Let me tell you a secret. Do you want to know the one thing that will be pivotal in generating oodles and oodles of free traffic from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and SlideShare, to your business blog? It’s the one proven strategy that countless business bloggers ignore time and time again only to learn their lesson the hard way later on. Get it right now, and you’ll save yourself a tremendous amount of time and energy in the future.

massive traffic
photo credit: Garrett Albright

The Cost of Free Traffic to Your Business Blog

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube… just about anyone can go and open up a free account on these platforms and potentially reach thousands or even millions of people within their target audience. There is also a whole host of free programs out there that would allow you to create decent videos, podcasts, slide presentations, pdfs, and professional looking images. You could even build a nice looking, ad-free business blog via WordPress.com or Blogger.

If you’re creative, skilled, determined, and got a little time to burn, then you should be set, right?

Well, not really.

There is a misconception floating around that relying on free traffic generation methods means there’s no cost involved. It’s a big mistake, because it’s not the right way to look at bringing traffic to your business blog.

You see,”free traffic” isn’t really free.

no free traffic

In order to get effective, sustainable results when you market your business online, there will typically be an army of proprietary tools, services, and sometimes even equipment running in the background as well as a whole lot of time ( and time = money, remember?) invested into the process. Even where an online business owner starts out trying to get free traffic and takes a DIY approach to everything, there inevitably comes a point where there has to be some investment of money for the business to advance.

It’s also why you may have noticed that top bloggers ALL use some kind of products and services in the background, and these are the ones that they are recommending and promoting. Things like CommentLuv, AWeber, Market Samurai, and HootSuite. They are not using them in the name of getting affiliate sales, these tools are the backbone of their online businesses.

Another point to consider is that many of the biggest, most successful bloggers may also pay for advanced training and expert advice to ensure that their activity on these free platforms are being maximized to the fullest. All these things add to the cost of their promotional activity.

It Takes Money to Make Money Off Your Business Blog

I’ve seen numerous bloggers who go so far as to pit free traffic generation versus paid ones in a virtual spar. But, while paid methods may seem to cost more on the surface, free traffic may actually NOT be cheaper when you factor in the other “costs” mentioned above, not to mention, paid traffic will give you quicker results (albeit of a different nature).

money pot
photo credit: Images Money

To be honest, when most bloggers ask the question of whether to focus on getting free traffic or go after paid sources to their business blog, they are often missing the point. There are several other questions that you have to answer and steps that you have to take before deciding which traffic strategies to pursue. But that’s fodder for another post.

Underlying all this is an attitude that really extends to every aspect of running a business: If you want to be successful in business (and still have a life) then at some point you’re going to have to pay for products and services.

Now, many bloggers may realize this in theory, but in practice it somehow gets lost. The prospect of FREE!!! just looms to large. Plus, how many of us don’t really value our time enough?

It’s kind of like the mistake countless people make while trying to pursue the passive income dream. In the real world, things don’t just magically happen overnight. Typically, a lot of work, training, and money is invested into the process in the present in order to realize passive income in the future, and lying in the wake of one instantly successful business idea, there may be five to ten royal failures that came before it.

So, the real secret to sustainable success with free traffic to your business blog is investing in the process. This means your time, your effort, and even your money. But if you are willing to make these investments, you’ll get back much more then you put in, and it will allow you to take your business blog to the next, more profitable level.

About the Author: Susan Brown is a serial entrepreneur and business and finance writer. After running and owning several micro businesses (online and off), she’s using her experiences to help other micro business owners better manage their resources and get through those first tentative years of operation. You can find her blogging at Growing Your Biz, featuring a collection of free business resources, tools, tips, and business how-to’s.