To start your own blog is so easy. Many new bloggers begin enthusiastically and publish a few posts in a row. Then, it usually follows a publishing dip, or irregular posts every now and then.
Where do their enthusiasm go? Why are so many blogs abandoned? We can find the answers to these questions if we compare the expectations of new bloggers and the realities of the blogging experience.
Building an Audience
When you launch your brand new blog, it creates a certain curiosity, especially from people close to you. When you see engagement from your friends and probably a few new people, you might think your new blog is about to take off and have a life of its own.
Your friends offer you support and engage with your blog when you launch, but soon after the engagement, comments and shares will fade away, unless you keep it interesting for them.
You probably don’t want to keep a blog just for your friends. And the first condition for other people to engage with your blog is to know it exists. Only after that, they have to like it.
I know it’s not as easy to promote a blog or a site which doesn’t come with the hype of a new launch. But it is what you need to do, constantly, if you want to keep your readers and make new ones.
There will be posts with no comments and no shares. And there will be people who only comment to spam (for WordPress blogs, use Akismet plugin against bot spam comments). There will be off-topic comments. But if you are doing something right, there will be times when you get insightful comments, or much more comments and shares than you expected, and these are times you should properly remark and celebrate.
Time Allocated For Blogging
You might expect as a new blogger that a post you write in 1-2 hours (or less than an hour!) and publish once a month or whenever you have something to say will have an impact.
You know being consistent is a key. But not the only one. If we look at the masters of blogging you will understand how much time it involves to be successful. It takes some time to come up with a topic (unless you use one you already have), much more to do the research and find the resources you’ll use, some time to write the blog post and some more time to proofread and edit it. That takes much more than 1-2 hours / post.
And if you write a big one, it can take days and a team to put it together and make sure it looks great. Much like a small book.
There are two elements of blog posts you can variate until you find the right combination for you and your audience, assuming you settled to a certain niche or niches (which you should do): frequency and size.
The two elements are inversely proportional in general. If you publish more frequently, you can’t write sizable blog posts, without degrading quality. If you write huge blog posts, it will take considerable more time to go through the entire process which means “writing” it, and your blogging frequency naturally can’t be very often.
What To Write About Next?
New topics will come up to me, or I will only write when I have something to say.
What happens if you don’t have anything to say for 6 months? Do you think any of your readers will still be interested in your blog? What about in the mean time, anyone will visit it?
If you think valuable content you published long ago will still be found organically, you should know that Google favors in their rankings sites with fresh content, in the detriment of those which haven’t been updated in a long time.
New topics sometimes “come up”. But more often than not this is not a passive process, you actively search for new topics or, when something sparks an idea for a new blog post, you write it down, or you’ll soon forget about it.
One of the main reasons for bloggers to give up is not knowing what to write about next. Don’t wait until the very last minute to find a topic, or even to write your blog post, if you set out a certain frequency! Your readers will see you haven’t put enough interest into it.
New bloggers may check analytics often when they start or they may not use them at all. But having high expectations, many from those who started to check analytics from the start, will likely give up, because they want more readers, quicker.
Analytics tell you how many readers you have. But more importantly, they tell you how your readers are like. That’s why successful bloggers consult their analytics often.
You set up your blog, have written a few blog posts, have a few comments and shares, now it’s time to earn some money. So, you add Google Adsense or something similar to your blog and expect to see money pouring to your account within a week or a month.
No serious new blog should be directly monetized at first! You have no valuable content and no audience yet. If such a monetization account would be approved for your blog, you would get mostly junk advertising displayed, which would hurt your blog’s reputation before you even have a chance to build one.
Plus, it is likely you will make so little money it your first year, maybe more, from Google Adsense, that you won’t reach payout.
Why should I have / keep a blog when I can post on my social media accounts?
Much like your own list, a (WordPress) blog and its content are yours to do what you want with them (if you self-host your blog, you have access to the database and the code). Which is not the case with your social media account, which belongs to the company who owns the social media platform. They can do changes you do not agree with and you can’t do anything about it except live with it or delete your account.
You can do pretty much anything and everything with your blog (at least with WordPress blogs), but have many limitations on any social media platform.
Social media is used by almost every blogger to promote their blog posts, but not as a smart alternative to blogging.