"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Why are there so many people that can build a web site, but so few that can actually make money from it? Why is it that there are all these web development firms out there who specialize in building web sites, but once your site is built you are left with a liability?
Most people simply do not treat the Internet like a business. They think it's some magical place where you can throw anything together and you will make a fortune.
Being a web designer myself I have seen this over and over and over and over and over again. People love to work on details that are:
You don't need to work on details that are not hurting you. You need to work on your bottleneck. If you don't even know what your bottleneck is then you have a much larger problem than details will ever save.
Provide VALUE on your site. Very few sites actually accomplish this. Have a goal you want to accomplish with your site and set out to do it. Many people think, "Shit shit! Everyone has a web site and I'm falling behind. I gotta keep up with technology so let me get a site out there!" Just because it's the Internet doesn't mean anything has changed. People still want value. They go to your site and convert based off the value you provide, the service you offer, the tools you equip them with. It's up to you to provide value. If you're not providing value and have nothing to offer why are you in business in the first place?
I'm always reading stuff like, "Having an online storefront is like having a million people walking into your store daily."
Looking at the number of people using the Internet entirely discounts the fact that there are also millions of storefronts for them to choose from. If I set up a shoe store in a city with 10,000 people living there I will still face the same problems that I would if I set up a shoe store in a city with 1,000,000 people. The more people, the more competition. And with something as thick and dense as the Internet you can expect to be dealing with the cream of the crop.
Everything in life evolves, so why shouldn't your website? I've seen this mistake again and again and again online. People will put tons of money into a site, get it built and then once it's complete that's it. It's done. No need to do anything else to the site. There's no need to test it, see what users think or see if it even makes money.
This is totally NOT the way to go about it. The Google guys say it best, "release it and iterate." That's what it comes down to. Get it done and continue to refine it again and again. It will never be perfect nor will it ever be complete. But it can always be improved.
Most people don't test to see if their sites complete their goals. Part of this is because people are just lazy and love shortcuts and the other part is because they don't know what it is they're trying to accomplish with their site (AKA no value). Once you have value and know what it is your site actually does you can then start to test various methods to fulfill your unique value.
Treat your site like a science experiment. Test different things and record your results. See what works and what doesn't. Try to understand why some things work and why some things don't.
This may sound contradictory, but I can assure you it's not. If all you want to do with your site is make money you will most likely never accomplish it. Tons of people jump into the Internet thinking they are going to be the next YouTube or Facebook and hit it big only to find they never even come close. And then there are those that jump into the Internet with the sole purpose of providing easy video services and stellar search services only to find they accomplished something much greater than they ever could have dreamed.
People always somehow think things happen overnight. They forget that MySpace was once inferior to Friendster. Or that YouTube grinded out a year of hard work and credit card debt before getting their funding and finally making a breakthrough the following year. And that's after spending 3 months developing the site after the purchase of the domain name. Digg did nothing for the first year or so while it sat on a basic design that didn't invite people in or have anything cool for the tech guys. Rather than dump the idea they hooked up with a badass designer and things started to move forward.
Things take time. They don't happen overnight. They come after years of persistence and dedication. You have to love what you do and enjoy the good and the bad that comes with creating a fruitful business.
"If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it." - John D. RockefellerFiled under: Internet / Tech, Business, Money