Do you feel lost when you see veteran Internet marketers set specific goals such as increasing revenue by 50% in the next quarter, or obtaining 10 more paid leads in the next month? Are you able to make the connection between the level of effort and the concrete results? Do you wish to know if your current effort level is enough to bring about some results for your simple work from home opportunity online? If you answer yes to any of the questions above, then the guidelines below may provide some insight into answering these questions.
1. Select Your Keywords
Keyword is the basis of your whole frame of references. Without a proper keyword selected, your online campaign will not have a focus and will end in vain. Keyword selection will also help you get the statistics of your competitor. These statistics, such as backlink count, traffic rank and page rank, to name a few, provide a concrete starting point of our own measurable goals.
The selection of keyword merits a whole separate discussion, which is beyond the scope of this article.
2. Set A Measurable Target
A measurable target essentially refers to one thing: number of backlinks. If you intend to get organic search engine traffic and not pay-per-click traffic, you would need to build up backlinks to your website. The more the links, the more likely your site will rank higher in the search result, which in turn brings in traffic.
How many backlinks do I need in order to be on the top of the search result, you may ask. The reference point comes from your competitors. To find it, do a search in Google of your keyword phrase in quotes. This will tell you how many sites have been optimized on the same keyword phrase. The site that comes on the top is your number one competitor.
Then run your top competitor through and see how many backlinks your competitor has in Google, Yahoo, and MSN
3. The Game Plan
Say your competitor has 10,000 backlinks in Yahoo (Google does not show all of the backlinks in its link query result; so go by Yahoo). How much work do you have to do to beat it? Let’s do the math.
Example – Write 2 articles/week and each submitted to 10 directories.
2 articles x 52 weeks x 10 directories = 1040 links / year
In reality, there is also the distribution rate which means the number of times web publishers and free content seekers grab and publish your articles on their own sites. I have seen my articles generate 30, 50 and close to 100 links each whereas others have reported having thousands of links from one title. To be conservative, let’s assume it at 10 times/article. The above formula would be modified to read:
2 articles x 52 weeks x 10 directories x 10 distribution rate = 10400 links / year
10000 links /10400 = 0.96 years, or 11.5 months
You can see that it takes about a year to build up your website against a hypothetically static competitor with 10000 backlinks. This time period may be shortened if you also use other methods such as blogging, forum posting, social bookmarking, etc.; but any less commitment may mean a much longer time period before you have a chance to reach the top.
In summary, it is hard to get bearings for your Internet marketing effort. You will need to develop the frame of reference through your own experiences. Making an optimal keyword choice and researching on the competitors accordingly can provide you as concrete a starting point as there can be for you to set measurable goals, and a strong work ethic in discipline and persistence will make the difference in the end.

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