15 Reasons You’re Not Making Money Online

It Finally Happened!

This week I suffered what I don’t wish on anyone, my website was corrupted and now I am basically starting over… from scratch!  After going through several grueling hours with tech. support, we narrowed it down to a plugin (I’ll save that for another post).  Anyways, my back-up failed and now I’m back to square one.  After taking stock of all of the work I had done and all of the products I purchased and ALL of the content I put out over the last year, I decided I would give you all of the things I had to overcome up to this point.

Hopefully these 15 examples help you when you find yourself in the same boat.

#15 Buying Too Many Make Money Online Products

I’m ashamed to admit how many products I’ve purchased and I’m betting, I’m not alone.  I am a big believer in tools, but if you have products that you haven’t even used and you’re buying ANOTHER one!??  You’ve got a problem my friend.  And up to a certain point, So did I.

You have to ask yourself, WHY?  Why do you think the next Facebook traffic miracle is the answer to all of your problems?  A good friend of mine and digital marketing consultant, Daniel Fortes, says, “If the product will not help you land more clients or increase your revenue, maybe you don’t need it.” If you’re not getting the results from your current traffic strategy, My advice is that you don’t start another program until you start getting results with your current plan.

Here’s an exercise that will either get you the results you’re looking for or show you that your choice in products is wrong.

  1. Inventory the products you own already
  2. Contact the product creator and request an affiliate link to promote the product.
  3. Make a video case study of you following the product instructions – use 3 videos a) An intro video, b) an update video, and c) a conclusion video.
  4. Make sure your affiliate link is in the description areas for each video and make sure to share on all social platforms

I made a video covering this method that will help you get it started.  Use all of the products you have, make sure to document, and show others what you did.  Then make sure to add your affiliate link for each product case study.  Not only will you get the benefit of learning a new skill, but you’ll also have content that is specific to you with a link that pays you when someone finds your case study helpful and buys from your link.

#14 No Online Marketing Skills

At some point you need to study marketing.  You may even have to trust someone, with a little blind faith, and try some things not knowing all of the theory behind it.  Call it seasoning!  The more intimately familiar you are with a process, the better understanding you have of it.

Neil Patel and Joseph Putnam, authors of The Definitive Guide to Copywriting, suggest that, “Copywriting is critical for success online…”    Outside of just being able to persuade people with your words, you need to be able to set up a basic marketing funnel.  You don’t have to get it perfect, but you must have a way to get people to act on your words whether it be through pain, frustration, fear, or anticipation.  Your copywriting skills, among other needed marketing skills, will help guide people through your marketing funnel.

If you don’t have a clear way to construct your funnel, you can get training or you can opt-in to the capture page of a marketer who you know has a large number of followers in your niche.  One I recommend is Tim Erway, mentor to people like Mike Dillard, Ferny Ceballos, and Ray Higdon.  You can opt-in to one of Tim’s most popular funnels right here to see a high converting, well written funnel.

#13 Not Building A List of Subscribers

There’s a reason you’ve heard “The Money is in The List,” because it’s true!  No matter what niche you’re building an online business in, your subscriber list is golden.  Marketing online entails correctly matching a message to a hungry audience and then FEEDING them.  A lot of what you will do online depends on traffic, but you don’t always control the traffic.

Everyone is trying to get onto the first page of Google because they want a chance to convert the millions of Google 1st Page viewers into website visitors.  But, imagine if you had a list of 1,000 people who bought products from you or were interested in your offers.  And then imagine that you could send them a message any time you wanted to and they would be happy to get it?  With a targeted list, you can send traffic to your sites whenever you want and you CONTROL the traffic.  When you build a list that is targeted to a particular niche, you can continue to send offers to the people on your list even if they don’t buy anything initially.

You’ve probably heard of an ethical bribe or lead magnet.  I know, I know you’re thinking that the reason you don’t have a list is because you don’t know how to create something that people will volunteer their email for, right?  I’ve got you covered in my post about how to come up with your first Lead magnet, even if you currently don’t have any skills and you’ve never written an ebook or made a video.

#12 Don’t Know How To Generate Leads For Your Business

The lifeblood of any business, online or offline, is paying customers.  So what is a lead for your business?  Who is your target market or audience?  Where do they hang out?

In order for you to really be effective at lead generation in your niche, you have to know who your prospect is, what his pain is or what her biggest frustration is, and then be able to offer a solution.  If you can solve a problem for your customer that they are dealing with RIGHT NOW, you can generate leads all day in any niche.

If you haven’t done this simple exercise yet, stop what you’re doing, bookmark this page, and come back after you have done this:

  1. Search in Google for forum [your niche], search Facebook for group [your niche], and go to Google+ and search for communities [your niche].
  2. Search through forums, groups, and communities where you see there are good moderators and active members.
  3. Join the groups/communities in your niche that you find are engaged
  4. Read through the education or discussion pages in each community and look for what people are asking for help with.
  5. Offer assistance, send them to a website that you have used to help you solve the same problem, or share with them how you have overcome the same obstacle.

***Ideally you want to  send them to your content so don’t get lazy, write a post with instructions on how to overcome their XYZ problem, title it by using their exact question in the group and then share it with them***

One final note on this exercise – make sure your profile, in whatever social site you’re using, is complete and include links to your site.

#11 Don’t Have A Website

I debated on whether or not to include this post because you can earn an income without having a website, BUT….

There are multiple reasons for having your own site and here, in my humble opinion, are the most important:

  1. If you’re planning on making LIFE CHANGING income online, the kind that replaces your job, you need to establish authority.  Having your own branded site is part of an overall strategy that will get you there.
  2. You don’t own any of the free sites – Facebook, WordPress.org, blogger, Hubpages, etc. – so when they want to change, they can take your content with them.  Don’t get me wrong, use these types of sites to get your content seen by as many people as possible, but only as a supplement to your own main source of content which is on your own site.
  3. It is the BEST investment, from a business perspective, that you can make because you control the site and can brand yourself from DAY 1, AND it is super affordable to get hosting and register a domain name (under $13 in most cases).

#10 Not Consistently Creating Content

Going back to the idea of authority, to truly get life changing results from operating your online business, you will end up having content in multiple places that all point back to you as an authority in your niche.  The quickest and cheapest way to gain authority and generate LONG-TERM traffic and views to your site is having content on multiple platforms.

Here is a quick, 6 Step Plan for creating regular content:

  1. Choose a product or service you want to promote – call this your main product
  2. Identify 3 to 5 benefits of your product
  3. Write a main blog post on your site that outlines the problems, pain, or frustration being felt by your prospects and then position your product as the solution.
  4. Make a video, 2 minutes max, for each of the 5 benefits you have identified  for your product.
  5. Upload the 5 videos to Youtube and Facebook
  6. Share, Share, Share

By the time you get to step 5, you will have 11 pieces of content – 5 videos uploaded to both Youtube and Facebook and a main blog post that pre-sells your product or persuades your reader to act.  Once your content is live, send an email everyday to your list for the next 5 days calling for your subscribers to view a new video each day.  Share the videos on Google + in the appropriate community where the solutions you outline in your videos offer value – so far that’s 5 emails and 5 social shares.

Finally, share your videos in the appropriate groups on Facebook and send out a tweet for each video – which is 10 more social shares.  If you break this down, you have 11 pieces of content created in a week, if possible, and 20 social shares that you can spread out over the next 20 days if you like.  If you wrote a blog post and recorded 5 videos as described above, just twice a month, you would have 22 pieces of content and 40 different shares for your content!

#9 Afraid of What People Think About Your Content

A lot of times, we are OUR own worst enemy when it comes to building an online business.  Especially if you are new to online marketing, you might be overwhelmed with thoughts of, “Why would people do business with me, I don’t know anything,” or “I’m not an expert at any of this stuff, why would anyone watch one of my videos?”

The fact that you took the first steps to becoming an online business owner means you’ve now declared that YOU’RE AN ENTREPRENEUR!  What does that mean?  It means you’re resourceful, motivated, willing to commit, a calculated risk taker, and someone who is willing to set goals and follow through.  Are you going to have set-backs? Of course, but being committed means you’re going to buckle down and study harder, analyze results, and keep trying until you find elements of marketing that work for you.  In a recent article, Andrew Draughon, editor of What’s Working Now, had this to say about being an entrepreneur:


"Get “all in.” 100%. Don’t hold anything back. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Push yourself. Don’t ask for anyone’s permission. You’re not an employee; you’re an entrepreneur."

Andrew Draughon, Editor What's Working Now

#8 No Business Plan

A business plan, just like a goal, without specific steps is just a really good idea.  In your online business there are a lot of considerations including what software or tools might be needed, what equipment is needed, do you need any technical training, and of course how will you get paid?  What time frame have you given yourself to reach 100 subscribers, 500 subscribers, 1,000 subscribers?

Giving yourself a framework and time-frames help you create purpose.  One of the buzzwords right now is BLUEPRINT, but it helps explain your plan in action including daily, weekly, or monthly tasks.  For example, if your first priority in your business plan is to build a list of 1,000 subscribers, your blueprint might look like this:

  1. Create or purchase distribution rights to a Lead magnet or FREE giveaway that solves a problem for your target customer
  2. Find a product that is congruent with your lead magnet, either one you have resell rights to or an affiliate product you can make commissions from.
  3. Build a squeeze page and download page offering Your lead magnet and integrate your auto-responder so that each time you get a subscriber they are offered your product or affiliate product.
  4. Write a solo-ad or pay someone to write the ad
  5. Find a solo-ad provider with a buyers list of subscribers in your niche and purchase clicks
  6. Analyze cost per subscriber and how well your solo ad converted clicks to subscribers.
  7. Repeat ads until 1,000 subscriber goal is met

#7 No Budget for Advertising

Before you read any further, you have to promise you’re not going to go out and blow a bunch of cash before doing some homework and being smart about this… Promise??

OK, you can try all of the FREE methods for getting traffic to your website and offers – believe me I’ve tried ALL of them or bought the book or the WSO.  BUT… the quickest way to get traffic is still paid methods.  If you want to test a squeeze page, the best way is to send KNOWN amount of clicks to it and see how well your page converts viewers into subscribers and then subscribers into buyers.

I was hard headed, or AM hard headed, and I made a bet with myself that I would get my first commission for one of my programs completely using video on Youtube, ALL free – meaning I didn’t even pay someone to make the video for me.  After about 2,000 views to my videos, I had about 25 subscribers and 3 buyers.  I like making videos so I didn’t see it as work, but it was still time consuming.  I took it as a win because I sold to 3 people, but that is hardly a quick or easy way to scale your business.

Then I tried Facebook ads, boosted a post, which had a link, and for about $10 I was able to reach about 3,000 people, only generated 20 subscribers and made 1 sale.  The difference was, I ran the Facebook ad for two days and got the results whereas the Youtube videos took more than 3 weeks to get any traction, PLUS I was sharing and engaging in different communities on Google + to get the video subscribers.  Long Story short, paid traffic gives almost instant feedback!

#6 Not Focusing On Personal Development

When you’re first getting started in internet marketing, it can be a lonely place.  I’ve tried to explain different things to my wife and I can see the glazed look come over her eyes and the facial expression which says ‘Yeah WHATEVER’ why are you staying up late every night and spending a bunch of money on Paypal?

My point is this, you have to pay as much attention to your personal mindset as you do to whatever marketing skill it is you’re trying to master.  Many people around you, including those closest to you, will not understand your passion and you can get a lot of negativity because of it.  If there is one place you need balance it is definitely how much time you devote to learning marketing and how much time you attend to your personal relationships with your family.

Maybe you read personal development books like Tony Robbins’, Awaken the Giant Within, or maybe you plan to read scriptures every day, once for your own personal enlightenment and a different time with your spouse and children.  Remember who you’re doing this for and why you’re doing it.  My personal reason is to spend more time with my family.  This is another reason for having a good business plan.

#5 Not Working With a Community or Mastermind Group

When you got into online marketing you probably noticed that there are people on many different levels – newbies to Gurus.  You tend to follow the marketers who are the Gurus and empathize with the newbies, maybe even share your struggles with others.  People tend to gravitate towards other people like them and run from the unknown, but in the internet marketing space there are A LOT of unknowns.

It was after coming to the realization that I was spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere with the high priced monthly membership I was paying for, that I really didn’t belong in a high priced membership group.  I just started posting in Google plus, blogging a little, and trying to engage with people who followed me.  I also made sure my social profiles broadcasted that I was an online entrepreneur.

I found a couple of communities, and Facebook groups, where I saw people asking about things which I, surprisingly, had some feedback for because I had been there and done that!  After offering ‘value’, I know another marketing buzzword!, I actually was talking with REAL people and not the people who read my profile, friend-ed me, and sent me their pitch.  Next thing you know, I’m regularly talking with people at my skill level and higher who want me to help them with different parts of their marketing.  I also asked if they would go through my marketing funnels and give me feedback.

I have made some great friends in communities who have become my own private mastermind group where we bounce ideas off each-other and help with everything from technical issues to copy writing.  I can now see the value in the high priced membership and started utilizing the friendships more than the content, which is still very valuable, and regularly have conversations with my Friends (Mastermind Group) about what we’re working on, when we’re planning to launch funnels, and give feedback to them.

#4 Haven’t Identified Your Avatar

If you don’t know what Your Avatar is, NO…it’s not a big blue alien with a cat face!  Matching your message to your market is one of the most important connections you will ever make in your online marketing.  But if you don’t have any idea who you’re marketing to, how can you craft a message to them that will help them or you?

I have heard people get very specific about identifying their audience, some friends I know have even named their Avatar, gave them an age, identified gender, and even characteristics about his or her lifestyle. I was on a Google Hangout where we talked for over an hour about identifying an Avatar so I will give you the short version:

  1. Identify Your Own Story – certain people will relate more to you because you share common struggles, pains, and frustrations.
  2. How are They Looking for Solutions? – this will help you get specific because some people are looking to build a business on-line using social media or maybe Youtube videos, or affiliate marketing, or product development like WordPress plugins… Get specifics.
  3. Where do they hangout? – If you’re at a vegan convention selling hamburgers….? #justsaying
  4. How are you going to help them vs. some of the competing messages they might be getting? – You don’t have to tell them how bad your competition is, but you have to be able to communicate the benefits of what you’re offering.  Why would someone want your XYZ product? What’s IN IT for them?
  5. Can you identify their REAL problems? – In Hostage negotiation training I learned that when a hostage taker told us he wanted 30 steak dinners and a helicopter, what he was really asking for was Food and Transportation.  Sometimes we had to hang-up or terminate communication for a little bit to test a hostage taker and if he called back…..?  We knew he wanted to live.  When someone tells you that they have to make a lot of money or want to start a business, you have to find out WHY.  Sometimes you have to tell them what they need to hear, which will initially cause some pain for them, but it will be made better when you give them your solution.

#3 Don’t Have An Auto-responder

We’re almost to the bottom of the list, or top depending on how you look at it, but DON’T mess around with this one – if you don’t have an auto-responder, bookmark this page and go get one RIGHT NOW.

I tried the free auto-responder services and I can tell you that they’re limited in what you want them to do versus what they actually do.  Look at it this way, if your business is a car then your auto-responder is the insurance – most of us will pay monthly premiums and never have to call in a claim because insurance gives us peace of mind.  Even if your website goes down, you can still send offers to your subscriber list.

I don’t know why I tried dancing around this, but I think I was being skeptical about why I would need a list of subscribers if someone already bought something from me.  I really didn’t understand the value until I started concentrating on building a list of subscribers.  No matter what niche your business is in, your list is one of the most valuable assets and you can’t maximize the value of your list without a dependable auto-responder service.

If you’re still on the fence, here are some of the services I have used or am using and you can just follow the links to check them out:

  1. Aweber – probably the most used and reliable on the market
  2. GetResponse  – Right up there with Aweber and just as dependable in my opinion
  3. Pureleverage – this is a whole suite of marketing tools, but comparable in price and options vs. Aweber or Getresponse

There are others that are a lot more expensive and that have more advanced features, Infusion soft or Ontraport, that I don’t have experience with.  I will say that many of the bigger names in internet marketing are using Infusion soft because of how easily they can sort their lists by the actions their subscribers take throughout their marketing funnel.

#2 Only Relying On 1 Source of Income

So I found my online business model, I followed what they told me to do to attract people and I started sending people to my company replicated website.  Obviously before I started using an auto-responder, I had no way of knowing what was happening to the visitors to my company replicated page.  After spending some time NOT getting anyone to join me as an affiliate, I started looking into ways that I could stand out – Enter Video Marketing.

I found a system that was inexpensive that was designed by its creators to brand me and market my business.  I then started making videos to promote THE SYSTEM.  Suddenly people were contacting me! I was also able to keep in touch with the people who visited my new site because my system used an auto-responder to capture visitors before they ever got to my company site.

What happened next was AWESOME!

People wanted to join me in the system to market their businesses.  I ended up making more commissions bringing people to the system then I did promoting the business!  When I did have someone join me as an affiliate, I was honest up front and told them about the system that was giving me success and how they could join.  I was earning commissions from my affiliates AND from inviting people to use the system.  When I started recommending other products to people who were having success with the system, which I referred them to, I started making affiliate commissions as well.

You can monetize your marketing in multiple ways and get 3 times the response with the same effort.  Now I regularly get people who watch my video, come into my funnel, see the system, and get exposed to my business.  Some of my subscribers use one of the products, some join ALL THREE!  I don’t know about you, but if someone offered to give me $3 for every $1 I spent instead of $1 for every $1…I’m going with the $3 every time.

#1 Not Teaching Others

I mentioned earlier in this post that having Authority is important in your niche.  After studying online marketers from all different niches, I learned one thing – Teaching is the most lucrative thing you can learn to do online.  Sharing my story, even if it has only been snippets of my journey, with others has been more rewarding and more lucrative than any other activities I do online.

If you’ve ever been frustrated by not getting results and not understanding why some people seem to be making a killing online while you’re not – don’t worry, YOU’RE NOT ALONE!  What I’ve learned is that you have to find someone who is having success and COPY IT!  I don’t mean plagiarize their material or steal their marketing materials.  BUT… If they’re in your niche and they are blogging, then you blog!  If they’re making videos, then You Make Videos!  Study them, buy their BEST course and use it – why wouldn’t you listen to someone who is doing WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?!

My favorite saying, after having spent too much time on webinars and watching hangouts and buying products and reading blueprints and ‘ULTIMATE GUIDES TO blah blah blah!’, My favorite saying is this…”YOU CAN’T FAKE THE JOURNEY!”  If you get into a system, TAKE ACTION!  Use it and then teach someone how to use it!  If you buy a product, USE IT! And then teach someone how you got results.  At the risk of sounding corny, I didn’t start having success until I started giving first – Teaching people.  I’m not an Authority YET! I’ll wait for someone to tell me when I am… when I’ve helped to change their life for the better.

I’m sure there are a lot more reasons why  we’re struggling with online marketing, WHAT’S YOURS?  Leave a comment below!



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    Reply Reply June 6, 2016

    And while there are many articles written about why you should blog to grow your business or become an expert or make a whole bunch of money—the best recommendations are still found in the personal realization that blogging changes you, the writer.

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