Challenges Starting An Online Business

light at the end of the tunnel

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Motivation drain. Does this ever happen to you….?

Overwhelmed by challenges with both offline and online businesses – AND with family health issues – I recently felt less motivated and more challenged than is usual for me.

Maybe the challenges should have motivated me more. But they didn't. Probably because most were outside of my control and relied on other people taking actions. So I just felt buffeted about while others carried on with their own agendas.

Finally, I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel – as various participants in my little dramas turn their own corners, letting me move on with my life… towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully this story of how I have faced the challenges of starting a part-time online business will help anyone else feeling the heat.

Offline Challenges Couldn't Be Avoided

  • My Dad was ill so my sister and I, obviously, dropped everything and did what we could. Although nowhere near his former self, happily he's home and coping now. However we will both be doing a lot more for him going forward.
  • My largest offline business customer needed my input on software for their business that I couldn't develop alone. So I was reliant on outside skills. We're now moving forward with that, after a few tense months.
  • Solicitors wrangling amongst themselves delayed a family project. But finally they all got their opinions in agreement, so the family venture can now start.

Those challenges were outside my control – which is probably why I found them even more frustrating than the challenges I can control. Time to set priorities….

Dad, aged almost 95, was my top priority.

My online business is part-time while my offline business still generates the largest part of my income, so that must always come before the online.

Challenges Starting An Online Business

For those issues I have control over, my strategy was to choose between “Dump It, Delegate It, Do It“.

Dumping Challenges Starting An Online Business

  • For a few weeks I was working in an online group that wanted me to do daily Facebook Live Broadcasts. Quite apart from my reticence on video, who on earth has time to listen to more than – say – one a day, from your favorite marketer? I still see that group rabbiting away, but I don't listen. Many may laugh at me – but I was finding the peer-pressure to Do It overwhelming. Finally, I acknowledged how much it was upsetting me and decided to Dump It. Instant relief!
  • I have investigated a few automation tools, found them wanting or lacking in user-friendliness, so dumped them.

Delegating Challenges Starting An Online Business

  • With video, I added a little bit of Delegate It, as I asked a lady on Fiverr to create me a video from a PowerPoint presentation.
  • WordPress is a popular and stable blogging platform, yet I still hit more than a fair (to my mind) number of technical problems. Hackers cost me many hours grappling with damage I had no chance of fixing. Several moves to different hosting companies, and hours of blog tweaking, brought no improvement to my badly hacked site. Finally, in desperation, I decided to Delegate It and moved to Managed WordPress hosting where a thorough site-clean was free as part of the move. More expensive in $$ per month, yes, but it saved my sanity and hours of fruitless unrewarding slog. I would surely have deleted my blog before long without this move. You can read the story and meet the hosting company that saved my blog here.
  • WordPress scheduled posting and draft posts help me keep to my weekly posting schedule. Delegated to WP.
  • At one time I tried manually emailing my “list”, but anti-spam laws and common sense soon convinced me to Delegate It to GetResponse.
  • Social Media tool Buffer helps me keep a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn – Delegated to tools.

Handling Challenges Starting An Online Business: Do It

Blogging, per se, is just a platform to write about my online business and attract visitors who may be interested in my help starting their own online business.

If I had learned from someone else's mistakes, instead of making them all myself, I would have saved much stress, time and money.

That would have left me more time to “Do It“.

Creating new blog posts week after week is exhausting, and I don't always have the knowledge to write about something new and informative.

I delegated, and am now using a very special service to save time on my content marketing – click here to see the benefits.

So the question remains … what is my main online business, showcased within this blog. The answer is…

Multiple Streams Of Income

Past experience has shown me it's safest to have multiple streams of income. If one is “slow” (or worst case, collapses) you can work on another. Also, you can offer a range of products to suit different people's requirements.

Here are a few ideas and my thoughts on them: my rejected / selected portfolio.

Developing Digital ProductsRejected! This is NOT a method that suits me, partly because of lack of skills, and  shortage of time to learn them. Also my feeling that some Internet Marketing products “date” very quickly. (Unless you are a REAL expert in a very niche market – which I am not!)

Blogging – although not a main income stream, review posts generate a small amount of income sporadically. So far, disproportionate to the amount of work writing each review!


Affiliate Marketing

Learn Internet Marketing

  • There are big challenges trying to make a living promoting low ticket affiliate programs. So apart from the occasional product review –  I Dumped this strategy.
  • The logic of High Ticket Programs in affiliate marketing is inescapable. Unfortunately the first High Ticket program I selected just hit delay after delay until I had no confidence to share it with others. Disappointed, I shelved the idea until I could find one that I could honestly recommend.

Update 2019: When I came back to Internet Marketing after my year off, I found this series of Internet Marketing courses that I heartily recommend to you. Whatever your needs there's something for you here.

Network Marketing

The most success I have ever had has been with network marketing – whatever people say about it.

The trick is to work with a well-established company, not a start-up that may never get off the ground despite being full of hype.

However, having had the rug pulled from under me by one too many companies, it's no longer a method that I'll be recommending to others.

Make no mistake, it CAN be a legitimate business and I wish anyone well with it. But it's too risky for me. I want to be in control of my own business. Not at the mercy of some parent company.

Spinning Plates To Handle Online Business Challenges?

If this seems to be me back to “spinning plates” again, well, yes. Guilty as charged.

challenges of starting online businessYet somehow I'm happier like that. While “online business” was slow, I felt down and demotivated. But with a few plates to juggle…. well, I'm just happier!

For those who aren't just adrenaline junkies like me, the real benefit of Multiple Streams of Income is that when one slows down you can work on another; or just rely on any passive elements you have in your portfolio.

So as regular readers would expect, I'm far from idle, and finding new positives beyond the delays and challenges starting an online business.

How About YOU?

Please share instances when you have been facing challenges starting an online business and how you overcame them.

Please share

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances.

Robin Khokhar - May 3, 2017

Hi Joy,
After I become a full-time blogger, I faced many problems and sometimes ended up with no money in the beginning. But slowly and gradually I got the pickup and success.
So, I must say that this post of your is really a good one for the new people working online.

    Joy - May 4, 2017

    Hi Robin,

    Although I’m not happy you struggled to get started online, I’m happy you are prepared to admit to it.

    There seems to be some conspiracy for certain successful blog owners to pretend it happened easily, when you and I know that it takes time and hard work before the success comes.

    I’m glad you liked the post. Thanks.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Ravi Roshan Jaiswal - May 3, 2017

Hello Joy,

Inspirational post indeed. It was cheerful moment to read this article. You have beautifully explain they way to live life with happy by earning more starting online business. I think offline businesses are more challenging not online business.

Person who ready to accept any type of challenges in business and life both, more successful and experienced than other. He becomes familiar with every types of challenges and face too.

Multiple streams of income never let you feel miserable and you will feel confident always. That helps you to be successful in your business. Very useful as well as motivational post to start online business. For me blogging is the main stream to make money online.
Thanks for sharing it.
– Ravi.

    Joy - May 4, 2017

    Hi Ravi

    I suppose we find more challenging whichever of offline or online business we have more experience in!

    But, yes, if I’m down in the dumps about one strand of income, it usually cheers me up to work on one of the others.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Mandy Allen - May 4, 2017

Hi Joy, good for you for keeping going. I have found over the years that many many people just fall by the way side because they are expecting large returns quickly. The reality is that does not happen. Anyone who sticks at it deserves to be a winner in the end.

Enjoy the journey!

    Joy - May 9, 2017

    Thanks Mandy,

    Partly I was just so incensed that so many people had lied to me about how easy it was to “get rich quick”, but I think that for a long time I really thought I was the only one not on the road to wealth!

    I’m a stubborn soul, I suppose – and yes, I enjoy the challenge / journey.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Chery Schmidt - May 5, 2017

Hello Joy! Awesome share as usual my friend! Yeppers Life does happen HUH? I to have been on the fence with this Cryptocurrencies! I have been scammed so many times with this sort of stuff it is hard for me to take this seriously! Please let me know what direction you go OK

Thanks for sharing.
Chery :))

    Joy - May 10, 2017

    Hi Chery,

    I think we both know “life” happens!!

    Likewise we’ve both seen our fair share of scams. I think it’s not so much that Bitcoin is a scam, any more than paper money is a scam. However, there are some programmes involving cryptocurrencies that are scams. Just as there are programs where you pay in $$ that are scams.

    My approach to any program, cryptocurrency or $$, is never to use money I can’t afford to lose. So I may spend (say) the amount I would spend on a night out, and see what happens. To be super-cautious I usually withdraw that “seed” capital too, so that I’m always “playing” with profits.

    There’s also the underlying risk of Bitcoin itself fluctuating in value, even if TEH delivers on its promise, which is has done so up to now.

    So far I have had 3 weeks where the promised returns have been delivered and I’m really pleased about that. To me it’s a bit of interest and fun with a few dollars (calorie free too) but I won’t be investing “big” in it, and wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do so.

    If you can look at it like that, I’d give it a go. If you’d like, I can pop you into the Facebook group first to learn more – because some of the members are asking for a change to the plan, so best you read up on that in the group before making a decision.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Hendri Hendriyana - May 6, 2017

Hallo joy, i love to read your writing. It is true that starting an online business has a lot of challenges, even I have experienced several times the loss before I really can enjoy the sweetness of online business that I’m running now.

I am glad to see a woman who is very enthusiastic with a business 🙂

    Joy - May 13, 2017

    Thanks Hendri,

    I think anyone who says they have been successful without facing challenges is a liar! Overcoming challenges is part of running a business.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Sue Bride - May 7, 2017

It’s so good to read honest reviews of the programs you’re involved with.

My blogs don’t earn much but they’ve taught me a huge amount. I’m now using WordPress for an e-commerce store and run a store using different software.

How I wish I’d got into Bitcoin earlier.

    Joy - May 10, 2017

    Hi Sue,

    Glad you appreciate the honest touch LOL.

    I’ve certainly learned a lot about blogging – and business in general over the past few years. It wasn’t quite what I’d intended to do, but interesting just the same.

    As you know, I’m “doing” e-commerce, but with the TPS ready-stocked stores. I’m sure I wouldn’t have the technical expertise to create my own store! You’re streets ahead of me in “WordPress” etc, so I’m sure you’ll do really well with it, and I look forward to seeing your stores.

    Bitcoin is still an experiment for me, and I’m learning. It would have been good to be “in at the start” with Bitcoin, but there have been some spectacular crashes too.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Edward Thorpe - May 7, 2017

Hi Joy,

A refreshingly candid expose of single entrepreneuring Internet business building.

I’m happy to hear your Dad’s home and hope he finds his zest for life.

You continue to amaze me with your level of energy. Wonderful post. E T

    Joy - May 13, 2017

    Hi Edward,

    Thanks for your good wishes for my Dad – he’s taking interest in his soccer team again, which is encouraging.

    Must admit my energy has flagged over the last 4 months – hence the focus on challenges this week, but I’m starting to get on top of some of them now!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Dr. Erica Goodstone - May 8, 2017


Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly about all your online struggles.
I no longer listen to those “gurus” who tell me how to be “more productive”.
First, I am not a machine. Second, every single thing I do takes much longer than expected. Third, some of the things you say you are delegating (e.g., delegating to Get Response), is still not just letting someone else handle it. You still have to write the emails, choose and resize and upload the images, choose the date and time carefully, choose the specific lists to send it to, etc. Even that can take me a very long time. Sometimes I start typing and don’t save it fast enough – and puff – everything I wrote disappears and I have to re-write it.

Multiple streams of income are essential. My Kindle books bring me little bits of money most months. My courses bring money sometimes. My small private counseling practice brings me some money, very fluctuating.

I have been doing these amazing virtual summits. Per hour, my income is pitiful, but the end result has been at least a reasonable number of people purchasing the upgrades. And then I pay out the affiliate commissions.

Affiliate marketing can be lucrative if you are also teaching about it. For example, if I would teach about setting up web sites and offer my affiliate links for the various aspects (domain, hosting, security), that can provide steady money indefinitely. People don’t change their autoresponders and hosting that often.

So I could share an awful lot of my own frustrations and all those video promoters that I finally unsubscribed from. I have purchased about 90 video programs and have hardly opened any of them for lack of time. So when I create videos, they are just basic – and that is fine for my audience.

So much to say about this. We should create a webinar together about the topic.


Dr. Erica

    Joy - May 10, 2017

    Hi Dr Erica,

    I could completely relate to what you say about things taking so much longer than I expect – and the dreaded disappearing newsletter. AAAGH.
    Just to clarify on my “delegating to GetResponse”, on top of the tasks you correctly note I still have to do, before I used an auto-responder I was actually attempting to send prospect emails one by one. Nuts when I look back on it now – I can’t believe I tried to do that to save myself just a few dollars a month.

    I too have hours of un-watched videos and un-read ebooks. Digital dust I’ve heard them referred to. Sometimes when I see a $7 product with a zillion bonuses I by-pass it because the bonuses are just over-kill.

    Your summits sound a wonderful idea – they are obviously raising your profile, which will increase your income long-term, even if it’s not immediate money on the day. It’s good that you have so many income streams. All these trickles add up, and will hopefully make up a gushing river soon.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Muhammad Jawwad - May 8, 2017

Challenges do not mean to impede your progress. Instead they are their to make you fly higher and become stronger and stronger.

Now come to online business. When your business goes online or when you setup any online business. You get a lot of opportunities. Note I am using word opportunity instead of challenges.

You get out of your country’s border and you can target customers from all continents.
It gives you freedom of place. You just need to have a laptop or smartphone with Internet.
You get freedom of time. No need to leave your warm bed early in the morning and get ready for the office.

Setting up an online business is a piece of cake as compare to the offline business. But making it successful is way more difficult.

    Joy - May 13, 2017

    Hi Muhammad,

    You make some excellent points about facing challenges, and overcoming them.

    There are so many advantages of setting up an online business as opposed to offline – geographical boundaries especially – but they do mean greater competition. Still, offline businesses – once maybe with a captive audience in “The High Street” are also facing competition from online businesses.

    You’re right – we should focus on opportunities rather than challenges.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Gaurav Heera - May 9, 2017

I must say that this post of your is really a good one for the new people working online. because in starting a blogger have to do struggle a lot to become successful thanks for thins wonderful article

Emebless - May 9, 2017

Hello Joy,

I am happy i stopped by your blog today, i learned a lot from this post and i am taking steps already.

Thanks for sharing this.

– Emebbless

    Joy - May 12, 2017

    Hi Emebless

    Glad you have not only learned, but taking action! Not taking action is what often stops people from succeeding when they are so close.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Gaurav Heera - May 17, 2017

Hello there Joy, bravo for continuing onward. I have found throughout the years that numerous many individuals simply fall by the wayside since they are expecting vast returns rapidly. Actually does not occur. Any individual who adheres at it should be a champ at last.

    Joy - May 18, 2017

    Hi Guarav,

    It’s really no bad thing that there are challenges to making it online, because if it was as easy as is pretended by some people, there would be far more competition for those of us who stick at it.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Theodore Nwangene - May 20, 2017

Joy, it’s pretty cool to read about your experience and processes here this morning and I am glad to have stumbled on your post from blog hopping. 🙂 You know that’s one of the many benefits you get from doing blog hopping, right?

Oh and I am really sorry about your Dad’s illness. I hope he is doing fine now, is he?

And speaking of starting an online business, the challenges, well, the challenges are more times grave and it’s something we cannot really avoid. Like DNAs, these challenges accompanies and are the bedrock for whatever success we would achieve as digital marketers.

There’s nothing in the world that’s easy to achieve, not even your normal everyday hopping around. OR like others call it, offline business. Mine is and can get really maddening sometimes but I just go on with the NIKE maxim, I “Just DO It”!

Like you, I have dumped many strategies and many things I do and that were ripping my heart apart…I am the better for it now!

I have also learned to outsource and delegate tasks too and that’s pretty cool and fun too.

And yes, there are some I just feel the nudge to delegate as I feel I am in the best position to tackle and make those things work out the way I’d have envisaged them and I am almost always right. 🙂

You shared an all-important topic here ma’am and I am glad I stumbled on it to read and learn from it. Thanks Joy!

    Joy - May 21, 2017

    Hi Theodore,

    I think most people who have stayed the course of online marketing will have experienced these challenges. Delegation is one way to keep the lid on the frustrations – as long as your find good people to outsource to.

    My Dad is much better now, thanks. Funnily enough one of his favourite phrases is “Do it now”. I’m sure he was saying it before NIKE 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Comments are closed