I’m all about optimizing time. If I’ve done something for a solid amount of time and I don’t get the results I want, I’m going to just invest my time into the things I know work. Some people tell me I need to have some patience, which is true to an extent, but there are some things we are told to do that just really waste time.
I’ve never liked the fluff. In school I hate doing busy work because it was a total waste of time. Why let time pass purposefully and not optimize it? I don’t get that. Anywho, I’ve read a lot of blogs and attempted to start a lot of ideas. Many of the failed because of my personal outlook but as I moved along I realized some things that just really don’t matter.
These “experts” will tell you to follow their rules and examples because it worked for them and yadiyadiyada. Well, it’s probably a complete waste of time. Well, maybe not a complete waste, but there are things you should be doing in order to do it the right way. Let’s hop right in.
1. Stressing over the name and domain
There are a lot of rules when you pick a company or domain name. They want you to keep it a certain length, it has to be memorable, and all sorts of things. I spent a long period of my time stressing over the name of my last endeavor. It really made my head hurt and curved my productivity a little. I wanted it to be just right.
That was a waste. Before I completely disregard this step, it does make sense to choose a shorter domain name if you can, but nothing that doesn’t make sense. In my spare time, I reference this site as “TGC” but I wouldn’t buy ‘tgc.com’. There’s no name recognition for that and personally, I’d rather you know the entire name.
I was concerned about the length of my company name, but I soon realized it doesn’t matter. What I will say is that if you have a longer URL, you’ll want to use capitilzation so people can pick it apart quick. TheGainesCollective.com is easier to recognize than thegainescollective.com. If you know exactly what I’m saying, you’ll remember it.
Your name recognition and brand awareness is really all dependent on your marketing strategies. �Pick what feels good, don’t try to change the name you have for yourself just because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do. Make it work for you.
2. Commenting on ALL blogs
So you started a blog and you want some views. Almost everywhere you look, someone is telling you to comment on other blogs to get some clicks. It makes a little bit of sense.
What they aren’t telling you is you have to highly target these blogs. If you are a blogger mom, don’t comment on a music blog. If you’re a designer, don’t comment on a science blog. Simple enough. Secondly, don’t write generic comments. Read what you’re commenting on and make a great response. Here’s an article I responded to a couple of days ago. I got some nice hits from that because I read what was going on, had a real opinion and shared it clearly. Not to mention that’s an audience I’d like to be introduced to.
Maybe you need to look around more or make a list. But please don’t waste your time just commenting for the sake of commenting. It may get you 1 or 2 visitors who are just trying to figure out why you came around in the first place.
3. Submitting to search engines and tons of book marking sites
Do people even use this any more? I think the majority of people that entertain these sites are the same people posting their links. I understand it creates a back link (some of them do, some don’t), but if you’re trying to get real people to look at your blog this is a waste of time. I believe if you create good content, you’re better off having someone share your article.
The majority of my traffic comes from social sites. That’s where people are today. There are websites that optimize the whole submission to sites and such but I just cannot and have not found the value in it. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong but it’s done absolutely nothing for me.
I will say that I think it depends on what you’re offering. But you’re really much better off asking someone who has a larger following to share your link. There are some that work but you have to think about it. For example, I used design-newz.com to post a link, and they shared it with followers. That worked out. It doesn’t always, though. Worry about backlinks and stuff later.
4. Keyword research
Apparently, before I write any article or produce any content, I’m supposed to look up keywords to see how much they’re frequented. Then I’m supposed to make sure I sprinkle those words into what I’m saying. Now, I get the idea that we want to make sure the content is relevant, but isn’t that just one of those things you do anyway? Keyword just fosters this notion that search engine optimization is absolutely everything and the only way you can get some views.
Do we all want to pop up in the search results? Yes. But these search engines are getting smarter and that type of idea isn’t going to work all that well. One should have some knowledge of keywords and how search engines work, but there’s no reason to go crazy with it.
Keyword research is also a waste of time because the relevancy of keywords fluctuates almost daily. One day it will �be extremely relevant to your cause, and the next day it won’t. Why waste time trying to figure out what’s what? Why not just write and promote your article accordingly?
5. Advertising Campaigns
You need to advertise. I’m not saying advertising campaigns are a waste of time. What I AM saying, however, is you have to wisely know where you’re spending your dollars. I was about to try the Paid Discovery program of StumbleUpon until I realized it’d be a total waste of money. My market doesn’t really frequent StumbleUpon. And if they did, I’m asking them to stop stumbling and read my blogs or watch my videos. That’s not the purpose of stumbling — you stumble to see something that’s quick, often humorous, and you move along. For the amount of money I would’ve paid, I just didn’t see the benefit.
We get so caught up in wanting brand awareness that we don’t optimize our dollars as much as we optimize our time. I’m still working on that issue, but I have come to realize you have to be very aware of where you put your brand. And also think about if you can get that same effect some other way. For example, I wanted to buy some ads on a blog that has a very similar target market as mine. It made sense but I thought about it and said I could probably do a guestblog and get the same results. And they’d pay me!
Think about your customer and what they want to see. Do you really want to write up an AdWords campaign to sell something on a landing page? Don’t we get enough of that? What if, instead, you linked to your free information to see if the person is even interested in you? It’s definitely something to think about.
I know as startups and entrepreneurs we often want the advice so we can do the right thing. The truth is, we have to tread our own paths to find out what works for us and for our business. In any industry, you want to optimize your time and make the most of it. You want to get the most bang for your buck and you want to get results. It’s that simple. So stop following someone else’s lead.