5 Symptoms of Blog Failure

If you suffer from any one of these symptoms it could mean failure is looming on the horizon and now is the time to sink or swim.

I’ve been guilty of all five of these symptoms at one time or another in my blogging career so I’m sharing them now along with tips to help you avoid succumbing to blogging failure.

Here we go…

5 Symptoms of Blog Failure

  1. 1. You started a blog on a topic you aren’t passionate about
  2. Would you ever open a pet store if you didn’t even like pets? No, of course not. So why would you start a blog on a topic you can’t see yourself writing about on a daily basis 5 years from now? Unless you plan to fail before, your only option is to exit with a sale (if you’re lucky) or slowly fail as you spend less and less time focused on the blog. My suggestion is to either sell the blog and move onto something else unless you can truly see yourself writing about this topic you don’t care about. (Don’t try and fool yourself either)

  3. 2. You don’t take your blog serious
  4. The best way to get serious about blogging is to recognize that you’ll never be able to do it for a living unless you treat it like a business. If your blog isn’t making money how long will it take before you can start to make money? After you reach that point, what methods will you employ to make money i.e. Contextual Advertising, Private Advertising, Affiliate Marketing, Sell Your Own Product? These are serious questions that relate to the viability of your blog as a money making venture.

  5. 3. You have no goals set for your blog
  6. On a daily basis traditional business owners ask themselves questions designed to shape the future of their business. I believe bloggers should do this as well. For example “How are we going to pay for this month’s lease (hosting fees)?” “What needs to happen before I can open up a new store location (new blog)?” “When can I hire on some new employees to help with the increased workload (freelance writers)?” What do you want your blog to look like in 1 year? 2 years? 3 years? etc. Do you want to be able to quit your day job? If so, how will you accomplish that with your blog?

  7. 4. Your blog post frequency is erratic
  8. Continuing the example from the first point. Let’s say you did open that pet store and you didn’t even like pets. Well you certainly can’t stop showing up to work unless you want your business to fail right? You need to consistently show up to work and get things done. Like a traditional business consistency with a blog is key. Find a schedule to be “open for business” and be sure to have something for the visitors that keep coming back to your “store”

  9. 5. You’re writing a blog in the “make money online” niche
  10. This one’s a bonus and more of my own personal pet peeve but just bare with me while I explain. If you’re running around commenting on everyone’s blog and daily peddling the latest product from an internet marketer that gives you a 50% referral fee than you’re well on your way to failure (or at best – mediocrity). I know because 2 years ago I ran a blog like this. I was writing about a topic I enjoyed, but I never tried to take it serious enough to build a business where I could eventually quit my day job (besides, if I truly knew about the subject material then why would I even need to blog about it?). I had no goals and gradually only wrote blog posts when I felt like it. As a result I wasted countless hours and eventually stopped blogging.

Flash forward 18 months and I focused on another niche where I was able to dominate my competition and develop a full time income all while working a full time job at the same time. I later left my job in October 2009 and have been a full time internet entrepreneur ever since. After recognizing my mistakes, improving my knowledge and being able to truly speak from experience and with credibility I started my failed blog back up under a new domain name – Make Money on the Internet – and have been sharing my successes and failures while earning a living on the internet ever since.

Wrap Up

The problem with blogs is how easy it is to create them. The barriers to entry are set so low that anyone can start a blog and the symptoms I outlined above slowly creep in after that new blog excitement dies out and many people just let them fail. The worst part is that when the blog fails people aren’t ever truly that upset. The failure can be shrugged off as a mistake they “won’t make again.” But I guarantee if you had to get a business loan for $50,000 to open up a pet store you wouldn’t let your business fail so easily. I urge you to think about blogging like a business you paid to get into and not something that you started on a whim on a Saturday afternoon. With that in mind, hopefully we’ll see more successful full time bloggers and less failed blogs gathering tumbleweeds.

Image credit: Ashy Sheela

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Chris Guthrie is a full time internet entrepreneur and blogger. He shares his experiences at his blog: Make Money on the Internet You should also follow him on Twitter for more tips to earn money online.


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{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Jason Jumat May 19, 2010, 11:42 am

    I guess being honest with yourself will be a starting point not to waste any of your time online (as you’ll need plenty of this with any internet venture.) Planning is without the most fundamental part. Doing research. Finding out exactly what you need, what you enjoy and what will make you excited to get up tomorrow morning.

  • Tola F. April 19, 2010, 8:30 am

    This is soo true!! It took me a while to find something I was interested in to blog about and I guess that’s why it’s taken me this long to start blogging so I can definitely relate to this topic. However I don’t quite agree with #4. There are a number of websites which start out that way, blogging regularly then reduce their posts but still do quite well. I guess it does have something to do with being successful, when your big, your big, for a time at less.

    Nice post….
    .-= NEW from Tola F.´s last blog ..Updated Google Webmaster Tool for Keyword Research =-.

  • One of the best posts on this blog. Great job. This post really makes it clear if you are heading down the road to failure and shouldn’t wasting your time driving. I’m personally guilty of not setting enough goals for my blog and my business. I think I’ll start working on that.
    .-= NEW from Trafficke Website Optimization Consulting Firm´s last blog ..Choosing A WebHosting Company =-.

  • Cebu Tech Blogger April 5, 2010, 1:24 pm

    I think it’s still good to talk about making money online in your blog from one point or another, as long as you can show some proofs, and that you are really making money out from blogging or any other means.
    .-= Cebu Tech Blogger´s last blog ..Cebu Tech Blogger first Software Give Away Contest =-.

  • SmashinGeeks March 31, 2010, 11:05 am

    Looking for the same tips, but even unknown of the reason of Downfall of SmashinGeeks.

  • Ms. Freeman March 30, 2010, 10:04 am

    I think the problem is too many folks actually think they are going to make money from a blog. It is not the blog that makes the money it is the other “eggs in the basket” that make the money. A blog should really be just a way to relay info and ideas on how one has made money.

    For those that view their blog as a personal journey of one personal online experiences there isn’t a point at which it “fails”.
    .-= Ms. Freeman´s last blog ..Why I Created a Squidoo Page =-.

  • Tinh March 30, 2010, 5:15 am

    The last point seems to be contradictory to me as I am blogging for money but not 100%. However, MMO should not be interpreted as sharing or spamming products on the internet. Writing tutorials, SEO Tips,…..is also the way to make money online. People visit your blog is money too, they can either click on ads or contribute to your blog ranking….

    To me, the end-destination of almost blogger is to make money from their blog either this way or other ways. Am I wrong?

  • Nile Flores March 30, 2010, 4:45 am

    If you are blogging for money, then you should be passionate and experienced enough to write about it….probably enough you could write a novel off of like Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki. (lol)

    It is no different from a normal blog. In fact, you could use it to interview others and have case studies… even guest posts from colleagues.

    However, I do agree totally with you on your points.
    .-= Nile Flores´s last blog ..Basic HTML: Explaining the PRE tag =-.

  • Andrew March 30, 2010, 2:35 am


    I’ve certainly fallen into the trap of point 1. I’ve started blogs in niches I know little about and no passion for – all because I thought they were hot topics that would sell. I’ve wasted many months trying out different niches with no results.

    Another thought is to make sure you blog about a niche that sells on-line (if you are wanting to make money via your blog). You might be passionate and knowledgeable about ‘paper clips’ but would you make money? Perhaps you would…

    .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Successful Internet Business Models =-.

  • chandan March 30, 2010, 12:24 am

    If you are blogging for money then you should always have goal of blogging, like how you want to monetize your blog, what is your niche etc. I always work for my blog think for my blogging goal.
    .-= chandan@work at home jobs´s last blog ..10 Work from Home Money Makers =-.

  • Dana March 29, 2010, 8:18 pm

    No goal which make my blogging is dead before. It is hard to keep blogging if there is no goal to reach.
    .-= Dana @ Blogging Update´s last blog ..How To Solve WordPress’s Fatal Error of Allowed Memory =-.

  • Dennis Edell March 29, 2010, 5:30 pm

    Excellent tips Chris, it’s good to see you’re still around. :)
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Attention Readers of all Kinds! – Multiple Articles Comin’ Atcha!! =-.

  • Mars Dorian March 29, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing all the juicy stuff, Chris

    I work really hard on my blog (hard is the wrong word, I breath it 24/7),
    and I’m already treating it as a business, because that’s where it will go. I pour my entire digital soul in it, my focus is like a laser, only sharper :)
    Thanks also for sharing your personal story from your internet endeavors, I prefer personal stuff in terms of business making !
    .-= Mars Dorian´s last blog ..What’s Your Mission ? =-.

  • lovesuperkarma March 29, 2010, 3:01 pm

    Blogging is one of the easiest way to actually make money online . But the money wont came fast but it will……..eventually . I take blogging seriously more like a job . But the difference is i like what i am doing it hardly feels like i am working. If a person can put some discipline in blogging and take pride as one would have in his job than i can assure you that you will get paid.

    Anyway this is the first time i am on this fabulous blog and i would like to thank http://themarketingmouse.com for linking me here.

    Your blog Rocks!!

    ok i would be checking out your contest now………
    .-= lovesuperkarma´s last blog ..The best way to make money from Internet marketing =-.

  • DiTesco March 29, 2010, 2:04 pm

    For a while I was worried there seeing that one of the synptoms was whoever was on the MMO niche. The turn around went out pretty fine. All in all, I agree with 1 – 4 and they are really the basic ingredients to succeed.
    .-= DiTesco´s last blog ..iBlogZone Moving To WordPress =-.

    • ChrisGuthrie March 29, 2010, 2:18 pm

      Yah, I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m hopefully turning some lights on for people that were like me 2 years ago.
      .-= ChrisGuthrie´s last blog ..InfoLinks Review – In Text Advertising Case Study Part 1 =-.

    • Hesham March 29, 2010, 2:19 pm

      I am thinking to change the blog title from “Famous Bloggers Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging” to something else like “Better blogging” or “???” … don’t you agree with that?!

  • Kevin March 29, 2010, 1:36 pm

    Great advice here! One area that you mentioned that I am working on is setting goals for my blog. This is something that is way over due for me. :)
    .-= Kevin@ShootingtheBreeze´s last blog ..Sermon Synopsis 3/28 – Why worship Jesus? =-.

  • Arijit Das March 29, 2010, 12:59 pm

    For Early 2 years i was suffering from that “Blog Problem” and i was running after the money making & Easy development of blog with Photo posting. I got a nice popularity to my blog but my laziness of posting only photos.. took me to loss!

    Now i run a good quality written blog and i promised not to put ads till i reach to a good level of blogging. I too set an aim for it! ~”Money is secondary things for Blogging – If we think like that then money will automatically tome toward us..”~
    .-= Arijit Das´s last blog ..Do you read other Bloggers’ blog for gathering content ideas? =-.

  • Kiesha March 29, 2010, 12:39 pm

    Yes, I’m guilty of all of these things. Fortunately, I had also started a blog that I was passionate about, and what I learned about blogging from that blog has allowed me to change my whole way of blogging. I had to eventually hand that other blog over to someone else, but now I can finally say that my blogging is going in the right direciton.
    .-= Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter´s last blog ..10 Interviews every blogger should read =-.

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