You’ve taken in a lot of information.
You’ve read articles, listened to podcasts, and maybe even taken courses.
Yet you’re still not quite sure what it takes to create a successful lifestyle business, are you?
In the beginning stages, confusion is the norm, because knowledge cannot replace experience.
I see my clients and customers make the same mistakes over and over again, so let’s have a look at what they are, shall we?
1. You Don’t Have a Niche
If you’re building a house, you need a good foundation.
Building a lifestyle business is no different. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean you can skimp on the essentials.
You have to find the intersection between what you love to do, and what people are willing to pay for.
A niche doesn’t necessarily mean that you become an expert in a narrow area, such as growing bananas. You can also take people to a destination, like I do.
But you need to have these basic building blocks in place before you start.
This is what my Find Your Niche Workshop covers. It helps you cut through the fluff and make progress without overwhelm.
After you’ve got your niche, it’s time to get your website up and running.
2. Your Website Lacks the Essentials
Just starting a website or blog is not enough.
If you want to build a business, you have to have the right website elements in place.
You don’t need a lot of stuff when you start. No SEO, social media or fancy gadgets needed.
Those can come later. Right now, you have to focus on what truly matters.
This comes as a relief to many of my clients and customers, because it means less overwhelm and more action.
So what are the essential elements?
- An about and contact page
- A newsletter (I use Aweber)
- A Newsletter sign-up page (like mine here)
- A Newsletter sign-up incentive
- 5 solid blog posts
- A clean, simple design (optional, but recommended)
If you’re still confused, I’ll be conducting a Business Website Essentials Workshop in mid-April (this month) that will help you do this step-by-step, so keep an eye out for that.
And that brings up another big problem: not having an email list.
3. You Don’t Have an Email List
The most important part of your lifestyle business is your email list.
It’s not enough to use feedburner for RSS and email subscribers. You don’t control those subscribers, and you cannot send them emails whenever you want.
There’s a big difference between feedburner and say, Aweber (affiliate link that gives me a small share of your purchase at no cost to you).
If you have nothing else on your website, you need an email list. And you need to get people on that list.
It’ll help you get to know your readers and their problems. It’ll help you create and launch products.
In short, it’ll help you build a lifestyle business.
If you need more tips, check out my email marketing 101 series.
4. Your Writing is Off
And, of course, you need to have great content on your blog and your newsletter, otherwise everything will fall into pieces.
I’m not talking about perfect writing here.
Writing for an online audience requires a certain structure and format.
You need to have a good great headline, opening paragraph, and your post has to be interesting.
Most articles I see are all over the place. They go on tangents. They aren’t proof-read. And they are, in short, not worthy of human eyeballs.
A great piece of content should be outlined, focused, and interesting.
As you write more and more, you’ll get better.
I’m not saying this to discourage you, but to help you become aware of how to write for the web.
But none of this matters if you don’t have people visiting your website.
5. You Use the Wrong Traffic Strategies
If you already have a blog or website, and it isn’t growing, something needs to change.
You have to be willing to experiment, because what works for me might not work for you.
I built Wake Up Cloud almost solely on guest posting, but in some niches guest posting doesn’t work.
In short, if you aren’t getting the results you want, you need to try something else. If you just say “Well, I’ve tried to start a business and it didn’t work,” then you don’t want this enough.
Building a lifestyle business takes determination.
You may not succeed on the first go, but you will if you keep going, experimenting, and learning.
Refuse to stop.
6. Your Products Are All About You
Creating products isn’t easy, but it isn’t all that hard, either.
If you create products you think are good, you’re going to be disappointed.
The easiest way to create your first series of products is to listen to your readers. Look at the questions they ask, the problems they run into, and listen to what they have to say.
This is why building an audience (and an email list) is so important. It gives you valuable research data that you can’t get anywhere else.
Every single one of the products I’ve created has come from problems my readers, customers and clients have.
It doesn’t have to be hard. There is a process you can follow.
But it still requires you to adapt that process into your life and business.
7. Your Marketing is … Not So Good
Last, but not least, in order to make money, you have to know how to sell.
Marketing doesn’t have to be sleazy. It all depends on how you use it.
I like to stay as honest as possible in my marketing. And if you’re reading this article, I think you want that, too.
Your readers won’t automatically flock to buy your products and services.
Think about all of the products you’ve never bought. Life gets in the way.
Start thinking about how you can market what you do better.
Think about the results people will get from your products, instead of telling them about how many pages your ebook is or how many workbooks they’ll get.
Learn, Experiment and Implement
As you can see, building a lifestyle business is a constant journey of growth.
You learn, experiment and implement.
If you don’t truly love what you do, then it’s not going to happen. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who are eager to learn more.
Yes, they’re scared, uncertain and uncomfortable, but they keep going.
Each mistake you make is a stepping stone to success.
Each failure is a learning experience.
Don’t avoid them. Embrace them, and you’ll be surprised at the results.
Take things one step at a time, and you’ll do just fine.
Photo by rooopert (CC BY 2.0)