If I were to start again - Lessons learnt

With the intent of sharing the lessons I have learnt over the years ,  I asked myself what would I have differently if I were to start over again. Here are some of my points

  1. I would properly focus on SEO strategies, simple things like focusing on keyword density and putting alt tags in images, ranks you much higher in search engines and gets you more traffic.
  2. Paying to get free traffic may not be that beneficial. It fizzles out once you stop paying. Try to get organic traffic.
  3. Outsourcing work to others.  Websites has many components so does a blog, I cannot be good at everything, content, graphics, infra, SEO, marketing.  I can focus on high level stuff and outsourcing design, content etc to freelancers. There are many sites where you can outsource the work to free lancers. Rentacoder, guru.com , elance , odesk etc.
  4. Many ebooks promise lot of things. What I have learnt is that with some research you can get the same information for free. Only buy the ebooks which are recommended by others. When you research on your own , you will connect with the source. Meaning if you search and find something in a forum you an always bookmark it and keep reading for more wisdom
  5. When you start you think too much and do too little. Get away from that habit and keep doing the things that will improve your blog.  Don’t spend too much time thinking, Act. Action will generate momentum and motivation.
  6. I must say that I did not really understand my audience at first. Once I understand what they want and how they think and what they are looking for . I can provide them valuable things for free to build reputation .   When selling affiliate products its important that you get quality traffic. Otherwise you will not be making any conversions.
  7. Initially I used to think that I should start charging for some content. Later I learnt that there is no such thing as giving too much for free. It always benefits you in long run. Not only that you learn more by sharing. I have to make sure that I have a plan to monetize on the free stuff I am offering
  8. Keep backup sites, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. God forbid if your only income is from adsense if your site gets banned your income will reduce to zero.
  9. Don’t just do something you are passionate about. Do something you are good at. Passion may not always monetize., good work can easily monetize.
  10. My blog should bring out the niche. Even when you monetize your website or blog, focus on things that bring you the most money. For some people affiliate works better than adsense. Likewise banner ads , paid article writing etc may bring in more money.
  11. Find a good partner who can complement your skills.  They should be able to fill your gaps. I wasted too much time on people who were actually not that interested in earning from a blog / website.
  12. I would plan properly, focus and complete one project at a time before moving to next one. There is lot of energy wasted in multi-tasking which can be saved. Unless you are utilizing your time properly.
  13. Use analytics data effectively to change my strategy and focus. I use google analytics, but just to watch traffic, however there is so much other valuable information it offers for free. If you were to decide the price of that product it would surely be hundreds of $$ per year. Using analytics will help in monetizing and planning
  14. Do not have any duplicate ( stolen) content on your site. Google can ban you for the same , your SERPs will drop. Always keep posting fresh, unique content on your website to retain your rankings.  Actually more that fresh content you need updates, even comments on the page are good. Or keep adding / editing your article so that it gets reindexed.