The #1 mistake that beginners make is the wishful idealism of just starting a website and expecting it to make money. Research and planning is absolutely necessary in the competitive online business landscape. You wouldn’t expect to start an offline business without a business plan and expect it to succeed would you? The idea of building a website and making money off it without link-building, marketing, and traffic leaks is a dream being sold by make money online gurus. Beginners need to do background research and create a business plan to make money online. Check out Builder Society’s Digital Strategy Crash Course before starting your online business website.
Choosing a niche market
A niche market does not have a lot of customers, by the definition of a niche- denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. You do not want to choose a niche market because it greatly limits the amount of profit you can earn from your business. This is the reason doing research before starting an online business is so important. An online business needs to be in a profitable vertical (industry with billions of dollars in it). Beginners needs to choose a proven business model in a big money vertical, they can start a more “original” business after they have had success with a proven business model.
Not focusing on money
I think this is an issue that arose from people being told they can make money blogging. People started thinking they could make money from simply typing out their incoherent ideas and money would magically appear. This was a great scam for the people selling the dream of passive income from blogging. The beginner in online business needs to understand that most businesses fail, and the failure rate for online businesses is even higher than for traditional businesses.
In online business you can’t resort to spamming to make quick money but you need to focus on making money because you are running a real business. If you are not focused on making money and are not seeing profits, you have a hobby website not an online business. Business is business, too many people treat online business like they are just blogging for fun, especially beginner affiliate marketers. In online business the goal is to make money, never forget this.
Quitting too early
This is the most complex point in this entire list, let me explain why. Beginners have a habit of quitting too early because they don’t have the patience, work ethic, and don’t have realistic expectations for how long it takes to make money. They expect to be able to build a website and simply have people magically (search traffic) appear on their content. SEO takes a long time to show legitimate results (6-12 months) so the beginner online business owner needs to go to where their customers spend their time online and promote their product to them. This is real marketing and it is the way people make money with new online business ventures.
Online businesses benefit from economies of scale, the larger, older, and more authoritative a website is the greater the profit from each piece of content added. This is because the website already has trust signals for search engines to send more traffic, and bigger sites look more legitimate to potential customers as well. If you have done your research and have a legitimate business plan you need to build and market your business until you make money. The issue is when people don’t do the background research and have false expectations. People with a bad plan are often screwed from the beginning, that’s why proper planning is so essential for every online business.
Relying on one traffic source
Overrelaince on one traffic source is not a recipe for success for beginners. Beginners need to be driving traffic through multiple channels because they do not know what it takes to successfully market a business. The only way people learn marketing is by actually going out and doing it and seeing what works and doesn’t work for their specific business. Beginners can’t listen to people on the internet saying “this traffic source is the best for X niche”. This is worse than bad advice and if you follow advice like this you will always be looking to other people to tell you what to do. The only way to learn online marketing is to drive traffic from different sources to your website and see what converts into profit.
Sweating the small stuff
Once beginners have done the preliminary background research and have created a business plan for their business they need to focus. Two maxims that can help beginners are “focus on the few not the many” and “just do it”. Once you know what you need to do, simply focus on doing that and ignore the noise and shiny object that marketers are trying to confuse you with. There are so many idiots out there that will distract you and give you bad advice. When you have a business plan, stick to it, value your time and learn to outsource or automate the small stuff in your business. If you know how to program, you can code basic programs to handle the simple things. You can hire virtual assistants fairly cheaply to handle small tasks for your business.
Too much time on social media
This is a quintessential mistake beginners make in online business. Beginners get excited when they build their social media accounts and start seeing a bit of traffic start to come in from this channels. This traffic excites them so they start to put more effort into growing their social media presence. They continue to build their social media presence and soon they have a very respectable social media following. The issue with this is that social media often does not convert into profit for the online business owner. Most people use social media for entertainment and not with the intention of buying something from the social media websites they visit. As a beginner time is better spent building out content, engineering traffic leaks, and doing general marketing work.
Ignoring Customer Service
Your customers are the ones that pay your bills. Without customers you would not have a business, instead you would simply have a hobby. Beginners often think that just because their customer has already bought something that they can simply ignore them. This is incredibly incorrect, the best companies in the world have a targeted approach to maintain their customer base and build loyalty with them. If your customers have a question or complaint you need to answer them as soon as possible. Build a relationship with your customers and put yourself in their shoes. How many bad companies do you know that ignore their customers? Don’t be like them.