I’m still combing through the oodles of replies that were sent when I asked what you struggle with the most.
Certain answers like “I need more traffic” or “I need content ideas” were not a surprise (I addressed those struggles in this post), but a lot of you are stuck in the “getting started” mode.
Some of you explained why you haven’t started (lack of time or money), but many mentioned the F-word.
No, not that word. ?
I’m talking about FEAR as it relates to failure.
And now that I think about it, I shouldn’t be too surprised that fear is a big problem. I was reminded of this last year when I published this video…
I don’t think I’ve ever had a video get over 400 likes. After reading the comments, I could tell this one struck a chord.
“But What If I Never Get Any Traffic?”
It’s demotivating and even scary to consider that you could actually spend precious time and money on a website that no one ever visits.
It’s not a good feeling.
I’ve actually created more failed sites than successful ones, and it never feels good when you work hard on something that doesn’t take off.
Truthfully, there is nothing I (or anyone) can tell or give you that will guarantee that won’t happen, but here’s how you improve your chances for success.
A big reason people never get traffic is they don’t take the time to identify a need in a market.
You might be tempted to create a website on an idea or concept YOU think is cool, but is there a real need in the market for this?
Here are some ways to investigate this…
- Check Google Trends – is the topic trending or declining?
- Research forums – look for recurring issues/problems in a niche
- Ask friends in the niche (if applicable) what they struggle with the most
- Check the reviews of relevant products in your potential niche on Amazon.com to discover common problems
Obviously there are many other reasons why sites never get traffic, but not meeting a need is a biggie!
Having Trouble With Your Angle?
Because Google has made it much more challenging to get traffic from simply writing keyword-focused content, developing an angle is more important than it’s ever been.
When your site is unique and refreshing, it’s much more likely that it will grow organically.
I still believe this is the key to standing out, and if you are not getting any traffic, this may be one problem.
Many of you admitted that you fear your site is not unique enough, or you don’t understand what it means to develop an angle.
I’m always looking for examples to illustrate this point, and I found another person who did it right.
When it comes to weight loss, a lot of people would just create a generic weight loss blog with recycled tips.
However, I think it’s a better idea to pick out one aspect/problem with weight loss and build a site around that.
The owner, Jan Graham, went against the grain. Instead of the upbeat, rah-rah posts that flood the weight loss blogosphere, she actually focuses on the negative aspects.
Jan does an excellent job of mixing humor, brutal honesty and helpful information that her readers can relate to.
And for those of you who refuse to spend money on a website, you might be inspired to know that Jan used Blogger — Google’s free blogging platform. (I still don’t endorse doing this, by the way. Just sayin’.)
What’s also interesting is that almost all the websites on that “top list” were websites with a personal component. For many niches, especially a topic like weight loss, this goes over extremely well.
In the age of blogging and social media, people enjoy getting to know the person behind the site. They are naturally drawn to bloggers they can relate to.
I’m a big believer in looking for a specific aspect or sub-topic within a niche. That’s exactly what I did with my natural hair site and I discussed it in this revealing podcast.
Why Is Failure So Bad & What’s the Source of Your Fear?
Let’s get to the nitty gritty. Why is failure so scary?
Even if you don’t have the success you desire at first, you can always adjust and move your site in another direction — which is what happens with most of us.
Truthfully, that’s not really failure. It just means this might take longer than you want it to.
Is Your Fear Based on Financial Issues?
Now, if your fear comes from the fact you might spend money on something that won’t work… that’s completely understandable.
I certainly don’t want to be insensitive to someone who doesn’t have money.
So I’ll give you a pass if you fit in that category.
But I will say this… most people spend more money in a month on Starbucks, shopping or alcohol than they do on a website.
Sometimes it comes down to priorities.
Look at it like this. You’d never be able to start an OFFLINE business for so little money. That’s what I love about making money online!
Is Your Fear Ego-Driven?
I always find it interesting when people say they are afraid to fail because of what others might say or think.
Most of those people you are trying to please, aren’t even worth your time. And as I mentioned in the above video, sometimes it’s best to keep things to yourself.
Why is it even necessary to announce to the world what you’re doing just yet?
Are You Making Excuses?
As I’m typing this, I’m starting to wonder about some of the other reasons you gave for not starting yet.
- “not enough time”
- “not techy enough”
- “can’t decide on a WordPress theme”
- “can’t decide on a name”
- and more
For some of you, these may be the real reasons.
But for others, I can’t help but wonder if you are covering up your fear of failing. As a result, you are paralyzed.
Here’s the hard truth…
Not starting is far worse than failing because you’ll never learn and you’ve robbed yourself of an opportunity that can end up being incredibly rewarding.
And so what if you ultimately make mistakes? The worst thing that will come of it will be some lesson you can take with you.
Is that really such a horrible thing?
I hope this post gives you the nudge you need to stop procrastinating and take that first step.
Just do it!