Blogs are incredibly common. All modern companies that operate on the web have a website (or should have one). Half of your friends have a blog. You may even have a blog already, or you may have several.
Blogs are popular in part because of how easy it is to get started, but mostly because people realize the potential they have. With a solidly popular blog, you could funnel millions of people to your main website, or raise a ton of recurring ad revenue and retire early, or simply spread the word about an important political cause you support.
Without a doubt, blogs are ridiculously powerful communication and marketing tools, and it is entirely possible to start a blog that can reach millions of people. But the reality is that most blogs never get to this point. In fact, most blogs don’t even attract 100 visitors, let alone millions.
So why do most blogs fail? And what can you do to avoid this fate for yourself?
The conditions that make blogging prone to failure
First, let’s address some background conditions that make blogging more likely to fail.
- Competence. There are hundreds of millions of active blogs and billions of individual posts. So no matter how obscure or specific your topic is, chances are there are already dozens of blogs covering that topic. So if you want to make an impact, you have to do something different or something better, and with so many people to deal with, this becomes more and more difficult.
- Story. Likewise, most of the blogs you are competing with already have an established audience and a long history. If a blog on a certain topic already has hundreds of posts and thousands of loyal regular readers, how can it possibly get into the market? This makes it difficult to dethrone existing players, incentivizing people to start a new niche of their own.
- Defining success. Anyway, what is the “success” of your blog? Are you making a certain amount of money from affiliate marketing? Are you reaching a certain amount of traffic? If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s hard to make a blog that works.
- Popularity thresholds. Millions of blogs are never seen by anyone. If they never get a chance to be discovered, no matter how good the content is, no one is going to read it. On the contrary, sometimes blogs continue to grow in popularity simply because they are already so popular; word of mouth allows them to be practically self-sufficient. Reaching these popularity thresholds can be difficult, especially if you’re just starting out without an established audience.
Why Most Blogs Fail
Now let’s take a closer look at the factors responsible for most blogs failing, and the steps you can take to prevent them from happening on your blog:
- Lack of goals. Some blogs fail simply because they don’t know what “success” looks like. The bloggers who started them did so on a whim, without a clear idea of what they were striving to do. If you want to be successful, you must treat your blog like a business; You must have specific goals and objectives in mind, and you must chart a course that will allow you to reach those milestones. Otherwise, you will not have a clear direction and your blog will almost certainly disappear.
- Lack of concentration. What is the focus of your blog? In other words, what ground are you trying to cover and what do you want to be an expert at? Some bloggers fail simply because they don’t have a clear idea of what they are trying to establish. They blog on “general purpose” topics for a general audience. But generally, it’s best to focus on something very specific – a focused niche that sets your blog apart from others and makes it highly relevant to a specific target audience.
- Unoriginal ideas. There is no shortage of blogging, so chances are someone else has already thought about it if you have an idea. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd and have the opportunity to create an audience of your own, you will need some way to make your ideas more original. Fortunately, there are many ways to strive for more originality; You can think of a new topic, approach an existing topic from a new angle or with a new argument, or adopt an entirely new kind of tone. You could even dabble in new media or present your content in a dynamic new way.
- Bad research. Unless your blog is of purely entertainment value, it is important to do your research and be diligent when writing your article. If you make a statement that turns out to be false, or if you use outdated statistics, or if you openly lie to your audience, it will reflect poorly on you. Most blog readers want to follow sources they consider to be reliable; If you don’t seem like you’re doing your due diligence before writing an article, your readers will be leaving in droves. Be sure to cite their work and include multiple sources in your research.
- Poor writing. The quality of the writing is somewhat subjective, but it cannot be denied that it plays an important role in determining the final destiny of your blog. If your work is poorly organized, if your statements are inconsistent, or if your sentences are too long, too short, or awkward, people won’t want to read it. Therefore, you should write as eloquently and concisely as possible, while optimizing your work for readability; It is a difficult task, but it will become more natural as you gain more experience.
- Irregular updates. There is no formal rule that says you have to update your blog every day, or even every week, but if you want to have a better chance of getting off the ground and achieving your goals, it is important that you update it regularly. Keeping your blog updated at regular time intervals allows people to follow your work and set expectations. They can subscribe to updates, check out their new work when it comes out, and get more involved in the community. If you go too long without updates, they may abandon you entirely, no matter how long they followed you before your break.
- There are no departures for early discovery. Let’s say you have an amazing blog, something that people want and need, and something that is not covered elsewhere. You should have an easy way to increase popularity. But what if no one knows it exists? That is why it is important to establish early outlets for discovery, such as building links yourself, distribute your work on social media and distribute your work to other people. These early stage promotion strategies are critical to getting your first thousand readers and getting the rest of your advertising and marketing strategy in motion.
- Repeatability. While it’s important to maintain a consistent brand voice and somehow consistent perspective, overly repetitive posts can get boring. People crave exciting news and surprises with your content, so it’s important to change things up every now and then. Consider using different media, tackling new topics, or experimenting with completely new approaches on occasion.
- Lack of growth. If you want your blog to continue to grow and stay popular, you need to find some way to grow and change, and that means looking at the data. You will need to study metrics such as how many new readers you’ve gained, how long they stay on the page when they read your material, how many readers convert, and how traffic patterns have changed as you’ve implemented new content. By studying these changes, you will be able to make smart predictions about how they might change in response to new variables and make better changes to your blog over time.
What about your blog?
Most blogs fail, but that’s not a death sentence for your latest blog. In fact, if you learn the critical lessons from other blog failures, you could have an even greater chance of succeeding.
Take your blog seriously if you want it to support your traffic generation strategy and avoid the pitfalls that have crushed many of your peers.
Image credit: anthony shkraba; pexels; Thank you!