One of the things which I think a lot of people forget about (myself included) is the importance of effort versus results. That is how much effort, work, and time which you are putting into something compared to what you’re getting out of it.
It’s important to get into routines so long as they are productive. Do not mistake productivity with time spent. As an example, I used to rely on article marketing pretty regularly for link building to my sites. Even in the time long before Google slapped content sites with the Panda update, most article directories were not worth your time.
Just the same I had a daily schedule where I would submit articles in a very ordered system to about a dozen article directories which I felt were the best of the best. I would first submit to Ezine, then the next day I would submit an article to ArticlesBase, then the next to GoArticles and so on. Each day I would submit a new article to Ezine, so I always had a queue going and I’d have to submit one article (per niche) to each directory per day. It took over an hour to complete some days.
When I finally got around to checking my rankings I saw that these links weren’t doing much to anything to help me rank (see how to check Google ranking for how to do this). I still kept on doing it for awhile until I checked my rankings again to see little change at which point I had finally had enough. The point is I kept on doing it because not even that I completely believed that it was working but because it was a routine which was easy to slip into because it felt productive.
Just a friendly reminder to make sure that you’re always working smarter, not harder, and have the courage (yes courage) to make note of when what you’re doing isn’t working or working as well as it could and draw up a new plan, because this is never easy to do.