Please keep things somewhat serious.
I graduated highschool last year (in December -- Australia) and have been an aspiring online business owner since I was 16~. I love all the aspects of it: working wherever I want, being my own boss, being able to talk with customers (I really do love this aspect - having the ability to communicate with people on a personal level really does excite me).
When I first started, I was finishing year 11. I did a huge assignment (a subject dedicated to it) and managed to get an A- for it (I had the courtesy of referencing Alexa Smith throughout). During this time, I was starting my very first affiliate business. I knew basically nothing about business when I first started; thinking I'd become wealthy by entering the IM "niche" and buying ads or whatever (I didn't know what I didn't know).
Moving forward, I've been in four different niches since then. The first two I gained a bit of traffic, but made no sales. The third I didn't even begin syndicating my articles (did I mention I try getting traffic with article syndication?) and with my most previous attempt, I was published in roughly 50-100 places, and made a grand total of two sales (I got more traffic from my first two business attempts).
When I first started with my online business and became familiar with it all, I was sure I'd have an income by the time I graduated high school. Even if it was a few hundred a month.
Right now, three months after finishing school, I've hit an all time low. I don't know how to describe it: disappointment, and even apathy. I've literally worked for the last 12 or so months more than full-time hours, and have made a grand total of about $400 -- $50 in product sales and the rest for my writing itself.
I haven't told anyone this, but for the first time in years, I cried. I simply don't know what to do. I know this isn't a counseling forum or anything - nor do I want people to think of it like that. I want some genuine advice.
Should I bother continuing?
All my friends are in university or have a job. My plan was to save as much as I could from my business(es) during my year off, and then maybe travel or go to university with my business(es) with me. But obviously that's not happening anymore. The only money I have is what I made offering whiteboard animations during Christmas on Fiverr (2013 Christmas). It's what's been paying for my hosting, domains, and whatnot. So far I have lost about $500 on those expenses. Not to mention the books I've purchased, as well as DOE.
In total, I was published in probably 200+ places. Only two produced more than 100 unique visitors. I've been published in magazines, newsletters, blogs, ezines, news websites... and simply don't know what to do. I've been told by some people my articles are fine, and other people (one person in particular) doesn't like my articles. I have such conflicting thoughts that I simply don't know what makes for a good article anymore. It's almost like I'm now trying TOO hard to write a good article, to the extent it comes out poorly.
I have selected a new niche, and have almost written 10 articles. But the more work I do, the worse I feel. Thinking it's just some vicious cycle. And what makes me feel worse is seeing other people having no problems with it whatsoever. The two people who've done article syndication publicly that I know of, were making sales within two weeks. Of course, I'm happy for them, but really don't know where I've gone wrong.
I'd also like to add that I'm terrified of just getting a job. The friends I frequently contact are working for their parents' business. I don't have that luxury, and have a terrible fear of the interview stage (I had one when I was about 15). I also feel I'll feel even worse to have such high ambitions about my business (something people were excited for me about) only to go and become an employee (I've actually looked around: the jobs are scarce where I live).
I have no perspective on anything - never traveled (something I really want to do). And the more I read threads in the main forum, the worse I feel. Mostly because people are only willing to pay $5-10 per article (this is just an example of why I want to avoid that place - I think I've developed their mindset in some cases), and I'm avoiding going in there anymore because of how bad the quality there is.
I'm in such a bad predicament. Never had a job, never traveled, but probably worked harder than most people.
To conclude, I'm going to share a link to my previous business where I made two sales (publications became scarce after sending to about 1500 of them).
If you see anything obviously wrong with it, I'd love to hear about it. I've stopped writing there. The publications using my articles were providing dismal traffic, and the others either didn't respond or said they were going to publish my article, and just didn't.
I intend on continuing with my current (5th) niche. I'll probably give it 2-3 months, and if nothing happens from there, I have no clue what I'll do... at all.
tl;dr: I'm stuck, feeling like a failure, and really don't know what to do.