Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of creating many websites. When I first got into web design and coding, I was only 12 years old creating anime fan pages, just for fun. It wasn’t long after, that I realized my websites could actually be monetized for profit, which is when I started experimenting with Google Adsense. I didn’t make much at first, hell, only like a couple cents. But just seeing one of my “hobbies” actually make any sort of money was when I got hooked on internet marketing. Now 25, I’ve never looked back sense. I’ve gained a lot of information over the years, both creating successful websites and others that just completely crashed and burned, but I feel this was essential to my growth. This list is to help beginners avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past, and hopefully help you grow as a marketer and shortcut your way to success even faster.
Here we go!
1.) Always, always, always backup your website! Preferably every week, but even doing it once a month could save you a giant headache and sleepless nights. I learned this lesson the hard way, and to make a long story short.. it ended with me having to pay GoDaddy $150 for a “Hosting Restoration” fee. Do yourself a favor and backup all your websites frequently, you will thank yourself later. At the time of writing this, I have now moved to Hostgator as my main hosting provider, which offers free backups and excellent security. I highly recommend them.
2.) Google loves websites that load quickly. If you have any memory intensive or conflicting plugins, remove them. If using WordPress, avoid “heavy” themes unless it’s absolutely crucial to your business. Something simple and light-weight will get the job done just as well.
3.) Don’t forget about mobile traffic! Make sure your website looks good on smartphones and that your content is readable.
4.) Always have Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools installed on all your websites to track your progress. Keep an eye out for broken links and make use of the disavow tool.
5.) Do not be intimidated by “saturated” niches. There’s a reason why a lot of people build MMO, Diet, and Fitness websites and products. Because they make money! Sure, you can rank page 1 for a long tail keyword with little to no competition, but what’s the point if nobody is spending money over there?
6.) When choosing a domain, always use a .COM rather than a .NET or .ORG etc.. .COM domains are more trusted and easy to remember.
7.) Take advantage of social media traffic and become an expert at it. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr, pick one and stick with it until you’ve mastered it (or hire someone to do it for you). These places are oozing with TONS of free targeted traffic.
8.) In addition to tip #7, you should NOT focus on only one source of traffic. Whether it’s organic searches, social media, e-mail marketing, or YouTube traffic, take advantage of them all. Google algorithms make rankings unpredictable at times, YouTube accounts can get banned, social media accounts hacked etc.. Make sure not to put all your eggs into one basket.
9.) Make it easy for people to contact you. I personally use a simple WordPress plugin that creates a contact form for me, and it works perfectly. Don’t take the negative comments too seriously, and always thank users who send you something positive. Building a strong relationship between you and your readers is the best thing you could ever do as a marketer.
10.) Speaking of building relationships.. if you haven’t already, start building your list NOW. Seriously. Do not wait another day, and go get PopUp Domination.
11.) Be consistent and never give up. Figure out a game plan and stick to it. Are you going to post fresh content daily, weekly, or monthly?
12.) Don’t freak out so much over traffic spikes and dips, this is natural. Always look at earnings and traffic analysis from a monthly standpoint rather than daily before diagnosing something as wrong, otherwise you will drive yourself crazy.
13.) Sometimes you just have to swallow your ego and brush off the rude comments from the haters and the trolls. NEVER get into an open argument on one of your comment threads trying to prove yourself as “right”. It’s a waste of time and makes you look completely unprofessional. If your content is good, it will speak for itself, and a loyal following will always defend their idol.
14.) Keep yourself educated! Methods change, technology changes, what may work now might not 5 years from now. Adapt to the times, be innovative, and stay current.
15.) Surround yourself with positive people in your life, and weed out the negative ones. I know this is easier said than done, but it will greatly increase your work ethic when you don’t have a bunch of people in your ear telling you that you’re “wasting your time” constantly. This goes well beyond making money and websites, this should just be a general practice for everybody. Nobody needs that kind of negativity in their life. Don’t give anyone that kind of power, ever. Internet marketing is already a tough road as it is, you don’t need other people putting up more obstacles between you and your dreams.
There’s probably a ton of other stuff I’ve failed to mention here, and after reviewing the list again, a lot of these are things most of us should already know, but fail to forget at times. Take this list as a healthy reminder, and refer back to it from time to time when you feel lost in your journey. Remember that creating a successful business or website is not easy, but there’s opportunity around us constantly. It’s time to separate the boys from the men.
..Just how hungry are YOU?