5 Tips to Start a Successful Student Website
Building a website is easy. Making it successful is more difficult. It certainly isn’t impossible, though. And with these five tips, you’ll be well on your way.
Everybody is creating websites. And why shouldn’t they? After all, it’s easy, cheap and it can be incredibly lucrative if you do it right. Of course, that doesn’t mean you will do it right. In fact, the odds are stacked against you. For example, if you don’t market your blog correctly you’ll have about 1% chance of breaking through after 150 years.
By then you probably won’t be a student anymore.
For that reason, you’ve got to take steps to raise your chance of success. Here are a few important ideas that will raise the likelihood of your student website becoming a success.
Choose a niche for your student website
The internet isn’t the wild west of yesteryear. Instead, a lot of big companies have moved in and they’ve got big professional teams delivering service at a rate and quality level that you, on your own, with only a little experience and your college workload, will never be able to match.
Nor should you even try. You don’t run a foot race when your competitor gets to drive a car. Or, at least you don’t do so on an open road.
Instead, you’ve got to find your niche. You’ve got to find something that you can excel at and which you can study and learn about. Yes, your audience will be smaller, but that doesn’t matter. Later on, when you’ve built up a bit of a name, you can always decide to expand. For now, what matters isn’t the number of visitors you draw in, but the number of people that keep coming back – for it’s them that will share your content and form the backbone of your fan base.
You can’t build a website and hope that they’ll just come. The internet just doesn’t work that way. No, not even Google works that way, as their algorithm isn’t looking for high-quality content. After all, computers don’t (yet) know how to distinguish the good from the bad. Instead, Google uses a proxy, which is things like how many high-quality sites link to your content, as well as how much of a splash you’re making in social media.
In both those situations, the only way that you’re ever going to rank well is if you can get your content in front of people. That means marketing. Now, there is a lot of advice on how to market your student website out there and you should definitely look at a lot of that if you want to be successful.
I’m going to add one piece of advice to what all those sites have to say and that is that you should explore. There is constantly new website and social media platforms being created. Take advantage of these by pushing your website and your content on there. Many are far more relaxed about people that push their content and chances are a far larger percentage of people ends up seeing it than if you try to market through traditional channels where everybody else is also clamoring to get user’s attention.
Marketing will only get you so far
If your site doesn’t have it, then it doesn’t matter if you manage to draw a lot of people. They’re not going to stick around. So, make sure that you take the time and put in the effort to actually have really high-quality content on your site. Some ideas to consider:
- Check your site for spelling and grammar mistakes. This is vitally For me, a spelling or grammar mistake immediately lowers the authority of the website I’m on. After all, since they clearly didn’t spend much time fixing mistakes on their website, how can I be sure they spent enough time checking their sources?
- Get backup. Don’t do it alone. Get other people to contribute content. The best place to look is among your friends and your acquaintances. If they can’t help, look further from home and get professionals involved. Yes, you might have to pay a bit of money, but it will reduce the workload tremendously, giving you time to actually finish your coursework or make a little money by helping with a SAT What’s more, it will give you somebody to bounce ideas off of.
- Keep updating. If a page is doing well then you shouldn’t touch it, right? Wrong. In fact, the very pages you should update are the ones that are doing well. These are the pages that Google will look at and if they see that you’re updating them, then it will push them up in importance. So update your landing pages! Put up new information. Offer new ideas. Update stuff that’s out of date.
Ignore the trolls
We’ve evolved in little groups, where everybody’s opinion really mattered. That’s why it often hurts so much when people say negative things about you. The thing is, we don’t live in those little groups anymore. And there is a whole class of people who seem to enjoy putting you down.
Don’t listen to them. As long as you’re also getting positive feedback from other people who visit your site, you’re absolutely fine. You don’t need everybody to like your page. That’s not how you become successful. You become successful by having some people love your page.
So ignore the haters. It’s hard, but it’s a vital part of building a successful student website.
A good strategy I’ve found is that when you find that those who love your site are generally of one type of person, start moving your website more towards satisfying the needs and fulfilling the expectations of that specific group. After all, you’ve already begun to engage them, so why not take that extra step and make them true fans?
Web sites are rarely a route to quick fame
And finally, be ready to submit for the long haul. Web sites might have been able to make people famous in a few months or less, but that’s rarely the case nowadays. The internet is crowded with millions of people who think that they can make it with their website alone. You don’t just have to out market them and out content them, but you’ve got to outlast them as well.
So, learn to ignore the short-term fluctuations of your visitor numbers. Don’t feel devastated when your ranking in Google drops. Don’t get stressed out if the rate at which your site’s popularity on social media is growing starts to flatten out a bit. All these things always seem to follow waves. One week you’re riding high and getting tons of attention, the next week not even your mom mentions you. It’s not exactly nice, but it’s not exactly important either.
It’s the long term numbers that you want to pay attention to. Are people linking to your site more often? Is the average bounce rate over time falling? Are people sticking around longer? If these things are happening, then you’re popularity is building. So focus on the long-term rising line.
And above all, have the wherewithal to keep going through the bad times. Eventually, it will pay off and your website will be successful.