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Have you ever wondered why Internet Startups fail so often? You see a blog/business you like the look of and you start following it, then slowly you notice that the activity and posts tail off, then stop and – perhaps some months later – you get broken links from their comments on your blog and when you check it out, whoops, no longer there.
Chances are it's because of one of the reasons below, and underneath the infographic are my own thoughts.
Why Internet Startups Fail
Here are some thoughts on the reasons above.
Expect Fast Results
We live in an age of instant results – and no more so than on the Internet, where a Google search for information will bring you more “facts” than you could process in a month! So it's not surprising that people can be duped into thinking that building an online business will be equally as instant.
But it's a lie. The reasons and consequences are set out above. Being aware of the truth should help you realize that you haven't failed, if you're not making a decent income within a few months …. you just haven't got there YET. If 90% quit within the first 4 months, you're ahead of the pack by just “showing up regularly”.
All Your Eggs In One Basket
This was a mistake I made in one of my health businesses – when they let me down, I was high and dry!
Where Is Your Online Home?
Many people imagine they can build a business totally free. This is a myth perpetrated to lull beginners into a false sense of security.
Don't be fooled!
Building a business on a free platform you don't even own (e.g. Facebook, Blogger) is madness. It could be taken away from you at any time. The absolute minimum you need is your own domain. Read here how and why you need to register your own domain.
In fact, without wishing to scare you off, I suggest you read my previous post about the costs of running a successful blog.
At one level this was covered in the “Expecting Fast Results” section. It's also about choosing to work on your business when you would prefer to be watching TV. Only YOU can decide how motivated you are. You'll find plenty of motivational books on Amazon if you need help in setting yourself a meaningful goal.
Poor or No SEO
SEO is Search Engine Optimization, and there are different opinions as to how important this is, given that it's pretty tough to rank a page any more.
Many people subscribe to the belief that “Content is King”, and that it's more important to build the community you engage and interact with by blog commenting, building your “subscriber list” and social networking.
However, to dip a toe in the SEO world, on my blog I use the free plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast.
No Action Taken
There are so many skills you will need to learn as you build an online business that it's easy to be either paralyzed into inaction, or – at the other extreme – rush around like a headless chicken, and never complete any one project (the latter is where I tended to go wrong!)
My philosophy now is to do the jobs I enjoy and / or am good at, while out-sourcing the rest (such as graphics) to people who are better at it than I am. Yes, it cost me a few dollars on Fiverr.com, but the stress saved was well worth it – and the result way beyond what I would ever have achieved!
Another fault I find hard to overcome is being a perfectionist. Several imperfect actions are probably far better than one that is perfect – if there IS such a thing!
Socialize With Others
I spent several months on a health blog writing what I thought were interesting and well researched articles – but it was like blogging into a vacuum. Then I realized the importance of reaching out to others interested in the topic.
There are many ways to do this, such as forums, blogging communities and on social networking sites.
The most basic branding is your own domain name (covered above). Beyond that you will probably want to establish a consistent presence on Social Networking sites to build yourself a community.
I'm working on branding myself as a part-time marketer “Blogging After Dark”, because I'm very busy with my offline businesses during the day.
Failure to Plan Ahead
“Life” can so easily get in the way – as it has for me this last month, and a couple of years ago. Family crises will always occur and you will naturally want to put family first. And on a happier note, there will be times when you want a holiday!
The simplest way to plan ahead is to have blog posts scheduled ahead of time in WordPress, and broadcasts scheduled to go out from your auto-responder. If you won't even have access to your emails, most decent email systems will let you send out an explanatory message to say that you're away and when you'll be back.
No List – Two Solutions
This really is the worst mistake of all – and yes, you guessed, it's a mistake I originally made too. You'll see I now have several ways that I invite you to opt-in to my subscriber list.
My “list” is stored in software called an auto-responder that automates my communications with my subscribers. I have to confess I've chopped and changed a bit with Autoresponders – trying to save money (blush) – but I always seem to come back to one of the industry standards, because it integrates with all the other services I use in my Internet business. You can take a trial of GetResponse here.
Now, GetResponse costs money (shock horror).
Sadly many people looking to start out in the “Make Money Online” marketplace have NO startup budget to let them build a list. This is a mistake. You need a budget.
Create A Product?
Many people say that you should create your own product, to show that you're an expert. And you can promote it over and over again.
Which is great – IF you have the expertise. Sadly for most newcomers, that is a big IF.
Although I've been online a good few years now, I still haven't got the skills to produce and support a product of the quality needed to complete in today's marketplace.
After trying really hard on the product creation front I have taken a different approach and I now promote affiliate products because I just don't have enough technical skills to produce a good enough product for the modern online marketplace.
So… DON'T Create a Product!
As I explained above, I disagree with the advice on creating a product of your own – at least, when you first start out online.
To really spell this out, you may like to watch this quick video showing why I believe Affiliate Marketing is a better approach for someone hoping to make money online, but WITHOUT a lot of pre-existing skills.
Having tried the product creation route (and failed) more than once, I firmly believe that Affiliate Marketing is the best way for beginners to start out. Once you've cut your teeth on that, the skills you have learned will stand you in good stead for the time when you may want to promote your own product.
I believe that many an Internet Startup could have gone on to make a profit if they hadn't been overwhelmed by all the new skills they had to learn in creating their own product.
At the end of the day, every Internet Marketer first and foremost needs ONE skill. Traffic generation. I market a range of products to teach beginners (and not-so-beginners) the skill of driving traffic to an excellent range of products that are ready-made for me. Click here to Learn Internet Marketing.
This is a huge saving of time, money, and stress. The training on the red button above will explain in more detail.
Over To You…
So – those are the most common reasons why Internet startups fail. Obviously your business hasn't failed – you're still here…. but please do comment to tell me:
- Any other factors you think I have missed
- What is the biggest risk factor for your own business?
- How YOU avoided these causes of Internet startup failure