Internet Marketing: Doing It Right & Avoiding The Shortcuts November 9, 2013 by Brett Prince When it comes to Internet marketing, common sense seems to be a bit of a challenge for some. More often than not, people are under the assumption that the work will be minimal. There won’t be any expenses (it will cost less than traditional marketing or advertising, sure, but the best things aren’t free), and the hardest hitting, it’s assumed that customers and clients will magically arrive at their website, guided hand in hand by the Gods of Google. Much like success, there are no shortcuts when it comes to Internet marketing. This rings especially true for long-term SEO success, where those popular ‘tricks’ have since been systematically cut down by Google, leaving those who relied solely on this approach starting from scratch. However, shortcuts don’t only apply to the SEO branch of Internet marketing, there are other things you need to watch out for. Below are a few of the shortcuts that will slow your momentum in the long run. 1. Pursuing “quick and easy” solutions rather than self-hosted WordPress Once upon a time, I did this. I had set up a blogger blog that gained some traction, and at the time it was easier and more convenient than trying to figure out how to setup WordPress on my own, primarily due to technical elements and lack of a solid guide. There was certainly much more to do than simply creating a blogger account over a few minutes. In the end, going with a ‘free’ solution may have saved me a couple of hours, but the downside was that when I finally wanted to shift over to my own domain, I had lost all of my comments and backlinks since I started the blog. Not exactly SEO friendly. This sort of loss wasn’t necessarily a big deal back then, but it certainly wasn’t as optimal as creating my own blog. These days such a move will create a lot of extra work, including content promotion, branding, and re-networking to fix that mistake. Sure, it was a shortcut, but what was the cost? 2. Thinking Facebook alone is a content marketing program Facebook is great for a lot of things, however many people and businesses are placing far too much weight on the network and are treating this as a sole solution. Using Facebook and/or social media in general is great, it’s one tactic within a content marketing strategy. The issue is that there are many who consider this type of content promotion an entire content marketing strategy. There are businesses that don’t even have a site and only use social networks for their business identity. Even if you’re on Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest, you’re still at the mercy of the platform and their rules. You never know, something could change and suddenly your account vanishes, your content marketing program will along with it. Like music and MySpace. The reality is that platforms come and go, and that’s risky, particularly in business. What has strength, what remains, is your domain name and the asset you develop it into. It will live on. (Just be sure to keep renewing it. Silly mistakes can be costly.) 3. Relying on a single source to drive traffic It’s important to remember that valued traffic simply isn’t something you can turn on and off. Those leads and prospects don’t come easy, they’re earned, and the focus needs to be on building credibility. If you’re doing promotional efforts aside from SEO, such as running social ads on Facebook, intent based acquisition via AdWords, etc., never let the source of your success be completely driven by a single company. Finally, King SEO SEO is great, but again, it’s part of a bigger strategy and can’t be trusted as your only traffic source. Sure, a clean, smart, organic SEO strategy tends to weather Google’s storms, but is the risk worth the bet of your business? Here’s what you need to do: Earn a reputation for caring a hell of a lot about your visitors/prospects/customers, and for exceptional work Use a website as your content hub to demonstrate your knowledge and skills Build relationships through communicating and networking via well-chosen social channels Remain exertive and consistent in your strategy, whether it’s publishing content or taking time to connect socially Continue to add true value Your reputation is defined by the actions you take, so invest the time in developing your strategy, your credibility, your network, and keep doing it right.