Do you know the reason why blogs fail? You might think it’s lack of interest, or maybe poor writing, but I’m here to share with you the 5 surprising reasons why blogs fail…and how you can turn that frown upside down and get your blog back on track.
5 Reasons Why Most Blogs Fail
One of the goals that I set for my website, Home Garden Joy, is to increase my site traffic and decrease my blog’s bounce rate this year. It’s not an easy goal. With WordPress reporting 74,652,825 blogs on their site alone, it’s tough to crack the blogosphere with zippy content.
I decided to join a link party or blog party this year to help boost traffic to my own blog. A blog party is an online event in which a group of bloggers bands together to share, promote, and help each other with their blogs. As part of the blog party, I visit at least 60 to 100 different blogs each week. That’s a lot of blogs!
Because I’m now reading so many blogs, in so many different categories than my own, I’ve gotten a really good sense about what makes a great blog, a good blog, and a boring blog. These 5 tips are derived from my own experiences reading 100+ blog posts a week.
Ready? Here’s why most blogs fail:
- What’s the point? Many bloggers have a hazy, unfocused blog that tries to cover everything under the sun. Today they’re writing about parenting issues, tomorrow about fashion, and on Friday, home decorating. That’s not to say that you can’t do this, but if you do decide to cover a multitude of topics, make sure you do in a fresh, fun way. Having your blog structured around particular posts on a certain day of the week, such as Foodie Friday or whatever can give it structure. Keep your blog focused around one major topic and similar related topics. Structure in blogs, as in art of music, is a key to a successful blog.
- Where do I look first? If you have 17 ads blinking and screaming at me, all boldface type, no discernible headlines, and giant blogs of text, I’m skipping your blog and heading elsewhere. Don’t try to cram your blog with every advertiser you can to make money. Focus on just a few or even none if you’re starting out. Purchase a good blog template if you’re not used to designing a blog. My site host, Web Design of Palm Beach, did an excellent job on the original layout of this website. I purchased the template for my blog, Home Garden Joy, on Etsy. Blogs can fail due to poor design. Hire a professional graphic designer to design your blog or purchase a license to a good stock template. Poor blog design turns readers away.
- Nothing new here. When was the last time you updated your blog? While you don’t want to be a slave to blog updates and send out several day, you also don’t want to let months rush by without at least one blog post. A good rule of thumb is to post 3-5 times per week if you want to grow your blog. Blogs can fail from lack of attention. Frequent updates signals your readers that you’ve got something to say. Don’t neglect your blog.
- Nobody cares about you: Unless your blog is about an experiment you’re doing or your life, and you’re doing something incredible, I have to say this straight out: nobody really cares about you. If all your posts are about what you want for your birthday, your last pedicure, or the coupons you found online, you’re going to bore your reader to death. Many blogs fail because they are written all about the writer and not about the audience reading the writing. Write with your reader in mind. What do your readers want to know? That’s what you should write.
- Be original: Even though I don’t want to know every detail of your pedicure, I do want you to be yourself. I’d rather read the writings of a truly original person than to read a poorly reproduced carbon copy of someone. Be yourself. You can’t be anyone else. If you love puppies and heavy metal music, let your readers know that. Just because Blogger A is famous and Blogger B seems to be making a lot of money doesn’t meant that A and B know what they’re doing. They may be lucky, they may have good sponsors, or they may just have hit on a hot topic. I know of one writer whose blog gets 30,000+ hits a month. Now, I could copy what she does…or I could continue to be an original and grow my blogs in my own voice, style and tone. She’s popular…but I’m not her. Blogs can fail when you try to copy someone else’s style or tone, even if they’re popular. Be yourself. You can’t be anybody else.
Building a successful blog takes time. I know that there are stories out there of people who have managed to build a smashing success in six months, a year, or two. Good for them! Congratulations! For more writers and bloggers, success takes time. It takes practice. It takes blogging, day or night, day in and day out, until finally you hit that sweet spot known as success, however you define success.4
By Jeanne Grunert, President, Seven Oaks Consulting. Jeanne is a freelance writer, blogger and novelist with a background in internet marketing. This post originally appeared on Acorns, the content marketing blog of Seven Oaks Consulting. Feel free to link to it. Reprints by permission only.