Why My Website Sucks (and Yours Should Too)
How is that for a catchy title, right? It’s not clickbait, though.
A bit of context: today I’m writing my sixth article on this website. I wrote one every day for the past week. This is what my website currently looks like:
I know, it sucks.
The page you see is literally the only page I built, together with the initial format for the articles which you may or may not be seeing now.
No footer, no about page, no search results page, no blog overview page, no thank-you page after sign-up… and none of the many, many pages that I want to build, but are still just ideas in my head right now.
The Problem with Websites ⚠️
Because I run a community for entrepreneurs, I also get to speak to a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs. They are generally full of ideas, dreams and enthusiasm for whatever it is they want to create.
And guess what’s almost always on top of their list of first things to do? Right.
Building a website.
And honestly, I don’t think this is where they go wrong per se. Sure, you don’t need a website to run a successful business. All you need is a certain product or skill and someone who wants to pay for that product or skill.
But when you’re in the early stages of building a business, creating your website helps you get concrete. It kind of forces you to answer questions like:
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What am I offering them?
- How can I make my offer appealing?
A marketeer I know once told me that a website, to her, is like a final exam. When you finish building it, you’re ready to talk to potential customers.
Here’s the problem with looking at it that way: you’re going to try to make it perfect.
I’ve seen starting entrepreneurs waste months, sometimes even years, on trying to finish their websites. Tweaking little things here and there, rewriting the texts, adjusting the spacing, adding more images or videos… over and over. Admittedly, I was once guilty of this too.
But in the end, it’s nothing but wasted time. Procrastination. Because you’re trying to find the answers to something, you can’t possibly know the answers to.
To know whether something works, you have to test it.
And generally speaking, you can’t test things in your own head. You have to speak to people, you have to offer them something, you have to ask for their feedback and then adjust your offer.
Of course, it’s not as comfortable to do all of that as building a website is.
That’s why most aspiring entrepreneurs quit before they even started. They couldn’t come up with the best business idea, because they didn’t go out and test it.
Why I Built a Sucky Website 🙌
The alternative? Build a website that sucks.
In my case, there are a ton of unknowns when it comes to my newly-launched personal website: marcrodan.com.
🤷 I don’t have a clearly defined topic or niche.
🤷 I don’t know what I actually like to write about.
🤷 I don’t even know if I even like to write on a (near) daily basis.
But what I do know is that I want to help (aspiring) creatives like me. And I also know that writing comes relatively easy to me.
So rather than trying to come up with answers for all of the unknowns right now, I just started writing articles. And I believe – no, I know – that when I keep doing so consistently, I will find the answers that I’m looking for.
Because essentially, every article is another test. And every test sheds a bit of light on each of the three unknowns I listed before. All I have to do is to keep going, until they are fully illuminated and not unknowns to me anymore.
Maybe that’s already the case when you’re reading this. Maybe not.
The important thing is to keep testing, to keep getting out there, so that you learn.
So build sucky websites! Share them with me even.
And if you want to help me learn, be sure to let me know what you think of these articles by replying to my newsletter or by contacting me on LinkedIn. Also: suggestions on what you’d like me to write about are always welcome.
Let me end the “test of today” with a fitting quote by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”