November 11, 2016

5 reasons your blog is stuck for a wrong reason, and how to come out of it

You start a blog. Then you write the best you can. You follow the advice that you see on the web - adding photos, sprucing up the headline, SEO, technical tweaking...

The blog doesn't move forward. You realize that your friends who were initially commenting a lot on your  blog have become less interested, unless you had appreciated their latest posts.

Something is wrong with the blog, you feel, and look for reasons for its NOT going the way you had visualized when creating the blog. You look for more advice and tips. You find a claim of getting a hundred thousand followers in a month and fall for it. You find some unethical tricks and are tempted to try them.

Nothing works, or something seems to work for a few days and then the blog goes back to square one.

What should I do? Why is my blog not getting enough traffic though I write so well? I have tried all SEO, even paid for it, but I'm not getting a lasting success, why?

One of the main mistakes most bloggers make is that they choose a wrong niche*. The wrong choice of the subject of the blog is, in fact, the biggest indirect cause for the blog getting stuck in the mud.  

We have found it after analyzing 300 blogs in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs and an equal number of blogs randomly chosen from the rejected list, over the last three months.

Let's see why most bloggers reach that stage:

1. Choosing a subject on somebody's advice or seeing someone succeed with that

Many people start blogging because others in their friendship circle or relations are doing that. With the rise of social networks, chat sites and social apps, fewer people are under social pressure to open a blog, but it does happen. Blogs started with others' advice or by following a successful blogger also suffer from many other ills.

2. Choosing a niche based on its paying potential

Many bloggers who start blogging with the sole aim to earn money choose subjects that are seen to be paying. They do all the research on the web and choose a few ones that are highly paying. The smarter among them do a lot of technical tweaking, which sometimes pays well and sometimes boomerangs as search engines penalize them for it. In all such case, the blogger is in a hurry to earn and has little love for the subject or the blog itself, so in the long run the blog stagnates.

3. Not choosing the best among possible good niches

Some bloggers do a bit of research about their strengths and weaknesses - which is highly desirable - but stop at that; they end up choosing the wrong subject out of the ones they are good at. Or they feel they can dominate the web by opening a number of blogs. After opening many blogs, they find short of time and energy for so many blogs, and most of their blogs decay. 

4. Starting the blog first and looking at the niche aspect much later

The temptation to follow someone successful or to prove that one is better than others (point no. 1 above) often leads to starting the blog in a huff. All other things including looking at one's strengths, going for proper platform and choosing the right design take a backseat till one realizes that things are not going fine. 

Some bloggers are seen working on the blog's design and their writing from be beginning but realize very late that some other subject would have suited them better. They feel short of topics in the present subject or feel bored. When that happens, they do not know whether to remain with the blog or discard all the stuff they created and start a new blog. 
 
5. Not choosing a topic at all

A very large part of the blogosphere is filled with personal blogs - blogs that talk of everything that comes to the mind of the blogger. Such blogs grow in their own way, sometimes getting popular much beyond their friendship circle, even making good money - but 9 out of 10 such blogs remain personal diaries with very few people interested in them. In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp, others' interest in such blog has gone down significantly.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, even partly, do read on.

I am new to blogging. How do I choose the right niche?


If you are a new blogger, you have all the time to make amends. Take out paper and pencil and list niches in which you are strong. Among them, choose those you are passionate about. Choose those with paying potential (if earning money from the blog is your goal). For earning, analyze how you will monetize the blog; for traffic, think what all actions you will be able to take. After a detailed analysis of your own strengths and also examining blogs already in those niches, select the topic that suits you in most respects and you'd not regret later for having chosen that subject

The following posts will help you in this analysis:
Latest ITB blog listing: for a list of variety of subjects and good blogs in those niches
5 quick points before you start a blog 
Be aware of the myths before you jump to blogging

Can I change the blog's niche now after five years of blogging?

  
Changing the niche of a blog that has run for long and has a large resource base is a lose-lose proposition. Yet, if you are stuck with it, it is never too late to make the right change. 

Try to analyze the blog from all angles and after that decide if you should revive the blog. Be rigorous and unsparing in this self-examination. Do not be tempted to revive the blog only because this is an easy and soft option. Ask the moot question again and again: Am I not wasting my energies on a niche that does not suit me? If at the end, you are 100% sure (not 99.9%) of taking it to a great height by following the right course, go for it. 

If the blog is not in a niche best for you, you have other options: 

(i) Keep maintaining the old blog but don't expect much from that. Use your creative creative energies in a more suitable niche

(ii) Re-purpose the resources of the old blog, and start a new blog in a different niche. You can use the resources of the earlier blog in many ways so that the fruit of your labor is not lost for ever - as a personal diary; as a collection of your tit-bits and creations such as travel photos, poems,  thoughts on economy etc; as an e-book or a real book; etc. 

(iii) Start a new blog and keep the old one as a section of your new blog. It can give the new readers a glimpse of your personal life, hobbies or interest in a different subject. This section might be personal section of your new professional blog.  

As a mix of these approaches, you can discard the old one and put its resources in a section in the new blog after editing them and presenting as new stuff. 

You can visit this post specifically on the question of what to consider when thinking to revive your old blog.

Whatever decision you take - create a new blog or revive the old blog with a new zeal - do not commit the same mistake again. Choose the right niche.

*niche = a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it; a distinct segment of a market; slot; position [The Free Dictionary by Farlex]