Halloween is right around the corner, so I thought it would be fitting to talk about the monsters under the bed. Those creepy, dark thoughts that enter the bloggers thoughts at night. The terror filled ideas that may make writers turn and run from their hard work forever. Let’s talk about the three silent killers – the startup blog failures and how to banish them!
Startup Blog Failures
What is the first ghoul looking to drain you?
Investing time and money on the wrong things
Starting a blog is an exciting time, isn’t it? It starts like Christmas morning – so many new and exciting topics to think about …
What domain name should you pick? What topic or niche should you focus on? What platform should you use? It quickly becomes a nightmare as there are so many aspects to think about and so much “advice” floating around that it can seem very overwhelming. Many bloggers spend a lot of money (or time if you know how) on setting up and customizing a theme, investing in tools and spending high marketing dollars right out of the gate because it’s “sold” to bloggers and online startups that you need to look established to build trust. Don’t be fooled!
As important as having a polished brand is, there is a much more important way to build that trust. Write great content and network with other bloggers. Free and Free.
You can start with a basic template and a limited marketing budget to if you are writing awesome blog posts and establishing relationships with other influencers online. This is because you are building a strong foundation for a successful blog:
- You are creating content and keywords for search engines to index and allow your domain to gain authority over time
- You are writing engaging content for others to share within their social networks and build your expert reputation
- You are building relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your industry to help share your content, link to your blog (also building domain authority) and establish your credibility
As your audience grows, revenue starts flowing and your brand takes shape, you can (and should) optimize. Hire that graphic design firm after you have established yourself! If you dig a hole financially before you gain a stream of consistent traffic, then you are starting in the hole. That makes the startup phase of your blog very stressful.
You are also locking yourself in and limiting your ability to learn and shift with your user base. Maybe the topic you thought your niche would be, is not exactly what your audience wanted. Maybe you thought your audience would love a purple logo, but really they prefer a more natural color palette. Who knows? Starting small allows you to grow with your visitors.
If you get the content and the networking right, you are on the right track.
What is the next ghost lurking in the corner?
Perceiving the Startup Phase as Failure
Does it feel like every other blogger is succeeding but you? Do your analytics feel like a ghost town and you are blogging to yourself?
Believe it or not, this is normal. You probably don’t believe me because you only hear about the blogs making “six-figure incomes” in the first 30 days of launch.
Let’s get real.
Do you know Neil Patel? Neil Patel is very well-known for his ability to establish successful, high traffic blogs such as Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He is called a top influencer on the web by the Wall Street Journal and a top 100 entrepreneur under 30 by President Obama. I bring him up because I find his advice to be very honest and straight forward. I also find that he can put some intimidating topics into perspective for bloggers. For example, even he stated that when launching a new blog, it takes a solid four months for him to see consistent search traffic coming in. Neil Patel – famous blogging dude, admits it takes time. Considering how large his network is and how big of an influencer he is in the blogging industry, that should make you feel a little better.
The best way to survive this phase? Keep creating awesome content. Keep building relationships with other influencers. Wash, rise, repeat.
Oh, and do not fall victim to every “six figures in 30 days” Tom, Dick and Harry. You can have paid traffic, but make sure you are capturing leads in the process.
So, what is the most heartbreaking silent killer of blogs? What is the scariest of the startup blog failures?
Comparing Yourself to Other Bloggers
This is the emotional part of feeling like every other blog is thriving but yours. You start to think, “Nobody visits my site. Hardly anyone likes my content. I am all alone.” You start to think that it must be you. Trust me, it’s not. Blogging is hard and we all have a story to tell. It’s not you.
Group 1 – If you are within that four-month window, it’s too early to tell. Keep at it. – Wash, rise, repeat, remember?
Group 2 – If you have been at this for six-months to a year and you are not seeing any growth, then it’s not you, but it may be time to do some blog evaluation.
- Is the content written in proper grammar and structured for readers to engage and understand?
- Is the niche responding at all to your content? What questions are they interested in, do your posts target their interests?
- Have you build a network of other bloggers that can help share and recommend your content?
- Have you optimized your post to be search engine friendly and on topic of searched terms?
- Have you worked on sharing your reputation and expertise to get other blogs or websites to link to your content?
If your answer is “no” to any of these points, then you have a great place to start optimizing! Blogging is a skill as well as a talent. Trust me, if you have the drive to continue this long, then it is not “you,” it is just time to adjust and measure improvement!
Overall, if you have the drive to reach beyond your comfort zone to network and learn how to tailor content to your audience and you have the patience to let the process occur, you will make it as a blogger. You can banish the startup blog failures. Happy Halloween!
Do you have any other tips to help startup bloggers become successful or avoid any startup blog failures? I would love to see it in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
If you are just starting out and are looking for a way to avoid these startup blog failures – build your reputation by guest blogging, joining a network of other bloggers or just learning more tips to be successful faster, please join our blog network below.
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