At least once a year someone out there publishes a long article announcing the imminent demise of the blog. More bloggers than ever are giving up, content saturation is alienating a lot of readers, and the rise in popularity of different mediums will be the final nail in the coffin.
It’s always been like this.
Out of all the bloggers I’ve networked with when I launched my first blog in 2012, only a dozen or so still publish regularly.
Out of all the bloggers that I’ve personally coached, only a dozen or so still publish regularly.
And out of all the people who decide to start a blog this year, only a small percentage of them will still publish new content regularly by the end of the year.
1. Blogging Is Easy To Learn, Difficult To Master
It’s a bit ironic, but the fundamentals of blogging are easy to learn. Blogging has become so popular precisely for this reason.
You can launch a blog within a couple of hours, with no prior skills and no upfront costs.
Even after that, understanding the elements of a blog post, the stages of writing a blog post, and even the fundamentals of email marketing, for instance, don’t require a lot of time and effort.
On the other hand, once you want to go beyond the ABCs of blogging, that’s when it gets kind of tricky.
For one, because it’s no longer about tactics (the actionable steps you can take to do something), but more about strategies and frameworks.
Secondly, because it’s no longer just about writing. In fact, the closer you get to reaching the highest level, the more you realize that a blog is simply a distribution channel, that you are effectively a creative entrepreneur who’s building a brand around a content creation strategy that also happens to include a blog.
But there’s a third reason as well, which leads me to my next point.
2. The Ecosystem Is Ultra-Competitive
The ones who prophesize the imminent death of blogging are too busy to notice the fact that the bottom is overcrowded and over-saturated with mediocre content.
On the other hand, there’s a thriving ecosystem of blogs at the top, the 0.1% that capture 99.9% of the traffic, engagement, and money.
Yes, anyone can blog, and almost anyone can easily master the fundamentals, but those aren’t enough to get you your first 1,000 readers, let alone allow you to earn an income blogging or even build a micro-monopoly in a relatively new niche.
Think about it.
Blogging is such a powerful distribution and marketing channel that companies invest millions and millions of dollars, hiring entire teams of people to produce high-quality content.
That’s why it’s important to go beyond the basics, to master your blog’s main topic, and to become part of the conversation that goes on within your niche.
3. The Dunning-Kruger Effect
There’s this frustrating trend I’ve noticed with most bloggers I’ve worked with.
Usually, it goes like this. I provide them with an initial feedback upon going through their blog, offer them some advice during our first one-on-one call, which they implement.
And then, they just decide they know better. They decide it is easy, and it’s usually when they really want to do something really petty that I advise against (like using white text on a black background for extremely long articles) that they decide blogging is really easy, I know nothing, and they’re better off doing their own thing.
And that’s how they fail.
Because, let’s be honest, the moment you think there’s nothing more to learn, that’s when everyone else begins to surpass you.
Believe me. I’ve been there. And this ecosystem is moving so fast (because it’s so competitive) that you’ll get run over if you decide to take it slow, let alone if, in your arrogance, you believe you’ve already reached the top.
You risk becoming irrelevant even if you were once the top authority within your niche, let alone if you’re some new blogger who’s become so seduced by the illusion of mastery that you stop trying to find ways to upgrade your skills.
4. Blogging Is Not Writing
Most people get in this game because they have a writer’s brain. They like to tell stories, they appreciate a clever wordplay, they want their own experiences to mean something to someone else.
And while writing is a core skill of blogging, the truth is that, especially in the long run, turning off that writer brain from time to time is one of the best things you can do.
I know this from firsthand experience.
First of all, I know for sure that writing isn’t the only skill required for blogging success. After all, here I am, crazy Romanian kid, having built some of the most successful blogs in the world, and English isn’t even my first language.
Secondly, in order to level up, I had to quiet my “writer brain” and shift my identity from that of a writer to that of a blogger, and then as I had to embrace skills outside of writing, I had to shift once again and call myself a creative entrepreneur.
Otherwise? I would have struggled to earn a full-time income blogging.
Now, here’s how I think about writing. It’s one of many skills that one has to acquire on the journey to the blogging stratosphere.
And writing, even brilliant writing, won’t get you readers or get you paid.
Because without taking advantage of distribution channels, without knowing who your target audience is, where to find them, and how to attract them, you’re effectively writing in a void. And more content (or even better content) won’t help you.
And about getting paid… unless you understand that blogs don’t make money, but rather the businesses behind them, you’ll be forced to rely on 3 of the worst performing monetization channels available (ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored content.) And that’s only if you’re lucky enough to be in a niche that enables affiliate marketing, otherwise, you’ll be forced to recommend vaguely relevant books from Amazon.
Early on, writing is the skill that needs to be developed, yes. And improving your writing skills or adapting to better suit the medium will require a lot of your time and energy.
But after that?
Writing becomes one skill, just like any other.
Right now, I’m more frustrated with my copywriting and with my inability to speak clearly in front of a camera than I am focused on improving my writing.
These are the four main reasons why most blogs fail.
Most blogs fail because of self-imposed limitations, wrong assumptions, and the belief that becoming a successful blogger is somehow easy.
If you’re just starting out as a blogger, I highly recommend that you download our growth kit.
I’ve put together this set of five unconventional resources that will help you on your journey towards the blogging stratosphere, and you can download them for free by clicking the button below.