If I could go back in time and leave a note to my past self, these are some of the things I would tell him/me not to do.
These are, in no particular order:
Not sticking to one thing long enough
These are some of the things I’ve tried in the past:
- Facebook Ads
- Bing Ads
- Mobile ads
- Banner ads
- Niche sites
- Review sites
And guess what? I’ve made some money in almost all of them. However, it wasn’t until I decided to focus on a few things that I started to have a steady monthly income.
(read the book “The One Thing” where you can get more tips on this)
If I had decided to stick to just one of them (let’s say Adsense), I would probably have become an expert, and would be earning some nice income out of it (plus, being an expert means I could teach others how to do it), instead of having a broad/generic knowledge in some of them.
Not outsourcing earlier
In your business, there are many things that you should not be doing. Period. Your time is better spent doing high value activities.
However, I’d also suggest doing a few things for your self, and learning, before outsourcing (This only applies to core business stuff, like doing keyword research or building sites, not other things like graphic design, you can outsource that from the very beginning).
Not building a list as soon as possible
If I had a dollar every time I read “the money is in the list”, I would have a lot of dollars. But trust me, it’s true!
As soon as you go into any niche, start building your list, sharing value with your subscribers, and establishing a relationship of trust. Not to take advantage of them, not to lie to them or squeeze every penny out of them, but to add value into their lives (if you do that, there is nothing wrong with making a profit with your list).
And that takes me to #4
Not focusing on adding value
Many of my old sites have now expired, and I didn’t renew the domains, because at some point they started earning less than the yearly cost for the domain, but trust me when I say I had some crappy (can I say crappy on a blog?) websites.
In the past, I found some cheap writers (not native), who wrote useless content, so I had whole sites where all of the articles were poorly written, and wouldn’t interest anyone.
Sure, I didn’t have to pay that much for the content, but this didn’t turn out to be a good business.
Never forget that visitors are not numbers, but real people, with real problems. If you can help them solve their problems, you are entitled to some profits (that includes things like sites with ads; affiliate sales or selling your own product).
Trying to find the next “loophole”
This is very tempting. I heard that if I build an Exact Match Domain, write 5 articles with 600 words each and use some keywords, I will be ranking fast. Or, I would dig into forums trying to find the secret sauce.
At the end of the day, business is simple. Just help people solve their problems, the rest will take care of itself!
Obviously, I have made a ton of mistakes along the way, but many of them were great learning experiences, so not all mistakes are bad.
What are some of your mistakes? Feel free to share in the comments!