10,000 Hours + getting more traffic to your website

PerryMarketing Blog35 Comments

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Just the other day I was doing a phone consultation with a customer and he said, “If I were going to invest my 10,000 hours in Pay Per Click, where would you suggest I focus my energy?”

I like the 10,000 hour concept & I talk about it a lot.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” is all about the idea that the most talented boy-wonders (people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the Beatles) were successful not because of innate talent but because they got a chance to invest 10,000 hours in their chosen profession, and they got their ten thousand hours in early.

I replied: “I’m not sure there’s 10,000 hours worth of stuff to even know about Pay-Per-Click. There’s a keyword, there’s an ad, there’s a bid price. If you spent ten thousand hours studying that I’m not sure what all you would study.”

“However,” I said, “You can most definitely invest ten thousand hours in understanding what came *before* that click and what comes *after* that click. The story, the psychology, the progression of keywords from first inquiry to sale, the art of gently leading your customer where you want him to go.”

And I can assure you, if you invest ten thousand hours (5 years worth of career time) aggressively honing your chops you will be a master marketer. You’ll be in the driver’s seat of one of the most lucrative careers in the world today.

What is "80" and what is "20" for your business right now? Take my 2-minute quiz and I'll show you where you'll get the highest compound interest on your time and money!

Yesterday on our Facebook group call, someone asked me what kind of advertising I would specialize in if I were starting out now.

There’s no one answer. Google is great for some businesses. Especially B2B. Facebook is great for B2C, especially things that deal in peoples’ personal space.

But most importantly, know this:

You can’t become a master 12 different kinds of advertising, ever. Let alone master 12 things fast.

But that is completely OK!

What you can do is master one or two. In just a few months you can develop great AdWords chops or great Facebook PPC chops. Many are becoming masters of both.

The most important thing you can do is *narrow* your focus. The worst thing you can do is react to 150 different emails that show up in your inbox this week, each pushing you to do some different, “brand new” thing.

Less is more. It’s less stress, it’s more focus, it’s more effective.

You don’t have to be great at everything. Just get really good at a few things that work. When you have that laser focus, then no matter whatever happens, you’ll never go hungry.


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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

35 Comments on “10,000 Hours + getting more traffic to your website”

  1. I very much enjoyed the article. I don’t think 10,000hours is the answer to gaining all the knowledge you need.
    It’s really the quality of the information, and your ability to focus on it, to sort through the decent content, to find the golden pieces, or phrases of the content given.
    I think that is what separates the so-so teachers or gurus, into the great..

  2. Hi Perry,

    You are right and it really helps to focus on one issue and develop a greater understanding of it. Still new and learning from your material.


  3. Perry, that is the only way to sharpen the skills in any niche area. If one try to learn every thing at a time he will create more confusion that actually learning any thing in real.

  4. I have always respected you among many marketers. You have proved it once more.

    The advice,

    “Less is more. It’s less stress, it’s more focus, it’s more effective.”

    “You can most definitely invest ten thousand hours in understanding what came *before* that click and what comes *after* that click. The story, the psychology, the progression of keywords from first inquiry to sale, the art of gently leading your customer where you want him to go.”

    Are the best i have ever read.

    Good job again.

  5. Hi Perry,

    I believe in Google Adwords. I have been with it for about 7 years or so now. It has made me a lot of money. It has taken away a lot of money. At times I get so frustrated with it. Running a business and trying to run the adwords campaign is tough to say the least. I’ve ordered your book(s) in the past and applied as much as I can. It seems it is hard for me to keep anything consistent going. It’ll work for two weeks and then the third, I’m shot. It’ll run great for about a month, and then nothing, as if I’m just accumulating clicks from people who don’t know what they want. Same ads, same successful keywords, but always varied results. I just don’t know what else to do. I’m spending, listen to this, about $1000 to $1,100 or more a month on Google Adwords. And it seems to be getting worse everyday. Perry I need your help. I need help with this things please. Is there something you can do to help me save my business from floundering? Is there something I can do in learning from you what to do before I sink?


    Sherman Robinson
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    1. Blimey, i am spending £1700 – £2500 per month, if you need help i need a miracle, i agree with your sentiments sometimes its like throwing good money after bad. Adwords is totally needed but it does seem that there is only one winner!

      Any advice would be appreciated

  6. Nice post, and spot on as usual.

    Being doers of many things and masters of none won’t get us very far, especially with all the competition there is out there!

  7. indeed the…*before* that click and what comes *after* that click…is by far the most time consuming and challenging aspect of ppc. once we can ‘master’ that we can almost conquer any market on any platforms…

  8. Some the best advice you have ever given, “Less is more. It’s less stress, it’s more focus, it’s more effective.”

    I have printed that out and taped it to my monitor. I think this is something we all have to fight against, chasing the magic bullet. Focus, narrow your niche. Get good, damn good at one thing and focus your energies. It works miracles.

  9. Perry,

    I’ve taken your advice from this post (and prior emails) to heart. I ‘try’ to maintain a lean inbox- eliminating emails subscriptions from guru’s that I no longer want.

    Once upon a time I received emails from you and then in my heavy purge eliminated all the guru’s (sadly you as well).

    I now subscribe and unsubscribe to the gurus routinely. So long as I see real value in what I receive.

    I must say that I regret not having stayed on top of your emails. As I reread my email, it sounds a bit like an endorsement and may be it is. Truth is, of the hundreds of online gurus out there, I am continually impressed by the quality of info you send out that’s why I spend 10 minutes reading your post and another 10 replying- i got value and hope others do.

    1 other thing I’ve noticed and i’m sure this is no accident. I don’t see the blatant product launch emails I receive from all the guru’s everyday. I’m sure the temptation is there but man, it diminishes a guys credibility if they are promoting a new product every week.

    To summarize, I’m going to keep reading your emails and wanted to say thank you.

    Later Perry,


  10. Once again, a great article Perry. I follow a lot of “Gurus” in their fields and one thing that makes you stand out is your ability to drive a point and make me feel like you are talking directly to me. You do this without all the hype. Unfortunately you are right about getting distracted with so many different things. As entrepreneurs it’s natural to want to learn “new” things. It’s also a distraction.

    Thanks for sharing,

  11. I am just starting out.

    I love your comment “The most important thing you can do is *narrow* your focus”.

    There is an information avalanche in cyberspace. It’s so easy to get buried alive before you even get to first base :)

  12. Hi Perry….Following your directions, I created and had my first ad approved on Facebook.

    When someone clicks on my FB ad (health and prosperity) they are automatically directed to my landing page (healthandwealthfortune.com) which automatically sends me an email notifying me that a prospet has visited and their email info. They DO NOT have to opt-in for me to receive the notificaton.

    I received 97 clicks on my ad….however….not ONE email notifying me of their visit.

    Is this a Facebook breakdown….or a rip-off?

    I have stopped the ad….a WASTE OF MONEY.

    Larry Justice
    [email protected]

    1. I don’t know enough about your notification system to comment. If you’re part of the Facebook Fasttrack program then you’re welcome to ask for help from my staff.

  13. Perry, this is right on point, and a nice way to extend on yesterday’s acebook call. The fast-track course has been extremely helpful and I like how there’s “no fluff”, just really solid advice and instruction.

    Marketing and advertising isn’t about tools, widgets, and numbers. Sure, it’s important to use them. These things change, but the process and psychology behind it is timeless. Those who master the entire process and focus on the craft, will have a wealth of opportunity for many years to come.

  14. Great email as usual. I’ve been learning adwords and facebook and unsubscribed to just about everything.

    I got an adwords client several months ago and then tried to figure it out :) So I read the first 100 pages of your definitive guide, fixed his account, and his conversions went up, he saved around $800 per month… etc.


    Loving the facebook training.

    1. You can open a support ticket – I know we’ve had a few people drop out, though not many. You might be able to get in. Thanks for your patience. We’re keeping it limited to provide a super high quality course with adequate support for all.

  15. Perry,

    I completely agree on the focus idea. My only addition to what you’ve said is be careful of one! (As Dan says, its the most dangerous number).

    I’ve focussed on Adwords for years now (some guy called Perry wrote a book I read and got me hooked) and it’s doing great things for me but like you I’m just expanding beyond Google (just in case!).



    PS: Not going to be able to see you when you come over to UK in September. Darn pissed about that as I was looking forward to it and I’m sure it will be a great event. Will have to get over to your side of the pond.

  16. Perry:
    “You don’t have to be great at everything. Just get really good at a few things that work. When you have that laser focus, then no matter whatever happens, you’ll never go hungry.”

    Your laser focus is on these phrases. This has been the most helpful thing I have learned from you over the last 18 months I have been persevering in IM.

    I am now stripping down – away from dropship stores. Just focus on SEO for tight keyword niches, monetize with Amazon aStores. Lather, rinse, repeat. Once I can do that consistently well – I can do anything.

    Someone (you?) once said two years of consistent work is the measure…I can see the incipient results.

  17. Thanks for the tips. I have just started my own coffee website and all the possibilities for PPC/advertising in general is very overwhelming, but working on a couple at a time would really help to focus my campaigns.

  18. I know a guy that spent 10,000 hrs. From the year 2000 till now…10 years

    Listening to tapes cassettes/VHS…Watching seminar DVDs while he drove his car and worked around the house, while renovating, while traveling…always and everywhere.

    He spent 20 hrs/week x 50 weeks=1000 hrs x 10=10,000

    Maybe $ 150 K invested.

    He has some of your stuff Perry.

    Best Regards,

  19. I’m sure the majority of us have too many Internet marketing companies working hard to get our attention. A good reminder to focus, focus, focus. Thank again for some wise advise. Bill

  20. Excellent advice that I’m sure applies not only to online marketing but all business. I myself get many emails a day that talk about various methods of online marketing that are very tempting to get into. I cannot possible keep up with them all. Narrowing my focus is something I now always keep in mind! Thanks Perry!

  21. Hi Perry

    Just starting to apply the learnings from the Definitive Guide and it works – a great investment!

    Have to say I don’t ‘get’ the marketing angle on Facebook but gonna have to – I may not get it but I know its huge!

    Your article was very calming on a day when I tried to do too many different things.



  22. Perry,
    I agree 100%. Too many folks try to be a one stop shop for all that is web marketing. Much better to be really good at a one aspect and nail that market.

    Great article.


  23. I really like Malcom Gladwell’s Ouliers book…

    I’ve seen myself progress since the first time I bought your Definitive Guide to Google AdWords book.

    I just took a client and almost puked when I saw how much money he was throwing away by not having his account set up properly and bidding properly.

    I’m not a master yet, but after 3.5 years, I think I’m pretty close to getting there…

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