In the quest to make money as an online writer, it's all too easy to fall for what I call false economies.
This is when you do something to save money but it ends up costing you dearly, in either time or money.
Where this happens most is with learning.
If you want to grow a sustainable online business, you first need to know how to do it, and this can cause you to stumble in 2 ways – buying nothing or buying cheap.
Buying nothing means exactly that.
You want to learn but you buy nothing you need.
Instead you waste your time surfing the Internet for free newsletters, free courses and free eBooks.
And while all these things will help, they won't teach you everything you need to know.
Because no one gives away their best information for free. People go online to earn money and they can't make money if they're not selling something.
There are, of course, people online who earn money through advertising. Their websites don't seem to be selling anything through the content, but they do make money from visitors clicking on the ads on their site.
But their content isn't worth much because they don't have saleable information.
Free stuff online is helpful, but the people who write it aren't necessarily experts in their niche.
Likewise only using free software also has its downside because it will never be as good as the stuff you pay for.
Buying cheap is another false economy.
Just because something has a low price it doesn't mean you're getting a bargain.
For instance, I've seen too many people buy a computer based on price. They start searching by price rather than specifications.
But what's the point of buying a computer that can't do all the things you want it to?
When it comes to computers (or anything for that matter) you must look for exactly what you want first AND THEN worry about price. If you don't have enough money, sell stuff you don't need or cut back on buying non-essentials until you can afford it.
And if you need to buy a course that will teach you how to do something, then buy it and don't waste time looking around for a “freebie” or something cheaper.
Likewise, if there's some software that can help save you time, buy it.
I believe that my time is worth far more than money.
Not only that but I can get much more work done (and earn more money) when my time isn't taken up with unimportant / slow tasks.
For instance, when I started doing a lot of affiliate marketing, I found it much easier to promote a product if I owned it myself rather than save money by not buying it and hoping and praying that it was a worthwhile investment for my customers, otherwise they'd never trust or buy from me again.
When I wanted to submit marketing articles to an article directory every week, I did a course in how to write articles quickly which not only helped me to write faster, but also showed me how to write better articles AND I went on to write my own course in writing articles in 15 minutes or less. So it was definitely a win-win situation when I invest in the article writing course because I quickly multiplied my original investment by over 1,000%.
And when I had too many websites to keep updating them all by hand, I splashed out and bought the mighty Adobe Dreamweaver Software, and boy does that ever speed up my online work.
I now also outsource jobs I can't do or don't want to do because it takes me too long.
I once wasted a whole week trying to edit an MP3 audio recording. I finally had to admit defeat and outsourced the job for $20 and a freelancer returned my edited file in less than 2 hours.
It left me wishing I'd simply outsourced it in the first place.
So if you really want to make a go with your new online business and keep earning money for years to come, AND leave more time for your writing, don't be a false economising penny-pincher.