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.
Use an autoresponder to build your list and work smart.
Email is still the best form of communicating with your customers. Even though social media gets a lot of attention, the most valuable digital channel is building your email list.
Study after study has shown that email beats out every other form of online marketing in terms of ROI.
According to Adobe, email has an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent. That beats organic search and paid search combined!
# 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!
Picking a niche has a lot of benefits. Being focused on one area allows you to concentrate your efforts in one direction. You know what appeals to prospects in your specific audience… how to approach them with your marketing with laser-focus so that they are more likely to buy. At the same time, you build expert status, which speeds up the process of your prospects coming to know, like, and trust you. That’s essential to turning prospects into paying customers.
The great news is that by focusing on one niche, your start-up costs will be lower, and your path to success will be much quicker. There is also less risk. And if the niche doesn’t work out, you can move on to a different one easily.
And even if you focus on one niche, that doesn’t mean your business can’t grow. You start small and then, once you have a proven marketing strategy, you sell more and more of your niche product. Then you add other similar products. And that means more sales. If you want to build your business even further, you could get into other niches… and start the process again.
Source: the balance small business
# 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.
An internet marketing plan informs all your decision and activities at every stage of the way. It also helps you develop and implement sound strategies and evaluate the outcome or the results of your activities. Your internet marketing plan should highlight all measurable objectives and goals and establish milestones for your marketing activities. Most importantly, you should integrate your internet marketing business plan with the company’s existing business plan and ensure it is in harmony with the medium and long term business goals.
Source: Cox BLUE
# 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.
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.
# 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.
Sometimes business owners will assume that because digital technology evolves so quickly that digital marketing is meant to deliver results almost immediately. And when they don’t see fast or immediate results, they get spooked and pull out.
We’re used to things happening more quickly than they have before because of the easier access we have – but this is only partly based in fact. While the digital world does move fast, the audience you’re targeting is human, and people take time to become truly engaged. Because of algorithms (and their constant change), keep in mind that audiences might not even be seeing your content when you first begin posting it.
Consistency is key to successful marketing. It will often take multiple points of exposure before a potential customer engages with relevant content or ads.
# 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.
Paid traffic can be generated in a number of different ways. Companies can pay to have a web banner displayed on a related website, or they can offer to sponsor another business in order to gain increased media attention. Paid traffic can also be comprised of “pay-per-click” features on other websites, which are strategically placed advertisements that will take consumers directly to another company website.
Paid media is the fastest way to generate site traffic and immediately reach a wide audience, though it does not guarantee customer loyalty.
To maximize website traffic, it is nearly essential to use a combination of both paid and earned media. A company (especially a start-up) may only be able to create paid traffic in the early stages of promotion, but once word begins to spread, earned media can serve as a lucrative complement to paid advertisements.
# 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.
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you,” says mentoring expert Bob Proctor.
Working within a mentoring relationship is a powerful way to grow in your career. Whether you’re learning from a seasoned pro or passing along your wisdom, mentoring offers a host of benefits—from increased knowledge and skills to elevated energy and deep satisfaction.
# 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.
Choosing the right digital marketing course can be somewhat challenging. With all of the available choices, it’s important to find the right fit.
When it comes to making your selection, the practical choice should be one that teaches all aspects of digital marketing in-depth. A well-rounded education program should include SEO, content marketing, paid search, and more. The best courses give students the opportunity to learn hands-on by practicing with projects and learning from some of the best industry experts.
Source: Marketing Land
# 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.
We were recently startled by a new statistic: “only 40% [of marketers] think their company’s marketing is effective” according to Adobe’s study on Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?. Not only are marketers unsure whether their strategies are effective, but most actually believe that they are ineffective. Why the lack of confidence?
The Adobe study suggests that “marketers do not have a clear consensus on what areas to focus.” A lack of direction or focus can be detrimental to any marketing program, and this is where a brand can be extremely helpful. When a firm has a strong brand foundation, aligned to their business strategy, marketers benefit from knowing exactly what story they are trying to tell, and who to tell it to. Clear messaging and a consistent voice that reflects the firm’s true differentiators take some of the uncertainty out of a marketing strategy. Prospects, recruits, and investors will understand the firm and trust its messaging, alleviating much of the doubt a marketer may feel about their chosen tactics. When a brand is deployed in a synchronized fashion across key touch points, ensuring clarity and consistency in all brand interactions, marketers can be more confident that prospects are hearing the right messages, and better foster the conversations that are important to their company.
# 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!
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Counselors to America’s Small Business (SCORE) agree that one of the biggest mistakes small businesses can make—especially those just starting out—is to skimp on the marketing budget. It can be tricky and scary for small businesses to decide how much of their hard-earned cash they should allocate toward an Internet marketing budget. Internet marketing prices can be a little overwhelming at first glance; so many small business owners are tempted to forgo this expense with DIY internet marketing.
The factors that will determine your SEO budget and your overall marketing budget are highly variable. It depends on your industry and your customers’ behaviors. It depends on the prevailing Internet marketing prices. It depends on whether or not you are a start-up or an established company that wants to nab a greater share of the market from your competitors. It depends on your goals and, obviously, the rest of your budget and your revenue. That said, the SBA recommends allocating 2-10 percent of sales, generally speaking, for your Internet and SEO budget. This can vary depending on whether or not you are in B2B, B2C, C2C—particularly during the initial years when you are trying to build your brand recognition amongst potential customers.
# 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.
There are no shortcuts to success and the factor of realizing the Importance of Time Management holds quite a significant place in order to attain the pinnacle of success and glory. Going by the theories of various experts, influencers, and business veterans; all of them harp on the aspect of time management and making the viewers understand that time once lost never comes back.
Minding yourself and working on the strict time frames to complete our personal and professional tasks makes us more disciplined in nature and the overall approach. It gives you a self-motivation to work on the planned tasks in a dedicated and determined manner as you already have one task after another to complete within a specific fulcrum of time.
# 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.
As professionals, it’s crucial that we keep up-to-date on the latest trend in the field. The industry is constantly changing, what people want 10 years ago is different to what people want now. Getting ourselves informed about new technology or strategy will greatly aid us in reaching our goals and deliver the desired results. Skills such as digital advertising, search engine optimization, data analytics, content marketing are fairly new development but have since been industry standard in recent years. Investing in these skills through online courses or seminars can put us ahead of the competition.
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.