The Top 10 Time Wasting Pursuits of Internet Marketers and How To Avoid Them

by Murray Hughes

All of us get sucked into at least one useless marketing strategy or time wasting activity during our career. For many of us it is more than one. . . ..and for me it was just about all of them! I have compiled a list of the top 10 time wasting strategies and activities Internet marketers are guilty of and a tip on how to avoid each of them.

I'll discuss the top 5 time wasting and ineffective marketing strategies used by Internet marketers. I expect a few people will be down right peeved I'm revealing these secrets but I want to save you from doing what I did. Read on and see how many of these you do.

  1. Submitting to FFA classifieds - (A.K.A. free for all classifieds) worked once but now there are hundreds of thousands of them. The idea is you post your classified ad free to attract visitors and/or sales. Unfortunately, nobody ever reads FFAs and each receives so many submissions that your ad gets pushed to the bottom and then of the page very fast. And every FFA you submit to will send you at least one email. Outcome: an inbox full of junk mail with no noticeably increase in sales, down line or traffic. Solution: don't do it. If you want to post free classified, find reputable ezines that accept free advertising.
  2. Owning an FFA classified - some schemes promising to get you an avalanche of free traffic and leads offer to give you your very own FFA. Only this time you've been let in on the secret that no one reads FFAs but they are really just a ploy to collect the email addresses of advertisers. Unfortunately, the people submitting the ads are told to use throw away email addresses, which means the addresses you collect will be worthless anyway. Outcome: a long list of worthless email addresses. Solution: don't do it.
  3. Submitting to FFA link farms - like FFA classifieds, FFA link farms worked once but not any more. The idea is they will provide a link to your site and if you link back to them or pay a fee they will give your link greater prominence. They were once a good way to increase link popularity in search engines but now search engines are wise to this strategy and will even penalize you if you link back to them. Outcome: maybe a better incoming link rating but don't reciprocate the link or the search engines will PUNISH you. Solution: don't do it or don't reciprocate if you do. If you really want links, contact webmasters of related sites individually and invite them to swap with you.
  4. Safelists - for me these are yet another waste of time. The idea is you become a member of a website that allows you to send emails to other members. In return you agree to receive emails from them. You also have the option of paying for a "pro" membership, which allows you to send but not receive. You end up with an inbox jammed packed with junk mail (if you are like I was you may read the first one or two before deleting them all) and you waste your time writing and sending emails that no one ever reads. Outcome: an inbox full of junk mail. Solution: don't do it. If you want email addresses, start your own newsletter instead.
  5. Auto Traffic Exchange - every new webmaster longs to see their hit counter tick over. Auto traffic exchanges give you one free hit to your website for every one or two websites, owned by someone else, that you view. Unlike the regular traffic exchanges that require you to stay in front of the screen and click a button to view the next site, auto exchanges automatically bring the next site onto your screen whether your in front of it or on the toilet. Most people will turn it on and then go to bed, watch TV or do something else. Outcome: a hit counter with heaps of hits but nothing else. Solution: don't do it. Try a click traffic exchange, there are plenty of them.

Now were going to discuss the top 5 time wasting activities of Internet marketers.

  1. 1. Aimless Surfing - this is one of the greatest timewasters and definitely the most practiced. How many times have you gone online with a mission and then gotten side tracked? Its actually difficult not to. Every site you visit has a dozens of different ways to exit every single page. I seem to be even more prone to aimless surfing if I have a job to complete that I don't really want to do. Sound familiar? I now write my goals down on paper before I logon each day. It helps me to remain focused and has saved me a lot of time. Writing down your goals also helps for the next time waster. . . . Outcome: 3 hours have gone by but you still haven't done anything. Solution: schedule some time for surfing as a reward for getting work done/ completing goals.
  2. 2. Doing Too Many Things At Once - "Rome wasn't built in a day". You don't have to do every thing now, at the same time. I know your excited and you want to get up and running so those dollars can start rolling in but a more disciplined approach will save you valuable time. If you are doing one task and suddenly remember something you need to do, don't abandon your current job unless you REALLY must. Outcome: you'll find yourself jumping between 2,3 or maybe even more jobs at the same time and your productivity plummets. Solution: write down whatever it is you need to do by adding it to the list of goals you wrote (hopefully) before logging on.
  3. 3. Working Too Long - I still find it very difficult to stop working. I tend to keep going hours after the rest of my family have gone to bed. The problem is, for the last 2 or 3 hours, I am so fatigued that I can't concentrate. My efficiency goes way down and I become susceptible to doing some of the time wasters already mentioned. I'm also more likely to impulse buy. . . most expensive online transactions tend to be made after 12 midnight! Outcome: your tired, your credit card bill is bigger and your partner is sick of you coming to bed late. Solution: set yourself a regular finishing time and stick to it. The work will still be there tomorrow.
  4. 4. Marketing Without a Mailing List - many established and successful marketers will tell you, Internet marketing without a mailing list is a waste of time. If you want a shot at the big bucks, it's always going to be a lot harder without your own mailing list. After 8 months online and still without a mailing list, I was making about $700 a month. I soon realized it was going to very difficult to make more without a mailing list. Outcome: every time you come across a good affiliate program or create a product you have to work 3 times harder than the guy with the list to make sales. Solution: start collecting email addresses today.
  5. 5. Not Doing Your Homework - unfortunately there are still a lot of Internet marketers who are so enthusiastic about the prospects of making money, they don't do enough research before proceeding. I once heard Steven Spielberg say "be sure you know everything you need to know. . . . . . and then proceed." Now there's a man whose advice Id take. This is especially true with the Internet because it changes so rapidly. You must know what is working now so that you may utilize the tools, resources and strategies that will maximize your success. Outcome: your half way into a project before you realize you've gone about it the wrong way. Solution: take the time to thoroughly research your ideas. This doesn't mean spend 3 years preparing a thesis but enough to be confident you know what to do.

OK, so that's it. How many of the top 10 timewasters were you guilty of? Make just a few simple changes today and you could free up hundreds of hours per year to be spent on more fruitful activities like focused marketing, family and relaxing.

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About the Author

Murray Hughes publishes a popular, expertly written newsletter dedicated to bringing out the "inner home business entrepreneur". Learn about the *top rated* home biz opportunities, tools and tips by subscribing F-R-E-E

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