There is a misconception with blogging.
Most people I deal with have a view of how a blog can help their business. These folks are smart business minds. They have built profitable businesses in various industries. I respect them immensely and they have taught me quite a bit just by becoming friends.
Yet with blogging these people think success will come sooner than it usually does. And I, as part of the blogging community, need to take credit for the misconception.
The Time It Takes for Blogging Success
Blogging takes time.
The period until a blog reaches success is where the misconception occurs in the business and personal blogging worlds. The common belief is that a blog can succeed within the first few posts and first few weeks or possibly months.
In the majority of cases (rough estimate: 99/100) this is not true. Most blogs do not see success within even six months of the launch date. In even more cases, it takes more than a YEAR for blogs to start seeing traffic worth discussing with peers.
These are the expectations you should have with your blog.
I was reminded of how long it takes a blog to succeed while reading a recent post from Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz. He shared 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2012). Read it in full. It is well worth your time as a blogger.
The final point and actually the 22nd bonus tactic for bloggers is this:
Bonus #22 – Be Consistent and Don’t Give Up
The above image comes from Everywhereist’s analytics. Geraldine could have given up 18 months into her daily blogging. After all, she was putting in 3-5 hours each day writing content, taking photos, visiting sites, coming up with topics, trying to guest blog and grow her Twitter followers and never doing any SEO (don’t ask, it’s a running joke between us). And then, almost two years after her blog began, and more than 500 posts in, things finally got going.
It seems lost in most cases the idea that it can take a year or even years for a blog to reach a tipping point.
Here’s another example.
Country Music Life Traffic Growth
You’ve seen this one before here on the GBW blog. My own site, Country Music Life, slowly built a following. The traffic was slow to come at first. As time went on I really never changed strategies that much.
It just took time to create content and build a readership.
You’ll notice a few little spikes in traffic for CML. I remember the first happening in July 2010, which was actually just 2 or 3 months after launch. I had written a review of a new song from golfer John Daly and Darius Rucker. The song was good and not many people really knew that JD had released a country album (his second).
I shared the post on Twitter and cc’d Daly’s account. He then retweeted it for his huge group of followers.
The traffic came, most left after one post, but surprisingly some of the traffic kept coming. I’d imagine that a few folks kept revisiting CML and the site might have earned a little more respect from the search engines.
Determining a Blogging Path
It’s important to go into a blog strategy with the right expectations.
Expect your blog to take time to build an audience. Also an important note – both the Everywhereist and Country Music Life published new posts daily. If you’re posting less frequently it will likely take more time.
And this is Ok. It’s alright to post less frequently.
You have to manage time and investment in the blogging strategy.
Other action items you can do to help your blog gain popularity sooner is to follow Rand’s 21 Tactics linked above. It’s a great resource. Bookmark it and visit it for reminders. I do.
Be consistent with your posting. It’s important to provide consistency. People count on consistency and will return when you post good content on a regular schedule.
As with anything in life, it takes time and lots of effort to succeed at blogging.
That’s why most blogs kind of fail. The blog’s owner simply stops before the blog has a chance to reach a tipping point.