Biggest Business Mistakes I’ve Made
Over the last eight or nine years I have made good money online but I have also made decisions that cost me money. The advice below should help you avoid some of the poor decisions I’ve made. I hope it can also help you build your online business faster and more efficiently.
Not building an email list sooner
I have had many auto responder accounts over the years, but for the most part I have rarely utilized them until recently. The worst thing about running an online business for years and not building a list is that I knew the whole time I should have been doing it.
I got caught up sending paid traffic to affiliate offers for commission. It was making money so it was easy to spend my time on that rather than list building.
If I was thinking long term, I would have tried to combine list building with affiliate offers. That would have allowed me to make commission from my traffic immediately and additional commission via future emails.
Do not put off list building. You should implement it in your business immediately. It will be difficult to find out how to get people on your email list. You will likely struggle with creating the right emails and sending them in the right order. This will make you want to quit but stick with it and develop a comfort level. Once you get comfortable with list building and sending emails, you will be glad you stuck with it.
Not committing to blogging/ Not running blogs the right way
I have started blogs in the past that I never committed to. My most successful blog was a basketball blog and that was only successful because I love the sport. Other blogs I created about fitness, business, personal finance never went anywhere. Mainly because I felt the pressure to write posts multiple times a week.
It was always easier to work on my affiliate campaigns rather than to work on a blog where I had to put so much energy into a post. My mindset was why work on something new when I already have something that is working.
I think the biggest thing I overlooked with blogging was its role in product creation. A blog is one of the best tools you can have to build an email list, develop a following and launch products and services. Without a blog you will be launching products and selling them to cold traffic which is not ideal.
I also failed to treat my past blogs like businesses. Many of them I had, did not have business plans or growth strategies. In the last year I have began to treat my blogs like businesses. Now those blogs are performing at higher level then my failed blogs ever did.
Not continuing to learn
Online business is a fast moving game and if you don’t stay up to date you might get left behind. I definitely see numerous areas where I got left behind because I was so focused on what was working. As I made money I started to read less blogs and visit less forums which are the main places to to stay up to date on the make money online niche.
If you want to blog, sell eBooks, sell physical products or do something else online you have to commit part of your time to learning. Even if you are already having success in one area you should try to branch out into other areas. The more experience you gain in multiple areas, the better chance you have of building a more diverse income.
Not understanding the difference between a business and making money
I don’t care if you make $5,000 a month online or $50,000 a month online, you still may not own a real business. If you are a web designer that only makes money the days you work, you don’t own a business. If you do tasks on Fiverr* for money but the money stops when you go on vacation you don’t own a real business. Basically if you run your business this way, you don’t own a business. You are just making money.
This is one thing I did not understand my first few years making money online and something I don’t think other people understand. A real business should have systems in place that allow things to run smoothly when you are not around.
Automation and delegation are the keys to building a real business. You have to do things like outsource, hire employees, prepackage things, set things to auto deliver and preschedule things to take yourself away from the business.
An example of automation would be a designer setting up a store that sells premade templates and banners that people can buy. Once purchased those items are automatically delivered. This type of store could run without hassle and allow the designer to have money coming in even on the days he does not do any design work.
Another example would be a a blogger outsourcing 52 blog posts to his writing team. After that he could have his assistant load the posts onto his blog with one going live each week. That blogger could do the same with his email autoresponder, scheduling mutiple e-mails to go out over the next year. He could also outsource all his advertising to a third party. After all that his blog would be in a good position to get traffic, subscribers and make money without a heavy daily workload.
My final example would be a guy that runs an online store where he does everything from shipping to customer service. He could start using a fulfillment company to ship the orders. He could hire customer service reps to communicate with customers. He could also hire a online advertising expert to deal with ad campaigns and an email marketing expert to deal with emails. At that point supervision would be his most only task.
You should understand that your goal should not be to sit in front of a computer for 12 hours a day. Your goal should be structure things so that you can make more money even when yo are not around.
Sometimes you have to go through things to learn how to do them the right way. The biggest thing I have had to do is make the transition from a money maker to a real business owner. Now that I have made that transition I am putting myself in position to make more money while working less. I hope learning about my mistakes can stop you from making the same ones.
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