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Seven Mistakes Made by Online Entrepreneurs: And How You Can Avoid Them

The digital age has certainly opened a lot of avenues for people looking start a venture by making things cheaper, convenient, quicker and more reachable.

But just like anything, it can all have a bit of a learning curve and it’s perfectly normal to commit some basic errors when you are starting out.

This article focuses on seven common mistakes made by beginner online entrepreneurs and also focuses on solutions that can overcome those problems.

Mistake no.1

Starting a Website or Blog Without Any Sort of Goal or Strategy in Mind.

One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is to start a website or blog without any sort of goal in mind, with the hope that somehow the website will attract visitors and somehow SOMETHING will happen.

While this approach may have worked for a lot of bloggers who dived into the online world when it was all just starting out, it rarely works in today’s world.

What you need to understand is that you need to have some sort of goal in mind. You have to treat it like a proper business.

That goal should ideally be something related to selling some product or service.

I’m not saying that you should figure everything out before starting a website, but just that you should at least have an idea about WHY you are starting a website or blog.

Otherwise, your website will just be restricted to your family and friends, will ultimately turn into a hobby and then you’ll give up on it.

For instance, when I started www.creativepadphotography.com, I knew that everything I did revolved around one primary goal – which was to get people to come for my photography workshops.

If you have an idea but not a goal, then do some more thinking. Ideas are definitely required, but goals are what will generate revenue for you and give you a focal point to operate from.

As you get better, your goals will increase. But to have at least one goal is important before you start.

Mistake no.2

Not Collecting the E-mails of Your Customers/Traffic

This is one of those type of mistakes that we make even when knowing that it is a mistake.

When I was starting out in the online marketing world, I used to read a lot of forums where experienced internet marketers used to give out a lot of valuable advice.

Out of all the pieces of advice that I read, one particular piece stood out, which was – BUILD A LIST.

A list refers to a list of email ids that you collect, from the traffic you get on your website or the customers you serve.

I never followed this advice properly until I realised the concept of multiple exposure.

You see, not everyone who comes on your website buys from you or turns into a customer the first time around.

In fact most people see your website, close it and then never return. You’ve lost them FOREVER.

But what if you could acquire their e-mails?

That would allow you to reach to them again and again. Then you’ll have a better chance to convert them since you’ll get more opportunities.

For instance, let’s take the example of my photography business.

I run ads on Facebook to promote my workshops.

Now let’s assume a person sees that ad and comes to my website to see the details.

He sees the date, time, venue, details, etc, thinks about it and then decides that he is not ready to make a decision right now, so he closes my website.

This person is gone forever. There’s a good chance I won’t get him back.

But what if I could have a form on my website, which says – ‘Hey, In case you can’t make up your mind right now, just enter your e-mail below, and we’ll give you a reminder in 3 days’.

This person sees this and enters their e-mail and submits it to me.

Now I have a chance to convert this person later on by sending him a reminder.

Even if he doesn’t respond to the reminder, I have his e-mail FOREVER.

So when my next workshop comes along, I will send him another e-mail informing about the workshop.

Maybe this time he will respond.

So you see, just because I have this e-mail, the probability of making a sale goes up as I get more chances.

Though initially you can do all this by collecting email addresses, saving them in an Excel file and then using Gmail/Yahoo to send bulk emails, once your list grows, you’ll need more sophisticated solutions.

One of the software that helps you in the e-mail marketing process is called an autoresponder, which is a type of software that helps you store e-mails of your customers and automate the whole process of sending e-mails.

One of the free autoresponders out there is called Mailchimp.

When you are starting out, I really recommend that you go through an online course called Chris Farrell Membership.

This course, which is developed by a very popular internet marketer called Chris Farrell, will help you understand all the basics about internet marketing in the easiest way possible.

Chris will make you understand why e-mail marketing is so important and the best part is that in his course, you will do everything step-by-step, right from creating your website, to learning how the website works, to getting traffic and collecting e-mails using an autoresponder.

Once you’ve completed all the steps, you’ll know exactly how the internet marketing system works.

Chris Farrell Membership is rated as the number one course on internet marketing and I’ve used it myself.

It costs $37/ month. What I will suggest you is that just join it for a month, do everything and then quit before the second month starts.

But I REALLY recommend that you do it because it will save you lot of TIME.

If there’s one regret I have when I started out, it’s that I did not do this course in the beginning. It would have saved so much of my time because I would have avoided so many errors that I committed trying to do things on my own.

Mistake no.3

Worrying too much about the LIKES on Facebook

This is another mistake made by lot of people who start an online business.

Once they set up a Facebook page for their business, they start to associate the number of likes on their page to success.

The number of likes on your page is definitely important but that’s not where your focus should be.

After you’ve got a decent number of likes, let’s say around 500-1000, you should only focus on your business goals.

The misconception is that if you have lot of likes, your business is growing.

That’s not true.

You see, whatever you post on your Facebook page DOES NOT GO TO EVERYONE WHO HAS LIKED YOUR PAGE.

It reaches only a certain percentage of the people who have liked your page.

Those who regularly interact with your posts by liking, sharing or commenting on them are more likely to see your future posts because Facebook considers your content to be relevant to them.

So you can have 10000000000 likes but if people are not liking or responding to your posts, then as time goes on, Facebook will keep decreasing the reach of your posts.

So the main thing to understand is that the QUALITY of likes is more important than just focusing on the quantity.

I’ll give you an example of one of my friends, who is a photographer.

He ran Facebook ads and spent a lot of money on getting likes.

He got a massive amount of likes, but since those likes were never targeted properly, they were of no use.

He would post something on his page but it would not get much engagement.

But then there are other photographers, who get thousands of shares on their photographs.

That’s because they let their likes grow naturally.

It might be slower than just “buying” likes, but those likes will mean much more.

So whenever you do decide to spend money on Facebook ads, make sure it’s for something that gives you some kind of return. For instance, I spend money on Facebook ads that advertise my workshop.

When someone responds to these ads and decides to come for my workshop, it results in a return on investment for me.

If I just spend money on buying likes, there is a lesser chance that they will see my post about the workshop and then come for it.

Mistake no.4

Using free website publishing platforms to create your website or blog

Starting an online based business requires you to do things professionally.

One of the common mistakes beginners make is to use free website publishing services like Blogger , WordPress.com, etc.

The result is that you get a website that looks like www.yourwebsitename.blogger.com

Doesn’t that look unprofessional?

What kind of impression will that leave on your visitor?

And all this jus to save a few bucks?

If you are serious about online entrepreneurship, then you HAVE to buy a domain name and use a paid hosting service.

It really doesn’t cost that much.

I use Namecheap to buy domain names and Hostgator for hosting.

Once you have these two, you will have a proper website that looks like www.yourwebsitename.com

Mistake no.5

Not making your website look professional

When it comes to the online world, your website is a big part of your overall identity.

Isn’t it true that when we go to a restaurant, we pay a lot of attention to the ambience?

Same is the case with your website.

If your website looks really bad, then the chances are that customers won’t take you too seriously.

I’m not saying you have to have the most flashy website, but it should look fairly good on the eye.

This is another reason why you should avoid free website publishing platforms like Blogger because the designs available for free websites are usually very poor.

The most popular approach is to buy a domain name, connect it to your hosting account and then install a software called WordPress onto it.

WordPress allows you to use website designs called as themes.

You can buy a professional looking theme and in minutes, you can have a great looking website.

You may not understand all this now but once you do this yourself, you’ll get it within a few days.

This is again why I recommend the Chris Farrell Membership, because Chris actually makes you take all these steps practically.

For me personally, the skill of creating a website without knowing any sort of coding was one of the biggest and most crucial factors because I never had to rely on any website designer.

So my suggestion to you would be to really learn how WordPress works.

It will save you lot of time and money in the long term.

Mistake no.6

Not spending money on paid traffic

Most people who start an online based venture always think in terms of getting everything done without having to pay anything.

This is a flawed approach.

For instance, when it comes to getting targeted traffic, there are definitely lot of free ways of promoting yourself, like joining different forums, Facebook groups, forcing your friends to share, etc.

But while all these are free methods, they are very time consuming and usually don’t work that well.

Using paid advertising methods like Facebook ads and Google ads is a much better strategy to promote whatever product or service you want to promote.

With paid advertising, you can start to see results in a matter of hours whereas with free traffic, you may have to wait for months.

So you really have to let go off the fear of losing money.

Of course learning how ads work is something you’ll have to do and get good at, but it’ll be worth it.

Always think of your costs as investments, which will hopefully result in a positive return on investment for you.

These days various paid advertising mechanisms are also so sophisticated that they allow you to have total control on how much you want to spend and to whom you want to reach out to.

This helps you reach targeted customers in a short span of time.

Again, check out our event calendar to know when our next online marketing workshops are scheduled. In these workshops, we teach you comprehensively how online ads like Facebook ads work.

Just to give you an example of the power of paid advertising, let’s assume that you have started an ecommerce store that sells sports goods in your city.

With Facebook pads, within minutes you can create ads that let you determine what kind of people should see this ad reach to, including their location, age, gender, interests etc. So going by our example you can create an ad that goes to the following people:

Location: Your city

Age: 18-35

Gender: Male and Female

Interests: Sports, health and fitness.

 

This ad will now reach people who fall within those specifications. Once they see the ad, they can go to your website and make a purchase.

All this can happen in a matter of minutes from creating the ad.

Mistake no.7

Doing everything on your own

The online world requires a lot different types of skills, like knowing how to create a website, designing material for marketing and advertising, writing content, etc.

We can’t master every art.

The wiser thing to do is to learn how to outsource anything that you are not good at and don’t enjoy doing.

For instance, if you are poor at designing, then you can outsource a particular design to a freelancer who can do it for you in a much better and professional way.

There are lot of websites out there which allow you to select freelancers to do any type of work for you.

One of the most popular outsourcing websites out there is called Fiverr, where you can get anything done for $5, right from getting a logo designed to getting articles written.

Yes, it may take a little amount of money, but you will get better output and more importantly, it will save you lot of time and frustration.

That said, I still advise people to learn some important skills like creating a website using WordPress, learning the basics of Photoshop, etc. For instance, the knowledge of Photoshop really helps me avoid having to outsource minor designing work to a freelancer. I only outsource if I feel the design is complex and I cannot do it on my own. But that’s me and I ENJOY using Photoshop.

So I suggest you figure whatever it is that you like and don’t absolutely hate doing and then learn the basics of that skill.

However, if you absolutely dislike doing something AND don’t have any expertise in it, try outsourcing that kind of a task to an expert freelancer.

 

That’s it, I hope you liked this article and that it helps you avoid some common pitfalls in the online world.

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