I've been engaged in online marketing for more than 3 years already. During this time I've made A LOT of silly mistakes. For example, I wrote short useless articles stuffed with lots of keywords, I didn't segment email subscribers, I didn't use Open Graph (thinking that it's not necessary), I thought that beautiful design is the major key to success, and so on.
Looking back, I understand that I could avoid most of these mistakes. All I had to do was to read internet marketing blogs more carefully and pay more attention to what my experienced colleagues were saying… This thought inspired me to craft this roundup post. During the previous week, I asked 7 advanced internet marketers from all over the world a single question, “What were your biggest mistakes in online marketing?”
Here’s what they told me.
A. Phil Turner (Founder, TimeMoneyProblem.com)
My biggest mistake was concentrating on the Money.
Now I expend my time on growing my Knowledge and Reputation. This grows my Contact list and Contacts offer me paying jobs.
There are 5 Currencies: Time, Knowledge, Reputation, Contacts and Money.
We all have 24 hours of Time every day, just like getting $200 when you pass 'Go' in the Monopoly boardgame. The problem is that you cannot save Time - You have to convert it to Knowledge, Reputation, Contacts or Money. In online marketing there is no direct Time/Money conversion possible
A. Christoph Engelhardt (Founder, LinksSpy.com)
I've done my fair share of mistakes in marketing my products online.
But far and away the biggest mistake for me was not doing more marketing.
The thing is, you're going to do all kinds of stupid, stupid mistakes. That is part of learning something new. You'll fail and you will struggle, but eventually you will find something that works, you will exploit it and you will crush it online.
Success is 99% failure. Go out and fail, it's the only way to success.
A. Stéphanie Langlet (Solo Traveller and Travel Consultant)
My first big mistake was not to buy a domain name from the start for my travel blog. When I moved from my wordpress free theme (second enormous mistake : leave wordpress !), I lost my page rank, links and a lot of my readers. As a total neophyte in seo, links strategy etc. I had read in a lot of publications "don't worry if you move your blog, you won't lose your PR". They just had forget the newbie in their articles and to advice them they had to own their domain !
As I previously said, I moved my wordpress blog to an obscure french provider. emonsite was recommended by a lot of french people, but I think it's only because it's in french and easy to install. There's a lot of technical issues, and a lot of things I can't do. By example, they only accepted recently to open the comments on disqus. Before, it was only their system and it was impossible to subscribe to comments and new articles (I asked them but they didn't want !). When I shifted the system on disqus, again I lost all my comments !
I learned from my mistakes and for my new blog on the southwest of France, I chose wordpress.org and a safe theme...
A. Irina Weber (Author, SERanking.com)
My biggest mistakes is your biggest lesson learned. I have started running a few websites and have tried to manage them by myself, but it is not so simple as I have thought, especially if my websites required constant content updating. Also I have figured out that there is no need to build up an email list when you fist started online. Try to catch the lead first and sell your products later is the way to success. I could get it through the hard way that is full of my mistakes.
A. Kari (Internet Marketer And Writer)
For the first few years of being an affiliate marketer, I tried to do everything alone. I didn't network. I didn't outsource. I didn't even get social with other people on social media! I avoided everyone because I thought I could find success by myself. Unfortunately, things move along pretty slowly when you don't network with other people. I learned that the hard way. Yes, you get some traffic, interest, and sales, but not like you do when you have other people helping you get your content and name out there.
A. Dilip Kumar (Founder, DKSpeaks.com)
The Biggest mistake that I did in my online marketing business was to not build a list. When I started off, traffic generation was easy and you could generate a lot of traffic for pennies. My niche sites got a lot of traffic and I sold a lot of affiliate products, I didn't bother to capture email addresses and build a list. My recommendation to newbies - Never do this mistake. Even if it is just about 10 visitors to your website, use and optin form and capture email addresses.
The 2nd mistake was to not care about the list I build and burn them by promoting all kind of offers. Email marketing is an art that anybody can learn. You need to treat your subscribers in the same way you would want to be treated. Send value before you even pitch any product to them. Learn how to build a relationship with your subscribers. Identify their needs and then pitch a product accordingly.
A. Sourav Saha (Web Consultant at Webaholic)
My biggest online mistake was going for widget links. Back in 2010 I created a couple of Google Blogger widgets and placed a widget link back to one of my sites. The widgets got popular and got me hundreds of links. Couple of people copied the widget code and pasted on their blog as a "How To Add This Widget" tutorial but forgot to remove my widget link. Which got me even more links, my site was ranking in the top of Google.
Soon broke because thousands of sites were using that plugin and pulling all necessary code from my site. So I had to shift those codes to a new server.
Then came along Google Panda & Penguin, here all the problem starts, lots of sites was using the widget was low quality, some of them were on different niche and some of them focused on adult content. This effected my site massively, my rankings dropped from the first page it went to 12th page.
So to solve this, first we have to disable this plugin, which resulted people contacting me that they love this plugin and how they can use it again. I had to create a separate code for them (without the backlink this time). Using "Open Site Explorer" and "Google Webmaster Central" I pointed out all the sites using that plugin and contacted almost all of them individually to remove the widget or link. Some of them removed it, some didn't and some I couldn't contact because there was no contact option on their site. I took all those sites still linking to me and had to disavow the entire domain from Google Webmaster Central.
It took time to get my rankings back, but it taught me that "CHEAP TRICKS DON'T WORK FOR LONG". If you are building some widgets for Blogger or WordPress and you want to put a link back to your site make it nofollow.