When I launched my first travel blog back in 2004, I did so to the tune of precisely zero readers. After three months of blogging hard, I’d amassed an impressive number of around … ten readers (and pretty much all of them were friends and family).
Nowadays, things are vastly improved — our most recent site launch attracted several hundred subscribers within the first week, and I no longer have an audience made up of only loyal friends and family.
If you’ve built (or are building) a new company website or blog right now, you already know just how much blood, sweat and tears go into it. But this is just the beginning. Once the site is out there, the hard work really begins. There are a few things you can do before you launch your company website — before you even start building it — to ensure a smooth and successful launch.
Here are my top five tips to ensure your company website launches to more than the sound of deafening silence:
1. Skill up.
Even if you have hired a team of developers to create your website, upskilling yourself with basic technical skills needed to manage your site will enable you to quickly troubleshoot or tweak it at the last minute. Being at the mercy of a web developer who’s asleep halfway around the world iss definitely something you want to avoid. Learn how to code for free at Codeacademy, Udacity or W3Schools.
2. Participate in an existing community.
Long before your website is but a twinkle in your eye, become an active part of a community within your industry. Fellow members can become some of your most passionate and supportive cheerleaders who will help spread the word when you launch.
3. Build out your technical support team.
Even if you’re bootstrapped and doing a lot yourself, gaining access to outside support — mentors, tech coaches, tutorial libraries and more — can be a priceless asset before you launch. And once you do launch, having someone to turn to if everything crashes will save your sanity.
4. Create your own business ecosystem.
Just as good, if not better, than joining one existing community is to create your own ecosystem. In effect, this is the sum of all the communities you and your business are part of — online and offline — and the more well-rounded and relevant they are, the more impact they’ll have on the success of your launch.
5. Build something worth talking about.
To stand out from the thousands of other websites, do something bold, daring and worth talking about. That was the premise behind our recent event, ONE K in 1 DAY, to help 1,000 women launch a WordPress website on the same day — it’s a simple idea that captured peoples’ interest. It doesn’t have to be complex, but do make it impactful, beneficial and, as Seth Godin would say, “remarkable.”
Connect with Lea on Twitter.
Lea Woodward is an online business adviser and strategist. She founded Location Independent and Startup Training School and works with entrepreneurs and business owners who are comfortable doing business offline but don’t know how to translate this to success online.
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