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5 Easy Beginning Home Business Mistakes

Aug 18, 2008
Making mistakes as you start out with a home business is easy. You should make mistakes, in fact. But some mistakes you are better off taking the time to learn about before you make them, rather than after someone catches you making them.

Mistake #1: Faking it until you make it to excess.

Lots of people suggest that you "fake it until you make it," that is, do your best to sound like an expert even when you aren't. The trouble with this kind of advice is that it's very easy to get caught with this kind of a philosophy.

There are the people posting faked Clickbank stats. The ones posting on forums asking for beginning advice on the very topic they're claiming expert status on elsewhere.

I personally don't like to fake it, but if you must, at least do it on a topic where you can keep up the facade. When you get caught faking it the reputation can follow you for years, especially online where people can accidentally or on purpose find out things that happened years ago. And be prepared to take the consequences if you blow it.

Mistake #2: Trying to do everything on just one site.

If you're a beginner, don't try to take on the big sites that cover thousands of topics. Pick a niche. Sure, you can start a blog about your life, your take on finances, your favorite new electronics, what your pet did yesterday, funny pictures you've found online, books and movies you recommend, career advice, camping tips and more, but unless you have a serious gift you aren't going to get a very interested audience.

People like knowing what to expect from a site to at least a degree. If you're trying to cover everything, it comes down to the old saying about "Jack of all trades, master of none."

Mistake #3: Spam of any kind.

Some people spam forums claiming that only email can be spam. Unfortunately for such "marketers," just about everyone else disagrees.

Forums generally have very clear rules about advertising on them. If not, you can read them and quickly figure out the general etiquette that is accepted on that forum.

Odds are that flat out ads as posts will not be accepted, and will be deleted as soon as a moderator passes by. You may or may not be able to have business links in your signature. It's your responsibility to figure out what's allowed and to follow the rules. Otherwise you will never gain any respect for yourself or your business.

Similarly, skip buying an email list. If you can afford one early on, it's probably not a legitimate list. You really don't want to get shut down for spamming, and you certainly don't want to deal with the fines if things get serious.

Mistake #4: Not worrying about credibility.

Many marketers don't seem to care at all if they're credible. I can't tell you how many lists I've unsubscribed from because the list owner promoted obvious junk just for the money, with no care for what the people on his list really wanted.

Same for on websites. If you promote a product when you really don't know anything about it, how credible do you really think you are? Who do you think you're fooling?

Sure you can fool some people, as there are plenty of people out there who will believe anything they read. There's a reason why spammers keep at it, after all. But for a sustainable business model building credibility will take you much, much farther.

Mistake #5: Sitting back and expecting results.

You hear all the time about earning passive income online. Passive income is a wonderful thing. But planning on it too early on is asking to fail.

It takes work to build a passive income. That's not a contradiction. You do the work for however long it takes to get things going. From there you will still have to do some work, but the amount can be decreased. Stop completely and even passive income is likely to fade away.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/blog/ about running her home business. Learn more about starting a home based business at her site.
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