You might be wondering why you couldn’t make money online so far. Despite all the efforts, you were unable to either make good money on the internet or nothing at all. There has to be a way to fix it right? Yes! There are a series of mistakes we usually make when we want to make money online. This is completely natural and can be fixed one way or another.
The journey down the road of making money online is not a well know path for anyone. There are no clear directions, and you could be lost only to find yourself in a place where you did everything but didn’t receive any good results. What you’ll need is an Ultimate Guide, like this one, to help you identify your mistakes when you make money online, and gives you a solution to get rid of them.
Being a Business Developer, I know the feeling. I’ve experienced it myself and helped many who used to stick in the same situation; stopped by the same traps & mistakes.
It’s quite ok if we fall into some of the traps that are laid ahead in the way of making money online. Although most of these traps (or mistakes) are placed there by us, they are either avoidable or can be fixed. There is no worry about that. You just have to do it before it’s already too late.
In this ultimate guide, I’ve listed some serious mistakes we all made (or will make) when we are going to Make Money Online plus their remedies. These are the traps that we easily fall into whether we are aware of it or not. If you try to avoid them, then your path toward a good-paying online job would be a lot easier.
One thing that I can tell you with confidence is that buckle up; It’s not going to be easy. Some of the mistakes we make when we make money online are quite obvious, but stubborn. It could be so hard to get rid of their trace from our journey to make money on the internet. I’ve already given you some suggestions on how to get rid of them or avoid them in the first place. So keep reading!
Ask Yourself a Few Questions First
I believe an improvement of anything would require some clear answers to some questions. The questions are different for every situation. To start avoiding the mistakes you were making when you make money online, you have to ask yourself some questions related to the barriers that keep you away from that.
I’ve talked about asking some questions before starting to look up different ways to make money online. I’ve told you to understand The Meaning of Make Money Online before rushing into finding a way to do so. Before making money online you have to set some goals and expectations.
Such questions would be helpful here too, but this time, you have to ask a lot more. They should be concerned about almost everything that keeps you from making money on the internet or from making progress on that path. They could be an actual physical barrier that you have to remove, bad habits you have to break, or an issue you have to find the solution to.
I can give you some example questions that I’ve asked myself during the past many years ago. They should be enough to give you a gist of what I’m, talking about. They can also be helpful to get you going toward to correct path to avoiding common mistakes we make when we make money online. They are:
- Do I have enough skills and experience to do it?
- Do I have enough self-confidence to do that?
- Have I waited long enough?
- Did I choose the right thing to do?
- Are my expectations realistic?
- Am I trying hard enough?
- Am I taking the job seriously?
These are just some examples, but by answering these questions or similar questions, important conclusions can be drawn. They will reveal the wrong steps you are taking toward making money on the internet. They usually fall within the mistakes I’ve talked about in this list; The most common ones. Fix them and you’re good to go!
Common Mistakes You Should Avoid
The reason you haven’t made any money (or enough money) from any kind of online job or gig can be identified by evaluating yourself by asking different questions. The result will eventually fall within the following categories that we call mistakes. Avoiding them would greatly improve your online income and speed up your progress in making money online.
I devised the following list from my own experience or my clients’ plus reading about people’s experiences regarding this matter. I’ve also studied some of the stories about successful YouTubers and bloggers who had to learn the hard way why they didn’t make any money when they started working. This is a pure experience-based list and you can rely on it to a great extent.
1. Lack of Necessary Skills
I could say that the first reason many people can’t make money online is because of the lack of necessary skills. This is so common, especially among those who are new to this concept of earning income. Your skills are the number one reason why people trust you with their projects and jobs. Take it away, and opportunities disappear too.
Skill is not only for online jobs and making money on the internet, but also they are the main reason you make money in the first place. If you are a good accountant, then you can work for a company because of your accounting skill, but if you want to handle online accounting jobs, there are a few skills required which aren’t that hard to learn.
If you don’t have the necessary skills to make money online, that depends on what you want to do. If you want to accept online accounting jobs, then you just need a few skills about how to post your job listing online and how to deliver a project online, provided you already have the accounting skill.
These are named Secondary Skills that you can either learn in a matter of a few weeks or outsource to someone who knows it and pay him instead. I recommend learning them yourself because it’ll save a lot in the long run. Also, a third party in your work might not be available 24/7 but if you learn the skills yourself, then you’ll have zero problems.
But if you want to work as an online accountant on freelancers’ marketplaces and you don’t have any idea about accounting, then it would be a problem. Because this is the Main Skill that your online job depends on it greatly. So you have to learn it. In fact, you have to master it. You can’t outsource it and pay others to do it for you if you are not looking to be a middleman.
In my article about Freelancer Skills, I’ve listed the best skills you can learn to make money online. There are a lot of skills suitable for each type of job and person. You have to master a few main skills to do the job yourself, but you can also have brief information about other ones to get better results.
I’ve also explained how you can Make Money Online even if your skills are not deliverable online. If you are a chef, you can’t deliver a New Yorker Steak online, but you can create an online course teaching how to cook it and then sell the course on the internet.
In that case, you might be a skilled chef but don’t know how to sell an online course, or how to film yourself teaching something. While you have to know the main skill here (cooking) you can ask someone else to film you and sell the course online, although it’s not hard and learning such secondary skills won’t take too long.
So, stop wasting your time and start reading more and learning more skills. This is the only way because, without skills, you are like an empty bottle of Nutella! Learning more is always beneficial. One of the key factors in becoming a business developer is actually learning as much as you can!
2. Not Being Patient Enough
The second biggest mistake almost everyone makes when they make money online is losing in the waiting game. Patience is an important factor that plays an important role in keeping someone motivated to continue work even when there are no results yet.
Many expect to get results, and get rich the very next day; Maybe next week if they call themselves fair. If you Start a Business today, you have to wait a lot to see something out of it, and during this period, you have to try as hard as you can. After all, you can’t just sit there and try to increase your dominant vibration to attract money, right? You have to make some efforts for it.
This is a “make money online mistake” you have to work on a lot. No one can succeed overnight, and I’m sure nobody can get rich in a day or weeks, or even months. It really takes time, and it takes a long time to even see the first results, and that will be when you keep working day and night on your goal.
Let’s imagine that you read somewhere “starting a blog is a great way to make money online”! You can earn from advertisement alone something around $2,000 per month. That is true, but that takes a long time and a lot of effort. Even if you do everything right and start your blog in 100% perfect condition, it will take at least a year to see some results.
Don’t do something and expect the result the next day. Don’t rush into things because there is a limit that if you reach, it’s only time that matters. You can keep working on everything for your blog and get a lot closer to $2,000 per month, but that is only 50%, the other 50% is time.
Rushing into things won’t certainly do anything better. You have to work on yourself to get better at this waiting game. You have to teach yourself some patience. Take your time, use it wisely, and never lose hope. Don’t be discouraged. Teach yourself to think long-term because making money on the internet often takes time.
I’ve had a lot of clients who I’ve helped start an online business or make money online using existing opportunities. There were bloggers, YouTubers, Amazon sellers, other online sellers, Fiverr & Upwork freelancers, and so on. I’ve managed to analyze some data about the length of their waiting game.
|First Results||Side Income||Stable Income||Six-Figure Income|
|Freelancers’ Marketplaces (Fiverr, Upwork, etc.)||7 days to 2 months||5 to 12 months||1 to 2.5 years||No data|
|Selling on Amazon||6 to 9 months||6 to 9 months||9 months to 1 year||+3 years|
|Selling on Other Platforms (Etsy, Shopify, etc.)||3 to 6 months||3 to 6 months||1 to 2 years||No data|
|Blog (Informational or Educational)||6 to 8 months||1 to 1.5 years||+2 years||No data|
|Blog (Selling Services)||3 to 6 months||6 to 8 months||8 months to 1 year||No data|
|YouTube Channel||6 to 9 months||1 to 1.5 years||2 to 3 years||+3 years|
But these are just data from my clients. The time you have to wait to see results can be varied a lot. Many factors affect it. For example, your ideas, chosen niche, subject, market situations, market capacity, demand, frequency of updates, etc. plays an extremely important role in getting results and succeeding in an online business.
What I can tell you to do during the time you start and the time you get results, is to learn more. Learn as much as you can about the niche you are working on. Research your competitors, make new ideas, create content in advance, optimize your works, and try to make everything better.
This way you not only didn’t get discouraged by waiting too long but also have a far better insight and can optimize your business even more. In the end, remember that this period of time forms the future of your efforts and businesses because 87% of people quit during this important stage.
To sum up, patience can be the most eroding one, but there is a bright future on the other side of it. Not being patient enough is a mistake that all of us may make (and will make) at some point when we make money online. The only way to avoid this one is to work on our minds. We have to try to think long-term and make our efforts in that direction.
3. Not Being Focused or Focused On Many Things
If you are an ordinary person and not some genius who can handle tasks like a supercomputer, then you will probably get mad after dealing with more than three tasks at the same time. This is a mistake when you make money online and you should avoid it. You should be focused on the task at hand, not all the things in the world.
One of the biggest mistakes that I have ever seen came from people who thought they can do many things simultaneously. I had a client a while back that was working on 17 projects while he was trying to run his own business, a SaaS project he started a few months before we met. Believe me, it was seventeen projects, not related to each other, and each one concerned an individual subject.
His problem was that he couldn’t do any of them quite right. He couldn’t focus on his own project without getting interrupted by a phone call or an urgent email from another employer. He knew that his project can land him a lot more money than he could already make from accepting projects from other employers. He was really angry!
We have a nice long talk about why he could neither focus on everything and his project at the same time nor could he leave other jobs and focus on his own project. Out talk was interrupted 7 times during a two hours meeting. I told him how you can’t focus on everything and if you want to see your project up and running, you have to make some sacrifices.
I told him how hard it would be for our brain to focus on more than three tasks (usually major tasks) simultaneously. We can’t handle more than that, and if we try to do that, thoughts and decisions may interfere with each other and ruin everything.
In the end, he decided to outsource 90% of his projects and work on the remaining ones as well as his own work. After 3 months, he called me and said, “Mehdi! I’ve done it. My business is on and I’m already made some clients.”. I was really happy for him. I couldn’t help him run his business, because it was out of my specialties, but I was happy that I could help him get organized and only focus on the most important things.
You should know this too. I’ve tried to explain with a real-world experience that I had. You should take a deep breath and try to focus only on important projects if you fall victim to such traps. Don’t even try to try many ways to make money online, because it won’t help you make money. In fact, it will prevent you from making any. Only focus on what is more important and makes you more money.
4. Choosing the Wrong Niche or Job
One of the earliest stages of every startup is brainstorming about the idea. This will require a specific form of research and analysis for every type of business or way that will end up making money online. Of the mistakes we often make before starting a business to make money online, is to choose an unsuitable subject, which is called niche here.
Niches are those tiny spaces between the subcategories of every subject that you can cover to publish posts, podcasts, and videos about all to make money online. For such situations, keywords and content ideas are the niches, if, for example, starting a blog or creating a YouTube channel is what you are doing.
niches also can be a product you sell online. It can be a whole new product or an improvement of an already existing one. This is more concerning the businesses that deal with selling a product or providing a service on the internet. The best businesses are those that fill these spaces by responding to the demands in that specific niche.
These niches are the cornerstones of the business and should be researched thoughtfully and thoroughly before doing anything else. If your researches are consistent and perfect, you will eventually end up with the perfect niche. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot of problems along the way.
If you choose the wrong niche from the beginning, which is similar to working the wrong job, you will encounter many issues that will eventually lead you to give up. Some niches may even take you to a point where you’ll be financially incapable to continue because there is no return on investment (ROI).
The biggest issue with choosing the wrong niche when you want to make money online, and it is one of the biggest mistakes you should avoid, is to get stuck in the same place where you started. You will standstill because there is no interest, no client, no market, and no demand from people for such subjects.
To fix this one, you have to go for another niche, either close to the one you’ve already chosen, or something completely different. But, this time make sure you did all the research and conducted all the analysis before making a move.
Also, niches might be uninteresting and unpopular among people because of what I’m going to tell you in the next item. There might be a timing issue. To say broadly, the world isn’t ready for what you have to say or sell. In this case, hold tight, try, and either make the world ready for it or wait for people to understand Its importance. If the latter occurred, make a move with a bold marketing campaign and you’ll be in business.
5. The Timing is Not Right
Timing is a factor that determines if what you are doing falls into the current demands, markets, or trends of the day. I like to describe the factor of timing as rolling out a business when the world is ready for it. This factor is so important to success that it can differentiate you from any other efforts either before yours or after.
Let me explain more. Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet. Before that, there were many that weren’t so successful (Friendster, Orkut, and Myspace) and didn’t make it as far as Facebook. Even after that, Google tried to compete with Facebook by introducing Google+ but that was a failure as well.
Facebook was not even a new idea. It was a social network like any other but started to get attention at exactly the right time. The timing was so perfect for Facebook, that nothing could stand the chance to stay in the competition. This is the story behind many big brands and companies today. Timing is really an important factor.
The problem is, timing is not a factor that we can control. We can’t even be sure if it is a good time to initiate a business. This is a factor that requires massive research and study that can only give us some insights about the future of the idea, and not the entire roadmap.
Starting a business at exactly the right time when everything is going toward what you want is the ideal situation that can only happen by chance, like Facebook or Google. If you see your business not making any money or doesn’t go as you planned, then you might consider the timing too. Maybe it’s not the time just yet.
Since the timing factor is unpredictable, but one of the rarest traps or mistakes we might make when we make money online, we have to do something about it if we fell victim to it.
The only thing that comes into my mind, and o course the mind of any other business developer, is to hold on to your business. Keep working on it. Make it better and improve it to fit the current world. If the niche that your businesses are founded upon is heading in an upward direction, it’s time for a kickass marketing campaign and try to fit in the trend as strongly as possible.
6. There is no Business Plan or Strategy
You can’t find any flourishing business that started or works without a plan. Everything in a business, or, in fact, anything that makes money, should go along with a plan. If you don’t have any business plan or any strategy to go forward, you are making a big mistake.
A business plan is like an instruction manual that comes with IKEA furniture. If you ignore it, you end up with a strange object with extra screws rather than a chair. Business plans are what define the fundamental of business workflow. It shows how a business should work, explaining the mechanism of basic steps that brings revenue to your pocket.
Business plans often come with a type of strategy that is suitable for that specific business. The strategy defines how the business finds clients, or how the income is generated. By strategy, it is usually meant marketing strategy that explains how publicizing the business works.
Both the business plan and marketing strategy are complicated if you are operating a big business. But if you are trying to make money online using already established platforms, then you are fine. It’s not complicated in that case and you can spend a few hours a day learning how to create a profitable business plan and a strategy that brings you more clients.
Big corporations and companies hire business developers to give them a business plan and marketing strategy. It’s all up to business developers to create the best possible plans with every tool and data that they have at their disposal. That is why some business developers receive as high as $250 per hour to grow companies’ revenue.
Operating a small business, like selling gigs on Fiverr or working on Upwork, won’t require a third party to provide you with a business plan. You have to design one for yourself. It’s simple because there is not much to work on and it’s mostly clear how you should find clients and earn more money.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you don’t start a business unless you have a sound business plan and a logical strategy that can save you costs of pointless advertisements. Business plans give you a goal to pursue and strategies clarify the path so you can achieve that goal. I couldn’t say it simpler than that.
7. Copying Others
I’ve always hated copycats. It is something that ruins the fun for all, don’t you think? Copying others is one of the worst mistakes you can make when you are trying to make money online. If someone did it and it worked, it doesn’t mean you can do exactly the same thing and expect the same result. It is sometimes exactly the opposite.
I was always a fan of gaming channels on YouTube, specially PewDiePie, Markiplier, and JackSepticEye. I’ve become a fan when I was too busy to play games myself back in 2012 or 2013. Watching their videos for a few minutes every now and then was enjoyable. They are without a doubt the influencers who reinvented gaming content on YouTube.
They weren’t copying each other. All of them are operating a gaming channel, but it’s not considered a copycat. You can’t say every gamer on YouTube is copying PewDiePie for Instance. The problem arises when someone creates a gaming channel and behaves, talks, and reacts the same as someone else. This is one of the worst and the most unethical ways to make money online and it is one of the biggest mistakes many make at some point in their lives.
There are many channels that are copying everything from big YouTubers, and they are not successful. It’s not just YouTube. There are many instances in the blogging industry, online services, selling products online, and even legitimate businesses who copied everything, down to the logos and websites.
I have seen a lot of instances of businesses copying each other, hoping to fool customers into thinking they are a part of or being supported by the original brand. It is, of course, a failed business model. It doesn’t matter how big or small a business is, copying others won’t work at all.
To avoid making such mistakes when you are going to make money online, first, you should never copy someone else’s business, and second, just don’t. There is no point in a third one. If you made it, go back a few steps and change as much as you can that no one can guess it’s a copy!
8. Setting up Unrealistic Expectations
Among mistakes that we can see among people who make money online, setting higher than usual and unrealistic expectations are visible. This is one of the mistakes you might make when you summed up the money you can make online on paper.
In this case, you might work on your business and try really high, but when the results are in, you might be disappointed, because you thought it would be 10 times the number you are seeing now. It’s normal, to think that your efforts must have brought you more money.
This is what I (or any other business developer) call an alternate reality in which everything goes according to the plan. It won’t, let me clear that up. There are many bumps and barriers along the way, you can’t technically expect to have a smooth way. You will have a lot of problems, that sometimes require risky decisions.
When someone contacts me asking me why his/her business doesn’t work properly or (s)he doesn’t make enough money, I only listen to them. When they start talking about “I expected this but that happened”, I immediately stop them and say “Your business is fine. Lower your expectation to a real-world level. You can’t expect that from this business!”.
And I’m right. You can’t expect to spend a few bucks for your business and earn millions in return. You also can’t expect to earn six figures from a gig you do online when you do all the work by yourself. There are a lot of instances. I had a client once who expected to become a millionaire by selling plastic bottles online, just like other sellers.
You have to set your expectations before starting a business, and those should be real and logical. Even the lowest expectations might not be met, because while everything looks good on paper, the reality can be much different. When you expect to earn higher than usual doing something that has limited outcomes, you will be disappointed.
In such cases, you will be discouraged because you didn’t earn as much as you calculated on paper, and you didn’t make it according to your timeline. You have to understand that it takes time to make money (real good money) from a business, and it’s not going to happen overnight.
Unrealistic expectations also can freak you out in times of problems and crisis. When you expect a smooth path, you’ll be surprised the moment you hit a bump, right?
Therefore, set your expectations wisely and don’t go beyond the fabric of reality. Even if you have high expectations, then have some extra on the side so you can face all kinds of unexpected things. And like with all businesses and works, don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight.
9. Thinking Too Much About Doing it
If you haven’t made any money online because you want everything as perfect as it can be, then you are making a mistake called “overthinking”. This happens not only for business startups but also for everything one wants to do.
Overthinking is one of the irritating mistakes we make when we are trying to make money online. It’s in our nature to want everything perfect. It is called perfectionism and it sometimes holds us back, preventing us from even initiating what we want to do or say.
This is more applicable for making money on the internet or small business startup, and it happens often in the business planning stage. Big businesses and companies usually won’t encounter this in their early stages because they plan their strategies with the help of a few people. So if a member is struggling, they either solve it or logically reject it.
If you, let’s say, want to start a YouTube channel or a Blog, you might drown in thinking about how to start it or what the overall them should be. You will think about this so much that you forget to start it in the first place. This is the overthinking I was talking about.
The signs are obvious. You start thinking about how should it start, and then you think about another way to start, and another, and so on; An endless chain that should break soon. Overthinking how to make money online is one of the most common mistakes people make.
To stop this, there are only two ways. You should do something about it yourself or seek out help from others who might know what to do or faced such issues before and solved them. Former is the most effective one because it’s your business after all and you know much better about it than anyone else.
Overthinking about how to start a business or do something to improve it can frustrate you easily. First of all, you should try not to fall into that trap, but if you did, the first thing you should do is to solve it before moving forward.
One of the best ways to stop overthinking is to yourself a chance to do it the way it is. Start working on your business, create a video and upload it on YouTube, or write a blog and publish it on your website. This is somehow a leap you have to take and see how it goes.
This usually works for many, but if it didn’t for you, then seek help from professionals and do something about it quickly. Remember that solving this problem, and jumping out of the “overthinking” pit, is something that you should do for yourself.
10. Forgetting to Optimize
Optimization is one of the must-have skills for any freelancer or business owner. It includes a long list of tasks and practices to make a business, gig, listing, product, business plan, marketing strategy, etc. better. Optimization is really important and never make such mistakes as forgetting to do it when you make money online.
Optimization concerns all kinds of businesses, even if it is as small as a gig on Fiverr or a project on Upwork. If you think that you just submitted a gig and now you can rest till clients come to find you, you’d be wrong.
You have to keep optimizing whatever you have according to the data and analytics you have. You should keep changing titles, descriptions, thumbnails, etc. to get more views and clicks. Maybe you have to make more content, do some keyword research, go out and find clients yourself, or run a marketing campaign to get more clients.
I can keep talking about this for another 6,000 words because this is one of the main things that I do. Optimization is for everyone and everything. Even big corporations do it. They have to optimize their strategies, plans, expenses, workplace, resources, employees, and everything that you can think of.
If you forget to optimize whatever you are doing, you will get lost in a mess and can’t find what you want or track what you are doing. Optimization starts from smaller levels like the content on your website or titles of your videos, going to higher levels like optimizing marketing campaigns and keeping track of expenses.
Smaller optimizations can be done by researching the market, keywords, niche, demands, and clients’ experience. Bigger ones often require some data analysis and altering the business plan and strategies to get better results.
There is, however, an inverse relationship. Smaller optimizations often deal with bigger and more visible issues in the business, and bigger optimizations concern very detail upon which the business is built and run. So don’t get confused by these two adjectives when they come before business optimization.
For small businesses and gigs to make money on the internet, optimization is simpler and can be done faster. Learning how to perform them is simple too and takes from a few hours to a few days. Bigger companies often hire business developers and consultants for such tasks, unless they have a development department inside the company.
Optimization is always an ongoing task. It literally never stops. You always have to optimize to get better results, have more sales, and have a better customer experience. Never forget it. The majority of your time after initiating something should be put into optimizing it.
11. Thinking It’s Easy
Last but not least is one of the mistakes often lazy people with high expectations commit when they want to make money online. This is totally up to you to change your mindset about working and making money on the internet. Just because it’s an online job, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Actually, it sometimes requires more work.
The efforts behind working online are a lot, especially during the earlier stages of any business. Many successful businesses that make money easily are the results of many days and nights of working, trying, testing, and optimizing.
Thinking that doing an online job is easy means that you don’t take the business and its potential seriously. If you know that Online Businesses and jobs are the best way to replace your 9-5 job, then you can understand it’s not easy at all.
To overcome such thoughts, of course, there is no fix unless you want to take it seriously and put aside laziness. You have to believe that It’s not easy because thinking it’s an easy job actually doesn’t take you anywhere. I recommend reading more about successful people and businesses to find out what they’ve been through.
Also don’t believe “fake it till you make it”, “work on your dominant vibration to attract money”, “think about it till it happens”, or “change your mindset” nonsense. They are just professional marketing schemes, and they just sell you contents they like. You have to work hard to earn money and try even harder to be successful.
Here, we talked about the mistakes everyone may make when trying to make money online or even establish an online business and profit from it. What you read here is mostly based on my experience of working with many business owners and consulting those who wanted to have a side hustle on the internet.
If your goal is to make money online but you don’t want to waste your time doing the wrong job, try to avoid the mistakes I mentioned in this article and you’ll be good to go for a better financial future. If you are already trying to establish a new income source on the internet but haven’t been successful, try to go forward step by step and analyze each step to see if everything is in order. Once you emptied your way of these mistakes, you’ll defiantly see good results, a.k.a. income!