trees without leaves in the desert on a sunny day

5 Ways to Botch Online Marketing

Selling your products and services online is more difficult than selling them the traditional way for a number of reasons. There are different ways to fail and waste your resources. Small entrepreneurs, especially those handling their own marketing, are particularly susceptible to these mistakes.

You invest more time in SEO than in writing good content.


SEO is fast becoming irrelevant as more natural ways of making connections with sites and people online are becoming favored. Google is actually forcing you to write for people, not for them. It’s the people who come to the search engine who are looking for information. The search engine on its own doesn’t care about your company. It only ranks it in the search results according to how relevant it is, and the way it ranks sites has changed dramatically over the years.

Sure, keywords and link building still have their place, but focusing your marketing budget and time on these technical things is a shortsighted measure bound to give inconsistent results.

The first thing you have to keep in mind: write to and for people.

You’re trying too hard on all social media sites.


People will smell your flattery, attention-seeking, and deceit soon enough. We have grown weary of sales people, and if you act like a typical sales guy, we are going to unfollow you or block you. If you act like you are selling your products like there’s no tomorrow, if you keep shoving your brand down our throats every chance you get on every social network, we are going run away as fast as we can. The thing about marketing is you have to do it subtly. Again, it’s about selling without looking like you’re selling.

Your website is dull.


All right, you rocked on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You got a hundred thousand followers. Engagement is good. But your website is boring. Or it’s difficult to navigate. It has lots of flashy ads. None of those you lured into your death trap stayed long enough on your turf to feel the damp grass on their feet. You got two options:

  1. Fix your website. Maybe look at other websites to find out the right thing they’re doing.
  2. Hire a web designer.

You ignore your people.


We hate snobs and snubbers. We don’t like them. When the people we invest even 3 minutes of our time in don’t give back or respond to us, we think they’re being snobbish or indifferent. Either is bad for business, which is essentially built upon meaningful connections. You might think it’s all about selling and earning revenue? No. Business is about connections. Money happens when you make good connections, and good connections only follow good communication. We’re social animals. We love to talk to each other. So please respond to your readers, followers, fans, and loyal customers. If you can’t, hire someone who can.

Cut the spamming!


Lazy money-lovers think they can get away with flooding people’s inboxes with their emails. News: Spam is still annoying! We don’t like it. We recognize it from a mile away. And we delete it and block the offending sender.