Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Fail at Blogging

Why Do Blogs Fail?

While almost of the other posts in Pro Blogging Journal deal with how to succeed at blogging and make money with your blog, today's post describes the top reasons that blogs fail.  They say you can learn more from failure than from success.  Study these reasons that blogs fail to improve your chances of having a successful blog or website.

Why do blogs fail to make any money?
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1. The blogger burns out after about 1-3 months
You have probably seen this type of failure when reading blogs.  A new blog is started and the blogger posts frequently for a short time and then stops, never to post again.  Why does this happen?  This is a classic case of an author getting burned out.  The blogger is excited to have a platform to address the world and pours a lot of time and energy into the blog, at first.  Then the blogger runs out of ideas and is perhaps discouraged by the anemic traffic to the blog.

How to avoid failure:  Start new blogs, keep reading to get fresh ideas, be patient while your traffic ramps up- it takes Google some time to trust new sites with high rank in search engine results.

2. Google updates kill search engine traffic

Here's another blog failure scenario.  A blog gets up and running with good content and gets AdSense and affiliate marketing monetization going.  Traffic starts to pick up and then... traffic falls 30 to 50% all of the sudden.  What happened?  All of the sudden, Google doesn't like your blog anymore.  This can occur when Google updates their algorithms by giving more weight to certain types of pages and penalizing others with lower ranking in search engine results.  If a blog has pages ranking on the 1st page of search engine results and then slips to 2nd page or further back, this significantly impacts traffic.  

How to avoid failure: Google algorithm updates seem random, all you can do is try to figure out what characteristics pages that rank well have and try to mimic these in ways that make sense for your blog.  For example, keep an eye on keyword density- Google has been changing the preferred keyword density downward recently.

3. Blog is not approved for AdSense or Affiliate Programs

AdSense is one of the best advertising programs for blogs.  You have to apply to get your blog approved to have AdSense ads shown.  Some blogs apply repeatedly and do not get approved.  Or sometimes a blog is approved and then receives notice that AdSense approval has been withdrawn due to Terms of Service violations.

How to avoid failure:  Don't click on your own ads!  This will get you banned from AdSense.  Don't have any content on topics that are not allowed.  Watch out for user generated content- text and links in comments on your blog left by users can bring you crashing down if the comments or links are related to topics that are not allowed for AdSense approval.  When applying to AdSense make sure you have plenty of good content and have a Privacy Policy.  Also, there are other advertising programs- check out Chitika and other advertising programs for your blog.  Depending on your blog topic, you could make money with your blog using only affiliate marketing opportunities.

4.  The competition is better, you just don't get any traffic

Some topics are crowded with lots of high quality content.  Even if you can produce high quality content, Google likes sites that have aged, so you may never get to that first page of search engine results.  No matter how hard you try, you just can't get much traffic to your blog.  Without traffic, you might as well write your blog content on scraps of paper and put it in your closet.  A blog is useless without traffic...

How to avoid failure:  Choose a topic with less competition.  You are much better off with 10% of the traffic on a mediocre keyword than 0% of traffic on a really high volume keyword!  Start a niche blog on a topic that you know something about.

5.  You end up in the Google Sandbox...

There is debate on whether or not the Google Sandbox is real or not.  I suppose it is a matter of definition, but sites can end up in the situation where they have been crawled by Google, but are not listed in search results.  For some reason, Google is not ready to trust the site.  I have experienced this myself, and have heard accounts of this going on for a long time, for example a year!

How to avoid failure:  You can leave your blog up and running in the sandbox, but move on to work on another one for awhile.  Make sure you don't have too many 'spammy' links to or from you blog.  Spammy links are links that are not related to the topic of your blog post- for example if your post is about buying a car and you link to a post on repairing shoes,this looks like spam to a search engine. Also make sure you don't have an excessive amount of affiliate ads, this can be an issue particularly when affiliate ads are bunched together on a page.  Otherwise, there is not much you can do if you're in the Google Sandbox.  Move on, and come back to work on the blog when it gets out of the sandbox.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved.  Pro Blogging Journal

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