “Internal” or “On Page” SEO, and is critically important to take care of BEFORE you do anything else.

2) Get links pointing to your site that give both people and search engines a reason to come to your site. This is called “External SEO” or “Link Building”, and it’s important because Search Engines basically treat every incoming link as a vote about a site’s relevance or importance for a particular topic or keyword.

Now there are lots of ways to get inbound links to your sites, but none of the (legitimate) ones are “click this button and you’ll get 1,000 links”. They all take time. That doesn’t mean they’re hard, because most aren’t. They just take time.

And not all links are created equal. You need all kinds of links pointing to your site to give it real value, and get real traffic. Oh, and one thing you should know: If you’ve got links pointing to your sites FROM YOUR SITES, they don’t count quite so much. What you need are links from other sites. How do you get those? Like this:

Published Articles

You can write your own articles and get them posted almost immediately all over the web. You just need to write them and submit them. The magic here is that other people in your niche will download your articles — the rules say they have to include the link back to your site — and put them on their own sites (like their blogs or forums or in their newsletters). Bingo — you’ve got links back to your sites.


Blogs are automatically SEO-friendly (though not perfectly). Still, they are a fantastic way to create keyword-rich content. Plus, blogs are built to naturally attract and automatically handle and take advantage of incoming links. Blogs also allow you to drive traffic back to yourself from Web2 and social media sites like,, and maybe most importantly — from other people’s blogs.


Social media sites like the ones I just mentioned (and stumbleupon, and twitter, and facebook and on and on…) have one unique thing in common…they let you create a page or entry on THEIR highly ranked site. And on that page you can put links back to YOUR sites. You are in control there, but it’s on someone else’s site. You can’t spam the things — they’ll shut you down for that — but if you build your Web2 presence properly, you can attract and drive a ton of traffic.


Affiliate traffic may be the second-closest thing to immediate traffic that you can get. But you’ve got to be set up to receive that traffic so your affiliate gets credit for the traffic they send you. And you’ve got to learn how to talk to potential affiliates to get them to work with you. If you’re having trouble getting someone to put your link on their site, an affiliate commission might help persuade them. And YES, you can have affiliates whether you sell information products or physical products.


So what is the quickest way to get traffic to your site? Adwords. It’s also potentially the one that can drain your bank account the quickest. That’s because every click to your site will cost you a few cents to a few dollars. But, if your site can convert those visitors to buyers, the math is easy: Pay a dollar, earn two dollars.


Maybe not a category all its own, but since Craigslist is the 12th most visited site on the entire English-language internet, it deserves a mention. You can post to Craigslist for Free, and have your ad running 15 minutes from now. CL is focused on local services and products, though, and it works in a relatively strange way. But…the power of Craigslist to drive traffic to your site is hard to beat — especially for the price.

Now, there are other traffic methods (banner ads, link exchanges, etc) but these are the most common and popular categories. And frankly, just a little bit of attention to each of these traffic methods every day or two will flood you with traffic…eventually.


Well, maybe not. At least not if you are like Robynne who said

“I’ve been in that unable-to-prioritize-or-know-what-I-SHOULD DO FIRST overwhelm for about 3 years, (seriously)”

So the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you, which is why I want to point out the wisdom in what Gary C said. Gary is going to take…

“…one idea and start applying it with focused action. Once I have that one working and producing traffic, then I can move to the next one. Eventually I will have multiple streams of traffic.”

Gary is a smart guy. Gary is prepared to actually do the work, rather than chasing pipe dreams. Gary is going to follow a system and an action plan. He’s going to get up every day and do what it takes to inch closer to his goal.

So my question for YOU is this…

If you were given a map to more traffic — starting from internal SEO and ending with multiple streams of traffic — things you’d need to touch every day or two — would you follow that map?

Would you be consistent? Could you be persistent?

I hope your answer is YES, because here’s the bottom line.

If you’re not willing to do the work, you may as well quit now. Right now. Success will never come in any other form. You’ve got to do the work — a little at a time — every day.

You can’t count on luck. Or magic pills. Or a fairy godmother.

Nope. She’s not flying in to cast a “rich” spell on you today.

On the other hand…

YOU have the power already. It’s yours to use, if you choose.

So what is it for you? Let me know. Quit or Succeed? Are you willing to do the work? Or are you waiting for the magic pill.

Give me your reply below.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

P.S. There were a bunch of posts on my blog the last few days complaining about how there are so many hucksters looking to sell you something for a few thousand dollars, and promising instant results (did you see the comment about the ad promising “$500 in 2 hours?”).

That’s how that one guy spent $30k already.

Why do you think that happens?

It’s because people like to buy magic pills. Everybody wants one.

And even though they don’t exist, almost everybody buys one at some point in their lives (some people more often than others.)

So I’m not asking you if you want a magic pill here. I’m asking you if you had the chance to do the work to have what you really want — and you say you want traffic — would you follow it?

Let me know.


25 replies on “Traffic Pain Relief: Would a Map Help?”

Well its like any strategy you use on the net right, if you don’t work for it you wont get the rewards.
Also if your truly lazy, you could just pay for everything instead of doing it yourself and have your traffic.

I guess if you had the focus and determination to succeed online you would follow your plan and do your dailyn tasks. Its sink or swim

Yes, I would. I had my partner jump in and get a site up. He put the content up. He has had a terrible time figuring out a way to take backend product orders, and the vtribes people just kinda ignored it; saying, oh you can do that with 1shoppingcart (nope), paypal (nope) etc… if they had just told me up front I could have saved a lot of useless labor. BTW, neither of us has prior experience building a web site.

So, 5 months later, we finally have a way to process orders (think). I know all this will be wasted if we can’t get traffic! I’m listening!



As in flow-chart, diagram or process maps ?
The ( tried and true not the tired) laid out in steps in a systematic form? Train yourself to work with, test, then add in other processes?
That would be beyond great.

Hi Mark…

I thank you for your transparency and openness with us… it is so refreshing!

It is important to do a bit at a time — we need to let go of any instant gratification I want it all right now mentality. It does take work, it does take time, it takes heaps of perseverance. The thought of having a map, a set of directions we can easily follow sounds absolutely delicious!


Hi Mark,


I would like a blueprint. I have been overwhelmed with all the offers of traffic of all kinds. I have been offered thousands of leads etc., but I don’t even know what to do with them. I am not sure if they are good leads or not. So, I really want to start over the right way to build my list. Therefore, I would welcome a blueprint.

Thanks for all the information you have sent me in the past.

Charlie Jones

You have to tread carefully with Stumbleupon. You can set up a page however increasingly internet marketing pages are being classified as spam. SU is getting very strict on this one because users have started complaining about the amount of iM “spam.”

Personal pages are different. On stumbleupon the idea is someone else adds your page to their stumbles. of course, adding your own pages to your stumbles is a way to get banned. But you pay to promote your pages – assuming they are non-spammy. Also to get the best from SU you have to stumble other’s pages regularly…not your own. People tend to forget to mention this important point but it works. I have a personal blog and profile on SU and I’ve had a lot of traffic from it. I still have my profile but I’m less active of late.

I would love a GOOD map to follow. I to feel overwhelmed, what should I do and how. So much of what you read hits (kinda) the basics but does not really spell it out. We new folks need a lot more guidance in the right direction (hand holding?)



Staying away from expensive fly-by-night tricksters is why I took the Thirty Day Challenge and Blog Mastermind.

I currently have 5 active blogs and two static niche sites. I try to publish a good article at least once a week to each blog, and more to one of the five to build up the number of posts. I make the effort to write quality articles and publish less often than write quickie posts daily that don’t add much value.

I socially bookmark my good articles through socialmarker and on SU, Delicious, Blogging Zoom and Blogbookmark. I do this as soon as I publish what I consider to be a quality article to one of my blogs. It’s part of the publishing process to me and it takes a total of 20 minutes.

Then I use Comment Kahuna to find other blogs that have content relevant to the blog I’m trying to build backlinks to, but I only use it for the search function and the profile function. I always read the posts it brings up and I only comment on the blogs that I can contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way. I never leave short, meaningless comments like “great post” and nothing more. I always try to write at least one paragraph of relevant content.

I try to spend the last hour or so of work each night before I go to bed on commenting for just one of my blogs on 10 other related blogs. If I can manage more than 10, that’s great, but I can do 10 in a reasonable period of time and do a good job.

Being consistent with just one method will build traffic consistently. Gary is a great example of what you have to do. Pick one thing and do it until you have it down like clockwork and then pick the second thing and do it. After commenting consistently for several months you can usually slow down a bit. Continue to comment on blogs and forums, but do it once a week instead of daily and start working on a new method to bring in traffic.

Squidoo and Hubpages are great. Build one lens and one hub to start around each of your sites. Then build additional lenses on subtopics that focus on a long-tail keyword phrase that your site targets. You can build multiple lenses and hubs for a single site that focus on one keyword or long-tail phrase. The key to these sites is focus.

I don’t use Adwords and I haven’t tried Craigslist yet, but I have that on my list of things to do. I don’t have affiliates because I don’t sell my own products. I’m an affiliate for other people.

All my sites but 2 are WordPress blogs. The other two are static HTML sites I haven’t converted to static WordPress yet. I love the flexibility and versatility of WP, and eventually all my sites will be on WP.

Just keep being consistent and stop spending money on the next great traffic generator. It won’t work as well as if you just sit down and do your own social networking and putting the word out. Don’t forget to email your family and friends to visit your sites and talk them up to their friends if they find them worthy. Offline buzz is helpful, too.

Publish your feeds on facebook and let your myspace friends know when ever you update a site or publish a new post. Twitter is becoming extremely powerful, so use it wisely, too.

Handing out business cards and fliers with your site addresses on them is also helpful. It gets you traffic from places you ordinarily wouldn’t get any.


Awesome, Mark! Thank you, really!

Even those first few logical, prioritized things “to do” make so much sense. (I’m voting for YOU for Vice President!)

And I for one of many, am ready to do the work!!!
(I love to work hard!)
Count me in, if it doesn’t cost too much!


I’ve been trying to follow the internet marketing advice given by many of the “I made 6 or 7 figures in my first year” gurus. Most of the typical training out there, almost gets you there but never gives the full A + B + C + D = My Converted Customers. I’m not one to quit early in the game but I hate throwing money down a rat-hole just because I don’t have all the facts yet. The internet marketing map you mention needs to be a very simple process & have a clear legend along with a solid already tested step-by-step path. I need more than just aspirin to get the IM pain relief I have!

Something I have been doing is getting free reciprocal and one way links from web directories. There are hundreds if not thousands of web directories and they all will link to your site. There is a site called onewaytextlink that offers a free tool to help with this (I’m not affiliated in any way; there are probably many others). Mark didn’t mention web directories as a way to get links but so far in less than a week I have gotten 150 links. All it takes is the diligence to submit your site and fill out the submittal form. Oh and you will need the capability to add web directory links on your site. Just a little work to gain links quite quickly.

I like a concept where those that have huge mailing lists of people in the internet business world put together some sort voluntary link exchange network. How bout an open source, one- way link exchange network where anyone with a website can be envolved. For every link you post on your site you are entitled to have your link posted on someone elses site. I suppose the search boys would figure out a way to negate this sooner or later but just some food for thought.

I Think alot of people that have been honestly
trying hard to make it, I`m talking 2-4 years of spending money on rippoff scams and no good promises , Working ,Studying And just trying
to make that first 100 dollars online, They aren`t really looking for the magic pill ,But Totally frustrated and tired , The next new product comes along the marketers sales letter sounds honest
Tells him how everyone has ripped him off, But now
help is here Finally some one honest is going to save the ship. Make it so easy for him to Start earning right away. Its Not the shortcut the newbee is looking for,Its success, Because 2 – 4
Years of failure and being scammed is no shortcut.
Thats my Take On It.

Rudys last blog post..THE 7 DOLLAR WAY TO BIG PROFITS

Work isn’t a problem, disappointment is.
I have spent countless hours reading how-to’s, and trying to apply them, then looking for other, simpler how-to’s.
Thankfully my searches led me to your information. I keep reading what you have to say because you have an air of truthfulness that I like.
I have tried to follow plans before but they assumed I was a computer genius (I have discovered how false this is long ago). So as Miks says, we need a simple process with a clear legend and a solid, already tested step-by-step process.
Know anywhere we can get such a thing?

Yes! Another vote in favor of the “road map” for us (relative) newbies! A good “hit list” of the BEST thing to do first, then the next, and next, etc. Add in some knowledge about how to accomplish that step (doesn’t have to be a lot – there’s plenty of info on that sort of thing already out there…). All that would be VERY helpful and mucho appreciated.


Good Morning Mark:
The idea of a flow-chart/map is a great one. It would be a treat to see it mapped out – start here, then do this and so on. Not everyone would need the first parts but they could hop and skip to the parts where they are stuck and go from there. Thanks for all your help and it is so nice to hear the truth – even if we don’t really want to hear that mostly it’s work, work, and more work. We really knew that all along but didn’t want to admit it. Keep up the good work and thanks again. Have a great day. Margaret.

Since I am primarily interested in keeping the costs down for small business entrepreneurs, I started a discussion group on MySpace that I call Action Steps for Business.

I had hoped other small business owners would share online marketing strategies that had worked or failed.

One of the members asked about Craig’s List. I was immediately interested in seeing you list it here among your other free back link strategies, Mark.

I have only managed to attract other marketers from my ads on Craig’s list and to my knowledge, my postings in forums there has produced no traffic to my site.

That doesn’t mean, of course, I used that site correctly!

Pegs last blog post..Aug 10, 7 Habits

Everything you say is the truth. I took the month of July and did some of the very suggestions you made and my traffic actually tripled. Now that sounds great but what tripled means is I went from 400 unigue visitors to 1200. So the numbers are not huge but I see that if I continue the same efforts it will not take long to generate great numbers.

I use a kitchen timer every day for 60 minutes to ensure I consistently do the important things to get traffic.

My next challenge is turning the traffic into paying clients.

Thanks for your honesty.

Greetings Mark;
I like the idea of a flowchart/roadmap. But what would be even more useful would be step-by-step tutorials on the best way to use the various techniques for generating traffic.
Like your Landing Page Cash Machine templates, for example, but for sites like Squidoo, Stumbleupon, etc. They would not necessarily duplicate what you can learn in the tutorials on the sites, but would provide tips and shortcuts to make using them more effective.
I like where this is going!

Neil, Donna, and everyone else…
You’ve hit the nail on the head, I think.
And I’m working on it. I’ve got some ideas…and some unique leverage…that I’m going to exploit on your behalf.

The first thing I believe is to have a product one you can stand behind, that will keep your interest over a long period of time; then as one of the other commenter so wisely advised – get going – take one area of web marketing you are interested in and apply your self. Let people know what you are offering. Concentration of effort with patience is one of the principles of success that can be applied to any of life.

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