Need vs Want: Invest Wisely On Your Online Business

Hey there my friend… It’s new post time!

Last week we were talking about how to achieve the “know, like and trust factor” almost instantly with the power of video.

On today’s post we are going to talk about investing wisely in your online business.

I’ll get straight to the point here since I have talked about this topic a number of times already.

There’s a lot of controversy on how much money you need to start an online business and the only answer I have for that is…

It depends.

Getting Started Online

A self hosted blog can cost you about $10 a month, including domain name registration and your first month with hostgator.

Your second month would be cheaper since you wouldn’t have to pay for the domain name (until next year) and you would only pay about $8 USD for your monthly hosting account.

Then you would need an autoresponder service for building your list and that would cost you about $19 a month for an approximate total of $27 a month.

You will later find out you even need more services to get started and as you can see, this can scale up quickly and that’s why it is so important to invest wisely right from the start.

Note: When I said above “it depends” it’s because I have worked in offline projects that costed up to $350,000 USD to create.

You can see one of these sites here and it’s not even an online business.

Do You Really Have An Online Business?

Having said that, we have to be very careful defining what an online business is and what you’re currently doing online.

You make money when you sell stuff.

The “stuff” you sell can be products, services, consulting, whatever it is, you need to trade something in order to earn money.

A wordpress blog is not a business on its own but it has the potential of becoming one.

It’s a business if you manage to make money through it (affiliate marketing, information products, services) or with the help of it (branding, online presence, contact details, etc).

Since the readers of Marketing With Sergio are either hardcore bloggers, internet marketers (or a combination of both) I’ll talk specifically about what we normally use and need as bloggers and internet marketers.

So let’s dive right in!

General Services And Tools For Online Entrepeneurs

I think we all pretty much agree that we need a domain name and a hosting account.

Not eveyone needs an autoresponder service because it depends on how you’re conducting your business but it’s something that I believe everyone should have anyway.

Then there are the premium wordpress themes and while you don’t absolutely have to have a premium theme right from the start, I think it’s really worth to make that investment as well.

If you’re into getting recurring payments and building communities, then you’re definitely going to need membership scripts such as WishList Member.

The rest of the services can be a combination of premium wordpress plugins, squeeze page creation software, web forms creation, video players, video editing, video hosting, graphic design software and anything else you can think of.

Then you also have hardware!

Portable video cameras, webcams, green screens, usb microphones, pen tablets, external back up hard drives, studio lighting, whiteboards, monthly planners, etc.

So having briefly mentioned all these services and tools, some people find out something they want and they just go and get it (purchase it).

Some others, will identify something they want but they would spin their wheels for as long as possible and not always end up buying in the end.

And finally, some people will not even bother looking at ways to improve their business because they simply don’t believe or “can’t” investing in anything.

So what kind of investor are you?

Understanding Types Of Business Investors

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a business investor, you are one.

You can identify the need for something that your business requires and then you have the power of choice in deciding if you’re getting it or not.

So here’s a quick run down on these different business investors I have identified:

The “I can’t afford anything” Type

This is the type of person that is going to do everything in his hands to not invest even one cent in his/her business.

If they find out they need a blog, they would search the whole internet until they find a free solution and then smile so big that they would think the rest of us are suckers because we’re paying for domains and hosting and they have a free blog! (good luck with that by the way)

The “I just have ten dollars, that’s it” Type

This personality is equally disastrous just as the first one because they are already set to failure before they even get started online.

You can explain it is more than possible to get started with that amount for at least the first month but then there are going to be recurring payments because after all, you’re using a service.

This situation is equally bad to MLM schemes (or mlm-ish blogging networks) because these people can manage to afford their product or service for the first month but then they can’t afford the 2nd month and decide to move away and call it a scam instead.

It’s easier to do nothing instead of something anyway, right? (this is the under achiever mindset btw)

The “I can afford it but I may regret buying it”  Type

I have wore this hat a few times myself, particularly when I have invested big amounts of money in something.

You are just thinking and thinking if you should buy it or not and then when you finally decide you’re going to do it, as soon as you hit the confirm button and receive the “Thanks for investing in… etc” you feel an adrenaline rush through your veins and the first thing you think about is “damn… I just bought this!”

And then they may start either working to see if that is for them or maybe they’ll just refund and hop on to something else.

Note: Not being 100% sure of something doesn’t neccessarily makes it a bad thing. In business sometimes you have to take risks.

I’ve won a few, I’ve lost a few too.

The “Happy Credit Card Trigger” Type

This is the type that buys everything that lands on his/her email inbox.

“Shiny object syndrome” is not even on this person’s vocabulary.

Everything is an opportunity and he/she will never let anything that looks like a good deal go without being taken “advantage of”.

This specific type of investor is the one that most marketers would love to have under their wings because these are the ones that becomes actual fans of your work and guess what?

They will literally buy everything you create.

If they don’t have a steady income source, they can go bankrupt in a snap too, particularly if they start getting addicted to consulting services (the most expensive type of investment).

Note: I’ve been here a few times before and learnt a few lessons the hard way but it’s all experience in the end.

And last but not least important…

The “Wise Guy” Type

This is where we all should be aiming to be at the whole time.

There’s not a single investment made that doesn’t have a strong solid justification for it.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s $1 or $10,000… if it’s needed, it will get done.

Maybe not right there on the spot but it will become a goal to reach and sooner or later it will be obtained.

This type of investor is completely inmune to “shiny object syndrome”.

In fact, you could practically wave offers, specials and last minute deals in front of his/her face and their heart rate wouldn’t skip a single beat.

That’s how badass and focused they are.

They understand cash flow too. If money is just going in one direction, then something is not right (if you’re just receiving and not putting in at the same time, you’re not growing anymore).

Need vs. Want: Learn The Difference

This right here is the nitty gritty of today’s post.

  • You now know how the basics of how to get started online
  • You can tell if you have a real online business or not
  • You have identified products and services we normally use as internet marketers
  • And you even got a glimpse of different types of online business investors

This is the million dollar question right here…

Whenever you are presented with an offer, first ask this yourself:

Is it something you need or something you want?

Learning how to identify these two can save you a lot of money and can potentially grow your business even faster because:

1. You would take advantage of a service or tool that would help you do something better and faster.

2. You would save time by not trying to learn something you don’t even need in the first place and won’t use in the end (in case you don’t buy).

Ninja Tip: From a marketer’s point of view, package your products in a way that people want them first (even if you’re actually building something they do need).

If you focus entirely on what they need and package it accordingly, chances are they are not going to convert.


The video got a bit long, actually pretty long so I really apologize for that.

I still think there is great advice inside because I’m showing you a real case scenario about needing something and wanting something.

[youtuber youtube=’’]

I was going to record myself buying these services but my bank account blocked my card LOL

The card works fine now (“security reasons” they told me) so if watching someone buying marketing services would be something that’ll interest you, please let me know.


Professional Web Form Creation: Gravity Forms

Real Drag & Drop WordPress Theme Designer: Headway Themes

Helpdesk: Zendesk

Note: If you need multibrand management like I do, then you need the enterprise option for Zendesk.


We are wired in a way that we normally buy the things we want and not the things we actually need.

When you learn to master your impulses whenever you are presented with an offer, chances are most of your choices will be good ones.

The only recommendation I have for this is to never over analyze something either because money loves speed!

Thanks for reading and watching and I’ll talk to you soon.


PS. Our video experiment starts today!

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Why I Am Deleting My Whole Subscriber’s List

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How To Achieve The “Know, Like & Trust” Factor Almost Instantly With Video


  1. Reply

    Hi Sergio,

    I will definitely invest money in things, in fact I probably buy too much stuff.

    This year I’ve bought Easy Video Suite and my snowball microphone which is brilliant as they both save me time and give a much better quality. A true want & need combined.

    Just this weekend I bought a product on how to create premium themes, it was a great product, just the need to invest a few hundred dollars in designer and wordpress geeks means it will have to go on the back burner, or I get a random cash injection.

    Building on that you didn’t mention money for outsourcing, that to me has been the best thing I ever did, getting someone to do all the traffic stuff is brilliant and people at odesk are so much cheaper than you could ever imagine. At the start of the year I was just working so hard in the business I couldn’t do any of the bigger strategic things.

    To run a business you need to remember your the boss, and if things aren’t working out then it’s a trip to the mirror required rather than moaning with the other employees.


    1. Reply

      Hey Andrew, great observation on outsourcing man!

      By the way, something that is needed and wanted at the same time should never take time to be acquired.

      Sadly but sometimes it doesn’t works like that, I have been there many times before but knowing what you need and want it’s already a big advantage to have financially speaking.

      Great insights man, thanks for stopping by and sharing this! ;-)

  2. Reply

    Hi Sergio,

    This post gives me a lot to think about. In the past I know I’ve been buying stuff I want instead of stuff I need. It stands to reason a lot of other people out there do the exact same thing. Thankfully, I think I’m finally starting to learn the difference!

    1. Reply

      Hey George, we all have done it man don’t feel bad about it.

      Just like you said, if you already know the difference then more power to you man, now make every cent count! ;-)

    • Theodore Nwangene
    • May 23, 2013

    This is a very interesting post Sergio,
    Its true that there is a big different between the needs and wants but, we often misinterpret the two.

    You see, I’m not the type that buys every shiny thing that enters my inbox, i don’t always buy either. But, I’m the type of person that always buy the thing I’m sure and convinced that i need once i have the money.

    That i see something i need and left without buying it is just because i don’t have the money at the moment. As you know, I’m still a student and I’m not making any reasonable $$$$ from my blog yet but, once i can afford a tool i need, i don’t hesitate to pay for it.

    Just 2 weeks ago, i bought Spencer Haw’s LONG TAIL PRO keyword research tool just because i want to get serious with Niche site marketing and I’m sure the tool is very effective when it comes to KW research.

    So, anyone that hate spending money for the betterment of his business is just a game player or a gambler. We will always use money to make money period.

    So, i really agree with all you said here my man, thumbs up :).

    Thanks a lot for sharing and do take care of yourself.

    1. Reply

      Hey Theodore,

      “…anyone that hate spending money for the betterment of his business is just a game player or a gambler.”

      That was SPOT ON my man!

      And just for the record Long Tail Pro rocks, I got it recently as well and I’m really loving it.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing with such transparency Theodore, that will take you far! ;-)

    • Peter
    • May 23, 2013

    Hi Sergio,
    There is a very huge different between needs and wants but many people don’t know and, I’m very much happy the way your differentiated the two here.

    Its always very advisable to spend money on those things we know will benefit our business and any blogger that is running blog on any of the free platforms out there simply because he don’t want to spend money is just making a huge mistake and he will forever remain where he is.

    What I’m against is spending foolishly on any thing that comes your way. It is therefore not bad to spend money in our business provided we are doing it wisely.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. Reply

      Hey Peter, welcome to my site man and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Using a free blogging platform as a mean of “testing the waters” or avoiding to spend any money online is not really testing the waters since it’s a complete different scenario.

      Now, having a free blogging platform doesn’t necessarily means you can’t make it there (just look at and having a self hosted blog doesn’t mean you’re going to hit it big either.

      Realistically speaking, our chances of succeeding are a lot higher when we actually invest in our business and that means using a self hosted website.

      You know the saying… “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.

      Thanks for stopping by Peter, really appreciate your point of view man! ;-)

  3. Reply

    Hey Sergio.

    It is important to identify:
    – what your buyers ‘needs’
    – what your buyers ‘want’
    – what your buyers ‘can afford’
    – what your buyers ‘don’t need’

    If you know what your email list, website visitors, blog subscribers all want, need and even ‘don’t need’ then you can be more precise on the types of offers you craft and offer them.

    Many marketers enter a niche and don’t even know how to address their website visitors needs, let alone their email lists needs. They start with no focus, and carry on with no focus or goal.

    1) Testing and tracking is an important part of marketing as you can identify what offers being sold are selling, and which ones are not. After tracking you can see which efforts are bringing you the biggest results and do more of it.

    2) Segment your lists into subscriber lists, buyer lists, repeat buyer lists etc, so you know who has purchased what, and who has not.

    3) To start marketing online you DO NEED to spend money on services, an autoresponder, a domain, hosting etc, so just accept this.

    4) If at first you don’t succeed then try again. Don’t give up on the first hurdle as many do and due to this they don’t get past the first step.

    5) For your email lists needs and wants then survey them using surveymonkey, or askdatabase, to find out what their problems and issues are with that niche.

    6) After surveying your list, then you should create products based on their needs, and sell them to them (as you know they have them problems due to your survey answers, you can then create what they need)

    7) Take extra time to create bonuses and new reports to offer with your package, which should help your customers which they can use.

    8) Also identify what your customers ‘don’t want’, so that you know Not to sell them these things. This again can be done using the survey services.

    I hope you are fine Sergio.

    Matt Morgan

    1. Reply

      Hey Matt, great tips as always man.

      I really appreciate the time you spend giving so much here on the comment threads.

      Can’t believe some people will do everything in their hands to avoid paying for something that will allow them to make more profits in the end.

      But hey not everyone has the entrepreneurial mindset right?

      Thanks for stopping by man. ;-)

    • Carlie Hamilton
    • May 23, 2013

    I am a big believer in investing and also education. At the stage I am in right now I want to invest in my education for my business, so I have my eye on a few information products that I will most likely purchase over the next few weeks.

    Many of the things you mentioned in your video are things that I have also had a look at. I have written out a big long list of my wants & needs – with a reason for them and their cost. Slowly and painfully I am identifying ones that wont really benefit me, or that I don’t need yet, and crossing them off the list!


    1. Reply

      Hey Carlie, this was EXACTLY the response I was looking for!

      Investing in your business including your knowledge.

      Making lists of needs and wants.

      Identifying the actual needs for your business and crossing off the rest.

      Absolutely loved your comment Carlie, thank you for stopping by and making me smile! ;-)

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