Website – Stop Treating It Like A Field Of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Remember that iconic baseball movie Field of Dreams?

A great story.  An Iowa farmer transforms his corn field into a baseball field and out of the corn pops these great baseball player from another era.

Closing scene is a real heart tug when the hero of the story, Ray, begins to play catch with his long ago departed Father.  The camera goes wide and viewers see the cars begin to pour onto the field to watch the baseball game.

Build it and they will come.

A great movie.

A great story.

Also a great fantasy.

As we all know, the Field of Dreams was a movie.  In movies, the hero always wins…well, most of the time.

The point is your website isn’t a movie. It is not a baseball field of dreams.

For some of you, your website is where you are trying to build a business to generate revenue like a recent lady I bumped into online.  She and her husband followed their bliss and created an e-commerce site that no one was visiting.  They didn’t have a clue as what to do next.

Perhaps you, like my new lady friend, have listened to all of the gurus about following your bliss.  You’ve created what you believe is a great site.  But at the end of some period of time, you realize following your bliss isn’t the entire story.

It begins to dawn on you that you, your bliss and your website are sitting all alone – in a corn field.

What are you doing wrong?

You Need to Promote Your Website

You’re not doing anything wrong.  You just stopped way too early.  There’s more – a lot more.

Now, you have to take your dream and turn it into a reality.

You have to turn your dream into a real business. 

To do this, you have to promote your website to those who share your passion, your zeal, your dream.

How Do You Promote Your Website?

The act of promoting is all about creating growth.  To create website growth, we’re talking about generating traffic from a specific audience. Here’s the short version of how this promotion thing works online.

1.  Find your audience.

Your audience can come to your website organically (via SEO).  It can come strategically through targeted participation in forums, other blogs, websites or via social media.  You can also use your current customer and prospect base or more traditional offline marketing efforts (e.g. trade shows, advertising, etc.) to find your audience.

2.  Make them happy.

By providing information, products or experiences your audience wants and/or needs, a percentage of them will willingly share their email addresses giving you an opportunity to strengthen your relationship further.

3.  Motivate them to take action.

As your bond grows, you can begin to ask them to take some action (e.g. share, pass along, or purchase).

4.  Keep them coming back for more.

Once your audience has made a commitment to you, your job is to continue to build the relationship by giving them more of what THEY want so they’ll keep coming back.

5.  Repeat the process.

You need to continuously repeat the process to keep your business growing.

Of course, there are a lot of details within and between these steps, but this is the essence of how one builds traffic to a website, gets customers to visit a brick and mortar store or gets butts into seats at a baseball game.

No, promoting one’s own website it is not particularly easy, but nor is it too difficult.

Trashing one’s corn crop in the middle of Iowa for a baseball field wasn’t easy for the farmer in the Field of Dreams either.

It just takes thought, a plan of action and committed perseverance.

I’ll be talking about some specific ways you can start to build your website traffic in future posts.

In the meantime, tell me what problems you face in building traffic for your website?  You can share them below in the comments section and where possible, I’ll address them here and in the future posts.

 

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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2 Comments

  1. Well said, Ms. Sheila! The days when bloggers could slap up some freebie Blogspot theme up on the web, stuff it with affiliate links, and rake in the dough are long over, IF they ever really existed in the first place (I have my doubts, and I’ve been doing this since 2000). “Manage expectations” is a good mantra – both our clients’ expectations and our own!

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