The purpose of any website is to engage a target audience. Otherwise, you wouldn’t care if it was online or not. But if a website isn’t being productive for your needs, is it worth the time and money you’re investing? Should you keep the site going or move that time and money into a different project? In reality, that all depends on what you’re getting out of the experience.
Is It Worth Keeping Online to You?
A lot of people need their websites to be productive in order to offset the costs of keeping a site live. Instead of using free platforms, people like me will spend a couple hundred dollars a year to set up domains and hosting. Without enough money coming in, these sites wind up being a drain on resources. If you’re worried that your website isn’t being as productive as you’d like, it may be time to either change your strategy or simply let the site go.
What do you get out of the experience?
Many will keep their websites going because they get some kind of satisfaction out of interacting with visitors. I keep my sites going because I hope to help anyone who reads my content. As long as you’re getting something out of keeping a website live on a regular basis, it may be worth it to you to keep it online. But if you own 15 domains and have developed one page of content on each and don’t interact with anyone, then it may be best to move on to something else.
In the beginning, I was using my health blog and Writer Sanctuary as a way to jot down everything I learn about both industries. Since I love to share that information and help others, it’s worth it to me to keep the site going. But if you don’t care about your content and don’t really help any of the readers, then why should you keep paying for the site and hosting?
Does your website continuously grow in traffic?
Productivity is one of the major factors for most owners. A website should continue to grow over time. Although this growth may take a while, depending on your level of effort, you should still see some kind of improvement over the last 12 months. If not, chances are you didn’t put in enough effort to market the website. This includes everything from developing content to sharing pages on social media. If you want a successful online presence, you’re going to need to put in more effort than simply writing one post per year. Search engines will only do so much for you when you don’t have much content.
I uses Google Analytics to keep an eye on my growth. It helps me see what people like most about my website while giving me motivation to continue. After all, more visitors often leads to increasing revenues from ad servers like Adsense.
How much time do you put into developing your site?
If you spend less than an hour per month developing your site, then you’re really not all that serious about it being a success. I am speaking to those who expect the website to generate money. The success of any website will be directly proportionate to the amount of effort you put in. Even search engines will decrease how often your site is crawled if you haven’t published new content regularly. This means visitors will have less of a chance to see your material as time goes on.
Take this website, for example. The amount of traffic Writer Sanctuary gets now is far greater as I add more content and engage more readers. Although most traffic comes from the social element, the point is that traffic is continuing to grow. When your website flatlines for more than a year, it may be time to think about moving on to something else.
How much money does your site pull in per month?
This is focusing on those who believe their sites can be money makers. The amount of money your site generates should increase month-to-month. This is especially true for new sites. At some point, you’ll hit a plateau where the income may level out. What you need to focus on is whether or not the income is justifying your time.
Keep in mind a website that has less than 100 posts is still relatively “new.” You can’t expect it to generate a great deal of money right off the bat. It may take years before a site generates enough income online to simply pay for it’s own hosting. But that all centers around the amount of effort you put into building it. Little effort often equals little income.
Do you have a future strategy in place for the website?
Not a lot of people put into consideration how a strategy for a site’s development can affect it’s productivity. For Writer Sanctuary, at some point I would like to implement a social site of its own. However, it would almost be pointless at this moment simply because it doesn’t get enough traffic yet. It’s also going to be a central hub for all my published works. Do you have ideas about where you want to take your website?
You don’t necessarily need a strategy for your site as long as you’re satisfied with what you’re getting out of it. I know a lot of people who blog for the sake of blogging while meeting new people. However, I know plenty of others who expect to make money from a site that sits idle for years on end.
That’s not a strategy for success.
Sometimes You Just Need to Give Up the Site
If you don’t really have the time to put into develop an online business or site, or if you find that hosting and domain names are too much of a drain on your finances, it may be time to give it up. You need to ask yourself, “Do I really have the time and money for developing this website?”
There’s no doubt that a website has potential to make you a lot of money. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many people try without putting in the effort to build their online presence. You need to know when to give up the ghost, especially if you’re paying for online services like hosting and domain names. Without the effort to build it, you can’t expect the site to become successful.