My bigger sites are a mess. Blood and guts all over the place.
Broken links. Wrong link attributions. Orphan pages. Broken images. Thin content. Imperfect content. Dire updates needed.
The bigger sites get, the messier they get.
It’s a constant game of catch-up.
And yet, traffic and revenue grow.
And that’s the key.
Mass publishing is not a good business for perfectionists
I’m not a perfectionist.
I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now.
When I was a kid in school, I took more pride in being the first to finish assignments than getting the best grade.
If I finished first with a B, that was outstanding in my books.
I’m okay knowing that my sites are a big mess. They’ll never be perfect. If they’re perfect, I’m not doing enough.
If your content sites are a mess, congratulations! you’re doing something right IMO.
What can perfectionists do?
It strikes me that a more surgical online business is better for perfectionists. I’m talking about the one-page sites with a sign-up page followed up with a funnel selling something.
There are fewer moving parts. Each part must be perfect in order for it to make money from paid ads (you need to buy traffic for this to work).
This model requires obsessing over every detail.
I guess that’s why it doesn’t appeal to me… I’m too messy.
By all means, perfectionists can pursue content publishing biz but they need to lighten up about perfection or they’ll go nuts.
I’m not one to totally sit on my laurels.
While messy sites can grow, cleaning them up now and then is time and money well spent. Ideally, you keep your sites in good order as you build them but I’m a sloppy publisher.
Recently I hired BlogFixer to fix all broken links and wrong link attributions for affiliate links. That service is a lifesaver.
A few weeks ago I reactivated LinkWhisper to do some internal linking and decided to click on the “Orphan Pages” report. I had never clicked this report before (I should have).
I had 1,825 orphan pages on a site with 5,200 posts.
What’s an orphan page?
It’s a page or post with no links pointing to it, including no internal links pointing to it.
It’s usually a good idea to have at least one link pointing to a piece of content. Preferably related content.
I set out to fix that.
It’s easy with LinkWhisper.
I either create automated links by various keywords or go into the “create inbound links” area, check a few boxes and create links that way. Sometimes I do both.
It’s not a fun job though. Tedious. But it’s one of those 20% tasks that can have a big positive impact.
Also, not all of those 1,825 orphan pages need inbound links. But the ones do need them, need them badly. They target good keywords. They have related posts that should link to them. It’s an easy and fast process to improve on-site SEO.
It’s about finding a balance.
Growth = more mess.
But part of growth requires keeping things functionally clean. Too much mess can be bad.
It’s like a house.
Obsessing over a clean and tidy house can be stressful.
Too much mess (hoarding) can also be stressful.
There’s a happy medium somewhere in between.
I pursue the happy medium.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.