What's Your Time Worth?
I think Benjamin Franklin is the genius who was credited with the phrase time is money, but no one encapsulated the concept better than American writer Carl Sandburg who said
Time is your most precious commodity. Once it's gone it's gone. You can't get it back. It's a concept good business people know and understand. So, where should you spend time in your online marketing activities and how should you value it?
A good friend once told me that I should be focussing on 5 key aspects of MY business
1) Building my opt-in list
How can I do all that when I'm busy earning traffic? I asked. The answer was kind of brutal.
YOU'RE NOT VALUING YOUR TIME! SET A BUDGET AND BUY YOUR TRAFFIC!
I was hesitant at first. Money was tight and earning free traffic seemed a much safer exercise. I said as much. My friend was cruel in his kindness. You'll never get anywhere if you don't start valuing your time.
DO THE MATH!
With a little guidance, I was able to place a $ value on my time and started to measure what I was doing accordingly. It became obvious quickly that if I was going to get anywhere at all, I needed to spend at least some money on advertising. I didn't necessarily spend it in the right areas at first, but I slowly began to see better results as I learned the ropes.
So what math did I do?
I compared how long it took me to earn traffic, placed a dollar value on that and compared it to how much it would cost me to pay for it.
Then I had to make a decision.
BUSINESS OR HOBBY? THAT WAS THE QUESTION
I'd gotten into Internet Marketing because I desperately wanted to get out of my day job. I'd made a few sales sticking my toe in the water but in all honesty, I wasn't fully committed. I was throwing mud at the wall and hoping some of it stuck. There was no plan, I was running on little more than hopium.
But was it paying off?
Nope, it wasn't. Not when you factored in the amount of time I was spending on what was a hobby.
So, I had to make a decision. Treat this Internet Marketing thing like a business or continue spending hours online in search of the occasional sugar hit.
To be fair, I oscillated between the two for a while, but it was only when I applied sound business principles to my marketing that I started to see results. By getting away from earning ads and focusing on what really mattered (Advertising, tracking, building and nurturing my list) I was able to grow my business. When I allowed myself to be stuck in the cycle of clicking for ads, my productivity fell through the floor.
BUT MARK, I CAN'T AFFORD ADVERTISING
I've had this conversation with myself. So, please don't be offended by what I say here.
The truth has to be told.
If you can't afford to budget something for advertising, you can't run a business.
Give up now. Unless you really enjoy clicking for ads.
I'm sorry to break it to you, but you're going to be stuck grinding your gears forever.
I'd tell myself I can't afford it and go buy half a dozen doughnuts for a snack. In the evenings I'd buy a six-pack of beer. They were my choices. Those choices said more about my commitment than my dubious dietary habits.
The fact is that if you want this enough you'll find a way.
I'm not saying it's easy. I am saying it's doable. If you really have absolutely no disposable income, go to one of the Crypto faucet sites and take a couple of paid surveys to accumulate some spending money. Then invest that in something like Infinity Traffic Boost (More about them in a minute) and promote the hell out of it.
Where there's a will there's a way.
HOW MUCH TIME CAN BE SAVED?
The potential time savings of selectively upgrading are huge.
How much time would it take you to earn 1000 credits on Infinity Traffic Boost?
Let's do the math!
Infinity Traffic Boost is a traffic exchange that operates with a 15-second timer and rewards free members on a 1 for 4 basis. i.e. you need to surf 4 pages to earn 1 credit.
Now even with the most reliable fastest Internet connection on earth, it will take you 1 minute to earn 1 traffic credit. (4views @.25 credits each X 15 seconds = 60 seconds per traffic credit.) 1000 traffic credits therefore would take you 1000 minutes which is 16 hours and 40 minutes.
So, seriously, would you prefer to spend nearly 17 hours earning the equivalent amount of traffic that foregoing the cost of a cup of coffee would net you?
While you're pondering that rather extreme example let's look at the pro and free versions of the mailer, Mailsy
Let's compare free versus Close Friend options
YOU DON'T NEED TO SELL THE FARM
I'm not advocating that you go and mortgage your house to run an Internet Marketing business, I am saying that you do need to set an advertising budget. You know how much you can afford without compromising what's dear to you. It could be $20/month. It could be $100/month. It could be $500/month. The point is that everyone has to start somewhere. If you don't start you'll never get anywhere.
Here are some sample advertising budgets at $20, $50, $100 and $250 per month
Watch out for lifetime and annual upgrades to extend your reach further
It's always a good idea to put some money aside to take advantage of valuable lifetime upgrades that allow you to extend your advertising reach.
Herculist offers members lifetime upgrades for just $35 and $49. Take them when you see them.
Without a doubt, though the best of the best lifetime upgrades is run by World Traffic Sites who offer the Ultimate Upgrade Pass for a one-time cost of $197 giving you lifetime Pro upgrades to 11 quality sites including Mail Our List, Atlas Safelist and Bags of Ads. The one-time payment will net you a saving of $288 in the first year AND savings of $329 each year after that. I know this type of investment isn't for everyone off the bat, but it's something to keep in mind and work towards.
It's a simple fact that every Internet Marketer needs traffic. Responsibly outlining the common sense in buying traffic, recommending traffic resources and reinvesting some of the profits back into traffic is a great way to build trust.
SO WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
I think that I've clearly demonstrated the benefits of progressively upgrading in advertising sites in order to expand your advertising reach.
There are a couple of key points to make. These are
Be sensible and operate within your means. You are more than likely going to need to make use of free traffic sources for a while, but always look to offload teh time cost when able.
Everything becomes much more scalable when you adopt the business practice of recommending your best traffic sources to your subscriber list. Doing this will see you generate commissions on the very products that you're paying for. That $250 budget can be offset easily provided you operate a system that consistently feeds people into your recommended traffic sources.
You can boost your traffic reach even further by reinvesting some of the profits you make from recommending traffic sites.
Do you see the beauty of this?
The bottom line quite simply is this. If you want to build a solid reliable online business one of the best ways you can do that is to consistently recommend quality traffic sources