I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger. Rod Stewart said it best.
I’ve done my fair share of bone-headed things in my journey to making money online. With a little nudge, hopefully you won’t have to learn from your own mistakes. You can just learn from mine.
Below you’ll not just find the COSTLY mistakes I’ve made, but also what I learned from them and how I turned my losses into wins.
In This Article...
- 1 10. Not Staying Educated
- 2 9. Not Getting Out At The Right Time
- 3 8. Selling Low
- 4 7. Not Being Committed
- 5 6. Not Having a Good Hosting Company
- 6 5. Not Registering That Domain
- 7 4. Not Following TOS Guidelines
- 8 3. Not Placing Advertising In Content
- 9 2. Not Spending Money To Make Money
- 10 1. Not Backing Up Your Data
- 11 11. Not Paying It Forward
10. Not Staying Educated
As they say, the early bird gets the worm. In the ever-changing landscape of the internet it’s also true that they get the money.
I know it’s impossible to be everywhere at once, but for an internet marketer you kind of need to be. My biggest regret (and probably yours too) is that I didn’t see the value of domain names back in 1999. That I ignored the incredible opportunity to develop apps before the market got flooded. That I didn’t identify the next big thing before it happened.
In fact, it causes me incredible anxiety that I’m blind to some revolution that’s going on right now.
My advice to you is to keep an eye on what’s going on in the world; in technology in particular. Read the newspaper or a magazine or a well-credentialed blog. It gives you so much insight into the possibilities that are before you.
9. Not Getting Out At The Right Time
It’s a fine line you have to walk as an internet marketer. On one hand it’s a glorious thing to build a niche website that creates passive income month over month that you barely have to work for. On the other hand it is ridiculously easy for all of that money to disappear over night with an algorithm change.
Sometimes it’s just the right time to cash in and move on. Identifying that pivotal moment is the hard part.
My advice is that if your earnings have leveled off and you’ve stopped caring or putting in as much work as you once did you’re probably in for a rude awakening in the coming months when your rankings start to slip or worse.
Consider selling your site, get a new perspective, build a new (and better) website and gain back that entrepreneurial spirit that made you a success in the first place.
8. Selling Low
Algorithm updates from Google have been known to make and break businesses overnight. If you’re on the unfortunate end of these changes it hurts really bad. A drop in rankings doesn’t mean a death sentence though and if you decide to sell right away after traffic has gone down you’ll surely never get a purchase price equal to what you would have a couple weeks ago.
Put in a few agonizing weeks of work to cater to the new algorithm and see what happens. If you can get your traffic back the money will follow. That certainly won’t be the case if try to sell your website.
7. Not Being Committed
At this point in my life I’ve come to know one hard fact about true success. There is no such thing as luck. Branch Rickey said “Luck is the residue of design” and he’s right.
The people who are really successful put in the behind-the-scenes, up until 2am, time and commitment that no one else ever sees. They make their own luck while all the other people admire them and call them lucky. If you’re not willing to do that then don’t think you’re going to make a lot of money.
6. Not Having a Good Hosting Company
Your bread and butter is that website that’s bringing in $500 a day. If it goes down you’re out all that money with no one to blame except yourself. Your hosting company sure isn’t going to cover your losses. If you’re relying on a shared server at a mediocre web hosting company you’re running a huge risk.
After slow loading and continued WordPress hacking I left GoDaddy for greener pastures and haven’t looked back. Find a VPS or dedicated server that runs less risk. I host all of mine at MediaTemple. They have amazing support if things do go wrong and you can consolidate all of your websites into one account.
5. Not Registering That Domain
I was just over at DomainShane.com and he said the best domain name always comes along when you don’t have the money to buy it. If you think you’ve found a good hand-registered domain is it really worth the agony to not possess it? Pull the trigger and if you don’t like your decision a year from now when it’s time to renew then you’re only out $9. It’s worth it.
4. Not Following TOS Guidelines
Companies like Google and Amazon have paid a lot of money to lawyers to create bulletproof contracts that you’ll need to sign if you wish to use their affiliate programs. I’m not suggesting that you read through the entire thing, but make sure you know the basics of what you can and can’t do under their guidelines or you run the risk of legal action or account termination.
3. Not Placing Advertising In Content
Every niche is different, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that putting your AdSense, Media.net, affiliate or paid advertising in your page content makes you lot of money.
Don’t leave your advertising in the sidebar, save that for links to your other relevant posts with clever product placement and advertising embedded in the places people are actually reading.
2. Not Spending Money To Make Money
It’s a tough pill to swallow to commit $150/mo to Moz.com or $300/mo to MailChimp, but the old saying is true.
You need to reinvest in what you’re doing if you hope to grow your success. I remember a podcast of Pat Flynn’s with Shane and Jocelynn Sams where they admitted that using free plugins and trials was one of their biggest mistakes. If you’re getting value out of a product it has the potential to increase the speed at which you make money. Don’t get gun shy with your earnings.
1. Not Backing Up Your Data
If your hosting goes down, your site gets hacked, a virus corrupts your files or you accidentally erase everything while performing a PHP/MySQL query you’re in serious trouble.
It’s not difficult to set up automated backups of your database (aka the thing that holds ever post, page and comment you’ve ever created). I use the WP DB Backup plugin for my WordPress sites, but also go a step further and have automatic backups through my hosting account as well.
You won’t ever regret taking the time to do this one.
Ahh heck, why not make it 11.
11. Not Paying It Forward
This one didn’t make the top 10, but as this list demonstrates it can be pretty helpful to see where others have failed so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes.
How about leaving a note in the comments with something you wish you’d known?