I have been doing SEO/IM now for about 8 years, and have probably been completely full time (meaning able to fully support myself with IM alone) for about 4 years. At 31 years of age I probably fall right in the middle of the age range for IMers, and I must admit that I am proud of being able to make a good living without having to answer to anyone. I was never really good with authority, and I always knew that I could never work under anyone. If you are reading this perhaps you are aspiring to make a full-time living as an internet marketer, and I hope that this blog helps you to get one step closer to achieving your goals. With that said I wanted to write an article about common mistakes that I feel internet marketers make that ultimately derail an otherwise promising career of financial freedom.
Not Treating Internet Marketing Like A Real Job
Internet marketing is a real job and you need to treat it as such. If you want it to pay you like a real job, you need to treat it as such. Even though I have the freedom to come and go as I please, I still more or less have a set work schedule that I stick to every week. To be honest I probably still put in 50-60 hours a week, though I have no issue doing so as I know that every second of time I put in is for nobody but me.
The irony of internet marketing is that it is a tough way to make an easy living. To make “passive income” takes quite a bit of work. Again ironically if your goal is to have a 4-hour work week you probably won’t make it that far in internet marketing. Just like any other job, to make it to the top you’re going to have to go above and beyond your colleagues (other IMers) and put in the long hours to achieve your success. All of the people that I know who have passed the “6-figure barrier” all pretty much put in 40-60 hrs a week. Though I am sure there is the anomaly out there that pushes a few buttons a few hours a week and makes a killing, for most IMers unfortunately this will not be a reality.
Not Preparing For Disaster
This is a mistake I actually have made a few times early in my IM career but now that I am older and wiser I have plugged this hole in my game. Internet marketing is very unstable, so you have to be prepared for the worst. This is actually a very common mistake I see among IMers purely because of the fact that so many of us are young (ages 15-35). People that are young do not have much life experience, so they generally do not know how to navigate both success and failure. They also do not know how to manage their finances very well and are often naive about money and life in general.
Once you experience some success in IM, I highly recommend that you begin working on your savings. Sure enjoy your money a little bit, but you need to start saving as well. Don’t think that whatever you are doing will keep bringing in the cash for years to come, always assume that today could be the last day you can use whatever method you have been successful with. I have seen many IMers experience great success and then lose it all overnight and quit, don’t fall into this trap! Put away some money into savings every month and always be on the lookout for other ways to make new income streams.
Not Having Long-Term Projects
No matter what you are doing now, it is important that you have a “long-term” project in mind. We live in a society of instant gratification and IM is no different. We think of cashing in on the latest product launches or perhaps flipping some micro-niche Adsense sites. We live totally in the short-term, but it is important that we have the big “long-term” project in mind. The long-term project is what is going to make you the big bucks that lets you buy your dream home or perhaps lets you retire.
So what exactly is a long-term project? Well it could be something as simple as owning a mega-authority site. It could be building that gigantic mailing list, or maybe developing your web design company. It is anything that you can build upon for years to come, and this project should be running simultaneously to all of your short-term projects. So if you don’t have a long-term project, definitely start thinking about it, because if you don’t you will definitely be kicking yourself 5-10 years from now.
Giving Up To Early
Yes I know it’s cliche, but never give up! Trying to make internet marketing your career is no walk in the park, and you will experience some roller coaster ups and downs. Projects take time to mature, things take a while to come to fruition, so in the meantime just be patient and try to be as productive as possible. When things take an unexpected downturn how well you react will determine whether or not you are cut out for this stuff. However I do guarantee you that if you can keep picking yourself up when you fall eventually you will make it in this crazy industry.