Complacency is death when it comes to operating a website. If you don’t strive to always be better, your ship will slowly sink. So how do you continuously improve your site and take it to the next level?
How do you build something that makes you more money than you could have imagined?
My first 5 guides were designed to help beginners eliminate all the confusion in the process of building a profitable website. But now I’m going to go over all the tools and strategies I’ve used to make sure that every single day my business is a little bit better than it was yesterday.
It’s time to strive for perfectionism.
Table of Contents
- Live and Breathe Your Niche
- Analyze Everything
- Take Care Of Your Health
- Helpful Tools
- Recapping The Strategies And Tools
Live and Breathe Your Niche
In my first guide on nailing the perfect idea, the key part of the strategy was to choose one of your passions. Something that you’re already living, breathing, and learning. You don’t need to be an expert – you just need to care.
Continuously consume everything related to your niche.
Customize Social Media
When used incorrectly, I agree with the growing consensus that social media is garbage. But when you use it correctly, it still remains one of the most powerful tools in the history of humankind.
If your personal social media accounts are family, friends, and entertainment, set up a new one that’s dedicated to your business. This isn’t about what you’re going to post… it’s about which accounts you’re going to follow.
Only follow accounts related to your niche. For example, I have a Twitter account where I only follow people who are teaching others how to run a business and make money. Every single day, I’m getting a free education with unique perspectives and information. Perhaps most importantly, I’m getting brand new ideas for my own content. Great creators are constantly finding influence from other creators, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Customize your social media feeds so that every morning when you wake up, you’re learning and feeling inspired.
This is something I always struggled with because it made me uncomfortable. I despised seeing my competitors and would avoid them altogether. This was a huge mistake.
For the same reason as the social media section above, you should read your competitors for inspiration. What are they covering that you can cover even better? What are they writing about, and how can you apply nuggets of it to your own work?
Again, this isn’t about copying anyone. It’s about staying on top of your niche. Do you think McDonald’s ignores new offerings from Burger King? Do you think Mark Zuckerberg isn’t paying attention to TikTok? Know what your competitors are doing, so you can be better.
There’s one truth that so many website owners don’t fully accept: the Internet is ENORMOUS. There’s enough traffic to go around. More than one incredible avocado toast recipe can exist, I promise you.
So, get inspired to be even better by always reading your competitors.
Sometimes, you’ll want to go beyond the shorter form content mentioned above. Depending on your site’s niche, it could be worth reading actual books about your topic. Ones that go into the details that blogs and social media do not.
On a previous website of mine, we had several travel writers, and each one was dedicated to a specific region. My business partner and I sent each writer actual physical books all about their region. Needless to say, these books provided so much more detailed information that ultimately sparked new ideas and better articles.
Don’t be afraid to go old school and hit the library.
Talk To Other Experts
Some of my most pivotal moments in life have stemmed from a conversation that I normally wouldn’t have had. While I know that most people reading this are introverts, this isn’t the traditional elbow-rubbing networking I’m talking about.
Join forums related to your niche. Chat with others who have the same passion as you. Then take those conversations and turn them into content.
For example, let’s say my website is all about how to fix your own car because mechanics are expensive. And let’s say I have an above average knowledge of this (definitely not true, but let’s go with it). By talking to other enthusiasts, some of which will have better car-fixing insights, I’m essentially getting free content from them.
Treat conversations as free information for your site so that you can teach someone else what you just learned.
In addition to living and breathing your niche, you’ll want to become obsessed with analytics. The formula is simple:
Publish Content -> Analyze Which Content Performed Best -> Make More Of That Content
Equally true: Publish Content -> Analyze Which Content Performed Worst -> Improve Or Eliminate That Content
We live in an unprecedented time where we almost immediately know if something we created is great, okay, or bad. Take advantage of this! I cannot tell you how many times I had a hit viral article, so I milked that style repeatedly.
Example: on Christmas Eve 2013, I made $27,000 in one day. I found an artist who would make massive works of art in the snow by using his skis. Then he would have an aerial photo taken. When I found him, he had 5,000 Facebook fans and, after my article went viral, he had 95,000.
Seeing this made me look for other artists doing something similar, and that’s when I found Andres Amador. He would do the same thing except in the sand on the beach. After writing and sharing his content, not only did it perform even better than the snow artist, Andres reached out to me and thanked me. He said my article literally changed his life during one of the most challenging times, having a child on the way and struggling financially.
He even sent me an art piece, and we’re still friends on Facebook to this day.
The point of this story is if I didn’t basically copy the first article’s format, none of the above would have happened.
So, what’s the best way to do this?
Without question, you should make Google Analytics part of your daily routine. If you followed my guide on setting up your site, you should already be good to go here.
A lot of people obsess over metrics that, in my opinion, don’t really matter that much. The ones you should care the most about are:
- Daily Visits
- Traffic by Source
- Traffic by Page
It goes without saying that we care about how many overall visitors we got. Beyond that, you’ll want to track how much traffic you get from Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and other sources. If one is lacking, try to figure out why. If one is growing, dig in and figure out which pages are responsible.
And of course seeing which pages are doing well will feed the formula described above. If something is doing well, do more of that.
And finally, if you’re anything like me, you’ll become obsessed with Real-Time Analytics. This shows how many readers are on your site right now. As you get in tune with your Real-Time numbers, you’ll start to know when you’re having a good traffic day or if an article is going viral right away. This can be really powerful.
Social Media Performance
Have you ever posted a photo of your ocean view or your baby, and for some reason, it just seemed like nobody cared as much as you thought they would? On a personal level, unfortunately we are conditioned to expect a certain reaction then we feel sad when we don’t get it.
But when you apply this to business, try to remove the emotional aspect and actually try to get the most likes and reactions as possible every day. Try to share something even more helpful or interesting than the last thing you shared. Then monitor the reactions and analyze accordingly.
Why did this photo or link do better or worse? Which ones have done the best, and why is that? Start to figure out patterns, and continue steering your posts toward what’s working (i.e., getting the most attention), while making each piece better.
At some point, you’ll probably want to monitor your Google rankings. There are several tools for this, but I prefer SEMRush. I won’t go into details here, but basically it’s a service that allows you to research keywords, analyze your rankings in Google, and generally position your content to perform better in Google.
Note: I wouldn’t become obsessed with SEMRush. I’d use it as a helpful tool and simply focus on making amazing content first and foremost. Attempting to game Google won’t get you anywhere.
Take Care Of Your Health
What’s success and money mean if your health is terrible? One of my favorite quotes is from Dalai Lama XIV when asked what surprises him the most about humanity. You’ve likely heard it.
“Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
I usually am not impressed with quotes because they’re just small bytes to create a temporary high, but that one has always resonated with me. So how can you take care of your health while pursuing your business passionately?
It’s not easy to find time for your business when you have a full time job, kids, pets, and a life. There are volumes upon volumes of literature on how to manage your time, but here’s my advice depending on where you are in the business building process.
If you haven’t begun, just begin. Even if you do something for your business for just 5 minutes a day, do it. The website you’re reading right now took me over a year to finally start. Once I put the first word down, it became real and now in the last two months I’ve almost completed 20,000+ words of writing. You’ll be surprised how much time you can find when it becomes real.
If you’ve already got a business moving and you’re starting to burn out, you need to make some adjustments. Much like I’ve recommended you do to your actual website, study each part of your day and make a tweak.
Can you cut your TV time in half?
Check your phone’s usage by apps, and see where you might be mindlessly scrolling for far too long.
Wake up 30 minutes earlier.
Go to bed 30 minutes later.
How can you multi task? Bring your laptop into the bathroom (seriously).
While it’s easy for me to say these things considering I built my businesses without children, I do believe anybody can find time if they are genuinely looking for it. Making excuses doesn’t make money.
Ignore everyone’s recommendation when it comes to exercise, and just do whichever thing you enjoy the most. When I was growing up, all I’d ever hear about exercise is how you should run and lift weights. I hate both of those things. I ended up buying a stationary bike and, every single day, I would watch 1 episode of Friends while cycling. I got through the entire 10 seasons, and I enjoyed it while getting in shape.
Now I take my dog on a 2-3 mile hike every day. She loves it, I love it, and my health loves it. These things work for me. If you don’t like the exercise you’re doing, then don’t do it and find something else. Just make sure you’re getting some form of physical exercise.
As someone who ate Jimmy Johns and Wendys every day for almost 10 years, it took me a while to discover how important your diet is. Particularly in the United States, we have this weird belief that healthy food is gross, which is only compounded by how easy our access is to unhealthy, tasty food.
We also have the problem that healthy food is generally more expensive, which is something that hopefully changes.
That being said, learning how to cook healthy food in the right way might just blow your mind. Shout out to my wife for showing me the way. I’m not about to turn this into a recipe site, but all I can say is that seasoning is your best friend.
Be mindful of your diet and, if you don’t do anything else at all, cut out snacks and soda. I promise you won’t miss them.
Success also means nothing if you don’t have a healthy mind. Unfortunately, many successful people struggle with their mental health because, ironically, it’s their obsessive, abnormal nature that made them successful in the first place.
If it’s financially feasible, see a therapist regularly even if you don’t think you need one. It truly helps.
At the very least, there are several apps now that give you text access to a therapist. I’ve tried one and, while it’s not exactly life-changing, it helps. If you’re looking for a recommendation, try TalkSpace.
In addition to therapy, surround yourself with positive people. In Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work,” he talks about something called The Vampire Test.
After you are with someone, do you feel drained and like the life is sucked out of you? If so, this person is a vampire and should be banished from your life or, at least, limited. You don’t need that sort of negativity, and you certainly don’t deserve it.
The analytics tools above are pretty much the only ones I used on most of my successful sites. There’s a tool or service now for just about everything, so try to not get too caught up in them. They all promise to help you but, in the end, they’re pretty basic things wearing a fancy hat.
For example, I actually still just email myself things all the time. I even use Notepad a lot. But there are tools that allow you to organize your ideas much better. There’s nothing wrong with trying out new methods, but the bottom line is to do what works best for you.
Let’s talk about some tools, services, and other sites I definitely recommend.
Install the Jetpack Plugin
If you followed my guide on setting your site up, you’ve already installed Yoast and Site Kit, the two most important plugins in my view. Another one I really like, which is pre-setup and free if you are using Pressable, is Jetpack.
Not only will it speed your site up by optimizing files, but it’s a great security option. You can even get alerts if your website goes down for any reason.
You can check out more on the Jetpack site.
Use Unsplash For Images
While taking your own photos is certainly the best option for your content, it’s not always possible. Fortunately, Unsplash exists and it’s one of the greatest sources on the web for website owners.
Powered by other generous creators, it’s a source for images of just about anything you can think of… completely free.
In addition to Unsplash, there are multiple other sources for icons and images.
Check PageSpeed Insights
Using Pressable and GeneratePress in the way I’ve outlined is going to ensure your site is fast and efficient, but it’s good to run it through PageSpeed Insights.
It’ll diagnose any performance issues you’re having with details. If it finds any problems, look into what might be causing it. Do you have too many active plugins you’re not using? Are your images optimized? There are a plethora of things that could cause a bad score, and it might take some troubleshooting to figure it out. But you’ll be happy you fixed it because the algorithms love speedy sites.
Set Up Email
If you’re wondering how site owners get an email address that matches your domain (for example, email@example.com), there are several options. If you’re using Pressable, they have the feature built in via Titan.
Another option, which I’ve used many times, is Google Workspace. It can be tricky if you’re not tech savvy, but there are plenty of helpful guides available.
And finally, you can set up a business email with your registrar (where you registered your domain). For example, here’s NameCheap’s.
If you’re a one person operation, which I’m assuming you are, it’s really not that important that you do this right away. I usually just use my gmail account until my site gets bigger and I need to look more so-called professional.
Recapping The Strategies And Tools
I will be updating this guide regularly, particularly the last section, as I am always finding and using new things. But overall, taking your site to another level isn’t so much finding a magic tool as it is always learning more, incorporating those findings into your own content, and striving every single day to make your site even 1% better.
Stay disciplined, keep grinding, and take care of yourself. Success will come.
Thank you for reading my guides. I genuinely hope they helped you in some way!