Darren Rowse of Problogger is probably the best source of blogging insight.
He’s been involved with various blogs for something like a decade and his success with multiple blogs shows he knows what he’s talking about. Darren is also personable and has a great writing style allowing for easy comprehension of his insight.
A recent article from Darren highlighted a few of the downfalls of blogging and I think a couple are common for businesses as well as individuals.
Where Most Blogs Fail
1. “I thought it’d be easy to come up with regular content.”
Time and time again bloggers reflected that they had never considered how hard it would be to come up with content on a daily or regular basis.
The struggle came down to two main things:
- Ideas: It’s not easy to keep coming up with ideas to write about. Many bloggers run into a road block on this just weeks after starting a blog.
- Time to write the content: Many of those who responded said that they’d expected that they could just whip out posts quickly, but in reality they found it took considerable time to write great posts.
3. “I thought that engagement and reader interaction would happen easily.”
Related to the unrealistic expectation of quick and easy traffic was that when readers did come, they’d be ready and willing to interact.
There are two more points Darren makes on this topic and it’s worth your time to read the entire post.
An all too common happening in the blogging world is for an eager individual to start a blog. They post numerous posts for about a month or perhaps even longer. After a while it gets discouraging when the traffic doesn’t come in right away even if the posts are top notch. Beyond that disappointment there is typically a realization that creating blog posts on a schedule is difficult.
Sticking to a schedule is important for a few reasons.
When you force yourself to keep a blogging schedule you’ll find it’s actually easier over time to get in a flow for posting. If you post once a week you know you have to sit down, research, and write and have that post published by Tuesday or whenever your scheduled day is. It’s not easy at first, but once you get in the habit things will start to flow.
A schedule is also good for readers. Your blog will get a few regular readers over time and those readers will set their own expectations. People seem to like routine in their lives. If they know they can count on a post from your company each Tuesday they’ll be back to check out your site each Tuesday. Repeat traffic and a trusting relationship built over time.
Search engines also like consistency. Search engines like Google appreciate sites that post regular content. The more your site is able to post the better in the eyes of the search engines. You’ll see a higher crawl rate and more rankings in the results. Keeping a blogging schedule makes it easier for you to get more content in the results increasing your chance of getting found by potential customers.
With a schedule I’ve also found it easier to come up with post ideas. By forcing myself to stay on scheduled I’ve had to problem solve on where to find ideas and over time you’re able to create easy ways to find ideas.
Regarding reader engagement we’ve already discussed it a bit. Blogging is a long term marketing strategy. Results won’t come quick and easy. That’s where the opportunity is for you. Where other businesses will try and fail you can persevere and continue blogging while slowly building that following. Others will look back on your blog in a few years and wonder how you built a readership. You’ll know it didn’t come over night and that it took those years to create a successful blog.
Have you ever encountered unrealistic blogging expectations?