Your work day is over.
The tension of your daily commute has spiraled down your shower drain.
The kids are fed and (thankfully, blessedly, finally) unconscious.
It’s 11:00PM and you have one short hour to grow your online business before your daily grind starts over again.
One hour’s worth of work to guarantee the growth of your business and your ultimate freedom.
Do the wrong things and you’re one more day behind in achieving your dreams.
So. What now?
Now it’s time to focus on what’s effective, instead what’s efficient — time to start using this guide.
Are the two steps in this guide your only choices?
No, but I do believe they are the best.
So settle in with your warm tea or red wine and let’s get ready to turn your time before bed into your most productive traffic time.
Step 1 – Write and Write Some More
Content is your life blood online.
And writing more is an effective traffic strategy because the more content you have to be found, the more likely it is people will to find you.
Like a lost hiker in an unending forest, content is your signal flare, shooting above the tree line and signaling your presence.
One flare might attract a little attention, but one hundred flares attracts a lot.
And any time spent writing is time that can’t be wasted because you will never know just how your content can be used.
What you’ve written tonight may not be a suitable blog post, but that content could always turn into a guest post, a video script, an ebook, a Google+ article, or even future tweets.
Words are the single most versatile and powerful tool you have at your disposal online so spend a large chunk of your limited time making more.
To see Ana’s recommendations on how to write content quickly and efficiently, read this post:
And if you REALLY want to learn how to write a lot of content with teeth in a little time as possible, ask the Freddy Kruger of Blogging.
Step 2 – Go Make Friends
You’ve gotten some words on the page and feeling good (maybe it’s the red wine kicking in), but now you’re itching to drive some real traffic.
This is when most bloggers turn to Twitter or social bookmarking and I won’t lie to you – I think that’s a huge mistake.
Now is the time to spend opening up and nurturing communications with the other bloggers and thought leaders in your market and not in 140 characters.
Email them an offer to help them in some way, send them your unpublished content and offer it up as a guest post, email them your thoughts about their latest post, ask them a question – in short, start a conversation.
Most of these people will be busy and may not respond.
That’s fine; expect it.
They might respond to your paragraph with only a few words.
Expect that too.
It’s not important that you impress them in one email. What’s important is that you open up the dialogue and introduce yourself.
They will get to know you, they will be exposed to you and, over time, they might come to like you, trust you, and even turn to you as a resource.
Learn to engage leaders in your community and build your relationships slowly.
Your patience will be rewarded.
But What About XY&Z?
So you may have noticed that nowhere in this short little guide did I mention spending your limited time on social media, or building backlinks, or SEO, or social bookmarking.
That’s not an accident.
In my experience with coaching bloggers, I see a lot of time get wasted on these things.
Bloggers love these tactics because they are “safe.”
There’s no risk of being rejected by a social bookmarking site.
You can safely submit your content, see a little boost in traffic and pat yourself on the back.
And I’m not saying social media or social bookmarking tactics don’t work.
It’s just that they are far from the most important things you can do to increase your traffic and grow your business.
Search Engine Optimization should be something you do every time your publish new content, NOT a dedicated process.
Social Media should be a routine you engage in during coffee breaks, NOT how you spend your one productive hour every day.
Social Bookmarking should be a natural step after you’ve released new content into the wild, NOT a primary traffic strategy.
The point is that these are minor things that you should be doing anyway.
They’re just good practices to have.
But if you want to dedicate what little productive time you have to bringing in real traffic, these two steps are all you need.
Reaching Millions of Fans
While this process might seem too simple, that’s the real beauty of it.
It is simple.
Spending your time creating valuable content and networking with influencers who can spread that content is the most effective way to reach millions of potential fans.
And what’s even better is that those fans are guaranteed to pay attention to you.
A guest post, a recommendation, a link – these are the single best ways to get in front of an audience and introduce yourself.
Social Media and SEO might give you access to massive potential audiences, but let’s be honest: how many people are really listening to you on Twitter?
Don’t waste what little time you have shouting to strangers on the digital street corner of social media.
Go directly to the people who have large audiences and get to know them.
Your time is precious and spending too much of it on anything but the most effective strategies shouldn’t be acceptable.
Image source: incredible photo by Vladimir Fedotko