Top 5 Reasons Most Blogs Don’t Last

Top 5 Reasons Most Blogs Don't Last

I was chatting with Jane May earlier tonight about how it seems that in our four short months of blogging so far, we have already seen many blogs come and go. Why is that most bloggers give up after a few short months?

According to a recent article on Pronet, the blogosphere is standing still. Even though the number of blogs created in this past year has increased by more than 30 million, the number of active blogs continues to stand still at around 15 million, excluding quasi-blogs, such as Myspace.

Blogosphere Standing Still

So, why is it that most blogs get abandoned sooner or later? I present to you the top five reasons why most blogs don’t last. Hopefully baby bloggers will keep some of these points in mind over the next few months.

1. Blogging consistently is not easy. It certaintly is easy to set up a Blogspot account or even install WordPress, but unfortunately, most blogs don’t go much farther than that. Many people find that writing informative and original articles consistently is difficult, and they are right – it is difficult. However, most experienced bloggers will tell you – it takes a while to build up that elusive blogging rhythm – the one in which you easily weave together insightful and unique posts.

2. New blogs see little to no financial return. Many people start blogging because they see John Chow and Problogger pulling thousands each month from Adsense. These superbloggers make it look easy too, but the fact remains, John Chow and Darren have been blogging for YEARS. They are basically the grandfathers of the blogosphere. I didn’t make more than $20 my first 2 months of blogging, and now in my fourth month, I am JUST beginning to see financial returns.

3. Traffic takes time to build. I’ll admit it – it’s hard to feel motivated to blog when you know not many people are reading your work. However, this early stage of blogging is arguably the most crucial. The first three months are the time to show everyone, that despite not having tons of comments or a large number of RSS subscribers, you write awesome, original, link-worthy articles.

4. No passion for their blog topic. Many new “make money online” blogs have popped up over the past few months. That being said, how many of those people actually make money online and are passionate about it? John Chow didn’t start writing only about how to make money online – he initially just used his blog to talk about his passions, only one of which was making that online dough. My passions are business and web development, and only since I have been blogging has my passion for blog development emerged. Now, blog development is one of my favorite topics to write about.

5. Time management must be practiced seriously. It’s no secret – most people would love to quit their day job and blog full time. So, they start blogging, but find that, like anything, it takes a decent amount of time. Add that to their already busy lives and it is something that gets put off and eventually abandoned. When anyone adds blogging to their busy life, they must start practicing time management more seriously. I find that it doesn’t take me much longer than 20-40 minutes to write a solid post, so I make sure to carve out that time at least 5x per week.

Just like going to the gym, blogging takes months of hard work to see any noticeable benefits. In my four months of blogging, only recently am I starting to see these benefits – including financial return, people linking to my posts, and a decent number of subscribers, readers, etc.

In conclusion, this is the number one lesson I have learned from blogging – hard work over time pays off. With time, comes experience and respect. I respect people that have been blogging for at least six months – that takes some serious dedication. The longer you have been blogging, the more people will see you as an expert or authority about your blog topics. There is a lot of power in published work.

Blogging has taught me that to see measurable results in ANYTHING, you must work hard, stay ultra-dedicated, and perhaps most importantly, be patient. Treat blogging like going to the gym, but don’t forget to go to the gym too!

How long have you been blogging? Please respond to my poll – on the sidebar, to the right.

Tomorrow, I am going to talk about how blogging has changed my life.

105 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons Most Blogs Don’t Last”

  1. That is a great post, Nate, I think one of the best on the site. So many things ring true while reading it. There really are no shortcuts that produce anything substantial and you really have to look at blogging long term to establish yourself.

    I’m finding that it’s taking me the first six months to really just get a handle on all the things that can make or break your site. It’s amazing how much information and advice there is out there but in the end you have to do a lot of trial and error on your particular blog to see what works. I’ll be interested to read your ‘What I’ve learned about blogging after my first 12 months’ post.

  2. You hit the nail on the head with this article. Although I don’t see how you only spend 30 minutes on a post like this. Did it really only take you that long to write this particular post? I find that a lot of my posts are taking about 1 – 2 hours to write.

    You mention that you’re starting to see financial return. I would be curious to see the breakdown of these financials. Do you have any plans to blog on your successes?

  3. I’ve been blogging for over 2 years now which I guess makes me prety good eh? No not really its only been in the last 2 months that I’ve been trying to make something of it and your exactly right it sure is hard work.

    I’m going to have to make even more better use of my time. Great read, like always Nate. I voted in the poll too. ^_^

  4. Nate – I couldn’t agree with your article more. Being a new blogger myself (first post was back on 3 March) I got a shock as to just how hard it is.

    Blogging takes time, and should only be considered if you are passionate about the subject you write about. Anything less than passion will lead to failure, in my opinion.

    – Martin Reed

  5. You’re spot on with this post. I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half and after the first couple of months of fairly regular but short posts, it tailed off and nearly stopped.
    I found after joining MyBlogLog and getting feedback through comments that I have more incentive to keep going , but even now it’s hard work managing the time.
    Regards, Ian

  6. I’ve been blogging seriously for about 2 months now…and have frequently felt like giving up…but will persevere for a while longer just to see what happens if i do!!

  7. You have to like to write. This is widely overlooked.

    Blogging is writing. And even if you’re passionate about a subject, if you don’t like writing, it’s not gonna fly.

    It’d be cool to see these numbers transposed against graphs showing failed businesses and failed diets. I bet they’d all line up pretty nicely … we’ll call it the human condition.

    πŸ™‚

  8. Absolutely! I think you hit the nail on the head! One of the most driving forces you can have to consistantly blog is having a passion for what you write about…and not the passion that goes away after a month, but the passion that drives you day in and day out. Finding something you like to write about makes the whole process seem like its fun, and not a get rich quick scheme.

  9. Great post, Nate. I’ve been doing this off and on for about 3 years now, but my current site is coming up on 6 months old. It most definitely needs to be something you enjoy doing, as it’s not a money-maker out of the gate. After making a grand total of about $4 from Adsense and nothing else from any other monetization programs, I’ve given up on them for awhile.
    I’m doing this because I enjoy it, and I learn from it. Simple as that.

  10. Traffic takes time to build — this is true for not only blogs, but for most any website. The old addage that if you built, they will come is just not true on the net. Traffic takes work, especially if you want organic traffic.

  11. David,
    Thanks for the comments. Thanks for subscribing to my blog, too! πŸ™‚

    Frank,
    I totally agree with you – there is so much information and knowledge out there, but still, trial and error seems the best way to learn.

    Nathan,
    Thanks for the comments. Often I spend much longer on posts, but that would I wrote in about 35 minutes. I am not sure yet how much detail I will go into with regards to my income earned, but I would be happy to share it with you privately. Feel free to message me if you are interested.

    Daniel,
    Congratulations on blogging for that long – you are a blogging grandfather too!

    Mark,
    Thanks for the comments. Yes, you are right – it all narrows down to those two points in the end.

    Martin,
    Everything does seem easier said than done. That, of course, is also very true for blogging. Passion is SO key in blogging.

    Ian,
    Thanks for the comments. I agree – comments really do provide incentive to keep going. I am so grateful to my wonderful blogging community – they have been so supportive of my efforts! πŸ˜€ Thanks, guys!

    Wolf,
    Two months is a lot longer than most people last! Hopefully you are enjoying it and just keep at it, buddy!

    Shane,
    You hit the nail on the head there – a love of writing is key. Funny thing is that I didn’t necessarily have a passion to write before I started blogging – only since have I found it enjoyable and even therapeutic.

    Scot,
    Thanks for the nice comments. Actually, Chow has been blogging since December 2005, which puts him in the old-timer bloggers, in my opinion. πŸ™‚

    Jane,
    You are exactly right. Unfortunately, it seems liek a lot of people view blogging as a get-rich-quick scheme. When it becomes fun is when one starts to find success in it.

    Rod,
    Thanks for the comments. Great you have been blogging for 3 years, and you are right – enjoyment is so much more important than the money it brings you.

    Angie,
    Traffic is one of the peskiest chores for any new web site. I find that it is easier to build traffic for blogs than other kind of web site simply because the blogging community is so far-reaching and supportive. Thanks for the comments.

  12. great post.

    i’ve been blogging for about a year and a half.

    the first year i had no clue how to monetize it and frankly that wasn’t even
    a consideration. i blogged because i enjoyed it.

    this year has seen a spike in revenue and I’m amazed people would pay me
    to put ads on that blog!

    & i’ve made a few really good contacts from blogging. after all your network
    is worth more than your ad money.

  13. Good post Nate. I’ve been trying to focus on some things that are going to pay off in the long run, most of which hasn’t included blogging. I expect this to change soon though. It’s definitely hard work.

  14. I have been blogging since the Summer of 2005. Towards the end of one blog, I had a small following of readers, not a huge one. I just opened up a new blog named after me πŸ™‚ . It has been growing much faster than my previous one despite having had some press back home for the old one. The new blog has been consistently growing for the past 3 months since I created it. I haven’t made an effort to sell through my blog, but it has resulted in a couple of job offers. At this point, I’m happy that my second blog is taking off.

  15. Nate, you are right on. It has to be a long-term proposition if you want to see some impact. Our society today just wants everything NOW!!! But as with most things in life, the best things don’t come easy.

  16. I’ve been going a little over three months now. So, I’m over the three month hump that most bloggers don’t even make it too, so hopefully it’s something I’m in for the long haul. I have no intention of quitting as of right now. Nice post!

  17. Blogging seriously is very difficult. We all have days when we could write 10 articles and days we’re so “dry” we can’t even write our name down. For some weeks I have taken blogging more seriously and now I feel the stress. I try to write constant content, install hacks that would make it more interesting, commenting on other blogs, trying to get some traffic. having a successful site/blog means a lot of work. People see only the “nice” part. The fact some people make a good revenue from this, the fact some are experienced and know so many things. Many fail to realize we have spent thousands of hours reading and learning, that some are in the online business for many years, had no social life for a long time and have worked like crazy for each visitor, for each article.

    This is the “nasty” image of having an online project. Traffic and revenue are not something that comes overnight. Many fall into the trap of thinking ..”how cool .. this guy makes thousands each month. I’ll start a site and then it’s gonna be the same for me”. What many don’t understand is that those who “hit it big” worked like crazy and still do. Any mistake in this business means getting down.

  18. This is so true. After almost two full years of blogging I am also just barely starting to see a return. I think its’ a combination of the things you talk about and also getting to know the game and how things work. For instance, during my first 8 months or so, I wasn’t aware of trackbacks and didn’t use them. Afterwards I started to see my technorati rank increments.

  19. i started blogging about 3 months ago and stopped for a month when i went on vacation, but since blogging daily after coming back i have noticed an increase in traffic. still no monetary gain, but i am enjoying it.

  20. You are right on Nate. I am very passionate about Internet Marketing but just find it very difficult to put my thoughts into blog format. I’m getting better at it but lose motivation at times. Thanks for the thoughts.

  21. Does anybody look at this as a good thing? How blogs each day are dying?

    I get kinda happy knowing that fact because it’s less competition for me. I know some of you might disagree and feel angry toward that, but its the truth.

    Of course, not everyone is made out to make money online πŸ™‚ Another good thing.

  22. The best comment is to have no passion. From my own experience – if you do not know a lot about the topic and do not live with it – do not start a blog. I have like 3-4 blogs that are completely dead and I’m thinking how to outsource the posting to them, but this should not be the best way.

  23. Hm.. I agree with you..
    It aint easy to get more traffic with 2-3 months blog…
    The passion and consistent must have to be a good blogger… Never give up even you know that no readers to your blog or you get negative comments..
    Try and practising more perfect even your writing bad…
    I’m try to improve especially in my written coz my english is bad…

  24. Interesting article, I’ll throw in my .02 as well. You mention people don’t stick with blogging because they don’t make the money the ‘superbloggers’ do, and I’m sure that’s true for some, but how about us that just blog ‘for fun’? Much like my Art degree, I have no illusions about making money from what I blog about, but I do it anyway because I like to. I’ve been doing it since 2001 on one of my blogs, that ended up going completely political, (and is now focused on digital rights – lefttochance.com) so I started my own under my fak3r moniker, and it’s been going on for about 3 years. I enjoy it, but again, it’s not for the reasons the folks you’re talking about – if you hit my site you’ll notice that I don’t sell anything, and don’t have any ads generating revenue. Since I’m a self professed ‘geek’ I run my server at home (freebsd) behind a static IP from a great ISP (speakeasy) to which I pay a premium (65/month). Yes, because of this I could plead my case on my blog, throw up a ‘Donate’ button, an Amazon wishlist link or something similar, but I don’t expect strangers to throw money at me any more than I’d expect it on the street. In my mind folks that have extra money should support a worthy cause, or a local business (which could be viewed as the same thing). Sure, I could get a cheaper deal hosting, but I don’t care, learning how to run the server myself provides me with knowledge that I take to work to use in my Linux Admin role, while providing me with future interests to blog about!

    Anyway, I enjoy hearing about people like you with interest, since when I was in college (1990) there was no internet so I couldn’t see things they way you could/can now, and i think your ideas for businesses are cool. I would like to have such opportunity, but alas at this stage in my life the fear of the unknown (read income) won’t allow that. I like what I do, get my geek on often enough at home and work, and even have my art to ‘fall back on’ ;). I believe people succeed when they do things they have passion for; this is what I do and why I blog, and I feel it’s your muse as well.

    Thanks for your post, best of luck to you!

  25. thanks nate for this great articles. well, in the past 3 weeks i learnt lots of things in blogging for “bling”. In the past 4 years i did blogging by taking nuttin from it and i did regret.

    Last year i bought new domain name hoping that i can start something from it. But i dont start it until last 3 weeks (my blod didnt last after 3 months, still standing breathing with proud :P). I did some surfing on the web and finally i hooked up with your web. From idea, comes desireness and from desireness comes efforts and today, my desireness of makin the dream to reality is at the best peak. πŸ˜›

    Thanks anyway.

  26. 90% is showing up day after day. I feel that if your main goal is to make money, you are setting yourself up for failure from day one. Find a topic you love and would blog about even if there was no financial gain and you have someone that is going to succeed in blogging.

  27. Very interesting post. Certainly #4 is correct, but passion needs to be twinned with *expertise* to provide value. How often do you real blog posts that are just complete drivel?

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