The idea of earning money from home via the internet appeals to a wide range of people and you might have heard about the fortunes being banked by successful affiliate marketers and other online entrepreneurs. The reality, however, for most people who try to start a business online is that they end up making no profit whatsoever, let alone enough to quit their job, pay their mortgage or achieve any of the goals they had in mind when they first decided to launch an online business.

Here are some of the obstacles people encounter that prevent them from achieving success.

Hype and Misinformation

If you've been trying to make money on the internet for a while, you will doubtless have encountered a lot of misinformation. Some people claim making money online is really easy. In my experience, making money selling things on the internet, whether it's affiliate products or your own stuff is difficult because there are so many things you have to get right to actually make a profit. I think anyone who was being truly honest with you would say the same. This is real life and building your own business in a competitive market is obviously going to involve a lot of hard work. You will also probably have seen a few sales pitches for so-called ‘push button' products that their promoters claim will do all the work for you so that you can just sit back and count your profits while everyone else struggles because they didn't find the ‘secret webpage' you found which gave you the opportunity to become one of the ‘lucky few' who got that product. Believing that sort of hype holds you back because it leads you into a cycle of constantly trying and failing with these hypey systems, jumping from one thing to the next looking for the ‘magic button' rather than actually figuring out how to build an online business and working hard to build it. This ‘shiny object syndrome' must be avoided as it stops you from making any real progress. I know that from personal experience too as I've been victim to a few ‘push-button' and get-rich-quick schemes myself. It's so easy to be duped by people selling hope to newbies to earn a fast buck but also extremely costly both in terms of money spent and time wasted. In short, you need to find out what is required of you to create a real internet marketing business and then work hard at it. Both online and offline business owners that actually succeed usually work a lot more hours than people with a full-time job, especially in the early stages of their businesses.

Believing that You Can Make a Job Replacing Income Quickly

If you're just starting out online it's extremely unlikely that you'll be able to build something that will bring you a full-time or even part-time income quickly. I know it's not encouraging but you can get there eventually. Internet marketing is best learned alongside your current job or business until it becomes consistently profitable enough.

Not Having an Entrepreneurial Attitude and Approach to Your Business

Like sport, all business, whether online or offline, is a competition. You absolutely must have a winner's mindset. That is, you must think positively about achieving your goals even when they seem further away than ever and always do your best so that you attract positive results. Doing something half-heartedly almost guarantees failure. Furthermore, you must be able to maintain a positive outlook even when most sane people would have already quit. I personally failed constantly for many months before I made my first few sales and even then it took me years before I found a scalable business model.

Not Having a Scalable Business Model

The real key to success in online (and offline) business is simply developing a system that generates more in sales than it costs to promote and maintain. Personally, my main focus is selling digital products like e-books, software and video training via the Clickbank and JVZoo marketplaces, although I do promote other digital products, both my own and as an affiliate for other vendors outside Clickbank and JVZoo. As I see it, the main components of a scalable business model for selling digital products are as follows:

  • Your OWN Website – You MUST have your own website on your own domain to brand you and reassure your prospects that you are a serious professional.
  • An Autoresponder – Sending visitors to an affiliate link is very unlikely to yield a positive return on investment. The fact is that you MUST have an autoresponder so that you can capture leads and follow up with them to give them valuable information which genuinely helps them and in so doing gain their trust and respect. This trust factor is important as it means your email leads will be more likely to purchase products that you recommend to them as they will view your recommendations as being trustworthy. In order to maintain this relationship it's important to only recommend products that you have tried and tested so that you know they do what they're supposed to do.
  • High Quality Lead Magnets – If you use poor quality free giveaway products you set yourself up to fail from the outset as, even though you are giving them away for free, your lead magnets should never be worthless. The core principle in content marketing is that in giving value to people you are creating the opportunity to get value given back to you in the form of sales commissions, brand value appreciation and customer loyalty.
  • High Quality, Relevant Products – Whether you are promoting as an affiliate or selling your own digital products, your products need to be of a high quality, that is, they must go some way to solving the problems your leads have. It is also important that products you recommend are targeted to your leads. If your lead magnet is related to WordPress blogging and your leads are people who want to improve their WordPress skills, then it isn't a good idea to promote products related to weight loss to them.
  • High Converting Squeese Pages – Having a lead capture page that converts well can mean the difference between making a profit and making a loss from an advertising campaign so it's super important to measure how well your squeeze pages convert with different traffic sources.
  • Conversion Tracking Skills – In order to work out how well your squeeze pages convert visiotrs into leads, you need to be able to track which traffic sources are leading to conversions. You can't make money from bad advertising sources, no matter how good your sales funnel is.
  • Good Email Writing Skills – If you are using solo ads to promote your lead capture pages, they need to be well-written so that as many people as possible open your solo email and as many people as possible find it interesting enough to motivate them to click your link.
  • Hypnotic Sales Page Copy – If you're promoting an affiliate product, the product vendor or affiliate network provides you with a unique affiliate link which is essentially a duplicate of the vendor's original sales page. As I said before though, sending cold visitors to an affiliate link is a bad idea. You should only promote affiliate products to people who are all ready on your email autoresponder list. If on the other hand, you are promoting your OWN products you are going to need well-written, highly engaging sales pages to persuade people to buy them from you. In fact, even if you are promoting affiliate products, it is better for conversions to use a bridge page hosted on your own domain which provides your prospects with extra value by providing your buyers with bonuses for buying from you instead of another affiliate. Affiliate products are very often simultaneously being promoted by thousands of affiliate all in direct competition with each other, so promoting with bonuses and reviews is the best approach.
  • Traffic Generation Expertise – If you're selling online, unless you have visitors you're not going to sell anything, however good your products are. Different marketers have different methods for driving traffic. Some people rely solely on paid advertising like solo ads, pay per click ads and Facebook ads. Others publish content to attract visitors from search engines and social media sites. This strategy takes a lot of time and effort to set up but can get you targeted visitors without any need for investing in advertising. Personally, I use both paid advertising and free traffic strategies but most of my revenue definitely comes from paid ad sources. Whichever method you use to get visitors, it has to be effective or you won't make any profits.

In summary, not failing as an online business means getting a lot of tricky things right. Don't forget though, it CAN be done, especially if you keep at it.

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