Questions to Ask Before Each Project Starts


So you are starting a new blog?

Do you just consider buying a new domain?

There are a lot of down to earth questions to ask!

When? You have to ask the hard questions before you launch a website or blog.

What Type of Questions Do You Need to Ask?

The big ones are usually something along the lines of:

  • “how will this pay for itself” aka the business model
  • or “who is going to read this” aka the audience often

They often get forgotten until it’s too late. Also there are nitty-gritty questions!

“why would people share our link” and “why would people want to link to us”

They also have to be asked but often don’t.

Plus there is the self-evident one “where will potential customers find us”.

All of them are equally important. There are sophisticated techniques like

  • personas
  • user testing
  • surveys

In many cases it’s not the lack of advanced tools or techniques that can make or break a project.

It’s rather the simple and straightforward questions that are a decisive factor!

In my almost two decade long of SEO practice I often even infuriated potential clients by asking questions!

Why Would Someone Link to You?

Sometimes they became actual clients despite asking them: why would someone want to link to you?

Clients expect flattery, simple solutions and someone who says “no problem, we’ll do that”.

Now here comes this self-proclaimed consultant without any marketing degree!

Yet he tells me that there is no reason to link to me and that my site is not shareable!

Business owners are often so proud of their sites that criticism falls on deaf ears.

Yet they have no linkable assets whatsoever and no real content aka body text that is not self-promotional.

The same people often have no business model and no audience. Or just one haha! See below!

Who is Your Audience? What Does Your Business Offer?

The audience is “Google searchers looking for [insert keywords here]”.

The business model is “Google searchers buying my products or clicking my ads”.

Now this “clever” approach becomes increasingly obsolete.

This is what the “SEO is dead” crowd means.

Google wants to keep all the traffic for itself and it will penalize webmasters for not following unwritten rules.

In case you are that type of a masochist you even welcome new Google “manual action” notifications!

Why? It’s because finally Google at least tells you why you get whipped.

It’s strange how people let others enslave them. The original slaves at least were captured and had no choice. Plus they always knew why they were whipped.

The most important question these days is “will I be on the mercy of Google or another third party“?

In case “yes” you have to rethink your project.

* Creative Commons image by Paolo Neoz.