Every successful website owner has made many painful and embarrassing mistakes along the path to success. In this post, we look at five of the most common mistakes we see from beginner webmasters and some things you can do to avoid them.
Starting too big
When you start a new website, it isn’t going to be the most popular thing in your niche straight away. All websites, even the big ones like YouTube and Facebook, started as small sites with a handful of users.
Your new website doesn’t need to have a blog, forum, chat room, wiki and store on launch day – especially if you’re running the website on your own. Firstly, it’s unreasonable to think you’re going to be able to maintain a consistent output of new content without help; and secondly, because sites with all of those features probably already exist in your niche.
Find one or two small thing that you can do better than any of your competitors and focus on that. If you later find that your users crave additional features, that’s when you should think about expanding your website.
Expecting visitors to find you
Regardless of how awesome your new website might be, it will still take some time to get visitors to your website. Unless you’re prepared to pay for advertising, it’s likely that your site will take many months to start receiving consistent and organic traffic.
Make sure you work hard promoting your new website. Friends, family and your existing social media followings are the best place to start. It’s also worth doing some reading on search engine optimization so that you can create content that Google is happy to gift with traffic.
It takes a website a long time to get going, so a lot of your early effort will feel wasted.If you’re blogging every day and nobody is reading, you’ll inevitably be tempted to abandon the project. That’s how most websites die: abandonment in the first six months.
As fruitless as it may feel, sticking to your website and consistently producing content for months (or even years) is the only way you’ll ever build a loyal audience.
Having a site is cool, but don’t act like a tool.
Yup! That’s the joke I’m going with to illustrate an important point: you’re no better than anyone else because you have your own soapbox – or in this case, your own website.
If you’re running a site alone, don’t sign your messages “The Management,” don’t pretend to have a “staff” and most importantly, show some personality! Communicate with your visitors in an informal and personal way, be social and give your site a personal touch. Webmasters are people, notAlways be learningknowing things
This one is pretty self explanatory: make sure you know what you’re doing. Running a website isn’t difficult, but there are certain minimum-level skills that you should have.
- Know how to backup (and restore) your website if it gets hacked.
- Know the software powering your site and how to troubleshoot problems.
- Have a working knowledge of copyright and privacy laws
- Know how to update your website’s software when security patches areased
All the information you will ever need is on the internet, but there’s also no harm in asking tech-savvy friends if you need help.
If you think of any other mistakes commonly made by beginner website owners, tweet them at us!