It's funny really...
The typical "IM" beginner will nearly always seek out as much free traffic as possible, whereas the successful marketers will usually go after paid traffic.
But overall, which one will get you the best results?
There are 4 things we need to consider...
Using paid traffic is often just a matter of setting up your ads, then spending an hour or two per week maintaining the ads. So it's pretty simple and requires VERY little effort.
However, most free traffic sources require to you exchange your time and effort for results.
For example, one popular free traffic strategy is posting replies on forums, another is bowing to the whims of Google's search algorithms, another is writing guest posts for other popular websites, and so on.
All of these require you to put in a LOT of time and effort upfront (we're talking days, weeks and sometimes even months) before you see any kind of results.
And sure, you can outsource this work to somebody else, but then you're still indirectly paying for traffic, so you could have instead gotten a guaranteed amount of paid traffic for the same price without the effort!
So free traffic scores a 2/10 for this one, while paid traffic scores an 8/10.
With free traffic, you aren't really in control of who clicks on your links to your website. For example, if somebody is reading one of your blog posts, they could be from anywhere in the world and may not be your ideal customer.
However, all paid traffic sources allow you to narrow down onto your ideal customers by setting your targeting, e.g. age, gender, country, what they're interested in or searching for, and more.
This means you're always in control of who is going through your sales funnel and because of the better connection between your sales funnel and your prospects, your results are increased.
Due to the lack of control, free traffic scores a 5/10, while paid traffic scores a 9/10 due to the precise targeting options available.
When posting on forums or writing content to generate free traffic, the only way you can scale up is by putting in more effort by writing more content or distributing it more widely around the web.
When you're trying to hit 7 figures in sales, that's an awful lot of content creation!
But when using paid traffic, all it takes is a slight adjustment to your daily ad budget and you'll instantly get more traffic (and therefore more sales at a greater ROI).
Plus, just using Facebook Ads alone allows you to target one third of the internet's traffic. So you never really encounter any issues with hitting a glass ceiling. And even if you do, you can simply use an additional paid traffic network 🙂 .
For these reasons, paid traffic gets a 9/10, while free traffic gets a 5/10 (providing you're willing to put in the extra work!).
The obvious downside to paid traffic is that it's, erm... paid. So it'll require a budget to begin with. However from a business standpoint, as long as your sales funnel is built using proven strategies and is generating a positive return on investment (ROI), a budget doesn't really apply, as you invest as much money as possible to get even more back out again.
Plus the traffic is always affordable, and you can always regulate your daily budget depending on what you're comfortable investing.
Price is the major benefit to free traffic, as it doesn't cost a dime - apart from your time and effort. So if we're talking financial cost, it's 100% free. But physically and mentally it's a hard, ongoing struggle to keep the traffic flowing.
So free traffic gets a 8/10 when it comes to the cost, whereas paid traffic gets a 4/10 due to the affordability and budgeting features.
Free traffic - 20/40
Paid traffic - 30/40
From my own perspective, I've always found paid traffic to be much more effective at generating better, reliable and scalable results. But what do you think?
Let me know in the comments section below 🙂
Have a great day!
- James Francis.