There are good ways to make money, and some bad ways to make money. E-commerce has one of the best ways to make money, and it’s online.
Over the past few years, e-commerce has grown significantly, resulting in millions of new companies offering their services online. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the e-commerce industry generated $215 billion in sales alone in the first quarter of 2021.
New technologies and ways of making money online have been fostered by e-commerce businesses. If you’re looking for ways to earn money online, there are many options available to you. Many entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners make money through e-commerce sites like Amazon and Etsy.
But, if you really want to make money online, then you need to stop doing the following ten thing immediately.
1. Not having a plan of attack.
The plan doesn’t have to be formal – but the business needs to be planned, advises Carolyn Sun in Entrepreneur.
“People regard the business plan as homework they don’t want to do but planning helps me — whatever my success is,” explains Tim Berry, chairman of Palo Alto Software, which produces business-planning software and author of The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan.
Sujan Patel, vice president of marketing at When I Work and the founder of several SaaS startups, says, “You don’t need a formal 20-page business plan to successfully plan a business. You need to know who your customers are, what you are selling and what people are willing to pay for your product or service.”
You should also figure out how long your cash will last and how much you have.
2. Failure to launch.
When it comes to business, timing is paramount.
As soon as you discover that there is an opportunity for an online business, you will research the market, the competition, the process, and the aspects involved. On the flip side, the more you spend researching and evaluating, the more likely it is that you will miss the launch window.
In short, the longer your launch is delayed, the longer it will take for your business to begin making money.
Business experts believe this mistake occurs when business owners hesitate to launch their ideas until they are fully perfected. In reality, though “good enough” will often suffice. What’s more, if you drag your feet, there’s a very real chance that a competitor will swoop in.
Trying to be perfect can actually stall you in overthinking. Or even worse, you will end up losing your window. So, don’t fall into the analysis paralysis trap.
3. Setting money as the goal.
Prior to starting any business online, you should ask yourself what is your main goal? And, despite what you may believe, money is not a goal.
As Robert Kiyosaki once said, “Money is not the goal. Money has no value. The value comes from the dreams money helps achieve.” Having that mindset is key to running a successful business, while also living a fulfilling life.
Have trouble determining your goal? Try asking the following questions;
- What are you passionate about or what makes you happy.
- Is what you plan to do valuable?
- Does it have a positive impact on people?
- Can it truly help others?
If you answer these questions correctly, then you will be on the right track towards making money online.
4. The unwillingness to spend.
My dad used to say, “It takes money to make money.” That idiom may sound like a contradiction. But, there’s actually some truth to that statement.
Even though it doesn’t take a small fortune to start an online business, you still have to invest in it. Sadly, plenty of people launch online businesses under the mistaken idea that all they need is a computer and an internet connection.
Sure, there are a lot of ways to make money without investing much, like AdSense revenue-sharing websites. In reality, though, having money alone is not sufficient to constitute an income source.
It is essential for an online business to have a well-designed website that loads quickly. To make your website visible and appealing to online users, it is vital that you invest in a reliable web hosting service and purchase premium themes and plugins. Additionally, buying eBooks and
So, my old man was right. To make money online, you have to spend money.
5. Unclear conditions and payment terms.
One drawback to making money online is that it can be consistent and unpredictable. For example, if you’re a freelancer an ongoing gig might dry up. Or, you have a client who stiffs you. If you have an eCommerce site, you don’t know when a sale may go through.
What’s more, there could be a misunderstanding regarding payment terms. For instance, not agreeing on what payment methods you accept.
With that in mind, always have crystal clear conditions and payment terms. This could be clearly stated on your site or negotiating these terms with a client prior to starting work.
In case you’re wondering, payment terms determine how a buyer and seller close a deal. It is usually stated when payment is expected (the norm is 30 days from the invoice date), what payment methods are acceptable, any discounts that are offered, or any other provisions, such as down payments or cash advances.
6. Providing a solution to a non-existent problem and not pivoting when you find one.
Often, online businesses fail because they offer a product or service that does not solve any significant problems. Initially, it may seem like a smart idea, but after some research, you may find your solution is not perceived as a problem by your customers. As a result, you might be able to discover that there is a new way to grow the business.
Pivoting your business is a well-known business strategy. Many famous companies, including PayPal, have managed to accomplish the feat. In the beginning, PayPal shared payments across Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), such as the PalmPilot, but it evolved into a global online payments system.
A business based on selling products or services that don’t solve a problem, but look stylish, is a warning sign — I’m looking at your Metaverse. Prepare to modify your strategy if you think it’s necessary.
7. Choosing the wrong job or niche.
There are hundreds of ways to make money online. But, I’m going to be real. Not all methods are created equal.
Case in point, mico-jobs via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). While these jobs are simple, they’re tedious and pay miserably. Often, when starting out, you’re making something like $0.002 to $2 per task.
Aside from the low pay, doing such jobs won’t teach you much that will prepare you for better-paying jobs in the future. You can only make money by working on sites like this by thinking about why someone would want to pay you a couple of cents for a few micro-jobs for them.
What if you decide to set out on your own? Consider how marketable the niche is online before selecting it. Are there already a lot of websites offering the products or services you’re planning to provide? How much online traffic is it generating?
When you see that the niche has already been saturated, it is advisable to explore other possibilities. Additionally, the niche could be untouched but the websites competing for it are having trouble getting traffic. Such a niche is more likely to fail than succeed, so you shouldn’t risk your time and money on it.
8. Having too much on your plate.
Many people make the mistake of trying to juggle multiple responsibilities at once. Making money online is a great option, but it’s the commitment that’s the key to success.
When working during the day, you shouldn’t jump between tasks trying to accomplish three at once. As a result, you’d end up working three jobs, none of which would provide you with much income. Concentrate on endeavor and master it. From there, explore ways to earn a passive income from it so that you can pursue other revenue streams.
9. Over-optimizing your site.
“Too much of a good thing is a bad thing,” says the one and only Neil Patel. This statement rings true in life and in search engine optimization (SEO). “SEO is awesome, but too much SEO can cause over-optimization.”
“Search engine over-optimization is the practice of creating too many SEO improvements to the point that the improvements begin to ruin the website’s ability to rank,” he expains. “You’re doing all the typical SEO good stuff, but then you jack it up too far.” And then all your efforts go south.
So, what are the signs that you’re over-optimizing? Well, here’s seven of them to keep a look out for;
- Keyword-rich anchors for internal links. Linking internally is good. However, anchor text containing keywords is bad.
- Non-relevant keywords. Make sure that you aren’t trying to gain traffic with unrelated keywords.
- Pointing all internal or external links to top-level navigation pages. There should be links pointing to the homepage as well as deep internal pages in a healthy link profile.
- Using multiple H1s on a page. The H1 is the main heading on the page. The problem with some webmasters is that they think great SEO is about having a lot of H1 text.
- Linking to toxic sites. “The sites that you link to are almost as important as the sites that link to you,” adds Neil.
- Keyword-stuffed footer. The best way to hurt your SEO is to over-optimize your website footer. Your only option for footer optimization is not to do it.
- Non-branded, keyword-dense URLs. It is important not to create a URL solely for its keyword value.
10. Puttin on the blinders.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this phrase, it means to be unaware of a situation or event that is right before one’s eyes. By the way, blinders are leather pieces that limit a horse’s peripheral vision.
What does this have to do with making money online? Well, one example would be analytics and metrics. Depending on your exact business this can vary. But, at the minimum, you should be paying attention to the following;
- Website Bounce Rate
- Revenue and/or Leads Per Visitor (RPV or LPV)
- Cost per Lead (CPL) and/or Cost per Conversion (CPC)
- Number of Leads
- Lead Conversion Rate
- Sales or Leads from Emails
- Email List Size
- Visits & Sales [and/or Leads] from Social Media
- Total Sales
Furtermore, you should also be listening to feedback from your customers — both good and bad. I would also recommend scoping out the competition to see what they’re doing right and wrong.
And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention taxes and liability. Depending how your business is structured, this will influence the taxes you owe, as well as assest protection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Money Online
What is the best way to make money online fast?
Despite our desire to earn money as fast as possible, these gigs do take time to develop and grow an online business. In most cases, you can make good money in less than a month. Everything depends on how much marketing and effort you put into promoting your business.
How do I make money advertising online?
By placing ads inside your content, you can make money as a content creator. You can use Google AdSense for this. As a rule of thumb, the amount of ad revenue you earn from your webpage is directly related to the number of views it receives.
How do I make money writing online?
Many freelance opportunities are available for writers online, such as writing books, blogging, and more. In addition to building networks, earning followers on social media, and learning industry-specific skills, self-employed writers should become experts in their field.
Where can I sell art online?
For artists who wish to sell their work online, websites such as Redbubble and Zazzle are great options. All the artists need to do is upload their designs to these sites, which are entirely free of charge and simple to use. The company handles everything else, from shipping and returns to customer service. Furthermore, you can sell your artwork on Etsy, Amazon, or even create your own website if you decide you want to be in full control of the product.
Is it guaranteed that I will make money?
Making money is not a guarantee. However, if you don’t make the mistakes listed above, you can drastically increase the chances of making money online.
[ Read: How to make money online]