8 Mistakes to Avoid While Starting an Online Business


Editorial Staff

Over 90% of online businesses fail within their first few months of operation.

This is a fact.

And you wont want to be among them.

Would you?

These failures originate from a lot of factors including mistakes that people make from the initial stage down to the core of business setup process.

But no worries. Here, i will list these mistakes to avoid while starting an online business so you wont have any reason for failure but be among the 10% of those who happen to be very successful in their online business.

So if your purpose here is to know and avoid them, then lets hit the ground running.

If you don’t have much time to read, feel free to click on any of these category topics that interests you for quick access.

Not Choosing The Right Niche

This is probably the very first step in setting up an online business and it is at this junction that alot of persons get it wrong while setting one up.

Infact, if you get it wrong at this point, it will be a total waste.

So what common mistake do people make here?

First, gone are those days where they say passion works. A good number of blogs do advise this in the past (and even in present) but due to stiff competition and new changes, it no longer works.

Please don’t get me wrong, following your passion is good but what if your niche is saturated or largely dominated by big companies, what do you do?

What is paramount now is what puts food on the table. I mean, what is financially viable as at that point in time and thus treating it as a business.

It is on this philosophy that Adam Enfroy became highly successful as a blogger and affiliate marketer, making over $250,000 per month.

Now, aside the business side of it, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself:

Is the niche highly competitive?
– Can you make money money from it within a considerable time?
– Is the demand high?

These and many more questions should determine your choice of niche capable of meeting your basic needs and expectations.

It all boils down to research.

Not Having A Plan Of Attack

Lets picture this scenario; Imagine a situation where you manufacture various brands of a particular product continuously in a competitive niche.

And a competitor lurking around springs up with a new brand of similar product but of higher upgrade in terms of functionality and capability?

What happens to your brand?

This is what was probably responsible for the downfall of Nokia, a specific phone brand.

While other competitors were upgrading to Android and iPhone technology, nokia manufacturers failed to follow suit (for whatever reason) and as i speak now, they are no longer in existence.

Really painful especially for the lovers of nokia brand like me.

You see, one good reason why businesses fail is because of lack of proper planning structure in place to execute every step during setup, tackle challenges.

And along the way, outwit competitors tactics and other unforeseen circumstances that might arise during operation.

So what lessons can we learn from these?

Make sure you set up all machineries in place before starting out.

Draft out a well-thorough plan format.

Don’t foot-drag on research.

Be on the watch out like an eagle for any loopholes competitors might take advantage of to knock you out.

Lack of Adequate Basic Knowledge/Skills

There is a saying that goes thus;

“Knowledge is Power”

Take an example of online marketing, why do you think the likes of Brain dean(backlinko), Nathan Gotch(gotchseo), Matthew Woodward, Anil Agarwal(bloggerspassion), incognito money, Ryan Rob(ryrob), Adam enfroy etc. are very fortunate in their respective line of career?.

It is because over the years, these guys have mastered the ins and outs of blogging, traffic generation, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, content marketing etc. in their various field of specialization via theoretical and practical means.

Theoretical means in the sense of reading tutorials and blog posts, watching YouTube videos, working in companies etc. that teaches these things.

Practical means in the sense of putting what they have learnt into action which is VERY KEY.

Unlike the past where internet access is at its ebb, these days, advance in internet technologies has made it easy for anyone to access the internet for information on anything with ease and in large amount.

Infact, in 2022 alone, over 7.5 million blog posts were published everyday with more than 600 million blogs already in existence.

So what else do you want?

Even if you wish to seek knowledge offline, there are various physical books you can get over the counter or even download eBooks into your mobile device and read.

Lack Of Website SEO And Traffic

This is one of the main mistakes to avoid while starting an online business.

While setting up an online business, a platform is definitely needed to act as a hub or interface where visitors and potential customers can access your products, get more info about your business and even contact you and that platform is a website or a blog.

But while setting up a website, there are 2 factors involved;

– First, choosing the right web design and theme that suits your nature of business.
– Second, carrying out various promotional strategies to drive in traffic visitors to your website.

This second factor is MOST IMPORTANT and it is where Search Engine Optimization(SEO) comes into play.

If your website lacks this SEO, your business will suffer online.

So, how do we implement this SEO optimization?

It comes in 2 factors;

a. On-page SEO
b. Off-page SEO

Getting into full details about on-page and off-page SEO is another entire topic on its own but i will touch briefly on them for you to have atleast the slightest idea about them.

On-Page SEO

This involves optimizing your webpages for higher search engine rankings and traffic and covers the following;

1. Doing keyword research and placement: the keywords to use depends on its keyword difficulty(KD) from 1-100 while 1 being the least difficult. If you are new, it is highly recommended you go for keywords with KD of 30 and below.

2. Building internal links: Linking all your webpages URLs within themselves. For example; creating an anchor keyword link in article A that links to article B within your website.

3. optimizing meta and title tags: insert your target keywords strategically in your title and meta tags. e.g making it as close to the beginning of your tag as possible.

4. Making your webpage URLs descriptive: A webpage URL like this: http://www.chetaweb.info/boost-search-rankings/ is better than this: http://www.chetaweb.info/blog/wp/23-10-2022/how-do-i-boost-my-search-engine-rankings/2341098/.
It is all about making it short, precise and straight-to-the-point.

5. Making your web contents SEO-friendly: How? Make your content be of quality in depth and uniqueness, covering everything in details. Ensure it satisfies search-intent.

Off-Page SEO

This is simply the opposite of on-page seo. It refers to every action applied outside of a website to improve its search rankings and covers the following;

1. External Link Building: External backlinks are among the top 3 google ranking factors. So, you have no option than to create them or else ranking will be hard.

On how to go about it, i have put up a very comprehensive tutorial on how to create such high quality backlinks.

2. Social Media: this all have to do with social media promotional marketing and strategies involving creating user profiles on social media accounts, posting useful contents, amassing social shares, responding to comments etc.

3. Improve E.A.T: Full meaning of this is Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness and has become a very important off-page ranking factor.
It is all about how google sees your website in terms of authority in your niche.

And how do we go about it?

Get mentioned(linked or unlinked) on high authority sites. gather lots of online positive reviews(reason why Amazon is super big in the ecommerce world).

Brain dean did some little justice on this HERE

These 2 factors combined, if administered very well, will over time boost your position up google rankings and resultantly drive lots of traffic visitors towards your webpages and hence higher sales and revenue.

Not Setting Goals

Study this little conversation between Mr. Johnson and Mr. Ali

Mr. Johnson: Now that you have acquired this loan to start off your own business, having quitting your 9-to-5 job, what area of priority do you intend to invest into?
Mr. Ali: During my employ, i utilized my after-work hours and weekends to learn how to run a dropshipping business and make cool cash from it.
Mr. Johnson: Wow! That is very fantastic. I have heard about such business before and how profitable it can be without getting involved in its process physically.
Mr. Ali: Thanks.
Mr. Johnson: So, what are your set targets? i mean where do you see the business in the next few months?
Mr. Ali: You see. i haven’t really thought about that yet. but at the initial stage of operation, i will surely spell them out.
Mr Johnson: Uhh! are you for real?

Not setting goals at startup is one major mistake why people like Mr. Ali fail woefully when setting up an online business.

Don’t be like him. Instead you can make use of these goals setting template called SMART to guide you through as started below;

S=Specific: You must be specific with what you intend to achieve. e.g. i plan to make $10,000 within my first year of operation, i will extend my business outreach to European countries once i scale up successfully etc.
M=Measurable: Are you making progress or regress or just stagnant? You must be able to measure this.
A=Achievable: The business should be capable enough to produce desired results.
R=Realistic: Is the business practicable to meeting its aim goals in the first place? Can it go into full operation (without fear of extinction) for as long as possible?
T=Timed: Though you shouldn’t expect results within shortest possible time, your business should be capable of meeting its end targets within a reasonable time frame. Open ended goals are useless.

Aside using this goal template, you can also set up additional goal targets you have in mind for your business more like in form of a checklist and as you progress day-by-day, you tick as appropriate if any is met.

Not Building Your Business As A Brand

I need you to do something for me: Look round your household items and spot any item you love using consistently even if it will cost you an arm and a leg.

Spot any?

If you have, why do you love using such items so much? There must be something unique about it that gets you addicted to it.

This is what the word “Branding” does.

Branding is simply how you promote your business and most importantly the way customer perceive it.

The business owners have done a lot of work to ensure customers love their product so much and that is exactly what you need to do for business as well or else it will be heading for a doom.

So, all needed to do is to know and execute the promotional strategies to boost your business into a very strong brand and wins the hearts of the public.

Now, what do you know will make a customer derive 100% satisfaction from a product/service?


Aside other reasons, quality is king and is what matters most.

Here is what to do: Make sure you offer the best of quality service or product. Provide online feedback reviews platform to hear what your customers say about your service (and areas to improve upon).

But aside the public knowing about your business, you have to first promote it first.

But no worries,

This tutorial: How to boost your business brand will put you through all the promotional means you needed to skyrocket your brand to the highest heavens.

Even wondered why these brands shown below are so popular?

You guess is as good as mine.

And the last but not the least is ………………………………………………

Not Narrowing Down Your Niche

The last time i checked: Human beings are NOT omniscient.

You cannot be dissipating your energy across board within a niche and expect to produce optimal results as a successful online business owner.

This life is too short for that.

Depending on the niche you are into, be very specific on what to do rather than spreading your tentacles everywhere especially if the niche is a broad one.

A good example is the Internet Marketing niche.

Do you know the Internet marketing niche is made up of the following sub-niches/categories below;

1. affiliate marketing
2. social media marketing
3. content marketing
4. search engine marketing
5. search engine optimization
6. blogging
7. online freelancing
8. mobile app
And many others

Each of these sub-niches is an entire world on its own and possesses its own different skills and techniques you must learn widely before you become an expert in.

So, why stress yourself so much learning everything (from 1 to 9) when you can simply pick one and focus on it extensively?

why, if i may ask?

But don’t get me wrong here!

There are some businesses that run multiple products/services at the same time.

Even i myself have come across such but one attribute i discovered about them is that such companies are those who started unilateral(offering only one product/service) before they grow to a multinational level with strong brand and authority.

So, if you plan to go multi-operational, start from the scratch and expand as your business gains public trust.

Wrong Expectations

Rome was NOT built in a day

Even according to the Christianity bible, when God(as Almighty as he is) created the universe, it took him 6 good days to do it talkless of we: humans.

This goes to show that whatever task you embark upon in life, don’t expect results immediately and this goes to creating online businesses as well especially if your aim is to generate sales as well as profit.

Even if you set financial targets like say you plan of making over $10,000 by the end of the year, it may not be 100% guaranteed no matter how hard you work towards it.

The unexpected might happen at any time and scatter your dreams completely.

A good example is the covid 19(coronavirus) disease that broke out in china and caused a very serious health pandemic, forcing business companies to downsize, operate remotely and even shut down.

Even as i speak, some businesses are still struggling to bounce back to its default state while others have collapsed completely.

So, when starting any business at all, don’t put all your eggs in a basket. Give room for unforeseen expectations so that when it comes, it doesn’t take you by surprise.

That will be all for now as per the mistakes to avoid while starting an online business.

If you have any questions, scroll down to the comment section and i will reply you as fast as possible.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Mistakes to avoid while starting an online business

Should an online business fails, one of the key steps to resuscitating it is to identify the mistakes made either at the initial or core stage before seeking solutions to them.

But hey, why should it be you especially after going through these mistakes to avoid why starting an online business.

Hence, it is at this juncture we will be drawing the curtain on this topic.

The Bitter Truth: We are humans and as as result, we are bound to make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. its just natural. It is not how we fail but how quickly we pinpoint our errors, pick up from there and rise again bigger, stronger and better.

But definitely, mistakes will certainly be made. Please take note of this.

Now, there are lots of other mistakes associated with online businesses generally.

But these ones i have listed are the top mistakes to avoid while starting an online businesses if your end-goal is success.

If you care to know a few of them, maybe this video by contrado below will expose them. Lets watch together;

If you observe well, the mistakes she listed from 1 to 4 relates to ecommerce form of business where you build an online store website showcasing various products and services.

Why i posted this video is because this form of online business is the most commonest among others.

The 5th mistake she stated relates to every business in general which is ineffective marketing.

Good luck to you.

Now, its up to you…….

What are your thoughts on this tutorial so far: mistakes to avoid while starting online business?

Are you planning to start an online business noting these mistakes in mind?
Do you have any questions about anything related to this topic at all?

Feel free to drop your comments; questions, recommendations, suggestions, criticisms, analysis and advice

I am 100% available to respond to your comments anytime, any day.

Thanks for your time, patience, endurance and attention.

Till I see you again in my next post, I remain your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.

Oppp! Sorry.

Your friendly neighborhood SEO and online wealth tutor.


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