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The Harsh Reality Of Free SEO

FREE SEO And Paid MarketingLess than a year ago, I was primarily promoting Numis Network (a Network Marketing company) and new people were joining me daily… (Still are)

As soon as they joined my team, they’d ask “what next”…

So I’d tell them to go through the fast start training and to begin signing up new members. To them… It didn’t compute. I could imagine their faces at the time turning upside down as they thought… “What about the secrets” Dave?

As I always did, I told them “there are no secrets”. You gotta generate traffic, leads, send the leads to a presentation and the people will join. So the subsequent question was always “how the heck do I generate traffic”?

I used to go on by telling them if they wanted fast traffic, they would need to spend money. They would need to spend money on paid marketing, on things like PPC, solo ads and media buys.

They always shook their heads and though “damnit Dave… gimme the free stuff”. So I told them about SEO and how they could use it to generate free traffic.

99% of the time… People would start building blogs, doing SEO and attempting to make a buck or two by ranking in the search engines. Only to find out it would take them 3-6 months to see any substantial results. 95% of the time, the people failed and went on to try other things.

“Great story Dave… But what’s the point?”

The point is, SEO is kinda stupid and if you want to see fast results; you better forget the idea of using SEO to build your business. SEO is an excellent marketing strategy, but only for the wise that have time and money on their hands.

Another common misconception about SEO is that it’s free. The reality is that you need to spend a solid $500 on tools to get started properly…

  1. $100 For An Article Submitter
  2. $140/month For A Submitter Like Senuke X
  3. $100 Market Samurai
  4. $59 Scrapebox
  5. $100 For Spinner or $10/month-ish
  6. $59-$150/month For Blog Network Subscription
  7. $100 Bookmarking Demon

Now those are just the basic tools, there are countless others that will make your life easier, tools that you’ll need in long run. That’s if you’re writing all of the articles yourself for submission. No longer can you rip articles off other people’s websites and just spin them with a tool.

You need your own content for submissions which can be a huge cost itself. You could rank well using one or two of the mentioned tools above, but not very easily.

The tools are just the beginning, if you really want to grow your business you need to be outsourcing. You need to be employing people overseas to use the tools for you. It all adds up and ultimately; SEO isn’t free at all.

It’s 100% free if you want to manually build links and promote your website. But doing that will only result in endless frustration, limited traffic and perhaps a mild heart attack. Manually doing your own SEO is a killer, third biggest in the United States.

Just kidding… But my point is its very tedious and it’s not something you want to do for long. So the whole “FREE TRAFFIC” concept is majorly flawed. SEO isn’t free at all if you want to see substantial results within 3 months. You’d be stupid to think otherwise. I learnt the hard way by manually doing everything for almost a year. That was before I started outsourcing.

So let’s say it’s going to cost you $500 to setup your SEO system for you to “manually” work it. It’ll probably take 3 months of very tedious and boring “work” to start seeing substantial results. That is if you don’t give up beforehand. That’s a huge problem; most people give up before they see results with SEO.

In fact, 98% of people give up before seeing results with SEO. So the reality is you’d be 50 times better off sticking $500 into paid marketing.

By paid marketing I mean any of the following:

  1. Solo Ads
  2. Direct Mailing
  3. Pay Per Click
  4. PPV
  5. Media Buys
  6. Content Network Traffic

The thing is, with paid marketing you see instant results. You’re effectively buying your way to the top of Google or any other search engine/website. With any paid marketing you do, you’re getting instant targeted traffic without any hassle. But it comes at a price; you usually pay per 1000 impressions or by the click.

So What Should A Beginner Do?

First, be ready to blow $500 at a bare minimum on paid traffic. If you can’t afford to blow $500, DO NOT spend $50 to a hundred bucks on a crappy article submitter to start doing SEO. That is the dumbest thing you could possibly do. Instead save up, there’s no point starting a business on a shoe string budget like that.

You’re better off working an extra shift at your J.O.B and putting aside $50-$100/week for paid traffic. Once you do have at least $500, pick one paid marketing strategy and learn it. Only once you’ve learnt it should you invest your precious cash.

You probably won’t profit right away, you might not even break even. But you will gain experience and know how to tweak what you’re doing to profitability. The more you spend once properly educated, the closer you will get to a highly lucrative paid ad campaign.

With paid marketing, all you need to do is make more money per visitor than you spend. Using tracking software and tools you can calculate how much each visitor makes you on average. So if you’re making $50/sale and you’re paying $0.30 per click, you need to make at least one sale in every 166 visitors.

That means your sales page would only need to convert at 0.06% ish! Usually a sales page will convert at 1% to 3% with cold targeted traffic. Let’s say 3%, that means you’d make one sale in every 30 or so visitors. If you’re making over $50 per sale, that means you can spend over a dollar per click and still be very profitable.

That’s the beauty of paid marketing; you can scale up very quickly unlike with SEO.

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions in the comment section below. Also opt-in to the email list on the right for more cool SEO tips, tricks and secrets.

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Great post Dave.  Glad I just bought one of the tools before reading this post, actually it was almost a year ago when there were no panda/penguien stuuf. Few days ago, after checking out several tools, I figured out i need a SEO budget that´s why I turned to paid advertising. Good to know I made a good decision Dave. Thanks for your honesty!

Lester Diaz
Lester Diaz

I gotta say you are 100% spot on this issue, I usually spend between $200-$300 per month in SEO tools + outsourcing, basically SEO is a long term investment if done correctly it could mean lifetime targeted traffic but if you don't have the tools then expect failure. Great blog Dave will be following you from now on..

Dave Schlueter
Dave Schlueter

The only problem is... and I've been following you for quite a while is you are always changing what you say works Dave, and it always involves more money of course. I get that you are learning as you go also, I get that the landscape is always changing, I just sometimes wonder if you know how many times you've changed your tune over the last 2 years. I love you man don't get me wrong. But I've invested a lot of time patience and work into what you say works then later you say something else. It's a little frustrating and I don't know it you realize it. Love you anyway man..


Hey man, way to tell it like it is. Seems like everyone want the instant, push button, magic traffic genie to do all the work for them for free. Good luck with that. I was generating 6 leads per day, my first time out with PPC. Took me months to start generating leads from my blog. People forget that this is a business, and just like any other business there is going to be overhead. Get over it, get the tools, but the traffic, outsource, just do it already. The sooner you do, the sooner you will see a paycheck.

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