I’ve already written quite a bit about knowing your goals when developing your website – having a site for the sake of having a site is going to be ineffectual at best. (How would you even know if it’s working?) D.B. Scott passed on an article from Publishing Executive that shares my opinion, and emphasizes the necessity of having a clear editorial mission and putting yourself in your readers’ shoes:
Step back, and take a look at what you are doing online and why. Ask yourself, “As a reader, why would I come to my Web site? Why would I subscribe to my e-newsletter? What would make me want to pass it along to my friends and colleagues?” If you cannot answer these questions to your or your readers’ satisfaction, then you need to re-think your online products quickly. Web sites and e-newsletters that fulfill a true reader need wind up having very few traffic or e-mail circulation problems. And when you have a passionate, engaged and growing audience, the revenue is sure to follow.