A List Building Question – Where to Focus on Getting Traffic?

[Question] I would like to know where I should focus most of my technical efforts for list building. For example, should I go to Ezine Articles, guest bloggging, forum and groups, Facebook, a personal page, a business niche page, LinkedIn, Google+, affiliate programs – one of those?  Maybe I should build out my member site – because you can have the software essentially free with your WordPress shopping cart?  Should I test each one to see which performs best?

[Answer] You’re absolutely right.  That’s what I would normally say: test each one.  But because you asked, it made me think twice about giving that answer.  You’ve already chased me to the answer that I would have given!

So I put some more thought into this question.  I think that it goes back to the idea of a couple of different things:

  1. Figuring out where your prospects are hanging out online.
  2. Figuring out what’s most effective.  Where do you get your highest ROI?

Then you can figure out focus.

You asked about focus, so I’m just going to use this as a teaching opportunity.  I hope this will be helpful for everyone.  I think that sometimes the problem with focus, and making lists, and time management, and productivity and all of that is that we start by asking the question “How do I get focused? How do I have time management?”

Here’s the problem with that – and it happens to a lot of people, even me – is that I look at my day and I may say, “Okay, I’ve got 4 hours to work, what should I spend that time on?”  So I think about trying to spend time on things that are productive.  But, the actual act of trying to figure out how to be productive today can be unproductive if we don’t already know what we should be doing that is productive.  I know that feels circular, but bear with me…

Once we know what our time needs to be spent on to be productive we no longer have to do time management, because we just do each day what we need to do to be productive.

It’s really a catch-22.  If we focus too much on time management without knowing what we’re going to spend our time on, we end filling out lots of to-do lists, which actually feel really good to do.  They give us a sense of satisfaction; they really make us feel good.  To-do lists make us feel really good, especially if we’re able to slice a lot of things off the list.

But, what’s really important is where we put our time.

Let’s come back to your question now – where should you focus your time and effort?

Before I would evaluate where to focus, you should ask where do the people that you’re targeting hang out?  If we were to look at this list and say “What are the top 3 places where the types of people are looking for what you have, where are they hanging out?”  Whether you would say they’re hanging out, they’re reading articles in Google.  They are on Facebook.  And they’re in forums.  Let’s just say that they’re in those 3 places.

If you already knew that answer, then frankly I would say, until you have exhausted your ROI on those 3 areas, that’s all I would work on.

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