If you’ve driven a manual transmission you’ll know starting in 5th gear is bad idea. The engine will stall (and your friends or spouse will probably laugh at you).
Starting out in 5th gear is what new online marketers do (especially bloggers) when they chase money before creating content or getting traffic.
I did it when I started as well, and was reminded of it recently when a new blogger asked me where they should paste their Google Adsense code on their website.
His blog was only one week old.
Working with new bloggers I see this constantly. They have more affiliate links, ads, and pop-ups than they have visitors.
No one is clicking their offers because no one is there to click them.
Like starting out in 5th gear, sure enough… their blog stalls.
No email subscribers, no sales, no revenue… a few weeks go by, maybe a month or two, and they quit.
The first reason is that we think the world is watching us. We fix our hair and put on clean clothes before leaving the house.
We want our stuff to be perfect before anyone sees it… but if no one is sees it, it's not going to matter.
A store with no customers is not concerned about the best location for a display… they're concerned about not having customers.
The second reason is that new online marketers look up to their hero's. They want to be where their hero's are… so they do what their hero's are doing.
But what they need to be doing are the months (or years) worth of stuff their hero did before they were anyone's hero.
The third reason is they're focused on the money, not the process.
But you can just buy your traffic, right? Pay for ads on Google, boost a post on Facebook…
Sure you can… but you can also strap a rocket to your car (and it won’t matter what gear you’re in).
If you have no idea what you’re doing, as most newbies don’t… you’ll crash and burn with nothing left but a burnt hole in your pocket.
Buying Ads and traffic before reading a book (or taking a course) on copywriting is like driving a Formula 1 car into the first corner of a race before learning how to drive. Someone is going to get hurt.
In the case of the online marketer… the hurt will be your wallet (and your lower-back from sleeping on the couch after your spouse finds out).
Restart the car, put it in 1st gear… and follow the proper sequence.
If 5th gear is optimizing for conversions… 1st is the technical know-how to get moving.
2nd is creating content and learning (at the very least) some basic copywriting skills and strategies…
3rd and 4th you’re pulling into traffic (literally and figuratively),
5th is optimizing for conversions (testing, adding your links, opt-ins, etc.), and…
6th you’re on the highway (making money).
But if you enter a busy highway at parking lot speeds you’re going to get killed.
It’s also worth noting… you’ll burn most of your fuel (effort) getting up to speed… in other words, before you’re making money.