Fail at Blogging

12 Top Realistic Reasons Why Most Bloggers Fail

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

A new blog is created every 0.5 seconds on average. And according to many experts, 80% of them will fail within the first 18 months. Why do so many websites sink within this time frame? Well, it really depends on the creator.

Today, I’m going over the top realistic reasons why most bloggers will fail inside a year and a half.

This list isn’t done by guesswork, mind you. It’s based on personal experience with clients spanning over more than a decade of web development and freelance writing.

And in most cases, the failure was purely the result of the owner not really putting in the effort to create an awesome website.

What is a Blog Failure in Your Eyes?

The reality is that not everyone will view his or her blog as failing the same way. Some may have a focus on making money while others mostly want visitor traffic.

And many are simply gratified with sharing their life stories.

Like beauty, failure is in the eyes of the beholder. It really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and whether you’re happy with the results. Because if you’re satisfied with where your site is today, then I’d call it a success.

This list focuses mostly on clients and people I’ve seen get frustrated and shut down websites. Or, these are situations where the clients are trying to recover from their own misgivings about the blogging process.

Just keep in mind that not everyone has the same goals for a successful website.

Why Most Bloggers Fail and Ways to Avoid Doing So

If you fall into any section of this list, it doesn’t mean you’ll instantly fail. These are all situations I’ve seen over the years, and not just by a single client.

Use this as a guide to avoid having to prematurely shut your site down.

1. Thinking They’ll Get Rich Quick

Get Rich Quick

It’s astronomically rare for a blog to generate a lot of money overnight. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than creating a blog that instantly makes you millions.

I’ve seen many clients dump money into their websites expecting immediate returns. For most of us, it just doesn’t work that way. Blogging is all about playing the long-game.

The Fix: Be patient. In most cases, it takes anywhere from four to six months for any meaningful content to gain traction in search engines, which is where the vast majority of your traffic will come from.

2. Picking the Wrong Niche

Many bloggers will fail by picking the wrong niche. When I say, “wrong niche,” I mean focusing on a topic that is popular instead of what motivates them to create content.

Picking a profitable niche doesn’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy writing about the topics, feel motivated to continue, or thoroughly enjoy the process of blogging.

For instance, personal finance is one of the highest-paying topics on the Internet. But what if you don’t like writing about finance? What if stocks and trading hold no interest for you?

Profitable according to others does not mean it will be profitable to you.

The Fix: Choose a niche that you are knowledgeable about and enjoy. It’ll help you write better content, stay motivated, and center your focus on what you’re creating.

3. Not Understanding the Target Audience

Find Your Target Audience

Every blog has a target audience. And not understanding what these people expect will hurt your chances of success. Because if you’re not giving them what they want to read, they’ll find it somewhere else.

Just because you think the topic is interesting, doesn’t mean everyone else will. I’ve seen several clients lose sight of whom they are writing. The end result was a website that sat stagnant for months.

Even I have created posts that really didn’t gain interest. The difference is, I didn’t double-down on creating more of the same.

The Fix: Do some research on your target audience. Who are you writing for and will they find the blog post of interest? If you want the blog to generate “mad amounts of money,” you need the interest of readers.

4. Not Having a Plan

Not having a plan for your blog doesn’t necessarily mean it will fail. But, it does make certain levels of success far more difficult.

I had one client who bought a domain name because he thought it was cool. But, that was the extent of the site. He had no idea about content, topics to cover, purpose of the pages…nothing.

Needless to say, it didn’t go anywhere and didn’t have a single piece of content. He wound up canceling the domain after five years. It was a waste of money, to be honest.

In fact, I’m a bit guilty of this myself. Over the years, I didn’t put in as much effort into my blogs as I did for clients. But once I started taking my sites seriously and plan out what I wanted to achieve, traffic to the sites exploded.

The Fix: Have an idea of where you want your blog to take you. Are you looking to replace a full-time income? Do you simply want to share your knowledge on a specific topic? What’s your “end game” scenario for the blog?

5. A Lack of Consistent Publishing

Publishing Content

Consistency in anything is pivotal for success. This is more so the case when dealing with Google. Search engines prioritize blogs that have a regular flow of content.

Not to mention how publishing regularly gives you more chances of attracting readers interested in specific topics.

One past client expected his blog to succeed without having posts published at all. When I talked to him about writing rates, he said…

I don’t want any content.

I was floored.

I’ll never forget the look on his face; he was dead serious. How do you expect a blog to generate traffic and make money without content?

At least I made a few bucks setting up Joomla for him.

The Fix: Set up a realistic schedule for yourself to publish posts regularly. People won’t visit if you don’t have anything to read. You wouldn’t buy a book with blank pages on it, would you?

6. Thinking it Takes Little Effort to Succeed

One thing that drives me nuts is when I see “experts” try to market how it takes virtually no effort to maintain a blog. Usually, this is from people trying to sell you a product.

It’s extremely unlikely that your blog will generate over 50,000 visits in the first month. For blogs that generate that level of traffic, it usually takes time, high-quality content, and a great marketing strategy.

That, and being able to dump some money into Google Ads.

The Fix: Realize that you’ll spend a great deal of time building a new blog up to meet traffic goals. Depending on the niche, 50,000 visits per month may require anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 blog posts! Perhaps even more.

7. A Lack of Marketing

Marketing Stats

It’s true that search engines will make up the vast majority of your traffic. However, not having a strong marketing platform is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot.

Keep in mind that no one is going to read your content if they don’t know it exists.

The Fix: Get your website in front of as many people as possible any way you can. Guest blogging, social media, email subscription lists, and push notifications are just some of the free methods you can use to market your blog.

8. Poor Website Design

A poorly designed website can be incredibly damaging to the success of any blog. In fact, I’ve seen many fail even though the client used themes for both Joomla and WordPress.

Bad graphic choices, too many ads, extremely poor typography selections, and too many bells-and-whistles are among the most damaging that I’ve seen.

Not only can a poor layout affect the user experience, but some choices may even hurt your search engine optimization. This means the site will appear lower in search results.

One client plastered so many ads on the homepage that it reminded me of Nascar.

The Fix: Keep your site sleek and lean. You can add some of the fun stuff, just don’t make it look like a coupon page from a newspaper. People need to be able to find your content quickly and easily.

And yes, I’m currently working on finding new themes and layouts for WriterSanctuary.

9. Not Adhering to Proper SEO Practices

SEO Practices

There is a lot to unpack when it comes to search engine optimization. But some of the most impactful are things even the most novice creator can implement.

Especially if you create a blog using WordPress. There are a ton of plugins that will automatically help you reach higher ranks in Google.

Remember that client I told you about who didn’t want content? He wrote a short, 200-word post on one of his other websites using a single keyword and expected to see the site instantly in a Google search. It doesn’t work that way.

Yes, the man had more than 15 domains at one point…and very little content among any of them.

The Fix: Spend some time learning the basics of SEO. The more you learn and implement, the better you’re blog will perform in search results. This includes how you write the content for your site.

10. Relying on Free Blogging Platforms

While free blogging platforms work well to get your feet wet, they simply don’t perform as well when it comes to searching for content. Not to mention how many people don’t take a free domain name seriously in many instances.

This, however, falls into the realm of “what do you view as a fail?”

If you’re trying to make money, keep in mind that free blogging platforms are massively restrictive as to how you can monetize the pages. If you want a certain number of visitors, free blogs get less love from search engines.

Using free platforms for your blog is only a bad idea if you’re trying to draw a massive audience or make tons of money. Otherwise, I think you should use one to at least give yourself practice for writing and managing a blog.

The Fix: Self-hosted websites will always perform better in search results compared to competing free platforms. Especially if you have a domain name that resonates with your target audience.

For less than $150, you can use something like GreenGeeks Web Hosting and have your own blog for the next three years. And yes, that’s a shameless promotion on my part. But, my point is still valid.

11. Focusing on the Wrong Goals

Having Good Goals

Having goals for your blog goes along with having a plan. And the right goals can take your blog further than you might realize.

For example, I don’t think replacing a full-time income is such a great goal for new bloggers. Because if you don’t reach those numbers, you’re more likely to feel frustrated and give up sooner.

Focusing on goals you have no control over puts the perceived success or failure of your blog in someone else’s hands. This means you’re letting someone else dictate whether your blog is a success or not.

The Fix: Try focusing on writing a certain number of words per week. Or, make sure you’re publishing a set number of blog posts. These are goals you have complete control over and will directly affect visitor traffic and interaction.

12. A Lack of Motivation

Lastly, and perhaps the most damaging, is having a lack of motivation to write or otherwise work on your blog. If you’re just not “feeling it” today, that’s one day longer it will take to reach your objectives.

Depending on your goals, the chances are great that you’ll have to create a lot of content over the next several months. Don’t expect that you can whip out a single, 2500-word blog post and visitors will come flocking to the site.

And that’s not even considering taking the time to create high-quality content. A lot of blogs will fail because the text is difficult to understand or poorly put together.

Not everyone is capable of sustaining a high volume of writing over the long-term. It takes a lot of motivation and determination to keep a prominent website going strong.

The Fix: This is where choosing the right niche comes into play. If you thoroughly enjoy writing about specific topics, blogging seems less like a chore. Find ways to get yourself excited to create.

Is Blogging a Waste of Time in 2021?

I’ve seen a lot of people try to claim how blogging is a dead form of media. In reality, it’s going strong. However, the way to success has changed quite a bit over the years.

In fact, all of my websites are still growing in terms of traffic.

Some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind about blogging in 2021 include:

Addressing Search Intent

It’s not enough to simply add your keywords or phrases and expect incredible results. You need to understand search intent and how to engage your audience.

How is someone using those terms in Google? What kind of information are people truly looking for? Can you provide solid answers to someone’s questions?

As search engine algorithms adapt, so should how you approach engaging your visitors.

Addressing Voice Search SEO

Thanks to Alexa, Siri, and Google, voice searching is becoming more prominent from smart devices. Roughly 70% of people would rather search for something by voice than by typing.

This means you need to optimize your content for those voice searches. Usually, this is easily addressed by focusing on search intent and providing succinct and clear answers to questions.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Every blog has competition in some form or another. People who are not reading your blog about a specific topic are reading posts from someone else.

Stay ahead of the competition by creating content that is, “better.” Of course, this depends on the target audience and what you can do to entice people to read your post about any particular topic.

It’s common for many blogs to fail simply because there is a better website out there for specific information.

Keeping Your Content Relevant and Current

Work to keep your posts relevant to your niche and current with today’s trends. A blog post written a few years ago may need some tweaking to bring it up to date.

In fact, this is one of the things I do for my daily clients. And the results have been astonishing for generating new traffic from old posts.

Recently, I saw a blog post jump from 147 visitors in six months to well over 3,500 from a quick, 30-minute content revamp.

Your Blog Doesn’t Have to Fail

In the end, there are plenty of reasons why most bloggers fail. These are simply some of the most common that I’ve seen over the years. Hopefully, by addressing some of these aspects, you’ll have a better chance of lasting longer than 18 months.

Just keep in mind that true success or failure is really up to your own goals. As long as you’re satisfied with the results, that’s all that really matters.

What things hold you back from reaching your own blogging goals?
For me, it all comes down to time. I have so much on my plate that I really can’t put in the consistency across the five blogs. But, things are getting easier over time. It’s all about getting into a good groove to manage my day.

Michael Brockbank
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