My current calling is a Primary teacher and my partner teacher is amazing. She recently gave the best Come Follow Me lesson to our cute seven and eight year olds about Jacob and Esau. She chose to focus on the idea of immediate gratification versus waiting for what’s really important.
She brought a picture of Disneyland and a picture of the temple and she said “Are either of these things bad? Are they good? Are they awesome?” We talked about how they’re amazing and then we asked them which one was better. They all chose the temple, which I was so proud of them for.
She also offered them a handful of M&Ms right then or they could wait for something that was better later, but she didn’t tell them exactly what it was. They didn’t fully understand.
I loved this lesson and I want to talk to you about how Jacob and Esau and immediate gratification apply to your website.
The universal truth about immediate gratification
Esau gave up his birthright, a double portion of everything that his father had to give his sons was going to be given to Esau and he chose to give that up because he was hungry and tired and exhausted. He just wanted some of that dang porridge that Jacob had made. He gave in to that desire, that very natural human desire for immediate gratification. He gave up something very, very important.
I fear that this is what many of us, myself included, are tempted to do when it comes to Instagram and our websites. Before I get into that, I want to quote Teddy Roosevelt. He said,
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing, unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”
That sounds kind of scary, right? I almost didn’t want to read the words, pain and difficulty. Effort? Yes. But pain and difficulty?
Then he goes on to say, “I have never, in my life, envied a human being who led an easy life. But I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
So this is the same general concept, right? Esau could have pushed through. He could have pushed through that hunger. It would have taken effort. It would have required pain and difficulty, but his overall life would have been better for it.
Instagram was built for immediate gratification
How does this apply to Instagram and our websites?
Instagram is built to give you immediate gratification. You post something and you can literally get immediate likes, little hearts, on that post telling you that you’re amazing and fueling that need for immediate gratification. People will comment and share. They’ll say cool things about you on stories and make you feel amazing.
This is so tempting. This is so normal that we want this, human nature wants that immediate gratification. But those likes and comments and shares? Those are vanity metrics. I know people, who have hundreds of thousands of followers, who are not making money from all the efforts that they put into their audience.
You can have the followers, likes, comments, shares – vanity metrics – and not actually be making money and not really impacting people’s lives. People may like it. They may enjoy it and you might even help.
But in order to really transform someone’s life in the way that I know you want to, you have to lead them on a journey. You have to take them from where they are, to where you know they can be.
When they follow you on Instagram, they get a handful of random tips here and there that they’re left to piece together on their own. They aren’t taken from point A to point Z. They aren’t taken by the hand and walked through this journey, this transformation, in the right order.
I really want you to think about that. Instagram is a random mix of random information. The people who follow you, they’re also following hundreds of other people, and they’re constantly being bombarded by contrasting opinions and different calls for attention to them. It is very hard to effectively change lives on Instagram.
It’s not that it can’t be done. One example is Sharon Says So. She’s done a fantastic job, but she also has a website. She has a lot of other things in place that help change your life.
Let’s flip that and look at a website.
You need a website if your goal is to earn passive income
A website offers great long-term benefits, but a website is not easy business. A real business, one that is not full of vanity metrics, but that’s full of real statistics that show you you’re changing lives and making money. That takes hard work. You’re not going to get there on a 3-10 hour work week.
I know there are people out there who teach that you can make six figures and seven figures on a 3-10 hour work week. It’s a lie. Period. It’s a lie. Now, I have to qualify that you can eventually get to the point where you work 10 hours a week. That will be because you hire a team who does the rest of the work for you, and you’re simply managing them.
But, initially, it’s going to take more work than that. And to be frank, it is going to be exactly what Teddy Roosevelt said. It is going to take effort, pain and difficulty. I have shed many tears – painful, emotional tears – following a failed launch, or a disappointing launch of a product, or tech tears, or mean comments, or judgment from friends and family who think that I’m doing the wrong thing.
There has been real pain as I’ve tried to build my businesses. It is not going to be easy. And I simply won’t lie to you about that. I can make it simple for you. I can do that, but I can’t make it easy. And that is true of not just your entire business, but a website.
There is no immediate gratification, at least not external gratification, when it comes to your website. When you finish building it, you’re going to feel some gratification, some internal gratification, but you aren’t going to immediately start getting comments and likes and shares on your website.
It takes time and patience, but I still believe that a website is where you need to be, because the results aren’t empty like Instagram results tend to be. The results from a website are real and lasting and they impact other people.
3 important reasons why your business needs a website
#1 – Websites give you credibility.
Everyone and their dog has an IG account. And I mean that literally. I have a dog, so I like to follow other people’s accounts where they highlight just their dog. But everyone and their dog has an account on Instagram.
It takes no real skill, no real effort to set up an Instagram account. It just doesn’t. But people who have set up a website, we all understand intuitively that that either took money or time. Two of our most precious resources.
When we see someone has a website, our opinion of them, our trust in them, goes up. We’re going to be that much more willing to give them our time and money because they have spent time and money to capture our attention.
It’s important. When you have a website, you instantly become more credible.
#2 – A website gives you control.
On Instagram you do not have control. I have had reels that have had tens of thousands of views, and then I’ve had reels that have had 89 views. That’s Instagram’s choice. Instagram chooses how many people they are going to show your content to. They choose who they are going to show your content to.
Even among those who follow you, somebody can raise their hand by following you and say, “Hey, I want this person’s content.” And it still doesn’t show up in their feed.
Now you might be thinking, “But Misty, Instagram’s bringing back the timeline feed.” You’re right. They are. And I admire that and I’m grateful for that. But even then, you are still competing against all those other people and their dogs who are on Instagram.
They may like your posts, but right below it and right above it, is another post that is trying to take their attention away from your post. It is really hard to keep people’s attention on Instagram for that reason alone.
Your website is better at keeping attention in one place
But your website is different. When someone comes to your website, once they are there, they have relatively few distractions. They probably have a few other browser tabs open. They might have the notifications on, on their phone or even on their Internet browser. So I’m not saying that there are no distractions whatsoever, but they are far less than what there are on Instagram.
They’re on your website. And when your website is built, not just to look pretty, but to actually serve and help them, then it leads them along that journey.
My website is built to lead you along a journey. A journey where you:
- first, realize you’re in the right place.
- Second, realize that I understand your problems. And I care about them.
- Third, to learn that I have the solution to those problems, I want to share it with you.
- Then to learn that the solution is not very hard.
- And then that I am actually capable, meaning I have the experience in order to be able, to help you.
- And finally, to invite you to take a step toward that solution.
That’s the journey my homepage leads you on. I now have even more of your attention.
Your business needs a website because that is where you capture leads.
The definition of a lead is a real, individual person’s attention. Your website allows you to capture their attention, and then they officially become a lead when you have their attention, meaning they join your email list.
With email, there’s no Instagram filter. I decide when I’m going to email you and what I’m going to email you. Instagram doesn’t get to decide that. And then I send you an email and then you decide if you are going to open it, read it, click on it or delete it. We are the only two making that choice.
Yes, there are some spam filters, but they take away far less control than Instagram or Facebook or any other social media does. I promise you it is actually not very hard to get 40 to 50% of your people opening your emails. And that means that most of them are probably opening the occasional email. That’s every email being opened by 40 to 50% of your list.
On Instagram, how many people are seeing each one of your posts? It’s not 40 to 50%. You have far more control when you get one of those people onto your email list. And not only do you have more control over how many emails they open and how much they actually see, you have far more control of the journey that they take.
When you first joined my email list, you are going to get far more basic website content than when you’ve been on my email list for a year. I am able to control the order of when you get content. I can choose to sell you something at exactly the right time. When I know you’re interested based on what you’ve clicked on, what you have or haven’t opened, questions you’ve answered, pages you’ve been on to read on my website.
I can track them and then decide, with a pretty good guess, when you’re ready to purchase. That is incredible. It allows you to really serve people instead of just selling in a slimy way where you’re constantly asking people to buy from you and begging them to buy from you. You have a lot more control to do it in a way that actually serves your people.
#3 – A website is going to give you longevity.
This is what I meant by the title of this episode. Why websites are better than Instagram for moms who want to earn passive income. This is where I’m going to dive into this.
A website gives you longevity. Search engines like Google, Pinterest or YouTube, Instagram is not their first choice for sending traffic to. Somebody goes to Google and they type in, ‘how do I build a website?’ They are not going to see a bunch of Instagram posts come up in the results.
Same thing on Pinterest. If you type in ‘how to build a website’ on Pinterest, you’re not going to get links to a whole bunch of Instagram posts. The majority of the top results will always lead you to a website, an article, or a YouTube video. And those are the two main places you were going to land when you search.
This is why your business needs a website. If I could take you by the shoulders and just gently shake you, this is why you need a website.
Search engines prefer to send traffic to a website
I want to tell you a little story. If you attended the MAP Method Makeover recently, you’ve heard the story, but I want you to really understand it.
I started my last business, one that was all about preparedness, back in 2008. 2010-2011 is when things really started to take off for me. And this was because I had written an article about 72-hour kits. It was actually a series of 26 articles where we went through building a 72-hour kit every week, for 26 weeks.
I was doing this because I was dirt poor, and I didn’t have a lot of time. I had four kids, three and under, and a lot of moms related to that. They wanted to build their 72-hour kits as well, but they loved this easy approach.
It took off on Pinterest. Pinterest started sending me traffic because women were searching for 72-hour kits. And because I had a website, they started coming to me and my traffic exploded and I started capturing email addresses and leads, and I was able to build a business.
That’s not even the really cool part. The cool part is that if you search for some of those things, 72-hour kits, important document folders, things like that, you are going to see my old website still coming up at the top of the research results, both on Google and Pinterest.
It gets even better. I sold my website three years ago, the person I sold it to tried to maintain it for about a year. It has been completely ignored for two years. Nothing’s been done. The website is an embarrassment, to be completely honest. I’m embarrassed by it, even though it’s not my fault at this point, I am still embarrassed about what it’s become. Google and Pinterest are still sending traffic there.
A website is your key to earning passive income
If you want to earn passive income, if you want to get to that point where you can have that 10-hour work week, this is how it happens. It doesn’t happen on Instagram. Instagram forces you to create content every single day, over and over and over again, in order for them to show your content.
That’s exhausting. That’s a hamster wheel. That’s something you can’t get off of. You pull off of it and your income goes down.
A website, that Google or Pinterest are sending traffic to, that is free passive income.
You can create passive income through paid ads as well. You can advertise on Instagram. You can advertise on Facebook, but that costs money. I’m not against that. I’m going to start writing them myself.
But if you want passive income, that doesn’t cost you money, SEO is where it’s at. SEO stands for search engine optimization. The only way you’re going to be able to do that is if you have a website. This post is not about how to master SEO. It’s about convincing you that you need a website in order to have any type of SEO.
A little bit more of a definition of what SEO is. It stands for search engine optimization, like I just said, but really it’s what you do to your website in order to make it attractive to Google and Pinterest and other search engines.
If you want them to like your website enough to make it show up in search results, you have to optimize your website in a certain way. But the first step is having a website to optimize in the first place. Wix, Weebly, Squarespace? They’re not going to get you there. They don’t have the tools to really allow you to deeply optimize your website for search engines. Instagram certainly doesn’t have it.
You need a WordPress website in order to be able to do that. But here’s the thing, there’s no immediate gratification. It’s not a bowl of porridge that I’m giving to you. I’m not Jacob and I don’t want you to be Esau.
It will probably take at least a year for Google to send you any traffic. Pinterest might start sending it a little sooner. And then, for it to be a significant amount of traffic, it’s going to take even more time.
The #1 reason your business needs a website more than Instagram
I look back at my past self, or I did when I still owned that preparedness business, and I said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for having a website, for learning about SEO.’ I reaped the benefits of that for years. For many years, that traffic that I got from Google and Pinterest brought me income, and it helped me change lives. That is the number one reason why you need a website instead of just Instagram.
If you aren’t seeing the success that you want to in your business, from your hobby on Instagram, the first step is to get a website.
How to Build a Website With A Purpose
If you are ready to do that, if you are really, really ready to take that scary step, to invest some time and some money to do something hard, if you’re ready to do that, then the simplest way to do it is through Website With A Purpose.
Just recently, I changed the name of this product. It used to be called Website in a Week. That is not a name I can legally use. So it’s being used by a whole bunch of people all over the Internet. I have no clue who claimed it first, but there’s enough people who have really solid websites built around. So I’ve changed it to Website With A Purpose. I almost like it better though, because that is my goal.
My goal isn’t just to have you build a website and have it look pretty and have it sit there. My goal is to have you build a website that actually has a purpose, a two-fold purpose. One to help you serve people and two to help you make money.
So if you are ready to do that, ready to build a website that is actually going to help you fulfill those two purposes, then I want you to take that great, big, scary leap and invest in Website With A Purpose. It is step by tiny step. It comes with support. There are videos that walk you through everything that you need to do.
I highly encourage you to take that step. Go check out Website With a Purpose. You can find it at WebsiteWithAPurpose.com.
I want to recognize that I know it’s scary, that I know it’s hard. It might even cause you some effort, pain and difficulty. It might be painful for you to pull money out of savings. It might be painful through you to maybe even go into a little bit of debt. It might be painful and difficult for you to put in the time, you might even have a few tears. Even as you go through Website With a Purpose, as simple as it is, you will still have to make an effort.
But those are the people in this world who find the most joy in life. Those are the people who truly see success. Stop playing around on this and join those of us who are really ready to make a big difference in this world.
If you have a website, but it’s not serving a purpose, then Website With a Purpose is also for you. If you’re not making money or serving people from your website, then there’s something wrong and I want to help you fix it. Website With a Purpose is built to do just that, it’s to help you build your website in the right way. I hope that I see you inside of website with a purpose.