Developing a successful website is like building a house. There is a foundation, a building itself, and, if you know what you’re doing, a house warming party (successful website launch). And, just like houses, websites are designed in several different ways. Despite the possible variations in design however, there is a general formula you will want to follow if you are serious about developing a successful website.
- Make sure you have developed a firm foundation
This means content, organizational layout, reliable hosting, etc.
- Target your content
Aiming your content at a specific group increases your chances of gaining a reputation for what you’re doing.
- Raise awareness
Because you are targeting a specific audience, chances are you have an idea of where this type of person would be most likely to see a posting about a cool, new website.
- Sign your visitors up in some way for regular contact
Making sure that you get visitors to accept some form of contact from you increases your chances of actually connecting with them, and thus increases your site’s repeat traffic.
By now you will have noticed, my strategies take work. Too many people jump into online business without “looking before they leap”. I think it’s important to take what you’re doing seriously. That being said, this report will walk you through these steps, you are not on your own. What I am asking for can be as simple as taking a few weeks to a month to complete. I’m not asking you to commit your life here, I’m asking you to think before you launch your website and set up realistic goals as to what you will invest in it – and who you will be investing for.
Building a successful website is mostly about finding people to visit, and enjoy that website. That takes targeting a specific group. Targeting a specific group increases your chances of success, because if you focus your attention on a single group, you can do things on a much higher level than if you are making a generic website targeted to anybody.
To begin with, let’s focus on the first step, the foundation. The foundation of your blog is, as the name implies, the building blocks of what you’re doing. From the topics you choose, to the layout of your website, it is important to build the best foundation possible. This means setting your blog up to make a GREAT impression, and includes focusing on the following elements:
- The content itself
- Having a specific strategy related to content
- Picking specifically interesting topics for your target audience
- The layout and design of your website
- Developing a logo and brand to back your website
Making sure that the basics are in place will help to set you up for success. You work to earn your visitors, best keep them by making sure that your website will continue to attract them. There’s nothing more disappointing than hearing about a new website and checking it out, only to find that it doesn’t work or fails to live up to your expectations. Make sure that that does not happen to you. Invest your time in setting up the basics before you move on to other steps, and invest time in different stages of your websites development.
Releasing teaser content
Another great way to gain attention before your website is to provide a teaser piece (or pieces) on the website, even before it’s formally published. These pieces can range from short paragraphs to launch posts themselves, but the point is that the posts that are up garner interest and reveal more about what your site is actually about.
Especially if you have been following the advice listed above about drawing people to your site before it’s formally launched, having some content available provides another opportunity to foster repeat visitor relationships.
Tech tip:WordPress allows you to release content to its users before publishing to the whole world if you use the Authenticator plugin. This can be a great way to preview content to a select audience – but don’t forget to disable the plugin on the day you’re ready for all to see!
You can let people know some of your goals with the site, tease them with notions of what’s to come (though don’t give away the best of the best yet), and overall just make a solid impression. A good general number of posts to have up is six (but can range from three-ten). If you plan to make sure that you have at least six, you should be alright, the key is to have more than just one tiny piece. You want people to know that you are taking it as seriously as you can.
Using other peoples’ blogs for attention
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to gain access to a particular group of people, is to find popular blogs for that group of people and provide access to your content from there. This should be more creative than ‘spam’ which we do not encourage. People tend to trust what looks trustworthy.
You could offer an interview, insider information about your business before it is publicly released, ask for a mention. The point is to get your content out there in a positive way, on a few select blogs that appeal to your target audience.
A note? Don’t be afraid to approach fellow bloggers and ask for things like this. The worst thing that happens is you get rejected, and then are you really in any worse off of a position than you are in now? Even bigger blog sites will help from time to time, particularly if they think what you have to offer will appeal to their demographic.
Be sure to limit your number of blogs you target to under ten, anything more than that risks making you seem like you are just another sales pitch. You want your name out, not necessarily your sales catalogue.
Getting visitors to your site
Try to focus on getting visitors to your site from day one of its launch. This can be done by ensuring that you start talking, and getting other people talking, about your website even before it comes out. This creates an anticipation, an excitement, that will increase your initial (and hopefully subsequent) traffic.
The first step to this? Harnessing your own resources. If you have another website, or even a social media account, you already have an audience who is interested in what you have to say. Let them know that a new website is coming out, and that they might be interested! This can be as simple as releasing regular status updates or tweets, or as complicated as inviting feedback on initial content. The important thing here is to tell them they may be interested, not to start sounding like a self salesman.
People love to feel heard and to connect with you personally, they don’t love to feel like they’re being impersonally advertised to. This is part of why targeting specific groups who have an interest in your website can help, targeting members of this group will make sense to members – you come off as some one who understands their interests. The key is to make sure that they hear about your website before it comes out, and that it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to sell them something.
Even following these tips does not mean you’re going to have a million mile following within your first hour, but it does mean you could have more than yourself checking out your new site with interest and investment.
Keep up the content
The time just after your launch is perhaps the most critical time for your content. You need to make sure you are posting regularly enough that people are interested, and with high enough quality content that it is worth coming back to.
An average amount of blog posts to aim for would be 2-3.
Key posts to include
- Welcome to my website (a bit about you, a bit about the blog, a bit about the target audience)
- Some type of giant attention grab. Seriously, go for the highest quality that you can.
- Getting people interested in why you’re running the blog and how it’s going to work
You can work on more content (and need to) but these are the basics.
After launch (and forevermore)
Focus on turning visitors into unique visitors
This is the key to your blog’s success. Set up your content, set up your layout, set up subscription opportunities as best you can. You want people to consider your work a must-read/see.
So, a successful blog does a few things… what are they again?
- Make sure your foundation is strong
- Get the word out BEFORE your site is launched
- Back up your launch with great content
- Form bonds as best you can, as often as you can, and as much as you can with your visitors. Turn those guests into repeat readers!