The Ingredients of a Successful Website

What does it take to increase a website’s traffic and online presence? Here are the things I consider to be the essential components of website growth.

Unyielding passion for your work

Growing a web project takes time and dedication. It involves many days with little or no sleep. Building a website necessitates a schedule that would make anyone but those who are truly passionate and dedicated to their idea give up.

A strong knowledge about your subject

Whether you’re building an email app that will revolutionize the way people do emails or a web publication about baking cookies, you have to know your subject inside and out.

When you’re not well informed, it clearly shows. Being knowledgeable about your subject is about creating trust: Internet users are wary about the things they consume on the Web. If you can’t prove to them that you can be trusted, they have thousands of other sites to choose from.

Talented people

The foundation of any web startup is the people that have built it. Discovering people with the same passion and belief is rare.

An open ear to your audience

Your users have a lot to say. They have a vested interest in your growth and have entrusted you with the responsibility of constantly improving yourself to meet their needs. Oftentimes, when we believe in something so steadfastly, we tend to shut these voices of alternative thoughts out.

Critics are a penny a dozen on the Web. However, there are also many people with ideas and suggestions that can make your site better. Take advantage of the collective nature of the Internet by listening to your users’ opinions, suggestions, and ideas. They have taken the time to share these ideas at no cost to you but your time to listen to them.

Relationships with people in your industry

The Web has the ability to connect us with people that we might not be in close proximity to. It’s important to foster and create relationships with people in your industry, regardless of whether you consider them competition or not. When we are working together rather than against each other, we can drive innovation and grow together instead of creating a counterproductive environment.

Make it a habit to reach out and contact the people in your industry. Participate on discussions in their website (you can, for example, frequently find me in the trenches of Smashing Magazine and Envato comment sections), see if there are opportunities to team up and build something together, trade war stories, and just get yourself on their radar.

Staying informed about the happenings in your industry

Keeping up with the events happening around you is critical. It’s part of being knowledgeable about your subject and is something your audience expects you to be doing. Especially on the Web, when things change so rapidly and interests are fickle, it’s imperative to maintain your information current.

Effective time management skills

Having a good time and task management habit ensures that you can keep up with the growth of your web project. Time is the primary limiting factor to your growth, and thus, you have to treat it as a resource, just like your budget and your technology infrastructure.

Taking risks

What stuns advancement of any project is the fear of change. Fear of change leads to lack of innovation. On the Web, being afraid to take risks isn’t a good trait to have. In a realm where things move quickly, being a stick in the mud will only make sure that the people around you that are taking all the risks will be reaping the rewards.

Looking out for opportunities to grow

The reason I personally respond to every email (I get hundreds a week) and carve out blocks of my time to partake in interviews, participate in discussions, write on other web publications, join panels, write books, and other activities that may not have a direct impact on Six Revisions is because I never want to end up saying, "I wish I’d done that."

Being receptive to possibilities outside of the websites that I run, without a doubt, has contributed to the growth of my own web projects.

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