Want to be successful online? Here are 10 Deadly mistakes to avoid for online success, so if you are serious about online success you must read this.
In my previous post, I told you about the core business principles that you need to be successful online.
Just to recap, those are:
Sadly, lots of companies and online entrepreneurs make the mistake of ignoring these very important, basic principles. Because of that, they end up compromising their business.
Sad but true, these mistakes are a small number of mistakes, but they are repeated over and over again and they are responsible for the majority of companies and online entrepreneurs failing.
Before we go to the 10 deadly mistakes to avoid for Success Online, here’s an infographic for you to save for future reference (right click save image as…)
Now, let’s go over to the 10 deadly mistakes you should avoid if you want to be successful online in detail:
Mistake 1: Not solving a problem or need
You should create value as I already mentioned in the core business principles.
How do you know if you’re creating value? There is one easy way to see whether your product is creating value or not and that is by evaluating whether it solves a real problem or address a need.
Sometimes you might get so over excited about your ideas that might forget to do this primary reality check.
A great example of this is the Iridium project that was launched by Motorola in the late 1990’s. At that time, the mobile market was filled with excitement and service operators around the world were fighting to get the increasing number of mobile subscribers.
But most mobile networks that was only able to cover a couple of kilometers. This obviously limited the range where operators were able to give their services.
So, to address this limitation, Motorola tried developing a network that would completely cover the whole world. Obviously, this looked like a great innovation. The management team was enthusiastic about the fact that people would then be able to talk anywhere and everywhere, from the North Pole to the desert. They believed that this would seriously create value for their customers.
But for this project they would require 7 billion dollars and 88 satellites placed into orbit around the Earth.
The network was in place and they started selling their services. Remember those bricks, the handsets were clumsy and huge (especially if you compare it to today’s mobile phones). This was because they required more complex technology.
Get this, they were selling for a whopping $3 000 a piece and call charges were outrageous, but remember, those devices would allow users to communicate anywhere in the globe!!
Then, a couple of months down the line, people started to realize that it was not necessary to make calls from a remote city and so the novelty wore off. For Motorola this was too late, they missed the sales expectations by far and they were forced to keep on paying the maintenance of the satelites. This expense was approximately 200 million dollars – monthly!
Motorola invested in what the managers thought to be a promising innovation. At that stage, there was no customer need that had to be met or a problem to be solved, so in 1999 the Iridium project filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11.
We know today the mobile phone is ruling our lives, but who would have guessed that in 1999?
In other words, the moral of this story is: Before you start your website or business, make sure that it is going to solve a real problem and address a real customer need.
Here’s how to know: Look around you, see and listen –
what are people complaining about
what products or services ar they asking for but unable to find in the market
what do you know that very few people know
Mistake 2: Lack of focus
The internet is exploding with possibilities and opportunities are everywhere.
It only takes an idea and passion to build a website around it and within a few months, you have a real business on your hands.
Interestingly enough, this abundance of opportunities is also what leads a lot of online entrepreneurs to fail.
Because they end up trying to pursue too many things at the same time!!
As I mentioned in my post about 5 ways to make money online that really work, you should not try too many of them, otherwise you will spread yourself too thin.
It goes like this, new idea or new passion – new website. Promoting affiliate programs, creating mini websites for AdSense and on top of that, do multiple Freelance jobs or start a consulting service.
The result: Average, mediocre results for every one of the activities.
If you really want to create something powerful, you must concentrate all your efforts on it. Most things in life works this way. Think about a laser light. When light beams are dispersed, they are not so strong, but concentrate them and they become super powerful. Actually, they become so powerful that they can cut steel.
It’s fine to test out different business models and ideas, but when you decided what direction you want to go, you must focus all your time and your energy on that.
I don’t know if you know this yet, if you’re just starting out, most probably you don’t, but the online market place is heavily crowded. There are thousands of blogs in every niche and hundreds of websites on every single segment you can think of and there are dozens of online companies that offers similar services.
If you are serious about being successful online and if you want to be profitable, you must be the best at what you do. The only way you can achieve this is with laser sharp focus.
Obviously this does not mean that you’re going to have to stick with one project your entire life. Once your business is grown effectively, you will reach a point where your online business will walk by it’s own and you will have a chance to step back a bit and pursue new ideas.
But, until you reach that point, you must focus all of your time and energy on that one single project.
Mistake 3: Not finishing what you start
Running out from the previous point, if you lack focus, chances are you’ll have a hard time finishing what you started.
Maybe you have a friend in your life where you can see this happening, she loves crochet. But she has four projects she is working on at the same time. She’s making blankets for the winter to donate to the church, while she does that, she is busy making something for her daughter and a little warm jacket for the pet of the family. But don’t forget, she has a new grand-child on the way and still has to make a baby jacket and baby booties too. Needless to say, some of these projects might not be finished before the end of the winter.
Of maybe you have a friend who loves starting a new diet, but after only a week, she decides it’s not for her and drops it.
Needless to say, these friends are going to have a hard time reaching their goals.
This same principle applies in business.
If you’re an entrepreneur who can’t finish what you start, sadly, you won’t go very far.
People who start too many projects at the same time, will complete only a few if any.
Even someone who who can stay focused on a single project, can still make the mistake of not finishing what they started.
Let’s suppose someone has a social media marketing business. He makes his living by helping other companies reach customers through social media. He starts building a blog where he will write about social media. Here he showcases his expertise and starts building an audience. Every day, he writes solid articles. After a couple of weeks, his posting frequency starts going down. Within two months, his blog is abandoned.
Then, he figures that if he writes and releases a free report about social media marketing, he will generate some buzz and attract a lot of new customers. He starts to write this awesome report…after ten pages….no more words. No more flow, he decides, maybe it is best to put this idea on hold.
But he knows there are other things he can do. He starts running a pay-per-click advertising campaign on Google AdWords and spends $50 buying clicks. When his campaign is finished, he doesn’t analyze which keywords were converting better or how many customers he got out of the campaign. He doesn’t even look at what his return on investment was.
As you might have guessed, his chances of making a success online is super small.
Mistake 4: Underspending
I keep on saying this and some or the other time it must sink in – it takes money to make money.
Whether you’re planning on starting a blog or an online company, at some stage, you will need to spend some money.
New technologies and web 2.0 tool certainly brings down some costs to set up and manage any kind of business, but that does not mean that you should start your with zero investment.
It’s possible to start a business online with zero investment, but with this comes risks and hard to optimize.
Sadly my friend, people who underspend on their projects often have a doomed venture right from the start.
For instance, creating a blog, which is one of the simplest and cheapest forms of publishing on the web.
It’s so easy to decide:
I’ll just buy any available domain name, get some cheap hosting, load a free WordPress theme and start writing.
Theoretically, you can do it, but it will take longer and will be much harder for you to make such a blog profitable.
Why? Here are a few reasons:
1) Good domain name
With all the very short domain names already taken, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good domain name that’s still available.
Chances are you will have to be content with a long and boring domain name that will not help your brand to stand out especially if it ends with [dot]wordpress[dot]com or [dot]blogspot[dot]com.
I would recommend, even before you consider buying your domain name that you get this free eBook from Yaro Starak as I mentioned in my page about Building websites. You must have clarity before you start.
2) Overused theme
When you use a free WordPress theme, chances are your site might look like thousands of other sites, again, hurting your brand and making it more difficult for you to stand out in the sea of internet marketers.
This also makes it more difficult for you to communicate credibility.
You can read this post about changing my theme, a wow experience. I wrote it when I was super excited after I bought my first Genesis theme.
Just imagine, you write this killer article, everybody loves it and shares it all over social media. Your article is so popular that you reach the front page of a social media site…and then….your cheap web hosting can’t handle the traffic load because you’ve got the baby plan with only 5gig storage. Because your web hosting is unable to sustain the traffic load, your server crashes and people think you’re a fraud.
But they don’t know, you took the small plan. Now will they ever trust you again or want to read your posts?
I don’t know, do you?
Who would I recommend?
There are many web hosting companies, but these are at the top of my list:
Compared to what it would cost you to set up shop in the offline world, you can with minimum investment, purchase a nice domain name, hire a designer to draw your logo and customize your WordPress theme and get a decent hosting service.
A great place to start looking for someone to do the designing is in Fiverr or Freelancer.
It can cost you less than $400 for all of these things combined, but it will make a massive difference in terms of your blog and how you stand out from the crowd.
You can even try out SBI, Site build it. Want to know more about them? Read this post What can SBI do for you?
Just go talk to any shop owner of a local business in your area and ask him what it cost him to set up his shop and what his monthly rental, phone and electricity accounts are.
Compare that to what it will cost you to start your online company and you will realize that it is not a lot at all.
As you can see, I’m not talking about investing tens or thousands of dollars on an enterprise software solution and consulting service. This will be the other extreme.
I’m talking about at least investing the minimum amount of money to ensure that you will have a professional setup that will help you to reach your goals and not work against reaching your goals.
Stay tuned to Success Online Site and you will still learn in future lessons about the different items you might need to invest money in like your domain name, web design, web hosting and some software solutions, where I will explain to you how you can maximize your results while you control your overall budget.
Let’s go over to mistake number 5 of the 10 deadly mistakes to avoid for online success.
Mistake 5: Overspending
Obviously, chances are that you would rather underspend than overspend, but you won’t believe, it does happen.
It especially happens with people who has money that comes in from somewhere else, for instance, offline entrepreneurs that want to start doing business online, the 9 to 5 worker with a big savings account or some startup that raised money from venture capital firms.
Now I know what you must be thinking, why on earth would having too much money laying around be a bad thing?
For this simple reason: Money dumbs us down. Here’s just a few examples of what might happen:
When you have too much money, you become too comfortable.
You will hire people to do things, even if you don’t need to.
You will invest in marketing campaigns without doing proper research.
You will not work hard to find as many clients as possible
And then, when all that money is gone, you’re stuck with a business that can’t stand on it’s own and does not bring in the income necessary to sustain even the basic expenses.
On the other hand, when money is a bit scarce, you will literally have to get off your butt and learn to do some of these things yourself.
When I started out, I didn’t have money for much, but I did buy my domain name and hosting from D9 for All-about-life-tips.
I continued paying for it out of my own pocket for well over a year and because I did not make any money yet, I had to learn to do everything myself. It was tough, but I had to literally get of my butt and learn to do these things.
With the first money I made, I let LogoNerds create my WordPress header, but I did change it later <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/72x72/1f625.png" alt="