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Dispelling Myths of an Online Business

Keller Hawthorne | April 18, 2009 | 3 Comments
Why Make Your Living Online

Even I Believed the Myths

Alphabet MysteryI was 22 years old when I decided to try to make a living online. I didn’t have much money and I had no clue how the Internet worked. So, I began to research how others were making money. Unfortunately, I didn’t look in the right places. I was bombarded with messages that running an online business required no effort, no money, no experience, no whatever. And I believed it! I thought I could open a store or eBay account and make a quick buck. Well, I did make some money – very little money. Months later, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t successful yet. Why wasn’t my website bringing in thousands of dollars? Why did it have practically ZERO traffic? Why was I wasting my time?

The first thing you need to do if you’re considering running a successful online business is LEARN HOW THE INTERNET WORKS and why people use it. You will learn all of this in my article sections titled “Understanding the Internet” and “Understanding the Online Market.” I know you’re excited to get started, but it’s vital to understand the environment in which you expect to do business. I can’t stress this point enough. Six months after trying to make that quick and easy buck, I finally sat down and committed myself to learning why I wasn’t making money. That was six months of effort, hope and time wasted.

Once you’ve learned about the Internet, you need to learn the truth about how online businesses really work. There are a lot myths regarding Internet businesses and making money online. Let’s take a look at some of these now.

1. An Online Business Requires No Investment

I hate to break your heart, but this is a myth. Sure, some people have made money online without investing anything, but most of them haven’t actually created a business. Perhaps they’ve made some money through taking surveys or passing along scams. Some people even create websites through free hosting providers which is a HUGE NO-NO. (Free hosts place other company’s ads on your website, which deter visitors from buying from you.) Others find even more ways to avoid costs and make a quick buck.

The truth is, any real business requires some investment! Depending on what kind of business you want to create, you may need to invest in hosting for your website, a domain name, possibly some advertising, and maybe even some courses to help educate yourself about online marketing. But please don’t be scared off. The investment for an online business is MINIMAL! I discuss the start-up costs of an Internet business in a later section.

2. An Online Business Requires No Effort

If this was true, wouldn’t everyone be making money online? Wouldn’t everyone be their own boss? There are a lot of websites out there that try to convince us that we don’t have to actually work to make money online. They’ve come up with some “magical plan” that makes us money and all we have to do is listen to/pay/refer them. Wow, they must be millionaires! Not quite…

Normally, these are scam artists and they are able to convince thousands of people every year that they can make money online for nothing. Truth is, every business requires effort (if it didn’t, it probably wouldn’t be worth much would it?). Even an online business requires your time and attention, especially in the beginning. But, an online business can, and often does, require so much less time than an offline business. Plus, you’re working for yourself! All of that time is spent on something YOU want to do!

You will need to spend time on designing your website, finding customers, selling or promoting products, etc. And that time is really being spent on you! It’s YOUR business! And the effort will be rewarded. In fact, the more effort you put into your online business, the more you’ll get back.

3. An Online Business Requires No Knowledge of the Internet

Would you apply for a job as a pilot if you had no clue how to fly a plane? Then why do some many people (including myself back in my first year of business) expect to become successful online without first understanding the Internet?

I am part of Generation Y. I grew up with computers (in fact a ton of computers since my Dad is a computer programmer). I used the Internet throughout school for report research and shopping. But, I still had no idea what the Internet really was; I just knew I liked it!

You don’t have to be a computer nerd to make money online, but you do need to understand some basics, including what a web browser is, what a website is, how people use the Internet, etc. The time you spend learning will not be a waste – it will be the foundation for your success.

Create a Solid Foundation

You’ve already started building a solid foundation for your online business by reading this article! Learning the truth about the Internet will not only help you avoid scams, it will help you understand what to expect from your business. You shouldn’t walk blind-folded into your new business. You should arm yourself with tools and knowledge that will help you become as successful as you want to be. Continue learning and you will earn great success!

Do you have a question about what is and isn’t a myth regarding online businesses? Let me know!

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