Before you get into the webmastering business, the first thing you need to do is make out a business plan. A business plan is exactly what it sounds like: a plan to guide you through your business. It should entail what you’re going to be doing and how much you expect to make doing it.
Don’t get the huge dream disease. While having sky-high hopes, this can easily kill you. Just like everything else, you have to set realistic goals. So make what I call “mini goals” to see you through. For example, if you’re setting up a free site, make one goal of site completion to be finished by next week. Goal achieved, move on to another.
Learn everything you can about what you do. Don’t just read a couple of articles and assume that they are all preaching the same thing. You may just find that there are places out there to learn that you didn’t think about. Try reading message boards, checking in the sites specifically geared for newbies, or read articles in places other than where you found this one. There’s a wealth of information out there. You just have to have the gumption to look for it.
Go to webmaster conventions. I cannot stress this enough. You can meet and talk with the industry’s finest and learn directly from them. As an example, I went to my first gathering, (not convention, but a smaller, more intimate gathering), and met Steve Lightspeed, one of the more well-known businessmen online. His advice and easy-going style made me realize that I’m not meant to be a webmaster, but a writer, and it’s thanks to him that I am where I am now.
Be willing to change. In order to grow, you have to change, and webmasters find themselves changing more often than you might think. When you find something that makes money for you, question it. Are you happy doing it? Can you see yourself doing it for years to come? Do you think you can do something else, or do you think you can find ways of doing what you’re currently doing better?
Find your favorite niche and work it. Do you like hardcore? Great! Work it well, make it happen. If you’re more partial to teens, then stay away from the mature niche and focus your energy on your teens. Don’t try something just because someone has said it sells. It may well sell for them, but if you don’t like it, you won’t know how best to promote it. Stick with what you know until you learn more about something else.
Inevitably, your stats are going to rise and fall, so don’t panic. Always have a backup plan and be ready to implement it in case things start falling to drastic points. Don’t be afraid to say that it’s time to move on. Remember that change thing I was talking about?
Remember, the only person you are out to impress is yourself. Don’t try to run with the big dogs when you’re still learning how to get off the porch. This can be an awesome career if you let it be, which means you actually have to work at it. Keep learning everything you can, and keep trying to better your best. It won’t be long until you see your efforts paying off.
Take care of yourselves! ~ Tala
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