455% ROI (and more) from free traffic

455% ROI (and more) from free traffic

Our content marketing machine (full details HERE) generates traffic from all three earned traffic sources: search, social, and email. In this case study I’ll first show you the total impact of having all three these in play and then (likely) surprise you with what happens over time.

Most (not all, but we’ll ignore that) of the search and social traffic we create enters through our custom designed blog where it gets campaign tagged as visitors click through to the client’s commerce site. Email traffic is split: some of it goes to the blog and some goes direct to the main site, but in both cases it is tracked and the revenue attributed correctly.

The graphic below shows total revenue from these two campaigns over the last six months.


Taking the total sourced revenue of $49,862.54 and dividing by the cost of service for six months ($8,982.00) gives an ROI of 455%.

That’s pretty good, and it’s getting better. Why? Because content is an asset.

When you spend a buck on Adwords you hope to get more than a buck back, but you know for sure that buck is gone and there is nothing left over. There is no residual or ongoing benefit to paid advertising. It’s like buying power or water – you get to use that juice only once.

But compare that to content. The blog post we write for you today will get you traffic for the life of your website.

Adwords pays you once. Content pays you forever.

We know this personally first hand: posts, reports, and videos that Dan and I did years ago still get us new subscribers and even clients today. When you Google either one of us, you’ll find page after page of search results listing the free content we’ve done. It’s not magic – content marketing will grow any business.

And did I mention that it gets better with time?

Oh yeah it does! Here’s the same client pictured above but with just the last 3 months instead of the last 6.


Taking the total revenue of $30,104.61 divided by the 3 months of service ($4,491.00) we get a more recent ROI of 670%. How did that happen?

It’s simple “asset math”. Look at the revenue numbers. In 6 months they earned $49k but in the most recent 3 months they earned $30k. From that alone you can see that the pace is accelerating.

Three more months from now their ROI will be even higher!

Why? The content we did last year is still paying them today and the content we’re posting right now as I blog about it will be paying next month, the month after, and forever after.

That is the critical difference between bought and earned traffic:

  • Bought traffic you get to use just once and hope it makes you money
  • Earned traffic makes nothing at first but pays you exponentially over time

All bought traffic is a hamster wheel!

Sure, maybe it’s a damn fine wheel, but it’s still a wheel, and if that’s your entire traffic strategy, you’re trapped on it! There will be good months and some not so good, but unless you really suck at Adwods now (which might be true), once you fix that problem, you’re tapped out – you can not grow your business until you add an additional traffic source.

Content is the only way off the wheel

What other traffic sources are there? There’s paid advertising and there is earned traffic. That’s it. And ALL earned traffic is earned by doing content. Sure, in “the old days” you could buy links and spam forums to get search traffic, but those days are gone – now it takes a continuous flow of fresh relevant content to get ranked. It’s the same with social.

If you are not doing Content Marketing, you’re not doing marketing at all

Paid traffic is not marketing, it’s advertising. Every other traffic source requires content. I bet you’re not doing content, are you. Maybe you’d like us to help you with that?

It’s your choice: you can have us do it for you, or you can do it yourself.

But know this: if you really expect to build an online business, there is truthfully not a third choice. Some day, you will either do content marketing, or get passed by.