What challenges you most about creating a successful online business?

Working from home, and working online, both present unique challenges. Some people are more challenged with the technical aspects of Internet Marketing, while others struggle with things like time management and organization.

The challenges different people face also include writing, design, dealing with code, link building, getting traffic, analyzing stats, making sales, engaging visitors, market research - the list goes on and on.

Since we are all unique in our combination of skills and experience, we each face a unique set of challenges with our own business model.

I would love to know what challenges YOU most about creating or running your online business. Leave your reply in the comment section below - and feel free to be as brief or as detailed as you like.


p.s. I'll be addressing your responses over the coming weeks, so this is a great opportunity to get your specific questions answered - and get help on the one thing that challenges you most!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. Cindy Bidar says:

    Managing a virtual team is my biggest frustration right now. Keeping tasks organized, on time, and making sure everyone has the right amount of work to do takes a lot of my time. Although I do suspect I have a bit of a micro-management issue. Perhaps my biggest challenge is letting go?

  2. Establishing the structure and finding the time to do it - even step by step, is challenging.

  3. I was thinking about this yesterday. I am finding it hard to stay motivated to keep working on my site. Learning how to build the site takes a long time and it is not looking the way I want it to. I put in a bunch of hours to get it up/started but then I began to fizzle. If it started to make money, that would inspire me to put more time into it. But then I know it wont be profitable 'til I do work on it. This sounds like mostly whining but that is where I am at, at the moment.

  4. Peggy Baron says:

    Right now, what is challenging me the most is finding that cut-off between work and everything else. I have a hard time stopping, finding an end to my work day. There's always one more thing I want to get done first! And then dinner is late...


  5. TrafficColeman says:

    There are many challenges for newbies out their who are just starting..they fear having to do work and not seeing results fast enough.

    "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

  6. Hi Lynn,
    Like Judi, I also had to learn to build my web site . Sometimes it can be very difficult to get things just right. I think that one of the biggest issues I deal with -- is trying to keep the web site looking fresh. You have to constantly update and examine your web site for errors, broken or outdated links, and discontinued videos {I like to just videos to emphasize the point I am trying to make}. When I get tired, I remind myself why I started this web site, and how much I love seeing it grow.

  7. Most challenging? Finding someone to emulate who is doing things the way I'd like to do them myself. Everyone seems to follow largely the same models for the bulk of their efforts (blogging, list building, JVs, etc), and it seems a poor fit for my lifestyle and interests. So while the advice to "find a mentor and do what they are doing" sounds great, in the real world, that seems much easier said than done.


  8. My biggest challenge is bringing in more clients.

    I have never had much problem learning how to do things and finding the right people to do things I don't know how to or can't do. Managing them in person and virtually has never been an issue either (my best strength is management and leadership). But finding new clients (i.e. new money) has always been the hard part in what I do..

    I could always find designers, marketing gurus, network admins, etc to do work that was needed. Get them all to work together considering and planning for each unique style and requirements to make sure the project went smoothly and ontime. But the process of finding, approaching, and bringing in new clients has never been my strong suit (I really suck at sales, I even hate doing it!), and everyone that I know who is good at it have their own businesses!

    Though, my wife and I recently partnered up to bring our talents together, and she's brilliant at Sales and offline marketing, so this challenge might be resolved beginning next year; time will tell. However I am concerned that bringing in new clients is still going to be a challenge as long as the economy is hurting, and it seems it's one of the biggest challenges of most businesses these days; building their collection of contracts that sustain their business.

  9. Marketing, hands down! There's lots of information out there about marketing informational products, but marketing retail is very different and often difficult. I'm finding I can't do it all on line, some of it has to be in person.

  10. Running a successful site requires you to have be a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades. I find it tough to cover enough of these topics on my site will maintaining a balance for the diversity of my audience. Some are more tech savvy than others and all are at different stages. I try to cover beginner to intermediate levels and save the more advanced topics for my private classes.

    The other struggle is to make headlines that use keywords that actually inform beginners too. For instance, SEO is a great topic for everyone to know about, but newbies won't latch on or warm up to that term.

  11. My biggest challenge is finding a good product to sell in my niche. I am finding that a lot of digital products like clickbank products are crap. But finding physical products is equally difficult. I am aching to sell this particular item that I want to build a niche around, but the manufacturers won't dropship. 🙁

  12. Judy von Kleeck says:

    I'm a newbie to actually setting up an online business, though I've probably dappled in my head now for nearly 3 years. Sigh. I gather my biggest challenge I'm facing in "just doing it" is understanding what product or service my niche really needs and finds valuable, and of course, will buy and be happy with. I'm stuck in the "it's already been done" mode, and I am frustrated that I'm not thinking of that one idea that will work.

  13. At first it was all about getting started, and then it was management and organization. Now, its about getting my life to a place where I have a more-or-less steady income so I can apply myself (in my free time) with a sense of clarity (instead of worry all the time about $).

    I would still have to say that the other things you listed: writing, design, dealing with code, link building, getting traffic, analyzing stats, and etc., all come into play for me; but (U)as I began to take your advice to heart(/U), Lynn, I started out trying to comfort myself with learning one thing at a time--really well--till I could honestly feel comfortable explaining it to my someone else. Right now, I am zeroing in on Keywords and Longtail phrases. The satisfaction I have gotten has been great! Even after I have a regular schedule--I believe I will be able to set aside regular time for internet marketing--which gives me a lot of hope. Anyhow, that's my formula for now. :))

  14. As a newbie to Internet Marketing, by biggest challenge I face is not being overwhelmed by all the stuff it's necessary to learn. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy learning new stuff (most of the time)but there's a lot of conflicting info out there. Also keeping motivated whilst I 'sow the seeds'.

  15. Debbie Allen says:

    My biggest challenge right now is building traffic and increasing sales. Of course, I understand that needs to be broken down into steps and bite sized pieces, but it seems that I finally understand more about how things work and why they work - the trick now is, making them work for me and my goals and purposes. I now use outsourcing to save me time and to make more profits for my business. But even with that I am still working long hours each day. I hope to find ways to earn more in less time in 2011.

  16. Richard Bligdon says:

    Getting Traffic!

    There are so many ways to do it(according to the 'experts'),but they all take time and it is said that 80% of all a site's traffic will come from the Search Engines,but that's trying to manuever through traffic on the Freeway!Eaiser said than done,what with all the competition,esp. on page 1.

  17. Link building is forever my nemesis. I've outsourced it only to have people move on time and time again, I've spent hours working on it every week, sometimes every day, and I'm still not where I want to be in the search engines, on page one of course. Link building makes me want to throw in the towel at least once a week.

    Aside from technical details my own brain is my biggest challenge as far as filtering my ideas, writing them down, and getting back to work on what I need to work on right now instead of flitting off to the next project and compulsively starting new things all the time.

  18. I think two of my most challenging things is engaging visitors and making sales. I would like people to take a look around my site more instead of just quickly leaving in such a hurry.

  19. Linda Yarbrough says:

    My biggest challenge is juggling all the balls I have up in the air and still being productive. I've never had shiny-ball-syndrome until lately when I started to shift my emphasis from SEO and web design for clients to internet marketing and affiliate marketing. I'm still retaining my favorite clients but cherry-picking projects more in the future. Having several client businesses sold in the past couple of years has made me realize I want to have more control and create our own residual income.

    We can't do both full steam and it's clear I'm too scattered. One of my sites is a web portal developed as a resource site with lots of categories. For the most part, topics evolved that interest me - not chosen for profit or even ease of monetizing. It is proving to be quite a time management challenge.

    I'm looking forward to you addressing issues from the comments on this blog post over the next several weeks. I've learned a lot just reading your strategies, Lynn. Thank you.

  20. Konnichiwa and nice weekend :
    Lack of patience is the worst allie to make your ebusiness profitable.
    In our case, we´re focused on a very concret market niche but spreading our work in different markets and product lines, mixing our own supplies and affiliate programs with large companies.
    How to reach your target consumer is the k factor but I´d like someone to give me opinion on how to develop our affiliate program with amazon : should we insert the shopping trolley area in our site or let the users leave for amazon after the first click on a book?

  21. I've read a fair amount of business building posts which I understand, however, they all seem to be focused on service based businesses. One of my challenges is figuring out how to apply that information to my art photography. Or perhaps I just need to read different approaches altogether. (I'm tired of reading about "solving problems.")

    Branding, logo design, getting my work in front of the right eyeballs are also challenging.

    I'm also still trying to figure out the best way to balance, divide, or combine my personal blog with my business identity.

  22. As much as I read about it, the most challenging is sticking with a product or service that I know will make a viable and profitable business. Nothing seems to hold my interest long enough or at least generate results to keep me going.

  23. At the moment, I'm struggling to manage my time, as a wife, mom, employer and internet entrepreneur. I'm constantly asking myself, "What am I going to do today?" By the time I've figured it out, there isn't any time left to actually do it! I just downloaded Lynette Chandler's Blogging Planner and Blogging Calendar as you suggested and so I hope that will help me approach my business in a more strategic way

  24. I am definitely motivated to work my online business and I love almost all aspects of it, creating special reports, article marketing etc. except for two things:

    1) I understand the value of outsourcing but I'd like to be able to create my own Landing Pages (with a professional look) as I'd like to have many more, but at this point it's not affordable to be always paying to create each one.
    2) The income from my online business has not replaced my offline income so I also work away from home (and in my other business, which I love) but it takes me away from working in my online business and doing the things that will increase success. So the biggest challenge I have is to implement strategies to increase the income from my online business and growing my list is a very important key.

  25. I've finally gotten over my "shiny new object" syndrome in regards to purchasing courses, but I still have a hard time maintaining focus on one or two websites at a time. I will get super excited about a site and go through about a week of 15 hour days adding/scheduling content and tweaking code to get a basic version online to start ranking. Then I get distracted, usually by something as silly as not being pleased with the graphics or the layout, and that often evolves into doubting my niche and/or domain all together. I have so many sites that have gotten off to good starts, but I can't stay focused long.

  26. Just effectively managing my time between my full-time job and working on my websites is a challenge. It just really seems like there aren't enough hours in the day sometimes.

  27. Chris Welber says:

    My biggest challenge is running a brick and mortar Technology operation and a blog at the same time.

    It seems like some bloggers have it down, but in reality I think running an online business is just as much or more work then a traditional business, it's just you get to work out of your pajama's which working with a lot of clients on technology I do remotely too [hey does that qualify as an internet business? ;-)]

  28. Traffic, Traffic, Traffic...
    My biggest chalenge has always been traffic. Getting a website up is the easy part but it will never be profitable if you have no traffic.
    There is just no magic traffic button.

  29. Lynn, I am new to internet marketing and there is just so much information out there that it makes my head spin. I find that time is a big issue. I can be sitting in front of my computer and the hours pass so fast. I am excited about this new venture and need to make it lucrative for me and my family. I am enjoying reading your articles and am learning a lot from them. I am looking forward to people reading my blog and building my experience and knowledge. http://www.stayinghealthyandfit.net is my new baby to nurture and grow. Thanks for all the wonderful advice.

  30. Finding contractors who do what they say, who follow through, and who'se quality standards are top notch is probably the biggest challenge I face. It blows me away how unreliable people have become these days. They'll hound you all day to lock you in as a client, but after that, they fall off the radar. Obviously, not all contractors are like this, but I must say that I deal with this month in and out with developers, designers, writers, and many others.


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