Growing Your Website Is A Lot Like Raising A Child

growing your website is a lot like raising your childIf you frequent Thinking Outside The Sandbox, then you almost certainly have two things: a child and a website. Today we’re going to use your knowledge of one to help you understand the other.

I talk to lots of small business owners who have sites that get literally no traffic. These are good people with legitimate products and services to offer whose sites are getting buried underneath an avalanche of competing Google search results. Many of them have simply abandoned their websites and written off the web as a non-starter for getting them any sort of marketing exposure.

In the vast majority of these cases, there is a huge mismanagement of expectations around the launch of a new site and the expected amount of traffic and new business that will (or won’t) immediately be the result.

Here’s the reality: your brand new website is a lot like a newborn baby. At first it kind of just sits there, absorbing your time and resources. Under no circumstances should you expect tons of traffic, or any traffic for that matter. Just be glad that your brand new website doesn’t poop and spit up on you.

If you feed and nurture your newborn baby you will have a healthy, happy toddler. Toddlers can do more than newborns. They can walk, talk, and tell you when they need to use the potty. Despite all these advances, they are not fully developed people yet. Not ready to have a job, or drive a car, for example. As long as you keep putting in the time and effort, your child will continue to develop and grow: childhood, the tween years, adolescence, all bringing your child closer and closer to being a fully developed, independent person. Your website is very similar. With a good foundation of quality content describing your products and services, regular blog posts offering solid advice related to the needs of your customers, and a few links back to your site here and there from other sites, your site will begin to take shape. At this point you might get a few visits a day and maybe a conversion or two each month. Your site is “growing up,” not quite ready to take on the world, but showing all the signs of one day maturing and becoming productive.

If you see things through, your site, like your child, will reach “adulthood.” A mature site with lots of quality content and backlinks can be an enormous source of leads and/or sales, depending on your business model. None of this great stuff will happen, however, if you get unreasonably frustrated a week or two after launching your site because you expected the whole world to come visit (and buy something) immediately.

The really good news is that your website can “grow up” a lot faster than your child can, depending on how much time and energy you put into it on a regular basis. There are also a whole bunch of free tools such as WordPress and Google Analytics for designing, launching and analyzing your site.

There is no magic here, just effort and the results of that effort… like pretty much everything else in life. Just having a website will not make you rich, but a site with quality content and quality backlinks, built on top of a solid set of product or service offerings can certainly help you get there.

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