A Reality Check Before Starting an Internet Business
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/27/2007 | Internet
The siren call of starting a business on the Internet is hard to
resist. Work when you want, do it from home, make lots of money (even
when you're asleep) - what's not to like, right? You'd be a fool not to
jump in and start building that website or writing a blog!
Not so fast. There are more Internet millionaire "wanna-bes" than
you might think. And many have spent more than a few years and more
than a few thousand dollars in a vain effort to start a profitable
It may seem that "everybody" is making money online, but that's
simply not the case. And not many people will admit their frustration,
partly because no one hates admitting failure but also because
perception is everything online. If you are perceived as a failure, no
one will buy from you, which makes you fail even faster.
So what are the disadvantages and roadblocks that potential Internet entrepreneurs encounter?
The first is the learning curve - it's steeper than you might think, and there's no single "how-to" process to follow.
Succeeding at an online business requires mastery of several key
abilities, not all of which directly correlate to doing business
offline. For example, you not only have to build a user-friendly and
relevant website or blog, you have to drive traffic to it, all without
making any mistakes that cause you to lose credibility in your
prospect's mind and cause them to click away from your site.
And though there are countless experts, books, and how-to courses
on how to start a business online, it's hard for a beginner to know who
to believe, and there are multiple online business models to choose
from as well.
The second issue, which was mentioned above but which warrants more
attention, is the problem of driving traffic to your website. Novice
Internet marketers know they want their site to be found in the search
engines, but often vastly underestimate the amount of competition they
have for the keywords and search phrases they desire.
The Internet reality is that top-ten rankings for most popular
keywords is extraordinarily difficult to achieve - which means that the
novice "Interpreneur" will need to master the art of advertising
online, which can become quite costly.
The third and final obstacle mentioned here is that it's very easy to become distracted when building an Internet business.
If you subscribe to Internet ezines or visit Internet discussion
forums, which are recommended methods to build knowledge and connect
with potential customers or partners, you're bombarded almost daily
with new ways to make money. New advertising strategies to try. New
top-secret, never-before-revealed-to-the-public ways to get more
targeted website visitors than you've ever imagined. And so on.
And while some of these strategies may be an excellent fit for a
particular online business, many will not. Since inexperienced Internet
marketers find it difficult to make that distinction, they waste time
and money delving into new income models before mastering the income
method they're using now.
Hopefully, if you're considering starting an Internet business,
this article will serve as a "reality check" for you. It's certainly
possible to make a substantial secondary or primary income online - but
it's much more likely if you have a good grasp of the obstacles you'll
probably encounter along the way.