Why Online Businesses Fail: 5 *SHOCKING* Truths

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Why online businesses fail

Oh boy, where do I start with this one, first of all, the claim that 90% of online businesses fail is pure B.S, the “studies” all link to one website, whose data come from “some sources”.

Warning, a bit of ranting ensues…if you’re not comfortable with that, well then, go check out some cool cats doing backflips on Reddit. Yes, that title is clickbait-y in nature, but o only slightly… you’ll see in a minute.

I’m not going to link to that “study” here, but you know, Google is your friend.

There are so many fucking websites and blogs out there all linking to that article it honestly boggles my mind. Seriously, big sites like Entrepreneur all link to that.

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It’s just some words on a piece of paper, I mean… screen. Their stats are gathered from “according to some sources”.

Does that sound legit to you? You tell me.

That shit reminds me of the good old days of when internet marketing forums like WarriorForum were all the rage.

There were always people out there writing stuff like 97 out of 100 internet marketers will fail, from 100 people only 1 person will actually become successful and blah blah blah.

Look dude, or dudette… no one knows for sure the actual number of failed internet businesses and start-ups. But one thing is for damn sure: Most online sites do fail… a lot.

Heck, failed like 3142 times, and guess what, I’m still failing TO THIS DAY.

You know why?

Because it’s inevitable, maybe you didn’t do your research right, maybe you got hyped up on some shit and your common sense went out the window, maybe you were drinking, maybe…. you get the idea.

But then again, I fucking love it. In the past I used to get angry, frustrated, upset…yelling out shit like:

WHY, why doesn’t this work? The people in the fancy car driving to the fancy villa and jumping on their fancy boat told me it’s so easy. What the F. man?

If you’ve been trying online marketing for a while, I’m sure you feel or at least felt the same way at some point. If not, well kudos to you Mr./Ms. Perfect.

Anyway, like I said, I now embrace failure.


Because…it gives you the chance to learn, to get better, to improvise, to think about different angles, and create a better strategy of attack for the next time.

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You think all the millionaires, billionaires, and gazillionaires have gotten rich over night?

Oh sweet child… no, no they didn’t. Almost all of them are self-made and have tried a bunch of shit before they made it big.

It’s the same with actors like motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson who got his big breakthrough at 46. Forty…six.

You know what he did before that? Struggled. A lot.

So yeah, nowadays, if something fails, I don’t dwell on it for too long, I take some notes, figure out what worked and what didn’t, and take that lesson with me for my next project.

There are a million reasons why internet marketers and online businesses fail, and new sites never get to break even 100 visits a day.

You want to at least start learning, testing, trying out shit, figuring out what works what doesn’t.

Who cares how many sites and blogs fail, I’m sure the numbers are high as fuck, probably higher than Snoop Dogg.

Do you really think that all the 1+ billion websites that exist on the internet, are successful?


By the way, the total number of websites that are on the internet as of January 2021 is actually: 1,187,527,949 according to Netcraft.

I’d bet you my half-empty can of sparkling water (with a hint of watermelon) that a lot of those sites don’t receive any traffic whatsoever and obviously have failed.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut Stephen, how do you know that?

Well, I don’t. It’s just my opinion, or a hunch if you will, from my own experience over 14+ years of dwelling in the sewers of the internet, and from what other friends and marketers have told me about their online marketing journeys.

Sure maybe it’s not a stupidly high number like 90% or 99%, but for sure a large number of those are online failures one way or another (either no traffic or no revenue, or both).

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Do you want to know why internet businesses fail? Why your precious new online start-up failed? Why most blogs and eCommerce businesses are failures?

I’m going to tell you.

But it ain’t going to be pretty. You can leave this page right now, or you could buckle up, pour yourself a glass of rum, and keep on reading.

1. You Lack Self Discipline

Yeah, sounds harsh or maybe it sounds like an easy fix, whatever… the point remains: You don’t have the discipline to make shit happen.

You know how I know that?

Because I used to be a dumbass who would chase from one thing to another and never got to focus all my attention on just one thing (ex: one site, blog, business).

I would always go through eBooks, and courses and chasing out the newest and shiniest thing and loophole and hack and whatever stupid term all those gurus invented.

The point is this: If you’re chasing after new shit every time you hit a bump in the road with your current online business, well guess what… you will fail, big time.

Why big time? Well, because, not only will your current internet business fail, but the next one, and the next one, and so on… It’s like you’re a hamster on a fucking wheel, chasing after the imaginary piece of cheese.

The cheese is a lie damn it. Get it through your head.

Here’s what you do:

Instead of quitting your new site or online business, start-up, or whatever in your first 120 days. Try to… I don’t know, maybe NOT fucking quit and give it enough time to grow and see some results?

Oh, but it’s so easy for you to say that. I need to pay rent, food, and I need money now.

Well, if you’re in that situation, go get a real job, sell some shit on eBay, oh and you definitely don’t want to quit your job to focus on becoming an online marketer, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Anyway back to my rant, I mean… inspiring article.

Other than the articles on this blog, I rarely write my own content. Why? It's simple: I hate it. That's why I outsource it from places such as Fiverr.

SEO takes time, at least 3-6 months maybe even 12 months in some niches, before you see some results.

If you quit after writing 10 articles or opening up an online store because you’re not getting any organic traffic in your first month, then yeah, your online business will fail.

You shouldn’t just sit around waiting for SEO to take effect, you have to go on the hunt, and bring traffic to your website from alternative sources.


If you have enough traffic but you can’t make money from your site, read:

Any niche can make money online so “my niche sucks” is not an excuse to be honest.

By the way…

You know that cliche image that I’m totally not going to post here because of copyright trolls, with a guy digging under the earth for diamonds but then right before he hits the jackpot, unbeknown to him, he quits?

Yeah, that’s my whole point here, so be self-disciplined, and don’t quit until you absolutely know for sure that your online business is fucked, I mean flawed, or maybe both.

Or maybe you feel that’s not a right fit for you, your digital marketing skills or your time. It’s all good, you can quit it, but at least give it an honest chance for the business to flourish like 6 months or so before jumping to the next thing.

Did I quit an internet business 5 days into the making?

Yes, even faster than that.

Did I have a legit reason to quit that I didn’t know prior to opening it?


Did I at least learn anything from that?

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Yeah, I learned not to be a dumbass and quit after realizing that there would be more work involved than I initially thought.

And more importantly to:

Focus on one thing at a time…

Moving on…

2. You don’t have a business plan

No seriously, you know what regular businesses do? They create a business plan, before they open up a shop or a service.

You know why? Because otherwise if they go into a bank and try to get a loan without a business plan, the bankers will laugh in their face.

Not only that, but without a proper solid plan, you wouldn’t know what to do in many situations that will arise, and you won’t be focused on specific goals.

Create a plan. Get a piece of paper, a notebook, notepad, leather, whatever… write on it a plan.

It doesn’t have to be a perfect plan, it just has to…be.

I know, poetic as fuck. But seriously, do it.

Why? Well, because a well-made plan will make it that much easier for you and or your team to operate your online business so that it doesn’t end up a failure.

Example of a business plan for your online business or start-up:

  • Determine your online business vision or mission.
  • Set up your revenue streams and sources.
  • Analyze the market (target demographic, market size, etc)
  • Check out your competition and what they’re doing
  • Try to come up with something better than the competition
  • Figure out your marketing strategy and channels (SEO, Paid Traffic, Social Media, etc)
  • Set up goals and objectives that you want to hit.
  • Have a plan for difficulties that might arise (low sales, no traffic, etc)

Guess what, you can apply these to anything, literally, from a niche blog about kittens to full-blown SaaS, B2C, and B2B services and products.

After you’ve jotted down all of those things, its time to check out reason numero 3 why online businesses fail:

3. Lack of specific goals

Wait, are goals not the same as creating a business plan?

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No, they’re not. 🤦‍♂️

The plan works on the broad scale of the business, goals are things that you need to achieve and strive for if you want to you know, not become another website that failed.

Here are some examples of goals that you should have:

  • Write 50 great articles, related to the business. (Or more)
  • Get at least 50 quality relevant backlinks. (Or more)
  • Create a social media following with at least 1k users on all (Or more)
  • Start an email list and gather 1,000 subscribers (…. you get it)
  • Make X amount in sales/ad revenue or Get X amount of clients

Once again, these goals can be applied to every business, you can open an online bikini shop or a micro-niche blog about various types of special mushrooms.

Yes even a micro-niche blog is a frickin’ online business, let me explain:

4. You’re not treating this as a real business

See that’s the problem, you think this online shit is easy and many take it as a joke and something that’s not that hard to accomplish.

Wrong, you should think about it as you would if you had a real business.

Do you think all the shop owners go to work only 2-3 times a week when they feel like it for 1-2 hours?

LOL. Imagine if offline (real life) brick and mortar business owners would apply the same amount of work hours as those online marketing gurus spew in their ads.

They would be bankrupt and eating SPAM for dinner in no time.

Stop listening to fake people trying to sell you shit that promises to make you a rich internet marketer overnight.

It. Does. Not. Work. Like. That.

Take it from me, the idiot who bought many of the so-called “push-button, autopilot, loophole, $597 per day, $3213 in your sleep” products in my early days.

Sure, there are some legit ways to build an online business and have it earn money overnight, for example, if you’re doing Affiliate marketing with Google Ads, or if you start an eCommerce store and again buy website traffic.

But even then, you will still have to come in strong with a plan and some goals in mind, and the experience to optimize and create killer campaigns that won’t suck all of your ad budgets without giving you a few conversions in return.

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The point is this: GET TO WORK. AND WORK A LOT.

Invest more time, stop procrastinating so much, if you don’t have money for buying traffic, get to writing content and publishing posts as much as you can, if you have some money to spend start some ads and gather data.

Related: How to write blog posts faster

You literally have to hustle all the free time that you get (provided that you have a real-life job or school or taking care of family).

Not only that but you have to become somewhat obsessed with it, and active on social media and all the places that you can to start promoting your blog, website, online business.

If you have money and no time, that’s also fine you can buy traffic.

Make sure that you optimize your campaigns and carefully monitor and track everything though, and don’t start advertising without a great landing page and website in place. That’s a recipe for disaster.

5. Stop reading & buying crap

Stop with the forums, seriously. Sure some of them are cool and you can learn new affiliate marketing tricks, and SEO techniques, but what’s the point?

Really, if you’re just going to spend all your day reading shit online, without putting it into action… I’m asking you again:

What’s. The. Point?

Add to that all the eBooks and courses that you have bought or still buying or were considering buying, that you won’t put into action also, and yeah… no wonder so many online marketers and businesses fail.

Listen, I don’t judge you. Far from it, I’ve been like that at least the first 1-2 years of my online marketing career, so I know how it is to get sucked deep into that rabbit hole.

One minute you’re browsing YouTube watching drunk idiots getting punched in the face, the next minute you’re watching an ad from a douche that’s in a rented Ferrari promising you that he knows the secret to online success, so you should buy his course for $999.

So you go ahead and buy it and what do you know, it’s another crappy re-hashed same shit information that everyone has known for years and it’s freely available on the internet, and of course, you feel scammed and you never pursue the thing.

The insane and funny thing is that even that dude who just scammed you out of $999, has probably given you at least a plan of action, and if you follow it, you might even make it work.

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The problem is that most people don’t take action, at all. They read and they buy and they read, and buy, and watch videos, and sign up for webinars and special email newsletters.

Just stop. Take a deep breath, unsubscribe from all the noise (not from my newsletter though, I heard it’s the best), and start working.

Start working on what though?

It doesn’t matter, seriously.

Pick one thing, any eBook, WSO, course, article, a video that you’ve seen about making money online, and stick with it for a couple of weeks/months or so, and give it your best, and see if it works out or not.

Start a blog, on anything, any niche that you’re passionate about, write epic shit on it, wait for it to rank in Google, slap some ads on it or affiliate products, create your own products maybe… and just try it out, and don’t quit, set a small goal like 1,000 visits a month, and slowly increase that as you go.

If after a couple of months you don’t see any of the results that you have expected, who cares, you learned some new things (hopefully) that you can now apply towards a new project if it worked…well congrats you’re probably going to be sipping Martini on a private island of yours in the near future.

These days I’d rather have 100 online business failures than never actually start 1.

Fun fact: I’ve registered anywhere around 150-200 domains in my internet marketing journey, I would say that 100 of those never seen the light of day, like…not even installing WordPress or creating a site. Yeah, I know…

Why Online Businesses Fail: Conclusion

Alright, you’re a true soldier for sticking and reading this to the end, so I’ll leave you with these key takeaways on why so many online businesses fail:

  1. Lack of discipline
  2. No real business plan
  3. Lack of specific goals
  4. Not investing enough time
  5. Stop reading forums and buying crappy products

If you literally do the reverse of all of those horrible horrible things, you will see some good results and your new online venture won’t become yet another failure.

Or so I hope… listen I ain’t no guru, so WTF do I know… at the end of the day, you’re free to do whatever, but don’t complain if you don’t see the results that you wanted 😉

Related rants, articles:

Stay hustlin’ (or not)


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