95% of blogs fail in the first year. If you are reading this chances are you have a blog or are thinking about starting one. I am one of those that believes in the power of positive thinking, but sometimes its necessary to know why you can fail so you can avoid it. Since starting CHufnagel.com I have been doing a lot of research on why blogs fail so I can stay away from these pitfalls. I figured since I spent all this time doing research I would share my knowledge with you.
No audience for your niche
If you start a blog and you want it to succeed you should start with research. Blogs that don’t have an audience will fail. If there is no community, no following you will have a hard time finding subscribers and an reader base.
When choosing your blog topic be sure it is specific but not so specific that 5 posts in you will run out of topics for your blog posts. Another issue I see with some blogs is that they are very time related. Meaning once the event has passed the blog is no longer relevant, which means a failed blog.
Expectations are too high
I see a lot of bloggers that come out of the gates with a great first post. They announce that this will be the greatest blog ever and they will post every day! A common theme to these blogs is that they only have a few posts following the first one. The reason for this I believe is that the blogger had unrealistic expectations, and when the blog did not meet them they gave up!
Be aware that when starting a blog it will probably take a long time for it to gain some ground. You may have to endure months of trickling visitors with very few comments and subscriber counts in the single digits. Knowing this fact is a great way to avoid this failure.
You only blog
How will you get people to know about your blog if all you do is right for your blog? Your content could be incredible but if you don’t let people know its there, they won’t come. Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income blog did an incredible podcast and video about being everywhere, definitely check it out!
In order for your blog to gain some traction and get a following you need to be everywhere that your audience is. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, forums, and other blogs within your niche are great places for you to interact with your readers and gain new ones.
Inconsistent post times
When starting a blog you are all gun-ho about writing posts. You post every other day with ease for the first two weeks, but then no one comes. You start to wonder if its worth it so you post less and less. Eventually you stop all together.
If you do make a great post and people come to your site they are going to want to see that you post consistently. Readers love to know that they can get great content from you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Whatever posting timeline you chose just keep it consistent.
No one will read your blog if the content sucks. Content that is too short and never really divulges any good details; or worse content that is too long and has a lot of fluff will anger your readers for wasting their time. Another reason your content can be seen as crappy is if its nothing new. Taking the same tired topic within your niche and writing it over is not going to bring anything new to the readers. If you are writing about a topic that has been covered before make sure you give a different perspective or add something the readers have not heard before.
If you want to be a successful blogger you are at one time or another going to have to dabble into web design as well. If you don’t want to do that then hire one, don’t make your audience suffer. Blogs with terrible navigation schemes and no internal linking are very hard to navigate and scare readers off. Make your content as easy as possible for your readers to take in.
Another mistake I see is the use of colors. Blogs that have a black background and red text are a prime example of something that looks kind of cool, but just doesn’t make much sense. Books are printed on white paper and use black ink because it works!
Too many ads
The last reason I have found that causes blogs to fail is they sell out. I know the majority of you start your blogs to make money online however if your blog makes this really obvious you will lose your following. I suggest only recommending a few products and ones that you have experiences with. This way you can keep the number of advertisements down to a minimum and make the products that matter really stand out.
Nobody wants to frequent a website that is predominately advertisements. You may make some good money from it at first but this will quickly die as people learn that money is the driving force behind your blog posts.
Don’t let your blog fail!
While there may be many other reasons new blogs fail the above list are the most important ones I have found during my research. If you are aware of these pitfalls (thanks to me!) you should not only be able to avoid them but accelerate past them as well.
Be sure to share this on twitter so your fellow bloggers can avoid these blog failing traps as well!