Forget the Tips and Tricks of Online MarketingCredit: David Andrew Wiebe

There are a lot of voices out there. Some experts legitimately try to help people. Others are just there to take advantage of a trend or get traffic to their website or make a sale.

I'm not here to judge anyone; I believe that you can learn from whoever you want, and if you have enough drive and tenacity, you can be successful in your endeavor. It's not the method as much as it is the mindset.

But there is part of me that's sick of the tips and tricks. They have their place, and sometimes they are totally useful, but at other times they just get in the way of creative expression. Sometimes they are totally off-base, too.

So, here are my reasons for forgetting the tips and tricks (in some cases) and getting straight to the action stage.

They Don't Work

Yeah buddy, social media and SEO are really going to boost your website's traffic.

Look, I'm all for free and organic traffic, but please stop including these items in your top 10 lists.

Social media is great when you have an audience. SEO is great if you're willing to work at it and stay consistent at it long-term. But I don't really see them as tactics. They're more like by-products of content. Social and SEO are pretty pointless if you don't have content.

Some of that stuff might give you quick, short-term results, but if you have to do it all over again tomorrow just to get the same amount of traffic you got yesterday, your system is clearly broken. There is no passive potential or strategy behind that.

I'm not saying that good marketing is passive, but the point is to get your audience to critical mass, whatever that might look like for you.

They Miss the Point

Social media is a great tip if you actually use social media. I don't believe you need it though. You can totally have a highly profitable and highly trafficked website without using social (the top online personal development blogger Steve Pavlina recently decided to opt out of social).

So if social media is actually part of your online marketing plan, have you thought about whether or not it helps your brand? Is your overall message and image congruent on social?

Any business can use social media to market their stuff, but simultaneously, any business could avoid using social media to promote. It's not a do-or-die situation; in my opinion.

It comes back to you and your why. Why do you exist? You have to answer that question to really figure out if anything - not just social media - is the right strategy for you.

But just so we're clear, social is not a strategy or a tactic. It's complementary to content.

They're Misleading

Ohh... I like this one: "create a free product or service". Definitely not a tactic.

You can make whatever you want, but it isn't going to drive more traffic to your site automatically. Yeah, more content helps, but it doesn't guarantee you anything.

It's sort of like saying that changing the placement of the links on your website will drive more traffic to your site. It might affect your site's usability, your overall reputation, or maybe even your brand, but the link structure isn't just going to make people go, "Wow, look at that. They changed their menu. I'm definitely coming back to this site more often." No.

I get what they're saying; if you create a free guide and people download it, you might get more hits on your site. After all, you can include your links in the guide, right? So it has some long-term value. If you have a product, you can be seen as an expert too, and that I like.

But it's not a tactic unto itself, just like social or SEO. Cumulatively, working together, with the proper strategy and proper plan, you can get the tips and tricks moving in the same direction for you. But it will require a lot of coordination.


I think you just have to work at it, man. Again, there is some value in the tips and tricks of the world, but you have to be careful. If you get too invested in doing these things, you could be missing bigger and better opportunities for traffic.

Free is good, but keep in mind that if it's free, it's probably going to require considerable energy. And you don't have unlimited energy. You want to invest in the stuff that works and gets you the results you want.