When some Webmasters set out to build their websites, they have a lot of big ideas.
They want forums, profiles, user interactivity and all the Web 2.0 features that make a website look cool and fun to visit.
Nothing wrong with having goals to build the baddest site on the planet, but it’s important to think realistically and put things into perspective.
Unless you are a skilled programmer, have a good understanding of Net marketing and possess a ton of money for promotions, then I would not suggest that a new Webmaster begin by creating an interactive Website that targets a large audience.
You can’t assume that if you build it, they will come. You have to know how to bring people to you.
And unfortunately, the average new Webmaster doesn’t know much about building traffic.
Getting ranked high in Google, having the top article on digg.com and getting thousands of visitors per day doesn’t happen just because you’ve launched a “cool” site.
Internet Marketing is a complex subject, and it’s getting more complex as the Net matures.
Start small. Target a small group of people by providing valuable information they would find interesting. Then as your site gains popularity, look into launching forums and other user interactive tools to support your audience.
Here’s an Example…
Say you love video games. While I know it would be cool to create the Net’s largest video game networking site, you have to take this in small steps.
1) Start by focusing on one video game niche (Role Playing, for example.) Build a simple site that offers reviews and the latest news on games in this niche.
2) Learn the basics of SEO (search engine optimization) and start generating traffic from people searching for these games. Your reviews are important because that content will help the search engines find your site.
3) Once you start building an audience, install a forum or a simple chat room to get your visitors talking.
4) As your audience grows, now it’s time to think about expanding and developing more advanced applications where your visitors can interact on new levels.
Useful content builds traffic, not Web applications (unless you have deep pockets for advertising.) So you might as well start out small, learn the basics of free SEO and then launch your fancy website when you have the traffic to support it.
Nothing worse than learning how to build a complex, MySpace-like site (or paying a programmer big dollars to do it) and your site goes virtually unnoticed.