Go Hard or Go Home, Especially If You Are Building A Website

By Daniel Scocco

The fingers on both of my hands wouldn’t be enough to count the times I started a website with a half-assed effort. The idea was cool, and I figured it was worth a shot, but I was not willing to put 100% of my time and energy into it. The result? A flop. Over and over again these websites failed to achieve a critical mass of traffic to become something meaningful, and I would just put them on the back burner.

Had I dedicated enough time and energy to them would the story be different? I am pretty sure it would. As I said, most of the ideas were solid, so the execution was the problem. In fact the execution is almost ALWAYS the problem. Even crap ideas can become successful businesses if the owner is willing to work hard enough, persist and adapt along the way. The other side of the coin? Even great ideas will flop if the owner is not willing to back them up with hard work.

Luckily I learned my lesson. These days I don’t start a new website unless I know I’ll have the time and energy to make it work. If I am not wrong, the last website I started was almost one year ago. It flopped, but due to technical problems and not because I neglected it. Sometimes I get excited with new ideas and even purchase a domain for them, but when I am about to host the site and start working on the design I always ask myself: “Will You Have Time/Energy To Really Work on This?” The answer is usually “No,” so I just drop the idea before wasting more time and money on it.

Anyway I just wanted to share this aspect of my online business because I believe all of us have suffered from this at one point or another. If you are still making this mistake, well, fix it and stop wasting time and money on websites you won’t be able to make work.

Ever heard the saying “Go hard or go home!”?

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29 Responses to “Go Hard or Go Home, Especially If You Are Building A Website”

  • Mir

    Great point, I usually make the same mistake.

    By the way, I have heard the saying ‘Go hard or go home’, another saying related to baseball.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Yeah I believe it comes from the sports world, but it apply to most things really.

      • Pankaj – BloggersDesire

        Actually “Go Hard or go Home” is a song from E-40. Nice one actually.

  • Arun Basil Lal

    I do this every time I find a good domain name. I find it hard to resist when I see a domain name on which I could build the idea is available.

    Go Hard or Go Home. Sounds YO 🙂

  • Sean M Kelly

    As Thomas Eddison said “ideas are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!” This is a great post. There are so many fantastic ideas which we get started with but like your post says fall short on the execution. However there is a way of knowing if we will have enough motivation – align whatever we’re doing with a purpose in our lives that we love and are passionate about. Once we do we will have the energy to keep going when many others have fallen short. So what is Your Purpose and What do You Love?

    Carpe Diem
    Sean M Kelly

  • Richard Scott | Jewelry Secrets

    That really is the problem for me. Making more time to do more. It’s crazy to think about. It’s hard enough to keep up with one site, let alone multiple. You end up spreading yourself thin and everything suffers.

    I have had tons of great ideas, tons started, tons failed all for this very reason… I can’t do them all. That, and I find no matter how great the idea is, it won’t pan out if you’re not overly passionate about it or if you don’t have enough knowledge about it.

    I probably should sell those dusty websites… lol

  • Matej

    I always have that problem. When I notice the opportunity for traffic in trending niche I think about creating that website, keywords, choosing domain name…very often I buy that domain. I can’t resist idea of quick money …. but the truth is, it distracts you a lot.

    Now, I decided to work on only 1 side project at time. It’s just fun thing to do. Before, it was 3 or 4 “mini sites” all the time. Most of them never returned expectations. I outsource content creation and most of link building. If I don’t, I’ll be screwed, more precisely my main website.

  • samuel

    yea i reason with you ‘Go Hard or Go Home’

  • Kumar

    I lately realized that, I have registered 5 domains and did some work in the beginning and have not got back to them since then. I do agree that if you do something, put in hard work and all your efforts into that project. Now, I focus all my efforts on one site and I see the success in that effort 🙂

  • SATISH

    I do this mistake often and only realize when my domain registrar starts sending me mails to renew the domain!

  • M. Fisher

    So, what are talking here?

    How much time does it take to give a site a reasonable shot at generating enough traffic to make at least a little money?

    I’m totally guilty of everything said here.

    Are we talking an hour a day, 3 hours per day, 5 hours per day…more?

    I could probably pony up an hour a day pretty consistently.
    How many months at an hour a day would it take to build enough traffic to earn say, $200 per month as an affiliate? Ball park?

    Thoughts?

    • Daniel Scocco

      I believe with an hour per day dedicated to a site you can definitely make it generate $200 per month in affiliate commissions.

      But I wouldn’t call that a big success.

      I would rather put 8-10 hours per day into a bigger project that might generate $10,000+ in 6 months or so.

  • gedet basumatary

    Right now, I am too doing this mistake. I do have few blogs number and I couldn’t concentrate on all of them. All the blogs never get updated on time. Now I am planning to make one blog as main where I will update it every day with useful information and rest whenever I get time and energy to work:)

  • Andy

    Almost every blogger have made this mistake. I have more than once. The best option is to grow your present site to an almost auto level before you give another idea a shot

  • Kirsten Lesko

    I completely agree with this post. I’m working on my first one now and really thought I had it in me to “Go hard.” I had no idea it was going to be as time consuming as it was. It’s all too easy to give up.

  • Robert Scott Lawrence

    Persistence is the key to success in most industries. Grind, grind, grind and you make a dollar, like a not-so-great Chinese food restaurant whose owners flagellate themselves with 18 hour workdays to put the kids through college.

    The problem with “going hard” in the context of building a website or a blog, is that it is mostly a labor of love as opposed to a full-time job. Sure, I understand there are plenty of people who have found a niche and make a living blogging, but for every one of those people there are 1000s more that aren’t going to be able to put “blogger” down on their 1040 come April as their main source of income. So then it becomes a question of balance — work, kids, blog, other hobbies, friends, family, walking the dogs, and the rest of life come into the equation and make it difficult to really concentrate and drill down on putting together a blog. Perhaps that’s stating the obvious, and perhaps you’re right that in order to make a living blogging you have to basically set yourself on fire and sacrifice other obligations, but there are plenty of great blogs out there that are part-time hobbies rather than full-time jobs. In a world where we have 100 million+ blogs, not everyone is going to be able to – or want to – monetize their ideas.

  • Eric C

    I say “Go Big Home or Go Home” but tomatoes, tomatoes. (Not sure that works written)

  • Meagan French

    Great article! Glad to know I’m not alone when it comes to staying dedicated to promoting my websites. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see a lot of ROI on the time an effort it takes to get a decent amount of traffic. Keep with it though, if its what you really love to do its worth it : )

  • David Hutchison

    or as many say – “focus on your core business”

    The ease of creating a web site is great – but also it makes it far too easy to lose focus.

  • BloggerUser

    Really like these musings .. At one point I thought I was the only one to make such mistakes ; but after Reading this post found out that there are many professionals Who have such thoughts…..
    But ya am gonna make a commitment on this comment that an gonna stick on the best one. Let’s see .. Thanks for your musings…

  • Nick

    Sadly this has happened to be twice.

    Once I wanted to great a website called The Server Lounge and it would be a blog that talked about computer networking, servers, you that kind of thing, which is what I am majoring in. Worked on it for a few days, lost interest and patiences, it was just too much work. So I got my money back from GoDaddy, which was nice of them.

    So a couple years later, which was this week actually I created another website called Ask The Nerds, worked my butt off literally. I stayed up until 4 in the morning just trying to get this site up and running the way I want. I mean I was getting it close, but then I started thinking about the maintenance, and work to keep this site updated and the writers happy. I just didn’t have time for my own things in live, like my photography, I play guitar, I want to be out side too. It wasn’t worth it.

    The only thing that as been successful so far is my blog that I am currently out which started back in 2007 and I been doing pretty good at that and something I wont stop working on.

  • Harrison

    It’s just like restoring a car… know your abilities/limitations, know your budget and timeframe, and know your goals. I think if people spent a little time learning these answers many botched websites could be avoided.

  • Tom @ Scinti

    “Even crap ideas can become successful businesses if the owner is willing to work hard enough, persist and adapt along the way.”

    Its a bit counterintuitive at first, but it is very true the idea is not as important as we may think. This reminds me of an article by Paul Graham about how you don’t need a brilliant idea to do a startup – http://www.paulgraham.com/start.html. The factors to success are “hard, but doable”.

    Which gives the rest of us hope…

    Anyways, if you have great ideas that you don’t have time for, feel free to share, some of us will be glad to execute them for you :).

  • Rudy

    I thought I was the only one who wasted so much money buying domain names but in the end it’s either these domain names being canceled or just letting them expire.

    I even went to buying many .info domain names because they are cheap and told myself I won’t loose much if I fail to develop the Web sites. I’m not saying that .info are bad but people are used to looking at .com domains. Again, letting them all expire.

    But those were the days, now before buying a domain name I make sure I have the passion for it, the burning desire and enthusiasm to develop it into a useful Web site.

    For those who are new or planning to buy their own domain name, keep in mind this article.

  • Julius

    I think this idea also applies to writing new posts. If we have a new idea and want to start writing about it, but we don’t have time, we tend to rush the task. The post ends up looking forced and uninspired.
    Similar to what you said, we should look at our schedule first and really decide if we have time to do the task and do it well.

  • AW

    I’ve made the same mistake usually when I have started a site with profit potential but which I had no real passion for and so just gave up on after the initial fun of creating and launching it. I still have a few domain names registered for site ideas but everytime I look at them I know that it would be a waste of my time doing something meaningful with them because I would end up giving them less than 100%.

  • Darni

    Wow! What you have said is just what I did before. I came out a new idea and build a website for it. But I rarely work hard for it. So it just failed.

  • sibaho way

    I did the same mistake. Some blogs of mine now is waiting for me to be developed. Thank for sharing

  • Viz-Fact

    Damn good point. I have a few websites I am just lazy on, yet I expect to make money, lol. Silly me, thanks for the wake up call.

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