Of the 1.7 billion websites worldwide, 600 million are blogs. The number of US bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million in 2020.
Blogging is clearly competitive. They are constantly vying for valuable people’s online attention, which is around 15 seconds for more than half of the readers. For many, however, the benefits of blogging outweigh the time, cost, and labor involved. That’s because marketers who prioritized blogging saw a 13x higher ROI in 2019 than companies who placed it at the bottom of the stack.
On top of sales, blogs are a great way to increase brand awareness, share engaging articles, and attract new customers. Seems like an easy marketing win right? Not quite. Before you hit publish on this first piece, it’s important to consider why blogs fail.
To find out why blogs fail, let’s look at a handful of blog stats – and simple ways to make sure yours are successful. But first, let’s answer that nagging question in the back of our mind:
What percentage of blogs fail?
A 2020 survey by Orbit Media found that only 21% of respondents either didn’t know if their blog was delivering value or that their blog was delivering disappointing results.
So we know what percentage of marketers think their blogs are not doing well, but what could have contributed to that failure? And how do you avoid these mistakes? Let’s take a look.
Why blogs fail
1. The blog lacks a content strategy.
Do you know why your blog exists? If so, does your content support this right to exist?
One of the main reasons blogs fail is the lack of targeted, engaging content. In fact, “original written content” is the top type for 58% of marketers. If you’re wondering what exactly a useful post is, Google defines it as “original content that adds value to users”. And this value is “meaningful content or functions such as additional information on price, place of purchase or product category”.
The first step in creating valuable content is making it a priority, such as 72% of B2B content creators. Planning starts with a well-documented blog strategy that you can delve into in our Business Blogging course.
A strategy may sound like a simple solution – but it works. 65 percent of the most successful North American bloggers have a well-documented content marketing strategy. Among the least successful bloggers, only 14% write down a strategy and 39% admit they have no strategy.
Once your plan is in place, you can start creating engaging content. Learning what works best for your buyer personality is important, but you can use these guidelines as a starting point.
- 55% of bloggers see results from blog posts of 2,000 words or more. (Orbit Media)
- 39% of consumers are irritated by content that is “poorly written” or “too verbose”. (Adobe)
- Articles with pictures get 94% more total views. (Fundera)
2. The blog is not optimized for search.
Let’s just say it – search engine optimization (SEO) can be frustrating. When you think you’ve done everything to optimize your blog, the algorithms change. Ignoring SEO is another reason blogs fail.
You need people to find, read, and share your blog, but that’s almost impossible without optimization. Search is the primary source of blog traffic in all industries. In 2019, 68% of web traffic came from paid and organic search, and hit channels like display and social media.
Fortunately, certain SEO rules still sound right. So if you focus on the following methods, your blog will be better geared towards success:
- Research keywords. Keywords are a short series of words that help search engines understand what a web page is about (for example, “Why do blogs fail?”). While experts are discussing whether or not keywords are still relevant for SEO, they share the intent of your blog and improve the ranking. Check out our SEO Keyword Research Guide to find the best practices.
- Write descriptions for pictures and videos. Text is the basis of the search. So, if you make a copy that algorithms can easily understand, you will rank well.
- Optimize for voice search. With 62% of people in the US age 12 and older using voice assistants, optimizing your blog for voice search is one way to stay one step ahead of the SEO game.
3. The blog is not well designed.
Imagine clicking on a blog you’ve never visited only to see low quality images, slow load times, and a disorganized layout. You probably won’t stay long – and you are not alone. Ninety percent of people left a website because of poor design.
While the look of your website is important for reader engagement, a well-designed website architecture helps search engines organize and index your blog pages (both of which will benefit your SEO). If your blog is having a hard time navigating your blog, they’ll likely ricochet … and never come back. Because of a bad experience, 88% of consumers are unlikely to return to a website.
The solution to getting people to scroll on your website? A good experience.
User experience (UX) design is a specialty in itself. So if you don’t want to dig into the psychology of human decision making, your best bet is to use professional or template web design software like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. However, you can improve the look and feel of your content by including design elements from these blog stats:
4. The blog manager publishes inconsistently.
On the first day of your blogging journey, you have big plans to post something every day. Two weeks later, only one article is live. This scenario shows another reason blogs fail: inconsistency.
Blogging takes time. In 2019, bloggers spent an average of three hours and 57 minutes writing a single post. You then need to consider the time to add, edit, format, share, and promote images. It can be too time consuming for small businesses to publish content every day. For smaller teams it is often enough to post one to four times a week. Large companies, on the other hand, usually have the resources to share a new piece every day.
Don’t worry if you can’t post seven times a week. The biggest challenge for 52% of bloggers is finding time to create and promote content. Instead, try the tips below to help you create a consistent blogging schedule.
- Use templates. You don’t always have to start from scratch. Blog post templates are guided outlines that stimulate creative thinking and help you format posts.
- Get inspired. Writer’s block happens to everyone – even bloggers. Find interesting headlines, formats, and designs to get ideas for your next post. Then do it yourself by adding stats, pictures, examples and thoughts.
- Create an editorial calendar. Psychological research has shown that 90% of the time, certain challenging goals led to better performance than simple goals, “do your best”, or no goals. You can use goal setting to your advantage by planning your blog content for the next one, three, or six months with an editorial calendar.
There are hundreds of reasons why blogs fail. If you avoid these four common pitfalls, you have a better chance of creating a blog that will show up in search results, have engaging content, and keep readers coming back time and time again.