Let’s face it, you are tired of these self-proclaimed guru’s telling you that making money online is easy, and all you have to do is follow a few steps to unlock unlimited riches.

Are you trying to make money online?  Then you must have read the blogs and articles and are hoping to get rich quick or at least manage your bills. You know it is not that easy. You must have tried to follow said steps and you have experienced how hard it is by now.  You are now frustrated because things are not going as you had hoped. You realize the articles you read left out the most crucial things in the journey of making money online. Answers to questions like:  what’s the bitter truth of making money online when you are starting out?

Below are some of the pitfalls of making money online along with their coping strategies.

                                                                   tired of freelancing


                      The risk of underselling yourself

When you are just starting out, you have no choice but to undersell. What you don’t know is that new freelancers come up daily which means for every job there will be a new freelancer offering a cheaper price than yours. So for clients with minimal budget, you already know who they will choose for the job. If you don’t find a strategy you risk always underselling yourself.

You can counter this by having a plan and sticking to it. Know what other freelancers are offering in different platforms, justify what you charge based on your skills and ensure you have work samples ready.


                       There are no get rich quick schemes

Making money online is great but there is no such thing as getting rich quick. If that is your intention then you will be greatly disappointed. There are many people who make money online but that is because they have put in their time and dedicated their hard work. They are seeing the results of their patience

Perhaps the harsh truth is that you might never be a millionaire. Of course some have made millions from working online but that is only a tiny percentage. The founder of Apexlistings was among the few Upwork success stories but she always insists that you won’t get anywhere without patience.


When my certificate of earnings showed a whopping $10,000 in 6 months (7 years into freelancing), I didn’t know where the money came from. I’d gotten used to working and delivering without keeping a count of what I made. The work had become a part of me so the money was just coming in as a consequence. Unfortunately most freelancers deliver according to budget. If the job is worth $5 they deliver just that. That is quite wrong. Don’t look at the budget. Submit a piece of work that gives you bargaining power. What I mean is, if you deliver quality, the client will reach out to you on the next project and you have an upper hand to renegotiate the price because they want you to do the work. ” (CEO, Apexlistings)


Always aim for client satisfaction and doing something different so that you always change the outcome. Doing the same thing over and over again won’t help you grow. The only thing that will keep your income growing is if your skills are growing from the experiences you get.

Working online is like a large goldmine that everyone gets a portion of. If you find your niche and perfect you skill you will soon have a steady stream of income.


                          Burn out is a real danger

Burn out is the state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion caused by stress. You will surely experience this on your quest to make money online. Churning out fresh ideas and content everyday is not easy. You will, at one point, find yourself out of energy, out of ideas, out of time and out of money.

If you are able to recognize the danger signs of a pending burnout, find a way to manage the stress. Carve some downtime; learn some relaxation techniques like yoga. Go out and interact with friends and family. Take time to recharge. Participate in activities that will take your mind completely off work.


                        Defining your skill set is a struggle

A skill set is simply the expertise that you bring forth. To define your skill set you need to leverage everything you have ever done to maximize your value. If you have any relevant experience let your potential clients know.

You need to search through all your past experiences and compile a set of positive messages about your skills and experiences, framed to generalize about your strengths based on particular examples.

The competition when making money online is tough. Sometimes your competitors have all these accomplishments they can boast about on their websites and yet you cannot think of anything to say that will rival their accomplishments, especially if you are just starting out. It can be very discouraging at times


                                 Continuous Investment

The worst part of trying to make money online is that there is no set and go. You have to be present and active. You need to master technology, all-round.

You may need to invest in websites and other marketing strategies. Some freelancers pay for ads.

In order to survive, it is important to keep up with the constantly changing technology .You will have to learn about software and hardware, about cyber security and hundreds of other little technical details.

Be ready to keep on investing. I will tell you something you don’t want to hear, invest your time. The time you invest grows as you grow. If you think that once you get your first job you can relax they will keep on coming, well nothing could be further from the truth.


                                    People do not buy from strangers

One thing you need to keep in mind is that online people are paranoid. If they have never heard of you they will assume you are a scammer. And we really can’t blame them, can we? Most have fallen into the scammers trap and been conned out of a lot of money. They have to approach everything with skepticism

Supposing you have had a light bulb moment, an idea that will surely bring you the riches you always dream of. You build a website. Luck is on your side, you get a nice little trickle of traffic. It is time to put up what you are selling; hopeful that visitors will buy. But no, nothing!

You have to prove your worth, convince them that you have their best interest at heart. Let them get to know you.

Yes, this will take time.

Create an email list and send frequent emails, offer your services for free as you build your clientele. It may seem like a lot of work but the upside is that you will have built trust with your clients and they will buy your services and even refer you to other people. Guard that trust and it will sustain your business for years to come


                                                 Clients do not last forever

Nothing lasts forever, not even the best client relationship. Even the best and most talented people, for various reasons, loose clients.

You need to be prepared for when you stop getting work from clients. Make sure you always keep a high profile in forums and social Media where your next clients might be. Keep in touch with other people who try to make money online they may have too many clients and would want to delegate.

Also make sure your work is always of high quality so you may never end up losing clients.


                                                  Know when to unplug

Making money online is not like your typical 9-5 job. You get to plan out your 24 hrs. You can work 22 hrs a day if you wish to but the truth is you will not last long.

You need to rest and recharge your mind; you need to get your creativity flowing.

Do not spend all your waking hours working, carve time for family. It is also not healthy to stare at a screen for long hours. Plan your days well so you are productive, leave enough time to sleep and eat or watch a movie. Take a day off. This will benefit you in a lot of ways.


                                             Most experts can be ignored

To make money online you will need to compete with other people, people who may not have the skills you have but they have years of experience on how to win clients. Prove to the client that you are worth the opportunity.


Related read: How to succeed as a freelancer in Kenya


Article by Tiffany