Starting an online business takes a ton of work, and a certain amount of creativity. However, it doesn’t always work out the way you think that it should. After all, we all have blunders from time to time, and often, those mistakes can cost you time and money when building your business.
We have all made mistakes in our businesses, and if it weren’t for some huge marketing blunders, I would probably be rich by now. Sadly, I am not, but I have learned many lessons that can help you to avoid these mistakes and guide you to building a business faster and easier.
Today, I thought I would share with you 10 of my biggest online blunders, and help you avoid some of the biggest mistakes that I made as I began building my business.
Avoid Starting Too Many Websites
Having diversity in your websites is a great idea, and there are many people teaching you how to build multiple niche sites quickly. When I started with Affiloblueprint, I did this myself. However, I really didn’t see the impact I could have until I pulled back and focused on just one site, making it successful, and then moving on to another website.
No matter how many sites you want to run, you need to walk before you run. If you don’t even have 1 site bringing in a consistent income, then you probably won’t have much more luck with having 100 sites. The good news is, once you have a few up and making consistent income, it becomes much easier to build new sites and diversify your income streams.
Although there is a lot to be said about multiple income streams, you need to focus on getting each stream successful before moving on to the next one.
Focus Your Traffic Strategy
Let’s face it, there are hundreds of ways to drive traffic to your site, and you can’t do all of them. Although you will be flooded with traffic tactics that are effective when used properly, they will only work with consistent action and time. When I started out, SEO was the biggest free traffic online, and social media was just beginning to take off. I tried to do it all, and I suffered because of it.
Pick one or two traffic methods and learn everything you can about them. Spend time testing them yourself, and do everything you can to make them work before trying to diversify. Although you want diverse traffic to your site, you won’t master all the skills you need overnight.
Set Realistic Goals for Your Business
Setting goals for yourself is really important. I didn’t really have a clear goal for my business for the first year. Although I did manage to make some money, I didn’t make as much as I could have. As you set your goals, keep them realistic. I recently had a client email me, asking me to teach them how to build their business to over $10,000/month within 3 months.
Although it is possible, it isn’t very likely that a total newbie will be able to build their business that fast, especially if you don’t have any money to invest in paid advertisements, and you are completely unknown within your niche.
The truth is that I know people who have been working online for years and aren’t making that much yet.
Set yourself long term and short term goals. focus on getting your site profitable first (making more money than it costs to run) and then worry about scaling it up to your desired income. It will take time to build your business, even with the best training available.
Consistent Action Provides Consistent Results
One of my biggest mistakes to date in my business (even up until now, I struggle with this one…) is consistency. I have allowed other distractions to take me away from my business, and it has caused me a lot of headaches. You need to commit yourself to working on your business as often as you can. If you disappear for 2-3 months, your sites won’t keep up. You need up to date information, and show your presence. Your email list will ignore you if you don’t email them for several months, making all the work you put into building it a waste of time.
I have struggled with this one myself, and seen the results first hand. Now, I am focusing on building my sites and trying to work on them every day, no matter what else is going on.
Quality Content is ESSENTIAL
Every day, I see people trying fly by using poor quality content, and wondering why their sites aren’ t doing so well. Sadly, many of these people believe they actually have great content, and refuse to listen to people who know better.
Your customers are the ones who decide if your website is quality or not, so be sure to listen to their input. If people don’t like your site, they won’t come back time and time again.
Keywords Tie the Web Together
Master your keyword research! No matter what niche you are in, without the right keywords, your sites will die. I have seen some really great sites that never saw the success they could have simply because they didn’t pick the right keywords. They either went for keywords that were too difficult to rank for, or they picked out phrases that were only attracting freebies seekers, and ignoring the proven buyers in the niche.
No matter where you are going to drive traffic, keywords will ensure that you have people willing to spend time and money to get what you have to offer.
FREE is NOT Always an Option
Although there are tons of free stuff out there to help you build your business, most of it is absolute trash. I have used free tools, free WordPress Themes, and even free training, and every time I have been let down.
Avoid free stuff when building your business. Although there are some free tools, WordPress Plugins, and services available, generally, paid options will always be better. You can build your business with free stuff initially, but you need to get paid options as soon as possible.
I rarely use free plugins, all my themes are paid for, and I NEVER use free hosting or email services. They are waste of time, and will kill your business. You can also destroy your reputation before you even have a chance to build it.
Outsource What You Can
Building my own business, I tried doing everything myself. I quickly learned that it was impossible for me to do everything. You can’t be an expert SEO, content writer, graphic designer, plus and expert in your niche topic. You don’t have to be an expert at all of them (or any of them actually) to run your business effectively, but you do need to hire people who ARE good at those tasks.
Find what you are good at, and outsource what you can as soon as possible. As you master your money mindset, you will realize that it is actually cheaper to outsource than to do things yourself anyway.
One of my goals is to build my business to the point where I have a team of people doing all the work for me, and I manage the business rather than working in the front lines every day. Although it will take some time, I am slowly working my way towards that goal.
Focus Your Efforts
One of the keys to my success was in my ability to focus tightly on my sites. As I built my business, I would focus on one or two pages at a time. As I grew, and began outsourcing more, I was able to expand my reach and work through more and more pages, but to begin with I focused on just a few pages, got them ranking, then focused on a few more pages.
Although in an ideal world, everything would work the first time, it doesn’t always happen that way. Pick out one or two good Keywords with high traffic volumes, and spend your time on those.
If you are new online, instead of worrying about making money from your site, focus on just getting traffic. Then you can worry about converting that traffic into leads and sales. Most of the time, when I see people frustrated, it isn’t because they aren’t doing a good job, it is because they are not focused on the right problem.
Track Your Progress
Almost on a daily basis I talk to people who have seen some success, but didn’t know where it came from, or how they did it. This can be frustrating to deal with, and it can easily be one of the biggest mistakes you can avoid. By tracking what you are doing, and what does and doesn’t work, you will know what you did to see progress, and then you can repeat it. It is hard to repeat success without any clue as to how you saw it to begin with.
Using tools like Google analytics, Webmaster Central, and Traffic Travis, you can track what you are doing, and keep up to date on the latest changes to your site. However, you don’t want to sit there watching them for hours on end either. I generally recommend setting aside one day per week to track and analyze what is working in your business. This will help you understand what is going on without wasting time that you need to spend being productive.
Avoid These Blunders When Starting an Online Business
Starting an online business isn’t always that hard, but you do need to be sure to avoid these blunders in order to achieve the success that you crave. Although there are many details you have to learn, as long as you focus your efforts in the right time and place, you can build a business that will be here for years to come.