Some of the following mistakes might be familiar to you. However, knowing is not the same as doing things right. Get ready to learn something new today and avoid making the same mistakes.
Many people say running a website is too challenging nowadays.
They are afraid of tight competition, coding, and too much effort that won’t pay off in the long run.
Despite fears and risks, a staggering number of 252,000 new websites are created daily worldwide, according to Siteefy.
I am convinced anyone can run a website as a side hustle from home with little experience. The most challenging is to start. If you do it right and prepare your website for successful scaling, it can later become one of your income sources.
As a marketer and content writer, I launched my first website in August 2021. Launching my website seemed like a challenge despite helping many businesses promote their websites.
After five months of managing my website along with my full-time job, I realized the painful mistakes I made as a newbie blogger. If not fixed, these fatal errors will put all your efforts to an end and won’t let you monetize your website.
They don’t align their skills and interests with a niche.
I’ve seen the following two ways how solopreneurs define the future theme of their website:
Based on interest
Based on the monetization potential
Lifestyle blogs that disregard people’s needs fail.
Websites created solely for monetization sooner or later face the following issue — the absence of a clear growth strategy. Their website owners lack the motivation to work on something that can bring money but does not spark interest.
Many people say “defining niche” is bullshit, and you can blog about anything. Well, not really if you aim to perform well in the search results!
Not aligning your skills and interests with a niche you want to work in is the first crucial mistake that can lead to failure even before you start.
What to do
I wanted to blog about side hustles and money mindset when I launched my website. However, I quickly realized I lacked the personal experience to create valuable content, different from those mediocre websites in search.
As a marketer, I know how to create SEO-friendly content and make money out of it. Bingo! It became my topic of interest and niche. However, I wasted several months to realize this simple truth!
Ideally, you should know your website niche before you even launch it!
First, consider your topics of interest The following are mine: Matcha tea making, SEO writing, online side hustles, and personal finances.
Second, pick one topic of interest with some profound experience to share. Even though I could blog about Matcha tea, I decided to share my professional experience in SEO.
Do research. Examine competitors on the top positions in Google and do keyword research to
They have misguided priorities.
Launching a website as a solopreneur is like running a startup — you’ll have to be a designer, marketer, copywriter, and developer all in one!
Lack of resources and experience makes people look for affordable alternatives. As a result, such websites don’t always look like eye candy.
My website is a simple WordPress blog without professional design and branding. However, just a few know that my website is a one-women show in time free from work.
Many novice bloggers spend hundreds of dollars designing and then redesigning their websites. However, they all forget about the primary purpose of a new website — it should grow!
Don’t set expectations too high. Your new website will have a few visitors only. So, spending too much time and resources on design is a wrong priority. Instead, focus on this.
What to do
The only way to leverage dozens of tasks without failure is to set priorities.
As a website owner, I have a long list of things I’ won’t probably finish for a while. For instance, to change the size and type of fonts. Instead, I put all my effort into the following two tasks — optimized content production and link building.
My website generated over 7k impressions in the past few months with less than 20 blog posts and a few backlinks!
Remember, you are not your users! You will never predict what content they like and how they navigate your website.
Don’t waste hundreds of dollars designing a website, which won’t serve users’ needs and earn zero money for you. Instead, focus on your website growth for at least one year after its launch.
They make decisions based on gut feelings.
Novice bloggers often put a lot of effort into publishing content on their nearly empty blog and wonder why no one reads it.
There is a big difference when you write on a website with a built-in audience and a new blog!
Websites like the one you are now in have a huge audience. Chances are, someone will stumble upon your content whatever you write about. However, it’s not the case for a new website. As a website owner, you have to build your audience from scratch.
Search engines function differently from social media and popular blogging platforms. You should know how they discover new content and what they look at.
What to do
If you are serious about growing and monetizing your website, you should start making data-driven decisions.
SEO or search engine optimization can help you create searchable content.
SEO writing skills helped me push a brand new medical clinic’s website to the top ten Google search results. Besides, I effectively leverage SEO to write about topics people want to read on my website. Here is how.
I do keyword research before creating content for a website. It helps me understand if my topic idea can attract readers.
Then, I use On-Page SEO techniques to help search engine bots understand my content and increase my chances for higher rankings.
All in all, you have to be a marketer, a content writer, and a little bit a tech-savvy dude to grow your website.
They monetize too early.
Let’s admit, the ultimate reason for anyone running a lifestyle blog or a website is monetization.
Those people put effort into creating digital content and want to get paid for it. Ideally, as soon as possible.
Jamie Hickey, founder of Coffee Semantics, once well-said:
“The biggest mistake I always see from newer bloggers trying to monetize their site is that they don’t follow the compliance rules set by the affiliate. “
As a result, they might end up being suspended or banned.
Every monetization program has different rules you should follow. If you don’t set the time to learn and apply them, you can lose money and time later.
What to do
Focus on growth, not profitability!
Let’s dream big, but stay realistic. None of the websites ever made decent income while at the early growth stage.
Behind every solid online business are people.
If you do your job well as a website owner, create helpful content and provide value, monetization opportunities will come to you. Someone will want you to promote their product or publish sponsored blog posts.
Opportunities are endless. You’ll just have to pick those that fit your values and beliefs.
They disregard the “discovered, not indexed” issue.
This tiny issue can have an immense impact on your website performance if you don’t act on it right away.
This part is a bit technical, but I could not skip it. I’ve personally dealt with these issues several times after launching my website.
When you publish a new page, Google can either make it searchable (add it to its main index) or decide not to show it.
Imagine you’ve spent hours creating content that no one will be able to find in Google. It sucks!
This is how the error looks like in the Google Search Console.
What to do
If you notice this issue, it means search engine bots could not crawl your new pages for some reason. Here is what Google says about it:
The page was found by Google, but not crawled yet. Typically, Google wanted to crawl the URL but this was expected to overload the site; therefore Google rescheduled the crawl.
I faced this issue several months ago on my website. New pages were discovered but not indexed by Google. What was even worse, those issues were not resolved on their own! Likely, I figured out a solution.
If your website faces this issue, make sure to check its loading speed and mobile performance. Chances are your website has some issues with mobile usability and performance.
The Google page speed insights report can help you assess a website’s loading speed and give improvement recommendations.
Once I’ve optimized my website and submitted particular pages for re-indexing, Google made them searchable.
If you want to become location independent and financially secure, a well-performing website can help you achieve it. However, you’ll have to work a lot to make it happen.
Make sure you avoid making the following mistakes before launching and monetizing your website:
You don’t align your skills and interests with a niche.
You make decisions based on gut feelings instead of research.
You have misguided priorities and focus on too many things at once.
You monetize too early.
You disregard the “discovered, not indexed” issue.
Interested in creating content people want to read? Grab my free guide “How to Discover Popular Topics For Any country In a Few Minutes.”