Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Next Web Site
I’m sure many of you are guilty of this next question I have for you, because I know I definitely am! How many times have you jumped into a new project, super excited, then it just fizzles out over the next week or month?
It happens all the time, and most of the time this happens because we get so excited about our ideas, and don’t do the necessary planning to see if it might actually work, have a real business plan, or we are just getting ahead of ourselves.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before starting your next web site.
What is the concept of your site and would will people want to use it?
This is a dead simple question, but how many times have we went forward with ideas that no one else gets, but we think they are amazing. Just look at the all of the successful sites in the past. The only thing you need to know about creating a successful web site, is that people use the internet for ONLY THREE THINGS; to be entertained, research something (ask a question), or to buy something. If you aren’t solving one of these problems, or making something easier today, you already may be failing before you started.
Tip: Alexa is our friend. Take a look at the top ranked Alexa web sites of the world based on category. This should help give you some ideas for how people are using the most popular sites in the world.
How will your web site make money?
From a business stand point, how the web site is going to make money should be the first idea in your head, but not the first thing implemented on the web site. How many times have you seen a huge web site that makes money off it’s advertising and the massive volume of traffic they are pushing through the site?… then you say, I can do that!
It’s a terrible thing to do and almost never works that way. The truth is, the majority of mega sites out there that are making money from selling their ad spots based on traffic, are old, established and have massive content and search rankings behind them. If you are going after this business model, make sure you either have a lot of time to invest, or money to outsource content creation and link building.
Tip: There are plenty of ways to make money online. Whether you are looking to earn a commission from sales or leads with affiliate marketing, offering personal consulting services or even selling your own product, there are many ways to monetize a web site’s traffic. Just make sure it’s relevant to your site niche and the people visiting your site.
Is there a competitive market for my site?
The only thing worse than getting too overly excited about your site and having it destined for failure, is jumping the gun on a niche that is way too over saturated or not even used at all. Using the Google Keyword Tool, you can easily plug in keywords or concept ideas for your web site and see how many people search for that term each month, along with how competitive the competition is in that niche.
Tip: If you aren’t sure what niche and keywords you want to go after, there are many software tools and web sites that specialize in creating niche sites that go specifically after long tail keywords. The search volume is lower, but so is the competition. This might be something you want to try out.
What’s the end goal for your web site?
While we may be jumping ahead, you should have an idea of where you want to finish before you actually start a web site. If you are creating a web site to solve a problem or create awareness about a product, service or organization, you are probably already passionate about the the concept and content of the site.
If you are building this new site just for the pure purpose of making money, you will want to make sure that your business plan works. The last thing you want is to keep kicking a dead horse with your site, and getting stuck with something that has sucked up a lot of investment money and it basically doing nothing. Without passion or success behind a web site, it’s often hard to keep it going.
Putting Everything into Action
I really love creating web sites and putting ideas together. There really is nothing better to see something you built from scratch turn into something really huge that people use every day. At the same time, it’s not easy at all, and with the millions of new sites going live every day, the odds are really against you, which is why you need to ask yourself these questions and plan ahead before jumping the gun.
Here’s to the success of your next web site and building a business model that pays off for years to come!