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11 Ways to Sabotage Your Online Success

Hint: Do the Opposite and Success Will Be Yours!

Is the Internet easy money? A lot of people seem to think so, which might be why we see Internet businesses come and go faster than feathers in the wind. And sadly, while it takes a lot to succeed in business, it really takes very little effort to fail.

11 Ways to Sabotage Your Online Success

But you can turn the tables and give yourself a head start by NOT doing the following:

1. Bringing nothing new. You see what someone else is doing and you copy it. FAIL. Unless you do it faster, better, cheaper, stronger, more effectively, etc.; you won’t make a dent in the market. You’ve got to differentiate your business by either offering something new or something vastly improved.

2. Not prioritizing. If you’re obsessed with trivial things like getting your latest article perfected – rather than focusing on the big things like making sales – you’re going to fail. Decide what’s most important to making your business a success (aka: getting new customers and taking care of your current customers) and spend your time and resources on those activities.

3. Doing everything yourself. Sure, you’re lousy at building websites, but who wants to pay a pro, right? So you spend 4 weeks building a website that frankly looks like it was made by a junior high student doing just enough to get a barely passing “D” grade. Forget about it. Hire outsourcers to do the things you stink at, and focus your efforts on what you do well.

4. Pleasing everybody. You’ve got a product that everybody needs and wants, and you’re going to sell billions of them, right? Probably not. First of all, how do you reach a market of “everybody?” Second, when you try to appeal to everyone, you generally wind up appealing to no one. By targeting your product or service to a specific group of people you vastly increase your odds of success.

5. Not being obsessed. If you’re laid back, working now and then when you ‘feel’ like it, and wondering where the truck full of cash is hiding, then guess what: It’s not coming. You’ve got to put in long hours in the beginning of your business to make it succeed, and if don’t then you’ll never have a business – only a money sucking hobby that annoys your spouse and wastes what time you do spend on it.

6. Changing course repeatedly. Hey, you were going to write great content about fishing and promote fishing related affiliate products, but you just bought this great course on how to sell backlinks, so you’re going to do that instead, except there’s this other course on how to make a killing servicing the Forex community… STOP! Choose your business model and then strap on a pair of blinders so thick you can’t tell if it’s daytime or nighttime.

Once you’ve got those blinders on, the ONLY things that get through are methods and tools that help you on your present course. Anything that could divert you off course is totally, completely irrelevant and will be shunned and ignored to the full extent of your laser focused abilities.

7. Thinking the universe will do it for you. Yes, you’ve watched The Secret a dozen times and read all the latest books on manifesting your destiny. Now all you need to do is sit back and visualize your success 24/7, and it’ll happen because you’re just that kind of guy (or gal.) Get a grip. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to be because you MAKE it happen, not because the Universe owes you a debt of gratitude for you being, well, you.

8. Being a cautious genius. You’ve got a good idea of what to do, but there’s just a few more things you need to learn before you take that first real step because you’ve got to get it just right. After all, in school it was all the studying that got you the good grades, right?

Well guess what, this isn’t school and studying won’t even get you out the door. Yes, you need to know what you’re doing, but no, you don’t need to write your doctorate before you take action. There are times when you need to throw caution to the wind. If you’re procrastinating, if you’re scared, if you’re “not quite ready,” then it’s time to stop preparing and start DOING.

9. Clutching pennies so tightly they scream. You go with the $1 a month hosting because it saves you $9 a month. Then your website crashes the day of your first launch, and there’s no phone number or online chat to get a hold of anyone.

In fact, reading the fine print on your web hosting site, you discover that they only accept correspondence via carrier pigeon, and then only on the third Tuesday of the month. Yes, you need to watch expenses. No, you do not need to cut corners so badly you ruin your own business.

There is an exception and it’s this: If you happen to have a lot of money sitting around gathering dust, you can hire people to perform most of your online marketing tasks for you. You’ll still need to determine the course of your business and guide it in the right direction, but what you spend in money can save you in time.

Then again, having a lot of money to throw at a new venture is often it’s own recipe for failure, so beware and be careful if you plan to employ this method.

10. Screwing your customers. What’s important is making the sale, not making the customer happy, right? Wrong. Refunds, bad reviews and disastrous customer service will ruin your business faster than termites will eat tree houses in the tropics. Take care of your customers, give them more than they expect, thank them and then ask what else you can do for them. Remember: No customers = no business.

11. Failing terrifies the stuffing out of you. Maybe you shouldn’t do ____ because you might fail. (You fill in the blank.) Guess what – failure is GOOD. Without failure there is no success. The only person who has never failed is the person who has never attempted anything in their life. Do you want to be that person? No. Then expect that you will fail now and then, and when you do, you’re going to pick yourself right back up and keep going.

There you have it – 11 ways to fail or succeed. The choice, my friends, is up to you.

10 Reasons Why You Need a Logo Online

Your logo represents your business and serves as a signpost to the world. It’s not just a luxury – it’s a necessity and a business asset. In fact, if you don’t yet have a logo then you’ve got to ask: ‘Are you serious about your business or not?’

10 Reasons Why You Need a Logo Online

Here are 10 reasons to consider getting your own logo as soon as possible:

1. To promote your business. Logos project your business image to visitors, customers and future customers. A well designed logo says you’re serious about what you do.

2. To give you credibility and professionalism. When prospects see your logo on your websites and social media, they associate that logo to your business and even begin to look for it.

3. To make you more memorable. A business name only goes so far in triggering memory. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And a catchy business logo makes you and your business far more memorable. After all, what’s the use of being seen if you’re not remembered? Of two similar businesses competing for the same customers, the one the customers remember is far more likely to get the business.

4. To clarify what your business does. Business names can sometimes be unintentionally deceptive, vague or simply unclear when it comes to the types of products or services your business offers. For example, Blue Rabbit Racetrack could be a place where blue rabbits race, or perhaps cars, horses, dogs or even people. By adding a Greyhound to the logo, it instantly becomes clear that Blue Rabbit Racetrack is for racing dogs.

5. To look bigger and more established. Like it or not, people tend to think a logo means you’ve been around the block and you’re a “real” business.

6. To attract new business. Because you look and ‘feel’ more professional with a logo, prospects tend to trust you more.

7. To brand yourself. In the eyes of prospects, John Smith without a logo is just John Smith. But John Smith with a logo is a company – and thus appears more stable and trustworthy.

8. To increase your business’s value. If you decide to sell your business one day, having a well-rounded package that includes marketing materials, graphics and a professional logo increases your business’ perceived value.

9. To attract venture capital. See #8 above.

10. To endear your company name to your clients. The right logo can make your business seem downright fun and friendly. For example, Da Foodie’s logo has me smiling and feeling good before I even know exactly what they’re offering: dafoodie.com/

How do you get a logo designed? You can Google logo creation and get hundreds of companies vying for your business. Most charge in the $100 to $300 range, while others charge far more. I remember reading years ago that the U.S. Postal service paid a million dollars for their (then) new logo.

You, on the other hand, do not need to spend $100 or a million dollars. There are many reputable free and low cost logo creators online that can get you up and running with all of the benefits we’ve talked about above, and they are just a quick Google search away!

How To Make Money without Charging a Dime: Tips for Accepting Donations Online

While there are many ways to make money online, the vast majority involve selling a product – be it yours or someone else’s.

How To Make Money without Charging a Dime: Tips for Accepting Donations Online

But have you ever considered offering great content or software for free, and then allowing your visitors and fans to reward your good work through giving you donations? It’s simple – you provide your visitors with the opportunity to say “thank you” through either monetary donations or buying you things that you want.

This might not be the method to use if you’re looking to make huge money, but it can be a lucrative source of extra income. And perhaps best of all, you don’t need to feel you’re pushing anything on your customers or asking them to buy more stuff they don’t need or want. Visitors reward you when they choose to, and because they don’t feel pressured, they can sometimes be even more generous than if you were trying to sell them the latest greatest product.

Here are 8 tips on how to make the donation business model work for your website…

1. Offer quality content that truly helps your readers. This is true on any website, but especially important if you’re going to ask for donations. The more your content helps your readers, the more likely they are to want to send you a monetary ‘thank you.’

2. If your content doesn’t provide helpful information, then it should entertain. Perhaps you’re especially funny, or you’re up on the latest news in your niche. You’ve got to offer your visitors some type of real value to get donations.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask. “Did you find this information helpful? Then please help us to continue providing this great info in the future by supporting us. Any amount is helpful and greatly appreciated.”

4. Make a wish list on Amazon and post a link to your wish list on your website. “Have I helped you? If you would like to express your appreciation, please feel free to buy me a book.”

5. Don’t be afraid to place expensive items on your wish list. Optimally you want to choose items from a couple of dollars all the way to a hundred dollars or more, because you never know who will be buying you a ‘thank you.’ It could be a rich person whom you’ve just given a stellar idea that will make him/her thousands of dollars, and they might be the one to buy you that expensive $599.00 espresso machine you’re been thirsting for.

6. You don’t have to confine yourself to Amazon: More and more online companies are offering wish lists. For example, thinkgeek.com, barnesandnoble.com, dickblick.com and containerstore.com all offer wish lists, as do hundreds of other retail websites.

7. Instead of wish lists, let them send you money. For example, “Buy me a cup of coffee” is a popular way of asking for donations. You then give them Paypal options of buying you anything from a single cup of coffee ($3-$5) to a case of beer, or dinner for two. You choose the options offered and the donation for each. And you can also create an option where they choose the amount to send to you. “Was this post helpful to you? Then please buy me a cup of coffee.”

8. Don’t get pushy. You’re providing them the chance to be nice and return some of the benefits you’ve offered to them on your website. You’re not trying to “sell” them on sending you money or gifts.

Selling products online is certainly the most direct path to earning profits, but there are a growing number of high profile websites, and everyday bloggers who are making a pretty penny through donations. If you are creating quality content, give your visitors the option to reward you in this way, and you may be surprised at how much money you were leaving on the table before trying this out.

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