You felt you had to share your thoughts with the public about your topic and help them, educate them, teach them.
You felt it is your responsibility to debunk some misconceptions, provide guidelines, give reviews and become an authority in your field.
Or maybe you wanted to start a blog because you felt it is glamorous.
Maybe you wanted to make some money along the way. (Like me 😀)
Whatever the reason, the bottom line is you wanted a blog.
The first step, you bought a domain name, purchased a hosting and learnt how to build a blog on WordPress.
You sweated hard, spent fifteen days tirelessly, and finally, your shiny blog was up with Google Analytics to track visitors.
Meanwhile, you already had written one blog post which you immediately uploaded.
Now, you published this article on social media and yes, many of your friends liked the post, gave you kudos.
You were happy; your efforts were bearing fruit. You ran to see the Google Analytics report…And you found 15 people read your blog.
7 days later…
You wrote another post and again shared it with your friends, you received kudos little less than last time. And five people read your post.
You thought, ok, maybe this time I little less engagement.
14 days later…
Your third post went up.
This time there was silence on social media…No readers seen on Google Analytics.
21 days later…
You thought I am busy in some other work, let me skip writing a blog post this week.
28 days later…
You wrote another article, little less enthusiastically this time. As usual, you posted on social media. Again, crickets chirping. No engagement on social media and one visitor visible on Google Analytics.
You were frustrated…
Now you posted whenever you felt like you. Sometimes you skipped posting on social media.
Still a big zero on Google Analytics.
Can you relate to this? I sure can.
But then I was too passionate about my blog like you. So, I had to find the reasons why my blog failed. Why did I fail to gain any readership?
Reasons for failure
There are many reasons for blog failure. Like wrong promotion strategies, low quality writing or even lack of proper headlines. In this article we are going to focus on content-related reasons for failure of your blog.
Writing for everyone instead of someone particular
Many bloggers make this mistake. They think everyone is their reader.
For example, let’s take an example of a digital marketing blog.
Does every business, entrepreneur and solopreneur require to learn digital marketing? Yes, most probably.
But can you write for all of them?
No, you cannot!
Digital marketing required for a solopreneur will be vastly different from what a mature B2B business needs.
You cannot cater to both audiences at once. In attracting everyone, you will drive everyone away.
When do people read your blog?
When people start connecting with you, correlating with you, when they feel you are a better version of them, then only they will start reading what you have written.
Unless you create a connection with them, you cannot excite them enough to read.
And how you can create that connection?
Only by writing for them. That person. People with similar problems. Same characteristics. And not everyone.
Taking the example of digital marketing blog, you can write for
These are just a few examples
- SaaS-based product companies
As you can see, an artist will have a different kind of requirements of digital marketing than a SaaS-based product company.
But if you focus on, let’s say, artists, your all blog posts will be centred on someone instead of everyone, and then you will connect with your audience.
Of course, you can later grow your blog by writing for a larger audience, but when you are starting, you cannot make the mistake of writing for everyone.
Let’s see a few examples now
SmartBlogger: As you can see from their blog header, they write for Freelance Writers probably working from home. They are not writing for a novelist, journalist but only freelance writer.
Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast: Pat Flynn’s podcast focusses on building your online business. Just a note, even though the podcast is not a blog, it is still content.
Screw the nine to five is a blog written for lifestyle entrepreneurs.
Can you see how focussed these blogs are?
So, now think, how focussed is your blog?
Not engaging enough
A blog is your personal view. So, it cannot sound like a company’s annual report or some product datasheet.
A blog be should conversational. Like you are talking with your friends in a coffee shop. Because in a conversation one thought brings another and another. There is a flow.
Ask your reader questions in between. Don’t just go on and on about what you have to say. Let them think in between your thoughts.
Another thing that bloggers do is write in either ‘I language’ or ‘They language’.
When you are trying to help others by providing some information, then you cannot keep on talking about you. Another thing, you cannot call your reader they or them. That’s so impersonal.
That’s how companies talk, but not bloggers.
Switch from ‘I’ or ‘they’ to ‘you’
Talk from the perspective of your reader.
Ask one more question to yourself.
How many times your reader is running for a dictionary?
If more than once, then it is a high time to change your writing style. Difficult, lesser-known words just make your blog a complicated affair.
Understand it; your readers are looking for easy to understand and easy to digest information. Anything apart from that is wastage of their time and your time.
Same goes for idioms, phrases while they look beautiful in your school essay, not so much in the blog post.
If your writing is not engaging, then work on it.
For example, on my WordPress blog, I have to make sure, I write in a very engaging way because I am mostly writing for non-technical people. And it can easily get too technical and preachy.
Make sure you are conversing with your reader, not preaching.
Are we on the same page till now?
Awesome, let’s move forward.
Not providing value
Why are you writing a blog?
To provide some actionable information. In short, provide value.
Why your reader is reading what you have written?
To gain some actionable information. In short, gain value.
Now, if you remove the value, what you are providing, and what your reader is gaining?
And what both of you are losing?
Yes. Without value, your blog is just a bunch of words.
After reading your blog, there should be a wow feeling, an aha moment. If that is missing, then you should work more on how to you can provide value.
And for that, you must spend more time researching, what your readers would like to read? What information in your niche is missing that you can fill?
Now, I have a small tip for you, always start with the result.
What do I mean?
Let me give an example of this blog. The reason I am writing this is that I don’t want my fellow bloggers to make some common mistakes that can crash and burn your blog.
With this thought in mind, I decided my outline and then my title.
For me, starting with the title is wrong as you keep your title in the mind while writing instead of the result, which will result in loss of value.
The bottom line is you should deliver value. No compromise.
Too much self-promotion
Nobody likes a narcissist. Readers would like to read what helps them. Not your biography.
Sure, if you want to make some point, which requires your backstory, then go ahead, talk about yourself. In fact, that will be helpful.
Your readers would appreciate your genuineness.
But if every post, you are talking about yourself, then your readers will turn away.
Same applies if you are promoting your products every post. See, a blog by its inherent nature should provide value without asking for anything.
Some selflessness is required to run a blog.
And if people find your content to be valuable, then they will go for your paid products.
Don’t be desperate to sell your products. That is bound to turn away readers.
If you want to promote yourself continuously, then you are in the wrong place. A blog is not for you. Some selflessness is required to run a blog.
Starting a blog is a straightforward thing.
Running a blog is difficult.
But running a blog that attracts readers is a challenge.
A conquerable challenge.
So, go ahead, find out what mistakes you are making. Find out how you can fix the gaps and make your blog readable, engaging and value providing machine.
Best of luck to you 😊
Prathamesh Sakhadeo is the founder of Cresco Systems and WordPress expert teaching WordPress and blogging to non-technical people.