In your journey as a professional blogger and Internet marketer, you’ll come across a lot of reasonably sound advice (and also a lot of trash). You’ll be told that while it is important to optimize your website for search engines, for example, you should also be writing your content for actual human readers and not just to cater to some search algorithm or bot. You should have an online presence on social media and you should try to get consistent handles across platforms.
But what about all the things you shouldn’t do? Everyone’s situation is going to be different, but here are six general rules of thumb for what you don’t want to do if you want to make money online.
Don’t Wait for Permission
Contrary to what you might be quick to conclude, this does not mean that you should go around breaking all sorts of rules on purpose. At least not necessarily. The problem with a lot of unsuccessful people who are stuck in a rut is that they are waiting for something or someone to give them permission to do something. You’ll still want to do your due diligence and generally err on the side of caution, but it is equally true that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
If you want to do something, just do it. Don’t wait until someone says that you can. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences.
Don’t Wait to Be Asked
Here is another very common pitfall that so many would-be Internet entrepreneurs suffer from. Let’s say that you’re building up an online brand through your blog and you’re working to establish yourself as an expert in your field. That’s good. Maybe you’ve even published a book on your niche.
And now you’re waiting for those opportunities to come flooding through your email inbox. You want to get paid for speaking engagements. You want to work with companies as a brand ambassador. You want to do sponsored posts on your blog for big bucks. And yet, nothing is coming in.
Don’t wait for these brands, companies, and event organizers to ask you if you want to work together on something. Go ask them. If you want something, just ask.
Don’t Stay in the Echo Chamber
Especially with the way that social media algorithms work these days, it’s easy to fall deeper and deeper down into the same crowd of people who all agree with one another on everything. This can feel good, because it’s all so self-affirming. And yes, it pays to associate yourself with other successful people because of the power of association. But this is also inherently very limiting.
Branch out and meet people with different experiences, different expertise, and different points of view. You may not (and should not) agree with them on anything, but this will give you a much better sense of perspective on the world at large. When you get stuck in the echo chamber, you’ll start to assume that everyone actually thinks and acts the same way. They don’t.
Don’t Think You Have to Do It Yourself
You know what is one of the greatest appeals to the dot com lifestyle? It’s this sense of ownership and autonomy. This is my business and I’m going to run it the way I want to run it. I have to answer to no one, because it’s all mine. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’ve got to do it all myself. In fact, I shouldn’t.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with what you don’t know or with what you don’t want to do. Truthfully, outsourcing can save you money, because it means that you likely not only get more done (and the end product is probably better than what you would have achieved), but it also means you can focus more on the things you actually enjoy doing and are good at doing.
Don’t Give Up
You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it’ll still ring true on time #1,000,001 as it did the first time you heard it. It’s not how many times you fall down; it’s how many times you get back up. Especially when you strike it out on your own with your own online business, you’re going to face a lot of hardship and failure along the way. No one said it was going to be easy, nor should it be.
The temptation is to throw in the towel and quit. If things don’t work out in the first couple weeks, months or even years, you might feel like you’re just not cracked up for this. And you’d be wrong. Anyone can do it and it’s the people who persevere and are left standing at the end who are able to reap the benefits.
Yes, you might have to pivot and you’ll definitely need to adapt, but a certain level of stubbornness is positively invaluable. Stick with it and approach each day with the same level of enthusiasm and passion as you did when you first started. You’d be surprised by the results you can achieve.