Is your blog failing? Want to know what you can do to fix it?
So what are the reasons Blogs fail? Some may well have not been updated due to lack of interest or indeed lack of direction. Many are cast asunder and left in the ether. If you’re a blogger and looking for ways to combat the dreaded blog fail, then I have some useful tips for you.
For every one blog that succeeds many will be left to die, it’s just one of those things. With that in mind I thought I might share with you some of the problems / solutions I use to keep me going. Hopefully they will be of benefit for your blog.
So here’s the 14 reasons most blogs fail (believe me) I’ve been there.
Lack of commitment
Yup, it’s fairly obvious is it not? You start off with an awesome idea a boat load of blog post ideas and set to work. However what you do not account for is just how long it will take to actually create. Sure you can have a blog up and running in 5 minutes to a degree. However many do not consider just how much work it ACTUALLY does take to get up and running.
Don’t be afraid to get stuck in, after all you have set this challenge. You want to set up a blog for whatever reason, now it’s time to put the work in!
This ties in with lack of commitment really. I mean you may well start out with the best intentions, however you did not factor in your own personal life did you? The countless hours it takes in creating blog posts that zing. The amount of time it takes to create awesome content, the tinkering with a blog post to get it just right. It can take hours upon hours to create one piece of content that performs well in the search engines.
Ensure your time is put to good use, make room in your diary for your blog. a few hours a week will go a very long way in the beginning as to whether or not your blog will succeed or indeed fail.
Search Engine Optimization
It’s all well and good having awesome content and kudos for you for trying. However that new piece of written gold dust may well be lost in the ether. Why? Because you may have neglected SEO of your blog post.
Ensuring your blog posts covers your topic well and offers insight to others well actually helps others will pay back dividends. If you’re using WordPress there a wealth of SEO plugins that could be of benefit to you, the most popular and freely available is Yoast SEO.
Calls to action
You will have no doubt heard of calls to action, in fact they are used all the time on websites. A call to action could be as simple as a ‘subscribe to my email newsletter’ box or link to download a new eBook / PDF packed full of resources. When creating your content always have ‘bonus material’ in the back of your mind. Something you can offer your readership, think of it as a reward for them reading your content.
You may well be funny as balls in real life, however your online persona may well be dull as ditch. Try to echo your personality (we all have one) in your online writing style, remember readers come back to a blog for a reason. Having a strong and informed writing style (maybe peppered with a little humor) and you’re off to a winner.
Regular blog posting
Many blogs fail due to the lack of fresh content. Now this can coincide with lack of commitment / time management. Some of the best bloggers in the world all schedule their blog posts and have a constant stream ready to roll. In the beginning for those taking those first tentative steps into blogging you may well end up posting content every other day. .
As long as the quality is there, however as time goes on and your blog becomes more popular, you may find the content posting ratio goes down. This doesn’t mean you’re losing focus, it means you’re busy creating emails for email marketing and more.
*Keep a notepad and scribble down your blog post ideas as and when they come to you. Then revisit them and see if they still would be a good idea, you’d be surprised at how many you scribble out.
Research blog posts
Have a competitive niche? Well before you get going do your homework. Research competitor blogs, examine what they offer, where they could be better and their writing style. I’m not saying copy there content, crikey no. Use it as inspiration for your own, shape your content and create your own writing style.
Friends and family
Sounds a little odd to get your friends and family involved? It’s not. They know you better than anyone else, show them what you have created and let them give you a frank and honest critique of what you have done. Sure they might not understand your topic (if it’s tech related etc) however they may well come up with suggestions and funnily enough as questions such as ‘why?’ or ‘how?’ which in itself could help you tenfold.
If your friends or indeed family start asking specific questions, turn the answers into a blog post. You may well end up being very surprised at their source of inspiration.
In the beginning you may well find the odd genuine comment here and there. Engage with them, if they take the time out to comment on a particular blog posts that means your content had relevance to them and offered a purpose. This is your chance to let them know you appreciate them, get involved. Don’t be afraid to ask the question ‘what could I have done better’ in a comment if you feel the piece could have done with a little more ooomph. It shows you value their opinion, readers love that.
Nobody wants to read a blog that has more adverts you could shake an angry stick at. In the beginning I wouldn’t even run any advertising on your blog, keep it simple and ad free. When your site gains momentum you could take a look at advertising blocks and links etc. Just make sure they’re not in your face and detract overall from your content, make sure they also fit in with your niche. Keep them relevant.
The competition link to them
Forging alliances and creating partnerships with other bloggers it what it’s all about. As a newbie you may well find this daunting at first, however with careful planning and targeting this can offer some great results. Have a competitor blog, just written a blog post and have content within it a competitor has mentioned? Does it offer value? Yes? Well then link to that blog post. You have to offer useful content to others and by linking to other articles that could benefit your reader it shows you know your onions. Just ensure the piece of content you’re linking to is relevant and something YOU would actually read.
Love yourself, love your blog
Sounds all flowery I know. However in order for your blog to succeed you have to look at it thus: Would you read your blog? I mean really would you? Is it informative, structured well, is it a blog where you would look forward to reading the next post? Well most blogs fail due lack of commitment and focus, your blog is a personal extension of you, love it and nurture it and it will grow over time.
It’s all not about money
This is a very important thing to remember and probably in the top 5 reasons why blogs fail. If you treat your blog from the outset as a cash generating machine you will fail. Why? It’s not instant, those looking to get rich quick from blogging will ultimately get no where near it.
It takes time and focus, sure making money and working from home is ‘the ultimate goal’ however do yourself a favor and get that out of your head. You will find when you’re unhindered by thoughts of financial gain your blog posts will be of higher quantity.
Strategy and micro goals
It’s important to have a strategy. This can take many forms, it could be blog posting frequency online voice and more. Make sure you have a clear strategy when shaping content for your blog and stick to it. If it’s not working don’t be afraid to make tweaks, eventually you will find a strategy that shapes around you as an individual.
Micro goals, these too are important and can link to the above suggestions. Try to set yourself micro goals, such as creating 3 blog posts a week, getting x amount of email subscribers. Make it fun for yourself in the beginning you may find that you fail one or two of your micro goals, however that feeling you get when you do pass them is awesome. So make your micro goals challenging and fun.
Working environment / distractions
Keep your work area clutter free, switch off the television and turn on the radio. You’d be surprised at how many distractions will be thrown your way. Especially if you have bloggers block, so do yourself a favor and ensure your environment is conducive to the creation of content. I myself always have radio on for company when blogging, it’s not too distracting and can help focus. That’s just me, also make sure that your blogging time is YOUR blogging time. Free from other commitments, make sure you make time for the creation of content, keep your work space clutter free!
Social media, yup. You will need it.
Like it or loathe it social media is here to stay. However it can be distracting to get caught up in it when you’re creating content for your blog. On the flip side it can also be a source of inspiration for new content. Try to keep your social media intake (especially when creating blog posts) to a minimum to ensure you focus on the task at hand.
Created a blog post? Well then you’re going to have to share it on Twitter, Facebook (whatever you choice of social media is) and get it out there. Remember if you’re running a Twitter profile or indeed a Facebook page, it’s not all about you. Get involved in your niche and cite others and engage post regular content and grow your following!
Mentioned a particular website in a blog post? Quick tip, tweet the website you have mentioned to the twitter profile for them. You may well end up getting a response, remember be bold and brazen to a degree nothing ventured nothing gained!