Making Money

Published on October 24th, 2013 | by Daniel

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6 Common Mistakes in Online Marketing

In online marketing (and any other business for that matter) making mistakes is part of the business process. It is almost necessary condition to succeed – as you split test you are going to find out what is a “mistake” and what is the “golden egg”. So it is not the mistake itself that makes you a good or bad entrepreneur, but how you will cope with that mistake. Will you acknowledge the mistake and use it to improve your campaigns? Good! Do you ignore your mistake and/or hope it goes away by itself? Bad!

Better even is to know about common business mistakes beforehand so you will lose less money in testing, optimizing and running your campaigns. Here are 6 common mistakes that online marketers (and business owners in general) make.

1. Regarding it as a part-time vocation

When you do not take online marketing seriously, you will always be a small fish with meager margins. It is the ones who see online marketing as a legitimate business that will make the big money. When you regard online marketing as a professional, full time business – and not something only for the after hours – you are going to have an edge over all the others who work at it haphazardly.

2. Giving up too quickly

It is hard to decide whether you should try to tweak a project that loses money a bit further or that you should burn it and try another approach. However, a mistake that especially starting marketers make is that they give up too quickly. When a project does not make money immediately they can lose faith and do something else. Sometimes a project can be saved and be profitable with some creative thinking and small tweaks. One tip here is that before you give up, think the project over really hard one more time and try to find out what the customer really wants – maybe you can ask them directly.

3. Doing everything by yourself

While it can be liberating to do all the things by yourself it is not feasible that you are good at everything on the same level. For instance your copywriting skills can be much better than your design skills. In that case the latter activity will take you a lot of time to do right. It will make sense to focus on your copywriting skills and outsource the design of your website (or buy a ready-made design). This will make your business run much more efficiently while getting better quality results.

4. Not taking risk – Having a negative mentality

A key element in investing is that without risk there is no reward. This is especially true in online marketing. Now, you can replace a part of the monetary risk by investing time (i.e. work hard) – but down the line you will have to invest some money in order to be successful. This is especially the case in paid marketing but also in SEO where buying for hosting, design, external services are quite necessary for success. And if you do not want to invest it also conveys something else: you do not believe in yourself. If you would believe in yourself you are sure that you are going to make it, one way or another, and interestingly this is exactly the mindset that will make you money in the long run.

5. Not diversifying

When you have a good running project it is tempting to stick with this project and angle. However, you will risk becoming a “one-trick pony” and will be very vulnerable to external circumstances. For instance, it can be that you only make your money from one website. If something happens to this traffic source (i.e. a change in the Google algorithm) you will have a direct hit on your main income stream. Having one good running campaign is a great start, but try to invest some of your proceeds in making money via other online avenues. In my opinion diversification with regard to traffic sources is more important than niches, as traffic sources are more influenced by factors outside of your control.

6. Managing too many projects

Now, while you should diversify, you can also make the mistake of managing too many projects at the same time. This makes that you cannot really focus on a specific approach. Consequently you run the risk of being mediocre at a lot of things. On the other hand when you focus on a specific traffic source you will get better than most of your competition and start to make good money. A good approach is to aim at most for 3 to 4 angles and projects from different traffic sources when you are starting out. Personally I do like to divide between short term money makers (i.e. paid advertising) and long term money makers (websites/SEO).

I am sure every professional online marketer has made one or more of these mistakes in the past (myself included). However, I am convinced that online entrepreneurs who were able to learn from their mistakes in the past and to use them to their advantage is a key element that has made them successful today.

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