It breaks my heart every single time someone types “why blogs fail” into the google search bar.
Want to know why?
Because that someone is just like you, a dreamer whose hardwork, longsuffering and faith has only been rewarded with disappointment and heartbreak.
You hear that starting a blog is a great way to make money online and so you start one.
6 months of pounding away at it and you come to a series of grim realizations:
- Blogging isn’t easy.
- Half your blogging peers already gave up.
- Another 45% are right where you are at, slugging it out in the dark.
- The other 5% succeeding seem to have super powers or an army of supporters far out of your reach.
It wasn’t something you’d thought of before but now you want to know why blogs fail.
It’s ok. We’ve all been there. Yes we!
Every single successful blogger has at one point asked why bloggers fail to make money, if there were too many bloggers, and if blogging was dead so relax, it’s not unique to you.
Thankfully, the question “Why do blogs fail?” has some pretty straightforward and much more practical answers than the question “Why didn’t I win the lottery?”.
And even better all you have to do, what every other successful blogger did, to build a successful blog is to read and implement the tips you’ll learn here today.
Let’s dig in?
ALL 10 REASONS WHY BLOGS FAIL AS LEARNT FROM EXPERIENCE.
1. Aiming smack down for the money.
I’m going to call you out on this one right now, this is the no. 1 reason blogs fail.
“Many new bloggers only start blogging with the intention to earn which is why they quit after not earning enough within a short period of time. Your main intention for blogging should not just be to earn or make money from your blog but rather to impact lives, establish yourself as an authority and some other valuable things… I don’t think it is possible to make money doing nothing, try to give value, build your trust, gain credibility for yourself and you will reap the rewards.” – Bamidele Onibalusi, Writers In Charge
When you go into blogging with a get rich quick mindset, you make mistakes.
Blogging is a long term investment and if you try to make money off your blog too soon, you destroy it.
It’s kind of like playing chess, the strategy is 2, 3, 4, even 5 moves deep.
Take out a pawn today and you may lose your queen tomorrow.
Sacrifice a few pawns and you may end up winning the long game!
Here’s how this works in real life.
Your focus is on the money so trade your audience trust for peanuts, audience sees you this and leaves to never come back, your growth stalls.
You chase after money making opportunities which let’s face it, aren’t even worth it because you are still so small, you get or don’t get the opportunities. Either way you find that you’ve wasted your time and declare “blogging is dead”.
What you can do instead:
Focus on serving your people through building valuable content, go out of your way to help them one and one and what you’ll create is an army of genuine evangelists for your blog.
2. Playing the wrong game, AKA Entering the wrong blogging niche
The niche you choose can literally make or break your blogging career.
And forget all those “what to blog about” quizzes, they base their answers off your passion.
While I believe that every niche can make money, there are types of blogs that make the most money when run as a one man business, namely:
- How to Make Money
- How to save Money
- Health and Fitness
- Food Blogs
- Fashion and Beauty
- Lifestyle (Home decoration, Gardening, Organization, Travel)
- DIY and Craft
One question I always ask before choosing a blogging niche is
“Is my blog topic being actively searched for by people who can afford and are willing to pay for what I’m selling?”
“Finding your perfect niche is a balancing act between three different factors: How passionate you are about the topic, how passionate other people are about the topic, whether or not you can make money from the topic” – Adam Connell, Blogging Wizard
This is the same formula top money making blogs use and anything that doesn’t check all three boxes will either take an enormous length of time, incorrigible passion, or both to grow.
One tale tell sign that you are in the wrong blogging niche is writer’s block!
It’s usually caused by lack of interest, lack of expertise, lack of engagement (a strong signal) or a blog that’s too niched down.
Another hard to ignore sign is a lack of competition. If no one else is doing it, it doesn’t make you the first genius who thought of it. It makes you the genius who’s doing something no one is interested in!
Hint: Others may have tried and failed.
Wrong blogging niche alright, what do I do?
Don’t be afraid to stop and change direction. I find that the most important question to ask isn’t what blogging niche to enter but what audience to focus on. Which brings us to the next point.
3. Blogging for yourself and your mother’s approval.
The hard truth is that if you start a blog to make money, your blog isn’t about you.
It’s about your people and it’s one of the major reasons why most blogs fail.
“having these kinds of avatars in mind as I write reminds me of some of the problems and questions that readers might have. That leads me to write more practical posts that focus on real readers’ needs…It identifies opportunities – although it was several years ago now, I still remember writing the first profile above (Grace) and realising that quite a few of my readers have mentioned their dreams of one day making some money from their photography. As a result, I created a section of the DPS forum specifically about making money with photography … and later, we published an ebook on “Going Pro”.” – Darren Rowse, Problogger
If you can’t tell me who you are writing for without thinking about it then you need to sit down and work on this right away.
The purpose of defining your avatar is to help you write better converting blog posts, emails and sales pages!
I should also note that like Darren’s photography blog, your blog may have more than one avatar. As long as they aren’t too distinct it’s not a bad thing.
- Get a piece of paper and write down the demographics of your reader; age, gender, location, income, educational level, marital status, number of children… just about anything that helps give you insight into who they are. I enter my site, or a close competitor’s site into the search bar at Alexa.com or Similarweb to check these out.
- Write down her goals and the things they want to achieve.
- Write down her frustrations, challenges and limitations.
- Write down where you can find her.
- The sites she visits.
- The social media networks she uses.
- Answer the question “Why she reads my blog?”
Another option is to use the xtensio user persona generator.
Now you should know exactly who you are writing for.
4. Following your favorite blogger too closely.
It’s easy to fall under the spell of super awesome bloggers in your niche; I know what that feels like.
But the moment you start trying to be like them is the moment you nail your blog to a spot under them. And newsflash, you won’t be the only admirer they have so make that several spots under them.
Well, I’ve made lots of little mistakes like those along the way, they all pale in comparison to the biggest blogging blunder that occurred early in 2015:
Copying someone else.” – Allison Marshall, Wonderlass
Here’s what happens when you become too inspired by other bloggers:
- Your reader reads both sites and notices the semblance in tone, aesthetics and whatever else.
- Your reader reads a bit more of both blogs and doesn’t take long to figure out who’s copying who.
- Your reader skips your links and goes directly to your competitor’s.
- Your favorite blogger notices you but not for the right reasons!
You’ve got to be your own unique person because you are awesome and your people who will connect to you as you are out there searching for you.
What’s more is that there are some awesome benefits to daring to stand out. My personal experience with branding has been such that I have companies approach me for collaboration in my first few months of blogging.
On my blog FindingBalance.Mom which is less than 6 months old for example, I’ve had companies approach me from the very first month with exclusive deals all because of a perceived “bigness”. And just recently, I was approached by a Magazine to do an expert feature article.
A brand that’s beautifully, confidently and expertly you can:
- Lend credibility to your expertise.
- Increase the percentage of visitors you retain.
- Make your readers proudly recommend you to their friends.
- Increase user engagement so you don’t keep laboring unfairly in share and comment exchange groups.
- Raise your negotiating power in proposed collaborations. You don’t appear desperate.
- Help you bag more affiliate sales again because you don’t appear desperate.
Without this, your blog is just another tiny speck in the interweb that will eventually fade and die off.
How do I create a brand that’s me?
- Think about who you want to be.
- Look at blogs that give off the feel that resonates with you for inspiration.
- Don’t be afraid to speak in a tone and voice that’s unique to you. Melyssa Griffin is a perfect example of unconventional voices making waves.
- Use consistent, professional looking profile photos everywhere.
- Create kickass blog graphics with your brand in mind.
5. Going at it alone.
When I think hard about how many blogs fail for this one single reason, I come to the conclusion that 99% of blogs that fail do so because the blogger behind it was a lone wolf.
Why do I say so?
It’s because when you make friends with and interact with other bloggers, you begin to discover all the secrets listed here.
In my post 5 Smart Blogging Goals for a Remarkable 1st Year Blogging, I mention making friends as the single most important blogging goal because being rich in blogging friends is being rich in:
- An army of genuine promoters.
- A tribe to lean on when you experience a failure.
- Mentors who share their knowledge freely with you.
“Making friends is the easiest way to expand sweet blogging success steadily over the long haul. Trying to blog lone wolf is the most painful, difficult way to grow a business through your blog. Happy folks know; 1000 is better than 1. Or having 1000 blogging buddies spreading your word beats you trying to blog solo.
Ready to make friends? Here’s how:
- Expose yourself – No one will know how smart you are if you don’t risk embarrassing yourself.
- Spend your energy wisely – you want to reach out to people who are accessible to you and work your way up the ladder. Don’t start a blog today then go message Brian Clark, Jon Morrow or Pat Flynn the next day.
- Start by thinking of them (not you) – I know the idea is to build a successful blog by making friends but if you do it only for yourself and not because you are genuinely interested in them, you will fall flat on your face. Help them without asking, see something that needs to be fixed? tell them respectfully, link to their posts and promote them. Build genuine relationships. “My spam folder is full of people trying to speed up the process.” – Ryan
- Leave meaningful comments on their blogs (you can start here), get on their mailing list and respond to their emails.
- Join facebook groups for real life interaction. My favorites; Blogging Like We Mean It, Blogging Newbs, Mom to Mompreneur, BTOP Ultimate Blogging Group, and mine.
6. Treating your blog like a hobby
This one may sting but the reason your blog is failing may simply be because you aren’t trying hard enough.
Every time I get an email from a blogger who feels like her blog is failing, it doesn’t take long for me to trace it to inconsistency, and not to be unfair, unseriousness.
What are the signs that your blog is still a hobby for you?
- Free hosting. If this is you I’ll advise you take advantage of Enstine’s Free Blog Setup and move your blog to a self-hosted service before it goes away.
- Expecting your blog to promote itself. Learn to use pinterest correctly and promote the heck out of your blog on there. My 2nd favorite way to smartly promote my blog is to leverage a bigger blogger’s audience. Example, this guest post!
- Not capturing leads for future marketing. Create optin freebies and make the readers that visit your site your permanent audience. You don’t own your facebook page or pinterest account, your mailing list is the only thing you truly own.
- Expecting your blog to blow up with 5 mediocre (or even great) posts.
- Throwing out a few affiliate links and expecting a magic cash flow.
- Refusing to pay for anything at all and pocketing whatever money you get immediately.
“If you’re already making some moo-lah from your blog, then instead of pocketing it for a new pair of Nikes, I recommend investing back into your site (you’ll get the Nikes one day, promise). From what I can tell you, each time I invested into my blog and business, I found new ways and tools to save time, up-level my biz, and help me grow my revenue even more. It’s tough to let go of the initial income, but oh so worth it.” – Melyssa Griffin
Change your mindset. The major reason you aren’t investing in your blog is because you yourself have failed to see it as a business with money making potential.
You probably think it’s just another too good to be true scam but the truth is blogging is not a scam, it’s serious hard work with a befitting reward.
Jim Rohn said “If you want something bad enough you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find an excuse.”
Once you’ve changed your mindset and decide that your blog must succeed you’ll find that you are able to push your blog so hard it won’t have an option but to succeed.
7. Going at it without a plan
A blog is a freaking business and you can’t just wing it with a business.
You need a solid plan.
You make it easier on yourself when you approach blogging with a plan.
When you feel like you are struggling you will be able to look at your plan and get energized.
It will be more difficult to quit and easier to succeed knowing that you have thought it through. You know why you are doing what you are doing.
You know what you need to do to get to the next step.” George Meszaros, Success Harbor
A plan will help you focus on the right things at the right time (I’m looking at you with the podcast, youtube channel, and FB lives no one watches).
By creating a solid plan for your blog business, you will finally be able to:
- Know what goals to set to help you implement your plan.
- Know which blogging trends to embrace (Pinterest!) and which to ignore.
- Know what information you need to seek out for where you are right now.
- Know how to strategically use the information you need for your blog.
- Know which tools and resources to invest in and when.
- Monitor and evaluate your results.
Here are steps you should consider when creating a blog plan
- What is the main aim of your blog? Is it to make money, establish you as an authority or both?
- What do you need to be in 1 month, 3 month, 6 months, 1 year for your aim to be accomplished?
- What do you need to do in month 1, month 3, month 6 and year 1? Break down your tasks.
Want to get the blog plan yours truly uses to grow her blog? Click the image below.
8. Spreading yourself too thin.
“The reason you feel stretched too thin is because you are trying to work on everything all at once. You make 10% progress on five initiatives instead of moving one important initiative to 100%.
The way out of this trap is to only focus on what’s most important according to which level of blogger you are.” Jonathan Milliigan, Blogging Your Passion
If there was one reason on this list that was already obvious to you it’s this one. You know where you are guilty with this so I’ll jump right into the action plan.
It’s pretty simple, when you are still struggling focus on
- Defining your audience.
- Building blog traffic.
- Growing your list.
- Making money. In that order.
This means that if you don’t know your audience yet, get back to blogging mistake No. 3.
>>At the point where you are getting less than 2,000 unique visitors per month? Focus on learning SEO and Pinterest.
>>Getting a reasonable amount of traffic? Focus on creating freebies that convert those audiences into subscribers.
>>If you’ve built your blog traffic and email list to a sizeable amount (1000 subscribers is a great place) then you can start thinking of creating a product or, affiliate marketing campaigns or better ad networks to join.
Finally, when you start making money, focus on outsourcing the tasks you are less efficient at so you can significantly increase your ROI.
9. You give up!
You blog for 6 months and freak out with an “it’s not working”, “do people still read blogs in 2019? I don’t think so”, “blogging is dead, I’ll just quit”.
Really? The truth is that most blogs don’t fail, they get abandoned.
And that’s what failure really is, refusing to keep trying.
“having failed with my first blog, I simply thought to myself – what’s the point?, I might as well quit, right?
However, I soon realized it was the easiest thing to do…If you’re struggling with your own blog and finding it hard to gain traction, or feel as if you’re failing or simply not making progress, please, don’t quit whatever you do.
I know the feeling you’re experiencing, but if you have passion, you’ll bounce back.
Just keep at it, keep producing great content and connecting with the right people and influencers in your niche, as well as building your audience, that’s very important, and you’ll soon start to gain some popularity.” – Fabrizio Van Marciano , Magnet4Blogging
- When you acquire knowledge and implement advice, wait a bit before changing up your strategy or throwing in the towel entirely.
- Evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
- Pick up on the lessons learned and implement them.
Secret: Most blogs enter their periods of success in the 2nd, 3rd year that means that if you keep at it you’ll succeed.
10. Throwing away gratitude.
The last reason why blogs fail is because sometimes we bloggers focus so much on the big goals we fail to acknowledge the small wins.
Approach blogging with a heart of gratitude.
Be thankful for every comment.
Every email, every share.
Remember that magazine feature I talked about before? It came from one of my reader’s recommendation.
Gratitude had helped me interact with her as if she were my only reader, she felt that friendship and became my biggest evangelist.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme it takes a lot of hardwork and dedication. But you can get immense success if you keep at it.
The fastest and surefire way to grow is to network, work with a plan and never give up.
Need a plan to help you quickly build a successful blog?
Is blogging still relevant in 2019? Maybe that’s the problem and not all these fancy stuff you’ve listed as reasons why blogs fail.
Blogging is still relevant and will continue to be for years! You know why? Because google and other search engines haven’t gotten to the place where they can digest anything beyond text. For this reason, blogging remains the most effective marketing tool available.
A blog also serves as an anchor for other digital marketing channels like podcasts, videos and infographics. It’s not just talk.
Are blogs still profitable? Really.
Blogs are even more profitable today than they’ve ever been. We see more and more bloggers making money in the first month (yours truly included), hitting 6 figure income in less than a year and there are more and more million dollar blogs coming up today.
How do I succeed in blogging? I know you’ve said do this and do that but just give me the summary in plain English.
Learn your people, network, work with a plan and never give up
How long does it take for a blog to take off? In order words how long should I wait before I throw in the towel?
There’s really no right answer to this question except the one you choose. From my observation though, if you start a blog for the first time it’s wise to wait till the 2nd year at least before you call it quits.
How do you build blog following? What’s the number 1 thing I need to focus on to build my blog following.
If you are just starting out, I would advise you focus on Pinterest. But pinterest users are notoriously known to show less engagement with blogs than other platforms so I would include some great optin bribes and a good email sequence to capture visitors and turn them into lasting fans.
Also reaching out to bigger bloggers and getting them to promote you should help.
For a more detailed step by step process to grow your blog broken down by month, download a free copy of my blog plan.