Losing the Website Way – Part 2

Well, it’s Day 16 of my journey into the writer’s life, and to reference an old song, “it’s getting better all the time.”

Yes, I mean my website is getting better. But more importantly, I’ve found better perspective.

Last week I recommended optimism. This week I’m recommending insight.

As I said in my Part 1 blog last week, getting the site done has been a painful journey. And to add more insult to injury, I came to realize that the pain was my own fault.

Sure, some circumstances caused problems. I couldn’t predict a denial-of-service attack or a disappearing developer. More fundamentally, I was doing, on the surface, the right thing by trying to control costs. But I forgot an essential rule of business.

In the long run, expertise is cheap.

There are things in business I can’t do. I can’t build an office building. I can’t write legally-binding contracts. I can’t manage an acquisition.

That’s not to say that I couldn’t do those things. It’s just that today I lack the skills.

My site plan was based on a simple idea — save money by doing it yourself.

And that cost me dearly.

I shudder to think, in soft and hard costs, just how much money I wasted trying to develop a mediocre, template-based website. At final analysis, I spent over $5,000 in my time and cash struggling with WordPress templates, when my very competent developer costs half that.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t build your site using WordPress templates or use a do-it-yourself model. If you are good at those things, or want to be good at those things, you should absolutely go for it. I have nothing against skill development or skill application.

But nowhere does my business model include website development. Copy and content are my forte.

Leveraging expertise is natural. As copywriters, we’re selling our expertise and hopefully our clients buy it because, in the long run, it’s cheap — no, make that more cost-effective. We offer value for money.

In our personal lives, we buy expertise all the time — think about car repair, roof replacement, fine dining, and education, just to name a few areas.

So I’m trying a new business model this week. It’s called drive my expertise to market, and buy expertise where I can.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Also, by request, the next blog post in this series will cover all the aspects of building a website I’ve learned through this experience. Once the site is live, you’ll get all of my insights.

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Published: May 19, 2012

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