How To Make a Successful Website
What makes a website successful?
The term successful is ambiguous so lets define it. A successful website is a website with lots of visitors for which you provide the information or entertainment they are looking for. If you create a website that people want to visit because it provides them with something the rest will follow - money, fame, authority.
You can spend months reading websites and blogs about how to make a successful website. There is no shortage of advice. Talk is cheap and so is most of the advice you will find online. Most advice is from people who enjoy giving advice, not from people who know what they are doing. Only experience enables you to filter through all the information and pick out the good stuff.
Let me save you time. I have picked out the good stuff. Here is all you need to know:
Metallica Is a Successful Band – They Have a Successful Website
Think of your website like a music band. The music business is very similar to the website business. Lets take the band Metallica, if you look closely at the band you will notice a few things:
- They have a niche. They do not sing about flowers and sunshine. Most of their songs are about pain, suffering, end of times and evil. They choose their niche and they stick with it.
- They have a targeted audience. Go to a Metallica concert and you will notice that all the people in the audience look similar with long hair and dark clothes. I am sure if you ask them about their hobbies and interests you will find that they like the same things. I doubt there are too many basket weavers at a Metallica concert.
- They have an image. Their logo looks jagged and sharp like a samurai blade. The logo could cut your head off. The band members all dress black and walk around with a frown. Their album covers do not remind you of a beautiful Sunday morning walk in the park. Skulls, crosses and coffins. Their image is death or soon to be dead or wish to be dead.
- They are always creating new material. Metallica has a lot of albums and they are still coming out with more. Every few years there is a new album full of death and suffering. They do not lose their old fans and they pick up new ones. By keeping fresh and up to date their fans keep coming back for more pain.
These basic principles have made Metallica a successful band. To have a successful website your need to follow the same principles.
Having a niche, knowing your audience, having an image, and constantly improving your website are simple things, but they are the real secrets to having a successful website.
These four pillars do not just apply to websites - they apply to all industries that cater to an audience: authors, movie producers, music bands, clothes designers, all follow these basic principles. By ignoring these key pillars you drastically decrease your chances of having a successful website.
Your Website Needs a Niche
Pick something that you enjoy and can create content for. And stick with it. Do not have a hodgepodge website with a bunch of niches strewn together. Do not try to be a jack of all trades. Your website should be about one thing. You need to be the authority - the expert and go to website for that particular niche. Visitors do not want to dig around through irrelevant stuff just to find what they are looking for. You want it to appear like your website eats, breaths and poops your niche. Remember that when people come to your website they are looking for specific information Metallica would never have a song about grandmother baking cookies because their fans would skip over it – they are looking for songs about pain.
You Need To Know Your Website’s Audience
When you are creating your website envision the type of people viewing it. What do they like? What do they expect? What don't they want to see? Do not make your website for everybody. Pick a type of person and create the website just for them. Metallica does not have one of the band members dressed in a cowboy suit just to please any cowboys at the concert.
Give Your Website an Image
This does not mean just a logo. This means the whole look and feel of the website, the pictures you include and the writing style. Before you start your website write down a few sentences describing your image. Then as you design your website make sure that everything you do suits the image. If your image is death, pain, black, sad, revenge then do not have a big smiley face icon for your contact page.
Keep Improving Your Website
Like all businesses you need to keep growing and updating. Left alone a website will die. Most of the work is done at the beginning when you create the website, but it does not stop there. Keep your website up to date, make changes, make it appear like a living breathing entity. Nothing is worse then arriving at a website and seeing "Copyright 2001". An updated website ensures that loyal fans will keep come back to see what's new, and new fans will come to see what the buzz is all about.
Have Fun With Your Website
There is one more very important ingredient. An ingredient so vital that you can consider your website still born with out it. You need to have fun. Your website needs to be something that you enjoy doing. You will be working on your website on your spare time, and if it is not something you enjoy you will avoid it. Don’t make a website because you need money, you want to be famous, you want to be successful – make a website because you want to have fun.
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