If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.
I had written my first post. I pressed “Publish” and went to have a coffee. Or something like that.
The post was entitled Stop spinning plates: get your priorities right!. To this day, it is still my most successful post. Is it because of the title? I am not entirely sure.
I started Dream Set Achieve to teach people how to engineer and achieve their ideal life. It didn’t happen by chance. I followed a process to figure out the most valuable quest I could pursue. I had to answer the following question: Based on my skills and interests, what is the best way I can bring the most value to the world?
That was 3 months ago. Followed an ongoing journey of exploration and experimenting. Through it I learned a lot about myself and fine tuned my mission so I could help people more effectively.
I picked up useful skills like: writing posts, effective marketing, running a website and reaching out. I’m still dabbling, but hopefully getting there slowly.
Fortunately, help is around the corner. If you are running a personal development website, planning to launch one or just keen to learn more about what is going on behind the scenes, keep on reading.
I recently contacted Remez Sasson to get his expert view on what makes a successful personal development website.
Remez owns and runs the websites Success Consciousness, Look Within You and RemezSasson. He is the author of numerous books, such as Visualize and Achieve, Willpower & Self Discipline, Emotional Detachment or How to Focus Your Mind.
Here is his advice, sprinkled with tidbits of my experience so far.
1. Build an effective method
In this market, most people want quick results with minimum effort. In a way, what your audience is looking for is a magic wand that will change their life.
Unfortunately, bringing lasting change requires long term commitment and real efforts. So how do you bring these two worlds together?
To be successful in personal development, you need an effective and proven method that people can stick to. Your method has to give concrete results as fast as possible. At the same time, you need to be honest about the required efforts for lasting change. Your readers have to stick to the method and trust you.
Proven and fast results will bring confidence and trust. To stand out from the crowd, you need a clear, easy-to-follow process that brings lasting, and preferably fast, results when followed.
2. Do your research
You need to know your audience. Who is your typical reader? A 30 year old female or a 50 year old male? Professional or not? What are their pain points? How can you bring maximum value to your audience? What is your core expertise?
Write down what the most common questions and struggles are. Figure out solutions to these questions and problems. Do this consistently, keep digging. Bring maximum value.
3. Be consistent and keep improving your website
You need to stay relevant. As of 2015, there are close to one billion websites worldwide. Every day, 12’000 new blogs are created and 3 million posts published. Websites become obsolete fast.
This is why you need to stay consistent and keep posting articles. Post remarkable content every week. Focus on quality rather than quantity, but ensure regularity.
Also, keep improving your website. Measure your results (number of visitors a month, time they spend on your website on average, bounce rate) and keep making adjustments to improve your results.
4. Stay focused
Once you have determined who your core audience is, stay focused on helping as many people as you can in your area of expertise. I know you have plenty of other interests you are dying to explore further. And you can do so, during your free time.
But for your website, stay focused on what you do best. This is what your audience will know you for. They will come to your website for guidance and advice in this area and this area only.
They don’t care about other topics. They can visit other expert websites for those subjects. You don’t visit Ars Technica if you are looking for advice on wedding dresses, or do you?
Stay focused and consistent.
Because of the vast amount of content available on the Web, the attention span of a typical reader is short. Therefore it’s important to write posts that are “to the point”. If you write long, winding posts, your readers will loose interest and leave your site.
Writing long, definitive articles on a topic once in a while makes sense, but the general default rule should be to write short and effective posts.
6. Think different
To stand out, you need to post original and noteworthy content. There are already a lot of personal development websites out there and, unfortunately, most of them look similar. Get noticed by being different.
Don’t try to copy the existing popular development websites, but come up with remarkable content and methods. Find your voice and give a reason for people to follow you.
So what makes you different?
7. Key milestones
The key milestones that have allowed Remez to develop his successful personal development websites have been: reading, practicing, thinking, applying what he learned, perseverance and motivation.
I am not practicing myself, but I can definitely relay all the other key habits and milestones cited above.
Make sure you build the habits you need for your success and set the proper milestones.
8. Build relationships
You are not alone. Building a personal development website, growing your audience and making it a success is extremely hard on your own. This is why you need to reach out and build relationships.
Get to know the most influential websites and people in your area. Spend time reading their posts, get to know the strengths of the site. You can also get some inspiration from each site and see what works well in terms of ease of use and design.
Read more about who runs each website. Then, get in touch with them. There are plenty of other bloggers out there that will be happy to give you a little hand with some advice or feedback when you get started. Remez has helped me with his insight for writing this article.
Provide help to the website owners if you can, by promoting their work for example. Build a network, make friends. Build your presence on the web.
9. Recommended reading
There are many books to help you with personal development and starting up a website. Remez recommends the books from Dr. Wayne Dyer and the books from William Walker Atkinson. I recommend you also check out the books from Remez Sasson.
On top of that, there is also plenty of advice from other websites.
Make sure you keep reading and learning to hone your skills and knowledge.
For all of us, the journey continues. If you are thinking of starting a personal development website yourself or are already running one, my hope is that this advice will help you and many others.
The learning curve can be steep, but it’s all worth it.
If you want to react or share your stories, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.