Pop quiz! How many people start blogs, get so excited to create content and share what they’re passionate about online, and then give up after just a few months?
Answer – I have no idea. But judging from some quick and dirty internet research, I’m going to go with A TON. (They obviously haven’t been hanging out with me, huh??)
Building my blog has brought so much good stuff into my life and helped me build a damn fine business, that it actually makes me a little sad to see bloggers quit before they really get going.
So today we’re going to talk about why that happens and how to stop it from happening to YOU. (Because you’re damn fine too and should definitely keep that blog going!)
But before we get into the WHY portion of this post, let me be clear on what I mean by “fail.” I’m not talking about the number of pageviews or subscribers or how much money a blog makes because that would be different for everyone. We could get the exact same numbers and I might feel like a total success while you might feel like a complete failure. So that’s not what I’m referring to here.
What I mean by “fail” is – how many bloggers quit blogging after a few months because they . . .
- Feel like they aren’t getting enough traffic / followers / subscribers
- Aren’t able to make money immediately (usually from ads, which does not work on day one anyway)
- Lose their motivation to create content or can’t think of anything else to write
- Feel so overwhelmed by all the to-dos and should-dos that they don’t do anything at all
Here are 4 things that lead new bloggers straight toward those issues so that you can grow your blog AND keep it going strong for a long time.
First up – the thing I talk about at the beginning of all of my blogging courses. You MUST have a purpose for creating blog content. You need to know why YOU are spending time writing posts and taking photos and updating Instagram or Facebook, and you need to know why YOUR AUDIENCE is going to show up and be interested in what you share.
It can be things like: I want to change people’s opinion, I want to build a support group, I want to have a reason to get dressed up every day, I want extra income to pay my rent, I want to be accountable, I want to not feel alone, I want to share my love for _______, I want to publish a book, I want to help more people _______, I want to gain more clients or customers.
Blogging to blog works for a while, but the problem is that 99% of people still want to feel connected. You want someone to show up and read what you’ve written (or else you’ve be writing in a journal or a locked online space, right?). You want people to subscribe and follow. Even if you’re just writing about your days and your family, you still want recognition, attention, and to share your experiences with other people.
So when you start a blog without a purpose, the ideas and the motivation fizzle out after a while.
A good way to dig into your purpose for posting online is to ask yourself WHY five times in a row. It’s not something I made up, but a great psychology trick for forcing yourself to look past your initial response.
Once you have a purpose in mind for both yourself and your audience, write them down and keep that reminder near your workspace. That way you have something to turn to for inspiration on the days your motivation is lacking.
The internet sets our expectations too high
We expect, because we see other people seemingly blast off out of nowhere, that the second we publish a post, droves of people will come running to read. And I know this to be true because of the number of my beginner blogging students who worry so much about hitting the launch button. What will people think? Will I have enough content? Do I need an entire intro post?
The problem is . . . you’re going to hit that launch button (which isn’t really even a button so it’s even more anti-climactic) and literally nothing is going to happen. Your blog is going to go live and unless you’re a celebrity or have already built an audience elsewhere, it’s going to be nothing but crickets.
Which is totally OK. It happens to EVERYONE. The first blog post I published got ZERO traffic for weeks (I was also 13 so absolutely no one cared or even knew what a blog was anyway).
People who say, “I made 6-figures in my first year just from my blog!” or “I got 100k pageviews after just 6 months!” are possibly telling the truth . . . Or maybe they left out the part about how they ran three other blogs before that one, or worked non-stop for months on nothing but that blog, or read 500 articles on SEO and took every course available, or had a professional photographer from day one.
But that’s why I, your no-bullshit blog strategy bff, am here. To remind you that it might take a year for you to get going. It might take MANY years to reach that level of success.
Don’t let other people’s proclamations of success slow you down. You’re on your own journey, with your own audience, and where you end up might be even better than those stats they’re sharing.
No plan or process
You aren’t exactly sure which steps, platforms, or apps are necessary so you try to do everything and get overwhelmed, or you’re overwhelmed from the start so you don’t do anything.
First, you don’t need to add every little blogging tip and strategy to your to-do list. I am all about trying stuff out but not at the expense of publishing posts or sending emails or hanging out in my Facebook groups. And the reason I’m able to avoid getting sucked into “all the things” is because I have a process for how I plan what I’m going to do and for how I knock out all those blogging and business tasks.
Things like: writing a new blog post every week, sending an email to your list every week, promoting your content on social media, connecting with others for collaboration, tracking what works best and what doesn’t so you can keep making the plan better.
Are more important than: tweaking your blog design to death, organizing your categories over and over, adding people and liking tons of photos on Instagram, researching everything you want to do instead of focusing on what you’re doing right now.
When you have a plan and a process, you’re less likely to get caught up in adding / updating / fixing all the little stuff that does not matter. And you’re more likely to stay focused on the tasks and strategies that keep you attached to your purpose and moving you toward your goals.
Going it alone
As a total introvert, I am all about doing things by myself. I’m totally fine going to the beach or the movies alone. Spending Saturdays reading in the quiet and stillness of my apartment. And so for the first few years of building my business online, I was happy to be out of a corporate work environment, never hearing the word meeting, or being interrupted 15 times/day.
But I realized, I (and you) can only get so far alone. After a while you need other people to help you choose this path or that, one name or the other, and to brainstorm with when good things or bad things happen.
Like I said, this is coming from an introvert – it is SO MUCH EASIER to move forward and grow when you have other people to help you figure stuff out. Because I know as well as anyone that a little indecision can turn into a dead stop very quickly.
I can’t tell you how many times I or someone else has shown up to my Facebook groups or mastermind group with something that seemed HUGE, and once I or they run it by the group and gained other people’s perspectives, that mountain became a molehill almost immediately.
Now, I know that you can totally conquer finding your blogging purpose and getting your expectations in check on your own.
The last two (a process + plan and a brilliant, supportive community), I’m going to help you with. Dare to Grow (my blog-boosting course, coaching, and community) is opening for enrollment VERY soon. Early bird enrollment will launch on June 23rd and open enrollment starts on June 26th. (All the info + the form to sign up for early access is over here.)
The very first module of the course will help you put your plan and process in place so that you actually have time to check off all your blogging tasks each week. And (not to toot my own horn, but totally to toot my own horn) the Facebook Group + monthly live coaching is second to NONE. It’s not a group that I show up to for a few weeks and then quietly disappear, leaving you to figure things out on your own. I am in the Dare to Grow Facebook group every single day, and live on Facebook once/month, all year long.
And you get lifetime access to everything. I mean, who doesn’t want to hang out with me FOREVER??
If you want a plan and a process and strategies (that I’ve tried and tested) to grow your audience, your blog traffic, your email list, and your social media following, then I hope you’ll join us.
And if you have any questions about the course, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!