THIS is the secret to how I grew my Squarespace web design business so fast
I received a rather flattering message/question the other day and now I’m going to spill the beans with an answer!
I was asked exactly how I managed to grow my Squarespace web design business so fast. How did I grow so quickly? What was my secret?
I don’t think there’s really a defined pace at which building a business or becoming known as an expert in a space is considered fast, but apparently to this person thought I did it quickly, so I’ll take it.
If you want some quick stats on exactly what I did, here’s a peek:
Grew blog from nada > 41,000 page views/month in 13 months
Passed the 6 figure annual revenue mark in year 2 of business
Okay, so if you’re looking to grow your online business, then I have good news for you so I’m really stoked to share it with you!
What I did is something anyone can do.
You have the skills and knowledge to replicate what I did to grow this business yourself, right now.
Yep, that’s right. You don’t need to take a course or get a fancy software or hire a really expensive mentor.
What I did to grow this business was to do one thing, really well, consistently.
What’s my secret to growing my business so fast?
I focused in on a niche and I helped people with valuable content, consistently.
Rocket science? I think not!
If you want to replicate this growth and success, I’ve got a few steps for you. I’ve also got a few insider tips on how to not bomb this strategy, because while it’s clear, many people who try it make some errors that hold them back from success.
Okay, here’s the steps.
Step 1: Pick a niche
I cannot stress the importance of this enough.
You have absolutely, hands-down, without-a-doubt have GOT to pick a very specific niche in order to grow quickly.
I loved this podcast episode from Pat Flynn today on niches and the advantages of serving a very small population. Pat killed it, so I’ll let you listen to him if you’re not yet convinced of the important of starting small.
Step 2: Pick a format of delivering value
You can pick whatever format you prefer personally, or pick the format which makes the most sense for your topic, or make your decision based on the hybrid of both.
What do I mean by format?
Decide on the channel or format where you’ll be delivering your information and value.
Step 3: Provide real value. Solve problems. Teach it all. Share everything you know
I loved Nathan Barry’s post on this.
Back in the day, Nathan was designing websites and learning CSS. Someone else named Chris was doing the same, but as Chris learned with each web design project, he’d post about it and share what he learned online.
Chris built a following. He was no more skilled in CSS than Nathan, but regardless, Chris became known as an expert in CSS. Nathan didn’t.
Chris launched a Kickstarter campaign with the aim to earn $3,500. He shared the campaign with his audience which he had built up over time by sharing his knowledge online.
Chris made $87,000 in the Kickstarter campaign. Nathan didn’t.
Don’t feel too bad for Nathan though. He’s learned and has done prettyyy well for himself since. He created ConvertKit, no big deal. (That’s an affiliate link!)
I did the same. As I learned new things in Squarespace, I shared about them on this blog.
I consistently created content that would be valuable to the niche I defined. I’ve now published more blog posts on Squarespace than any other Squarespace designer.
As you can imagine, I spent a lot of non-glamorous evenings behind my laptop, typing away for hours at a time.
A lot of web designers would have considered it a lot of additional work and not worth their time to write about what they learned on a new project.
But I can promise you - providing real value and information to the world, it’s going to pay off.
It’ll pay off by truly helping likely hundreds or thousands of people who find your content online. So you know . . . you can feel like a really good person for lending a helping hand to others who are struggling.
But, in all honesty, it’ll pay you back in more ways than just that.
It’ll pay you back financially. It’ll pay you back in influence. It’ll pay you back in SEO ranking (which will then pay you back financially and in influence again 😉).
Pick a niche. Pick a format. Provide value - consistently.
It’s a straightforward, guaranteed recipe for success!
Now, when I talk to people about this strategy, they tend to get caught up with two things, so let’s talk about how you can avoid those pitfalls and really kill it!
Most people struggle with . . .
Picking a niche
Posting content consistently
Here’s some thoughts that might be helpful to you so you avoid these problems.
If you struggle with picking a niche . . .
In terms of picking a niche, it can be superrr scary to pick one. I know the feeling because I’ve been there.
Back in my travel blogging days, I did not pick a niche, and of course, the travel blog never really took off. (Pun intended.)
I was nervous that if I picked a niche, say, budget travel, that I’d be stuck staying in hostels for the rest of my life. Or if I choose to run a destination-specific travel blog, say Germany travel, that I could never travel somewhere else.
Wrong I was! Just because you choose a niche for your blog or business doesn’t mean that you can’t personally enjoy something outside that niche.
If I chose to write the go-to Germany travel blog, I would have easily been able to travel to other places, and I would have had the freedom to enjoy that trip even more without any pressure to write or post about it.
Also, know that once you own your smaller niche market, you are totally able, and encouraged, to expand. So if one day you want to run the next Lonely Planet - first start small, become an expert on your niche and then start expanding outwards.
If you struggle with posting consistently . . .
Plan for yourself tripping up, life getting in the way and sitting down at your laptop only to find you have a grand total of 0 inspiration to write/record at that moment.
I always work 1.5 weeks ahead on this blog. I knew if I was trying to write a post and publish it on one day, there would be times I’d miss a posting date.
So I planned for myself screwing up and life getting in the way.
My goal is to always have 3 posts scheduled and ready to go.
Then in situations like when my laptop dies for a week and needs to be taken into Apple, no one in my audience would ever know, because content would still be coming out consistently.
I hope that helps y’all! And when you start publishing on your new blog/podcast/YouTube/Instagram, let me know so I can cheer you on along the way!