In the previous article, I went over the basics of blogging, explaining all the concepts you need to understand before actually starting to build it. Now, I'm asking 'What makes a blog?"
Well, this question has a million answers, because everyone will have an opinion on the matter. And it seems like it’s the topic everyone knows something about, but no one knows everything. Whether you want to start your own blog, or you have a blog, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it’s time you review everything you thought you knew about blogging.
Everywhere you search, you will receive the same generic advice. “It is whatever you want it to be.” Well, that’s not necessarily untrue, but without something to look forward to, what are you going to do.
The fact that 99% of the blogs fail at some point should make you wonder why.
But, let’s go and take a look at the facts, so you better understand why these blogs fail, and how everything could have been avoided from the start!
Why Do Blogs Fail?
It’s no news that most people write just because they are trying to bring traffic, but that can be seen from a mile ahead. I see way too often poorly formatted content, plagiarized content, or simply thin content.
What to do in order to avoid creating poor content? This is very easy. You need to put some passion into it. Research your topic, find relevant information in more than one source, and create an outline. Then, it’s pretty easy. You just need to write, proofread, structure, edit, and publish your article!
In the process, make sure your article has at least 350 words and has a correct structure, with headers and small paragraphs. There’s no secret formula here, but everything needs to be easy to read. You can’t put out a block of text and expect people to be able to go through it smoothly. Whoever is reading, want to get the information fast, without much hassle.
Lack of personality
Your blog needs to represent your image (or your brand’s image if that’s the case). It needs to be unique and show it. Here, the explanation is very simple. Most people don’t filter the information when they read it. This means that when they read a blog, they take personal opinions along with the facts and present them as their own.
Is it wrong? Of course. By doing so, these people have no authenticity; therefore, no authority and no possible chance of making it in the world of blogging. It’s all a matter of ‘who gets his content published first.’
In order to fix this, before writing your article, you need to check multiple sources. See where the facts match and manage to form your own opinion on the topic.
Not having a niche
One person can’t possibly write about everything. It comes pretty naturally, and it’s one of the first marketing concepts you need to learn. Like now! To explain, your niche is that part of your field you’re an expert in.
Let’s take photography, for example. You can be a product photographer, portrait photographer, or pet photographer, but not all. You see, every niche requires a particular set of skills you need to master continuously. If you start writing about everything, you won’t get anywhere.
And I see this every day when I’m looking at people’s blogs. Three or four niches on a single blog, everything very superficial, hoping that the ‘diversity’ will bring in traffic. Let me tell you something. When a professional is looking over the information and trying to find more information on a topic, he will KNOW you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Choosing Your Niche
The biggest question regarding this topic is how to choose your niche. And it is a problem everywhere we look, whether we’re talking about blogging, Instagram or basically anything related to social media. The best way to find it is to create a fast, four-step plan.
Find your passions and interests
This one is pretty straightforward, and you probably already know what you like and what you’re good at. So all you need to do now is write everything down and see what’s it going to be.
See what you can solve
The main thing you need to worry about is what you can do for your potential readers. What is the one problem you can solve for them, and how? People will start listening to you, the moment you provide them with some sort of value. And this is where many people go wrong. You can’t expect someone to just blindly follow you. Instead, provide them with quality information and a unique point of view.
Research your competition
The first thing that’s worth mentioning here is that competition is not a bad thing. If you have competition, it means that there is a demand for your niche. What you should do is find out who and what is writing about the same topic, what their domain authority is, what keys they are using and take a look at their strategy. Remember that you don’t have to copy anything they’re doing. You need to do this just to check the market and be able to come up with a strategy for yourself.
So, is this niche in demand? Can you start making a profit? Well, you find out based on your research, and if you are confident, then you can start putting up your blog. That’s actually simple, but you need to give up some of the old habits. Out of the ten things you know or like to do, there has to be one you can pick. What I found out to be the best option, is to write an article in every niche, and don’t post them. After that, you will definitely know what you’re good at and what you like, and if you’re lucky enough to have both, then you’re set!
Lack of consistency, patience and quitting early
These three are closely connected. A blog takes time, patience, and of course, devotion. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so your blog will have to wait for a while.
You don’t need to have a set posting schedule, but everything required planning, research, and you need to wait to see the results. It can take a week for your posts to get indexed by the search engines, for example, but that’s not going to bring you much traffic at first.
There’s a whole process of creating backlinks, an authority, and a mailing list, along with all your blogs.
What should you do? Start small and go from there. Create content and a marketing strategy and celebrate every small win. The whole process is going to be easier if you have everything set up from the start and you know what you have to do.
Not having a plan
This is strictly related to the one above. You need to have a plan from the start. You can’t expect to reach your destination if you’re walking blindly.
Lately, I had many people coming and saying they want to monetize, but they didn’t have any plan in this direction. The typical mentality pushed them into thinking, ‘ok. I write, and I make money.’ What’s wrong with that statement? Basically everything.
You need to plan, strategize, write, start bringing traffic, and THEN, you can start monetizing. You are not going to make any money if your sole purpose is to find a way to trick the system.
The fix to this one is simple. Make a plan. Write down what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. It’s ok to reach high, but do it smart.
Completely overlooking SEO
Guess what’s the one thing that will bring you organic traffic. Well, no need to guess, cause the name is there. In terms of SEO, most bloggers don’t know or don’t understand how it works.
To make it very simple, SEO guidelines are meant to help you write and structure your content in a manner that’s friendly for both search engines and people. If your content meets at least half of the guidelines, it has all the chances of succeeding.
Every element on the page needs to have some sort of optimization. Your texts need a certain structure, you need headings in place, you need to have your images sized correctly, and alt-tags applied. We should also mention meta descriptions, meta titles, and general appearance while we’re here.
What’s next? Get yourself a basic SEO guide or use a Plug-In to learn. I recommend you install Yoast SEO if you have a WordPress based blog, and it will tell you what and how to do it. In a very short time, if you pay attention, you will learn the basics and how to optimize your texts better.
Types Of Blogs
To make things easier for you, I made a list with the most popular blogging niches out there, so you will have an easier time choosing one for yourself. Keep in mind that it should be something you at least had contact with before.
- Fashion Blogs
- Food blogs
- Travel blogs
- Music blogs
- Lifestyle blogs
- Fitness blogs
- DIY blogs
- Sports blogs
- Business blogs
- Finance Blogs
- Political Blogs
- Parenting Blogs
- Tech Blogs
- Entertainment Blogs
- Personal Blogs
- Pet Blogs
- Car Blogs
- Gaming Blogs
- Affiliate Blogs
- Teaching Blogs
All these blogs can be divided into many other niches, and it would be best to choose one before you start. The niche you select needs to be something you have some sort of knowledge or experience in.
Along with your blog, you need to build credibility and trust with your audience. Ultimately, they are the ones bringing you the traffic and making it possible for you to monetize.
To conclude, creating and maintaining a blog is not hard, as long as you do everything right. In the meantime, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter to always know when something new comes along, and follow me on Instagram to see the latest information on blogging, as well as my daily blogging tips!