In the span of 6 years I’ve seen new blogs become successful and more than too much fell into oblivion. Right now the only blogs that are successful will probably be the only ones to hold the stage for a long time, bad news for newcomers. There are a lot of reasons why blogs fail, and it begins at conception!
Blogging is about sharing things you are good at, or at least you’re enthusiastic about. Whether you are a web designer, web developer, a writer, an online marketer, or someone else who doesn’t have a blog yet, or has one but has failed quite miserably, then you definitely need to know why it failed (and why it will fail).
But hold your horses, I’m not saying you should stop blogging!
You can leave it to self-discovery and fail or I can point them out for you and increase your chance of succeeding.
Whether you are new to blogging or is planning on starting one, the problems highlighted here are serious enough to threaten your blog’s success. That’s why I have written several tips to avoid failure!
Already have a failing blog? See number 3!
5 Reasons Why Blogs Fail
1. Premature Launch
Perfect, your blog is now live…but do you have an audience? Four days after launching my blog, Knowledge Salad (shameless plugging detected!), I was already averaging 30 visitors daily. Not bad, I should say. Better than zero, right? How did I do it?
- Write tons of articles/posts for your blog before launching. Before I launched my website I have already 25 posts waiting to be published. You don’t want to launch it with just one blog post. Okay, what’s the difference between articles and posts? Well, let’s just say that posts are the raw form of spur-of-the-moment writing, like saying hi to your readers or giving an update. An article would be one that has been researched thoroughly and heavily proofread and edited.
- I forced my blog’s Facebook Fan Page to my friends. I have few friends on Facebook, and I only contacted around 40 of them. You know how the newsfeed goes, when a friend likes something it shows on a friend of friend’s newsfeed (you following me?), then that’s where the numbers blow. Right now I only have 114 subscribers. In my defense, I stopped marketing and forcing it to people, haven’t updated my blog yet for a long time now. In any case, ask your friends for help!
- Contact relevant blogs and write for them, even for free. In my case I have already joined 1WD. A lot of blogs will certainly give you a byline where you can link directly to your blog. Here’s the crucial part, if you’re not yet ready to launch it, so that it won’t be a premature launch, you should have a splash page where you can start gathering emails. Tell them that “Rean is currently brewing some materials to help you earn more by writing!” or something to that effect, and “sign up to be notified when the site goes live!” A.K.A. list building! This way when you launch your blog, you will already have an audience.
- Once you have written for a lot of authoritative blogs, and have made good relationships with them, you probably can ask for favors. A shout out on Twitter or Facebook or even a post itself from them. This is the good thing about the blogging community, it’s all about give and take.
2. Introvert Blog
A lot of new bloggers tend to just focus on their blogs, not knowing that they won’t have a good amount of audience without proper marketing. Marketing is quite a heavy word, and it entails longer period of work than the blog post itself. This is where the following comes in to help you gather enough audience and increase the chance of your blog’s success:
- Use Social Media. You should know how to leverage Facebook and your friends (and your friends’ friends), Twitter marketing, Pinterest, and Google+, Reddit, and a lot more.
- Enable email subscription. See point 1.1 about gathering emails. Email marketing is very important!
- Join online communities/forums. For small to medium blogs, I’d suggest joining Blog Catalog. There are thousands of bloggers there that would gladly help you improve your blog. You can ask for tips, and in return provide valuable content for them to enjoy.
- Respond to comments. Nothing shuns away readers more than a non-responsive author. They might think that your blog is just another aggregator or a robot that publishes posts. Having a human connection is important! Dainis, founder of 1WD, actually insists on replying to every comments!
3. Hoarding Posts
Don’t keep everything for yourself. Your blog might be too plump and puffy but your traffic is severely malnourished. And you are wondering why? I’d love to break it to you: don’t hoard all the posts you have written. Find blogs relevant to your niche and ask them if you could submit posts to them for publishing.
Danny Iny, the Freddy Krueger of Blogging, mentioned in one of his webinars that you should only write maybe four to five posts a month on your blog if it receives less than 250 visitors a day, then spend the rest of your time guest blogging to get the word out that you have your blog and that people should visit it.
If you want to make your blog successful, you should spread your wings and make your presence known. Contact blogs that have high authority in their niche and join them. This way you’ll be noticed!
Guest post, guest post, guest post!
4. Fear of Learning
If you have a blog, or is thinking of starting one, you should have at least a basic understanding of how the internet works. I’d go as far as to say that it is required. You will thank me for saving you in the wee hours of the morning when your blog suddenly stops working just because of a faulty plugin and your tech savvy friend is still sleeping.
You won’t go far if:
- You don’t know how to tweak your blog’s design, hence you’re left flailing like Magikarp when an IT friend is nowhere to be found.
- You don’t know how to install a plugin or a theme.
- You are too afraid of changing hosts.
- You don’t know a lot about the internet.
- You are too afraid of experimenting.
You should probably start learning a few useful things like CSS, HTML, and some WordPress hacks if you’ll use WordPress CMS.
5. Don’t Know Where to Start?
Since I joined 1WD I have received hundreds of emails asking for instructions on how blogs are created. Some even thought that 1WD is a web development firm.
Here’s a complete guide on how to create a blog in under 1 hour, all the technical aspects explained!
Do you have a successful blog? Share your tips!
Hopefully, you will never have to ask yourself why blogs fail after reading this!
Rean is the editor of 1stwebdesigner. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development. Rean also writes at Moneyarty.com, a blog dedicated to teaching people how to make money online.