Picture this. You’re an entrepreneur. You’ve decided to start a business online and you are going to make a living doing…something. There are more business opportunities in this Wild, Wild West than you can shake a stick at. You pick one, your expectations are high and your excitement level is peaked. Your business is all set, but you need people to visit your shiny new enterprise. And this is where most online entrepreneurs get stuck.

Getting traffic (visitors) to your website seems to be a stumbling block for many new online business owners. But it’s not that complicated. You either cultivate traffic or you buy traffic. There are no other ways to do it.

Free Traffic

If you decide to build your business by cultivating traffic, you’ll invest a lot of time and energy in social media posts, writing articles, recording videos, and doing a lot of research. Many people call this free traffic, but it’s not free. It costs you time, and your time is not free. Your time is more valuable than money. But there is a benefit to building this kind of traffic, if you set your expectations properly.

If you shift your focus from making money fast online, to cultivating an online presence that builds your credibility, your long-term success will be far sweeter. You build a following of people who look to you for wisdom and advice. They are more likely to buy from you in the future, or join the businesses that you promote, because you’ve built a relationship with them first.

It’s a mindset shift for many would-be entrepreneurs. Instead of the microwave mindset that expects everything instantly, it’s an old world business concept that you build value and put work into it to create an income.
If you use this “free” traffic method, it takes a bit longer, you reach fewer people in the short term and your sales are slower to start off, but you can do it. As long as you set your expectations accordingly you can eventually start making an income.

And there is a flip side benefit to building your online presence by learning how to market yourself and your products with social media and other no-and-low-cost marketing methods. You become an authority on using social media to develop a business. And authority sells.

You can use your experience to write ebooks, record podcasts, create videos, and build courses that you can sell to your audience. If you want to take your experience out into the bricks and mortar world, you can offer your services as a social media consultant locally or internationally. The possibilities are endless.

Paid Traffic

Alternatively, you can build your online presence quickly and start making sales almost instantly if you promote your business using paid traffic. Paid traffic comes in two forms:

User Generated Advertising

User generated advertising includes advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, or a multitude of other sites that allow you to create an ad to run on their network.
They’re the same networks you’re building your authoritative presence on, but you’re leveraging their reach by placing advertising in front of more people, very, very quickly.

Paid clicks

Paid clicks is a little easier than User Generated Advertising, because you don’t have to create the ad, select markets and jump through as many hoops yourself. You simply tell a traffic supplier what kind of traffic you are looking for and they supply you with clicks to your website or offer.

BIG WARNING: All traffic is NOT created equal. There are a lot of unscrupulous “traffic providers” that provide large quantities of traffic at ridiculously low prices and you get no results. If you use the Paid Clicks method, expect to pay at least $1 per click for high quality traffic. There are never guarantees, but generally, you get what you pay for. And once you find a traffic supplier, keep them close to your heart. These people are like gold. For example, I only share my top traffic suppliers with the members in one of my websites, so my inner circle can also benefit from them.

How Do You Decide?

The best way for you to determine what traffic method to use is…try everything. You don’t have to try everything all at once, but try every traffic method you can get your hands on. You may find that one traffic source converts better for you than one of your colleagues, one traffic source converts better for one offer than another, and some will be duds. The bottom line is, you need to try everything. Keep the ones that work best for you, but don’t confuse free with no cost. When you’re building your online business, you’re investing time or money, nothing is free…but it is worth it.

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