Millions of sites are started in the blogosphere, but most of them fail. The reasons behind failures of sites are different but it shows that it’s not easy to maintain a site. This article will share the true facts about blogging so that you can prepare yourself to face all the challenges which you might experience.
What is it about writing that makes people think they know how to do it? The average person will never believe that they can write a symphony, but a lot of people want and believe they can run a successful site. One of the main reasons is that it is so easy to start – you just need a computer, Internet connection and 5 minute for a set-up process. The barrier to enter the blogging world is very low. It is quite simple to get a domain name and start creating content. Anyone can do it without any tech know-how or any experience. Many who are working for the man have the dream that one day they will write a novel and escape the office cubicle. Blogging is their easy way out, it is their dream escape.
The issue is that the barrier to have a successful site is very high. Having a low barrier to enter and a high barrier to succeed results in a lot of people starting blogs and giving up shortly after because they are not prepared to do the work and put in the effort that is needed to succeed. Many stop even before publishing their first piece of content.
Having high expectations
All the social media, “make money online”, and other experts that give you positive and only positive advice do not help with the expectations either. They exploit people with dreams and hopes and they make beginners overestimate their chances of success. So everyone thinks they can easily succeed in blogging without too much effort, but they start and give it up shortly after when they don’t see the hyped up results and benefits.
Just being a prolific Twitter or Facebook user will never allow you to shape public opinion. Instead you need to be the one that is creating the story that other people are consuming, talking about and sharing. Writing is the clearest and best medium for demonstrating your expertise on online. And blogging is the easiest way to create a platform for yourself to showcase your knowledge, expertise and abilities.
Failures are hidden deep beneath all the positive buzz and the success stories that are drawing people in. We never hear much about all the failures – most sites become inactive within few weeks of the launch, most never get any readers, not to talk about making money. For anyone wanting to start blogging this is important point to realize. Most books are failures, most sites are flops, but this should definitely not discourage you from trying. Understand this and make sure you have realistic expectations when starting in order to give yourself good chances of success.
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned
For some this happens because of the lack of motivation. Some people just want to try blogging, some just want to see what it is about, some just want to be able to say they have a website, some are instructed to do it in their school class… for these people it is expected that they are not willing to put in the effort needed to succeed. After all they don’t do it with the right intentions in the first place.
“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” — Theodore Roosevelt
But in case that you really believe having a site is the way to go to achieve your dreams and get ahead in your life, and you still don’t make it a success, there are certainly things you can do to analyze your failure to help yourself and give yourself a better chance of getting success next time around. People enter the blogosphere with the promise of great things, only to find out that sometimes it’s not always what they’d hoped for. The fact is, no matter how hard we try to make our blogs the best they can be, sometimes we come short in our pursuit of creating a successful blog. For instance, did you know that majority of blogs are abandoned within the first month? Most people don’t give their site a chance to grow. They don’t stick with it and invest time and energy and resources into the site to see it become something spectacular.
Even if you are working hard to make your site successful, there might be chances that you won’t get good results soon or you might face few ups and downs. But that’s the part of blogging, you need to keep patience, analyze the problems and keep moving ahead. The day that you lose patience you won’t able to work with same passion.
If you don’t have anyone commenting on your site at all, it can be a long and lonely process that requires a lot of commitment, patience and persistence on your end. I will also go as far as saying that not everyone is a blogger. Not everyone can write just because they are told they write well, or have good ideas. I am not saying this because of the substance of the blogger, but rather because aside from good quality content, blogging also requires many intangible characteristics to succeed. The day I received my first legitimate comment from a guest was a key milestone for me. It is then when I realized that loneliness can vanish immediately when you have guests interacting with you and amongst each other through your site, thus developing a community. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Not developing yourself
Blogging is all about sharing knowledge and experience. Thus it is important, that you have lots of knowledge relevant to your niche. For getting knowledge, you need to keep updating and developing yourself with all the latest news and information. If readers don’t find updated, current and useful information on your site, they won’t visit back.
Being afraid of negative feedback
There are chances that you might get negative feedback about your site from your readers. It is possible that your readers might not agree with the information you provide or they might give you negative feedback about the design. These negative comments might demotivate you. Try to listen to negative feedback if it is genuine and don’t let your passion down. Use negative feedback as a way to improve your blogging style. It takes time but once you learn to handle criticism, you are on the way to become a better blogger.
Not creating a community
Blogging is not only about writing quality content, you need to spread the word. You can always create a community around your site by various means like adding Facebook fan page and commenting on other blogs. Replying to all comments on your posts will give personal touch to your readers and gradually you will have tons of readers who will be religiously following your site. As there is a lot of competition in blogging, you need to be very active to show your presence to others. You need to be social, comment on other sites, make a community and regularly update your site. It is important to have good online persona that can drive traffic to your site.
Qualities you need in order to succeed
First of all you need to have a great idea. You also need to be able to nicely present your content in ways that people want to consume it. Being a great writer is just a part of the job, you need to be good at doing business as well. Creating content that people want to consume, knowing how, where and when to promote that content, building and retaining an audience, managing a community, being a good salesman – all of these are qualities you need in order to succeed.
With the barriers of entry being so low there are so many bloggers out there. The issue with that is that it makes people look for quality content, which makes those that create great content stand out from the crowd, while those that don’t create interesting content slowly become inactive and die out because of a lack of results and lack of continuous motivation and drive.
Most beginners are likely to let their sites die out because it turns out that it is actually hard work. It’s hard work with a lot of effort to keep up the pace with your competitors. Creating great content regularly is much more difficult than sending a quick tweet with a link here and there. But in an information-hungry world that we live in, there will always be a need for interesting content. There will always be more readers, viewers and retweeters than there will be content creators, so there will always be opportunities for those that make it.
Prepare ourselves for the next great opportunity
We have to be careful to not let ourselves fall in the trap of discouragement. If we work hard enough, and we push to create something remarkable, it is possible to achieve our blogging goals. We can’t let one poor experience keep us from finding the joy in blogging. We’ve got to pick ourselves up, and prepare ourselves for the next great opportunity. When you feel you have failed at your site ask yourself why did it happen. What went right and what went wrong? What could you have done differently? How can you do it better next time? What changes should you make in your next attempt?
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — John Powell
Failing is normal. Everyone fails all the time. Everyone fails much more than they succeed. But it is important to move past your failures and don’t let them hold you back. Don’t be scared because of a failure. Don’t let failure stop you from trying to do more in the future. Keep believing in yourself, in your skills and your ideas. Instead of giving up and blaming yourself learn from your failures.
The people that eventually do succeed, they always learn something from their failures. Make sure to learn from your failure so you don’t repeat the same mistakes. How do you keep track of your learnings? The best way is to keep a note of all the learnings you have had. This way you can open the document any time you are working on a project and use it as a checklist in order to make sure you tick the boxes you might not have been able to do in your former projects. If you do this a few times it will become natural and you will memorize all the steps you need to take. Then it will become a much easier and efficient process.