The Word Bay

STOP!!: four FATAL mistakes new Internet marketers make!

If you have just downloaded Wordbay, you are probably raring to go and can’t wait to install it on a blog and start filling your pages with lovely lucrative eBay listings.

Well…

STOP!!!!

What I am about to tell you can save you months or even YEARS of frustration and failure in trying to earn money online. Take it from me, I’ve been there, and I only wish someone had given me the guidelines I’m about to give you when I was starting out. Even if you are not new to this, you should still read some of these warnings as there are some things in here that are specific to EPN and Wordbay – traps that you want to avoid. However, much of this also applies to Internet and niche marketing in general.

What follows is a brief list of BIG ‘DO NOTS’ to take very seriously if you do not want to utterly FAIL at making money from putting eBay listings on your WordPress blog, or at whatever online business venture you have got your sights on. In future articles I will also give you more detail on what you SHOULD be doing in these areas if you want to succeed at this.

Ok, here we go, here are some big DO NOTS:

1) DO NOT just create umpteen pages with eBay listings! Wordbay is a powerful tool for both good and evil! I remember when I first created Wordbay I was utterly smitten with my new-found powers which allowed me to just enter a few keywords and see my blog filled with money spinning eBay products! I thought,”Internet riches, here we come!” I can tell you now, a few years down the line, that those sites have sunk without a trace. I know for a fact that many Wordbay users have done the same as me. Google HATES that kind of site and I can almost guarantee 100% that you will NEVER earn any money worth mentioning that way!! In fact, and we can talk about this in more detail another time, I recommend that you do not put eBay listings on a brand new blog at all! The eBay listings must be outweighed by quality content, and by a very significant proportion too!

2) DO NOT just think up a cool niche on the spot and knock up a site in the hope that it takes! Looking back I just cannot believe that I actually used to do this! I used to come across a product and say, “Oooh! Blue widgets are a pricey item, I bet I can sell a load of those if I slap together a site full of pages about big blue widgets, small blue widgets, green blue widgets…”, you get the idea! You MUST do your research. How much competition is there for the number one Google page for the product keywords you are targetting? Are people even searching for this, and in what volume? And are they searching for it because they want to buy, or for some totally different reason? There are some very specific, almost scientific ways you can determine these indicators and make a sensible decision about whether the niche is even worth going for. I often see newbie marketers getting very excited that their site is on page one of Google for a particular keyword/phrase, yet they can’t understand why they are not getting any sales. There are a whole range of reasons why this might be – some of them you just wouldn’t believe, and we can talk about them another time – but one very good reason can be that no one is even searching for those keywords! You CANNOT create a site in this day and age and not do your keyword research. Not if you want to have a hope of succeeding.

3) DO NOT jump around from idea to idea! Guilty as charged, and this is one of the main reasons new Internet marketers fail: they just do not give a project enough time. Instead they jump around from scheme to scheme, forever starting new sites or trying new ‘tricks’, hoping that this one will be the magic bullet that will bring them Internet wealth beyond their wildest dreams! The fact is, although you absolutely can make good money on the Internet, it still takes WORK. Sorry to burst the bubble. There may be get-rich-quick schemes out there, but they are usually short-lived and scammy, unethical or even downright illegal. The real work of building online earnings can be hard, though still much easier and more exciting than most ‘real’ jobs! You DO need to stick at it, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, before you start to see any returns. If you constantly chop and change, going from one idea to the next, you are doomed to failure.

4) DO NOT put all your eggs in one basket! This may seem to contradict what I said in the previous point, but stay with me. What can and does happen is this: you start having some success, and some earnings start coming in from your online efforts. Then, suddenly, something can change due to circumstances beyond your control and you can lose it ALL. This has happened to me several times – I will tell you about that sometime – but it can happen to you too if you don’t insure against it. What are some of those circumstances? Here are just a few:

  • Google can ditch your site. If you are relying solely on Google, or any other source, for your traffic, you can lose it all overnight if there is an algorithm change or Google takes a dislike to your site for some reason. And if you haven’t diversified your traffic sources you are in trouble.
  • EPN can ditch YOU! Oh yes. In fact, this point should probably be right up at the top of this article in big red letters! If you did not know this, you need to! The eBay Partner Network is a very risky proposition in many respects. Though it is a great way to monetize your site and converts and pays very well (still my single best online earner), EPN have some very hazy rules and regulations and are known to suspend or terminate accounts for some very strange reasons, and especially if you do anything against the rules. I have PERSONALLY been suspended from EPN and probably the only reason I got back in was because of my connection with Wordbay. They do not care if you are feeding your family of six from your EPN earnings, they will show no mercy in banning you. Also, EPN earnings can undergo bizarre fluctuations – your earnings can go from hundreds down to almost nothing overnight! You need to have several ways in which you are monetising your site, not just EPN, and you need to have a backup plan in place for if the worst happens. I definitely plan to expand Wordbay to allow promotion of other programs so users are not so exposed.
  • Wordbay can let you down! Yes, it’s true! Wordbay is not infallible, and I am not infallible. A bug could appear that I cannot immediately solve and that may stop your earnings cold. Hey, it could even crash your site or something – I am not saying it WILL, but Windows crashes your computer all the time, any software can go wrong. So again, think about other ways to continue monetising your site if you had to remove Wordbay at a moment’s notice, or any other plugins or software you might be using. It just makes sense.

Also, ultimately your niche idea just might not work out (though again, careful research can greatly reduce this risk). So although again, I do not recommend you start up zillions of little projects, it probably IS worth starting up 2 or 3 sites or projects that use radically different models (most of my online earnings aren’t from EPN at all ;)), so if one or two just don’t work out you are not back to square one. You need to work out a rational way to divide your time between these projects, and know when it’s time to quit with one if it’s a dud. You should be philosophical about this. We all miss the mark, we’ve all put work into losing ventures, in fact we expect some proportion of our efforts to end in failure. It’s knowing when to cut your losses, identify a winning formula and repeat it, not go running after yet another money-making scheme.

I hope these guidelines have given you pause for though – they were meant to. My intention was not to pour water on your enthusiasm, you will thank me down the line 🙂 I would love to thrash these ideas out some more on the forum and talk about what positive steps we can make to do these things right so we can all get the best possible start off for our latest online venture!