Looking back on the launch of betterbythought I’ve come to the conclusion I only got one thing right.
I hit the publish button.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge step. It’s one a lot of wantrepreneurs never get to.
If you’ve ever done it yourself you know the feeling. It’s a mixture of excitement, nervousness, uncertainty, and in my case… outright fear.
So I hit the publish button. Then I started to work.
While doing all of this work I really started thinking about everything that should have already been done. I questioned myself constantly… could I have done this differently? Better?
I suppose that’s a good thing, considering the site’s name.
Well, I think next time is quickly approaching, which makes this a perfect time to reflect on what changes, improvements, and strategies I’ll be using for my newest website launch.
For my next website, I’ll be searching for a niche/authority site to start as I mentioned in my “Journey to 100k, without a job” post. This will be a good source of passive income and help improve my overall marketing skill set.
But, back to the improvements I want to make this time around:
6 Improvements I’ll make before my next website launch
I completely dropped the ball on this when I started betterbythought.com.
In fact…. I simply skipped this step.
I didn’t do it when I was figuring out my site name, or what articles to write, or my niche in this very competitive field. I just didn’t do it.
Here’s how I’ll apply it next time:
I like betterbythought, but it doesn’t exactly give the clearest picture of what you’ll find here. While this can be overcome (look at Mixergy or Videofruit), I won’t get any help with SEO from my website name.
I can overcome that challenge with consistent, quality content with this site, but it’s not a challenge I want to try to overcome with a niche site.
This is a huge one.
My first 15-20 articles for this site I did very little to no keyword research. I also got little to no organic traffic. That turned into me having to really work to get traffic.
I’d recommend this route only if you like running up very steep hills.
Not me, I like running downhill. Actually, I don’t like running at all, but that’s not the point.
I’m a big fan of the path of least resistance. As bloggers, entrepreneurs, and 9-5 escape artists we face enough challenges, you don’t need to make your own.
So I started to do Keyword Research.
A really good example of this is my article on The Truths of Kindle Publishing.
When I started this article I knew the topic: Kindle Publishing. I wanted to target the lowest competition keywords I could for this topic because I know there are plenty of articles, books, and courses.
I went to Google’s Keyword Planner and typed in Kindle Publishing, from there I was looking for idea’s that would be long tail (more detailed) that I could use to title the post:
Note: The “Low” under competition is a bit deceiving. That classification points to competition for paid traffic and not necessarily organic.
By using this information I was able to come up with the title “Truths About Kindle Direct Publishing Experts Won’t Tell You”.
I also sprinkled other long tail keywords at appropriate places through the article. Over a period of time where you’ll see 20+ pieces of content written this way, a significant boost in traffic will come from organic SEO sources.
Here are some articles and tools that will help you with keyword planning:
Google Keyword Planner (part of AdWords)
2. Competitive Analysis
When I started this site I knew of the big players in the space. Guys like John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn and a handful of others have huge a huge group of devoted followers.
When starting this website I didn’t have a niche or a way I’d help people they weren’t already doing. It took me almost 4 months to come up with “My Journey to 100k“.
Think of how much further along I could have been if I had started out knowing I wanted to let people follow as I build passive online income sources.
Check out this article about tools that Neil Patel assembled for Competitive Analysis
3. A Set Layout and Theme
Since starting up betterbythought I’ve had 2 themes (soon 3) and 4 different menu setups. I’ve changed the content on my home page at least 6 times. I’ve spent hours and hours adjusting these things.
This wouldn’t be a problem if it was all I was doing.
But while trying to develop a good Lead Magnet (see #4), produce good content, and market my blog having to ‘go back’ and work on these topics has added a lot of time and stress to the process.
To fix this problem I’ll spend much more time developing the website before launch. I’ve recently become a member with Thrive Themes and will very possibly use a theme with tons of built-in functionality like Squared.
4. A really good Lead Magnet
This is assuming that my goal will be to gather email addresses with my next site as it is here. Even if it’s not, though, I’ll have a goal of the site and I’ll want to have a strong call to action for it.
As I mentioned earlier, “My Journey to 100k” took 4 months to come up with, and another full month to get into place and ready for the turn of the year.
5. A Traffic Strategy to follow
To start out with this site I was going with the “Field of Dreams” strategy.
You know the one.
“Build it and they will come”.
The problem is they didn’t come.
So I joined some Facebook groups about blogging and started posting my articles there. Then I worked on building up twitter followers (details here) and tweeted to gain attention.
Due to this, in December even with 15 or so articles published I only had about 50 page views on my entire site. Pathetic. Especially after 4 months being live.
January got better with a little over 100. February got better seeing 620 pageviews.
Then I got my Traffic Strategy really set.
With 4 days left in March, I’ve got over 8k pageviews.
I’ve got a checklist that I’ll use for every single piece of content I publish. I’m finally confident that people will see the work that I’ve spent so much time developing.
This is probably something that is very obvious to most people. It’s probably the biggest thing I overlooked and the place I spend most of my time improving and updating, because once you get it right you can really grow your blog quickly.
Here are a few great articles on growth strategies that I’ve used myself:
6. 3-5 Blog Posts Completed
I feel like many of my early posts were fairly low quality. They were all rushed, some not well planned out, and one was drastically off topic.
When I hit the ‘publish’ button on the blog I didn’t have a list of topics I wanted to write about. All I knew was that I wanted to help people get past the mental and practical barriers that keep people in the 9-5.
Combined with all the other tasks that I needed to figure out, ones I’ve already talked about in this article, made it very difficult to put out any content that was helpful.
This time, around I’ll have 3-5 blog posts ready and waiting when I hit the publish button. I’ll have high-quality content ready to go.
This will give me a head start on all of my future content, as well as give me time to adjust to the issues that come up. A chance to start out ahead.
I accomplished one thing in the first 4 months of this site. I learned.
By all conventional standards: Email List, Traffic, and Income, I could have waited 4 months and been in the same exact spot with this blog.
Without a doubt, my early struggles will help me with my upcoming niche website launch. 6 months into the site and I’ll be far ahead of where I was with betterbythought.
What would you do differently if you could start your site again? What questions plague you as you toy with the idea of a website launch. I’d love to hear from you, please leave your comments below!