Does your blog suck?
How do you even know? You write posts, you’re excited about writing them, you publish them, and then… well, some folks do say they like them, but you’re not getting the kind of results you were hoping for.
But does this mean your blog sucks?
Does this mean your content is not good enough?
Or do you just have to be a bit more patient?
It’s not as easy as it seems
When it comes to the art of blogging, quality is subjective. One man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. Or was it the other way around?
Also, it does take some time to grow your audience, to reach enough people to even be able to properly assess your own work. When you’re just starting out, you’ve got a bunch of readers, most of them friends and family, and they’ll probably not going to break your heart and tell you your blog sucks.
But then, what are you supposed to do?
It gets rather confusing, because you need to be your own judge. First of all, you need to be able to objectively determine how good your content is. Other people’s opinion is feedback, but you’re the one who can decide what to do with said feedback, and how to change accordingly.
Of course, there are certain signs. Maybe you’re guilty of making some of the biggest blogging mistakes possible, maybe you simply didn’t work hard enough on the content.
Here are some of the most common signs that you blog sucks:
1. You believe your posts are just “good enough”
If you had to rate your content what would you give it? A 6 out of 10? A 7? That’s what the majority of bloggers say.
What’s wrong with that?
Average doesn’t work well in the blogging world. You’re either blowing people’s minds or boring them to death, and there’s no in between.
In other words, content graded as a 6 or 7 gets the same reaction as a 1. It’s a waste of time to even publish it.
2. You’re all me, me, me
Most people use their blog as a sort of online journal, where people write about their day and some thoughts. Nothing wrong with that, except the fact that not many people will read your blog.
If your posts read more like pages from a diary than a magazine you would see at the newsstand, you’ve probably got a problem.
3. You’re not getting many (or any) comments
Comments are one of the most accurate ways to measure reader engagement. If you have a few hundred subscribers, and yet you receive no comments whatsoever on your posts, then it might be because, well, your blog sucks.
4. You spend less than an hour on each post
Yes, you can write a great blog post in 15 minutes. I have done it more than once, but most of the time I spend around 2 to 5-6 hours on each blog post I write. If you’re not, you should be.
5. You’ve never received fan mail
If your stuff is good, and considering that you added a Contact page on your blog, some of your readers will e-mail you to tell you just that. They can’t help themselves.
And even if you are just starting out, you still need to get some fan mail. It’s not about the quantity, but about the fact that someone loves your stuff so much that they go out of their way to thank you for existing on this planet.
6. You don’t have any haters
The opposite is also true. If what you write is really good, then it will have a polarizing effect. Not too much though, but there will be a group of people who won’t like you at all, and they’ll try to mock you and troll you and deplete you of energy.
What can you do?
7. You focus too much on SEO
Every once in a while a friend or acquaintance decides to start a blog, an online portfolio for stuff they’re doing, and the first thing they ask me is about SEO. As if it didn’t matter if your writing is horrible, as long as you use the right keywords in order to get the highest ranking possible.
First of all, I am not a big fan of SEO. I do not see it as that important. The only thing that makes much difference in terms of search engine rankings is for other people to link to your blog.
So Search Engine Optimization is not the key to becoming popular. You can optimize all you want, it’s having amazing content that it’s going to make your blog popular.
If you don’t focus primarily on delivering amazing content, then all the optimizing in the world can’t help you.
8. You’re saving yourself for later
Holding back, because well.. why not? You might write a book someday, and you don’t want to waste all your best ideas and offer them for free to the plebeians who are reading you.
Why would you do that?
Write generic stuff until you’re popular, then use your best content to become the most famous blogger in the world. And also make tons of money.
I’d also suggest waiting until you’re old to have sex. Save the best for later.
9. You write about everything
The best way (guaranteed) to frustrate your readers is to write about everything that’s on your mind.
This might come as a bit of a shock, but people aren’t that interested in what you think exactly. They want to know how that relates to them. Finding a niche and sticking to it is about offering the kind of people who are interested in that niche what they most want to know.
When you have a food blog and start complaining about your job at the accounting firm, that’s when you lost your readers.
10. You have no idea what your readers will gain from reading your blog
Question: in what manner does it benefit someone to read your post? Is their life going to be better? How are you helping your readers?
What is your contribution?
If your content does not help others get something they want, you’re going to fail.
11. You think you deserve more than what you’re getting right now
I know I used to feel entitled like that. Like a spoiled brat. No one deserves more attention than what they work for. And you’ve got to work hard, and spend years and years of writing and reading and learning and developing a style and coming up with a unique approach…
12. You have no idea what copywriting is about
Blogging has a lot more to do with copywriting than anything else. If you haven’t yet, I do recommend reading as many books on copywriting as possible.
13. You do not know (and neither care to know) your readers well enough
All the most popular blogs are about creating a great community, about knowing what the members of that community most want, and delivering that in style.
What is it that your readers want? What do they fear? What are their dreams, hopes, and expectations? Blog about those things.
Communicate with your readers on an emotional level, and you will take your blog to the next level.
14. You write less than 1,000 words per day
If you’re not writing at least 1,000 words per day, it will almost impossible for you to write anything but mediocre content.
Are you serious about blogging? Then try writing at least 1000 words every day for 30 days straight, and see how that is going to improve your writing.
15. You don’t read
How did Stephen King put it? Oh, yeah. If you don’t have the time to read, then you probably shouldn’t be writing. Something like that. Or maybe it was about tools…
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
16. You’ve been blogging for less than six months
If you’ve been blogging for less than six months, there’s almost nothing you can do. I mean, your content sucks to some degree, as you haven’t quite got the hang of it just yet. You don’t have much of an audience, hence you’re not receiving enough feedback.
It’s going to take a while longer to develop the proper tools in order for you to figure out if what you’re doing is okay or not. Keep going, keep writing, expect it to take a lot longer that you hoped to, and you’ll become better.
Producing great content is not easy. It is not a job for the mentally lazy, which means you cannot do it while thinking about other stuff and talking at the phone at the same time.
There are no shortcuts, no easy way out, no magic solution, nothing.
Creating an amazing blog is work. Creative work. And that takes a lot of time, energy, and passion.
If you’re genuinely worries that your blog might suck, that’s a good sign. It means you want to improve. Odds are, you’ll do anything to improve.
It’s the ones who think they’re the gods of the blogging world even though no one ever reads their stuff that I’m afraid of.
Do not rationalize yourself out of hard work. This is the most important thing. Do not allow yourself excuses such as other people are more talented, other people are luckier, or started years ago and now it’s too late…
Greatness takes time.
If you are willing to work hard, study, and always course correct as you go along, you’ll become a popular blogger. You’ll create amazing content at one point or another.