Internet Marketing Mistakes I Made When I First Started Online.

I’ve been thinking of what to write in our blog to welcome 2011. Finally I decided to talk about some of the internet marketing mistakes that I’ve made in the past, not last year, but since I started venturing out online.

I hope my experience can help you avoid some pitfalls and hence smoothen your online journey in 2011.

Without further ado, here are the internet marketing mistakes I’ve made.

Mistake #1. Not believing that internet marketing is for me

This has to be the TOP mistake that I’ve made.

Back in early 2000, I was already learning about internet marketing and trying a few things without any success. My mentality was “let’s see if I can make some money online”.

I was never serious about internet marketing because I had so many other options of making money at that time.

After a few years, I failed in ALL my brick-and-mortar businesses and I was $50k in debt with the bank. At that time, online business was my last chance, as the initial investment was minimal. It was a case where I either made it online or I would have to shelve my dream and get a job.

Now it seems to be a blessing that I failed in all my offline businesses.

Mistake #2. Lacking marketing plans

Whenever I have a good idea, I’ll act on it. But there were not one, but two occasions where I spent months preparing and building a new website and when everything was ready, I realized that I had no idea how to market that website!

Of course, those websites are now sitting there collecting virtual dust, while serving as a reminder for me that I must have a foolproof marketing strategy for a new website even before I register the domain name!

Mistake #3. Hoping that there is a holy grail

There was one time when I bought a 100,000 email list from a renowned internet marketing guru, naively thinking that even if just 1% buy from me, I will be rich!

I prepared a good opt-in offer, since I knew I needed to convert it from a cold list to a warm list, and I also prepared a series of autoresponder to convert the opt-ins to buyers. Everything seemed ready, but when I massed mail to the list, I hardly got any click through, not to mention opt-in or sales.

I knew that things can’t be that simple. But sometimes you just want to prove yourself right and give up that hope!

Mistake #4. Being a cheapskate

When I first started online, I was really behaving like a cheapskate. I signed up lots of newsletters and spent time reading all the free articles I could find.

But when I started to make some money and gathered enough courage to invest in ebooks and video courses, that was when my internet marketing skills really took off.

Mistake #5. Using encrypted script

If you want to run a dynamic website such as a membership site, a forum or perhaps your own traffic exchange site, you’ll need to use a server-side script.

A big mistake that I made when I ran my first dynamic site is I bought an encrypted script, which means I can’t modify or even see the script as the developer is trying to protect its copyright.

It is very bad because whenever I experience a bug, I need to feedback to the developer and worse still, if I don’t like any function or want to add any new feature, there is nothing I can do. I even offered to buy the source-code from the developer, but was turned down.

One person’s mistake is another’s lesson. I hope you’ll find these lessons useful.

Though I’ve made some mistakes, I have also done something right during my early days. In my next post, I’ll write about things that I did right when I first started online. Stay tuned!

53 thoughts to “Internet Marketing Mistakes I Made When I First Started Online.”

  1. Before, I don’t believe that there’s money in Internet Marketing and all the hype is just a joke. But somehow, I realized that it’s really possible when I read Zac Johnson, John Chow, and ShoeMoney on how they earn thousands of dollars from affiliate marketing. Now I’m following their strategies and what works for them.

    1. That’s just it: at first you believe everything and try a lot of systems, then nothing takes off and you feel despondent, maybe even to the point of thinking “It is all hype, it is all a scam..” and then you read about some successful marketers who have made good affiliate sales. Find out what they do and copy their strategies and it will pay off for you too!

    2. Hello

      I agree with you because this thought has been more and more people, and it is hard to believe it is hard to believe it and not to enter, and not to see how it grows.

  2. Thanks for the advice Mistake #3 you ssved me from because I was seriosly going too buy a 500 million mailing list but I haven’t yet and thanks too you I won’t be doing that now.

    Thanks A Million
    James West

    PS I can’t wait till the next

    blog so I know what too do right

  3. Hey Ken,

    Interesting. How about a follow up post describing the lessons you learned from your 10 years online?

    I’d wager such a post would interest other people, as well.

    Edward “Mr Ed” Thorpe “He who helps the most people Wins!”

    1. Hello

      Sorry, I’m reading the Google Translator app, and I write because I do not know English. I wanted to say that Google could not translate your text for me to understand it. I thank you and thank you for it.

  4. Happy New Year Ken,

    Another Great Post.

    Sometimes we think we are the only ones who experience these things. Everyone focuses so much on the positive side of things (and so we should) that we end up feeling like a fool or a sucker when we go through the struggles.

    It is great for people to be able to see that “Yes! There will be setbacks and struggles.” The good news is that we can look back, as you have done here, and laugh at how trivial some of those challenges were – even though they seemed monumental at the time.

    Of course I will be looking forward to learn about the things you did right!


  5. Thanks for this post Ken. I think that the biggest mistake is assuming that internet marketing is so easy.

    Unfortunately, we all have to make these kind of mistakes in order to learn.

  6. Kenneth:

    Those were all good points to keep in mind. When I first started learning internet marketing in 2006, there were a lot of bad IM programs making their debut and too many scammers on the loose promoting their cons in every conceivable MLM niche.

    A bad taste was left in many people’s mouths about internet, affiliate and network marketing. Like many others, I discussed internet marketing with many who never tried it or only read about the victims of fraud, or the failures of newbies who didn’t follow directions or obtain the necessary tools and education to be successful.

    Listening to their negative attitudes and getting surrounded by them became one of my biggest mistakes. I was afraid to try anything or use my own thought process to rationalize my decisions in investing or starting an online business.

    Once I started communicating more with others who were already successful online, or others who were doing the same thing as I was, things started changing in a more positive direction. I started getting referrals and buying necessary tools and earning commissions here and there.

    Sure, I had some downfalls and lost some money from inexperience, but you have to take that initial plunge or you’ll never learn the industry ropes, find a mentor, or meet any colleagues. The initial commitment must be made and try to swim through the negative mind-sets of your loved ones.


  7. These mistakes are great to know about and more than likely if you have been working ot get established yo are still doing some of them. I know , I still do.
    Alan’s comment also struck home. Remember to keep positive thoughts and complete determination.

  8. This is a very interesting post and I agree with Ken that sometimes, we have to avoid making the mistakes rather than to do the things that we hope will work.

    There is a lot of materials about how to succeed but there is not many out there that teaches how to fail.

    Of course you may be thinking, ‘why on earth should someone be writing a How to Fail book?!’ right?

    I believe that there are many who have followed the “How to Succeed” literatures but they still fail. I think that only a small 2% who follows such books succeed.

    Imagine that there exist a book about “How to fail?” and if one were to follow it closely, would one fail?

    I bet that 100% of people who do, will!

    So, logically, if one where not to do what a “How to Fail”
    book teaches, would one succeed?

    I have read this e-book that says that Success is the “… absence of failure.” So if we were to do the opposite of what would cause us to fail, wouldn’t we succeed?

    Here is a link to get the free “Why Do People Fail” e-book:

    And yes, it is a FREE 34 page booklet and I really enjoy reading it as I saw myself in it and I realize that I need to change and not do what the book defines so that I can avoid making the mistakes.

    I hope that you do too and achieve more success this year.

    Alief Hamdani

  9. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes! It’s the pathway to success!

    I particularly appreciate what Thomas J. Watson, former President of IBM, once said:

    “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

    Thanks for the mistakes, and for helping us learn from them!

  10. Thanks for sharing your experience, because it inspires not to be afraid of possible failures on the way to success. At the moment I’m stuck with the 1st mistake — I just can’t believe that I CAN earn money with Internet marketing. But I’m trying to overcome this feeling and to start working in this direction.

  11. I have been there with you too, but on a different level.

    We need to decide what our priorities are and go after them instead of the let’s try this tactic to see if it works.

    And leaving websites sit in the dust, I got one of them too, and I keep saying I will get back to it but I have too much on my platter right now. I should have tried to sell it last year but was talked out if it and was told that I need to make it work, but here I am once again not doing anything with it because I found new and better ways to do business online. But, in reality, that website would do really well if I had the time to promote it and no one else can do that unless they know how it all works.

    So, anyway – a great post and it’s always nice to see how others have failed and how we all can not make those same mistakes.

    Have a wonderful day!

  12. Thanks for sharing the mistakes you made.. I am basically a lazy blogger who dosen’t give much interest to internet marketing. I hope I will be more concern from now on…

  13. Hey Kennth,
    You hit the nail right on the head! I’ve also gone through the mistakes that you have listed here, and of course I still make mistakes today. This is a great post for beginners and veterans alike. The novice can take this advice and hopefully will use it as a reference in their online journey. For veteran’s who are not quite where they want to be yet, may be able to see if they are repeating the same mistakes that we made. I’ve also found that its always an uphill battle as we continue to learn from our mistakes everyday. It’s called, “Growing with your business.” Thanks for this post Kenneth I can’t wait to share it!

  14. I would have to agree with almost all of this post, with one notable exception. I have never bought an eBook that had any information that could not be found for free. Otherwise, these are some serious errors.

    1. Hm…. technically you are right, especially with so many good bloggers nowadays. But information is like jigsaw puzzle. Though every piece is there, it’s often hard to see the whole picture until someone organizes it together in the right order. A good ebook has such an effect. A reader who reads it may feel that suddenly everything they have learnt start to make sense.

      1. I have to agree with Ken on this one. “It Is Not So Important What You Say As How You Say It That Counts”

        Many times I have read an e-book and experienced an “A-Hah!” moment. Even though some of the information may have been re-hashed there is always another nugget or two to pick up.

        Even reaffirming what you already know has a tremendous benefit.

        Bill Darton

  15. Another good post that teaching other people like me one some errors online. For me the first error as made from my wife friends and my father having any bad idea and don’t believed that is some things that works online. Now i’m OK, and my family is with me. Why this? Because i see some results here. Thanks Kenneth for your post.

  16. I know I can relate to this, as I went through this also. I am much wiser now and the main thing is that you learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. When it’s all said and done, you will win in the end. Just as long as you don’t QUIT!!!

  17. I really like the idea that Alief presented on writing a “How to Fail” ebook. Whether it’s good or bad, right or wrong, dumb or intelligent, it’s a wonderful example of someone “thinking outside the box,” just by taking a same-old story concept and inverting it!

    It’s a great way of being creative and innovative. We all need to occasionally take a fresh view of the “business as usual” approach to help us stay competitive in this very crowded and ever changing global marketplace!

    I’ve lost many good business opportunities by taking my own business and the industry for granted. As we get overly caught up in our own little self-centered lives, sometimes it takes a hard knock, or even a good kick in the pants to wake us up to smell the coffee!

  18. It’s very encouraging to find that even someone like Ken made these mistakes, and it’s not just me!

    My first mistake was outsourcing the design of my website to someone who then, sadly, went into hospital for a long time! When I out-sourced to the second web-designer he insisted I learned the basics so I was never in that position again.

    My next step was to learn WordPress, which has been a life-saver, as I did tend to get bogged down with site design.

    The biggest mistake – which I still make – is believing the ads when they say something is “easy” and I’ll be earning money in half an hour. Five days later I’m probably still struggling!

  19. This is something that I have always struggled with. Typically I have fallen into the trap of #2 and #4. I think when I started out I though to my self “I donut have time to make a plan I need to be working” but he is ends up being completely counter productive. But I think that absolutely everyone must fall at #4 when they start out.. It is difficult to part with money until you are sure that you have the skill to get a return on it. Great advice.

  20. This article did really help me out I’ve heard this from other internet marketers and one of my favorite mentors Jeff Paul. I would like you sometime though to right an article on how to do successful blogging because I only have like 15 followers and very few comment and you seem to have a VERY SUCCESSFUL blog so I would just like to pick your brain and get to know some of your secrets

    Thanks Alot

  21. Hello blogger,
    Really your mistakes completely helpful for me.I think internet marketing is not game of two days.
    Many thanks for sharing your great experience.


  22. I really like the comment about Mistake#4 being a cheap scape. I know that a lot of people tell how they get free advertising too there site and while there is free advertising like PTC sites out there the truth is to get real results your going to have to use it within combination of paid advertising in order for it to work take it from someone else who has made tons of mistake trying to make money online

  23. Internet marketing is really useful for promoting your business. I am doing it for my website. Do you have some other sources to drive more traffic to my website? Please suggest.

  24. Mistake #4 is a classic. I don’t know of any successful business that does not have a business plan and budget. It one thing to have a budget and plan your expenditures to build your business. Totally opposite if you take the cheapskate route because you may miss out on growing your business.

  25. Awesome post!!! I wish I had read this 3 years ago, it would have saved me A ton of time, frustration and money. I will definitely be sharing this post with my lists, they will appreciate the value you have given. Keep’ em commin! ~

    To The Top,

    Lance T. Babish ~

  26. Hi Kenneth,

    Awesome post! I’ve been really enjoying the blog posts you provide.
    I like the way how you expressed the each important factor of Internet Marketing.

  27. Thanks for sharing such informative article.

    Exploring the marketing roles and power can lead to good business need and customer satisfaction. The power of inquiry can spark breakthrough ideas solution to the wants of customising customer.

  28. I really like the comment about Mistake#4 being a cheap scape. I know that a lot of people tell how they get free advertising too there site and while there is free advertising like PTC sites out there the truth is to get real results your going to have to use it within combination of paid advertising in order for it to work take it from someone else who has made tons of mistake trying to make money online

  29. No matter what industry you are in, you can always leverage something from internet marketing, whether it is branding, leads, networking or any other thing.

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