We hate to admit it, but there are a lot of websites out there, and not all of them are great.
Actually, there are some downright awful websites out there.
But where does failure happen? Is it the design? Is it the content?
Often, the cause of the failure is settling for mediocrity, and putting too much effort in the wrong places.
Start Doing Hard Things
In his classic book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, author and computer scientist Cal Newport argues that the best way to move the needle in your professional or creative life is to cultivate a habit of Deliberate Practice.
Deliberate Practice is the scientific term for doing difficult things repeatedly and with effort so intense that it strains your current mental or physical resources.
This is how athletes, chess champions, artists, and musical virtuosos develop their skills and become “so good they can’t be ignored.”
Why should you treat your website any different?
Not sure where to start? It can be very difficult to know what areas you should focus on first. Why not try these?
- Take a step back and think hard about what the purpose of your website is and what value people are getting out of it.
- If you’re writing blog posts, consider doing deeper research into your niche to create new value and delight your readers.
- Block out times in your week in which you resolve to dedicate all your attention on improving your website or product
Don’t Put All Your Energy into Social Media
While it’s certainly fun to watch the likes and follows roll in; the attention gained by social media followers may not generate a significant return on your investment of time and energy.
This may be why Writer’s Market, the industry directory for writers, publishers, and literary agencies urges budding writers to focus less on social media and more on developing a large list of email subscribers. Basically, when it comes to selling books, social media just doesn’t cut it.
However, your industry may be different. Perhaps your product or service sells better to social media users.
The point is: do your research. If you’re investing a lot of time into social media grooming, make sure it’s paying dividends. Otherwise, your energy is needed elsewhere.
If you happen to be in an industry that values email subscriptions over social following, then this may actually work better for you. With WordPress Hosting, it’s easy to create a website and add a contact form to gather email subscriptions.
Then, all you need to do is work hard on creating great content for your site.
You could think of social media as more of a temperature gauge, a way of seeing how hot your content is based on how it’s being shared.
But, this means you need to put more energy into creating something so good it can’t be ignored. You must create something worth sharing.
Remember the wise words of marketing guru Seth Godin:
The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.
The Big Picture
So, what is going to make the difference? Are you going to put in the time and energy necessary to do hard things that are difficult to replicate?
At the end of the day, which would outcome would you prefer? Would you rather be constantly asking people for shares and likes and follows? Or, would you rather create content so good that it gets shares and likes without you having to ask at all?