Do you know why most blogs fail? No, it’s not because of lack of traffic. Even the ones that get a lot of traffic tend to fail.
There are 7 strategies every blog needs to follow to be successful. Granted, if your goal is to create a media property like Huffington Post and shove tons of ads in it, then you don’t really need to worry about these 7 strategies. You just need to focus on producing viral content like BuzzFeed does.
But if you want to convert visitors into customers, you need to make sure you are leveraging all of these strategies.
Here are the 7 reasons why your blog is going to fail and what to do about it:
Reason #1: You aren’t collecting emails
Whether you believe me or not, RSS is dead. No one really uses feed readers like they used to.
The one thing that has stayed consistent over the life of the web, however, is that people still use email.
You may think email is dying, but it really isn’t. It will be around for a very long time because it is the backbone of communication for many people within companies.
If you don’t collect email addresses from your readers, you can’t get those readers to come back to your blog. The simplest way to do this is by offering a free ebook or a PDF with valuable content.
Collecting email addresses will allow you to do a blast every time you have a new post, which will help you increase your overall traffic in the long run. Plus, when you have something to sell, you can tell your visitors about it through email, which will lead to a much higher conversion rate than writing a blog post about your offer.
Reason #2: You don’t have a community
Don’t you hate it when no one comments on your blog? We all want comments, but very few of us actually get them.
Why aren’t you getting any comments? Chances are your content isn’t engaging enough. You may be writing great content, but that isn’t sufficient to create engagement.
If you can’t figure out how to get your community to engage with you, you can’t build a relationship with your readers. And if you can’t build a strong relationship, it is going to be hard for you to get your readers to buy anything from you.
Just think of it this way: would you rather buy something from someone you know or a random stranger? You would go for someone you know, right?
If you haven’t built a community, you should work on it. A simple way to boost your comment count is to follow the tips in this post.
Reason #3: You don’t have any personality
Every blog needs personality. If you are creating a news site, it isn’t as important, but even then, most of those types of sites have personalities. For example, a lot of the blog posts on TechCrunch are snarky and witty. And their readers expect that.
I learned this the hard way. Both KISSmetrics blog and Crazy Egg blog get hundreds of thousands of visitors, but those visitors don’t convert into customers nearly as well as Quick Sprout’s visitors do.
Why? Because there is no personality behind those blogs. It’s largely due to the fact that the content is written by multiple authors. Still, I could have edited each post and added some personality. So, there really is no excuse on my end.
Don’t be afraid to put your own personality into your writing. It will shine through and make your posts easier to read. If you have multiple authors, give them a set of guidelines that will help their personalities come through on your blog.
Reason #4: You are inconsistent
It’s not a sprint or a short race, it’s a marathon! Most bloggers crank out content for the first few months, and then they get lazy and slowly stop producing.
When they feel like it, they start blogging again. This just doesn’t work because your readers won’t know what to expect from you.
To make matters worse, the problem of inconsistency doesn’t stop there. It also applies to your content quality. Sure, you may have produced a good post or two, but you aren’t doing it consistently. Regularly producing good content is one of the key ingredients you need to have in order to create a successful blog.
Start studying and analyzing what your readers like. Produce more of that and less of the stuff they don’t care about.
No matter what, always be consistent with your publishing schedule.
Reason #5: You give everything away for free
It’s hard to convert visitors into buyers if you don’t train your visitors to buy. I know this firsthand because I used to give away everything for free. When I started selling to my readers, they wouldn’t buy from me. I even got emails telling me I should give away my paid stuff for free.
You don’t have to sell products or services to teach your readers to buy. You just have to train them not to expect everything for free.
A simple thing like using a content gate and asking for a tweet in order to read some of your most valuable content can help train your readers to give something in return.
Asking for an email address in exchange for an awesome PDF can help too. Teaching your readers to take action is an important step to boosting your conversion rates.
Reason #6: You see blogging as a hobby and not a job
When you are sick, do you blog? Chances are you don’t. Why? Because you view blogging as a hobby instead of a job.
Just last week, I had a fever of 103 F on Sunday and Monday. But guess what? I still sat down, wrote a blog post, and got it published. Why? Because I see blogging as a job. Sure, I love it, which I will get into in a bit, but, more importantly, I see it as a job.
When you treat blogging as a job, you don’t evaluate yourself based on how many positive comments you get or how much traffic you receive. You look at the metrics that are important. You look, for example, at what type of content is driving the most conversions. Or how you can consistently outperform your competition.
By taking blogging seriously, you’ll give it the priority it deserves.
Reason #7: You are not in love with your blog
I don’t mean this in a creepy way. If you don’t love what you are writing about and believe in, it will show within the quality of your content. To produce high quality content, you have to enjoy what you are writing about.
For example, when I started my first blog, Pronet Advertising, I would just write content that would generate traffic. I ended up losing my passion for blogging. I blogged because it helped generate income and it was a job, but I eventually ran out of steam because I didn’t enjoy the topic I was blogging about.
Now, when I put out crap such as my last infographic, it makes me furious, and it encourages me to write better content and step up my game.
No matter what you are blogging about, make sure you love it. If you combine your job with your passion, you’ll put in more hours, work hard, and be more likely to succeed.
If you find yourself being guilty of any of the above 7 reasons for failing at blogging, don’t stress about it. You can still recover and fix things. It might not be easy, and it might take a while, but it is possible.
Blogging can be a great channel for your business, and it can generate a lot of revenue for you. But in order for it to work, you have to follow all of the advice above. If you don’t, that’s fine. You can still blog, but just don’t expect to make much money from it.
So, why do you think most bloggers fail?