If you feel as though your blog is failing, then your not alone. Back in 2009, it was estimated that around 95% of blogs on the internet were abandoned. That’s quite a lot. Fast forward to 2021, and it makes you wonder what that percentage now looks like (I tried but I couldn’t find more up-to-date stats. If you know them, please comment in the comment section below!).
This statistic also got my wondering why these blogs were abandoned in the first place. Did people not see the growth they wanted? Not generate the income they thought possible? Or just had a change of heart?
Regardless of the reasons, I’m willing to bet that a large amount of these abandoned blogs were left because their owners felt as though their blogs were failing and didn’t know what to do about it.
Let’s make sure that you don’t fall into the same statistic as them. Instead, let’s look at the top reasons why your blog is failing, and what you can do about it.
Blog Failing No 1: You want instant income generation and traffic
Actually, let’s get more specific. According to data by Fundera, 20% of new businesses end up failing within the first 12 months of operating. Within 5 years, 50% of new, small businesses have failed.
Why am I telling you this? Not to dishearten you, but to give you a reality check. Success doesn’t happen for everyone and your blog is no different. Look at your strategies, are you consistent (more on that in a moment)? Do you even have a strategy? Are you expecting too much too soon?
I was on a Facebook Group page recently where bloggers come together to share hints and tips. One individual left a comment saying that they were disheartened because they’d been blogging for two weeks and hadn’t seen significant traffic or any income.
Let’s break that down. Even if that individual had started with an amazing strategy, incredible amounts of investment and marketing and a slew of top-notch blog posts, they were never going to ‘hit the big time’ in just a fortnight! That would be madness! Yes, there are lots of courses and experts out there telling us about people who made their first $250,000 within 24 hours of launching a course, but let’s be realistic, that didn’t happen overnight. That success came after months if not years of careful planning and strategy. In fact, studies have shown us that it can take anywhere up to 4 years for a startup business to be turning a profit. So if profit is the name of the game for your blog, you can’t realistically expect overnight success.
And on that note, we lead nicely onto my first piece of advice:
Blog Failing No 2: You expect your blog to be an overnight success (or close to it)
The minute that you expect overnight success is the minute that you are doomed to feel that your blog is failing. Why? Because you aren’t being realistic with yourself, your dreams, or your reality.
Before you even think about monetising and creating a profitable blog, you need a strategy and a business plan. Not sure where to start with that? I’d highly recommend checking out Allison Lindstrom’s blog and in particular this YouTube video of hers where she discusses getting your blogging strategy down and into play.
A nursing school analogy
Think about it in a slightly different context. When I went to university, I studied nursing. I did not expect to qualify and start earning an income as a nurse within the first few weeks, months, or even years. I knew that I had to qualify first by completing a three year programme, get a job, and then work for a month to get my first salary as a Registered Nurse.
Ok, I’m not comparing a blogging career to a nursing career. They’re two very different things. And I’m also not suggesting that you have to wait over 3 years to make money from your blog. But what I am saying is that you need to be realistic with your goals and expectations.
Blog Failing No 3: You have no strategy
If you want to make money and have your blog be successful (or one or the other), you need a strategy.
And no, ‘create blog and make money’ is not a strategy.
Do you think that ASOS started out with the strategy of ‘make and sell clothes?’ Well they may have done, but you can bet your bottom dollar that to be a company worth over $12billion, their actual strategy was a little bit more in-depth than that.
Think about it. HOW are you going to make money from your blog? HOW are you going to drive traffic to your blog? And on that note ‘advertise on social media,’ isn’t a strategy. You need to think about WHEN you’re posting; which social media platforms you’re posting to, what times of day you’re posting.
Do your research on the best times to post to social media, depending on the platform. ‘Whenever you have time,’ isn’t going to cut the mustard. For example, I use Tailwind to post a mixture of both my pins, and pins of others to boards over a 24-hour period. I post to Pinterest at least 10 times a day – 7 automated posts through Tailwind, and at least 3 pins which I manually pin from my newsfeed. This strategy let me gain exposure on the platform and because I’ve been consistent with this strategy, I’ve regularly driven traffic to my site.
Blog Failing No 4: You’re not consistent
On that note, in blogging consistency is key.
This counts for your blog as well as your social media. Yes, you need to promote consistently and consistently show up for your audience on social media, but you also need to make sure that your content is consistently published to a consistently high standard. Wow – that was a lot of use of the word ‘consistent’ there!
But you get the point.
Consistency is key.
I currently post a new blog post every Wednesday evening. I quite often write and schedule my posts well ahead of time, but I don’t just publish whenever I feel like it. I also stick to my posting schedule.
Because it’s what my audience expect from me. Even if I throw in an extra blog post here and there depending on the time of year or a special offer or something, I will still stick to my consistent schedule of publishing every Wednesday evening. Remember as well, ranking on social media takes time. By being consistent, you’ll help your SEO potential, but you need to keep at your schedule in order to help your posts rank.
Blog Failing No 5: You aren’t focusing on SEO
If you feel like your blog isn’t getting anywhere, you need to focus on your SEO.
Top ways to focus your SEO include:
- Using good quality keywords
- Ensuring that your keywords appear in your blog post’s permalink
- Having a good quality exert which contains your keywords
- Have your keywords in your bog post title
- Using your keywords in your introduction
- Include your keywords in your subheadings
- Including both internal and external links in your blog post (and adding a block of ‘latest posts’ or ‘other posts you might like’ doesn’t count. You need to provide hyperlinks to specific pages and blog posts to count as internal links. There have been quite a few examples of internal and external links in this post for you to get the gist).
- Consider your content length. There’s been a lot of discussion over the ideal length of blog posts, with some 500 word blog posts ranking better than longer posts. On the whole though, longer posts (if required) do better than shorter posts. I say ‘as required’ though, but quality also counts. If you write 3,000 words of nonsense, it won’t rate well because people will click off your post quickly, which affects your bounce rate. So if you can get to a longer article, great, but don’t sacrifice quality over quantity. You can ensure you do this by properly planning your blog posts before you write them!
Need help with your SEO?
If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend a plugin for your WordPress site which helps you with your SEO. There are some great ones out there including Yoast and AIOSEO. Both have rating systems which help you hit basic SEO requirements, giving you hints and tips to improve your post for SEO.
Whilst these scoring systems don’t necessarily equate to high Google ratings, they do set you up on the right track for better SEO for your blog and blog posts.
Also, you can use these plugins to submit a site map to Google and other search engines. A site map is exactly what it sounds like – a map of your site. It essentially tells a search engine how everything on your site links up and is related to each other. Having a site map is essential for improving your SEO and if you aren’t sure where to start with one, I’d highly recommend starting with either Yoast or AIOSEO to get one up and running for your site.
This blog fail probably ties into number 3 of you not having enough of a strategy, if any strategy at all. But I think it’s an important enough point to be given its own heading (even if it’s quite a long one!).
When you set up your blog, you want to get the word out there as much as possible. I get it. You want presence on every platform all of the time. But long-term, that isn’t a consistent strategy (see, there’s the word consistency again!). Unless you’re chaining yourself to the internet, it’s hard to be present on every social media platform going.
Therefore, I recommend targeting a 2-3 platforms at most, working them well, and going from there. Yes, there are some people who are on every platform going, and that’s great for them. But what’s more important than promoting on social media is being present on social media. Answer the questions of others, help people out. Don’t just promote your own work.
And if you do that on 2-3 platforms, you’ll get a great depth of engagement. You’ll also be able to see if that platform truly works for you or if another platform would work better. But before you move onto another platform, make sure you’ve given the first ones a chance first. Be consistent for a good few months before deciding that a platform isn’t working for you.
It’s important to only focus on a few platforms at any one time. Otherwise, it’s easy to burn out on yourself. If you want to get into a certain social media platform later on in the game, that’s fine. Set up an account, reserve your handle or username, and get it going when you’ve got the chance.
This post was proofread using Grammarly.