Tips to help you build a successful website

When I started in 2015, it was intended as a hobby to help my develop my wordpress and writing skills. At the time, I picked three topics which interested me; Business, Economics and Politics, tied in my ‘ethical’ stance on business, and leapt of the deep end. Little did I know how much work would go into building a successful website.

As weeks turned into months, I faced challenges with maintaining a content calendar, and my posting schedule fluctuated accordingly. The longer the site was up, the more I read up on traffic generation tips, trying to add commercial value to what was essentially a part-time endeavour.

Many bloggers follow a pretty basic model. Create content and landing pages for a niche, drag in traffic, acquire thousands of email addresses and a cheap product (usually an ebook or webinar series). To date (2016), I’m still not selling anything on my site. This isn’t to say that I never will, but if I ever get round to writing a book, I want it to provide real value.

Obviously, some readers will only be running their site with income generation in mind. Most will rely on content creation to generate leads, who will hopefully buy some kind of product.

In this post, I’m going to lay out a few tips I’ve picked up in developing They allowed me – a relative novice in the field of web design and programming – to own and run the site which you are reading today.

1. Focus on capturing leads rather than selling.

Many visitors to a website will never return. In my experience, a well optimised site will only attract 30% of return visitors. The remainder will visit, find the information they need, and then move on.

Your website should therefore focus on finding out who these people are. Once you have that information and a way to contact them, you can continue to contact them well after they’ve left your site.

If you produce good content and have a good follow-up email, you’ll be able to attract subscribers. Once someone is regularly receiving information from you, you can advertise your services and ‘nurture’ them into becoming paying customers.

2. Invest in an automated mailing system

After you’ve convinced someone to become a regular subscriber, you’ll need somewhere to store their details. Sending a follow-up email to a handful of people a week is easy, but as your readership grows, you’ll need a way to automate messages.

If you’re looking for a basic marketing platform, I’ve always been a fan of MailChimp. Straight forward, easily customisable, and free for up to 12,000 emails a month, I think it’s pretty unbeatable.

3. Use WordPress to build your site.

Although I hired a developer to build a customer theme, I asked for it to be built in WordPress. Easy to use, with thousands of plugins for extra features and optimisation, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better platform.

If you’re not keen on paying for a developer, you can also use one of the free themes supported by the platform to get started quickly and easily.

4. Make sure you blog regularly.

Any SEO expert will tell you that Google loves good quality, fresh content. Writing lengthy posts is helpful (think 1000 words or more), but those with less time can settle for a minimum of 300. Personally, I’ve found that posting at least once a month improves my traffic rates, but have had limited difference when posting more regularly than this.

5. Provide value to your readers.

It’s easier than ever before to throw up a website and start scraping content. There are hundreds of millions of websites in existence (plus yours!). Rather than being another number, give your readers a reason to keep returning to your site. Offering quality content through blogs, ebooks, reports and whitepapers is essential to running a successful website.

6. Be persistent with your efforts.

When I launched my blog, I installed Google Analytics, and checked it daily for traffic. The first month the site was live, I had a whopping 35 visitors, but this has increased six fold, with my readership now number more than 200. There have been peaks and troughs in between, with my best month number more than 300 readers. It’s taken nearly 18 months to get to where I am today, and I’ve got aspirations to breach the 1000 mark.

7. Track your performance.

Following on from my previous point, install Google Analytics. It’s a reasonably straight forward process (admittedly I work in Marketing), and there are plenty of online guides. You won’t know how well your site is performing unless you can track it.

Start building a successful website today.

By no means do I consider myself an expert in blogging or online marketing. I’m constantly learning new tips and tricks. As search engines continue to become smarter, I’m hopeful that the quality content I’ve produced will continue to attract traffic, and that I can continue to hone my skills for future success.

If you’re interested in launching a website, my honest advice is to just go for it. You’ll never have the perfect time, and you’ll never be an overnight success, but with tenacity and hard work, you too can build a successful website.