Making websites is difficult.
When people start a website they’ll usually get it going and they’ll work on it hard for two to three months. As they move along, it isn’t a huge success and it’s not showing much growth. And then they quit the project that they were so motivated about creating.
They move on and just go work another job or work at their same job. They’ll do this for 10, 15, or 20 years and then they retire and then they die.
It’s not that dramatic, but my point is that a lot of people have this dream of creating something great, they work on it, and it doesn’t go where they expect and then they quit. That really sucks.
I see that happen too often. I know where they come from because I’ve obviously quit a lot of different projects over time. I remember getting started. It took a while for me to get to the point to where I am. But now I’m at the point where I have a portfolio of seven different successful websites.
The levels of success vary but overall I make about $25,000 every single month in revenue. I understand what it takes to create a successful website. I really get it now.
Today I’m here to talk about 10 different reasons why your website isn’t successful and give you some tidbits, some information to tell you exactly how to fix those problems. That being said, let’s go ahead and get started.
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Number one—and this is a really common one—is not working hard enough. Some people hate to hear this but it’s just the truth. I will say with websites especially when you’re starting out, consistency is key.
Doing something every single day, at least something little, is a really big part of getting momentum. You really need to be willing in the beginning to pour your heart and your soul into whatever website you’re trying to create.
If you’re not willing to do that or you don’t have the time (you should make time by the way) it’s not going to be successful. In order to fix it, the thing that I always tell people is that you need to work on your project at least one hour a day, Monday through Friday. Then on the weekends, you should be working more on it.
But the reason why I say this is because every single day if you work on it for an hour, by the end of the week, those cumulative hours, they add to everything. Now you’ve had five hours of productivity during the week and then you’ve also had however many hours you’re pouring on the weekends.
Make sure that you consistently work hard on your website. Assuming that you have a full-time job on the side, you absolutely have to do this in order to be successful.
Number two. This is a really, really common reason why people don’t have a successful website is that they’re just not patient enough. I’m sure many of you that are watching this have probably dealt with this.
You’ve started something and you quit and you probably quit too early. That’s just the reality.
What I always tell people to do is when you start on a project, when you start a new website, make sure that you give it a full year before you’re willing to stop. Say, “I’m going to work on this, even if it’s every day for an hour, I’m going to work on it every single day for a full year before I will quit.”
If you take that mentality and go into a project, you’re much more likely to succeed. You also shouldn’t be comparing yourself with others. People grow impatient because they see people like me, then they don’t make it $25,000 a month, they think, “Well, why aren’t I there?”
They compare, compare, compare. They don’t make money in the first month or two and then they quit. Don’t do that. Just understand that you have to be patient in this process.
Tell yourself that you can not quit until you’re a full year in and more than likely at around month eight or nine, you’ll start to see some success. From there, if you continue to work hard on it, it will continue to grow and maybe one day you can leave your full-time job and work on it full time.
The third reason why websites aren’t successful is that people are unwilling to outsource different tasks. The way I see it, there are two different reasons why you won’t outsource. Number one, you’re too cheap.
I get it because especially in the beginning it’s hard to invest in a website because you’re not sure if you’re ever going to see a return on the money. If this is your first time, I get it. I was there, I was super, super cheap. Only when I began to grow was when I started investing back into it, but that’s a whole different discussion.
Number two, you think that you can do everything better than everyone else. I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of things that you suck at. Maybe you don’t realize it.
I thought that I was pretty good at graphic design and I had an eye for design. I don’t. If I do certain things and I show it to my wife, she’s horrified by it. I don’t really have the eye. I think I do but I don’t. Odds are you’re the same way.
There are two ways to really get over the idea of not being willing to outsource.
First, understand that you’re not the best at whatever it is that you do. I guarantee you there are better writers, better graphic designers, better web developers. You’re just not the best at it.
That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just understand that and understand that in order to really grow, you should be relying on other people’s expertise.
That’s the first part. The second part is, when was the last time that you heard of a business that started, never invested money into it, and grew incredibly well and was very, very successful. You’ve never heard of that because that’s not how business works. At the end of the day, the way for a website or any business to be successful is it needs investment.
Now I’m not saying that every single month you have to throw $1000 into a website. No, that’s not what I’m saying. But in the beginning, if you’re working hard and doing all the things and putting all the hours in, great—but don’t be scared to start throwing $50, $100, $200 a month towards content or web development.
If you’re not good at that, don’t be scared to outsource it and spend a little bit of money. I would say, if you’re working full time and you’re dealing with this, just create a budget for yourself. Say, “Every month I could spend 200 bucks for a whole year.” What do you have to lose—2,400 bucks? You’ll have a lot of experience and odds are that in that one year, you’ll probably learn enough to be successful.
The fourth reason why websites aren’t successful is that the niche is far too competitive. This actually, isn’t a very common problem but it definitely does occur, especially beginners when they’re like, “I want to write about animals.”
That’s super, super broad. Generally speaking, you’re going to have some competition. That’s kind of inevitable. But there are certain times when people pick a niche that’s just far too competitive and they get into something that wasn’t really a good idea to start. Because it’s too broad, it’s very competitive.
For something like that, it’s actually pretty easy to fix. Usually what I say is that if you’re in an area that is way too competitive and all your competitors are blowing you out of the water, all that you really need to do is niche down.
What does that mean? Well, if you create a blog about animals, adjust that animals blog and focus on writing about dogs, or a specific breed of dog in the beginning. Just start there, start low, start small. And then if you have a broad URL, the good thing is you can eventually branch out from that.
The fifth reason why websites don’t succeed is that some of them are just ugly. I’m not saying you have to have a full-time graphic designer or that you have to make this absolutely beautiful website. Please don’t get that impression.
But at the end of the day, some people will get a theme, they’ll add all these bells and whistles that do all this stuff and you don’t need it. You just need a minimal and efficient theme that’s reasonably fast and allows you to create content and push it on out.
But generally speaking, how do you fix this? Find a theme that is simple, that will work. You could use a WordPress default theme. I personally like Thrive themes. Follow this link to see all about Thrive themes and a tutorial on that.
Generally speaking, just find a theme that you like, keep it simple, and focus on writing good content. Eventually as time goes on, you can add more bells and whistles to the website as you see fit and what’s absolutely necessary.
The sixth reason why websites don’t succeed is that you’re not planning your content. You need to have an idea of what content and what articles you’re going to write before you write them; what clusters and what subjects you’re going to have.
Content calendars are great, but I actually don’t see them as an absolute necessity. Some people are like, “You have to have a content calendar.” I think it’s helpful. I think it’s a good idea to put it in your headspace on how to plan. But it’s not an absolute requirement. How do you fix this type of situation?
Well, all you really need to do is a keyword search on your website to find the things that your audience is asking. And then just make sure that when you figure out those main topics, you figure out subtopics that’ll fit into it.
You can do this on an Excel sheet or Google sheet—I do that personally. Just make sure that you have some main topics and some sub-topics. Then at least the article is a little bit more planned out than just one question and then no format or template whatsoever for the blog post at all.
The seventh reason why websites fail is that they are not editing their content. This is tough to do, especially if you’re writing for yourself. Grammar and punctuation is something that is noticed by people and it will hurt the credibility of the website.
If I’m reading a website and I see a lot of different grammar and punctuation issues, I don’t think very highly of that website because it’s like, “Well, they can’t even edit correctly. Why am I going to believe them?”
One of the ways you can handle this (if you’re doing it yourself) is to write your articles, let it sit for a day, and then go back and edit it yourself.
Or if you really want, you can just go to upwork.com and you can hire an editor there. That works just as well and frankly, they’re pretty cheap. But in the beginning, it’s not a bad idea to edit your own articles.
Just make sure that you’re doing some format editing because there are plenty of times when I’ll write something, I’ll think it’s perfect, I’ll go back and realize that I screwed up a bunch of different times.
The eighth reason why websites aren’t successful is that people are focusing on things that don’t matter. It sounds weird to say that because everyone is like, “Well, I started this website, so everything matters.” No—in the beginning, there are very few things that actually matter to your website.
People will be spending time focused on the look of the website and only the theme. However, while there is some importance to the look of the website, that’s not the most important thing. Don’t spend too much time on it.
If not that, then they’ll focus on social media or they’ll focus on emails and email auto-responders. You guys, stop. There’s no reason to do that.
The way to fix this and the way to be successful is to focus 100% on your content and your keyword research and figure out the best way to write.
Focus on that until you have 3,000 people visiting your website every single month. Put your core focus into that 100%. You could also do a little bit of link building, but don’t do too much.
The truth is, if your website is beautiful, you have amazing social media, and you have an unbelievable email autoresponder but nobody comes, it doesn’t matter. Your website is useless if you don’t have traffic. Focus on traffic first and then you can always adjust as you go along.
Number nine is you’re not using your analytics. This is a super common problem. I think it’s because a lot of people don’t know how to use them or aren’t comfortable using them.
It’s really important that you do this because analytics will give you insights to help you understand what your visitors are doing, their different behaviors, what they’re viewing, what’s working, what’s not working.
First, you have to put Google Analytics on your website. If you’re using WordPress (which I recommended and most people are using) click here to watch a video that tells you how to put Google Analytics into your website.
Focus on Google Analytics. Don’t use all these third-party provider tools, they’re just not as good; use Google Analytics because that’s the analytics that Google is seeing. Use Google Analytics, align yourself with that product.
After you’ve installed it, you can create reports and check them once a week. Those can get them emailed over to you. You can look on YouTube on how to do reporting or you can just go in manually like I do once a week and check everything—or once a month, whatever you want to do.
The point is to pay attention to your analytics, especially in the beginning, because you need to know what’s working. Analytics, is going to be your pilot, your navigation to get you to what is working and tell you feedback and tell you exactly what’s working with search engines and what people like.
The last reason why your website isn’t successful is that you don’t know how to properly monetize it. most people don’t think of this because they think, “I just have to get traffic.”
But what happens when you have traffic and you just have some Google AdSense ads up and you’re like, well, I’m not making enough money. You have to understand how to monetize your website.
Generally speaking, this only becomes a problem once you have traffic. If you’re not at the traffic stage, don’t worry about money. Stop worrying about it. You’re not going to make a bunch of money overnight.
Once you have traffic, as I said, 3,000 a month-ish, then you can start focusing on monetizing. The way I put it is that you can have affiliate monetization channels, info products, or membership monetization channels from day one. From day one, you can start pushing affiliate stuff.
You can do that. Don’t overdo it, but you can do it. You want to wait until about 10,000 visitors or 10,000 page views, every single month prior to actually putting AdSense or any other ad network onto your website.
If you’re looking to make some money in the beginning, feel free to use affiliates, info products, memberships, or try to sell something you own—upgrade whatever it is that you have. You could do that on your website from the beginning, but don’t push your ads out until about 10,000 page views a month.
I say that because you need to understand that in order to monetize a website, there’s a really careful balance in the beginning. You don’t want to push too much on sales because those first people that come to your website are never going to come back.
Understanding that in the beginning is really important. But once you hit that 10,000-page view threshold, to me that’s like, “Okay, this website really has some legs.” Now you can really focus harder on monetizing it and making more money with it.