Last updated on October 12th, 2014 at 05:15 pm
Online business is lucrative. And it can really make you financially independent — whether you target a global or a Nigerian audience.
And the fact that many Nigerians are making money online — through various business models — drives home that point.
However, some Nigerians will never make a kobo online, no matter how hard they try. (That might sound harsh, but it’s the pure truth.)
And if you’ve been into online business for years and haven’t made anything, you might just be one of these people.
But before giving up and dispelling online business as sheer hoax, check yourself for these warning signs:
1. You’re a grammar goof
Much of your efforts in online business will be channeled into writing. Blog posts, sales pages, newsletters, e-books, and so on are all products of writing.
While you don’t necessarily have to write in perfect English, your grammar must be far above average. Although a Nigerian audience might be more tolerant of your grammar mistakes than a global audience, even a Nigerian audience won’t deem you credible if you write too poorly.
So, if you’re not making money online, it may be that your grammar is bad. And in that case, you need to work on it before coming back to online business.
2. You’re into online business because you’re broke
I recently received a call from a guy who was considering venturing into online business and needed me to put him through. His motivation? He was dead broke at the time, and he needed a source of quick income. I instantly told him that online business isn’t for him.
Now, there are many other Nigerians like that guy. I mean, those who think online business can provide them with a quick fix for their terrible financial situation.
If your motivation for plunging into online business is to make quick money, you’re sure to fail — not only because succeeding at online business naturally takes time, but because also you’ll hardly do things right under such pressure.
3. You’re a desperado
Some people are into online business to make money at all cost — even if that requires going unethical. Such people do all sorts of things out of desperation to make quick money. They click on their own Adsense ads. They spread false news on social media and online forums just to attract traffic to their blogs. They display photoshopped proofs of their earnings, just to fool others into buying the shitty products they’re trying to sell. And they sprinkle links to their blogs everywhere on the web just to get cheap traffic.
If you’re guilty of any of these, you won’t make a dime online because Internet users will always get smarter. Adsense has a way of detecting self-clicks. People are becoming blind to obtrusive links that disrupt discussions on blogs, forums, and social media platforms. And people can now identify most scams easily. So, in the end, it is you who will be frustrated out of the system — with nothing!
4. You’re stingy
While you can get lots of quality information on the internet for free, there are times when you have to pay to get access to some really valuable information.
No doubt, the internet abounds with scams and bullshit that are not worth your money. But that doesn’t rule out the existence of genuine information products that come at a cost. It’s left to you to know how to identify scams when you see them online (This post by Akaahan Terungwa will open your eyes.)
While you have to be cautious, you shouldn’t think of every premium offer as a scam — just to give yourself some excuse not to buy it.
If dropping some cash is the only way you can get some products or information that you think will be of great help, do that–provided you’re convinced it’s not a scam. Spending some money can really boost your chances of succeeding in online business.
People are into online business to make money, not to give out everything in their brain for free. And that’s why they’ll ask you to pay to get some valuable information, or a product or service. And doing the same is the only way you too can make money online.
So, if you’ve sworn never to leave Blogger because you don’t want to spend on your blog until starts fetching you money, well, it’s your choice. If you’re looking around for hacks and cracks because you don’t want to spend money, keep it up. If you’re snubbing valuable e-books and e-courses because are not free, keep wallowing in the mire of mediocrity.
If you think you should get everything you need for free, trying giving out everything you have for free too, and let’s see how you’ll make a kobo online.
5. You’re a dumbass
Some people will not make money online simply because they’ve chosen not to be smart. No matter how much things are simplified or laid bare for such people, they’ll never understand.
I once received a call from someone who claimed he had read every page of my free e-book and enjoyed it. Then he went ahead to ask me how to optimize a blog post for certain keywords. I couldn’t believe the question came from someone who just claimed he had read “every page” of my free e-book. I simply told him to go back to read the e-book again to find the answer to his question.
If you’re familiar with this blog, you’d have known that I reply most comments. But I sometimes trash or simply ignore some questions because I deem them too dumb. After spending hours writing a post that explains how to open a PayPal account in very clear and easy-to-understand terms, I still got a question in the comment that read, “Please, how can I open a PayPal account?”
In short, if you’re not smart, you won’t make money online.
6. You’re a copycat
If you’re blogging on entertainment news and celebrity gist simply because Linda Ikeji is making money from that niche — and not because you’re passionate about the niche — you’re a copycat.
If you’re copying posts from other blogs and pasting to yours without obtaining permission from the author, you’re not only a copycat, but also an e-criminal. In fact, crediting the author doesn’t vindicate you if you didn’t obtain his or her permission in the first place.
And if you’re always copying blog post ideas from other blogs without ever brainstorming for new ideas yourself, you’re a copycat.
If you’re a copycat, you won’t make money online. Why? Because for every idea or information you copy, there’s always some remnants of it left within the originator of that idea or information — which you cannot copy. For example, you can only copy other people’s ideas, but you cannot copy how they plan to implement those ideas if they haven’t revealed that. So, you’ll most likely fail at implementing such ideas.
7. You’re stubborn
Stubbornness is when you believe so strongly in your own ideas that you don’t accept corrections or criticism — even when it’s obvious that you’re doing things wrongly.
Truth is, most rules about online business are not etched in stone, and breaking few of them at times could even lead to resounding successes. But downplaying all rules or breaking them without a strong conviction that this can be of help will only land you in the quicksand of failure.
8. You’re a “no-actioner”
Those who are making good money online achieved that feat because they didn’t just learn, but they also took action — quickly.
It’s a no-brainer that the only way to boost your chances of making money online is to get started in the first place. If you’re dreaming of become the next Linda Ikeji and are still busy searching the web for information on how to play your cards right, you’ll remain a dreamer until you take action.
In fact, to succeed in online business, you need to not just act, but also act very fast. I personally hold that Linda Ikeji is now a successful blogger because she quickly took action by starting out at a time when only few Nigerians knew about blogging. If she had waited until now, she would be lost in the crowd.
Online business is dynamic. What works today might no longer work again in the next few months. So, you won’t succeed if you’re not a fast action taker.
It’s never too late, though
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in yourself, it’s not too late to get back on the right track. Just start doing the right things from this moment onward, and you’d be on your way to success.
Now, your turn
If you’re guilty of these eight attributes, feel free to “confess” using the comment form, and I’m ready to be of help. Similarly, if you have questions or contributions, share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
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