The Top 10 Blog Survival Tips

We’ll take a break from our normal programming to examine some common threads between blog failures. I think this is a good time to point out that not every blog is destined for stardom. Some blogs simply will not excel, no matter how much effort and time is put into them. Many times the blogger is to blame. It is his/her poor decisions on content or user experience that are ultimately at fault. However, most of these are completely avoidable. Want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes? Here’s how.

1. Writing too little content. This is anything from writing very short posts to posting very infrequently. Your blogs should be 300-500 words each. Give your readers something to indulge in. You’ve got to establish a routine that your readers can count on. When I go about my daily blog reading, I expect fresh content. When I don’t find it…I go elsewhere.

2. Bad navigation. Readers come from all walks of life. Not everyone is as uber-leet computer savvy as you. Yeah, so you’ve got a sweet flash animation drop down toolbar. That does you no good if the user doesn’t have flash installed or has no idea how to use it. Keep it simple and efficient. The draw here is your content, not your flashy web skills.

3. Poor marketing. Take advantage of directories, read up on SEO, use indexing tools, pinging tools, social network tools, etc. Create a signature with a link in every forum you belong to. Join new forums each day just for that purpose. Just make sure you have something real to contribute to the conversation or find yourself blacklisted as a spammer.

4. Too broad. Niche blogging is where its at. With the blogosphere saturation levels reaching an all time high, you’ve got to focus on smaller groups of people to increase your conversion rate. You can say 3 things to a thousand people, or a thousand things to 3 people. It doesn’t take a statistician to figure that one out.

5. Sterile content. To maintain any kind of readership you’ve got to have good, refreshing, original content. Don’t be just another wordpress blog. You’ve got to write engaging, thoughtful content to stimulate your readers and make them want to come back for more. Read a few books on writing. I recommend “The Elements of Style”.

6. Poor ad performance. A great many bloggers become disgruntled at their small earnings and decide the blog is a total failure. Don’t let this get in your way. This is such a feeble problem that can be solved by doing a bit of reading on placement and strategy.

7. Competition. There isn’t much you can do about this one. What I recommend is that you make friends, not enemies. Network. Treat other “competitors” as you would like to be treated. Generally speaking, bloggers are nice people. They like to help each other out. There’s always potential for a link swap or article review. Take advantage of things like ReviewMe.

8. Pulling the plug too early. If you’re blog doesn’t blow up within the first few months, don’t abandon it. Chances are, you’ve got a lot of lurkers that haven’t converted to subscribers yet. They’re waiting to see if this is going to be another one of those few week flings that fill up much of or any of the other big name establishments. Have some faith.

9. No dedication. Many bloggers try to take on too much. They have 2-3 blogs going, hoping that one of them will make it big. They fail to realize that by doing so, they are condemning themselves to lower levels of success and in turn, placing more stress/work on themselves than required. Make one blog and stick to it. Don’t expect things to happen overnight.

10. No audience. As elementary as this sounds, you’ve got to have readers. You need to be taking advantage of social networking sites. You need to encourage your readers to comment. A non-active readership loosely translates to no readership at all. Any potential advertisers will see this and shrug off your blog as stagnant. This may complicate the conversion between casual browser and subscriber. Make sure you build a “community” environment for your readers.

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