Failing As A Blogger

11 Ways to Know When You Are Failing As A Blogger

It is easy to decide today that you want to start a new blog, it’s easy to decide that you want to make a thousand bucks before month end, it’s easy to say you want 1000 visits on your blog in the next 2 hours, and it is definitely very easy to decide to write 5 blog posts today etcetera, etcetera. The point I am trying to hit home is that goals and targets are one of the easiest things to make – the problem lies in taking the required action to reach our goals. The problem lies in “walking our talk”.

I know I am especially guilty of this. I have a habit of spending hours in the thought room drawing up the next big plan for my blog – the latest post series I want to embark on, the next Top List I want to compile or the title I would love to give to my yet uncompleted eBook. The usual thing is that after the extended period of planning and daydreaming I’ve put into my next big project, I would neatly close my diary hoping to come back to start work on it. Most times I never do.

This cycle has hurt my online presence in recent times and usually when I come back (the last time, I didn’t blog or promote my blog for about a month or so), it’s usually like starting all over again. The cycle of planning and failing to implement is just one of the many problems you would have to face as a blogger.

Here in this post I would list 12 things that will tell you you’re failing as a blogger… I hope it helps

1- You Can’t Motivate Yourself Enough To Write A Blog Post

You chose to become a blogger. A blog is an online journal that needs to be kept up to date; as a blogger it’s your primary duty to write blog posts or at least find someone to do that for you. I know there is the place of writers’ block where you can’t seem to come up with something no matter how hard you try, in that case find someone to provide a guest post.

If you can however, you can get a freelancer to do your writing when you are “away”.

[box type=”note”]It’s not compulsory you do the writing every time, just make sure someone else is.[/box]

2- Younger Blogs Are Outperforming Yours

The day prior to writing this post I came across a blog that was created around March 2010, which is 8 months older than mine. Within that period, this guy’s blog has published more than 10 times the number of posts I have on my blog, seriously. His Pagerank is twice that of my blog; I didn’t need to check other stats like comments, backlinks and the likes. Even though I knew I had not been doing enough, I still had a reason to be sad.

When you see other bloggers zoom past you, it should serve as a wake-up call and you should be ready to go back to the drawing board. That means there’s something they’ve learnt that you also need to learn.

[box type=”note”]If you’re unconcerned about how well your blog is doing, then maybe you shouldn’t blog at all.[/box]

3- You Now Need More Time To Write The Same Post

When I say the same post, I’m referring to a post of the same length as you’ve always written in the past. If your posts are known to be 1000 words long and it takes you two hours to complete, then the day it takes you four hours to complete, you should check yourself. There are however times when the topic you have to write about is pretty new and you need to gather information from different sources, I’m not referring to these types of posts.

[box type=”note”]The more you know, the less time you need to come up with a good blog post.[/box]

4- There is A Dip In Traffic

When fewer people come visiting, there could be loads of factors that could cause it but the usual culprits include:

  • You’ve stopped blogging regularly.
  • Your posts have become less engaging.
  • You’ve lost sight of what your primary goal is with your blog.
  • You keep repeating the same thing (or different things in the same format)
  • You are suffocating them with one offer after the other

The evident point here is that visitors leave when you lose focus.

[box type=”note”]When people stop visiting your blog, it simply means someone else has caught their attention.[/box]

5- You Have Fewer Comments

When you get people to visit your blog that’s when they can read your posts, and unless they read your posts and find it helpful they won’t leave comments on your blog. If you see your comment count dropping, you should look to improve the quality of your posts. Experiment with new post formats.

[box type=”note”]Get your Visitors engaged and you wouldn’t need to ask them before they drop their comments.[/box]

6- You Are Not Stepping On Anybody’s Toes

You can’t be everybody’s friend. If you say what everyone else has said, your voice wouldn’t be heard. There are so many blogs today that for you to get noticed, you need to swim against the tide. Almost every blog has a post dedicated to explaining what a blog is all about; try to go one better.

One of the ways to know if your blog is making waves is by the number of eyebrows you raise. You shouldn’t try to please everybody every time, people love originality.

[box type=”note”]Kick against the norm, but be sure you’re right otherwise…[/box]

7- There Is A Blip In Your Earnings

When you can’t get people to get out there credit cards and buy things from you, then that might mean they don’t trust you enough. Again the bottom line here is engagement – when you engage your readers you’re building up the trust they have for you. The Rule of 7 claims that, “for you to get someone to buy, the person needs to hear about the product 7 times”. If your earnings is falling, this might be what you need to do.

[box type=”note”]Going by the Rule of 7, if you tell your readers about a product six times and you leave them alone, someone else will get them to buy at the first time of asking.[/box]

8- You Have Started Depending Solely on Guest Posts

I hope Hesham wouldn’t mind that I’m including this, but even then he doesn’t depend solely on guest posts.

You need to have attained a certain level of authority before you do this – just as is the case at FamousBloggers, Problogger, or YoungPrePro. These guys have worked their socks off to attain that level of success and now they can at least rest.

But if all that has ever been published on your blog are guest posts (even if the blog is about guest posting), you would find it seriously difficult to get your feet on the ground.

[box type=”note”]Build a following first; you will have enough time to rest later.[/box]

9- When Everything Is Going As Planned

I know this is an extreme case but I feel it should still be included. If your blog is going according to the plan you laid down on Day 1 (that is, you give very little if any room for change), you might need to have a rethink.

Let’s assume that your blog started in 2005, before the social media boom where there was no room for Facebook advertising or Twitter marketing; imagine you were using the old website templates available then and imagine you didn’t have any provision for themes and plugins on your blog. Where do you think such a blog would be now? My guess is as good as yours.

[box type=”note”]The only constant in blogging (as with almost any other thing) is change. Ignore or resist it and you’ll be fighting a lost cause.[/box]

10- You Step On Too Many Toes

While it’s not the best idea to go with the tide, things wouldn’t get any better if you cause other boats to capsize just because you want to cause a stir. I would advise you have a clear cut policy as to what you allow or believe and what you don’t. There’s a thin line between being different and going nuts.

[box type=”note”]Stepping on toes is allowed in the game, just be careful because the toes you step on today might be connected to the bum you have to kiss tomorrow.[/box]

11- You Make Google Frown At You

Google is the biggest search engine and they will continue to lead search at least in the foreseeable future. If due to your zeal to make things work you take some voodoo-like measures (I mean black hat SEO), All I would say is, “You’ve definitely lost your way as a blogger”. Sometimes you need to come out clean. It’s for all our sakes.

[box type=”note”]If Google decides to take you on, you’re on your own because as you are all aware, I didn’t say anything. Lol[/box]

If you found this post helpful or maybe interesting, or it may be that you have a question, please feel free to drop a comment below.

Have a Lovely Day!

Image © Scott Hancock – Fotolia.com

Emmanuel blogs at Income Scene where he shares tips that leading entrepreneurs employ to make money online. He has a collection of books that inspire him and he wrote about them on his blog. You should also connect with him on | Facebook | Twitter and | G+


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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Dean Saliba April 24, 2012, 8:09 am

    I find it hard to get the motivation to produce posts but I don#t think that makes me a failure as a blogger, I suffer from motivation in most areas of my life, this is due to depression. 🙂

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 25, 2012, 6:36 pm

      Hello Dean Saliba,
      Of course the points I listed out there are not silver bullet points, we each face different challenges and different things could account for one’s lack of motivation.

      Thanks for your honest comment.

  • Nick Stamoulis April 18, 2012, 8:54 am

    Unfortunately many blogs fail. Blogging is tough and some people don’t really understand that until they try. If you are going to start blogging you need to understand the commitment that it will take to so and you need to stick with it. It takes awhile to find blogging success.

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 25, 2012, 6:42 pm

      Thanks for the addition Nick,

      I couldn’t agree more with what you said; lots of people go into blogging with the thought that it’s a quick means of making money. It isn’t. I got talking with a friend who wanted to “learn” about blogging and as he got talking, he said he thought blogging involves posting links on your blog daily and you would have money in your account in no time.

      A lot of people are misinformed.

      Thanks again for your contribution.

  • Saket Jajodia April 18, 2012, 1:29 am

    Really great post, Thanks a lot Emmanuel, for this post.. It given me information about many thing I needed and I didn’t knew about.. Thanks once again..!! 🙂

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 25, 2012, 6:54 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Saket Jajodia, I appreciate it.

      Have a lovely day!

  • D. Heath April 17, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Sometimes a news blog will outperform older blogs if they are in a lucrative niche. If you blog is slowly fail, it’s best give it another direction. I had to do this, and change the domain also.

  • Tia April 14, 2012, 10:59 pm

    Hey Emmanuel – Great post. I find blogging life is going to bring ups and downs. I don’t necessary call those downs failures. Failure is only when you stop trying, so for me, the only real failure is your first point.

  • Azam April 14, 2012, 3:49 pm

    These all points are valid but according to me the most powerful is related to self motivation. Self motivation is the agreement with himself that make one to spend sleepless nights.

  • Pete Goumas April 12, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Hi Emmanuel,
    We should keep an eye on these 11 points to know whether our blog is growing or failing. In my opinion, if people are not purchasing products from you then it is the biggest flopping of blog.

  • Liz April 12, 2012, 8:32 am

    Hey Emmanuel,

    I think we’ve all had at least one of these things happen to us as bloggers,so thanks for the solutions.

    But I think the moral of the story is not to be discouraged. Hang in there, look closely at the problem and find ways to resolve it. Persistence as a blogger becomes a way of life.

    Liz 🙂

  • Sara April 10, 2012, 4:34 am

    Each paragraph had something worthy to share.Nice post.I liked the #7 because I haven’t heard the rule of 7 claims before, and I found it interesting and true.

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 10, 2012, 11:23 am

      Thanks Sara,
      I was also surprised when I first heard about “the rule of 7”. It simply tells us that we have to be positioned at the right time to be able to get hungry visitors to buy from us. Since you can never say when he is likely to make that crucial decision, the least you can do is to have your blog positioned well.

      Thanks for the comment Sara.

  • Rashmi Sinha April 9, 2012, 1:01 pm

    I agree on almost all points,but 5 is a tricky one. Yes ok less comments could indicate a problem with your blog but it depends on the quality of the comments as well.. Copied and spam comments are much more dangerous that less actual insightful and high quality comments

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 10, 2012, 11:32 am

      I agree Rashmi, it’s definitely better to have 3 solid comments than to have 20 “great post” comments. I absolutely agree.

      Emmanuel Olonade

  • Kimberly Gauthier April 9, 2012, 9:17 am

    This sounds like my photography blog, Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier. I think I hit on all the points except the toes. I’ve started making it more of a personal/resume blog and I add fresh content once or twice a week.

    I changed all the menu links to bring people to pages and posts that will tell them more about me and lead them to the blogs that get my time and energy.

    Love this post. Sharing.

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 10, 2012, 11:41 am

      Thanks Kimberly,

      I’m glad the post resonated with you. Sometimes you need to change strategies (I’m referring to the fact that your photography blog is now more of a personal/resume blog). All that matters is that it works for you.

      Have A Lovely Day!
      Emmanuel Olonade

  • Derek April 8, 2012, 10:07 am

    Great blog post.

    It used to take me about 45 minutes to write a blog post and includes proofreading but now it’s more like a hour or i save it as a draft as unfinished and finish it the next day because I got sidetracked.

    I have a short attention span and sometimes that hurts me as a blogger because i forget to complete what i intended on doing that day. I still get things done but for a 2 hour task, its more like a 2 day task.

    Maybe i need to switch coffee brands. This blog post just woke me up for sure.

  • JamesW April 8, 2012, 9:26 am

    Really informative post, I would say listen to your heart and do what you already do.
    Don’t worry about younger bloggers surpassing you, or that your posts became boring.
    There’s always someone that will find what you offer very helpful.
    thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, I appreciate it.

    • Emmanuel Olonade April 10, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Thanks for the comment James,

      The truth is that not all laws hold true for everyone. It all depends on the individual involved.

      It doesn’t matter if a 13 year-old makes six figures a month while you make four figures a year. That’s not what determines success.

      Have a nice day!

  • Sidharth Arun April 8, 2012, 6:27 am

    In my opinion motivating yourself is the hardest part. When traffic goes down its easy to be disheartened. So I think at that time sticking to current and relevent topics with short and to the point type of article is the way to go

  • Munish Kishore April 8, 2012, 3:35 am

    In today’s times it is becoming very difficult to get noticed. I agree with the comment above that making money should not be your only purpose. You have to give and that is a big word GIVE. quality content, is a must and you have listen to what your readers are saying. That is paramount. Talk about something which is close to your heart. There is something really wrong in extremes.

    Stepping on too many toes or none. This has been a great read. Totally engaging post and very nicly written

  • Joe Boyle April 8, 2012, 2:22 am

    Great points, but I think there is a huge relation between the failure rate of blogs who have owners that focus on making money and making money only, and those who do not. If you are driven by the intentions to make money, you aren’t going to succeed – you won’t put in the effort for the visitors.

    For a blog to be successful, the owner must be social. There has to be a community built around the owner and their content. Focusing on the earnings is a handicap in doing so. You aren’t worried about the community – just what they (or the lack there of) can provide for you. It’s a vicious circle.

  • Trung Nguyen April 7, 2012, 9:11 pm

    Awesome points, I love your #5 point, it means our blog is not making readers pay attention and … we have to fix it soon if we don’t want to be fail.

  • Dave Doolin April 7, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Ha! I meet about 9 of these criteria, at least for my main blog. So I’m definitely taking a break.

    Curiously, I’m writing daily in private journal-type blogs, but these have very little (no) commercial potential.

  • Jeremy April 7, 2012, 6:39 pm

    Some great points Emmanuel. You do have to pay attention to the progress of your blog to ensure you don’t lose your way.

    That being said, I don’t agree with all of these points. This one in particular I don’t agree with: 2- Younger Blogs Are Outperforming Yours
    Age doesn’t always reflect a blog’s success. For example, with my blog I have the luxury of being able to spend far more hours per day than other bloggers in my niche. So I have been jumping past a lot of older blogs. I wouldn’t say that means their blogs are failing at all. Blogs all grow at their own pace depending on existing knowledge/experience and amount of time available.

    Also I don’t agree with: 3- You Now Need More Time To Write The Same Post
    Bloggers often rush posts early on, not putting enough effort into maintaining a high level of quality. Over time you may have decided to put more effort into posts, doing additional research and including more stats. Or maybe they start proofreading their content more thoroughly and making edits to improve those posts.

    • Joe Boyle April 8, 2012, 2:27 am

      I like that point in the bottom paragraph. On my blog, I had it running for ten months in 2010. On average, a post took me about 45 minutes to write, find images for, and schedule. I am now finding, after the second launch (there was about a year in between shutting it down in 2011 and just now re-launching it) I am spending anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half per post.

      It’s all about your mood and how the post is meant to be written. List posts take a lot less time to write for a reason. Reviews and similar posts take a lot longer for very similar reasons. It’s all a numbers game.

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