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You pull up your Google Analytics stats for the past month and look at them amazed at how bad they are. You’ve done everything possible to write stellar content, promote that content and offer value to your readers.
So, what gives?
Why is your blog still failing to succeed? What more can you do? Would you believe that the answers are staring you right in the face? And, would you believe there’s more than you can do to save your blog?
Today, I’m going to touch on reasons why most blogs fail and what you can do personally to ensure your blog isn’t one of those failures.
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One of the main reasons blogs fail is that they have no direction. None. Zilch. Nada. The very first thing you should do as a new blogger is nail down your niche, write a business plan and organize your thoughts into posts.
I’ve visited tons of blogs in my lifetime, and I have seen my fair share of terrible ones. I’m sure you’ve visited some as well. Blogs that tend to fail usually have no niche, no organization, no design and poor management overall.
So, how can you put direction into your blog?
- Spend time organizing your thoughts.
- Read and re-read your posts before publishing them.
- Stick to topics in your niche.
- Ask readers for feedback.
- Create a posting schedule.
- Create specific and achievable blogging goals.
It’s no surprise that sites with poor design end up failing. It goes hand in hand with the first reason above (no direction). If your readers have to dig through your site to find the information they are looking for, they’ll give up and look elsewhere.
Visual presentation of your content is critical in converting readers into subscribers, and subscribers into customers. If your navigation menu is difficult to follow, or links lead to nowhere, your readers are going to get frustrated, give up and move on.
The best (and most successful) bloggers create a visual brand for themselves and their blogs. Just like the golden arch is a visual brand for that famous fast food chain, your blog should have an immediately recognizable brand.
So, how do you design your blog for success?
If you are working in WordPress, spend the money to go to a premium theme versus a default or free theme. Premium themes give you more control over site design and customization. Looking for a great premium theme, Genesis is the absolute best you can get for WordPress.
Take a look at your navigation menu’s structure and navigate it from the perspective of a new visitor. Is it easy to find everything? Or, did you have to search for information.
Limit the content you include in your sidebar. Sidebars are very tempting places to throw in a ton of information. Successful bloggers take advantage of the space to draw readers into their content. If you use the space only for ads, you aren’t going to get much attention.
I’m sure you’ve seen those headlines that say you can earn $50,000 per month working from home part-time. Please tell me you don’t believe those ridiculous posts! These couldn’t be further from the truth.
The REAL truth is that successful blogging takes time, effort and patience. And, unless you are extremely lucky, you aren’t going to see $50,000 a month only working part time.
Blogs fail because their owners spend very little time with them. They may write a post or two a month and move on to other things. Writing a post and publishing it are only the first steps.
So, what kind of effort is needed to succeed at blogging?
Just like any business, you get out what you put in. Successful bloggers spend a massive amount of time focusing on every aspect of their blogs.
You will not earn $50,000 working on your blog one or two hours a week. It’s impossible. To get to that level, there are so many pieces of the puzzle that go with earning income on your blog.
Like I said above, simply writing and publishing a post isn’t going to get you anywhere. Heavy promotion, collaboration and continual learning are all crucial to pointing your blogs in the right direction.
Failure to use keywords
I know it’s a pain, and it’s confusing and takes up a lot of time, but if you really want your blog to take off, proper usage of SEO is crucial in driving traffic.
Blogs that fail don’t have any time or attention spent on ensuring the right keywords are used to help get visibility on their blogs.
Search engines hate sites that aren’t optimized with the right keywords. Yes, you are actually hurting your blog by not paying attention to SEO
So, how do you implement a strong keyword strategy?
There are so many ways to drive your SEO performance in the right direction. Along with writing detailed and high-quality content, using long-tail keywords and linking to other great content helps search engines rank your site better than others.
What are long-tail keywords? Keywords that are more likely to be entered into a search engine to find specific information. For example, someone searching for a car might type “used red Honda Civics” in their search engine. If you are writing a post about used cars, your keywords should include more specific keywords than just “used cars.” The more specific you get, the better chance you have of ranking better in search engines.
Too many bloggers focus on only themselves, and yet they wonder why they aren’t attracting new readers. When you create a blog to offer something of value, the last thing you need to do is not offer the value.
I’ve read tons of blogs in my time as a blogger, and I can easily set apart those sites I know succeed versus those that only write to appeal to themselves.
My own blog is not only a chronology of my experience as a dad, but a product review and blog tip blog. 99% of what I write I cater to my readers, while the other 1% is personal stuff.
So, how do I not be one of those self-centered bloggers?
It’s really easy to avoid being a self-centered blogger. All you have to do is remember your goal to help others and write on topics that do just that.
If you don’t already, create a blogging business plan to outline the types of content you will write about. Keeping a plan in front of you will help you stay focused and organized.
I’m not saying you should never write for you. But, if the purpose of your blog is to help others first, always think of their perspective before your own.
Many blogs fail simply because they don’t offer something original. You’ve seen many bloggers write the same post with no new spin on them.
Readers get tired of seeing the same information over and over again. They want new spins on old topics, or new topics altogether.
When you have a very popular blogging niche, it’s easy to write about the same thing without even realizing you’re doing it. Readers will notice it right away and will start to look for new content elsewhere.
So, how do I write original content on my blog?
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to gather new topic ideas. Instead of writing on a whim, take time to think about different perspectives.
Write in your own voice and from your own perspective. Taking ideas from other bloggers and piecing them together to make your own post is not only unoriginal, but it is plagiarism.
Ask your readers for ideas. You have a comment system on your blog and an email subscription form for a reason. Use them to your advantage! Ask your readers a direct question on the types of content they want to see, or even create a poll to survey your readers’ interests.
No social media activity
Bloggers who are not active on social media tend to fail more often than those who are. It’s crucial to realize where your readers are and go to them.
If you aren’t going to the places where your readers are looking for information, you will miss out on the opportunity to connect with them and set yourself up as an expert in your niche.
So, how do I become more social as a blogger?
I have a very active Twitter account and I do a lot of interaction on my Facebook page. A goal of mine this year is to establish my YouTub channel and post regular videos of it. It’s tough because I hate seeing myself on camera, but I know that it’s essential for my readers to see me, get to know me and interact with me.
You don’t have to join every social media account out there. If you don’t plan on being active on every one of them, stick with the major ones.
Networking is a very important activity that should be a part of every blogger’s goals. If you put together a solid plan to get to know others in your niche, you can collaborate with them, learn new things and share your content to a larger audience.
Are you set up for success?
I hope that today’s tips provide you with a great starting point in keeping your blog on the path towards success. I really do care about helping others succeed because so many others have done the same for me.
Are there any other tips that you know of to help bloggers from becoming another failure? Leave yours in the comments and we’ll get a good conversation going.
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