Starting a blog or website is easy, but turning it into a successful platform with a large audience and significant advertising revenue is much more challenging. Achieving this dream raises a crucial question: can you maintain this success? This isn’t easy to answer.
As your website gains more traffic and readers, it demands more of your time. What once was a hobby can quickly become a serious commitment, and as your site grows, this hobby might even evolve into a full-time job. This dependence on your site affects not just your income, but also your reputation. Here are some important considerations for when your site becomes successful.
1. Get Ready for More Frequent Updates
Your site has become a hit, drawing in a vast audience. This level of success means you can’t just update once a week anymore. You’ll need to create more content, ensuring it’s of the same high quality that made your site popular.
Many new site owners are caught off-guard by a sudden increase in traffic. Instead of resorting to quick fixes like short articles or link roundups, focus on producing more of the high-quality content that initially brought you success.
Ensure you have plenty of ideas for original articles and posts. Allocate sufficient time for writing and updating your site more often. Avoid quick fixes like news roundups from other sites or brief posts linking to other articles, as these can drive away new readers.
2. Gear Up Hosting and Bandwidth
While shared hosting services are often adequate for smaller sites, a surge in visitors can strain your site, potentially leading to slow performance or even temporary shutdowns to protect other users on the same server.
The best solution is often to upgrade your hosting to a VPS or similar, which can be more costly than shared hosting. Be aware that this increased hosting expense might not immediately be offset by your site’s advertising income.
Maximize your site’s efficiency. For WordPress or other CMS users, implementing page caching is crucial. Optimize images and code, and consider a content delivery network (CDN) if necessary.
If your site is image-intensive, consider using a CDN like Amazon S3 for your images while maintaining your shared hosting for other content. This approach can be more cost-effective than a complete hosting upgrade.
3. More Traffic Doesn’t Always Mean More Revenue
As traffic increases, so do your costs Ã¢ÂÂ like upgrading to better hosting plans. However, your advertising revenue might not increase proportionately. If your traffic doubles, expect at best a 50% rise in ad revenue, depending on the ad provider.
Reaching a level of influence with your site can open doors to more lucrative advertising deals. Don’t be discouraged if ad revenue doesn’t skyrocket alongside traffic. Now’s the time to try different ad placements, rotations, and providers.
Test various ad layouts and banner positions. What worked previously might not be as effective with increased traffic. If you’ve been using click-based ads like AdSense, consider CPM-based ads due to higher page views.
Remember, advertising effectiveness varies by site. Avoid overwhelming your site with banners, in-text link ads, or pop-ups and pop-unders. Too many ads can turn off new visitors and prevent them from becoming regular readers.
4. More Server and Site Maintenance
As your website’s traffic grows, so does the likelihood of technical issues. From database errors to hosting glitches to CMS (e.g., WordPress) problems, you’ll face various maintenance challenges. These issues, even if small, can accumulate and harm your site. Be prepared for potential errors, like a crashed database table or a malfunctioning WordPress plugin.
Address errors or bugs promptly, no matter how minor they seem. A small issue can indicate larger problems, and visible errors can deter readers. For instance, a PHP error in a WordPress plugin might not hinder site functionality, but it will be noticed by visitors and can detract from your site’s overall credibility.
5. Popularity Comes with Reputation Control
As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Managing a popular site means not only continuing to produce great content but also maintaining professionalism and civility. Your reputation is at stake, and it’s about more than just posting excellent articles.
Avoid using your influence to criticize others unprofessionally. Respond to any attacks calmly and professionally, or better yet, ignore them. Admitting mistakes also boosts credibility; if you’re wrong, acknowledge it and update your article. Remember, even major news organizations issue corrections as a professional standard.
6. More Prone to Hackers
The more popular your site, the more attractive it becomes to hackers. High-traffic sites are prime targets, as seen with major online companies facing numerous hacking attempts daily. While platforms like WordPress are generally secure, they’re not immune to threats like Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, which can overload your server.
Keep your website, especially if it’s CMS-based, updated regularly. Be cautious with the plugins you use; some can introduce malicious code into your site. Don’t forget basic security practices: use strong passwords, keep files updated, remove unnecessary files, and use .htaccess for extra security on sensitive areas.