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Why Websites and Online Businesses Fail

Avoid website and online business failure.
This is a reality check post. SUCCESS DOESN’T CARE ABOUT Your “feelings.”

As a consultant and coach, people who want to build a WordPress website and experience online success will reach out. I’m sure they are all lovely people, although one may question that by how some contact me. (That’s where Business Email Etiquette skills come into play.)

One out of every five or so will tell me how we will do business. From cost to assumed ease and timeframes. My policies, procedures, and how I do business do not matter. I am to cater to their perceptions. They are the customer, after all.

This initial impression tells me all I need to know. First, they didn’t read. In my Code of Ethics, I state: “Misinformation and unrealistic expectations are addressed and corrected immediately.”

Those who don’t read tend to overestimate their skill level and often underestimate their needs from a knowledge point of view. If you are as smart as you think, you must trust someone with the experience and expertise you do not have to fill in the skill and knowledge deficits.

How do I know? That’s what I do.

Unfortunately, I can only help those willing to embrace the frustrations and learning curves of having a successful online website and business. Simply put, you cannot piecemeal online success, and I do not enable that.

Creating a WordPress website and building a successful online business requires a combination of mindset, skills, and strategies that you must have. So, here’s a breakdown (a.k.a. reality check) for your consideration.

When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge — every adversity — contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.
Roy T. Bennett

Online Mindset, Skills & Strategy


  • Entrepreneurial mindset: You need to think like an entrepreneur, which means being proactive, taking risks, and being open to learning and adapting.
  • Resilience: Building a business online can have its challenges. You must be resilient and persistent, especially when facing setbacks or obstacles.
  • Creativity: Thinking outside the box and developing innovative ideas will help you stand out in a crowded online marketplace.


  • Technical Skills: While you don’t need to be a coding expert, basic technical skills are essential for creating and maintaining a WordPress website. This includes installing themes and plugins, customizing layouts, and troubleshooting technical issues.
  • Content Creation: High-quality content is crucial for attracting and engaging your audience. You must write compelling blog posts, create eye-catching visuals, and produce engaging videos — no rankings without it.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Understanding how to optimize your website for search engines is critical to driving organic traffic. This involves keyword research, on-page optimization, and building backlinks.
  • Digital Marketing: Familiarize yourself with various digital marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. Leveraging these channels effectively will help you reach and convert your target audience.
  • Analytical Skills: Being able to analyze data and metrics will help you make informed decisions and optimize your strategies for better results. Tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into your website’s performance and user behavior.


  • Identify Your Niche: Find a specific market segment or niche you’re passionate about and where there’s demand. This will help you tailor your products or services to meet the needs of your target audience. You will never succeed in trying to be everything to everyone.
  • Build Your Brand: Establishing a strong brand identity will help you differentiate yourself from competitors and build trust with your audience. This includes elements like your logo, website design, and brand messaging. Consistency across all platforms is critical.
  • Provide Value: Focus on providing value to your audience through your content, products, or services. This will help you attract and retain customers over the long term.
  • Monetization Strategies: Consider different monetization strategies, such as selling products or services, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, or membership subscriptions. Choose the ones that align with your business goals and target audience.
  • Continuous Improvement: The online landscape constantly evolves, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is essential. Continuously iterate and improve your website, content, and marketing strategies based on feedback and data analysis.

You can increase your chances of success by cultivating the right mindset, developing essential basic skills, and implementing effective strategies.

Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
Peter Drucker

Where Website and Business Owners Fall Short

Now let’s cover the common areas where I see people often fall short when trying to create a WordPress website and build a successful online business, along with reasons why they fail:

Lack of Clarity and Planning:

  • Why they fall short: Many people jump into creating a website or starting an online business without a clear plan or strategy. They may not clearly understand their target audience, market positioning, or business goals.
  • Why they fail:  Getting overwhelmed or losing focus is easy without a clear plan. You might waste time and resources on activities that don’t contribute to your business’s success. Additionally, attracting and retaining customers without a clear target audience or value proposition is challenging

Insufficient Technical Skills:

  • Why they fall short: Creating a WordPress website requires technical skills, such as understanding how to do updates and backups, customize layouts, and troubleshoot the inevitable technical issues. Many beginners struggle with these tasks, which leads to frustration.
  • Why they fail: Technical challenges can quickly become roadblocks if you don’t have the necessary knowledge to overcome them.  You might spend hours figuring out a technical issue or end up with a poorly designed or non-functional website, which can negatively impact your business’s credibility and performance.

Ineffective Marketing and Promotion:

  • Why they fall short: Building a website is just the first step. “Build it, and they will come” does not apply. Even with effective marketing and promotion, attracting visitors and generating sales or leads is challenging. Many do not have a solid understanding of digital marketing strategies or how to leverage various channels effectively.
  • Why they fail: Even if you have a great product or service, it won’t matter if no one knows about it. Without effective marketing and promotion, your website may struggle to gain visibility and traction, leading to low traffic and poor conversion rates. This can ultimately result in business failure.

Lack of Persistence and Resilience:

  • Why they fall short: Building a successful online business takes time and effort. Many underestimate the work and dedication required and give up too soon when they don’t see immediate results. Assume it will be ten times harder than you think.
  • Why they fail: Rome wasn’t built in a day (I know, cliche), and neither is a successful online business. You’ll never achieve your goals if you give up at the first sign of difficulty or disappointment. Persistence, resilience, and flexibility are essential for overcoming challenges and achieving long-term success.

Failure to Adapt and Innovate:

  • Why they fall short: The online landscape constantly evolves, with new technologies, trends, and consumer behaviors continually emerging. I’ve been at this for almost three decades and sometimes have difficulty keeping up. Many people fail to adapt to these changes or innovate their strategies as needed. 
  • Why they fail: What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. If you’re unwilling to adapt, innovate, and understand the layout of the gameboard you are playing on, you’ll quickly fall behind the competition. Your website and business become outdated or irrelevant, leading to declining traffic and sales.
Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems. Wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge; wish for more wisdom.
Jim Rohn

It is what it is. Tough but rewarding.

Expect to deal with the things I discuss in the article. Bolster your knowledge base by searching, reading, bookmarking, and planning. The more, the better.

You must embrace these common pitfalls and take proactive steps to overcome them. Only then can you increase your chances of creating an effective WordPress website and building a successful online business.

At your service,

Judith: WordPress Consultant and Business Coach

P.S. Have questions on how to start or need someone to bounce your ideas off of? Schedule an hour-long brainstorming session.

WordPress website products and services you can trust!