If you are a new blogger or have been blogging for awhile, and you feel like you have been working your butt off on your blog with very little traffic/comments/likes to show for it, you may be asking yourself, “What the hell am I doing wrong?”
I bet you have been writing posts religiously, promoting them on all social media platforms and participating in reciprocation threads, going above and beyond to satisfy all the requirements. You probably see a little bump in traffic on posting/promotion days but when you take a break, you hear crickets.
But the biggest kick in the gut comes when you look at other blogs and think, “Why does that blogger, who started at the same time as I did, have 10 times the traffic and followers than I do!” WTF!!!
If it seems like no matter how much time and effort you spend on your own posts and promotion, traffic and engagement just keeps falling flat, you may be doing some of these 7 things that are responsible for most blogs failing.
It’s time to tackle these reasons head on and make a mind shift so you can start to get your blog on the path to success.
7 Reasons Most Blogs Fail
1. You don’t know who you’re talking to.
If you can’t describe your ideal reader in terms of sex, age, interests, lifestyle etc. then you will never be able to relate to your target market.
How can you possibly write blog posts or recommend products if you don’t know your avatar. Knowing your reader, their hopes and dreams as well as their problems, helps you create content that they will not only want to consume but will eagerly share with others.
Homework: Describe your ideal reader thoroughly like they are you best friend. Find an image online that will represent them. Print the image and the description and tape them above your desk so you have to see it every time you sit down to write or create content.
2. You are posting about random topics, hoping something will take off and become viral.
When you have no focus or niche, growing your blog following and getting pageviews will feel like endless work with no reward.
If you have no clue what you want to write about when you sit down at the computer everyday, think about how your potential follower feels reading your content. I doubt confusion is the emotion you want to impress on your target readers.
Homework: Look at the image and description of your ideal reader. Make a list of their problems. Then, make a list of potential blog post topics solving those issues.
3. You are not posting consistently.
This practice is very counter-productive for growing traffic and gaining followers.
If you post sporadically, your regular readers will lose interest and you will have trouble securing new followers.
Followers and subscribers want to see your content and hear from you.
That’s what they signed up for and it took a lot of effort on your part to get them to click follow or subscribe. Don’t lose them now.
When you post everyday for a week and then don’t post for 2 months, your followers forget who you are and your blog loses momentum.
Homework: Set an achievable content schedule for yourself. If you can post 1 x/day or 1x/week or 1x/every 2 weeks, whatever it is, that’s ok. Be consistent.
4. You are not promoting your content on the right platform.
In the beginning, new bloggers try to be everywhere. Even seasoned bloggers become enticed by new social media platforms.
But it is impossible to have a good and engaged presence on more than 2 platforms unless you have an assistant. Plus, trying to be everywhere ends up being exhausting and stressful.
Homework: Figure out what platforms your ideal reader (from #1 above) is on by doing research on Google. i.e. age demographics for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Once you know where you should be, set up your account properly and then share content that is interesting and valuable to your ideal reader there.
The more you share content that your ideal reader cares about the easier you will build a relationship with them. This will help grow your following and establish trust with them.
5. You are ignoring your followers or potential subscribers.
Whether or not you have consistent pageviews on your blog after 6 months speaks volumes. It means something is terribly wrong.
- Are you sure you have correctly described your ideal reader?
- If you have identified your niche and target audience, maybe you incorrectly identified their problems or you are not addressing them in your posts.
- If you are consistently posting and promoting on social media and not gaining followers, are you sure you are on the right platform?
- If your followers are engaging with you, are you responding to them, are you using that information to serve them better?
Homework: Go back to #1 above frequently throughout the year or when traffic stagnates, to update the description of your ideal reader. Adjust all other points above accordingly.
Surveys and polls are also great ways to get feedback from your audience. Make one on Facebook or send one out to your subscribers, even if you only have 2. You may be very surprised by what you find out and that could help you adjust your content favourably.
6. You lose your focus.
Bloggers lose their focus for many reasons.
- They picked a niche they didn’t really like.
- They get over-whelmed by blog envy.
- They feel like they aren’t gaining any traction.
- They spend too much time on social media.
- They spend too much money on their blogs
- They spend too much time in research mode.
Losing your focus is the ultimate death of your blog. Posting and promotion stop, followed by pageviews. It happens to the best of us, sometimes for absolutely no reason connected to our blog.
Homework: If you have lost your focus, don’t beat yourself up.
It may be a good thing to step back and re-evaluate where you are at. Maybe you need to start all over again with a new blog. That’s ok, this is my forth blog!
Maybe you just need to change your goals.
Take some time off. Figure out what you need to feel rejuvenated. Then wipe the slate and start from the top again.
This may even be the time to consider hiring a blog coach.
7. You expect too much too fast.
If you come to blogging expecting instant results: thousands of pageviews and oodles of cash flow, you may be disappointed. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there vying for the same audience.
Patience and tenacity are essential on your part.
If you write well, find a unique niche to fill, have appealing titles for your posts and tirelessly promote your blog, the traffic and money will come.
Homework: Set achievable traffic and income goals then make a concise plan on how to reach them. Re-evaluate goals and plans periodically for optimal results.
I hate to mention it but there is one more. Maybe you just aren’t cut out for blogging. That’s ok. I am sure you learned a lot in the process of starting and maintaining a blog. Skills that will come in handy in real life. Who knows? Maybe one day you will come back.
Now that you know the reasons why most blogs fail, you can make sure yours is not one of them. Do the homework and you may be the next success story.
Great straight forward, honest tips. I must say that I have followed you on WordPress for a few years now and always enjoy your posts. Thanks
Thank you so much!
What are your thoughts on Lifestyle Blogs. With #2 these types of bloggers write about random interests and topics but yet they produce lots of traffic and attention.
I like #7 the most. Many people usually hear that you could make money blogging and you should talk about “this” and you need to do “that” in order to make lots of money. Then when a person starts off their blog, they realize that they’re not fit for the position and get frustrated. Some people need to know when something is not suited for them.
It’s all about bringing value to your readers and knowing g what to do with the attention you’ve received. I like this article, thanks.
Even lifestyle blogs can niche and create a community. Especially when they know their demographic. You are right. It is all about bringing value. Thank you for your input.
These points are really interesting. Many people write on this topic, but your post stood out for me. You were specific and your “homework” is a great guideline.
Will you be handing it in? I’m tough. Lol
I’ll definitely think about it. “Tough” is a great motivator for me.
the first part of your post hit the nail on the head for me. I’ve been blogging for a while, and was doing great at first. My stats were growing. Then I switched from the free wordpress blog to a paid .com blog (and had to start from scratch) and since then it’s been like pulling teeth to get new traffic.
I have heard about finding your ideal reader and writing for them. I am having a real problem identifying those people. I have so many various interests, I like to share all kinds of interesting things on my blog. I do have a niche (travel, photography and working/playing on the water), but it’s not super limited to just that.
So far, I think the people who follow me are just checking out my blog to see what I’m up to. I don’t know how to find my ideal readers or who they might be.
How concise and straight to the point as a new blogger this is very insightful. I have just joined your 7 day course. Look forward to more tips.
If anyone could point me to the right direction for themes and logo that would be much appreciated!
I would check out fiverr to find someone to create a logo for you and if you want to see the themes I use on my other blogs that I recommend, check out https://makingmidlifematter.com for Divi by Elegant Themes, http://www.elegantthemes.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=32905 and https://livingwithbatman.com for Isabelle by Bluchic for more feminine themes, https://transactions.sendowl.com/stores/5571/46330. Those are my affiliate links.
Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often.
Great advice Elena, I I constantly feel I’m going off track and have to reel myself back to my niche, Thank you
It’s hard to stay focused. There are so many distractions.
Julia, it’s hard! I’ve done once a week (on Thursday morning) like clockwork for nearly 8 years, and I couldn’t possibly do any more. I wonder more and more how so many other bloggers can post several times a week. Maybe they’ve actually cloned themselves? 😀
As a brand new blogger, this article speaks to me on so many levels. Thank you for the great advice, and thank you for stressing the importance of knowing your audience.
I know a lot of times we don’t want to hear about niches but if you want to cross over from good to great, you have to define your audience.
Your advice is always helpful and gives me food for thought. Thank you.
You’re very welcome!
You must take big, tiny steps! Lol
I’ve got a new blog, so all of this was really helpful; I especially need to keep #7 in mind– good stuff doesn’t always happen overnight!! Thanks so much for sharing!
I know that there are a lot of articles out there that make it seem like you can be successful quickly but that just leads to disappointment when it doesn’t happen. Be in it for the long haul and you will be surprised at far you can go.
Great tips! Thank you for sharing! I constantly feel like I don’t know what I’m doing but posts like these help. Hopefully the little increases I’m seeing keep going up. Slowly but steady!
Slow and steady wins the race! We all feel confused at times but as long as you hold on to the love of blogging, you will make it!
Oh man, the first two paragraphs were basically a conversation I just had with my husband! I couldn’t have run across your blog at a more perfect time. Thank you so much for posting. I’m going to keep these in mind, especially being patient.
Patience is so difficult. Especially when you are so excited and have so many goals and visions for your blog. You will get there.
Good grief – almost every single one of those applied to my first months of blogging – I had NO IDEA what I was doing – just putting up anything and everything that came to mind and not knowing how to connect to my “tribe”. I’ve learned so much and it’s nice to see that most of the list doesn’t apply to me anymore. I’m just glad I kept tonking along and found my little niche in the blogosphere – and friends like you xx
Some of us are slow learners. Lol But seriously, you are such an inspiration and great teaching tool. I truly believe that the secret to blogging is to just keep trying and eventually it will click.
I can see a few things here that I am doing wrong. Thanks so much for these handy tips. 🙂
You are very welcome!
Very useful for beginners like me. I follow your blog regularly. Every post is very useful and interesting.
Elena, you are definitely describing some of my challenges. I’m going to try some of your tips. I’ve not thought about some of them.
And really appreciated your supportive email the other day. TYVM!
You are very welcome! Let me know how you make out.
This is very encouraging! I am new to the blogging game (brand new), and page views are inconsistent. I know I am cut out for this. I believe in the value of my niche 100%. I am confident that my writing and content is good. This helps me to remember to out my head down and keep working and stop worrying about numbers.
YES! YES! YES! Just be patient and page views will come!
Interesting article. For #4: “You are not promoting your content on the right platform.”, what is your opinion on posting the same content on Medium and your own blog? Is that OK content and SEO-wise?
It depends on your ideal reader (#1). Do they hang out there? And what are your goals? If it is just for more exposure and to get more eyes on your content, then why not. If you are trying to increase traffic to your blog, not so much.
It’s a difficult time of year for consistency. Start fresh for the new year. Have you heard of batching or using an editorial calendar?
Really good advice! I am pretty good with several of these, but some of these are things I will definitely think about. Thanks for the tips!
You are very welcome!