Why Some Websites Fail While Others Win!
Please excuse the reference to Charlie Sheen, I know all of them have been ‘winners’ in our own way, but how do you win when it comes to building a successful website? If two people are sites in the exact same market, what determines what makes money and what doesn’t? It’s not always lucky.
1. Choose the right market. This is essential, if you are in a very competitive industry you had better be there for the long haul because in the online world nothing happens that fast, especially if you are trying to build a brand. Remember, better to be number 1 in a doghouse than number 83 in a multinational dog fight. Maybe it’s an ego issue, but I keep seeing people trying to compete with million pound businesses with 1% resource and quality, that’s not a thought smart.
2. Dedication. It’s easy to give up on anything when the results are far away, but you have to accept that any legitimate business opportunity spends time making money online or opening a store on a high street. I guess people think that because it’s all about the Internet, there should be a way to make money online instantly. The truth is, reputation and trust are built online the same way as offline, it takes time.
3. Spending time / money on the wrong things. Usually this happens when people start their first website and lots of hours are accumulated just by changing the top banner image 10px to the left. No site is perfect and the point is, if you don’t have traffic at the start, it doesn’t matter if the new shade of lilac goes with the gray menu or not. It’s important to have a professional looking design, but don’t be crazy with it, in the order of things that is on the to-do list.
4. Find a path to cash. It is essential that you at least have an idea of how the site is going to make money before you start. Yeah, I know Google, Twitter, Facebook didn’t know either (Twitter still isn’t making money) it’s not the same. If you are building the site for a living and not just as a hobby, it is an investment and it has to make a return at some point. There are many sources of income, from advertising to ecommerce, that can generate significant income, but only if implemented correctly, monetization is not one of those things that works for it- even.
5. Marketing strategy. The reason why most people forget this is because internet marketing is much more of a technical exercise than it is in the offline world. You really need a plan showing where your visitors are coming from and how you are going to work with that medium. If it’s Facebook, you have a better understanding of viral media and social tagging. If it’s Google, you better have a strong grip on SEO and PPC. And the point is, if you don’t understand them, you better have the money to pay someone who otherwise won’t give you back, my friend.
So I didn’t include luck in the list, although as we know it’s still a factor in everything we do. However, I’m a big believer in volume and quantity when it comes to online success, do enough for long enough and something will work (not very technical I know). There is more to being successful in a web business than this and certainly true if you want to make real money consistently, but if I was just starting out I would focus on these 5 points and like Mike Tyson said, ” Refuse to lose ”!