It's only been a little over a month since my new website, floragirl.us, was launched into the world. I could lie and tell you it's been fun, but it has been anything but a joyride. What I didn't realize when I first came up with the concept is that it would be a lot of work. So here's what I've learned about starting my own website so far...
1. It's Expensive
Be prepared to invest all you have into a website if you want to start one (and I'm not just talking about money). Creating your website can be a burden on your wallet, but it can also have the same effect on your time. This isn't to say you shouldn't go for it and make your dream happen but put a ton of thought into it before you make the big leap.
To start your website and make it look professional from the get-go you should look into self-hosting, buy a professional template (or speak to a web developer), and get some dedicated individuals to help you. To start Flora Girl, I spent a little less than $250 (which I believe is relatively inexpensive).
2. Develop Leadership & Communication Skills
From this experience so far, I've had a lot of chances to build my communication and leadership skills. I have 23 contributors right now and I add more girls to write for the site every day. One thing I've learned is how immensely difficult it is to keep everyone on the same page.
Being a good communicator and leader is not only a must for starting a website but also any type of business. These skills can be developed over time so don't feel hopeless!
3. Expect Endless Work
Nothing is every finished when you run your own website. There is always something that should be changed, tweaked, and fixed. Honestly, this is a big reason I haven't been able to upkeep my blog as much as I'd like to. Plus, I'm working a part-time job and internship on top of it all; you could say I'm stressed.
Life will always throw you curve balls, but when you run your own website, sometimes you just have to take the punches. It'll upset you when something you thought was really amazing doesn't get views, but that's all part of it. Like Dory would say, "Just keep swimming".
4. It Will Build Your Character
Even through the stress and late nights, I know that this is building my character (and my resume, too). I feel like I have worked endlessly for this and that I deserve success at some point. That really doesn't resonate with my brain most of the time, but deep down I must believe in myself or else I wouldn't have gone through with the idea in the first place.
If you want to push yourself to new heights, building a website might be the way to go. Or maybe you just want to get involved in one... Hint: Flora Girl is always accepting applications.
5. Create Excellent Content
With website content, nothing can be short of excellent. This is something we are still working on with Flora Girl. I figure if you're going to put the money in, you and your viewers have to get something out of it.
The definition of excellent content for me means great writing that is free of errors, crisp and original images, a great layout, and something you know other's will like.
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That's all I have right now, but I hope this helped all of you desiring to start your own website (or even blog) in some way. Leave any questions in the comments and let me know if you want me to do another post like this in the future.