Starting a new web project is always fun, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people find creating new websites addicting! But is a new website right for your goals, and when should you start one? This blog post looks at a number of different questions to help you decide what’s right for you. PS If you’re already a Lyrical Host customer and need a site adding or want to upgrade your plan, just raise a ticket!
Currently reading: When Is The Best Time To Start Another Website? Click To Tweet
Lyrical Host customer? There’s a “When Is The Best Time To Start Another Website?” checklist to accompany this post that you can download from the Resource Library!
Digging into why
Let’s start with the most fundamental question: Why do you want to create a new site?
There are lots of potential answers here; it could be because:
- You want to diversify your income, traffic sources, or niches so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.
- You feel like you’ve got your current site/s to a point where they’re pretty self-sustaining and you’re ready for something new (this is more likely to apply to static sites and affiliate sites than blogs, but it’s still possible for blogs if you’re in a specialized niche).
- You’ve moved into a new phase of your life (for example you were a travel blogger but now you’ve settled down and want to start a parenting blog).
- You’ve thought of an idea or found a niche you really love and you’re keen to build on or showcase your skills or interest in that area.
- You’re pivoting to meet a demand (this could be pivoting away from a niche that isn’t as popular or searched for right now, or pivoting toward something that you believe has more potential). This should be based on research or current events (for example a pandemic stopping travel!) rather than a random social media post or comment.
- You want to create something entirely different, for example a portfolio site or ecommerce store.
…or something else entirely!
Is it the right reason?
As much as starting a new website and being passionate about a new project is great, and there are many valid reasons for it, there are also some potential pitfalls to think about:
Are you starting a new project because you’re frustrated with an old one?
If so, will you run into the same frustrations or lack of motivation with your new one? Are you procrastinating or avoiding something you’re not happy with your old site where fixing that or getting your motivation back (7 Ways To Fall In Love With Your Blog Again, How To Avoid Overwhelm As A Blogger) would be a better option?
Do you already have a graveyard of abandoned websites or projects?
If you’re happy being a serial project starter, that’s totally fine! But if you’re stuck in a cycle of creating websites, getting frustrated or bored and then abandoning them because you haven’t found “the one” and it’s making you feel bad, that’s a different story. In that case, starting a new website is part of the problem rather than the solution – you may want to go back to old projects and draw a line under them or revitalize an old one instead.
Is it different enough from what you’re already doing?
If it would make sense as a category or subdomain for your current website, you likely want to have it as that rather than creating a brand new website. That way it’s easier to manage and maintain. A good rule of thumb is that if the audience would be the same, you’d be targeting the same or very similar keywords, and you’re not sure which of your sites you’d publish a blog post on, they’re likely to be too similar. (In some cases, you may be deliberately making websites that target similar keywords in order to capture more brand traffic as part of an SEO strategy, but unless you’re specifically setting out to do this, this won’t apply).
Does it have long-term viability?
It’s totally okay if the answer to this is “no;” you just need to make sure you’re planning for it. For example, a site that will only be popular once a year or targeting a short term fad (such as an affiliate site based around slime-making for kids) can be very profitable, but it does have a very specific life span. You’ll want to adjust your expectations accordingly and not spend too much time on it or think of it as a long-term, regular income stream.
Is it because everyone seems to be doing it or you’ve read on social media it’s the “best” niche/type of website?
There’s always a trend or training happening on social media, and it’s easy to read posts and think you picked the “wrong” niche or that you’d be doing much better if you blogged about something else. What’s right for someone else isn’t necessarily right for you, and we’re firm believers that you can succeed in any niche if you put the right time or resources into it. The grass always looks greener – but there’s no magic niche, just a lot of hard work!
If you’re thinking about heading into a new niche, you may want to adopt a “minimum viable product” (MVP) approach. Basically, test the waters with some keyword research and then following up with a basic theme and plugins and some content, rather than going all out and buying a paid theme, lots of variations of the domain name, spending hours customizing the site, configuring layouts and editing images only to find that this isn’t the niche for you.
Planning & execution
It’s tempting to skip this stage if you’re excited about starting a new project, but the better your plan, the easier you’ll find execution. Plus, thinking ahead of time means you can look at potential problems and iron out a plan for those too.
With a new website, your most important considerations are likely to be:
- How much time (and what resources) do you have available for it?
- How will you drive traffic to it (the same ways as your current site, or different)?
How much time do you have? Work out how much time you can spare, and work backwards to see what’s realistic in terms of what you can get done in both the launch stages and in general after that. If you’re not sure, one starting point could be considering how much time your current site takes, and how this one is likely to compare. Some sites, especially in narrow affiliate niches, will be fine once you have some content added and won’t need to be updated as much as a blog. Is it a temporary or seasonal project, or a long term one? If seasonal, are you giving yourself enough time to build momentum before it reaches the peak time for people searching for it?
Once you’re used to creating new sites, you’ll find you get a lot faster at it, especially as you know where everything is and what you do and don’t need. Even creating one second site a long time after your first will be faster than it took you originally, because you’ll be more confident in what to look for in a theme, what plugins and tools you do and don’t need, and so on.
However, this can also be dangerous because it lulls you into the idea that you can create a ton of sites. You can, but do you have the time to maintain, update, and add to them? This is worth thinking about now – a portfolio site where you’re adding new projects now and again is a lot easier to maintain than a blog that needs fresh new posts on a regular basis.
You don’t need to invest a ton of time into a site if it’s a small project or if you spend money instead. Content creators, virtual assistants, managers and so on are all easy to find and that way you don’t have to worry about having enough time or how scaling up will work. However, you’ll want to do the numbers (or get the ball rolling yourself to make sure the site is profitable) to figure out when you can expect to see a return/paying is viable.
If your audience for your new site is similar to your current site, you could brainstorm ways to direct them to your new website too. If it’s a totally different audience and you haven’t had experience of it before, you’ll want to do a lot of research. If you’re creating an affiliate wesite around a specific product or type of product, paid traffic can work well (but bear in mind that ads will be more expensive at particular times of year, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas).
A second site may need something totally different to the strategies you’ve used before. Depending on the website, you may even be focusing on offline traffic-drivers such as networking, business events or cards, or similar. It’s also a good time to start doing keyword research to ensure there’s likely to be enough demand for what you want to focus on.
Creating a project board per site using something like Trello can be a really convenient way to keep all your sites organized – plus you can easily copy over launch list cards with tasks that are the same for every site. Breaking down stages into tasks can help you get an idea of how much work is really required for a site before you get to the point of no return!
If you’re a Lyrical Host customer and need to upgrade your plan and/or add more websites, just raise a support ticket and we’ll get that sorted out with you.
Defining and measuring success
Thinking about this ahead of time will help motivate you through the tougher stages (there are always tougher stages!). It’s easy to lose motivation and give up on a new site very quickly after launch, especially if you have a previously successful site and you’re imagining it at that stage already, instead of its current newborn phase.
Each website is different so you likely won’t even be able to compare against your previous success, and that’s okay. It’s very difficult to replicate success in exactly the same way, even in the same niche and though logic implies you should be able to get the same results.
For this reason, defining and measuring success wants to be a journey. Having specific goals, such as getting X many visitors, Y number of leads or earning Z amount can be great, but there are also a bunch of non-number victories you could incorporate, for example launching your new website, getting positive feedback, seeing people on your site in Google Analytics, and so on. Every time you feel deflated, add a small task to your list that relates to the reason you feel down. For example, if you’re depressed about your visitor numbers, add a task to create a new page based on thorough keyword research. The only way you fail is by giving up.
If you found this post useful, please pin it for someone else to discover!