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Rethinking How To Get More Traffic (FS022)

Traffic feels like this magic thing that, once attained, makes you invincible… you can run and jump and write and create and everything just gets better.

You guys love to learn about traffic. You seem to have an insatiable craving for getting more people to your site.

I’ve been there too, hungry for some tactic, some secret headline formula or keyword trick that brings all the people to my doorstep to see how brilliant and charming and wonderful I am. (all very true, ask my mom).

I’m sure you’ve come across a bunch of those list posts about how to get more eyeballs on your page. Maybe you’ve even written one.

But there’s a fundamental problem here. There’s a disconnect between WHY sites are successful and HOW they got successful. It seems to be baked into our human nature to focus on the HOW — the tactics of growing traffic.

And so we read one of these posts, we try the stuff, we optimize the things and shake down the gizmos and email the editors and script the scripts and what happens? Let’s talk about that part.

Over the last few months several of you recorded audio questions and submitted them for us to answer on the air. (submit your own question). We grouped the traffic ones all together and answer them in this episode.

  • Some are wondering about which tactics are most important. It’s overwhelming to balance newsletters, SEO, content marketing, social media, etc.
  • Some are wondering about how much traffic is needed to produce some livable money from Amazon Affiliate commissions.
  • Some are wondering about the bare necessities, the basics, the building blocks.
  • Some are wondering about other stuff. (we put in a few bonus questions at the end)

If you just want a lot of traffic, simply write this post: 142 Cats Dressed Up Like Disney Princesses.

But if you want to figure out how to build something meaningful, to grow an engaged audience around that thing, invest in the long-haul, support yourself and your family… listen to this episode.

Listen to the episode:

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A Note About Our Questioners

Corbett says this toward the end, but what I love about Fizzle Show Listeners is you folks are trying shit.

You’re putting your ass on the line for something. You’re trying Amazon Affiliate revenue and being disappointed. You’re building niche travel businesses and know what it’s like to be in the trenches of a slow business. You see the dream and the potential and feel the delta between there and where you are now.

You’re builders and tryers and tinkerers and creatives and I love that about you.

So if we sound harsh in some of these answers, if we think you’re asking the wrong questions, please remember we’re in the context of people who are really trying, people we care about, people we resonate with… and we don’t want them wasting as much time as we did on the dumb stuff.

Even if traffic and revenue aren’t enough yet, kudos to you guys for earning a buck.

Thank you Maneesha, Joachim, Trevor and Martin for your questions. Let us know how the answers are received.


Quotes From This Episode

“Think more about interesting things you can do to get people talking than the tactics of traffic.”

“There’s what the thing is, and then there’s the tactics to get people there and sell to them. If the first bit is good enough, the second tends to happen on it’s own.”

“Spend effort finding the people who want what you make (instead of trying some SEO tactic).”

“It’s not about the traffic numbers. It’s about finding 10 people who are truly interested this month and building+maintaining a relationship with them.”

“The answer to the traffic question: Make something that people desperately want. How can you do that?”

“SimpleGreenSmoothies.com is a rocket ship of growth not because of some tactic but because they found something people wanted.”

“When I’m evaluating a market I look at the competition first. Then I figure out how to be different. Competition proves the market exists.”

“You’re NEVER going to prove that if you put something out there it’ll succeed. You can only mitigate risk.”

“Get as close to customer/audience as you can as soon as possible. Prove things about what they want in small and meaningful ways.”


Show Notes

How To Make A Negroni — a cocktail we’ve grown to love over here (responsible for the episode 20-21 debacles… literally made Corbett cry). I go a little heavier on gin and a little light on the Campari in mine. Though many taste this drink and hate it immediately, I’ve grown to love this one. Ask me more about it sometime and I’ll give you some tips.

Silk Route Escapes. Experiential Luxury Travel India — in this episode we received a great question from Maneesha Panicker, founder of Silk Route Escapes.

SkyMaul: The Catalog Parody by Kasper Hauser — hi-la-ri-ous.

Write Epic Shit — Think Traffic“A reader asked me on Twitter the other day if I would start writing more traffic-building tips here. The implication was that I haven’t been publishing content that will directly help you build a bigger online audience.”

Aerobie Aeropress Home Coffee + Espresso Maker — this is the thing I thought would make me filthy rich with amazon affiliate revenue.

Digital Photography School — Darren Rowse’s uber successful thing.

Evernote Essentials, The Definitive Getting-Started Guide for Evernote — Brett Kelly and the case of the evolving side project. He just updated the book big time. It’s really great and so is he.

Simple Green Smoothies — grown to a 100k person email list in a year. IN A YEAR! Lovely and talented members of Fizzle. I’m a big fan of their green mustaches and putting spinach in an otherwise totally fruity shake!!

People are bad at looking at seeds and guessing what size tree will grow out of them. ~ Paul Graham

42 Timeless Ideas for Attracting More Visitors to Your Website — Think Traffic — lots of “thing” to “try” to “get traffic.” It’s good though.

How to Make Your Next Conference an Insanely Useful Experience — Think Traffic — this is actually the first article Caleb wrote for this site. Great tips.

How to Create a Compelling Elevator Pitch (FS018) — Think Traffic — one of Caleb’s tips for how to make the most of a conference is having your answer ready for when someone asks you what you’re working on.

The Third Tier — some thoughts from me on how to conference awesomely. Had a great experience recently.


I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…”

Henry David Thoreau


The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business

Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.

One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.

These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide.

Download the guide

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