There seems to be an expectation that online success comes easier than success anywhere else in the business world.
Building an online business, has many parallels with building a bricks and mortar business, and if you think you're going to be making a full time income from the web after 6 months, then think again.
A touch of reality for you, if a little harsh - creating a successful online business certainly doesn't happen overnight (for the majority of us), and it takes plenty of hard work, motivation and dedication.
Are you really prepared to devote the next couple of years to building your online empire?
Online, people generally need to like you and trust you before they will want to listen to your advice, spend time at your blog/website or ultimately buy your products or services.
Building trust takes time, and requires you to stand out from the crowd in your blog posts, web content and Twitter and Facebook accounts.
So what is it that you do best?
Identifying your specific niche, helps you not only optimise a website, and use keywords to your advantage, but also to identify yourself from your competitors.
Unless you have a brand new, never seen product, there are probably already others online who do what you do, so ask yourself, what is it that makes you different from the masses? This involves you sharing the uniqueness of 'you'. After all this is at the core of what makes you different to your online competition, your unique view of the world.
For those of us who are private, sharing may be difficult at first.
Think about it like this.. Take a look at the people who you respect and trust online. Do you feel like you 'know them' to a certain extent?
They have shared enough of themselves to 'make a connection' with you, and thus become relevant, or even important in your growth.
Networks can be built through physical networking, as well as online networking. The more places that you 'pop up' as an expert, as someone who provides valuable advice and help, the more networks you gradually become a part of, and can tap into.
I call this 'seeding', and use the analogy of 'spreading the seed' or 'the buzz' about your business in varied locations, and in varied ways.
Again, don't expect success overnight. Just because someone has added you to their LinkedIn, or Facebook network, it does not yet mean they are immediately willing to refer a whole lot of business to you.
Slowly but surely, you will grow testimonials, positive comments, and followers, who will then refer others to you.
Have you ever heard the phrase 'safety in numbers'?
In the online world this can have varied applications.
There is certainly some level of safety in high volumes of organic traffic, but also in spreading your skill across multiple websites, blogs and products.
Relying on a single product or website is a risky way to do business.
Recently I have seen two 'big profiles' online have their Facebook and YouTube accounts pulled, for no apparent reason. These businesses were reputable, highly trusted and with tens of thousands of people in their respective networks. They were not being penalised for being 'scammers', but it shows that we are all at risk of this happening.
Google have been known to do the same thing with Adsense accounts, and it is not always easy or quick to have your account reinstated. In this instance, if you only had one stream of income that had gone belly-up, how would you be paying the bills?
Creating multiple streams of income gives you financial security, and removes the risk of one of them 'not performing' for reasons that may be out of your control, like changes to Google algorithms and the like.