Internet Marketing Cliches – Stop Taking Massive Action and Start Taking the Right Actions!

Internet Marketing Cliches – Stop Taking Massive Action and Start Taking the Right Actions!

take massive actionHey you! Yeah – you, the one sitting behind that computer screen, talking a big game about how important it is to “take massive action”…

I see that you’ve got Microsoft Word open and that you’ve got your WordPress Dashboard up, ready to make some changes to your website. But I also see that celebrity gossip website that you’ve got minimized in the task bar. And don’t think I didn’t notice that you spent over an hour on the internet marketing forums and that the only real thing you accomplished was telling *other* people how important it is to take action.

Truth be told, I’m beyond sick of that expression – “take massive action.” Reading posts on an internet forum is technically an action, as is buying yet another info product to read through and pretend like you’re going to implement. Sure, you’ve done something, but realistically, you’ve done jack s*** to actually grow your business.

Now, I know it’s Friday and you don’t want to have to work hard. After all, you’re an internet marketer – shouldn’t someone be brushing off your beach chair so that you can lie back and sip your margarita?

Maybe if you’re Joel Comm… But for the rest of us minions in the internet marketing world, success takes hard work and real action. And I’m not here to sell you on the dream – I’m here to whip your butt into shape and help you figure out exactly what you need to do to succeed.


So let’s talk action for a minute. Yes, I know – it’s supposed to be “massive.” But how about we try to determine whether or not we’re taking *useful* action before we try to ramp it up and make it massive? Taking massive un-helpful action only means that you’re wasting more time that could be better spent actually growing your business…

Of course, determining whether an action is useful or not requires a thorough analysis of our business models, so obviously, your results may differ from mine. It’s also important to remember that actions can be either directly useful or indirectly useful. For example, making email contact with a blogger you want to work with in the future isn’t immediately useful, but it can help grow your business in the long run.

The first question we need to ask ourselves when examining any given task is, “How does this action relate to my earnings (or your traffic, your subscribers – whatever metric you’re trying to measure)? Does it directly boost my earnings, indirectly boost my earnings or have no relation to them at all?”

Based on these criteria, the following are some of the direct actions and indirect actions that benefit my business:

Direct Actions

* Writing content for my websites and my blog

* Building the backlinks that help my site get ranked well

* Leaving blog comments to build traffic and connect with other bloggers

* Filming new videos for my Youtube channel

* Adding new messages to my “Awesome Marketing” email series

* Conducting market research to uncover new niches and keywords

Indirect Actions

* Reading internet marketing forums

* Buying and reading info products (unless I implement them right away)

* Researching new tools or products to buy

* Checking my Google Analytics stats (again, unless I actually do something with this information right away)


Now you try… Of all the things you do in a day, which tasks directly help your business grow and which ones play more of an indirect role (or worse, do nothing to help you at all)? Be honest with yourself. Checking to see if you’ve added any new Twitter followers in the last two hours isn’t really serving your business goals!

Generally, I like to aim for an 80/20 balance. That is, 80% of my time is spent on directly useful tasks, while the remaining 20% is spent on jobs that don’t have an immediate benefit – and I suggest you do the same. A good to-do list manager can help you ensure you’re staying productive and meeting these goals.

Over time, you’ll probably find that a few of your “directly useful” tasks benefit you more than others. And once you know this, it’s fine to ramp up your investment in these areas. But until you’re crystal clear on what these tasks are, stop pretending like “taking massive action” is going to help your business grow in any meaningful way.

Do you know what tasks most directly affect your business’ bottom line?  If so, share any tips and tricks you have for ensuring that you only focus on useful tasks in the comments below!


9 Responses to Internet Marketing Cliches – Stop Taking Massive Action and Start Taking the Right Actions!

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Real tips here.

    I like how your direct actions include creating. The more you create, the less you compete.

    Make creating content a habit and the massive action part takes care of itself. You become quite prolific when you decide to write a blog post or shoot a video daily, and toss in an article to boot.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Sarah says:

      Ryan – Couldn’t agree more. You really can’t go wrong with making creating good content an action that you take regularly 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jon says:

    Sarah – USEFUL action. Yes, I like that more. Sometimes I tout profound as a step or measure of action and that’s good but useful is better. Thanks for putting it out there.

    We need to spend less and invest more of our time wisely 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Hey, profound is pretty awesome too. Profound and useful is even better 🙂

      (Of course, you’ll notice I put this post up *before* the post where I mentioned I’m addicted to celebrity gossip websites. Sometimes I need to take my own advice!)

  3. Jason says:

    Great post. This reminds me of the way I feel when I sometimes justify indirect actions, especially when I spend too much time on them. 20% is a good rule of thumb. To me, since I’m still at the early stages, writing is the most key task. Thanks for your perspective on this.

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Jason – Thanks for stopping by! You’re right – we know when we’re spending too much time on actions that don’t directly benefit our businesses. The key is actually acting on those feelings, and it sounds like you’re on the right track to doing that.

      Cheers, and best of luck with your business!

  4. Hey there,

    What a great post. I hope that many reading will actually take action. I agree with your thoughts on getting stuff done.

    As I go through my days I carry a paper pad with me noting things I need to do either that day or the next. When I get home I set that paper on my desk and read it a few times.

    This paper has ideas, possible products, strategies I think may work, etc. It can really be anything. Before I started doing this I was reading just a little more than actually creating anything. After about a month of trying this little trick on myself I have noticed that I have gotten more done this month than I have ever in my IM career. It works and that is all I need to know.

    I wanted to share this with you and your readers. I challenge you to give it a try. It simply works and that is why I will do it. At first my wife made fun of me because she noticed it in my shirt pocket during lunch at BK one day. She took it out and started reading it. Read my notes and laughed. She says she laughed because the notes did not make sense. Well I say they don’t need to make sense to her. As long as I know what they mean I am great.

    As the breadwinner in my home it is important now more than ever for me to continue the AWESOME success that I have been seeing because I cannot go back to my old job. I am enjoying life now more than ever. My wife and child get more time with me. We are a young couple and fortunate enough to start our already 3 year marriage with time. Time is so valuable to me you have no idea. I am 23 and work from home. It feels great to say that and I say it proudly.

    Keep up the great work on your blog. I have subscribed and look froward to more content from you. These great inspiring posts from people like you and myself hopefully get people into action.

    Have a great Wednesday! (Tomorrow)

    -Jonathan L. Smith

    • Sarah says:

      Holy awesome comment, Batman!!!

      Jonathan – What a great way to capture all those thoughts that run through our heads all day long. It’s great that you’ve come up with a system to track them, evaluate them and then take action on them, and I’d encourage anyone to give your system a try.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Teri Freeman says:

    Excellent post Sarah, Every point in your Direct Actions list is on my List of Things To Do but end up being over shadowed whatever fire pops up needing attention.

    I vow to be more focused and stick to the 80/20 program to make sure the important things are addressed before the squeaky wheels.

    Keep up the great comments. Teri

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