Many online entrepreneurs are attempting to create a self-serving system through digital marketing methods in order to generate long-term traffic and passive money. Yet the odds of entrepreneurial success are quite limited, while years of hardships and challenges await.
Even so, the appeal to become an online entrepreneur, pursuing passive income with a laptop and Wi-Fi, has always been an attractive pursuit. Why is that?
In this article, I’d like to shed some light on the struggles and obstacles that I’ve learned and experienced over the years as a struggling online entrepreneur.
Leveraging Next-Gen Consumerism
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping and internet consumerism was on a gradual rise. However, with the pandemic sweeping over the world, people are experiencing a “historic and dramatic shift in consumer behaviour,” – according to the latest research from PwC.
Online entrepreneurs seek to capitalize on modern-day problems through quick, simple, and cost-effective methods that replace the slow scalability and flaws of physical businesses. The most predominant issues that arise are subject to limited access and the rising price of physical goods. Online entrepreneurs can have higher leverage over the agility and prices given by virtual goods and services in almost every industry.
If we look at the average blogger, digital marketer, or virtual content creator in any niche, we can observe that they are able to do almost anything a B2B SaaS company is capable of. Creating landing pages, boosting traffic through PPC or SEO best practices, and selling goods and services are all arms-reach away. Literally, anyone can craft a WordPress website, write a few good articles, shoot some videos and sign up for an affiliate program to monetize sales. Sounds too easy to be true.
The true difficulty lies in the fact that online entrepreneurship is rife with competition, and millions of new businesses enter the ring on a yearly basis to find new customers. Building and growing a business online depends on leveraging various digital marketing tactics to outperform your competition and scaling up your outreach.
This is where content and consistency come into play to leverage the fast-paced demand of internet consumerism.
Content is King, but Consistency is the Law
The saying that “content is king” is only secondary to the ground rule of pursuing content creation consistently. It took me 3 years to generate my first 5 figures of income with my first website, an online business and tech magazine, Times International. I launched this site back in 2019 with the hopes of fortifying my bank account with an additional income. But reality came crashing down soon.
Despite building a fancy website, using a dozen different affiliate programs, and writing tens of thousands of words per month, nothing came close to success than consistency. Year one consisted of learning and adapting to the reality of my situation. Year two was a complete follow-up of the year that consisted of meager profits. Only in year three did I see the tide turn when I was on the brink of giving up writing, editing, and planning. Consistency and persistence are an entrepreneur’s biggest solace.
Target Marketing instead of Mass Marketing
A lot of times, I’ve seen new entrepreneurs enthusiastically displaying all the awesome features of their latest brands. However, one must always maintain the benefits of a particular product in mind in order to make it stand out from the crowd. I had to learn the hard way.
Going all-in during the early stages of my business development was one of the worst blunders I made.
When the question emerges: “Who are you really selling to?” and your answer is “everyone,” there is a problem. Every business owner must analyze deeply into the benefits of their business and start building new content and campaigns around it. Consumers need a valid reason to green-light the purchase of your product or service by understanding its added benefits in their daily lives.
You may gain a foothold in your business and grow through positive reviews, case studies, and word-of-mouth if you do it this way. Despite having many creative ideas, my suggestion is always to narrow them down to a point where you have a product or service that towers above your competitors. From then on, it’s all about how you market your business to your customers.
Narrowing your Income Streams
Following up on my previous point about target marketing, a crucial element of effective monetization is narrowing down your income streams. The entrepreneurial success rate is dangerously low when looking at the survival rate of most businesses. Lack of monetization is the obvious answer to this problem, but once we delve deeper, we can observe the issue much closer. One problem I came to face was the lack of foresight for a stable income stream.
AdSense, affiliate programs, eBook sales, online courses, and cheap merchandise were all on top of my mind. Needless to say, it flopped, and my PayPal account displayed a big fat zero.
In the third year of my career as an online entrepreneur, I realized that my website’s core strength was display advertising. Going even further than that, my website appealed better to B2B agencies that had clients who wanted to get featured or promote their brands on websites like mine. Seeing this opportunity, I quickly disbanded all other sources of income and placed my entire focus on strengthening the appeal of my business for these agencies.
There is some risk associated with relying heavily on a single income stream, but in the short run, it’s better to be good at one thing than mediocre at everything.
The barriers to entering online entrepreneurship are very low. There is no need for investors to flock to your doorstep or have a six-figure budget weighing down your purse. Anyone can become an internet entrepreneur, which means that the true challenge lies in becoming better than your competition.
To set yourself out from the competition, one needs to scale up their performance using the right online marketing metrics and use a logical progression in their expansion.