Online businesses don’t succeed by accident or without effort. Out of the thousands of would-be entrepreneurs who start an online business every year, only a small percentage will succeed. A recent survey estimates that a stunning 90% of new internet business fail within the first year.
You can avoid being part of that unsettling statistic. I have put together the top 10 secret tips for online business success. These may not be what you’re expecting to hear, but if more entrepreneurs heeded them there will be a lot more success stories.
1. Have a Plan
Everything begins with a plan. In principle, online business is no different from a real world brick and mortar business. People who fail in online business are very often those who think making money online “sounds like a good idea” instead of seeing it as a real business. They jump in without any idea of what they want to do or how to run their business.
Planning should involve:
- what type of business you’re going to start online
- what it will cost
- how you will market it
- what tools and skills you need to start
- how you will finance your online business efforts
- how much time you have to spend on it
- how and where you will network and make business connections
Without taking stock of factors like these before you even begin, you’ll be lucky to achieve any kind of success.
2. Add Action
Taking action is what separates most online business successes from the failures.
That “Earn a Million Online” seminar you went to, presented by the top online business minds? It’s worth nothing if you don’t act on what you learn.
That ebook full of secret online business strategies? They are of no worth until you actually use them.
That brilliant product idea swimming around in your head? Stop dreaming about it and create it.
While there are other factors as well, you must realize that you can’t win the game if you’re not in the game. Never let the fear of failure stop you. If you never try, you’ve already failed.
3. Learn to Test and Track
Yes, it can be a pain to test and track your results… until you finally do it and realize how much money you’ve been leaving on the table.
Imagine writing a sales letter for your $30 product and it converts 2% of all visitors into sales. A hundred sales per month is $3,000 in your pocket.
Now, imagine if, by simply changing the headline on that sales letter it converts 3% of visitors into sales? You would have been losing $1,500 per month.
Testing and tracking are crucial in tweaking your marketing campaigns for maximum profit, especially when you are paying for traffic.
4. Forget About Perfection
Repeat after me: it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to work.
Many people spend months tweaking their websites on their computers without putting them online. They spend months trying to perfect a product instead of publishing and marketing it.
Don’t get bogged down in trying to have everything just right before launching.
An ugly website that’s actually live on the internet can make money and can be tweaked to perform better. A beautiful one sitting unpublished on your hard drive will not only make no money, but won’t even provide you with any real-world data for improving it.
Create it, then get it out there. Warts and all.
5. Maintain Your Focus
Focus on doing one thing at a time, and doing it well. Getting your business off the ground is the hardest part. Focusing on too many tasks, too many avenues of income and pursuing too many different opportunities will dilute your efforts and lead to confusion and overwhelm.
Many new online entrepreneurs suffer from this because there are so many income opportunities available. They start one thing, then abandon it for the next shiny opportunity that comes along. Pretty soon they’re stuck between 7 or 8 unfinished projects with no income and a lot of disillusionment.
Realize that you cannot chase them all. Decide on the business you’re going to start with, and focus your efforts on that.
6. Build Multiple Traffic Streams
There are a myriad of ways to generate traffic online. The more of them you can use, the bigger your potential income and the safer your online livelihood will be.
For example, if you decided to do affiliate marketing and your only source of traffic is Google, you are on shaky ground. If Google decides to penalize your sites for whatever reason, or an algorithm change sinks your rankings, most of your income can disappear overnight.
Make sure that, over time, you set up different income streams that draw their traffic from different sources. The “all eggs in one basket” approach is a dangerous one in the volatile online marketing arena.
7. Build & Maintain a Mailing List
This is still one of the most important secrets to online business success. A well-maintained mailing list can make you money every time you broadcast a message. It is a robust and trend-proof way to secure an online income.
Build your list and treasure it. Provide value to your subscribers and build a strong relationship with them.
8. Provide Value
Truly valuable websites, products and services take on a life of their own. They get more social sharing, more word-of-mouth exposure and affiliates are more likely to promote them.
It is possible to make money online by selling low quality products or building low quality websites. The problem is you’re going to have to do all the work and start from scratch every time your spammy content gets trashed by the search engines, or when the bad reputation of your product starts killing its sales.
9. Kick the Destructive Myths
Have you ever heard any of these phrases:
- Make money while you sleep
- Be your own boss and work when you want to
- Make $X00,000 dollars working just 2 hours a day
These are they typical myths and hype that marketers use to sell the online business dream. Is it any wonder then that so many start-ups fail?
Acquire a business mindset: one that expects hard work, failures, long hours and a stiff learning curve before it expects rewards. Just that simple shift will already put you way ahead of most new online business owners.
10. Learn to Outsource
This is a hard one for the control freaks out there. If you want something done right, do it yourself. Right?
That philosophy may be true in some cases, but in online business it will hold you back. Time really is money, and you need to use what precious time you have to focus on your strengths.
You will definitely have a few bad experiences with outsourcing. However, once you’ve separated the good from the bad, you’ll have gathered a handful of reliable people helping you build your business just the way you would have done it yourself, and perhaps even better.