I’ve shared many times that one of the key factors to having a successful blog is perseverance. Perseverance is not simply “being online longer than the other guy.” I’m not talking about putting up a blog then pretty much neglecting it, all the while waiting for passive income to start rolling in. Think of your blog like a house. If you don’t care for it, improve it, repair it, and constantly monitor the quality of it, it will deteriorate.
Have you ever heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? In common language it goes like this: everything tends to disorganize and deteriorate unless an outside force works to keep that from happening. If you build a brand new house and let it sit untouched for 20 years, what will happen? It will fall apart. If you buy a shiny new car and let it sit for a couple of years outside, what happens? It starts to ruin. Your blog will do the same.
If your blog is filled with informative, encouraging, and helpful information, and regularly maintained with additional high-quality information, you ARE GOING TO SUCCEED if you stick with it (perseverance). You must have self-discipline and devotion to your audience and your online business. You must work to improve, organize, and care for your blog so that it doesn’t naturally deteriorate in quality.
Not every blog is successful; in fact, most are not (which is actually GOOD NEWS for you; you can have “success by attrition.” Perseverance will automatically produce success as other bloggers quit and fail). But you need to be constantly caring for and fighting against the “Second Law of Thermodynamics” when it comes to your blog. Here are six danger signs that your blog might be deteriorating in quality:
- Inconsistent Topics. You set up a blog with a focus on dogs (how to wash them, train them, care for them, etc.) but in looking at your last 20 posts, half of them have nothing to do with dogs. The readers that started off with you because of your expert knowledge of dogs are long gone because they didn’t care to read your stance on politics or photo albums of all your kid’s ballgames. You can certainly stray from your main focus every once in a while, but keep them brief and make sure it is appropriate for your audience.
- No Promotion or Marketing. Yes, it would be great if a thousand new people just happened upon your blog each and every day – skyrocketing your subscriber numbers and hanging on your every word – without any promotion on your part; but in the real online business world, you have to use Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram), guest blogging, and advertising (to name a few ways) to promote your blog. Commenting on other blogs is a great method of promotion. If your blog shows no signs that you are connected to social-media sites, you are missing out on a lot of self-promotion. If you never read competing blogs and provide helpful comments, you are missing out on a lot of relationships that could benefit your blog.
- Irregular Posting Schedule. If your blog sits with the same post week after week, people are going to tire of checking your blog to find that you haven’t posted anything new for them to read. Try to post on a regular basis (once a day, once a week, bi-weekly – it depends on what your readers expect and how often you are able to write stellar content). Don’t go months at a time with new weekly posts, then drop off to once a month, then once every four months. People will tire of the inconsistency and go elsewhere to get their information. NOTE: I prefer to post when I have something truly useful or beneficial to say rather than sticking to a rigid schedule. So it might be once a week, or every 2-3 weeks; but longer than that, you are OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND with your audience. And don’t try to fool them. Blog readers can spot the difference between a “non-routine posting schedule” and a lazy, inconsistent, procrastinating post frequency.
- Boring Content. If you read through your last half dozen blog posts and don’t get excited about your own topic, how can you expect your readers to be enthusiastic about what you have to say? Think about whether you are excited about your own content; if you are not, why should you expect your audience to care? Posting any old boring thing just to get something up on your blog never works. It speaks of bigger concerns for your blog if you reach a point where you cannot come up with new, passionate, and useful content.
- Poor Site Traffic Statistics. If you find that you haven’t had a new email subscriber in weeks, and your Facebook “like” count is the same (or less) than it was a few months ago, chances are that people are no longer interested in your content (or, as mentioned above, you are not using social-media channels to promote your business.) Check your site statistics to see how many people are viewing your site and how long they stay at your page. Being aware of how many people are commenting on your blog posts is another way to make sure that your blog is growing. Statistics allow you to objectively measure the growth and success of your blog. Sometimes it’s a hard dose of reality than can drive us to make important and productive changes.
- Recycled Content. Many blogs are filled with “trending” topics that all the other blogs and news sources are also reporting on. People can get that information anywhere. If you are including your own well-written, engaging, and helpful spin on the topic, then people will continue to be interested in what you have to tell them. You need to make the topic unique and engaging. If you run out of ideas on what to write about, ask your readers their opinion about something that is currently popular; this will grow your relationship with your readers (since it is clear you want to hear what they think as well) and will provide you with some fresh content ideas.
If you recognize any of these happening to your blog, don’t hesitate to make changes and get your blog headed in a profitable direction. In this era of business on the Internet, the entire world is your potential customer. There is no limit to how successful you can be if you persevere and take good care of your blog!
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