I started looking to the internet to make a living around 15 years ago. Initially I began with eBay, with buying and selling. But after a while I turned my attention to affiliate marketing. I also tried AdSense pay per click too, but it really wasn’t working for me. I had a couple of early successes with affiliate marketing so I decided this was the direction I wanted to take.
I have spent a lot of time online, working one strategy and then another. I didn’t see myself as part of the problem for a long time. I jumped from one strategy to the next, looking for the ‘golden goose’ of online money making strategies. Partly it was my attention span and lack of patience which was a problem. I dropped various strategies along the way which, if I had stuck at them, might have started bringing some success. I will never know. What I do know is that you need to keep working on yourself. You are the limitation in your business, whatever kind of business it is.
So here are my top ten reasons why your internet business might be failing. Everyone is different and some of these might not apply to you. But I’m sure some of them do. Knowing yourself and your limitations can be the clue for many people as to what is going wrong for them.
1. Your strategy is wrong
There’s many guru’s who tell you how easy it is to make money online. It isn’t. They are the ones who make money, by tricking people into buying their courses, promising easy wins. Don’t believe it. I followed many strategies which worked to an extent but ultimately they were flawed. Affiliate marketing does work and Google AdSense does work too. But you need a lot of traffic in order to make AdSense work, and this relies on Google ranking your website, and having a lot of content. Strategy is a large topic of course. There’s Google organics, paid advertising, list building and matching your content with the right products and services. It’s a big topic so I’m including some aspects of broken strategies in my list.
2. You are relying too heavily on Google
Trusting Google to rank your website and pay you for placing adverts on your site is a dangerous strategy. Google is not a charity and wants to make money, not for you but for its shareholders. If you create the best possible content and give a tonne of value, Google can still kick you off their search engine. This means you can go from having a tonne of traffic to having none overnight. This is a huge risk, particularly if you are depending on it for your income. Sure, you should create content and aim to get some free traffic. But you should also share your content though social media, build your own list of subscribers and never take it for granted if you get some free search traffic.
3. Paid Advertising Mistakes
Paid advertising can be a great strategy. You need to be careful though as you can easily burn through a heap of cash with paid advertising. You need to know what you are doing. You can end up paying for adverts which get shown to the wrong people, you can target the wrong audience for your products and you can burn out without selling anything. To use paid advertising you need the right products and ideally a few high ticket items with a range of up-sells you can also benefit from. Many people take a deep bath with paid advertising, burn out and never return. It’s a good strategy but don’t spend money you’re not prepared to lose. Start small and scale only when you have a winning and profitable campaign.
4. Your landing page doesn’t match your content.
Let’s say you have some great products but the content you’re creating doesn’t attract the right kind of customers. Maybe you blog around a topic you’re familiar with, but it doesn’t entirely match your target audience. Remember, only a small percentage of your visitors will buy from you. Maybe 1% of your total website visitors will actually buy. Your content must link to your products. Think into your content. Does it attract the right kind of buyers, or are you just filling time and creating content for the sake of it? Ideally your content should catch buying who are in the last stage of their buying cycle. Reviews and testimonies are good for the kind of buyer. Don’t focus on persuading people who don’t know about or want your products.
5. You expected too much for what you have done.
An internet business is hard. You need to get thousands of people to your website daily. If you only have 20 or so daily visits, expect only 1% commissions from that number. It might be less. Your content must compel your audience to want more information from you. It is easy to expect a lot from your internet business, especially with all the false promises banded around about how easy it can be to make your fortune online. The truth is it isn’t easy. It takes time, commitment and a lot of disappointment. Only those who stick it out for the duration can make it work.
6. You are doing the wrong activities online.
This was a big one for me. You can’t expect to write a blog and think the money will start pouring in. It takes time to earn from a blog. Even the online marketers who make money selling products through paid advertising spend thousands just testing their campaigns. They test and measure again and again until they have a working, profitable advert. You can also spend a lot of time learning, watching videos and tutorials, and then never actually apply any of that knowledge. Being a ‘busy fool’ online is an easy trap to fall into. Are you pretending to have an ‘online business’ but really you are wasting time being unproductive? Do you set daily activity goals and regularly assess your productivity?
7. You’re using the wrong products online.
Many affiliates jump on the ClickBank band wagon and attempt to sell digital products for 50% commission. It’s tempting when you see the commission rate you will earn. But often they don’t know how hard it is to sell products like these. They don’t have the knowledge. Only after a long time do they realise their strategy is not working. Often this is to do with trying to sell the wrong products. Even when your product sells, how much do you make? Is this a sustainable business model?
Look at affiliate products which have high ticket products, monthly commissions and a range of back end sales. This is a long term business model which works. You earn an income from each sale, rather than just earning a single commission. Plus you stand to earn again in the future from each of your referrals.
8. You don’t get enough Traffic
If you don’t want to use paid advertising and you don’t have any content you will struggle to get people to your website. You need quality content which people want to share and which Google will rank. Only by creating top quality content will people even want to know what you have to offer. This takes time and your content needs to link prospects through to your products. Make a habit of creating good quality content and sharing it on social media. For some products paid advertising is worth the investment, if you target the right people and build a relationship through email marketing.
9. Not building a list
You must have an email list of subscribers. Without one you are either wasting money on paid advertising or wasting your content and losing your website visitors without getting their emails. A website visitor has from 2-10 minutes to decide whether to buy from you. Most will leave without ever buying. But get their email address and you can build a relationship over months, years and even decades. Building a list also puts you in charge of your traffic. You don’t have to pay for advertising or rely on Google ranking your website when you have a growing list of subscribers.
10 You’re Not Working On Yourself
I mentioned this earlier on but it’s massively important. The limit of your business will always be you – whether it is a limitation in how you think about money, what you are prepared to spend or do in your business and of course what you know or think you know.
Everything is always limited by your self image too. Self image is the underlying cause of many problems for the self employed and entrepreneurs. How do you see your business and what are you prepared to sacrifice for it to be a success?
Many would-be entrepreneurs treat themselves to holidays and new cars but aren’t prepared to cut back their spending in order to grow their internet business and invest in advertising. Are you holding on to your lifestyle but preventing the growth of your business as a result?
Knowing a business model will continue paying you for the long term is a great motivator when it comes to paying for advertising. Do you know your return on investment for a single customer who pays for a monthly membership product, for example? Knowing this is the key to being more confident in your advertising.
You are the limitation in your business so work on yourself, not just your business.