The 5 Totally Avoidable Mistakes That Will Hurt You Online

By: | September 27, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 business analysis tips

Do you need an action plan to make your blog or business analysis easier?

In either case, the 5 mistakes described in this post can hurt your chances of online success.

Today’s guest author Susan Melony returns to offer you important business analysis tips.

By the end of this post, you’ll have 5 strategies, proven tips for online success.

Susan’s business analysis techniques are effective, proven, and easy to implement.

The 5 Totally Avoidable Mistakes That Can Still Sink Your Business Online

Susan Melony

With so much to wrangle with your online presence, making a mistake from time to time isn’t totally uncommon.

Maybe you have a poor interaction with a prospect or the public. Perhaps you let your SEO fall by the wayside and miss out on some traffic.

These things happen, right?

Not all mistakes are created equal, however. In fact, there are some seemingly “small” mistakes that businesses make online that eventually spiral into much, much bigger problems.

From branding issues that turn people off at a glance to bad budgeting and poor marketing choices, we’ve highlighted five surprisingly common mistakes companies must avoid online. If the items on this checklist don’t apply to you, chances are your business in on the right track.

5 Small Business Mistakes to Avoid Online

Low-Quality Images, Logos and Creatives

Are businesses only as good as their branding creatives?

In a way, the answer is a resounding “yes”

Perhaps the logo experts at Flashmarks put it best, describing the importance of branding at a glance: “You want people to feel comfortable doing business with you and buying from you.” So if you’re putting out low-quality imagery and low-effort creatives, what does that say about your brand?

It’s totally fine to take a DIY approach, just as it’s common to hire a professional from a third-party site to help you sort out elements such as logos, site design, and promotional creatives. Either way, it’s important to look at such pieces of your branding objectively to ensure you’re not presenting yourself at something second-rate.

After all, you’re not going to convert very well if you’re giving off a “bargain bin” vibe.

[Read: How Simple Graphic Design Software Will Make You Blog Better, 5 Free Ways.]

Going Off-Script

Conventional wisdom tells us that businesses should avoid political and controversial topics like the plague, right?

Well, here’s some food for thought: brands today are expected to weigh in on social issues as part of their marketing strategies.

Don’t get it twisted, though. There’s a big difference between supporting social causes (think: charities, organizations or social movements) and sounding off on someone because of their political or personal beliefs.

You’re more than allowed to have an opinion, but ask yourself: is what you want to say worth risking potential business? Could going off-script cause you to potentially freeze out future customers?

The transparency between businesses and consumers can be both a blessing and a curse. As such, mind your messages carefully when it comes to addressing anything that might be perceived as controversial. When in doubt, tread lightly.

Needlessly Calling Out Competitors

No matter how you slice it, we live in a sort of “call-out culture” when it comes to competing businesses.

We oftentimes see fast food brands or industry giants playfully rag on each other (think: McDonald’s versus Wendy’s, Pepsi versus Coke) for the sake of some easy buzz and a sense of brand identity.

That said, calling out your competition directly can be a dangerous game.

Rather than call out people by name, you can achieve a similar effect by calling out the downsides of your competition’s service without mentioning them directly. Call-outs can come across as petty: it’s best to focus on your own strengths rather than start a needless argument.

Plagiarism and Intellectual Property Snafus

Ever see an awesome piece of content from a competitor and think “Man, I wish I would have come up with that?”

You’re not alone.

However, that’s no excuse to try to steal their work.

While covering similar topics and content is fair game, plagiarism is not. Beyond the negative look for your brand, the penalties for duplicate content from a search engine perspective speak for themselves.

As such, make sure that you’re keeping your own content 100% unique and likewise hold anyone you hire to produce content on your behalf to stick to a similar standard.

Lack of Automation

Businesses today have an ever-growing to-do list when it comes to their marketing online.

As such, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you aren’t putting some of your processes on autopilot. If you find yourself bogged down with day-to-day marketing tasks, how can you effectively get down to business?

Whether it’s email autoresponders, social scheduling tools or data collection through a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), there are tons of tools you can use to remove the marketing legwork from your daily life. As such, you can focus on your strengths and cover more ground on your own terms.

Although some of these missteps might seem totally obvious, you might be surprised at how many businesses fall right into them due to carelessness. By knowing what to avoid and how to present your business with a sense of professionalism, you can carry on online without having to sweat the what-ifs.

Host blogger’s comments:

What is Business Analysis?

Business analysis is the way to affect change.

Examine the needs of your blog or online business. Then, adopt Susan’s recommended business analysis techniques that deliver value to your website visitors.

Did Susan fail to mention any tips to make your business analysis smoother? I look forward to your views in the comment section.

This post was made possible by the support of our readers.



  1. Moss Clement

    Hi Susan & Janice,

    The need to stay on top of your online game is as important as eating healthy food. I say so because without a steady consumption of healthy food, you are bound to have health issues, some deadly, so-to-speak. So, maintaining a healthy online reputation is important to keep your business at the top.

    Thus, there many things that can hurt your online business, plagiarism, as you mentioned in your article. I recently rejected a guest contributors completed draft because if had 67% plagiarized content. How can I publish that? So plagiarism hurts so bad that it is difficult to recover from it.

    However, other things that can hurt your online reputation or business I want to add are things like, not knowing and understanding your target market. This is important because when your have an idea of who your market is, your can comfortably tailor your content in ways that will resonate with your target audience.

    Another is not staying true to your voice, in other words, not having a unique voice. Your buyer persona needs to be able to identify you across all marketing channels, that’s where your voice comes in.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Moss,
      Thanks for commenting. You offer important marketing tips.
      Regarding plagiarism concerns, I need to more consistently check for plagiarized content before accepting guest posts. Thanks for the reminder and for commenting.

  2. Ryan Biddulph

    Susan I cannot even believe folks buy into competition, or the idea of competition, when we live in abundance. Unlimited resources for everybody. So to even try to call out an imagined enemy is the madness of fear to me. Me and Janice blog in the blogging tips niche but only help each other to become more and more success. All about befriending as many folks as possible in your niche. Rocking message.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ryan,
      You and Susan gave an important message: We should help each other rather than worry about (a possibly nonexistent competitor.

  3. Mike Ola

    I absolutely agree with Ryan on the competition aspect. Even though competition exist – but I think it shouldn’t really affect your potential sales – given you have the right marketing strategies.

    On the issues of brands calling out one another, I think it makes sense sometimes because it helps to put everyone on his toes – which is good for the consumers.

    Fantastic tips.

    • Janice Wald

      Interesting comments Mike:
      I agree with you that sometimes healthy competition can be good.
      On the other hand, I also feel calling out competitors is unnecessary. If people have the right marketing strategies, such pettiness is unnecessary.

  4. Gaurav Kumar

    I believe that mistakes are common. A mature blogger understands that rather than calling out the competition it is the time to build relationships. If you cannot grow alone then grow together.

    Automation also a good thing to save time. Email auto-responders and social media sharing tools easily automate the process. You can invest that time on other productive things.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Gaurav,
      In regards to growing together: I love that you, Ryan, me… help each other on Twitter and other social media sites. The concept of a community of like-minded bloggers helping each other is unsurpassed. That’s what makes us grow and feel like part of a community, not petty competition.
      I agree with you about the importance of automation tools. Buffer is my favorite. Thanks for writing.

  5. Plugin Development India

    Really informative and helpful post. Thank you for sharing. I have a website dealing in website designing and development, eCommerce etc and this post really helped me out. I came to know various online mistakes which I will keep in mind next time.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Plugin,
      I’m glad to hear this post was helpful for you. Thanks for writing to tell us.

  6. Hiby

    I think it’s better to try differentiate yourself than to call out…
    too much risk.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Hiby,
      You have definitely differentiated yourself. I love your quote posts, for examples. I hope I’ve differentiated myself as well. I try to. Thanks for writing.


    Great Content. That Plagiarism tip really got me so concerned on the high rate of its existence now.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi John,
      I need to check for plagiarism when guest posts are sent my way more than I do.
      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Nikita Verma

    yes low quality Image and plagiarism content can hurt online presence. thanks for sharing informative article.

    • Janice Wald

      I knew about plagiarism but never gave thought to the quality of the images until my guest author wrote this piece about business analysis.

  9. Gazal Singh

    Correct, low quality or blurry image, decrease the rank of the site. Nice article, keep writing.

    • Janice Wald

      I never thought about the connection between blurry images and ranking until my guest author wrote this post about business analysis. Thanks for writing.

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