In just a few minutes, I’m gonna make you feel better about your online business because I’m going to free you from some self-doubt and some guilt I’m sure you’re feeling. I’ve been there, too. So many online entrepreneurs have been there, especially those who didn’t have some sort of a rich lost uncle appear from thin air and just to drop a case of money in their lap. That doesn’t happen in real life. In real life, you have to hustle and work your bum off. So, listen up, mate:
The worst mistake you can do when you run an online business and you need free traffic is to create (write, design) the content you like, not the one your target looks for online.
And I know what you’re thinking – what you like looks better, is smarter, sounds better, is more captivating, is more elevated, but, mate, that’s not what your customers are looking for and that’s OK. So, listen up, this will quiet those voices in your head constantly telling you that you should work more on that new landing page before making it public and available to the world:
You’re not the customer, you’re the seller. The seller brings in the products/content/aesthetic/concepts/deals the customer is attracted to, what the customer actually buys, not what it would be nice if they’d buy.
Wishful Thinking Is No Good for an Online Business
There is this guy named Beto Sanro who I’ve heard on a podcast say that writing what he liked on his blog was the biggest mistake he ever did in running his business. I was like “man, I don’t know who you are but I sooooo know where you’re coming from” and I want you to get on board the we’re-doing-this-for-our-customers train because it’s the only one making a stop in Cash City.
Sanro is a digital marketing professional who sells $400/person courses in Mexico. He also helps all sorts of producers sell their products online. He’s no newbie, he’s a pro. He knows what he’s talking about and it was quite refreshing to hear someone like that voice out this thing – that what the consumer searches for online might not be what we want to put out there – and I thought you should hear it too.
I know you’re probably very passionate about the niche you have picked and you’ve invested long nights and extenuating days into doing researching, building up your niche-specific vocabulary, finding out lesser-known facts, BUT when you want free traffic you need to approach things from a consumer’s perspective. And that, in many cases, will mean you’ll have to write about the same topic countless times (even if it bores you), making your content accessible to people who aren’t used to paying too much attention to what they’re reading and matching their exact words when doing SEO, even if they’re silly to you.
Don’t Shy Away From Following Others’ Path to Free Traffic
I’m no monster so I won’t just let you struggle to figure out the best way to drive free traffic to your websites and landing pages after I’ve just told you that consumers might not like what you’re preparing for them. LOL. I have a little solution that you’ll probably like: Flippa.com
Flippa is an online platform dedicated to buying and selling online businesses and you can use it to find other businesses in your niche and check out their stats and how they’re driving traffic, figure out what keywords they use, what do they know about the consumers in your niche that you have missed.
Here’s how to use it:
1) Sign up for an account. You’ll receive an email that you’ll have to confirm, but it won’t take you more than a minute.
2) If your niche falls into any of the categories they make you fill out when you sign in for the first time (you can list yourself as a buyer), do check the boxes. The categories are automotive, business, design and style, education, electronics, entertainment, lifestyle, food and drink, general knowledge, health and beauty, hobbies and games, home and garden, internet, sports and outdoor, travel.
3) Once you find a website that fits your niche, take a look at their traffic (data provided by Google Analytics) and see how much money they’re making. Is their traffic better than yours? If their traffic is better, check out the info they provided – what’s their business model, when did they start, etc.
4) Pay attention to the Marketing section, especially to what the sellers wrote down for Customer Acquisition. If the websites sold are getting most of their traffic from organic search, you know there are some great keywords you can steal, and if they get good amounts of traffic from referrals you can check their backlinks and find opportunities for guest posts or cross-promos.
If some of the websites you’re interested in don’t provide any data about their organic search and referral traffic, you can always use SimilarWeb.com to find out who is sending them traffic.
Nobody wants to be the sole customer of their own business and we have to accept that’s what we risk when we focus too much on what we like and less on what people actually search for online. If you discover that some other business in your niche figured out better than you what your target wants, there’s no shame in following their lead to improve your business.