The Challenge of an Online Business

wordpress-for-elearningStarting an online business is the dream for many people. The idea of waking up in the morning to check a few emails, look at sales, and then make yourself some breakfast is quite appealing.

But it’s a false reality, at least for successful online businesses.

I was inspired to write this post because I was answering a pre-sales message from a perspective customer and they wanted to know how LearnDash compared to a new competing product that they had discovered.

It was the first I heard of the product so I jumped over to their sales page to learn a bit more. The sales page was littered with online marketer jargon. Words and phrases like “autopilot“, “just 60 seconds“, “passive income“, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to market their product in a way they feel is best – no problems there. However, I think that this approach highlights some very real misconceptions of online business.

Let’s say you create a comprehensive online course to sell in your area of expertise. If the course is any good then it will certainly take months to develop. At the same time you need to be building an online presence so as to gain initial interest, search engine visibility, and ultimately sales. There are no shortcuts here, it takes a lot of time and consistency.

On top if it, you will need to be constantly communicating with customers (and perspective customers) to answer their questions, and not every interaction will be a positive one.

While running your online course business you will also need to be aware of your market and the overall demands. If you are making money from your course then I can guarantee you that you will start to see competitors. If you are taking the “passive income” approach to your business then you won’t be generating income very long.

You see, the biggest challenge of an online business is that the barriers to entry are so incredibly low that you don’t have time to be passive. You have to constantly (and I mean constantly) keep on your toes. This means keeping old customers happy, finding new customers, improving your offering, networking, and innovating.

The challenge with online business is that there is a misconception as to what it takes to run one. There is nothing “passive” about it as you will work harder than you ever have in your life.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. John Burton

    Justin, Thank you for sharing what you have learned and experienced in developing, launching, maintaining, and running a successful online business. Your ideas and experiences are very informative for persons considering developing an online business!

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