"101 Ways To Market Your Website" is the title of a book found at a cheap publisher's outlet in town for about three quid and purchased out of interest.
So, we sat down with a cup of coffee and worked our way through the index, see what these people thought was useful, and if there was something new there.
Extraordinarily enough, in my past 10 years on the net, I've done EVERY SINGLE ONE of those!
EVERY single one. And some of them, I could have added another 12 chapters on top of what was in the book.
Question. If I actually really do know how to do that web thing so very thoroughly (and it appears that I actually really and practically do!), then why don't I have 9 billion visitors per second?
The answer is simple.
EVERY ONE of these 101 ways TAKES IMMENSE INVESTMENT IN TIME - IF you're going to do it right and get it to a point where it actually works well enough to really start generating that mysteriously elusive web traffic for your site.
Let's just take a single one for example, the autoresponder, in all its glory.
Even if we leave out the time spent learning the software, soliciting ads, writing the content, if you really, REALLY did that thoroughly, with a number of multiple chained autoresponders with thousands or tens of thousands of subscribers on each one, the sign up pages, advertising the sign up pages, keeping the whole thing up to date and dealing with the correspondence this generates, the trouble shooting, unsubscriptions, and everything else, you would end up doing NOTHING ELSE ALL DAY - and have a full working week.
And that is just ONE item on a "101" item list.
The same holds true for EVERYTHING.
To really build, use, police, update, enlarge and maintain a top class directory, a 40 hour working week by ONE SINGLE PERSON with their computer is taken up, just with that and ONLY that.
To run, police, advertise and expand a popular forum is yet the same again.
To produce an exciting, content rich, constantly up to date blog that brings in followers and sales, yup, it's a full time task.
To produce, maintain, advertise and run a really good ezine does exactly the same again.
So does "article marketing" with its multiple submissions, updates, multiple directory listings, authors bios, and so forth.
And so does "newsgroup marketing" once again.
Want to try your hand at running a good affiliate programme?
How about keyword optimising each and every page of your website with content alignment, meta tags, robot instructions, and maintaining this with feedback on your listings in various search engines to keep in the top ten as the fashions change radically overnight?
Perhaps a multiple placement dedicated banner advertising campaign with feedback statistic adjustments?
Really get into Google adwords and maintain, track, fine tune and keep it perfectly up to date in response to your competitors and customers?
Same story, all over ...
And so it goes on.
Here's the deal.
All these things, I only did in order to support the business I'm actually SUPPOSED TO BE IN!
My 40 hour working week (well don't make me laugh! but anyway, just for argument's sake and to have a figure there) SHOULD theoretically be taken up by research and writing, as I'm a writer.
So what we have here is 101 ways to spend a full 40 hour week, plus your own job's 40 hour week.
Shame we don't live on Pluto, isn't it. They have weeks that last centuries ...
So what is ONE SINGLE PERSON trying to do web marketing supposed to do?
Well, and after ten years of beating myself up for not doing all those things "properly", I think the following is of the essence.
No.1 is to understand that unless you have dedicated staff, there is no way on Earth you can do all of that yourself.
There simply isn't enough time, even if we leave the steep learning curves and time spent trying to understand software and such quite out of it.
So what one has to do is to pick and choose from these 101 strategies the ones that are:
a) the easiest and fastest;
b) the ones that last the longest on autopilot;
c) the most natural to what you're supposed to be doing in the first place (yeah that's the original job/product/mission, remember that even still?)
If you like databases but abhor article writing, concentrate on building a good directory and forget about article submissions, for example.
We need to prune, prioritise and perfect only a very few of these 101 options, and stick to those.
That's the only way to survive this.
It is to understand that you PHYSICALLY CANNOT do all that; that if you try, you can't help but fail at everything (as then, NOTHING gets the attention it needs to actually bring results eventually!); and that you have to PICK AND CHOOSE which battles you're going to fight.
Lastly, all that 101 traffic stuff has to be subjugated to the real reason we're here, whatever that is, and must NEVER be allowed to get to a point where it is taking up more than 50% of your time.
Go look at a list of these internet marketing devices.
Pick just those you are naturally attracted to, and just FORGET about all the rest.
Try and make those as good as you can, and build up your business to a point like that until you can hire staff and manpower to expand into some of the other traffic generating devices.
And in the meantime, take a deep breath, relax, and know that NO-ONE, not even someone with 8 tentacles instead of arms and who never sleeps, can actually do that myth and successfully implement "101 Ways To Advertise Your Website".
Wisdom is a fine thing ...