Your First Website Doesn't Have To Be A Home Run
Last Update: Feb 20, 2018
Image: Working from Pismo Beach over President's Day weekend!
As a new member, it can feel like you're under a lot of pressure to "make money fast" or at least prove to yourself that your WA membership is worth the cost. Why am I spending $49/month if I'm not making money yet? I need to make sure I'm not wasting my time or money here!
While I can sympathize, since was in your position back in 2010 when I joined, I also have some new perspectives after almost 8 years of membership.
One essential piece of advice I learned from my first couple months inside the community is that your first website doesn't have to be a "home run".
- You don't have to pick the "best niche"
- You don't have to build a website that will last the rest of your life
- You don't have to make money with your first business
It's OK To Fail!
I've covered this previously with my post: 5 Failed Websites From Nathaniell but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years I've owned 100+ domains and had 60+ active websites going at one time.
Was it worth it to have that many? No. I'm narrowing it down each year and currently work on just 3 websites.
However, the experiences I gained from failing so many times have been worth the effort. Now I know a lot of what NOT to do, and can dole out advice based on personal experience instead of just repeating what other say. So overall, the many failures of my newbie errors were worth it.
You Can Always Restart
Doing work wrong then having to redo it sucks. It would be a terrible, sinking feeling to work on a website for 3 months, then figure out you don't really like the niche any more or you were making some grave mistakes along the way. Having to "restart" after 3 months of work would make it seem like you just wasted 90 days and $147 dollars (WA membership cost for 3 months).
However, nothing is ever wasted! Here's a blast from the past (2013 post): In Learning, No Time Is Wasted (Tip #3).
Consider this: What took you 3 months the first time around will now take you only 1 months. Next time? 1 week. Now you're a professional WordPress website manager! Oh, and you're also an SEO expert. Oh, and you're also a content marketer that can get paid to write articles on places like UpWork.
So although your first website "failed" you succeeded in LEARNING how to build an online business. Plus, you got some in-demand online marketing skills and are on your way to learning more. (Read more: How Much Are Your Online Business Skills Worth?
A Few Months VS A Lifetime!
Let's get back to the common misconception that your first website has to be awesome. Realistically, a few months won't make that much of a difference in your lifetime. It may seem like a long time now, but in 10, 20, 30 years, you won't even think twice about it.
When I start a new challenge, I always ask myself the The 10 Years Question (my own invention!). The idea is that if I failed at this for 10 years but then suddenly became a success would it be worth it?
In other words, if I failed at building a good niche website for a long time but then suddenly became a success and could enjoy the rest of my life as a "success" would it be worth it? For most people, the answer is yes.
Don't look at the near future of making mistakes. Look at the long term future of "getting it".
Don't Feel Pressure
In other words, don't feel pressure to be an instant success with your first website. It quite possibly could just a be a domain that expires next year or a project you laugh at a couple years down the road.
In fact, let's just assume it's going to bomb (it might not). Who cares? The next one will be better. And the next one even better. And so on....
The point is, whether or not your first website makes money isn't important.
What's important is that you are taking the first steps to learning how to build an income generating online business. Take your time, engage in the process, and keep your eye on long term goals (while taking short term action).
Experienced members: Was your first website an instant success?
New members: Were you afraid to start your first website because you thought it would fail?
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