5 Internet Business Mistakes To Avoid

Join WA - Avoid ScamsWhen I started my home internet business, I found many opportunities that promised high income in the first month.

It seemed easy.  Join.  Leave links everywhere. Wait for referrals and commissions to pour in. But the earnings promised were nowhere in sight.

I’m going to share my early mistakes and hope my lessons and insights will help you to avoid them.

Mistake #1 – Jumping In Quickly Without Research

The first mistake is to rush into a home-based business program that you know little or nothing about.  You want to start earning quickly so you start promoting it right away.

Many people on the internet want to make money from selling you the perfect home business. Often they haven’t even tested the program or product themselves.  They copy and paste the marketing copy provided by the owner.

Don’t make a decision to buy or join based on what you read in the advertising copy. Search for unbiased reviews by people who have firsthand experience with the program.


Read testimonials and confirm that it is genuine.  Do your due diligence. Test the program, product or service yourself before recommending it to others.  I will not write a review or recommend anything to anyone unless I have hands on experience with it.

At an early stage in my online endeavors, I was asked to write a testimony for a program that I had been in for 3 days.  The future was exciting and I didn’t know better. Two months later I was ready to leave and asked them to remove my testimonial.  They said they would remove it but never did.

After I left, one person contacted me and asked about my testimonial. I conveyed my views and experience. I don’t know what that person decided but the program disappeared a few weeks later.

Be wary if there is no option to join free.  A program or opportunity that stands by its product or service should have no problem offering a free trial period or even a free membership to get started.   Read the terms and conditions carefully. At the very least it should have a clearly stated refund or no-refund policy.

I have seen people complain in various forums about not being able to get a refund even though they had agreed to the terms and conditions that stipulated a no-refund policy.

Mistake #2 – Faulty Thinking, Naive Expectations

dollar signs in eyes smileyIt’s not your fault.   Advertising can be misleading.  The other day I saw a video ad by a marketer who was promoting a multilevel marketing program.   In the video, he gets out of an expensive car, goes to an ATM machine and withdraws 2 x $500 cash.  He never says it outright but implies that he earned the cash through the program and anyone can do the same.  Even if he did earn it, it does not mean that you will too.

Which leads me to the second mistake to avoid. Thinking that you can go from zero to a successful Internet business in 30 days or less.  Most opportunity seekers end up with no money in their pocket in the first few months and longer.

Be realistic. You will need some skills to succeed.  Plan for a modest income or even no income in the first few months. Understand that initially your task is to lay a strong foundation for your business.

Identify the success factors.   Find out what skills, tools and resources you will need to succeed with your new venture.

Focus on helping rather than on selling.

Mistake #3 – Not Mastering The Basics

Until you master the basics,  it will be difficult to set a strong foundation upon which to build your business. The basic skills required are to:


  • publish valuable in-demand content
  • attract the right target audience
  • rank well in the search engines
  • build up ongoing visitor traffic
  • monetize your website effectively

You can outsource tasks, but you will need to know the mechanics of your business so you can handle the daily actions related to your website and customers.    Operating a business on autopilot is a myth.  An airplane can fly on autopilot but it still needs a human to land it.

Mistake #4 –  How To Drive Business Away

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Do any of the following and you will certainly drive visitors and business away from your website.

( You know I’m saying this tongue in cheek, right?)


1. Leave your visitors in the dark about why they are on your website and don’t give them an incentive to return.

2. Overwhelm the site with lots of ads, banners, links, thin content and you’ll hear them scream ‘get me outta here’.

3. Make the order process complicated.  Let them put an item in the shopping cart and make them jump through hoops to pay you.

4. Fill your site with old and irrelevant information and broken links.  That will get rid of those pesky visitors quickly.

5. Don’t provide a contact form.  Who wants potential customers to reach out to you?

Mistake #5 – Quitting Too Soon

Do Not QuitWhen the money doesn’t start rolling in you conclude that it is time to quit. I’ve done that.  But I was wrong more times than I was right.  If I had only stuck with it, I said later.

It is tempting to blame the program or service for not living up to its promises, or not giving you proper training or support. Sometimes that can happen, but you must take responsibility for your decisions.

I have met people who jump around from one program to another looking for the one that ‘works’.

On my profile page at Wealthy Affiliate, I list 4 important lessons in my online journey.  The 4th point on the list is this:

No one out there is waiting to give you money or make money for you.  The only person who will create income is “you”. ~Jude Banks

I wrote that back in 2010 when I joined.  It is as true today as it was then.  You are welcome to go to my community profile page  and see the other lessons I shared.

Getting a home based internet business up and running is challenging.  The rewards are worth it.  Stumbling blocks are but stepping stones for success. You might need to change your path, but quitting should not be an option.  It won’t happen overnight but persistence is required to reach the point of generating a viable income stream.  The time frame for this is different for everyone because it depends on your skills and level of commitment and how much time you devote to building your business.

Do you have any favorite tips for mistakes to avoid when setting up or starting an online business?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Are you interested in creating your own website and learning how to make honest money with it?

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Comments 16

  • Hi, Jude
    Those are good tips and these are some that might be relevant:
    1. Not getting proper training to do online business from the right guru
    2. Read forums and reviews of products or website before you start to promote them. You will gain trust from visitors/readers if you cover all the issues and problems
    Hope this helps.

    • Hello Mazian,

      Proper training is indeed important, as you say. So is due diligence to ensure the product is legitimate and has value. Many affiliates are not aware that they could be legally liable should they knowingly refer or sell a scam or defective product..

      I have observed that people have long memories about buying a bad or scam product and they often recall who recommended it to them!

      Thanks for visiting my site and your comments. I value your input. ~Jude

  • Hi Jude,

    I really enjoyed this article. One thing that you pointed out and I could not agree with you more is the part about broken links. Please, everyone reading this.

    Nothing puts a visitor off to your site more than broken links. I know speaking from my internet experiences when trying to purchase something online. If I come across a broken link I exit the site as quick as possible.

    Check your links in your articles regularly so as to not disappoint your customers.

    • Hello Michael, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’m sometimes guilty of broken or outdated links. Or a typo and boom, lost a potential returning visitor or customer.

      As you say, a routine schedule to check links is an excellent suggestion. Thanks for reading my article and your valuable input. All the best, ~Jude

  • Very interesting read – actually got me a bit worried now thinking about my own home business…on the internet!
    I can completely relate to jumping in too qucikly with the whole business thing – it’s an exciting time (starting out) and most people lose that vision and solidity!
    Great article that reminded me of a few home truths!

    • Hello Chris,

      I’m glad my article got you thinking. I know what you mean when you say that people start out with ‘vision and ‘solidity’. Momentum builds up initially but sometimes fades when the realities of the challenge ahead sinks in or life gets in the way.

      Don’t worry because that feeling is temporary. It’s necessary to push through and not lose sight of the end goal. It can be an exciting journey and an enjoyable one, especially once you start to see progress.

      The reward comes when you use what you learn to build a sturdy foundation on which your business will grow.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading and your comments. Much appreciated.


  • I think when starting an online business, people are gonna be making lots of mistakes. But certainly with the right help and support, newbies will be making them less frequently. :)

    Personally, I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my online business, and the main one being not mastering the basics first. Because I was so eager to make money online, I ended up cutting corners and failing several times.

    The 5 mistakes to be avoided are definitely very important if people want success online. Especially, throwing in towel too soon because you could be well on your way to success without evening knowing it.

    Another thing I’ve also learned is to not hop from one opportunity to another, but to stick with just one online business and work your socks off.


    • You are spot on, Neil. Mistakes can serve a worthwhile purpose. For some people, it makes them more determined than ever. Each mistake can teach us to do better the next time.

      Most successful people will tell us that they failed many times over before they achieved their goals. Quitting was never an option for them.

      You’re right, program hopping is not a good habit to get into. Much better to plant seeds in one niche, tend to it as one would a garden – nurture the soil, feed it plenty of water, nutrients and sunshine – and it will blossom!

      Thanks for stopping by, Neil. I value your input.


  • Hello Jude! I am Jayden! Thanks for your informative post! Most people always make the mistakes that you mentioned, especially quitting too soon. You story is inspiring and give me much support!

    *p.s. You website is very tidy and organised!


    • Hello Jayden. I’m glad you found my post inspiring and supportive. I agree that quitting too soon is one of the most common mistakes.

      Thank you for stopping by my site and taking the time to give your feedback. Much appreciated!

      I hope you are making good progress with your online ventures. ~Jude

  • Love this post, you are so right in what you have written. Many persons get so excited about owning a business that they do not stop and do their home work, they just run ahead an buck their tie big time and get discourage. But the truth of the matter is that it must all be though out in the right way way if it is to work the way you want it. Thanks for sharing

    • Norman, I know what you mean about getting so excited that it makes one want to jump in without doing proper due diligence.

      I’ve learned over the years to turn that initial excitement into a warning signal to do more ‘homework’ – you used a good word for it. I’d rather get excited about actual results achieved rather than potential ones that might or might happen.

      Thanks for reading my post and your feedback. Much appreciated. ~Jude

  • Hi Jude,
    These are some very savvy tips that I hope your readers will take to heart. A home-based internet business can be such a great opportunity for so many people if they approach the opportunity with the right mindset. Unfortunately, the scams out there set the stage for very unrealistic expectations. Achieving success takes time but what doesn’t?

    I think access to step-by-step training is critical. The individual steps are not difficult, but you have to know where to start, and you’re going to have questions along the way. Isn’t that true of any new activity? I would love to see more people being willing to invest time and effort in their future.

    My financial investment has been minimal but the time investment has been substantial. I’m OK with that because my business is growing and it’s exciting to see the momentum build. Thanks for providing the reality check. It’s refreshing!

    • Thank you for your input, Linda. I understand what you are saying about the financial vs time investment. It takes a while to get the momentum going, for sure. That’s why persistence is crucial. I’ve seen many give up just when the proverbial snowball was about to roll down the giant slope gathering speed. It takes time and patience, but it is worth it.

      Glad you found the post worthwhile. Thanks for visiting and reading, Linda. Wishing you continued success with your online endeavors. ~Jude

  • Hello Jude,

    I must admit that I love your article. You have taught me so meany valuable lessons through this article. Indeed the internet today is scary and as a result, we all need to be vigilant.

    I really like your advice on doing some research before jumping into any offer or signing up for any online program.

    And yes, advertising can be very deceptive. People are in fact ready to go to the extent possible to do all they can just to convince you to buy or sign up for the offer, even if it is not something legitimate.

    So, as you said, I will rather look for an offer or a program, that allows you to join for free or has free trial membership, in this way, you can test it out and see if it is something legitimate and can really help you make some money.

    Thank you so much for sharing this great and helpful article with me.

    • Stephen, thank you so much for your kind feedback. I’m glad you gained some benefit from the information in my post. 

      I remember when starting out I sometimes got so excited about a program or product that I jumped in too quickly without researching and checking out the facts or bona fides of the people behind it, only to wish later that I had. 

      As you say, these days we have so much misleading information, fake news, and confusing marketing messages – indeed we must remember that marketing is all about pushing our emotional buttons to buy things we don’t really need…lol.

      Thanks for stopping by – I greatly appreciate your valuable input. 


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