If you’ve been an online entrepreneur for more than a day, you realize that things get busy fast. All that “freedom” you left your day job for in order to become your own boss requires that you do a good deal of work before you benefit. But wow! Those benefits can be life changing.
In a recent email to my list, I asked the folks what they were struggling with most. I’ll share the problems of those entrepreneurs and my answers.
The problems I’ll address in this post are:
#1 – Overwhelm / Too Much Information
Does this sound like you?
So many moving parts so I lose motivation and give up only to start over again. Too much information about chatbots, automated systems. Ai etc. Getting distracted. Difficult to focus on one approach and follow through.
This is a real struggle for online entrepreneurs.
You are not alone. So many businesspeople, new or advanced, hit this wall.
One challenge this entrepreneur mentions is that it’s difficult to focus and follow through. And this is the key. It doesn’t matter whether you suffer from shiny object syndrome and are chasing every new thing around the Internet, or you simply are bombarded with ideas you would love to try. The result is the same.
A lot of energy is expended, but nothing happens.
How do you overcome distraction and overwhelm? Try these.
- Make a list of three things to accomplish in the next seven days. Most people will have dozens of things that they either want to happen, or that need to happen. Narrow it down to three things. Try to keep the complication level easy to moderate.
The idea is to set up, work through, and accomplish something so that you can experience the process and celebrate the victory.
- Break out each of the three and list what steps you should take to make them happen.
- Assign an amount of time that you will work on each of these three for the next seven days (or until they are finished… if you get done in 5 days, great!). For example, 30 minutes per day on easy task #1. Then one hour on moderate task #2 and two hours on moderate task #3.
- Eliminate distractions. If you get sucked into wasting hours on your phone surfing Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, turn the sound off and move your phone to another room until you have finished working.
If you get constant calls from friends or family, let them go to voicemail.
For example, move your phone into your bedroom, and 30 minutes later, when you have finished working on project #1, you can check your phone.
You get the idea. Whatever is distracting you, turn it off, block it out, or otherwise set it aside temporarily, while you are working.
When it comes to all the new thing swirling around the Worldwide Web, ask yourself these questions before you hang a hard left and get derailed (again):
- Have I implemented all of the foundational elements I need to implement? If you haven’t completed the basics, there’s rarely a need to go in search of something different.
- Will this training/tool/technology help me withing the next 30 days? If not, skip it. I promise you, something else will come along later that will be just as appealing.
- Will this have a long-term, positive impact on my business? If not, skip it. Businesses that are built on fads require WAY more energy because they are always starting over again with the next trend.
Get Help and Support
Something else that I highly recommend is getting the training you need at the time you need it.
Technically speaking, it may be monetarily free to attempt to learn things on YouTube or from podcasts, blogs, etc. But nothing is ever really free. Practically everything in life has an upside and a downside.
Well, you may not be paying money for the information you are receiving, you are losing out on the ability to ask questions and have them answered in detail, to work within a community of people who can offer suggestions and ideas, etc.
This is my top recommendation because it not only offers professional training in a bite-sized format (so it’s easy to do), there is also a roadmap of what you need to do when plus assistance.
#2 – Writing Blog Posts
The problem these entrepreneurs are facing is keeping up with the demands of posting to their blogs. I get that. Coming up with constant ideas and writing blog posts on a regular basis can become a strain. Here are several solutions that will lighten the load and links to find more help.
- Use Templates – These give you a starting point and direction so you can follow the steps with ease from idea to conclusion. Blog post templates save lots of time while allowing you to express yourself fully. Find blog post templates here.
- Use Private Label Rights (PLR) – PLR blog posts have been fully written by someone else. You can use them as-is or edit them to reflect your voice and ideas. Because PLR is so varied, you’ll want to do an online search for “[your niche] blog PLR” to find options. Be sure to review each PLR seller’s use license
- ChatGPT - Using AI to come up with topic ideas, do research and even write the blog posts is a huge plus. Don’t want a bot to write your articles? Ask ChatGPT to provide you with the research and an outline. Then you can take it from there.
- Outsource Blog Writing – Hire a Virtual Assistant or someone else to be on your business team and task them with writing the blog content. Submit a job on VA Networking or Virtual Assistant Internship’s 90 Day VA.
3 - Monetizing My Blog
How can I monetize my blog? This is what one subscriber asked. There are so many options for monetizing a blog these days including:
- Google AdSense: Sign up for Google AdSense to display ads on your blog. You'll earn money when visitors click on or view these ads. If your blog is small, you will likely not make a ton of money, but it will be the start of a passive stream of income.
- MediaVine: Another popular ad network that allows you to display contextual ads on your blog. MediaVine does require that you have 50,000 sessions per month to qualify.
- Affiliate Marketing: (My fave!) Promote products or services related to your blog's niche through affiliate programs. Earn a commission on sales generated through your referral links. It’s the same thing as telling people about the products/services you love.
You can affiliate marketing networks like Amazon Associates (their commissions are really low), ShareASale, or CJ Affiliate to find relevant products.
However, one of the best ways is to simply reach out to the companies that provide products and services you love and ask if they have an affiliate program.
- Sell Ad Space Directly: Once your blog gains traction, approach companies or advertisers directly to sell ad space on your blog.
- Sponsored Content: Work with brands or companies to create sponsored posts or articles related to your niche. They will pay you for featuring their content.
- Sell Digital Products or Services: (Another favorite of mine!) Create and sell ebooks, online courses or other digital products related to your blog's content.
- Membership or Subscription Models: Offer premium content or a members-only area on your blog for a monthly or yearly fee.
- Donations and Crowdfunding: Add a donation button or use platforms like Ko-fi or Buy Me a Coffee to accept voluntary contributions from your readers.
- Sponsored Reviews: Write honest reviews of products or services in your niche, and charge companies for featuring their offerings.
- Podcasting or YouTube Channel: Extend your content to other platforms like podcasts or YouTube channels, which can also be monetized through ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
- Partnerships and Collaborations: (This works well for me, too.) Collaborate with other bloggers or influencers in your niche for joint ventures, product launches, or co-authored content.
- Sell Your Blog: If your blog becomes highly successful, you can consider selling it to interested buyers in the online marketplace.
#4 – Writing Sales Copy That Converts
Another subscriber wrote that they were struggling with writing copy. The comment was: Eighteen people sign up for an on-line event and 1 shows up...what's up? Feel like I'm trying every magic sauce and nothing is working!
It’s difficult to know if having 18 people register is a good conversion rate or not without also knowing the number of people your invitation was sent to.
On the positive side…
If you have an email list of 100 subscribers and 18 people signed up, that’s an 18% conversion rate, which is awesome! So now you’ve proven that your copy is actually pretty darn good and now you just need to drive more traffic to the page.
As for event attendance, I have found that live attendance to webinars and other such online events has been steadily dropping over the past four to five years. Ten years ago, it was expected that 75% of the people who registered for your event would show up live. Now it is down to around 10%. That means your attendance was just a little bit lower than average.
It seems that most would rather watch the replay at a time of their own choosing. Perhaps, adding a special bonus, for people who show up live (such as a checklist or a short guy that goes deeper into the topic) might help you out.
On the other side…
If your event information was sent out to 1,000 people, you’re 18 registrations would give you a conversion rate of a little less than 2%. And, obviously, that’s not great.
In this case, try making some tweaks to your copy and try again on your next event. You could look for examples online to find ideas. If you need some copywriting training, this or this could give you the skills you need.
NOTE: NEVER, ever copy verbatim what someone else has created. You can use what you find online for inspiration, but copying someone else’s work is breaking intellectual property law. If you are reported, you could face high fines.
#5 – Make More with Etsy
One question most Etsy sellers have is about the low cost that printables sell for. How can you make decent money if the item cost is only a few dollars.
The idea is to make it up and volume.
But there are things you can do to boost your sales.
- Offer Bundles – combine several of your individual products into a single bundle. People view bundles as having high value. Why would they want to pay $3 for a checklist when they could pay $10 for a complete pack of checklist, guide, and five templates?
- Write & Sell Guides – Short ebooks have become much more popular in the last year or two. Especially if they are beginners guides that walk people who are interested in a particular topic through the basics so they can better understand what is involved.
In addition to bundles and guides, these are also ways to earn more on Etsy:
Selling B2B items such as:
- PLR products (private label rights). You create planners or checklists or whatever and other Etsy sellers buy them, tweak your creations a bit and then resell them.
- Bits and pieces needed to create other products. For example, you might sell packs of digital paper, sets of icons, collections of images, etc. It's sort of like selling yarn and patterns to Etsy sellers who will then knit custom sweaters and sell them in their shops.
Take those printables you've made and upload them to other places including:
- Teachers Pay Teachers (if yours are educational items)
- Amazon KDP (your guides for example, if they are 6" x 9" so that Amazon can print them out and then ship to customers)
- Redbubble – If your products could be turned into physical items such as t-shirts, notepads, cards, etc.
Keep this in mind -----> I do not recommend having all your eggs in one basket. All it will take, is for Etsy to make one algorithm change, and all of your business and hard work will disappear. (Yes, I mean that to sound as scary as it is.)
Whether you choose to sell on Etsy, or do something else, do not put yourself in such a dangerous position. Always diversify.
#6 – Earning from Affiliate Marketing
The first thing you will need to do is evaluate who your current audience is and what they are interested in.
Essentially, affiliate marketing is about sharing products and services that you think others would benefit from.
Think about the last time you went to a really great restaurant. You probably texted some of your friends or family and told them about how wonderful your experience was because you thought they would also enjoy going to that restaurant.
Affiliate marketing is just like this and its most basic form. You need to know what your audience is interested in so you can be on the lookout for the products and services that they will be excited about.
This is exactly what I do when I send out emails to people on my email list. Or when I write a blog post that features affiliate products. I've chosen these because at least part of my list has expressed an interest in that type of product or service.
Once you have determined what your audience might be interested in, you can start to look for affiliate programs that would be a good match.
Think about the products you currently use that would also be a good fit with your audience. Then go to their website and see if they have affiliate programs.
Every time you come across something that you think your list would love, check to see if an affiliate program is available.
It is just that easy to get started in affiliate marketing.
Of course, as you continue, there's a lot more that you can learn and grow.
There is a lot to do when you are an online entrepreneur. Hopefully, the suggestions provided here will give you the steps you need to make progress in these four areas.