How Not To Start A Business Online!

It is authoritative. You can make money online without investing a dime! This has been proved over and over again. But the truth is what you make that way can hardly pay the bills!

Now if you’re blogging for cash, if you expect to make money with your blogs, you must not fall into the mistake of making promises based on the fact of making money online without spending money.

Over the years I’ve seen many promising online entrepreneurs fall into this trap. And it is common with bloggers.

Personally I’ve walked that path. When I started online I had barely enough to invest in most of the programs and tools for sale. I was forced therefore to seek the free way. I soon discovered that there were good and effective tools and resources you can pick up for free. I had to turn to these. But frankly that made moving forward a real laborious journey. I had to do a lot of things myself since the money was not there to invest on even the simplest items.

Now I must confess that in a way it was a plus for me as I was able to learn a lot of things. I learnt to code html from scratch, set up my own websites, install scripts, do my own banners, etc. I used free services like,, and others to host my websites. I used free autoresponder services like and others. With these services I was able to build a sizable list that I was promoting affiliate products to. But like everything free on the net, there were limitations to these services.

Decision To Help Others

After some time having learnt most of these things I felt I should also help other aspiring newbies online entrepreneurs with their dreams by providing them with resources and tools that will help them make money online. I used my knowledge and experience as the launching pad. And as expected my promise was, “I will help you build and market your business online, why pay the high fees and expend your bank account when you can get everything free!”

Now that was a big promise that everyone who wants some free info will take and on its own there was no problem. The truth is I’ve over the years used many free services that can truly help my target audience do the same. But I did not take into consideration a few things. One is the fact that I’m into business and needs to make a gain with my investment. Creating content, doing research to provide my web readers with the very best tools and resources, took my precious time and in most cases energy. But I’ve promised to give these away for free!

It was the experience I had during this time and other examples that I’ve come across on the net that led me to come to the conclusion that this is a wrong way of building a business online.

Reacting Negatively To Net Guru Lies!

Before I make the attempt to point out some of the reasons why you should not build your business on this promise of providing your target audience everything free, I want to state that many of those who fall into this error are those who think the online gurus are crooks. To them what these self acclaimed gurus are peddling as products on which they make millions can really be picked up for free all over the net.

Of course that is the truth. As I have mentioned above I took the path of free when I started out. I did many things for free but the truth is that it also took me a long time to make any appreciable progress. And if you’ll agree, time is money! So even when you are not paying a dime for what you are doing you are in one way or the other paying a price!

Now I’m not a fan of these gurus in any way. I’m against most of their dubious attempts to fleece innocent newbies off their hard earned money. But the truth still stands that as content publishers (infopreneurs if you so desire) receiving a reward for your hard work is not out of place.

Laying A Wrong Foundation For Your Business

Now I’ve come across many blogs where the owner promises to provide their audience everything free. Many web surfers truly love such blogs. A common feature you will see in such places is that the blogger first in no good terms give the gurus some tongue lashing (or do you say, mouse lashing) for their greed!

But frankly, any time I come across such blogs I know by instinct that such a blogger is not making any thing substantial. Most times those promising such deals use free services just as I did when I started out. So for them charging for something that you can get free is not good. That is good reasoning indeed. But if your intension is to make money online then that route is the wrong one.

Here are some reasons why that is a wrong foundation for your online business

1. You’re In Business And Not Some Charity Work!

The first reason is the fact that as a business your first priority is survival in the market place. And to survive you need to create a profit and if you must create a profit you need customers. That is the only way to sustain a business whether online or offline. If your promise is to provide your readers with only free information and tools that will help them profit online how do you make the profit if your readers don’t spend money. Don’t deceive yourself, if you do not give them something to buy they will go out there and buy some where else!

Ok, some bloggers will argue that you could monetize your blog with selling ads to other businesses. But is doing that keeping to your promise of providing everything free? Are those advertisers not selling some product or service which they want your readers to buy? So if they go on and buy such a product or service did not part of that go to you as payment for selling the ad space?

2. The Moral Question

Point #1 above brings us to this very important point. I’ve found that many of those who give promises of providing free information to their readers turn around from time to time promoting affiliate programs. Ok it is understandable that you may not be using the same tactics the gurus are using. But ask yourself; are you morally right to do that when your promise from the beginning is to provide everything free?

I must say this is the biggest question why I’ve decided that it is wrong to start a business with that promise. I made that mistake a few times in the past and discovered I couldn’t bring myself to promote anything that will make my readers spend money. My subconscious mind saw to it that in all my content I stay within my promise! I unknowingly conditioned myself to stay away from selling anything either by way referrer or out right selling!

I’m sure you can understand my plight here.

3. The Wrong Mind Conditioning

Another reason why you shouldn’t start your online business by giving the wrong promises is the fact that from the beginning you’ll be conditioning your target audience to you-can-get-everything- free mindset. But you know, there is nothing like a free lunch!

Sometime ago I came across a blog post where one of the popular content publishing sites who had given the promise of providing every content to their site users free, came out one day with a surprise. Now this site had been supporting its operations with ads on the site. However, because of their desire to provide the best for the sit users they had to employ more hands to run the operations. With this came increased operational costs and to off-set these costs they came up on this particular day with an offer that asked their visitors and members to purchase a particular product.

And how did they do it? Expecting that every of their visitors will understand their plight and help out they created an ad that showed up and asked everyone to take up their product before accessing the site!

This drew no small out cry from majority of the site users. Their reason? Of course the fact that they have promised to provide all content free and never put a price tag on it!

Can you understand what I’m driving at here? Don’t condition your site or blog visitors to expect every thing for free. Promising every thing free after bashing the ‘gurus’ is good but if you later on promote products or services that demands payment, they will see you as nothing but a cheat. They will even class you with the gurus you have tried to push down in your sweet talk!

Building Trust Is Much Better Online Than Trying To Play The Better Guy!

So if giving such promises is the wrong way what then is the right way? I must say the better way is to be straight forward from the beginning. Instead of promising everything free, promise rather to help them save money and time by keeping their investment low. This is not much different from in principle but the simple change in wording puts them in the right to see their expenditure as an investment.

You should help them understand that building a business online definitely should not cost them an arm. But they still need to know that they must be ready to invest in that business by purchasing at least the basic thing like webhosting and domain names. Besides, if that business needs to grow there is the need also to reinvest the little they’re making. This is what businesses all over the world do.

Besides, letting them know that you will also be receiving a commission when they buy using your affiliate links will help put them in the right frame of mind. If you’re truly giving them value for their time and resources then helping you also to make a small commission will not be out of place. It will only be an obligation! It is a matter of a good turn deserves another!

So are you giving the wrong promises trying to build your business online? Or do you have a contrary view to this? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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