Does Cutting Corners Help or Hinder Your Success?
Are you starting a new blog or online business? You may be tempted to cut corners to get things up and running as quickly as possible, but, does cutting corners help or hinder your success?
You may come across certain situations that on the surface seem like a good idea. Situations that will perhaps save you time and money, and who doesn’t want that, right? But, what if these things are harmful in the long run?
When an offer comes along that promises to save time or money, or make us more money faster, it can be hard to resist. At first glance, we may not even realize how damaging the effects may be.
Now, I’m not saying everything out there is bad. There are areas where you can take advantage of products and services that will save you time and make life easier for you.
You may hire virtual assistants, freelance writers, or use certain WordPress plug-ins and social sharing sites. These are great ways to streamline and automate your business, free up your time and save your sanity.
But, what happens when you cut corners in a bad way?
You hijack your success.
What may seem like a good idea now, may have some disastrous effects down the road.
Here are 3 ways in which you can avoid the pitfalls of cutting corners to success.
#1 Don’t Cut Corners by Signing Up For Free Hosting
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times.
Pay for hosting!
This is vitally important.
You do not want to put in all the time and effort it takes to get your blog up and running, and then risk losing it all because you are on a free hosting site.
When you host your blog on wordpress.com or Wix, you are renting their space, even if it is free. But, as your landlord, they have the power to evict you. Without notice, and without letting you back in to collect your things.
I know it can be hard to spend money on a brand new venture. Especially when all these FREE options exist.
Don’t fall for it.
This is one thing you must invest your money into when starting a blog or website. Paid hosting.
But, don’t take my word for it.
If you don’t think it could happen to you just ask Ryan Biddulph, owner of Blogging From Paradise. He talks about it frequently in his posts and will tell you exactly how to handle the situation if it ever happens to you in 12 Tips to Sprint from Employee to Entrepreneur.
Now that we have covered what you should be spending money on, let’s jump into what you shouldn’t be spending money on.
#2 Don’t Cut Corners by Buying Traffic
So, you didn’t want to pay for hosting but now you want to buy traffic?…email lists?… Google reviews?
Hold up a minute.
Now, traffic is an essential part of any business, you have to have traffic. But, is buying traffic the best way to go about that?
For one thing, you have no idea what kind of traffic you are buying. There is a very good chance, that you are only buying bot traffic. Pretty much guaranteed, it’s bot traffic. This may look good from a numbers perspective, all these hits on your site. But, it’s not real people that bring any kind of value to your site. They are not going to purchase any of your products or services.
I’m not talking about traffic generated from paid advertising, such as Facebook ads, I’m talking about those sites that are selling 15,000 visitors to your site for $40.
When was the last time you were paid to go into a store or onto a website to make a purchase?
Do you really think someone has rounded up 15,000 real people to go to your blog, read your posts, engage, and possibly make a purchase?…and for the bargain price of $40?
In the moment it may seem like a great idea, but, buying traffic opens you up to all kinds of headaches.
You are also opening yourself up to be targeted by other scammers.
And, there could also be legal ramifications.
That email list you bought, if it does contain legit emails, well those people didn’t consent to be on YOUR list. Now, you are the spammer and in some places sending unsolicited emails is illegal.
In Canada for instance, consumers are protected under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation from commercial electronic messages.
Not only that, do you want to be that person?
Not a good look for someone trying to build a reputable business.
Buying Google Reviews?
Don’t do that either.
Flooding your site with fake reviews is not a best business practice.
If you need reviews, reach out to people who have used your products or service and ask them for a review.
If you are providing quality products and services, your customers or clients should have no problem writing you a glowing review. And, if it isn’t 5 stars you will have some insight on what you need to improve. You won’t gain that understanding with paid Google reviews.
So, even though it’s a ton of work, and there may be days that it seems you aren’t getting anywhere, keep plugging away at the strategies that you know will get you real traffic, real reviews, and a real business that people know is legitimate.
This is not an area where you want to be cutting corners.
Surprisingly, cutting corners with automation isn’t always a good idea either.
#3 Cutting Corners With Automation May Backfire
This one almost tripped me up.
We talk all the time about how automating is great for taking care of certain tasks so you have more time to spend on important things. A great example would be, bulk scheduling posts that will automatically be shared across your social platforms at a predetermined time. Instead of being on social media sharing posts every day, you now have more time to say…write blog posts.
We could probably agree that that would be a good choice, right?
Well, a couple of weeks ago I was setting up an email sequence in my AWeber account and I noticed that they have a blog broadcast feature. This enables AWeber to pull information from your blog and use it to create an email. You can then send it out to your subscribers.
My first thought was “OMG, I won’t have to spend as much time writing emails!” It can all be done with a couple of clicks of my mouse. “Woohoo!”
I will admit, I was giddy with excitement over the thought of spending less time writing emails.
That is until someone came along and kindly pointed out one potential flaw to that plan. (One of the many perks to having a mentor!)
Again, it boils down to traffic, and engagement, and activity you are generating on your site.
One of the purposes of having an email list is to share valuable information, share offers, and generate activity for your website or blog. One way to do that is by sending emails alerting your audience to a new blog post and encouraging them to check it out.
Why would anyone do that, visit your website, if you are sending them everything you want them to see straight to their inbox?
Why would anyone stay subscribed to your list if what they are receiving in your emails is identical to what they are seeing on your blog?
Your blog and your email list are 2 separate components that need to work together to achieve the maximum desired outcome. By replacing one with the other you are diminishing the purpose and effectiveness of their potential.
So, while on one hand, the thought of having emails written and ready to send at a few clicks of a mouse might be tempting, one must sit back and think through the possible ramifications that doing so could have further down the road.
Is this an instance where automation may not be the best choice for you?
Are you sacrificing website traffic for the sake of saving a bit of time? I mean, if you don’t want to write emails, refer to the point I made earlier and hire a writer. That is probably a better option.
Luckily, I saved myself the trouble of learning this the hard way, and didn’t, in my usual fashion, jump in headfirst. And while I won’t be using this feature to write all my future emails, it is nice to know it’s available. For when I find myself scrambling to get an email out.
That is if I can figure out how to get it to work properly.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to save time and money or wanting to increase traffic and revenue.
But, before you dive in stop and think about the negative consequences cutting corners may have on your success.
Not paying for hosting, buying questionable traffic and email lists, and letting your email service write your emails may not be the best areas to cut corners.
Ask yourself: “Is the price I pay now going to net me the results you wish to see later?”
Think big picture.
I’m Curious to Know
Have you used an automated email generator such as the blog broadcast feature I mentioned above?
How did it work for you?
Did you notice any change in website traffic or engagement?
Have you ever paid for traffic or bought an email list? Paid for Google reviews?
Please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, or experiences.