Online entrepreneurs are generally full of great ideas and have plenty of ambition. But those enthusiastic traits are quickly doused as the reality of the online world comes knocking. Despite the hyped-up ads you see all over the place regaling the rags-to-riches stories of so-called online millionaires, the raw truth is that online work is hard. Making that first dollar can seem like a long and unsurmountable task because eighty hours of work per week does not always mean a pay check on Friday.
Although this website is meant to help you and give you the confidence to start and continue your online business, it is also important for us to show you the common pitfalls for online entrepreneurs. Being aware of some of the real issues can only make you a better webmaster and brace you for what lays ahead.
Common Pitfall #1 – Giving up too early
After working long hours at installing a script, writing some content, making a design, and promoting the site, it does get tedious especially when barely a few pennies come in. No-one can fault you for being discouraged and wanting to quit. But you must remember that once you find the right recipe for your site, the growth comes faster. The key is to stick with it because you are laying a foundation. So tomorrow morning when you feel dejected and unmotivated, get yourself out of bed and continue with your to-do list because you are making progress.
Common Pitfall #2 – Depression sets in with no earnings
Nobody wants to feel like a failure and because we see our personal worth in terms of how much money we earn, this attitude can be hugely detrimental to an online entrepreneur. You need to understand that money does not come instantly in this business. Making the first hundred dollars consistently for six months in a row will be an arduous task.
Common Pitfall #3 – Lose sight of what is important
Many internet entrepreneurs start off motivated but somehow, they lose sight of the priorities. They start to focus on ridiculous pieces of the puzzle that have no direct impact on their potential earnings (other than to destroy them, that is). For example, we have seen webmasters stress about their designs when they have no traffic. They should be promoting their sites not tweaking a theme or layout. If you got sidetracked at work too often, you would lose your job. If you’re looking for motivation and you speak Dutch – check out Sander Jonen’s page on entrepreneurship, it’s a real boost!
Common Pitfall #4 – No research conducted
Before starting an online business, it is prudent to have a business plan. But if you are not capable of writing a draft for yourself, or you want to jump in, you at least need do some research. If you want to see results, you need to have some understanding of your market, your potential users, and your competition. Find a niche that seems promising and do some keyword research to help you get focused. This can also help in your ever so important Search Engine Optimization, by the way!
Common Pitfall #5 – Spend too much time learning
Okay, most would argue that you cannot spend too much time learning. But in the online business, this is exactly what happens. Webmasters spend day and night scouring forums, reading ebooks, looking at this system and that while never touching their websites. You cannot do everything you read. There are as many business models out there as there are online entrepreneurs. Organize, challenge and commit yourself to completing tasks that directly affect your website in a positive way. Find five backlinks today, write another article, find three more keywords for next week’s articles, or write a press release and link it to your site. If you sell a product, start a free blog to give your customers tips about choosing and using your product. Learning all day and doing nothing will be your demise.
Common Pitfall #6 – Business model jumping and niche hopping
You must stick with what you are doing. That does not mean that after one year of full-time work and no earnings, you are wrong for abandoning the business, but it means that you do not change strategies every time your change your pyjamas. Just because you see someone else making money from something is not a signal for you to stop what you are doing and do what he does. This is why spending too much time reading forums is a detriment to your business and messes with your psyche. There are many business models which are successful. Once you find your focus, stick with it and make it work. Jumping from affiliate program to affiliate program and niche to niche trivializes your efforts.