Starting a new website is exciting especially if it’s your first attempt.
Throughout the first year of launching you will learn many things about Web technology and more so about yourself.
What you do within this first year can shape all those thereafter.
The year will see you crafting a whole lot of content, meeting new people, launching big projects, and trickling in a profit.
The first year, however, can be a bumpy ride so I’ve collected some of the milestones, actions, and hurdles you may want to consider (and face) to guarantee your success in your niche.
Months 1 – 3
Ah, the first few months.
This is a magical time because everything seems fresh. You’re just getting started and you’re open to new ideas. It’s likely you’ll spend a good amount of this time either creating or consuming content. The content is what will get you off the ground; it’s also what allows you to get in touch with other website owners and begin building those lasting relationships.
At this time you should keep your head down and keep pounding away at your work. Don’t get too wrapped up by all the big promises you’ll read. Create a routine so you land big goals on a daily basis.
The beginning will be a little rocky but you’ll soon get over it after you’ve passed the first few months.
- Create and develop a content plan and strategy for the remaining months
- Generate a list of reputable websites within your niche for guest posting opportunities
- Begin connecting with fellow website owners within your niche
- Produce a steady stream of valuable content for the community
- Educate yourself about social media and dive head first into the foray
- Begin generating ideas for monetization (ebooks, courses, memberships, etc.)
- Create an email newsletter
Months 4 – 6
Now you’re starting to get settled in.
At this point you’re comfortable with your work flow, you’re meeting great people, building strong relationships with your community, and starting to see the trickle of income from your efforts.
It’s at this part, however, where many fail. The level of commitment you need to continually produce can be overwhelming. The first few months you had tons of energy but now that you’re keeping a regular routine it can begin to wear at you.
As long as you can keep fresh ideas, continue to expand your knowledge, connect with people, and grow your business through hard work you will be in the clear for this initial hurdle of operating a website.
- Flourish your business relationships to increase the chances of referral traffic
- Begin holding contests and other giveaways to transition to a staple in the industry
- Roll out a series of reviews to boost your affiliate marketing offers
- Begin condensing your best information and turn them into silo pages
- Conduct interviews and explore different media formats to expand your reach
- Start working on a premium product or service for the community
- Segment part of your email newsletter based on regular response
Months 7 – 9
With the first half of the year down – you’re starting to get in the clear. However, you need to keep the machine running because you’ll face many moments when you’ll feel “as if it’s not worth it”. You may start gaining a few enemies around this time, too. Never mind the trolls and you’ll find this phase of your website to be one of the best because you’ve got established in your niche and big things are ready to start happening.
A special note to mention is the importance of pushing a product or service. Waiting too long to create a premium offering will mean you begin second guessing your decisions down the line. Do it while you still have the motivation and drive for your ideas otherwise you may hit a barrier down the line.
- Connect with business contacts and begin cross-promotional strategies
- Release your premium product
- Utilize community feedback and analytics to adjust your content strategy
- Explore monetization methods for your website
- Funnel active email recipients into logical affiliate marketing channels
- Consider paid advertising to bring a new slew of traffic and referrals
- Get comfortable with a new media format and commit to a series
Months 10 – 12
You’re about to hit the one year mark. Congratulations!
By this time you should be well adjusted to publishing and sharing content. You should also have a solid group of business contacts and devote community members. If you took the lead and pushed out a product than you should see some of your content strategy morph to lend aid to driving leads to your work otherwise it’s still vital to get something to the market so don’t give up yet!
Once you hit that one year mark you’re still not in the clear. It’s time to begin setting up for the long-haul so go back to your original concept for your website and set loftier goals. You’ve earned it.
- Begin exploring horizontal and vertical business opportunities
- Re-invest into the website via new plugins, themes, and business tools
- Study response and data to begin working on a new product or service
- Raise your rates
- Leverage your placement in your industry to create new spin-off websites
- Explore the possibilities of teaming with other website owners in business
- Outsource parts of your work to create additional free time for yourself
Most importantly: have fun!
That first year of starting your website is going to be magical.
There is so much opportunity on the table and so much at risk once you’re established so use these initial months to have fun and learn as much as you can!
Never mind which way the outcome sways – dig yourself in and enjoy the ride.
Hopefully this has painted a decent picture for what you can expect. It’ll be a whole lot of work but it will be well worth the effort.