what to avoid when starting a business

What to avoid when starting an online business

You may be wondering to yourself what do I need to know about starting an online business. I will start by giving you something to avoid when starting online. These are a few lessons I have learnt from the mistakes I have made when starting online.

1. Avoid buying a domain too quickly

When you are starting out, there is a temptation to buy a domain name as early as possible for a variety of reasons.

Domain name is the first thing you need for a web presence

The domain name is your key identifier of your business on the internet. It is your address, and equivalent to the physical address of a physical store. So it needs to be relevant and strong in image. It is also a key element of achieving good google ranking which will bring you traffic that will turn into revenue in due time.

Good domain names are all taken

So many people are looking for good and mostly obvious domain names. So the temptation is to buy that, as soon as you find the first name that looks and sounds good that is still available. It may seem like a good idea at the time. But as you research more you then usually find a better name but then you have already been locked into a year subscription for the domain you have bought.

Action options

You have an option to create a free website with your chosen domain name as a sub-domain on the SiteRubix domain. That way you can get started on building your content as you learn. Once you have gotten to a comfortable stage you can then finally decide on the final domain name, check if it is available and buy.

2. Avoid going for the most popular keywords

This may sound counter intuitive but indulge me for a moment. It is true that popular keywords will have a  lot of traffic. As a result they also attract a lot of competition. By inference it means that it will be a challenge for you to be able to get good ranking that will turn that traffic into sales.

Keyword research is very important.

It is important to research your keywords to inform a number of important activities in your online business. These include choosing a domain name that ranks, and in writing articles that give you good ranking and provide relevant content to the uses.

Use low competition keywords

As opposed to popular keywords, it is wiser to use low competition keywords. These are keywords that have a little bit of traffic and low competition. As a beginner this gives you more chances of being among the top competitors because there currently is very low competition to start with.

It better to have only 5 people of 50 visit your site than for 500 of 5000 not visiting your site.

Use long tail keywords

Long tail keywords are the key to making popular keywords into low competition variations. As the name implies, it is a process whereby you add more words to a keyword to make it more unique. This is mainly achieved by adding a question to a keyword.

For example if you have a drone niche and you want to write an article about beginner drones. Your primary keyword is “beginner drones“. This will have a lot of traffic and a lot of competition. But if you add a tail to it it may take the form

the best beginner drones” or “the cheapest beginner drones“.

To add to the tail you can even go like

What are the best beginner drones?” or “Where do I find the cheapest beginner drones?

These are long tailed keywords that will reduce the competition for ranking of your article.

For more information on keyword research you can click here

3. Avoid spending too much on upfront

Once you start learning the tool and features required to enable your business to function, it is quite easy to fall into the trap of wanting to buy or subscribe to services, tools and plugins that can add value to your functionality and offering.

Some of these tools I came across and felt I needed to use but cost a little of change.

These may include keyword tools, plug ins for list building and email marketing, video scribing tools

Keyword research tools like Jaaxy

It is important to research your keywords to inform a number of important activities in your online business. These include choosing a domain name that ranks, and in writing articles that give you good ranking and provide relevant content to the uses.

However, you can get by using the 30 searches trial on Jaaxy even with its limited information. If you upgrade to Premium on the Wealthy Affiliate certification program you can have full access to the WA Keyword Tool include with all the other other facilities. You can get more detail from the WA review.

4. Trying to be perfect first around

Depending on the type of person you are, you may find that you want to have thing in a perfect order and shape before you can release it for your visitors to read and use. If you try to be perfect or to be an expert in a chosen niche from the beginning you may find yourself working hard but with nothing to start building a reputation.

Be honest

People tend to connect with people that are genuine. If you stop trying to be an expert and just be real and honest about your experiences you will find that people will usually connect better with you. They can easily identify with you as a human being and are more willing to listen to you.

John C. Maxwell actually shared at one his conferences that he had better engagement with his audiences when things were not working by simply telling people about his mistakes. He is an accomplished leadership guru who has written more than 30 books on leadership of which quite a number of them are best sellers. But when he share his failures people listened to him more and learn better because of that.

There is a lot of value in revision

I have found that I learn more long lasting lessons when I review my content later. I now find links between articles that I never thought were related when I wrote them. As I refine what I have done imperfectly I am pleasantly surprised how it hands together. I even started a process which I call the Mystery Shopper review on my own websites and content. I visit my site as a visitor once every weekend to test the user experience. I discover a lot of mistakes and things that do not work as well as things that work well together.


Try to find ways to work with what you have before spending any money on additional services. Ask you peers for alternatives. Especially if you join the Wealthy Affiliate community, there is plenty of experienced people who are will to share with you their tips and tricks on how to achieve certain end goals without requiring paid services. You can also make use of free and trial versions of certain functionalities where available and appropriate. Most of all, keep using your common sense and you will do okay.

You can leave a comment or ask any questions on this topic below.




  1. I just recently created a website, and I am new to blogging. These are good pointers. Lucky enough I had not bought a domain. This was not due to wisdom, it was financial constraints. Lucky I came across this advise. I shall wait a little more before I buy. I will also hold back on spending too much. Thank you

    1. I am glad it is of some use to you. Taking action is the key, and doing it pennywisely is also very good business practise. You do not want to buy white elephant that add no value to your business

  2. This post is so helpful, I’m starting my online journey next week and thanks for pointing out all the things I should avoid – you have saved me a ton of time, wasted effort and money. I have heard about keywords but didn’t really understand them or how to use them – your explanation has been very thorough and helpful, I will certainly take you advice on board – cheers

    1. I am glad that you found it helpful. It is always good to be able to avoid obstacles that others have gone through. I wish you all the best Michael.

  3. Im starting a website and currently trying to put up as much content as I can, but feel that I am kind of slow in putting them out relative to other people. I am learning the training from wealthy affiliate, and so far it has been worth the money. at yearly it’s only $29 per month, so definitely worth the money just from hosting alone.

    1. That is great Kent. I would advise you go at your pace as long you keep it consistent. That way you will keep up the momentum and continue to grow. Trying to keep up with others may exhaust you or discourage you. As you get used and experience, you should gain a natural speed for yourself.

      Wealthy Affiliate is quite worth it as it give practical easy to follow training. Keep up the momentum. Thanks for sharing.

  4. These are great tips for anybody new to Internet marketing. Like you said, it’s very easy to get caught up with the latest apps and plugins and services. Next thing you know, you’re caught up with trying to operate all this stuff.

    Instead of spending time creating fresh content and building your site, you’re spending time trying to manage all your new web gadgets.

    I especially love your mystery shopper tip. Last time I did this was on my phone. Things looked great on my laptop as I created content, but some content was jumbled on mobile.

    Don’t forget that many people will use a small screen to visit your site. Try to look at your site with a phone or tablet as part of your review process.

    Thanks for putting this article together for us. Can you identify a plugin or service you use that’s key to allowing your business to grow?

    1. You are absolutely right JonBro. Mobile compatibility is going to be key from here onwards. Google will be giving more ranking credit for websites that are mobile friendly so it is very important.

      For me the keyword tool is very key to make sure you are focusing on the right key words that are relevant to your niche. It also gives you indications of traffic and competition. You can also get further topics and subsections of content from the results that the keyword tool gives you.

      Thank you for the feeback JonBro

  5. Excellent information. Especially for begginers. I have been doing online marketing for some time now and wish I had someone tell me this when I first started out. This hit the nail right on the head. Especially about buying a domain to fast.

    Good work I must share this post in my Facebook group. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks James for the feedback and the sharing on Facebook. I am glad to share as others need to focus on the next stages of their success journey without dealing with avoidable hurdles.

  6. Hi there! I just finished reading your article here and just had to drop you a quick comment to say how much I enjoyed reading it.

    This article really sums up a lot of what I experienced when I first started online marketing. We all make mistakes and 6 years ago when I first started, I think I made all of the mistakes mentioned here!

    I purchased several domain names before getting the right one. I now know that I should have gone for the most simple domain name, but at the time I was so intent on getting a keyword rich domain.

    I also made the mistake of trying to take on big keywords too. I went months trying to rank for keywords that I really stood no chance of ranking for. Now I go for less competitive words and do very well with that.

    I think a lot of people want their site to be perfect, I know I did at first. I spent quite a long going back over posts and updating them. In reality this inst a bad thing, but it really does take a lot of time.

    Thanks for the tips, I’m sure a lot of people will benefit from this.

    1. So true Andrew, it is easy to fall into the rush of getting things done and dusted according to what we have learnt, which is not a bad thing, that sometimes lands us in the beginners potholes. A considered approach and learning lessons from those who have gone before is always handy. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *