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Getting Productive With Your Internet Marketing Productivity – Part One

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The more I read about successful internet marketers and how they run their businesses, the more I seem to see similar patterns emerge. For instance, I have been a long admirer of James Schramko and Dan Turner and Marc Lindsay. And recently I started reading David Walker’s blog. Two productivity philosophies or principles that they all seem to share are the Pareto Principle (or the 80/20 rule) and Parkinson’s Law. I suspect that they have all done the same training (probably Rich Schefren) rather than some cosmic alignment has occurred but nevertheless I am really beginning to think about the importance of these two principles.

The first personal insight that I take from this reading is that having 2 high level but relatively simple principles to follow keeps your business from getting bogged down and moves it forward. That is a key point in an industry like internet marketing that is fast moving and ever changing.

The Pareto Principle is about improving the quality of your business. I think it is closely related to the Tony Robbin’s idea of CANI (constant and never-ending improvement) which is an idea adapted from the Japanese idea of Kaizen that was applied to their industrial reawakening after the second world war. Robbins was talking more about personal improvement, whereas the 80/20 principle is easier to apply to a business context I believe.

The idea behind the principle is that 80 percent of the reward (or profits) will come from 20% of your exertions (or work). This idea can be applied in every context of your business. The most often used example to illustrate the idea in work is that 20% of your websites will make 80% of the profit.

The implication is that you should focus more on these websites. Within these websites, you should find that 20% of the pages that are making 80% of the profit. Thus you should focus on these pages. By doing this you will making better use of your time. You will be constantly and neverendingly improving.

Whilst I get this and to some extent use it, the thing that many people don’t mention is that it is not always easy to apply this principle. It takes work to use this principle effectively. You need information about how your business works or how your websites are doing and understanding of the significance of this information before you can use the 80/20 principle.

You need to test and track your sales process or how your websites are performing. This might be as simple as putting Google Analytics on your website or maybe you have to run a split testing campaign on a sales page.

Whatever it is that you choose to use, it can get progressively more complex and long winded to get the information you need to make the important decisions based on the 80/20 rule. And this can bog you down.

If you are taking more time analyzing your stats than actually doing anything then you are using the principle in the wrong way. After all, the doing part is probably the 20% of your time that makes you the most money.

So whilst the principle is a good way to look at your business don’t get bogged down by over analyzing the information on your business to act. This is a fine balancing act that people new to internet marketing struggle with. They either keep no information or have too much which both lead to inaction. Getting that balance right comes with experience and is constantly being refined depending on where you are with your business.

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