There are four main steps you must take in order to build a successful Web site:
1. Select your target market or audience
2. Create your site
3. Monetize your site
4. Promote your site
Depending on the purpose of your Web site – whether to support an off-line business, to sell your products on-line, to generate passive income from affiliate programs or other advertising, or simply to share your interest in a hobby or profession – your definition of “success” can include many different things. However, there is one thing that any Web site or blog must have in order to be “successful,” and that is traffic. Therefore, you must do all four key steps with a view to generating appropriate traffic.
So let’s look into each of these four steps in more detail. What do I mean by each of them, and what should you do at each step? Along the way, I’ll also get into more detail about what I mean by appropriate traffic.
Also bear in mind that this is a continually repeating process. On the Web, you never reach a point where you just sit back and leave your Web site to stand on its own. You must constantly review and adjust your appeal to your target market, the Web site content you are creating, how your site is monetized, and how you promote your site.
Selecting your Market
The first thing to think about is, who in the vast world of the Internet are you addressing? To define the audience you want to reach, begin with your own interests and passions. But it’s not enough to be interested, passionate, and knowledgeable about a subject. If you are to have a successful Web site, you must determine whether enough other people are also interested, and whether their needs are being adequately addressed. You will probably have to define a specialized niche within the broader market.
The best way to do all that is by conducting good keyword research. Suppose, for example, you are an expert on caring for babies. A little keyword research will reveal that although there are dozens of searches on the Web each day for the term “baby care,” there are over fourteen million Web sites matching that term. Why would a typical Web surfer pick your site from among those fourteen million others? Further keyword research will show you that there are about a dozen searches each day for the term “polypropylene baby bottle care tips,” and only one site on the Web addressing this term. You have identified a specialty that is perhaps not being addressed adequately.
(Incidentally, those are actual numbers from cursory keyword research I did while writing this article. They will change with time, of course. My past experience suggests that this article will soon begin appearing to match the specialized term I used as an example, even though this article is not really about that subject.)
Now, maybe you’re not passionate enough about the subject to start building a Web site devoted to the care of polypropylene baby bottles, but you get the idea. From within the broadest definition of your interests, find a specialty:
* A specialty that keyword research reveals to be of general interest
* A specialty that is not a saturated market
* A specialty that you want to address
Creating your Site
Once you have carefully researched your audience, you can begin creating your Web site or blog. There are many detailed steps within this larger step, and many variations along the way, but here are the main ones to consider: