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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Recent Comments


I am starting to see regular success here with my website after it being over a year old. And being in the money making niche I am quite proud as I know this can be a tough niche to be a part of. All I did was exactly what VitaliyG told me, and as all the successful website builders say. Follow the lessons and do the tasks.

I have the same website when I started and now I am finding my reviews get to Google's page 1 pretty quickly so I am very happy about that. I am just going to keep adding content as regularly as I can, I actually found when I did 3 posts a week consistently at similar times each week yielded the best results.

This is a great post Nathaniell. I think too many people expect too much in the short term, but if they just hang around, keep building quality content the long term results will definitely come.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge from your own experiences! Cheers, Sharon

Great success story Sharon!

Appreciate the consistent posting tip. This is right in line with what Kyle suggests for Super Affiliate program (approx. 3 posts a week). But posting them on a routine schedule every week is an extra little good nugget of advice there.

Thanks again!

I totally agree with you Nathaniel. I knew this when I first started because I figured that this whole affiliate marketing website thing was going to be a learning curve that I would have to master over time. Just like Nietzsche said, " cannot fly into flying."

I have dozens of niche ideas so I chose my least favorite for my first website and second least favorite for my second. Though they both have good information in that niche, I have abandoned both and my other websites that have followed are doing much better.

Ha. Now there's a strategy. Choose your least favorite idea and PLAN to ditch it down the road.

My first and second websites ended up being successful, but after doing this for 5 years I also have started several websites I ended up abandoning. Mostly it's lack of focus - trying to do too much at once doesn't really work out that well if you're doing it all yourself!

Hope you're doing well Nathaniel!

Sweet! Glad you first couple ventures worked out Wendy!

Hi Nathaniel, great post.
I believe that you don't fail until you give up! So all those failures... were not failures... because you never gave up, you just never attained what you expected with them.

Your post really helps keep me motivated as I have been at WA for less than a year and am not having the success I expected with my 3 sites. Nice to hear that I am not the only one that experienced that and that if I persist I can still succeed.


I love that way of thinking. A failure isn't a failure until you walk away completely. Otherwise, it's just a part of a success story :)

Nice post Nathaniell, I was afraid to start my first website because I wanted everything to be right!

It took me 3 months to set up something which took a couple of minutes effectively.

My own choices though, but against the advice of other members.

It was more simple and more fun than I had anticipated.

Don’t delay!!


Thanks for reading Wayne!

I had some experience with affiliate marketing before I joined WA. I signed up with Google Sniper 2.0 and worked like a madman over a period of 12 months or so. I had 11 or 12 mini-niche websites that generated a total of $123. I spent more for GS2.0 and all the upsells. Still, you live and learn.

My website here at WA is now starting to earn what I would describe as good money ($1100 last month, which was month #17). Along the way I've had to adjust my strategy and focus. Having 3 income streams in my niche meant some were earning more than others. I now know what to focus on but it's been a huge learning process.

I'm expecting big things this year and I may even start a second website once my current one is self-sufficient, or at least requires less maintenance.

Thanks for sharing your experience mate, it's certainly good advice.

I saw you making big gains this year Craig, so I hope 2018 is the year you go full time!

I still make some passive income from my first niche website and it gets more than 400 visitors per day. However, the niche is not what I ultimately want to become an authority in so I have changed direction with a new website. Everything I do is, of course, more focused and swift now. Nothing wasted as someone might believe.

Passive income FTW. I still have some old sites that make a couple bucks too!

You can also sell those sites if they make some money. Usually 30-40 times monthly income :)

Great advice and back ground on what can happen in your first online business.

Currently working on building a WA affiliate site through the wonderful SWAG group and have much to accomplish, and so I would have to relate to the option that yes, I do not like to admit from the start that I would be afraid to start and see it fail, however, that is genuine to what actions are to follow, and although patience is key, it may take some time to get above what works and does not work. I'm willing to take the time and work on being patient while learning each step mindfully so that each training moves my ability to build a responsive site that works.

Keep up the good work Carrie!

Great advice. I completed my certification program. This my fourth week and I have 3 websites that I want to work with, not sure if it’s a good idea but that’s I have done so far. Loads to learn, frustration and refocusing along the way, but as you say, nothing goes to waste.

As you work on the sites, it'll be obvious which one you like to work on best, or which one starts making sales first. My recommendation is to then focus your energy on that one!

Thanks Nathaniell. I will do that. Have a wonderful day.

I liked this article so much I am going to share it. I just started one month ago and have just started my 2nd website. My idea is to work both of these sites for a while learning my trade.

I have completed the certification program and are mow going through the boot camp as I start my 2nd site. I would have never been able to even get started without this training.

I'm so glad I found WA and members like you to keep me being encouraged and going forward.

I'm just hoping my 1st website makes it to 1st base (how about them Astros by the way!).

Thanks for sharing your story and insights and knowledge.

Glad to hear you are having a good time in WA and confident in your websites. Thanks for reading Donald!

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