Directory submissions have not improved my traffic level. I have my site accepted in over 500 directories now, and still no "increase" in traffic. I feel it is a waste of time now.
Let's assume there is No Google, No Yahoo, No Bing, to push traffic to your web site.
I think everyone has different ways to get traffic to your web site.
Time is also money.
What do you feel You have done that is the biggest waste of your time and money?
I have seen some traffic from forum posting. So I do not feel that is a waste of time.
For me it is Articles places like Ezine I have over 40 articles in place and have seen little to NO traffic because of them. So articles places seen to me like a big waste of time and money.
Worst investments include directory submissions, blog commenting, and blog posts (duplicate content, posted to several high PR blogs - this is very expensive, and did not help one bit). Low $xxxx could have been invested in a much more constructive manner.
Best investments include article distribution services (same article submitted to 500+ article directories, manually - no automated service has worked effectively for me - but I am about to try another), social bookmarking (200+ sites, non-Pligg - I'm considering the purchase of Social Submitter to automate this for me), and the time investment of finding good keywords in the first place (stealing from competition is not the answer, find keywords that are completely new - otherwise you have someone to compete with, and if you've heard of them, they're probably going to be difficult to beat) to avoid the necessity of heavy link building.
The biggest traffic time wasters for me
1) Paid directories costing between $5-$60 - Little or no traffic
2) Blog comments
3) Blog posts on edu blogs and blog networks
4) TLA links - I had some nice links on local media sites and niche sites. The links gave me only a few hits though the cost was between $15-$30 a month per link.
I write the articles myself and think the times is well spent. I guess it depends on your topic.
You should also submit all the articles from your own enzine account.
Some blog comments have given me traffic. But when I found them on my own and made a worthwhile comment. Though the little traffic that I got wasn't really worth the time.
Apart from SEO Social Bookmarking has worked really well for me. Every-time i bookmark a post from my blog to my usual list of about 15-20 sites i get a steady flow of traffic atleast for a day.
Directory submissions have not been worthwhile for me as i've not seen any direct results from them. As far as referral traffic from directories is concerned, i've received none and neither do many of the backlinks from these directories show up.
Article marketing has been quite useful though i've not used up much time on it.
The most time i've spent is on dofollow blog commenting, as Will said in another thread a while back, it doesn't seem to have much of an effect on SEO and direct traffic is meagre too.
So Yes, blog commenting has been kinda 'not that useful' for me all this while, though i wont call it a time-waster.
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Posting links to a no follow links is also a waste of money. It didn't improve anything nor indexed my site.
Traffic from social bookmarking sites has a bounce rate of about 85% - 100%. With a bounce rate that high, its not really worth my time.
My biggest waste of time and money are pay for annual review directories, and I trash them when my souscriptions expired.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.