Stage One – The Excited
The inspiration comes out of the blue.
One day you’re browsing the Internet, and suddenly you come upon a website that catches your eye.
It describes how you can build your own website. You can have a domain name, hosting service and the first page of your website up in a matter of hours.
You perk up and continue reading. With little technical experience necessary and 10 dollars a month for hosting you can begin your website today. Simply figure out what your website is going to be about and you can start building.
Your mind starts to go wild. Ideas for websites pop in and out of existence. Like a giddy kid in a toy store trying to pick a birthday present, you are overwhelmed with choices.
Finally one sticks. You smile as you think about your perfect website.
You feel like having a website has been your destiny all along. You love to write, you enjoy spending time on the computer, you are tired of your job and want to work from home. Now you can do all these things – and make money!
You get a domain name, a hosting account, a website design application and begin to write and design. In the shower, on the bus, walking the dog, you are thinking about your website. Every free moment is spent on the computer reading about websites and writing content.
You are very excited. And you should be. Starting a website is a very exciting and rewarding experience. Creating something out of nothing, learning new things, dreaming of the future.
Stage Two – The Disappointed
The excitement is great because it turns you into a website making machine. In a matter of days 10 web pages spew from brain to page. And only Galileo peering through his telescope can match your thirst to discover everything you can about HTML and CSS.
Then your website goes live. It is out there and ready for all to see. Spending so much time and effort you finally sigh with relief – the hard part is done. Now come the rewards: fame and money.
Unfortunately, for those who enter this stage, reality does not tip-toe in through the back door. It barges in through the front and sends the door flying.
Your website has been live for three months and you receive an average of 15 visitors a day and made of total of 3 dollars.
All that work, all that effort, the nights spent in front of the computer writing and writing. The hours spent agonizing over the layout and design of your website. The mental acrobatics performed to understand CSS. For what? 15 visitors and 3 dollars?
It’s just too disappointing to continue. You cannot build up the energy to write another page or to read another word about backlinks.
This is the point where most websites die. People give up and move on with their lives, believing that the website business is rigged and they have been swindled.
Sadly most new website owners quit, but there are still lots that survive this stage. They wade through the disappointment and keep moving forward. These are the fortunate ones who make it to the next and most important stage.
Stage Three – The Realist
Everybody goes through the first two stages, but only some make it to the third stage. The disappointment stage weeds out those without the necessary self-determination and those without belief in their websites.
What remains are those who realize that having a successful website is a lot of work and takes time. You need to work day by day, constantly adding content and marketing. And you must do this without expecting instant reward.
The Internet is not a magical place where leprechauns skip around leaving pots of gold for you to scoop up. Creating a successful website is no different then any other business.
There are start-up costs, there is competition and failure is always around the corner. Just like everything else that promises big rewards, it takes hard work and time.
The realist is the website owner who does not focus on checking their stats everyday and wonder why there are only 15 visitors and 3 dollars.
The realist turns their focus on creating a website with good content. The realist does not only add good content to their website, they also delete poor or outdated content.
The realist works on creating a website that provides a service or product that people want. The realist is building a business. The realist is patient.
What Stage Are You In?
If you are in the excitement stage then I hope by making you aware of the disappointment stage, the upcoming blow will be less shocking when it arrives.
At least now you know what’s coming so you will not be too surprised. You will not be hit on the backside. You can prepare yourself for it and try to minimize its impact to your psyche. Reality is coming – be ready for it.
Sorry if you are in stage two, but everybody has to go through it at least once. Fortunately by believing in yourself and your website this stage can be surpassed.
There is nothing wrong with taking a little break and re-analyzing your strategy, but the most important thing is that you keep going. Keep learning and improving. Do not quit.
Obviously stage three is the best one to be in. Not only did you successfully make it through the dreaded stage two, but you are well on your way toward success. Now you are creating quality content and you have the patience required to make the website of your dreams.
You can probably relate to Roman’s article in some way. I definitely spent some time in stage 2, but I also want to point out that how you label each stage makes a difference.
I spent some time in what Roman calls “The Disappointed Stage”, but I don’t ever recall feeling disappointed. If I did, I don’t think the feeling lasted very long.
I knew I was doing something wrong, but I also enjoyed the journey while I studied others who were succeeding. This forced me to reflect on my mistakes and how to adjust.
So if you find yourself in stage 2, the big question is, How are you dealing with it, and are you mentally prepared to get through it?
If you are disappointed, ask yourself why. Did you expect to start making money right away? Did you assume mounds of people were just going to flock to your site once you launched it? Are you comparing your results to someone else?
Your mental toughness and expectations definitely play a huge role in how you handle any bumps along the way. It’s OK to feel disappointed, but what’s more important is how you handle it and what you do next!
Do you agree with Roman? Do you think every successful website owner must go through every phase? Do you feel that you skipped the “Disappointed Phase”, or perhaps you’d like to call it something else? Have you discovered any other phases along the way?
Website Designer Johannesburg says
Indeed, you find that clients, that are new to web design, go through various stages but the best way to keep a client happy is to set their expectations at the beginning of the project. Everybody thinks that the Internet is a simple goldmine but they fail to realize that running an online business can be just as intensive as running a brick and mortar one.
Designers need to set expectations at the very beginning – this is one important lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Although this is one of your older posts, it has stuck in my mind since I first read it. I’d like to add one more stage to the mix: complacency.
There will be people who never make it past the second stage. A large percentage will drop out of the make-money-online game once they realize that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. As for me, I made it past the disappointment by throwing myself into the task with even more resolve.
Eventually, over the course of several years, I started to make some Adsense money from my site. At that point (being an absolute webgenius and all) by making a few hundred dollars a month from my site, I got busy with life and put the whole thing on autopilot. I rarely updated my web site because of my work hours and traffic began to fall off. My income diminished as a result, and I eventually asked myself what I was looking for by building the site in the first place. The answer was that I wanted to do what Lisa does – make a living online. Now that my work hours are more regular I can throw myself back into the arena by updating my site, building several others and getting back to doing what I love.
Complacency can be a real problem once you start making a few bucks online. Your web site will not update itself, or add content on it’s own. You have to (at times) force yourself to stay in the game in order to achieve your ultimate goal.
I’m not sure where I heard it – may have been on Lisa’s site – but one quote has stuck with me through my complacency stage:
“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about”.
Leon van Zyl says
Website Designers get the “disappointed”-type feedback all the time. Clients tend to get excited over their ideas and enjoy the development process, but few people really understand the post-development phase where websites need constant attention and marketing.
Website Designer Johannesburg says
Hi Lisa, thank you for the article.
Usually when people approach me to build websites for them, they seem to think that their new business websites will magically drive massive amounts of traffic to their businesses – hence they go through the “disappointment” phase when the website doesn’t do this.
I truly believe that this can be avoided by explaining that websites require ongoing marketing effort (whether it’s SEO, PPC, Affiliate, etc.). This way you will manage their expections and hopefully avoid the disappointment phase (or at least minimize it) 😉 .
Assad El Abbas says
Your article exactly describes the stages I passed and the one I am standing on its threshold. I started my website http://www.jobdone4u.com three months ago. I was very hardworking and very ambitious to have a successful website. So many people congratulated me on the nice design and contents as well. I was in hurry to add AdSense Ads on my pages and was very happy that my site was evaluated by AdSense as excellent as getting Euro 0.37 per click. My earnings were Euro 30.14 within two weeks time. I was very happy to hear that!! Suddenly I received an email from AdSense informing me that my account is disabled. It was shocking email. I was really disappointed !!! I imagined the how long time I spent to pass stage 2, once again I found my self on the threshold of disappointment.. Shall I stop this activity or start again. Thinking of the past will bring depression, thinking of the future is full of anxiety!!
I decided to look for AdSense alternatives I found hundreds much profitable than AdSense. AdSense will loose its reputation due to disabling accounts without reasons.
I’ll stand up and start again more powerful and ambitious. I want to exchange skill and learn new ones through my Health, wealth, and Lifestyle blogs and continuous learning never expecting any penny from
Tracy Ann says
wow Lisa, you make me laugh when I start to read from stage one going down because I was happy to find out that, this is normal and I am encourage to keep being patient. I am at the end of stage one for my blog that is one month and for my YouTube channel I am at stage three, your videos and your blog are helping me to be prepare for those discouraging days ,a lot of thanks to you for your help.
Nathaniel Moikabi says
I’m in the third stage but I have not started monetizing and getting a lot of traffic. I’m still working on making my site different from the competitor’s.
Sherry Fredley says
Not sure if I am in stage two or three but I am excited rather than disappointed. I LOVE my topic so much that I am happy to do it for free but I must remember this is a business, not a lottery win or a hobby 😉 I am just starting to get some income and my traffic is just getting established. After only six months I am pretty excited to see where I am in a year- I want to market my services locally as well so I think that the diversification will help.
Another great post!!!
Website Designer Johannesburg says
Yeah, it’s really great when you finally start to see that hard work and effort start to pay off. As long as you keep pushing out quality stuff, you’re bound to succeed at some point. I know that it took a long time before I saw material results but once it happened, then the traffic pretty much kept coming through.
Justice Bapadile says
I had gone through all the stages you mentioned.I had my first site about 7 months ago and I had to abandon it because i realized I chose the wrong niche.However I back again and this time I am heading towards success
Hi Lisa, I loved this article. As always I learn something new each time I open your articles. I agree with all three stages. I thank you for taking a quick peek at my website and pointing out where I could improve my site. Thank you again! and whenever I receive info from you, I drop everything to hear what you have to say.
Vivian-Fibroid Queen 🙂
Well, aren’t I lucky – I still have stage 2 and 3 to look forward to! I have just set up my Solo Travel Blog a few weeks ago. I aim to have the website serve as a long term travel resource. At the moment I am averaging a whopping 15 visitors a day. I am force feeding as much information that I can on gaining traffic so I can sail through stages 2 and 3!!!
I think that the problem is that people don’t think of their websites as actual businesses. They think of it as “in a couple days I’ll be a millionaire!” only to realize that it’s just like any other business and takes time to grow and finally earn a profit.
Kevin Martin says
I’m going through The Realist stage. I’m getting some awesome traffic and blog interaction for a beginner blogger, but I do realize that it’s going to take more time and more effort to actually make it the point where I’m earning a living from my blog.
carol moore says
Designers must be accurate to get the imaginations of clients.At present I am working for my client’s website and I stucked in the 2nd stage..What will be the key points that one should look out while in 2nd stage??? Need suggestion!!!!
Totally agree with all 3 stages. I’ve had friends who heard I was trying to start a website, and sure enough, they spin around and read one of those “Make Money Online NOW!” sites and they spend days on end making a website, and then the disappointment comes on so they drop out and try to discourage me too. Ouch.
By the way, maybe it’s your new theme or something, but I think that maybe your guest blogger box is a bit small. I didn’t even know it was a guest post until I saw “Lisa’s Comments” and got all confused… 🙂
Hi Lisa, I guess I am stuck on of these stages, finding a way out, your post helped me alot, hopefully
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Jay Perry says
Yes, the marketers want you to think you can just have them make you a website and then start printing money from it… Sad reality is an internet business is like a funnel upside down? Think about that for a moment????? The web creation part is the simplest (no-really!) because most people have an idea or product they have in mind (not taking into account key word research for those undecided). So they 1) have their product or business idea, 2) they design or pay someone to create a professional looking site and then they basically SIT waiting for google to place them in number 1 ranking position (1st on page 1). Dream on… The truth is the biggest part of this upside down funnel is the marketing you need to do to get there… quality content – updated regularly – and the mountain of marketing you need to do from social bookmarking to random link wheel cration to article marketing to press release to DoFollowing (Luv by the way). I hope I have scared you because you need to devote a minimum of 2 hours daily and know what your doing or start researching to know what your doing… If this is too much, then save your money because your diving into an ocean so you need to be an excellent swimmer to survive this to get that quality ranking position.
Postage Rates says
I agree that reading the blogs of those who are “ahead of you” in the blogging game are good ones to follow- we can learn from them and they keep us inspired. Good advice
Colin Macleod says
Roman loved the article and Lisa great comments!
As many other bloggers and web masters alike, I have also repeatedly jumped through all the stages and I 100% have to agree with you that in the world of blogging or managing a website in the beginning the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.
After 2 years of being stuck in stage 2 I finally crawled out and started making some great money, but further more build up a great list of people following and engaging with me in the content of my site, which in the end save me.
At the beginning of 2011, my entire network or both blogs and websites was attacked and wiped clean by hackers, which launched me back into stage two once again.
The only way I crawled back to stage three was from the help of my loyal readers, who after all was said and done and I relaunched my sites save me.
The moral of the story is love your readers, engage them and keep them involved in your site and your network will grow and grow.
Once again thanks for the great article and I love forward to reading more.
Rancho Cucamonga homes says
This post really reflects your expertise in blogging, Lisa. Once we decide to monetize our blog or site we cannot take things lightly. With the number of information available on the internet a user can always extract data from anywhere but a site owner has to compete to increase the number of visitors and the flow of income as well.
Ankit Kumar says
Wow what a post.Thanks for an awesome post.I’ have started my blog few days back so I’m in 1st stage.I’m getting 20 visitor per day.Hope i come to stage 3 as early as possible.
I am guilty of stage 1 and 2. I have my site built but cannot find time and enthusiasm to update it…
its like a kick in a butt.
Bob Murakami says
great stuff. Do you have an RSS feed? And will it be cool if I added in your feed to a site of mine? I have a website that draws content through RSS feeds through a several sites and I would like to include yours, most folks really don’t mind since I link back and everything but I like to get consent 1st. Anyhow let me know if you could, thanks.
After 3 months I am at stage 2, but determined to go to stage 3.
The results of 15 visitors and $3 is too optimistic for me at this stage though. I only have 10 visitors a day and less than £1 of income. All the income came through AdSense, not through thing I am promoting.
Having my own website and blog is bit of a fun for me. And it also gives me a reason to explore something new. Let’s go on!
Those who are interested – you’re more than welcome to my blog http://linixblog.darkduck.com
Arnold Eck says
After two months I’m still learning in stage 1. I’ve built a website but I’m still writing content, re-writing other content, and waiting for my hosting service to be activated. I keep refining my ideas, and I expect this will continue well after the site goes live.
I believe my passion for my topic will help carry me through stage two, as I’d still be writing this website if there was no money to be made! I think passion for your topic is vital for that first site, it drives the learning curve and strengthens the focus.
Money or not, I’ll keep with this. I believe the day will come when the money is there, I’m just not focusing on that, it’s not time for it.
Thank so much for you great posts!!
Thank God I was able to find Lisa blog, website and forum. Since yesterday, her writings have become my favorite meal!!
Unfortunately I am in stage 2, and what is worse is that I’ve been in there for more than 7 months 🙁 What was the problem? I just jumped in without caring about preparing a quality content. I thought my visitors would like the features my website offered. But guess what, not many people really cared forum and profile and stuff I have on there! Right now I get less than 20 visitors a day (before starting, I had hoped to get a least 300 a day; what a 🙁 )
I really believe I had a great niche idea even without my competitors. But i did not take any approach to how my idea would be fruitful. My ignorance was based on the fact I’ve believed that posting content encouraging people to join would draw traffic to my site. By the way, my site is users/membership-dependable website. YES as Lisa said, you need to look for how to build first useful content for your visitors before hoping people to join your site.
Thank to Roman’s blog entry, I won’t blame anyone that doesn’t join my site; I will blame my poor strategic planning (my irrational excitement was the cause.) From now on, I gonna rebuild it taking into account your testimonies and advices. Thank you all of you.
Thanks for the great post. I am somewhere in between stage 2 and 3 I have stayed about a month with an average of 5 visitors/day but that’s because my site is new and has a PR of zero. Looking forward for more interesting posts from you. <a href="http://www.cipro-websitedesign.co.za"<cipro
I have designed and created a new site with videos/images from moments in life. I have included worldpress blog 2 days back. Just a newbie. lol. I have posted some simple posts, but no visitors/comments yet. I read your article and added blog to feedburner. Hope it may work out. Your articles are really good, have to spend more time and learn. visit my site http://www.vision4life.in Blog http://www.vision4life.in/blog I dont know which stage I am now, but really speaking, I started the site just for vision and after starting, I could learn something. I would like to know how can I improve the contents/traffic and earn some money from site, just as a reward for the work and time spending for this. I work for this site day and night.
The important thing to remember is you have to find an idea you’re passionate about, get to building your web site or blog, and stick with it. Be determined. Most importantly, don’t give up
Don’t let seeing another web site similar to yours, that you like better deter you in any way. Press forward and you’re bound to be successful if you don’t give up.
Hey Lisa I like this phrase:
“The Internet is not a magical place where leprechauns skip around leaving pots of gold for you to scoop up”
I’m just curious how do you go about putting a blog post together? Do you have a check off list that you go through or do you brainstorm and then write or do you just write it all out?