Once upon a time I was talking with a prospective web design client about building a new website for her and she was talking about all kinds of things related to what she wanted to do, and it was exciting.
She wanted to build some very cool features – a blog, a podcast, a members-only privileged Q&A forum where she could answer specific questions, all kinds of great stuff.
Then I asked her what was working well with her current efforts and what wasn’t working quite so well.
It was quiet for a second, but then she responded.
She didn’t have any of it in place yet. It was still a concept.
She’d based her idea for her business based on similar things that she saw that others had done, but she hadn’t even settled on what she was going to call her business.
I told her how excited about her ideas I was and looked forward to seeing what she was going to create. I told her I’d be one of the first to follow what she was doing because her concept was related to something my family loves: Disney World in Orlando.
I also told her that she was way ahead of herself, and needed to work on refining her idea and simply getting started.
She could have ended up spending several thousand dollars on a website that she wasn’t ready for that ultimately would have failed more than likely, and she would have ended up discouraged and broke.
Talk about getting way too far out ahead of yourself!
The time to hire a web designer is not when you’re still trying to put together your business idea.
Instead of getting ahead of yourself and hiring a web designer here’s what you should do.
Build your own website
My wife loves HGTV. ‘House Hunters’ and ‘Rehab Addict’ are a couple of her favorite shows. She loves the interior design, the staging, all of it.
There’s one show that stands out above the others that immediately comes to mind: ‘Fixer Upper’
‘Fixer Upper’ was a wildly popular show about how Chip & Joanna renovate houses adding a new level of awesome to the property for their client, and they’re really good at it.
One thing that has always stood out to me about her show is how they’re involved in the work, whether it’s demo day and they’re tearing down walls, or laying tile, or painting.
They know the business.
They know what needs to be done and how to do it.
They’re personally invested with their own knowledge, experience, time and sweat equity.
And the end result is a seriously awesome property.
When it comes to getting started online rolling up your sleeves and spending time learning how to use the tools that you need to run an online business is vital.
You have learn how to use them.
You have to learn what you need.
You have to learn how to get things done.
You have to invest the sweat equity and time so you can build your knowledge and gain experience.
You do that by building out your own website.
When you spend the time learning how the various pieces of the puzzle fit together you’re better able to know what you need going forward and when the time comes that your site is growing and doing well you’ll know the questions to ask a web developer to take you to the next level.
Build out your own website content
A big part of building your own website is learning what content you need.
You know you need content for your pages, but what do you need?
What do you need to have on your homepage to make it great?
How are you going to build your “about me” page?
To help inspire you to build out great content I’ve created the “Website Content Blueprint” guide. I lay out the plans that I use with clients to help guide the content creation process.
Learn how to create and publish your content
Getting on a schedule for publishing is a great motivator.
Copywriting expert Ben Settle pointed out in a recent email the differences between the productivity of writer Stephen King and George R. R. Martin.
King has a schedule and a minimum daily writing requirement that he demands of himself. No exceptions.
Martin, on the other hand, as many of his fans are painfully aware of, has huge gaps between the releases of his books – it takes him years to produce a finished product.
Committing yourself to a schedule of creation gives you the practice you need to refine your voice and style while learning and experimenting what works for you and what doesn’t.
Learn how to share and promote your content
Part of being a website owner is creating, producing and crafting great stuff.
Yes, you have to learn, and yes you’ve got to wrestle with it. I know I have, and I do.
But once you’re hitting your stride for creating you want it to be seen, heard, or watched.
And you do this by promoting your content.
I’ve helped a lot of businesses break in to the content production world. But producing great content isn’t enough.
We all struggle with promotion and getting readers, viewers, or listeners to your content.
It’s hard freaking work.
But learning how and where to share and promote your content is vital for anyone new to doing business online, or starting a blog.
Traffic is the number one thing we all need, so get good at learning how to promote it, share it, and get traffic to your content.
I’ve got seven primary strategies and steps I use to start up new website projects, from big sites with custom post types, custom fields and fully bespoke custom themes, to small sites and personal blogs.
If you’d like to learn about how I implement all seven strategies and steps to build a new WordPress site then you will definitely want to download the Ultimate WordPress Start-Up Guide here.
In this guide, I show you the behind-the-scenes things I use every day as a web developer so you can see all the things you need to start a new website project with WordPress right at your fingertips.