It takes years to build a good blog. But it only takes 60 days to ruin something that could have been a good blog.
It’s hard to track exactly how long the average blog will last because most unsuccessful blogs aren’t taken down. They’re left live (but not active) out in web space purgatory.
However, when a blog fails, odds are good that the damage was done within the first 60 days of the first post. Or the damage was done while the blog was still on the whiteboard.
With that in mind, here are 6 ways you can ruin a perfectly good blog in the first 60 days.
The second you sign up for a year of hosting that costs less than the coffee you will drink to write your first blog, you’re not in the right headspace.
Cheap hosting will cost you far more than you think. Certainly, don’t overspend on your WordPress hosting or sign up for an enterprise level plan. But take this step very seriously.
Here’s what cheap hosting will cost you:
- Speed, especially during peak times
- Reliability, with very loosely reported downtime and outages
- Customer service, when you do experience an outage
- Scalability, when it’s time to upgrade
These free or cheap hosting sites are also known to cap your bandwidth and speed. So if you start writing really amazing content and earning traffic, they will slow you down and kill all of your momentum.
The podcast and blogging worlds are full of people who simply want to have their own blog or podcast. These people fail and grow disinterested pretty quickly, because they think they’re interesting enough to ramble away, with no niche or point.
There is far too much competition today to get away with unfocused content like that, unless you’re already an established celebrity or public figure.
Tap into your passions to find your niche, and know that an audience will always exist for that niche. You need to zero in on that niche, instead of shotgun blasting your content to anyone.
Some people are impulsive and will pick their WordPress theme and start writing the same day. However, a lack of a plan often leads to the blog falling flat. Subsequently, the author loses interest pretty quickly, after an initial surge of enthusiasm.
They may say, “It was more work than I expected.” That’s only partially true. Most of the work is just not where they expected. It’s in the planning stage, which they skipped completely.
You need to plan:
- What you’re going to write about (a nice, long list of topics)
- Who your audience will be (that niche we mentioned above)
- How often you’re going to write
- How you’re going to promote it (more on that later)
- How you’re going to measure success (again, more on that later)
This work could take anywhere from hours to weeks. However, it’s work that must be done.
You know you’re going to share this blog within your social circle, but doing that can really set a hard ceiling on your growth and success.
To truly grow, you’re going to have to pay to promote this blog outside of your network. The good news is this is actually shockingly affordable. And you can really lock in on your niche by targeting geographic areas or jobs when you promote on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.
A lot of people will quit blogging because they didn’t really know what success would look like.
You need to know if your key indicator of success is:
- Signups or appointments
- Social activity, such as Likes, Shares or Retweets
You need to lock into 1 or 2 of those metrics and not worry about anything else, especially in the early years. Trying to chase an undefined combination of all of them will just lead to disappointment, frustration, and ultimately, defeat.
To be clear, you can make your first blog topic about why you started this blog, if it’s an interesting reason or compelling story. However, that’s not how to announce your presence to the world.
For example, let’s say you’re a mommy blogger who is targeting other mom’s who have kids with autism. That presents a huge potential to write great content and find a huge niche audience. So you want to attack it the right way!
You want to tell your story, and why you started this blog because you know the story will resonate. So don’t title it “Why I started This Blog,” you can do better.
Use something emotional from the actual story like, “My Son’s Principal Called Him Slow and That’s Not Ok.” See how you can tell the exact same story, with a more emotive headline to lock into your readers’ interest?
Did you notice a common theme in that list? Most of these faults can be attributed to a lack of planning, or simply not taking blogging seriously. Failing to have all of these things in place is setting yourself up to fail.
Some of these mistakes take place in your head before you write a single word. Some of them take place during the setup or writing process. But any combination of them can lead to early frustration and giving up in less than 2 months.