Here are my top 10 reasons why your online business is failing. Maybe it’s not failing entirely, or you could do better, too. This list is for you either way.
10 Reasons Why Your Online Business Is Failing
1 – Mindset
If your mindset isn’t right you will keep getting distracted by every other internet marketer who promises you a better deal. And there’s a lot of them out there! Unless you know what you are doing, keep doing it and are focused on a long term goal, you’ll get distracted. The next shiny object is just around the corner to tempt you into doing things in a completely different way.
I did this for years, jumping ship from one ‘system’ to another. The best way to combat ‘shiny object syndrome’ is to find a path which suits you, get the proper education and focus on some long term goals. Your psychology can work for you and against you. Make sure your mindset is right. Building an internet business takes time and patience. Do you think it should be easy? This is another mistake. If you think it’s easy you are in for a big disappointment. Do you self sabotage? Your self image is either working for you or against you. Read Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz to learn more about how your self image controls you.
2 – Goals
Goals. You don’t set any goals and so as a result you don’t achieve anything. You might be doing a blog every day, creating some content and so on, but there needs to be a burning desire to get to where you want to go. This should drive you forwards continually. You feel like you don’t know what you are doing, get distracted and veer off course. Goals bring your focus back to doing productive activities.
If you don’t like goals you should know that all the top achievers have them. The best book on goal setting I have ever read is Stuart Lichtman’s How To Get Lots Of Money For Anything Fast.
Goals should be set specifically so that they are a 10 out of 10 for desire and a 10 out of 10 for belief. If you don’t fully desire your goal, you won’t strive to attain it. If you don’t believe it’s possible to attain your goal, you will focus less and less on it. Set goals which have 10/10 for desirability and 10/10 for belief, meaning you believe they are achievable within your time frame. Get Stuart Lichtman’s book for how to set goals properly.
3 – Strategy
Your strategy is wrong and doesn’t work. No matter how hard you work in the wrong direction, your results will still suck. The problem with this is you probably don’t realise what you are doing wrong. I worked for years doing the wrong things online. It was a hard lesson. I’m so much more aware of my time now, and whether the actions I do on a daily basis are moving me forwards or not. It’s still a work in progress and you should constantly strive to focus your time more effectively, doing money producing activities every day. Here are some basic mistakes I made with bad strategies:
- Focusing solely on trying to rank on Google. It’s great to rank on Google but it takes time. If your content sucks and no one wants to read it, why would Google ever rank it? I used to publish articles and simply leave them for Google to find! Amazing! I just thought they would get found and Google would build my business for me. Big mistake.
- Not sharing your content. Being shy about your content my another mistake I made for years. I didn’t share on social media or with anyone. I just published it and let Google do the rest, which was in fact nothing!
- Focusing on Adsense only. Adsense is great but you need a tonne of traffic to your site to make it pay. I spent a long time congratulating myself on a few pence every day, wondering how I was going to scale up.
Having the wrong strategy, or a bad strategy means you can work all day for a long time and you will never get any results. Use that as feedback and change your approach and don’t give up too easily.
4 – Be Congruent
If your content doesn’t match your products, you are getting the wrong kind of traffic. This means no sales. You want to write content which is targeted specifically to those people who would benefit from your products. Writing for the sake of it may bring you some visitors. But your visitors need to be super targeted. No other kind of website traffic is worth getting. Choose your products wisely in the first instance.
Some products simply don’t sell. Choose products which are already selling and write about them. Congruency is as much about who you want to be as it is about writing about the right things. Are you passionate about your writing? Is your chosen topic interesting to you. Writing about something you don’t care about is hard work and much harder to sustain over the long run. People can see your passion if you write about something you care about. Be congruent with your passion and choose something you love to do with your online business.
5. Buying Cycle
You’re trying to sell everyone. Don’t.
Ideally, you want to write content which gets customers who are in the final stage of their buying cycle. Write about the products you promote, rather than trying to ‘convert’ browsers into buyers. Choose products which already have customers who are looking to buy them. Place yourself in front of the last stage of buying – the review stage. Many affiliate marketers simply write reviews. After someone has read your review they can go to the product’s website and buy through your affiliate link. If you are trying to find people who ‘may’ like the products you have a whole load of work to do. They might never buy or it could take months for them to decide. Get someone who has already decided on what they want. They just want a reassuring article or review to read before they buy. If you create those pieces of content, you are targeting the right people. See why target market is important.
6. You’re Not Using The List
All the top online marketers have a list of subscribers. With a list you can build relationships and people buy from people, not from websites. If someone lands on your website they only have a few minutes to make up their mind whether to buy or not. If they subscriber to your email list this period is extended to weeks, months and even years and decades. Use the list to build a relationship first, and sell later. Don’t go for the sell too early. Offer value and keep giving value. The list is the ‘killer app’ of online marketing. Learn how to use it properly and your results will change for the better dramatically.
Building a list is not the end of the story. You still need to continually improve how you write to your list, how you build your list up and what products to send to your list. Getting the right targeted people to your list is one of the most important things you can do. Get the wrong people on it, or send the wrong message, and you won’t make any sales.
7. The Wrong Affiliate Products
You have browsed around the internet and chosen some products which are a fit for your business. But maybe those products suck! Not only that but not all affiliate products are equal. Ideally choose products which:
- Offer monthly commissions – Like membership products
- Have high ticket sales – To increase profits, offset advertising costs and scale more easily
- Have back end sales which you earn from
- Have built in sales team
- Are already selling
- Are in line with your interests and passion
Selling products with monthly commissions and back end sales can multiply your income from each sale. Think of the long term when you choose products not just the quick sale. Do you earn for the lifetime of each customer, or just refer your customers to the product owner?
8. You don’t Know What You’re Doing
It sounds obvious and the above points have covered a lot of territory already. But if you haven’t given yourself the time to learn how to build an online business effectively, you need to get the right education. From the start I jumped around and wasted a lot of time trying to do everything cheap and quick. Getting the right online education to build an online business the right way was the best thing I did for my results. Trying to go it alone online can waste a lot of time.
The thing about trying to attempt to do something your haven’t done before is: you don’t know what is necessary to succeed. You also need to define what success is for you. Otherwise for each successful outcome you may take your ‘foot off the gas’ and slack off a little. This comes down to mindset again. Focus on the small successes and keep doing what works.
9. You’re Going It Alone
Going it alone is one of the things that attracted me to an online business. But you can mess up in a big way if you continue to try to do everything by yourself. Look at your feedback. Are you making sales every day? Is your business a success? Be brutally honest with yourself and take a good look in the mirror.
An online business can be a lonely path to follow and unless you can have some healthy self awareness you can find yourself wandering down a black hole to poverty and failure. Take stock of where you are and invest in a coach. One of the characteristics of entrepreneurs who attempt an online business is the inability to seek help when they need it. Don’t go it alone and get a mentor.
Remember also that analysis has shown that your income is based on the average of the ten closest people to you. Your friends and relatives don’t necessarily understand or even approve of what you are doing. Often those closest to us will subtly sabotage our efforts as they fear the relationship changing should you make a success of it. Surround yourself with people on the same path by joining a community of like minded entrepreneurs.
10. You Don’t Get Any Traffic
You don’t get any traffic to your website or landing page. Although this is number 10 on my list it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why people fail with their online business. For years I struggled to get any traffic. Without traffic you can’t test whether your products work, you can’t ‘tweek’ things for better results. You don’t make any sales and your online ‘business’ is just online ‘busyness’! Traffic is the essential ingredient for any business. Without people you can make any sales. However, they still need to be the right people.
To get people to your website you need to create useful and informative content. This takes time. Alternatively you can use paid for advertising. This can be expensive and without the right products isn’t even a viable option. You need high ticket items when you start using paid advertising. Or at least a business model which will recoup your advertising costs. Luckily pay per click advertising is measurable and you can start with a small budget. But don’t do it with the wrong business model. Adsense doesn’t work for pay per click. You can’t recoup your money.
Getting traffic cheaply means creating content. See my ebook on niche blogging for profit to learn how to target long tail keywords within your business niche.