How To: Build A Successful Website
Over the past 2-3 years, I have learned a lot about the Internet and how the industry works as a whole. When I first started BestTechie back in 2003, I had no idea what I was doing – I was just a 13 year old kid with a website. In late 2007, I started to really take the web seriously and began experimenting with ways to grow my own website. Of course, not everything I tried worked as I expected and you have to learn to accept that and move onto your next idea.
I’ve had some decent success with BestTechie in the past few years and I hope that will continue on into the future. Two of the major questions I receive all the time are a.) how I get people to my site and b.) how do you gain traction online? Honestly, these are loaded questions. There is not one single solution that will guarantee automatic success, but, there are definitely some options that are better than others and that is what I’m going to discuss here. I have found two ways that seem to work best (at least for me) when it comes to getting people into your community and to your site.
I need to preface this entire post with in order to do this right, it will take a lot of time and effort. If you are not willing to input the time and the effort, you will get nowhere.
The first thing I always recommend to people who are looking to start a website is to find a similar website with a community that may potentially be interested in what you will be doing. I think this is the most vital part of the entire process when it comes to starting your own website. The best way I can explain what I mean is to use myself as an example. Before I started BestTechie I was a frequent member and contributor of the TechTV (remember them?) Call For Help forums. I would help people all the time, I must have accumulated thousands of posts before I even registered the BestTechie domain. In essence, what I did was establish myself in a community of technology oriented people. By establishing yourself in a community you can easily obtain followers and when you launch your website people will take notice and you have an automatic audience from day one. Additionally, once you’ve established yourself, you can add a link in your signature to your site which people will take notice of and click. The main point being, establishing yourself will always work better than simply singing up for a community and immediately start talking about and/or promoting your site.
The next thing I recommend is to get involved in social media (duh). An entire occupation seems to have evolved out of social media. Nonetheless, I’m here to tell you (for free), what they will for some (probably) large sum of money. Social media is nothing more than interacting (and listening – notice how I bolded that word) with people who you may or may not know in an online environment such as Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube (my three personal favorites). So what’s the big deal about it? It is your direct line of communication to your audience and it is your audiences direct line of communication to you. And let me tell you, if you don’t listen and interact with that audience they will go to someone else – there is always someone else. So make sure you interact. When you are just starting out (this also applies to when you have some success too, but people forget), you do not have the option to completely blow someone off. You need that person, they do not need you – remember there is always someone else (the Internet is very big).
I feel if you start off by doing both of those things you will be well on your way to building a successful website. However, by no means are those the only two things you need to do. I will be providing additional tips and advice in the coming weeks (so keep an eye out) with regards to where you should be focusing online, how you should be focusing and developing content, and other assorted ways to drive traffic and build communities.
Of course, feel free to post your thoughts and suggestions in the comments as well as any questions you may want me to address in the next series of posts.
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