At the end of each year I always look back at the past year for trends and lessons learned. Check out my article on GoDaddy: Looking back at 2017 technology milestones. (I’ll cover my annual personal review of my performance after Christmas — so stay tuned!)
If one word explained the past year it would be overload — “to load to excess; overburden”.
20 years ago when the Internet and “World Wide Web” were just breaking into the consciousness of the masses, a little HTML code and a CGI script to run your contact form and you were golden. Get an FTP program to upload those files and wallah! You had a web site (2 words back then). Even though that was a challenge to most, with just a little effort you could master enough to get your site looking the way you wanted.
Back to the Future
Then on May 27, 2003 the world changed again — at least for me. WordPress was released. The rest is history. I knew WordPress would allow my clients to do what they stated time and time again. Add their own content and make changes when necessary — without “knowing code”. WordPress allows them to do just that.
While what WordPress can accomplish for the site owner that doesn’t want to “know code” is incredible, it does take effort to learn and become familiar with all the features and functionality. I compare it to learning how to use new software.
Since its first release, WordPress too has evolved at a dizzying pace along side the Web. I learned from the start that’s how this gig goes. Fast and furious. Technology doesn’t wait for anyone to “get it”, get around to it, or utilize it for their benefit. Keep up or be left behind.
It doesn’t get any easier than this…
I get there is a ton of information out there. But what I also get, and am amazed by on a daily basis, is if I need an answer to pretty much anything it is a search and a few clicks away. All I have to do is look. Then read. Then apply.
Above and beyond all the “how tos” out there, I write WordPress, SEO and Marketing how tos on my Blog, and for my clients there is a PDF and video library to learn what they want at their convenience. Too many do not take advantage of these resources that are literally at their fingertips.
Some think folks like me don’t have to deal with information overload. Or that magically the tasks of keeping my sites updated, secure and relevant come easy to me. Actually I probably have to deal with information overload more than most because I am tapped into the best resources, sites and newsletters that are in my purvey of interest.
Don’t doubt that there are days I just delete many of the emails because I just don’t have time. And it drives me crazy to do so — I always feel like I am going to miss out on that important nugget! I’m don’t delete these emails due to the desire to not read and learn more — the desire to be efficient and live up to my responsibilities overrides my “learning time”. When it comes to both, while one may preclude the other one day, I make the time for both. Choices.
I have an insatiable desire to learn — even after all these years. This is where I see most folks fall short. They get so wrapped up in the information overload that they become paralyzed. They then abandon the desire to push through that frustration and learn what they need to succeed. Choices.
Choose to Learn and Thrive
After over 20+ years consulting onliners and assisting them with their websites (now one word), smart well educated folks becoming stymied by having to learn new things is pretty common. Sadly, I cannot make them read, learn and apply. That has to come from within their desire to succeed.
Succeeding online is not easy. Never really was. But now with millions of competitor Web pages, landing top page search rankings cannot be expected. At least without a few years of ongoing consistent effort — or purchasing expensive PPC ads. You are going to have to be a marketing maniac — more learning, more applying, more testing, more tuning.
What I have witnessed is those who read, read again, apply, mess up, try again — succeed.
You cannot participate in technology and then claim you don’t want to learn how to use your WordPress dashboard.
You cannot claim to want to monetize your Blog and not learn to write engaging, helpful posts that tell a story to your site visitors.
You cannot claim you want great search engine rankings for free and have a “me too” site.
You cannot assume that what you have is so special that basic standard and customary proven principles and practices don’t apply to you.
Because that requires more learning…
Reality of Online Success
While you mull over how to improve your website that did not produce as you had hoped this year, here is what you must consider:
- Go through your WordPress dashboard, item by item. Learn what is where and know how each area works and use everything you can to your advantage! (And always keep everything upated!)
- Every effort you make works towards building your brand. That’s all you got. You are nothing unique without your brand!
- Learn how to write for the Web. Share information, experience, emotions and your story at least once each week. See #2.
- Decide what you can do well, very well, then find reputable partners and outsource the rest. You cannot know it all or do it all well.
- Learn, learn, learn and learn some more. The day you stop learning is the day your site’s potential is jeopardized.
There is still opportunity for you to succeed online. Are you up to the challenge? Of course you are — and I’m here to help!
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement,
achievement, and success have no meaning.
~ Benjamin Franklin
At your service,