My preference for organic search traffic over paid traffic is solely my personal opinion based on my personal experiences ever since I started my first search engine optimization campaign back in April 2007. Yes, it is a long time ago and a lot of things have changed since then when we talk about internet searches but the fundamentals are still here and it seems they will still be around for a while.
My story is very much like everyone else’s. I wanted to make money to enable me to take care of my family, my wife, and my 2 boys. I had a job that I loved but was not making any significant income due to the situation in the country where I was living. We just came out of a terrible civil war. I had to do something to bring in extra money. A chance meeting with a guy who introduced me to the world of internet affiliate marketing turned my life around completely.
I mean, this guy was killing an average of $5000 per month in a country where the average salary was roughly an equivalent of $150 per month in local currency. This can’t be true I said to myself until he logged into his personal account on the affiliate network and revealed the real numbers. I was not gonna let this guy go until he told me everything he knows as long as everything is legit. The rest is history.
Just be patient. I am building this story to show why my options fall on organic search traffic rather than if I have to pay for an ad in order to drive traffic to my websites.
The majority of what I am about to write in the next few chapters are based on our conversation after I had held unto him and would not let go until he told me the basics at least.
Setting Up A Website
He introduced me to the affiliate network and I registered immediately without questions. If it worked for him, I am sure it will work for me too. From the welcome message, the “How To Get Started” brochure which I downloaded, and the few instructions I read from the website, I realized that in order to successfully promote an affiliate product and earn commissions, you needed a website. That was my obstacle number one.
I didn’t have the money to buy a domain or buy hosting. There must be a way out. I was not gonna give up, not now! There must be something I am not aware of. I have to ask. I went on Yahoo to search for cheap websites and hosting. Google back then was still new. I was met by a list of websites where you can create a free account and your subdomain. Fantastic I thought. I wanted to register in the first few. When I read their terms, I had to decline because I wanted to promote products that are frown upon as I would later discover. Links to such websites were not allowed. I was banned after my first posts. Those were my obstacles number 2.
The BlogSpot Experience
I managed to get a blog on BlogSpot and made my first post, inserted affiliate banners with affiliate links, and waited to start earning commissions the next day. The next day nothing, second day, third day nothing happened. I called the guy who led me into this in the first place. It’s been 4 days now since I set up a blog. Why have I not yet made any money? Here are the questions he asked me:
Did you conduct keyword research? What is that?
Did you optimize the pages for search engines? What is that?
He explained to me and that was when I came into contact and understood what SEO or search engine optimization, as well as organic searches, were all about. SEO (search engine optimization) takes time and effort he said but with PPC or pay per click you can start making money within the next few minutes. That is what I wanted all along I shouted at him with a little bit of rudeness but he understood my frustration.
PPC And Why I Never Used It
I don’t want this post to be so long and as such will cut the long story short. After he explained to me about organic searches and pay per click, I immediately knew that I was not gonna go after PPC because I just didn’t have the money and I was not ready to take the risk. I, therefore, decided to read and acquire all the information about driving organic search traffic to my blog website. It took about 3 months but I started to make a constant flow of affiliate commission that eventually amounted to an average of $1500 per month in a country with an average salary of $150 per month. It took time but it was worth it.
The Take Away Is This
Search engine optimization takes time and effort before you see results but the results are permanent if you continue to do it. On the other side, however, PPC or paid ads can yield results immediately but once you stop paying the search engines, that is the end.
The finale was me mastering organic SEO, got my websites wiped out by Google Penguin update, recovering from them, having my websites penalized by Google manual actions, and recovering from them. Now I have personal websites and blogs where I still promote affiliate products. The best part of it all is the fact that I am now working for a Houston Texas based agency for search engine optimization.
It has been a long and tedious journey. This is just proof that as far as organic search traffic is concerned, relentless and perseverance are the best words to stick to.