When pursuing the ‘Internet Dream’ it is quite easy to get discouraged and depressed. Earning a passive income on line is not easy, especially the kind of income that may allow you to fire your own boss. Making mistakes—many mistakes—is an inevitable stage on the road to success. I have been struggling with my on line business for many months and it took me some time before I started seeing some results. I fell and got back on my feet after learning some lessons the hard way; other times I was helped by others who have shown me the right way and saved me from taking some terrible decisions. As I am a believer in the laws of Karma, today I am going to do the same favor to you, and reveal a few mistakes that almost every new and intermediate marketer makes; these are the ones that can be easily avoided, with a bit of effort.
1. Start Today, Not Tomorrow
If you are still in the planning stages of your business, and are taking your time to learn the basics, do not wait any further. Take action today. Earning a living on line is getting increasingly difficult. The great thing about the Internet, ten or twenty years ago, was that anyone could easily make money on it. The World Wide Web in the 1990s was what America had been for the Western Pioneers in the early nineteenth century. Today, the Internet is oversaturated with webspam and teenagers who want to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. Most of the so-called ‘methods’ to earn on-line passive income are not solid options for someone who wants to take IM seriously. A Web site is needed to succeed, and Google is needed to succeed with one. It is no secret that the most powerful search engine in the universe is constantly updating its algorithms with the aim to provide the highest quality content possible to searchers. By ‘highest quality’ Google mean unique, original, useful, authoritative content. They have already threw a monkey wrench in the works for many webmasters in the past three years. One-paged sites, Amazon stores and poor-quality sites filled with advertisements used to dominate the search results; they have been completely wiped out now. Where is Google headed? It does not take a genius to figure out: Professional, well-established businesses will be the ones to dominate the searches. Making it to page one of Google for anyone will require a huge investment of capital. Starting a successful on-line business was very easy in the 1990s; it was a very achievable task four years ago; it is pretty hard today, but you can bet it will be a lot harder tomorrow.
2. Stay Away From The Gurus
If you aim at achieving a stable, secure and consistent on-line income, stay away from get-rich-quick schemes. These will not help you. Most of the time, no one will manage to make any money at all from these, let alone the kind of income we are after. First, if anyone really knew how to make $100 a day, with no effort, no skills and no capital to invest, you can bet an arm and a leg that they would keep it for themselves. It is not true that there are an infinite number of opportunities on the Internet. Getting leads and customers is difficult. The Web is getting over-saturated. Any Internet marketer will confirm that you have to fight like Russell Crowe in The Gladiator to gain both. Second, if it was so easy, everybody and their sisters would be doing it. There are no secret millionaire forums. If a ‘method’ works, the news will spread; it will become popular to the point of getting saturated and thus ineffective. Whichever the case, you lose. Remember that all the testimonials that money-making gurus will show off are fake. PayPal screenshots, videos and even income tax returns can be forged easily, by any twelve-year-old kid who has a very basic knowledge of Photoshop. The people selling these schemes do not make their money by using the systems that they provide. They make the money by selling them to others. Stay away from them. Do not let them play with your desperation or desire to succeed. You will not be losing any opportunity by turning your head the other way round. The days of shortcuts have long gone. The Internet is no longer that magic place where a twelve-year-old can become a millionaire with zero investment and no business skills. Well, unless he is a genius, who comes up with some tremendously creative and innovative idea. Creating an on-line business in today’s scenario is not that much easier than creating an off-line one. Stop searching for magic solutions and learn marketing, not ‘Internet marketing’. Once you know the basics, things will become a lot easier.
3. Spend Half of Your Time Learning and the Other Half Doing
You need to take action as soon as possible to succeed, but that does not mean that you should not invest into your education. Be careful whom you learn from, though. One of the first things that a marketer learns is to ‘speak with authority’, so you will come across people claiming to be experts on a subject, who have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. Their aim is to boost their authority as bloggers or sell some useless product. When you read a claim from someone stating how successful they are, do not take such a claim for granted. Check the traffic, Alexa rank and value of their site using some of the many SEO tools available. If the site has zero traffic and is not even listed on Alexa, you should better move on to a new tutor. Of course if the site is a few months old, it may well be the case that the owner is using an SEO strategy that still has to show its potential. But if you come across a four-year-old Web site with zero traffic, then it is best not to waste time. On the other hand, do not assume that a successful PR6 site with 20K visitors a day is filled with gold. Many bloggers gain authority quickly because they are very skilled, but rather than use it to provide value and knowledge they fill their sites with information aimed at making you take your wallet out of your pocket. The best place to gain some real knowledge about marketing is … guess where? A college or University. Attending a few courses will not hurt and provide way more benefit than reading a billion blog posts. Now, that is not to say that blogs are useless; just keep in mind the facts I discussed in this section and decide for yourself whether the information you are gaining from a blog post may be really be useful, or the author is just blowing smoke.
4. Have a Capital to Invest
Cliché time: you need money to make money. The idea that one can create an on-line business without spending a dime in 2014 is totally ridiculous. Ten years ago that was possible; now there is no chance at all. Money is needed to outsource those tasks you are not proficient in, have SEO done, buy reputable tools, purchase advertisements to promote your business and build a list. It is not totally impossible to succeed with zero investment, but it would take much longer than and possibly require other assets such as friends who can spread the word, in place of the advertising. You do not need to go to a bank to get some capital to invest. There are ways to make some cash online that involve only active methods as opposed to passive ones such as creating a Web site. Sites like Elance, O-desk, Fiverr or even eBay are all good places to start with. Two or three thousand dollars should suffice to build a solid business. Earning that amount is not complicated at all. If you take any household and look for a few vintage items such as toys, collectibles, clothes or memorabilia, it is very easy to get a few thousands selling those alone. If you are short of ideas take a look at this list of money-earning sites, which shows a few ways to earn some good cash and the sites you should better avoid.
Follow these tips and you will start your on-line career on the right foot. Failure to do so will result in frustration and failure. This does not mean that you will be rich in a week or two. You will fail anyway may times before starting to see any results at all. Just remember that the true difference between a successful entrepreneur and a loser is not the number of times the former has failed compared to the latter, but rather the way in which he reacts to those failures. In other words, success is a matter of attitude.