Blogs are incredibly common. Every modern business operating on the web has a website (or should have one). Half of your friends have blogs. Even you might already have a blog – or you might have several.
Blogs are popular partly because they are easy to start, but mostly because people realize their potential. With a solidly popular blog, you could channel millions of people to your main website, or collect a ton of recurring ad revenue and retire early, or just spread the word about an important political cause you support.
Granted, blogs are ridiculously powerful marketing and communications 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 never even attract 100 visitors – let alone millions.
So why do most blogs fail? And what can you do to prevent this fate for yourself?
Conditions that make blogging likely to fail
First, let’s take a look at some terms and conditions that make blogging more likely to fail.
- Competition. 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 this topic. So if you want to make an impact, you have to do something different or something better – and with so many people to face, it just gets harder and harder.
- History. Likewise, most of the blogs you come across already have established audiences – and a long history. If a blog on a given topic already has hundreds of articles and thousands of loyal regular readers, how can you enter the market? This makes it difficult to dethrone existing players, enticing people to create their own niche.
- Define success. What is “success” for your blog, anyway? Does it make a certain amount of money with affiliate marketing? Does it reach a certain volume of traffic? If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, it’s hard to start a blog that works.
- Popularity thresholds. Millions of blogs are never seen by anyone. If they never get the chance to be discovered, no matter how good the content is – no one will read it. On the other hand, sometimes blogs continue to gain popularity simply because they are already so popular; word of mouth allows them to be practically independent. 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 blogging failure – and the steps you can take to prevent them from reaching your blog:
- Lack of goals. Some blogs fail simply because they don’t even know what “success” looks like. The bloggers who started them did so on a whim, with no clear idea of what they were trying to do. If you want to be successful, you have to treat your blog like a business; you need to have specific goals and targets in mind, and you need to chart a course for you to reach those milestones. Otherwise, you won’t have a clear direction and your blog will almost certainly disappear.
- Lack of concentration. what the focus of your blog? In other words, what area are you trying to cover and what do you want to be an expert in? Some bloggers fail simply because they don’t have a clear idea of what they’re trying to establish. They blog on “general purpose” topics for a general audience. But it’s usually best to focus on something very specific – a targeted niche that sets your blog apart from others and makes you highly relevant to a specific target audience.
- Little original 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 a chance to create your own audience, you’ll need a way to make your ideas more original. Fortunately, there are many ways to look for more originality; you can imagine a new topic, approach an existing topic from a new angle or with a new argument, or adopt a whole new type of tone. You can even get to grips with new media or present your content in a dynamic new way.
- Bad research. Unless your blog is intended for entertainment purposes only, it’s important to do your research and be diligent when writing your article. If you make a statement that turns out to be wrong, or if you use outdated statistics, or outright lie to your audience, it will look bad on you. Most blog readers want to follow sources they think are reliable; if it doesn’t seem like you’re doing your due diligence before writing an article, your readers will leave in droves. Be sure to cite your work and include multiple sources in your research.
- Bad writing. The quality of writing is somewhat subjective, but there’s no denying that it plays a major role in determining the ultimate fate of your blog. If your work is poorly organized, if your words are inconsistent, or if your sentences are too long, too short, or awkward, people won’t want to read it. You must therefore write as eloquently and concisely as possible, while maximizing the readability of your work; It’s a tall order, but it will come more naturally to you as you gain more experience.
- Irregular updates. There is no formal rule that says you should 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 to put updated regularly. Keeping your blog updated at regular intervals allows people to follow your work and set expectations. They can subscribe to updates, see your new work when it’s published, and stay more involved in the community. If you go too long without any updates, they can abandon you completely no matter how long they’ve been following you before your break.
- No outlets for early discovery. Let’s say you have a great blog – something that people want and need, and something that isn’t covered elsewhere. You should have an easy path to increasing popularity. But what if no one knows it exists? This is why it is important to establish early outlets for discovery, such as link yourself, syndicating your work on social media, and distributing your work to other people. These early stage promotional strategies are essential to attracting your first thousands of readers and to launching the rest of your marketing and advertising strategy.
- Repeatability. While it’s important to keep a consistent brand voice, and in some ways, a consistent perspective, posts that are too repetitive can get boring. People crave novelty and exciting surprises with their content, so it’s important to change things up every now and then. Consider using different mediums, broaching new topics, or experimenting with entirely new approaches on occasion.
- Lack of growth. If you want your blog to continue to grow and maintain its popularity, you have to find a way to grow and change – and that means looking at the data. You will need to study metrics like how many new readers you have, how long those readers stay on the page while reading your material, how many readers convert, and how traffic patterns have changed over time. that you have deployed new content. By studying these changes, you’ll 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 indeed, but this is not a death sentence for your last blog. In fact, if you learn the essential lessons from the failures of other blogs, it could give you an even higher probability of success.
Take your blog seriously if you want it to support your traffic generation strategy and avoid the pitfalls that have crushed so many of your peers.
Image Credit: anthony shkraba; pexels; Thank you!