It’s common knowledge that time management is one of a domainer’s biggest pitfalls. There aren’t enough hours in the day—and a single day can consist of working on the 2-3 sites you’ve got in the works, updating content and SEO on your existing sites, keeping up with industry blogs, and trying to buy & sell names. Development is definitely one of the things that takes the most time, and I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, one of the biggest things that gets in the way of my progress is the desire to make every little detail PERFECT.
Here’s the thing: more often than not, that gets in the way.
I’ve noticed a trend lately among some of the mini (and not so mini) sites developed by domainers: they don’t always look that great. They’re functional, and the better ones manage some degree of aesthetic unity with decent-looking logos and graphics, but on the whole, they aren’t amazing. A few I’ve stumbled across look like 15-minute Photoshop jobs at best. I started to wonder why these people who had stellar names (and the $$ to hire great designers) didn’t seem to put as much thought into the typography, etc. of their sites, improvements I believed would help make them look much more professional.
But then it hit me: in the grand scheme of things, it was much more important that their sites were ONLINE and active, than PERFECT LOOKING.
Decent graphics can go a long way in establishing the credibility of your site, but beyond that, the average person who lands on your home page probably isn’t going to be critiquing your choice of fonts (“Oh no, he DIDN’T – he used HELVETICA in the h3? Trebuchet was clearly the better choice!”) or color schemes. (Note: If your landing page has more colors than a bag of Skittles, or text that’s hard to read, or shoddy graphics, it WILL matter. Your visitor will get frustrated, question the validity of your site, and will leave for a better site that’s easier to navigate).
The secret to productivity is balancing “perfectionism” with the desire to get things done. I’m struggling with this right now. I have two domains I’d like to develop (although I won’t be able to get to them until next month, for a variety of reasons), and I’ve gotten “stuck” in the planning stage. I’ve looked at comparable minisites that sell the same products that I’ll be selling, and made a note of the ones I liked. There are a few I didn’t like as much, and I want my sites to look better. So in researching designers and ways to customize WP plugins, I’ve become obsessed with getting the best-looking site possible. That’s keeping me from getting things done.
It’s a cliche, but the Nike phrase “Just do it” rings true here. Don’t let your domains be among the estimated 70% of domains that are undeveloped. The difference between you and the people whose minisites are online is that theirs are actively generating traffic, while you’re sitting at home putting the finishing details on the best minisite the WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN.
I see now, why there isn’t always enough time to develop world-class sites. Reserve those resources for the sites you really care about, and that are connected to your brand. But if you’re trying to churn out 2-3 sites a month to monetize and sell products, all you need is a site that’s halfway decent. Don’t get blinded by the details, because your skills will improve as you launch more sites. A site that’s live and generating traffic is always worth more than an unrealized perfect “idea” in your head.
[Photo credit: iStockphoto]