What I want to do in today’s post is share what I consider to be the top 12 internet marketing mistakes. These are common mistakes many new and experienced internet marketers make.
What is Internet Marketing?
Before I share the common internet marketing mistakes with you, I figured I would take a moment and define internet marketing. Putting it into my own words, I would define internet marketing as “the process of making money online” or “anything you to do promote a business or product online” or “anything you do to sell a product or service online.”
Top Internet Marketing Mistakes
With that being said, here are the top 12 internet marketing mistakes as I see it. They are listed in no particular order.
# 1 Not Building Your Email List
Without a doubt, the biggest and most common internet marketing mistake that most people make is not building their email list. No matter what niche you choose, or what marketing strategy you choose, your primary focus should always be on building your email list first, not selling a product.
Keep in mind that most people do NOT buy something the first time they learn about it. In many cases, people need to see something 10-20 times MINIMUM before they take action. If you’re just trying to sell a product online, but not building your list, you are leaving a TON of money on the table.
For example, if you send 100 people to your affiliate offer, you might make one or two sales. However, if you send people to your capture page first, you might generate 20 to 40 leads AND get your 1-2 sales. If you have a good follow-up email sequence, you should be able to convert those 20-40 leads into and additional 5-15 sales in the months to come.
Always send people to a capture page first and then redirect them to your affiliate offer AFTER they opt-in. Also, stay in touch with your email list at least three times per week, so you can get your subscribers to like, know and trust you. As you do that, you can send them to your affiliate offers and make sales.
# 2 Choosing the Wrong Niche
Not all online niches are created equal. Most people venturing into internet marketing for the first time end up choosing the make money online niche. This is a good and bad decision. The MMO niche is very competitive and saturated.
Yes, there is a lot of money you can make in this niche, but you have to compete with the big boys and big girls who have deep pockets and have been in the game for years.
There are many affiliate marketing niches to choose from. I suggest you find one that interests you, has plenty of affiliate products to choose from, and has plenty of hungry buyers who are willing to spend money on what you are promoting.
Remember, it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than be a minnow in an ocean!
# 3 Not Having a Written Business Plan
All businesses need a written business plan. An internet marketing business is no different. You should come up with a 1-2 page business plan for your internet marketing business. It should outline your vision, mission, marketing plan, marketing budget, target market, competitor analysis and include your daily action plan.
You can’t just wing it and be successful. You need to get organized, set your goals and develop your plan so you can stay on track and work smart. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
# 4 Promoting the Wrong Affiliate Products
Most affiliate products are not worth your time promoting. When it comes to picking an affiliate product, you want a product that:
- Pays at least 20 to 50 percents commissions
- Earns you at least $20 per sale, and ideally much more than that
- Provides ongoing, residual commissions
- Has a sales page that is compelling and converts
- Have a product that delivers more value than it sells for
These are just a few things to look for. If you want additional tips, you should read my post about how to evaluate an affiliate program.
Remember this, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to make a living online if you are promoting affiliate products NO ONE wants to buy, or even worse, products that only pay you a few dollars per sale.
# 5 Not Taking the Long-Term View
Contrary to what you might have been told, internet marketing is nothing like the lottery. It is not a get-rich-quick business. It’s not fast, free or easy either.
Like ANY business you start, the goal your first year is to learn and survive. Most businesses in the real world take a year or two just to make a profit, and at least three to five years to become a stable, successful business.
If you aren’t willing to commit at least five years to your internet marketing business, do yourself a favor and just go get a part-time job instead.
Think long-term and have realistic expectations.
# 6 Not Using Paid Traffic
This is one of the common internet marketing mistakes that very few people ever talk about. Focusing on free traffic exclusively is a complete waste of time and effort. Why? There are a few reasons why.
First and foremost, free traffic methods take a TON of your time. And time is money. In addition, most free traffic methods take MONTHS to produce any type of results. You have to be very patient. Another issue with free traffic is that you typically cannot scale it. Plus, you have ZERO control with free traffic. You can rank high on the search engines today and then be deindexed tomorrow.
With paid traffic you are in complete control. You can test different traffic sources very quickly, figure our what works, do some split testing and then scale your marketing efforts once you know what works best for you.
# 7 Not Finding a Mentor
All successful people I know have a mentor. Internet marketing is no different. Find someone who has achieved the results you desire and ask them to help you. Learn from their successes and mistakes. If they charge a fee, pay them!
Whatever you do, do not be a lone wolf and try to figure our everything on your own. This will hold you back because you don’t know what you don’t know. Following someone else’s guidance and experience can take YEARS off your learning curve.
One of the reasons I love Wealthy Affiliate is they have a community with THOUSANDS of successful online marketers who are willing to answer your questions and show you what right looks like.
# 8 Buying Too Many Training Courses
Another one of the common internet marketing mistakes is buying lots of different training courses. Some people end up giving themselves information overload. They buy 10-20 different training courses, read them all, but don’t take action because they are confused with the conflicting information.
They end up with analysis by paralysis and do nothing.
You would be much better off finding the BEST internet marketing training course you can afford, buy it, study it, and implement what you learn.
# 9 Not Focusing on ONE Marketing Strategy
There is only one skill you have to master to succeed with internet marketing. That skill is TRAFFIC GENERATION. The people who make the most amount of money online are the people who have mastered traffic.
Don’t spread yourself too thin and try to master 10-20 different traffic strategies at once. Pick one PAID and one FREE strategy and do not deviate. Learn everything you can about those two strategies and then take all our massive action.
After a year or two of mastering those two strategies, by all means diversify and learn additional marketing strategies.
# 10 Not Having a Marketing Budget
I understand for most people money is tight. It’s a sad reality in today’s world. However, I don’t know of ONE business in the real world that does not do some type of PAID marketing or advertising. Even churches advertise!
You need to set aside a monthly marketing budget for your new business, minimum $200 to $1,000 per month. This will let you test our different advertising and marketing strategies until you find something that works for you.
Do not be a cheapskate and try to do everything for free. Be willing to invest in your business, especially your marketing!
# 11 Not Having a Daily Mode of Operations
One of the common Internet marketing mistakes people make is not having a daily mode of operations. In other words, most people do not have a written list of 3-10 tasks they will do each day to grow their business. Instead, they just login to their computer and do what they can think of.
That is a recipe for failure. You must be organized. You need a daily action plan. This is nothing more than a short list of INCOME PRODUCING ACTIVITIES you are going to do each day to grow your internet marketing business.
# 12 Not Investing in Your Business Education
Another common internet marketing mistake is not investing in your business education. People are funny. They will spend tens of thousands of dollars on their college education without questioning anything, but they complain about spending $500 to $1,000 on their business education.
Attend events. Study courses. Read books. Join a mastermind team. Hire a mentor. Be willing to invest in your business education. All successful business owners invest in their own business education. You can’t afford not to invest in your business education.
Yes, you can watch some free YouTube videos and read some blog posts, but you need to put aside money each month to invest in your business education.
Try to attend 2-4 events per year, read 1-2 books per month on your niche and marketing strategy, hire a coach and join a mastermind group. This is money well spent. You can’t lose money when you invest in yourself.
In review, these are the top 12 internet marketing mistakes as I see it. Most of this should be common sense to you. I hope you will evaluate yourself in each of these 12 areas to see where you stand. Identify areas you can improve upon and come up with a game-plan to make it happen.
What are your thoughts? What do you think are the most common internet marketing mistakes? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.