Making A Molehill Out Of A Mountain


I wrote the other day about why procrastination is one of the biggest things that holds us back from getting where we want to with our online ventures.

I’ve often found that a primary reason for this stuttering (or non starting) can be that a task simply seems too daunting, particularly when it comes to growing your website’s traffic in an organic way.

And that’s often where the temptation for ‘quick fixes’ comes in – buying link packages, buying twitter followers, spinning content – the bad stuff that will make your website crash and burn.

You Can Do A Lot In A Day

The thing is, rome was not built in a day (you could say that it’s construction has been ongoing from 753bc to present day) and neither is a successful business – either on the internet or offline.

The trick is to break things down into manageable chunks and set realistic targets over a period – to make molehills out of the mountains as it were.

There are 365 days in a year, in fact every 4th year we get 366 of them. You can do a lot in a day, so just think what you can do in a year.

Setting Realistic Targets

Let’s say you have been looking into at the competition in a niche you are targeting and the top site has: –

  • 100 pages of high quality content
  • 500 inbound links
  • 2,000 twitter followers

The first thought that comes into your head may well be…

‘I need to replicate (and surpass) these metrics as quickly as possible to force my way into the niche.’

Let me first say that this is not entirely the wrong thought to have as analysing your competitors is a good place to start in any link building/content marketing campaign.

However, the chances are that (as they are the top site) they have probably been around for a while and have accumulated this quality content, the links and their following over an extended period of time.

If you try and do the same in a month (unless you have a huge marketing budget or are William Shakespeare) you will end up with: –

  • Very poor quality content
  • Low quality links
  • Non engaged twitter followers

And your web business will be doomed to failure.

Instead, setting this as a target over a year would mean: –

  • 1 high quality article every 3-4 days (2 a week)
  • Picking up an average of 5 links for each of your quality articles (10 new links a week)
  • Picking up 30-40 new twitter followers a week (say 20 per new post)

This is a much more manageable schedule and will allow you to ensure both that your content is of the highest quality and that you have the time to promote it through social media and outreach (picking up those high quality links and followers).

Importantly your website, inbound links and other metrics will be increasing at an organic rate which will look natural (because it is!) and is exactly what the search engines like to see.

An Example For An Ecommerce Site

One of the biggest problems I see with regards to the SEO of ecommerce sites is duplicate content and probably the biggest culprit is short or copied product descriptions.

If your website has 500 products, then writing a high quality product description (which sells the product!) for each of these will seem like a neverending task.

You might think..

Ok, it takes me about 20 minutes per product, so I can do 24 a day (working an 8 hour day flat out with no breaks…) and have them done in a month.

You may keep up to that schedule for a couple of days, but you will quickly become scunnered (a great Scottish word) with the task and either give up, or start cutting corners.


Instead, it would be better to make a list of your products ordered by importance and start working through them from the top seller down – completing maybe 6 a day.

This would take you 83 working days, so if we say there are an average of 20 working days in a month, you would complete the task in around 4 months. Not a long time in business and much more manageable.

Start Today!

The mantra is the same as my last post.

Set yourself a target and get started on it today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today.

Using the product description example from above, by this time next week you will have written around 25/30 high quality descriptions and will be well on the way to improving your site’s SEO and growing your traffic.

Start making molehills out of those mountains by breaking them down into manageable chunks, set targets for the short, medium and long term and you will be well on the way to succeeding with your online business.

Oh… and you can help me reach my targets by following me on twitter and signing up for my free email updates below 🙂

About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

SEO Arbiter - April 11, 2014

Hi David,

I completely agree. I think goal setting is also something really important that more people should use.

I used to attempt to do a hundred things at once with no real plan and end up overwhelming myself and going in circles.

Once I started mapping out specific dates I wanted things done and made sure they were attainable I found it much easier to get things done with quality suffering.


    David McSweeney - April 11, 2014

    I have suffered from that in the past myself – also bad for jumping between projects.

Rob McNelis - April 11, 2014

Nice post. I actually find that goal setting is limiting for me. I’m always changing my mind and growing so goal setting gives me paralysis. I prefer a daily to do list, but you have to figure out what works for u.


    David McSweeney - April 11, 2014

    Hi Rob, I get what you’re saying, but I think it’s important to have at least a clear outline of where you want to be in 6 months, 12 months etc. The best plans are certainly adaptable.

Vicky - April 12, 2014


Setting targets is the main thing which would make a lot of difference sand lot of time.


Jake - July 19, 2014

Hi David,

What you’ve just described is exactly what has happened to me over the past few weeks, set up a site, was trying to write a a bunch of reviews in one day to get the website done in a week or two, and the quality on the content really suffered, so yesterday i decided to delete everything. I only came across your site this morning and found the content is really refreshing to me in many aspects. I am a nooby to whole process so i needed that kick up the arse that your writing delivers, organic content here we come.

    David McSweeney - July 22, 2014

    Thanks Jake, organic growth is the way to go

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