Why 99% of Blogs Will Fail in 2018

111 amazing comments

Almost every one of the millions of blogs that are started in 2018 are destined to fail and die a slow, boring death.

This is not meant to be depressing (although it probably is…) because there are some practical solutions that we can apply in order to ensure that our beautiful blogs don’t end up in that sad category.

But before we look at those solutions we need to recognize the main causes of blog failure, and we need to face those problems head on.

Unfortunately, most people don’t even know it’s an issue that is likely to occur and so end up getting a big old surprise down the track.

The biggest danger for new bloggers

A lot of the people who read this particular blog are here because they have fallen in love with the art of blogging and want to make it a big part of their life.

Some of them are doing it because they are looking for a new income stream in some challenging times, others are doing it because they are worried about current issues like climate change and want to contribute to a greater public understanding.

Starting a new blog is an exciting time that is filled with a lot of hope and enthusiasm.

The sad part is that most bloggers will lose that excitement and enthusiasm when they start to realize that results are hard to come by – traffic is low, earnings are hard to achieve, and growth just doesn’t seem to occur.

So what is the biggest danger for new bloggers?

It’s time frames.

But what does that mean and how does it affect our blog’s chances of success over the next year or two? And, more importantly, is there anything we can do about it?

The time frame of a successful blog

When you first start a blog you spend so much time on all the set up.

blogging lifestyleYou’re busy doing things like installing WordPress on your server, building a mailing list and all the email submit forms, setting up social networking accounts, writing blog posts, etc.

And while you’re doing all that you never really take time to think about how long it is going to take to actually see some results because you are so caught up in the excitement of just getting started.

But the honest fact is that a blog is just like any small business and a lot of small businesses don’t break even for at least a year, and sometimes two years.

This can be hard for a blogger to reconcile because blogging really does take up a lot of time, often while you are working another job or raising kids, and it often takes away from the moments you usually use to relax.

Start thinking about your blog as a small business, however, and things start to get a bit brighter. According to the U.S. Small Business Association about half of all new small businesses (PDF) will make it to their fifth year.

While that might not seem like a great statistics at first, when you think about all the people starting businesses it is actually quite hopeful to think that, in five years time, you’ll have a business that is making money.

I actually ran a little Twitter poll to ask people about why they think blog’s fail (you might have to vote in order to see the results):

Although the sample size is really small, I think the fact that a lot of people seem to lose interest is indicative of the fact that they thought it would “happen” a lot quicker than it does.

Perhaps our expectations and time frames for how long it takes to make a blog succeed are a little off?

How do we ensure that our blogs don’t fail in 2018?

I’d like to go in to a little detail now about how we can make sure that our new blogs aren’t one of those that fade away in the next year or so.

If you follow these tips I am quite sure that our blogs will be the kind of blogs that last the distance.

  • Make a solid plan with dates
    I mention this one quite a lot because it really is something that a lot of bloggers just overlook. Instead of just starting a blog and seeing what works, spend a week planning out the whole process from the end-result to the types of content you’ll produce. That way you have some goals to hit and you know what to work on, and the expectations will be realistic. I think this is one of the major ways that you can avoid burning out due to the beginning phases of your blog being a little slow.
  • Find ways to make your blog distinctive
    When you look at all the stats about blogs you’ll notice that we are just a needle in a giant, growing haystack. One of the most important things you can do is figure out what your blog can offer the world that is different to the result. If you’re writing about a popular topic, how can you make your blog stand out and be memorable? This is a vital step to ensuring that you don’t get lost in the noise in 2018.
  • Focus on getting new visitors
    It’s absolutely critical that your blog gets a constant flow of new traffic. And the activities that we need to do in order to get that traffic are a lot more than just writing posts and then sharing them on Twitter or Facebook. If that’s all you’re doing for traffic acquisition then there is a chance you won’t last the year. Make this a big part of your overall daily activities.
  • Network like your life depends on it
    I can honestly say that any success that I have had over the years has purely been due to the kindness of others. Whether it was readers who read my ramblings, or colleagues and mentors who helped me come up with better ideas or shared my stuff with their own readers, it’s all been because of them. Take some time to learn how to network in your niche by linking to big blogs in your best articles, letting them know you’ve done that, and then, eventually, building a genuine relationship that might lead to shares and collaborations.
  • Spend some money…please
    This point is something that a lot of bloggers have a problem with and it is a real shame. Imagine starting a little cafe or restaurant and not wanting to spend money on stock, rent, insurance, advertising, etc. People would think you’re crazy! But a large portion of bloggers think that spending money on set up and promotion is a waste. It really is a bit backwards. Make sure you’re on a good host with a good theme, and then start experimenting with advertising so as to get your blog out there. You can also think about spending money on education options like courses or membership sites that will help take you to new levels.
  • Learn how to research clever campaigns
    The last idea that I want to give you is something that is very simple but also incredibly effective and that is learning how to research. People like Glen from Detailed have become very good at looking at other websites to see how they had their success. If you want to keep your blog alive and healthy in 2018 you need to learn how to research what is working for other people in your niche. This allows you to get new ideas and improve on what they are doing so as to help your readers more effectively and build a solid reputation online.

Of course, this list of tips could go on and on forever, but I really feel that if you focus on a strategy that has a timeline for getting new traffic and making money you will avoid the main pitfall that bloggers face when it comes to unrealistic expectations.

What other risks are there for bloggers in 2018?

Of course, there are so many other variables that will affect how many blogs go on to success in the new year.

For example, a lot of people are worried about all the movements that are happening around Net Neutrality and the fact that a few regulatory changes in the USA might mean that millions of websites around the world end up having their business model completely changed. This is something we are definitely trying to keep an eye on.

Then there is the fact that the blog site that you choose as your platform might lose popularity or start to trend downwards when you had expected it to keep rising. Medium, for example, moved to a majority subscription model recently which affected a lot of bloggers. Again, while it does have its own risks and challenges, it really does seem that a domain name and your own host is the best option for the long term because at least it is flexible.

The main thing that I think we should all remember, however, is that we are extremely fortunate to be in this business. We have such low barriers to entry (we don’t need business loans and staff to get started) and we can pretty much build a career from the comfort of our own homes instead of working in factories and fields.

With that in mind I am really pretty hopeful about the state of blogging in 2018 and feel that the current political situation and climate emergency is going to lead to a lot of people jumping online to try and write about the truth, facts, and bring logical debate back to the blogosphere.

Why do you think blogs fail?

Do you think your blog will survive the next year? I’d really love to know your thoughts about why you think the majority of blogs fail and if you think there are any tips they could have applied to survive and make it through to bigger and brighter futures.

Please leave a comment below as it might really help someone out there.

Top image © Daniel Villeneuve

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111 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Caroline

    Very informative post! It’s given me a lot to think about and plan for as we enter into the new year . . . As for why blogs fail, I definitely agree with you that it’s easy to lose interest and motivation when we don’t see any results from our hard work. But that’s the life of a blogger — you gotta keep at it and put in the effort.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Caroline.

      Agreed. It’s a lot of consistent work to make things happen.

      Good luck in 2018!


    2. Rajat

      Agreed Caroline. Very informative. Consistency is the key.


      1. Richardregan

        hmmm…..yes definitely. Its a huge dedicated hard work including time to reach our goal. Thanks


  • Shelbi

    I think a lot of blogs fail because it’s hard to run a small business. There’s a sea of bloggers out there and it can be hard to keep up. Frankly, working full-time, taking care of a small child, etc. it’s just too much sometimes. Also, there isn’t a map or blueprint that tells you what exactly to do and there’s a bit of an uneven playing field when it comes to marketing or just running a business in general. In addition, there’s a lot of bullsh*t courses out there by people who have never actually made money blogging and they’re just regurgitating information that they read online to benefit themselves. One last thing. Sometimes there’s just something inside of us holding us back (not everyone). Usually it’s something that we seriously believe is keeping us from reaching our goals. It’s just so different for everyone.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Shelbi.

      The point you make about the courses is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I know so many colleagues who have so much genuinely good and tested information that I think a roadmap type thing is possible.

      Maybe it’s something I need to look in to a bit more…


      1. Shelbi

        Maybe you could create a blogging roadmap course (that’s not BS). 😉

        Jk, I know you’re not BS.


  • Darius Gaynor

    Great read! Bloggers should definitely not be afraid to invest some money in advertising to get more exposure and make sure the niche your in you are passionate about which is great for the long run.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Darius. Nice to see you around here.


    2. Steve

      I disagree with the whole ‘you need to be passionate about your niche/topic’ thing.

      Makes me cringe each and every time I read it.

      Regurgitated nonsense that rarely works in business and contributes to so many failing with their ‘passion’ blogs.

      You should actually be concentrating on a blog topic that has an ‘audience with a passion’.

      They have the passion……not you.

      Your passion doesn’t necessarily have a big enough audience or generate enough or any income.

      Let’s put this into real context using the real world of business and money:-

      How many business owners on your high street or on your local industrial estate do you think have a passion for what they do?

      I can assure you that it is very few.

      Very few business owners have the Elan Musk, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates passion for what they do and then go on to achieve even a fraction of the successful that they did.

      Richard Branson started Virgin Airways after being delayed in an airport with the rest of his fellow passengers. Frustrated and annoyed, they banded together and chartered their own aircraft to take themselves home. A Eureka money moment for Sir Richard. Not a passion in site.

      He subsequently became extremely passionate about Virgin Airlines.

      I wonder why? $£$£$£$£$£$£$

      What most successful business owners have a passion for is making money and they have an audience that spends money. That’s it.

      It’s only in the blogging world of tuition do we see this ‘You need to be passionate’ nonsense.

      Take a look at any business planning document. Passion doesn’t even come into it. Forecasting your profits and losses comes high on the agenda. A audience of paying customers/consumers/clients comes high on the agenda.

      Having a passion for what you do? Doesn’t get a mention in any business start up or business planning document i’ve ever read so why are bloggers told that they need a passion?

      Being in business for money is far more financially rewarding than being passionate about your business, unless you are fortunate to be another Elan Musk, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

      Blogging is no different in that respect.

      I personally know many trade business owners who operate as plumbers, electricians, builders, accountants, painters and decorators, roofers, driving instructors, transport and logistics etc. None of them are passionate about what they do. In fact, many of them ‘hate what they with a passion’ but the money is good because people are spending it.

      Yeah, they have a passion. They have a passion for making money in markets where people either need to spend money or want to spend money.

      If you want to continue using the words ‘passion or passionate’ when discussing blogging strategies then please go and find an audience who has a passion and start a blog in that because that is where the money is more likely to be found.

      Yeah, it certainly helps if you have a personal connection, interest, talent and a natural/genuine passion for a particular market and you can also direct that into your own blog/website such as a fitness instructor or yoga instructor or lifestyle coach but you also need an audience who are also passionate who also need or like to spend money on it. There in lies the conundrum of what to blog about.

      Unfortunately these blog niches are saturated markets where the failure rates are unsurprisingly high unless your services are also provided locally, which puts you into the ‘local business’ category and not the ‘online blogger’ category.

      Very few people who enter the blogging game as opportunists, which is the majority, have enough of a personal passion for something and then make money online from it.

      I have a passion for Gibson guitars but I wouldn’t stand a cat in hells chance of competing within that market yet I’m being directed to start a blog about my passion or told that it would be better for me if I did that.

      I’d be wasting my time following that advice.

      I’m passionate about skiing. Same again. I’d get crushed unless I was Franz Klammer.

      Conversely, perhaps you know enough about a particular topic to share it or provide it but you aren’t necessarily passionate about that topic. Should you refrain from starting a blog because you aren’t passionate?

      I bet you’d become extremely passionate about that blog if/when it starts making money.

      In short……it’s ok to ignore the ‘use your passion to start a blog’ brigade and instead go find an audience that has a passion for something that they also spend money on.

      IF you can compete then your chances of success are dramatically increased.

      So many conundrums.


      1. Ahsaan

        Steve!
        You’re the first genuine person I’ve ever come across describing the business and passion perspective in such a crafted way.
        For me, passion is overrated, sometimes passion makes your ambitions so high that you forget the basics of how to start a business!
        At the end, it is all about how well do you strategize and let not your passion and emotions come over your goals.


  • Rick Rouse

    I agree with all of the reasons mentioned above.

    Based upon my own experience and research, I believe most aspiring bloggers start out expecting quick results that rarely materialize unless they’re willing and able to spend a boatload of cash on advertising.

    Advertising will give most any new blog a head start, but too many new bloggers think “If I build it they will come!” without understanding what it really takes to build a blog audience from scratch without a large advertising budget.

    The fact is most aspiring bloggers don’t understand the process of building their blog traffic so many of them just give up before their blogs have a chance to grow and mature.

    As always, this is an outstanding post, Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      That line “build it and they will come” I think has probably killed more businesses than any other in a movie! Ha.

      Great comment.


      1. Rick Rouse

        Sadly, I think you’re exactly right.


  • Geybie’s Book Blog

    So important. Thanks for sharing. My blog is celebrating its one year and I’m actually surprised it’s lasted that long. I hope it will last forever. I’m planning to do some changes for next year that hopefully will freshen the blog. Love your blog. Thanks for the help. ❤️


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much. Appreciate the feedback.


  • Winston

    Most bloggers fail (like why businesses fail) because they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Typically it’s for fame, recognition or money. It’s not that anything is wrong for wanting these things, but if it’s your main motivator then you won’t stick with through the challenges, slow times and setbacks when you aren’t seeing results.

    One should always start a blog because their topic is something they’re passionate about, enjoy writing about it, and would do even without the money or recognition, then everything else will follow eventually.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Winston.

      Yeah, I think some of the motivating factors are important because, if nothing else, fame and recognition will get kind of boring eventually anyway.

      Thanks for weighing in.


    2. John

      Great comment. These kind of clearly stated insights are very helpful.


  • Scotty B

    Bad design and readability. If the blog has too many distractions or a font that’s hard to read I’ll hit the back button.


    1. Ramsay

      Yep, that is a big contributor for sure.


  • Tiffany

    Love this post Ramsey! I find the biggest challenge is the discipline to put in the work when you’re not seeing the results. As you referenced above, many of the usual downtime moments need to be used on the blog and when the results are not there it’s easy to get sidetracked. It truly is like any other business and requires time, patience and discipline to put in the work!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Tiffany. Yep, lots of discipline across lots of areas. Thank you for commenting.


  • Shafi Khan

    Hey Ramsey,

    I voted on the poll to see results and it was shocking to see that most people have voted that they lose interest in blogging. Actually making money and losing interest are related and if you don’t see the money rolling, you’d lose interest and move on to another business/job.

    Thanks for the detailed analysis. Keep us informed about Net Neutrality, it does seem like a hard time for online marketers.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for voting!


  • Zahits

    I hope people don’t get discouraged but at least have the will to sacrifice time and effect to put into the blog as well as advertising on Facebook and on google..


    1. Ramsay

      Me too…


  • Val

    I have been blogging for 3+ years and have endured , preservered . Spent money and worked like a dog – all along with a full time job . I still have low page views( blogger template is part of the issue ) and have come to the reality just this month … it’s just not going to turn into a A profitable business .

    Honestly it’s rare for it to happen .. it takes LOTS of money , exceptional talent and content and…. the ability to hire out tasks such as social media management etc .

    I am tired of it taking over my life all for not much return ….so I have decided to s scale back and treat it as a hobby . It’s a very select few that can actually turn it into a money machine . I’m disappointed after 3 yrs of blood guts and tears .. but glad I realized it sooner than later 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Val.

      Thank you so much for that honest and frank message.

      Would you mind going into some detail about what areas your blog seems to struggle with?

      Have their ever been any exciting wins or interesting profits that you just haven’t been able to scale, or has it just never really taken off?

      Thank you.


  • Carm

    I admit this is a concern. Everyone needs recognition for the work they do and it is natural to get discouraged when the hoped results don’t pan out . I am wondering if everyone doing a blog should stay connected on social and discuss how the blogs are working. It is true that the more paid marketing is done the more successful the business of blogging is likely.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Carm. Do you mean like a forum where everyone could connect and share stories?


      1. Carm

        Yes, I think a forum is a good idea


        1. Ramsay

          Interesting. I will have a think about that! 😉


  • Kelly Martin

    Great post. I’d love my blog to be more successful, apart from a few sponsored posts it’s been a long hard slog of over 10 years. I admit I lost interest at one point but my traffic is okay,my posts are good I just have no clue how to translate it into people commenting. At one stage I was getting a lot of comments now I’m lucky if I get one a month. I blog because I love writing, I find it very healing. I’m passionate about helping people in my niche. I have an okay social media following, email subscribers too but probably small fry in comparison to the big timers out there. In 2018 I’m moving my blog to WordPress (I’m on blogger) and I want to reach more people and monetise more. Could you direct me to your top posts on how to do this? I’ve been researching a lot! I just don’t want to jump through hoops but have a clear route on the best practice. Thanks


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Kelly.

      To be honest, if you’re moving an established blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress I would just hire an expert to do it for you. There’s quite a few things to consider and it’s better to hire someone than learn it all yourself.

      Other than that, would you mind sharing the ways in which you’d like your blog to “improve” in the next year? What would be your ideal changes?

      Thanks!


      1. Kelly Martin

        Hi Ramsay, thanks for replying. I’m sorry for the delay your reply got lost in my email inbox. I have hired someone to move my blog over to WordPress this month. This year I would love to have more engagement on my blog. I always end with a question, I get hits on my blogs but hardly any comments. I used to always get comments, so I am hoping going over to WordPress will increase this. I’m also wondering if the commenting system you use makes a difference? And what is the best and most natural looking way of monetizing a self-help blog? I know so many monetize travel blogs, mommy blogs, tech support blogs, but self-help and spiritual type blogs seem to have less info on this. So any info on this would be great. I want to add more affiliate links to my posts, encourage advertising… even though my blog has been going for 10 years I am just starting to take it seriously, so I feel like a bit of a newbie, but an oldie LOL


  • Ahmad Imran

    Ramsay

    The point about making your blog different to others is an interesting and important one. You are right that we are just a needle in the growing haystack. To stand out and make an impact, we have to be different. But that uniqueness is not common and easy to adopt.

    It doesn’t need to be a full guide but is there any chance in the future that you could write about this very same topic. Just your thoughts on how you think we can make the blog different and stand out.

    Cheers, a good article as ever, have a nice week ahead.

    Ahmad


    1. Ramsay

      Hey buddy.

      This post might have some answers for that: https://www.blogtyrant.com/65-million-articles-are-published-each-month-can-yours-stand-out/

      Thanks again.


  • Soumen Ghosh

    Another great post Ramsay ! Along with other points you mentioned in the post I love your suggestion… “spending some money”. Initially I was also with the thought that if my content is good and I maintain most of the alogarithm factors my blog would get organic visitors automatically. But when I understood the importance of spending some money for my blog, the whole scenario started to change. I would request you to highlight another factors in the same topic. What is your thought about video content ? Everywhere on internet you will find that experts have to say in next 2 years 80 % of the visitors would watch video contents only. Do you think that text contents would be replaced by video contents ? Would vlog replace blog ?


    1. Ramsay

      That is such a GREAT question and one I have been thinking about a lot myself.

      While video is booming (also live video on insta, for example) we can also see that long form written sources are growing. The New Yorker has had a big boost in paid memberships.

      So I think some people want video, and others want long content. The problem I have with video is that you have to make so much of it in order to be noticed as YouTube’s algorithyms really seem to favor new content.

      I’m going to do some more tests on this next year.


      1. Soumen Ghosh

        Thanks a lot!


        1. Ramsay

          Thanks for the engaging idea. I really appreciate it.


  • jasmine mehta

    Hi Ramsay,
    You may be right but hard work and effort can help the new blogger to survive. And even following the right techniques will help.
    Thanks fo the share.
    Have a good week ahead.


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you!


  • Glen Allsopp

    Thanks a lot for the mention, Ramsay.

    I would say another tip is to know when to pivot (or stop) when things aren’t working out.

    Don’t give up easily, but don’t keep pushing to make something work that people clearly aren’t that interested in.

    Great post!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey man.

      Thanks for commenting!

      It’s funny you say that. I have a whole post about that saved as a draft that I never published because I was always worried it was a bit grim. But maybe it would be useful?

      Thanks again.


  • Peter Morscheck

    Ramsay – thanks for another informative post.

    My blog will turn two years old later this month. After two years and 150 posts I’ve built a solid infrastructure but I’m still treating it as a hobby and playing on “easy” mode — minimal mailing list, no lead gen downloads, no paid advertising via Facebook or syndication via Medium.

    I still count it as a success, as I’ve built a solid portfolio of writing samples and get a few dozen hits a day, but reorienting to a 5-year timeframe is helpful.

    One of my (day-job) clients last week was still considered “new” to her Fortune 100 job because she’d been there less than five years. In this era of instant gratification and Millennial job-hopping, that really struck me.

    Anything worth doing is worth committing to for five years.

    BTW, I second Carm’s idea of a forum


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that five year thing is really interesting. It’s amazing how fast we behave online. It’s probably not necessary.


  • Giovani Freitas

    I was kind of aware of the ‘5 years to have some success’, and now, after reading your article, it makes more sense.

    I read yesterday in a book that: Everything that is worth come from a process not an event. It takes time.

    So, let’s work 🙂

    The barrier I find on these days is that social medias are messy and not delivering the content you post to yours readers. This is depressing. Do you have some advice on this?


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Giovani.

      That problem is something I am working on for myself as well. When I have some good ideas I will definitely let you know and do a post. It’s a tricky one.


  • Isabella Chris

    Really great post I ever read Ramsay ! the spending money on your blog is important, FB ads are cheaper now a day to promote your brand website. I was also with the thought that if my content is good and I maintain seo of my blog would get organic visitors automatically, but I think this concept is changed now.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Isabella.


  • Beth Anderson

    Ramsay,
    I definitely think people have the notion of “if you build it, the $ will come”, but they want that money quickly. Blogs are not a get rich business. If there was a magic formula, I would be using it. As always, thanks for your great tips!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for stopping by, Beth!


  • Pedro

    Hey Ramsay,

    Great post as ever. And very thought-provoking too!

    I think for a lot of bloggers, what we need is a paradigm shift. We need to see our blogs as businesses not just hobbies. To a business mind – all the points you made will make sense. Every serious business person will have a business plan, network as if their lives depend on it, produce fresh content regularly, find a way to get customers or clients and of course spend money, because let’s face it – in the real world, you spend money to get money.

    And what you said about the changes at Medium is so on point. It underscores the fact that we can’t build our digital businesses on rented lots (which is what Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Medium and all the other social media are!) Having a self-hosted blog with an engaged email list remains the way forward, in my humble opinion.

    For me, I am really looking forward to 2018. I plan to network more, be more consistent and spend a bit more money – design improvements, courses, conferences and on getting quality traffic.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Best regards,

    Pedro


    1. Ramsay

      Best of luck for the new year Pedro!


  • Elle

    My blog is about a year old now. The other day I was tempted to just trash the whole thing. One major reason was I put so much time into it and I barely get a comment. It amazes me how many comments you get. There was a discussion on a Facebook thread about this and most people concluded they were too lazy to leave a comment. Then the topic turned to facebook plugins. But that disheartened me! It seems like its possible but I’m doing it wrong. Its frustrating to put out content and then nothing.

    So I did two things over the weekend. I decided my niche was too all over the place so I narrowed it down and then adjusted my website to fit. I created a few landing pages to promote my site. Still not super happy with my lead magnet but its ok. Then I looked at my posts and decided I wasn’t writing long enough posts which is something I read on your site so thank you sir! So oddly enough, all this motivates me to keep trying. I realize I wasn’t doing certain things and there’s room for improvement. Of course I need to do other things as mentioned above but this is my starting point for 2018.

    One thing I decided to focus on a few months ago was tailwind and Pinterest. While not an instant success, I do get more traffic from tailwind than most other social media websites.

    All of that to say, I’m gonna keep trying. Ill bookmark this post so I remember not to give up.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Elle.

      It’s interesting to me how many people (even just in this comments thread) see blog comments as an indication of their blog’s success. But most successful blogs don’t get that many comments. I think it is a niche thing so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

      Best of luck with the new angle!


      1. Elle

        That’s actually super helpful to know. Thanks for saying so…takes me awhile lol.


  • Linda Joyce

    Hi Ramsay,
    As always, I enjoyed your post. I’ve been blogging for about 19 months now and have no doubt that my site will survive the next year and beyond.

    I think the majority of blogs fail because people are “trying it out” to see if they can make money quickly. They don’t have a business mindset or true long-term commitment. I meet people every day who somehow think they’re going to stand out amongst millions of sites with minimal content.

    There are some basic things that are required from the outset if you’re going to survive and eventually thrive. You’ve touched on several of those factors. You do have to spend a bit of money to create a proper foundation. Free blogs are fine for hobbyists but far too restrictive for a business venture.

    At a minimum, you need a self-hosted domain with the features and capabilities of WordPress, a premium theme, some training in SEO techniques, and access to reasonable tools like a keyword research tool. These are resources you can build upon over time and that support site development and relevant content creation.

    I accept that my blog is a long-term work-in-progress and I revel in the small and gradual successes I’ve achieved. They keep me going :).


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much for that well considered comment, Linda. I always enjoy your input!


  • chris

    I’d say a NEW blog will fail because a person doesn’t know what they are doing, gets overwhelmed, and gives up. SEO? Advertising? Landing Pages? What type of product do I create? And the list goes on.

    In my realm, I’ve finally rolled out a new web site (long overdue), but where I need to focus is innovation. I see what others are doing, I see trends and what customers want. Blockbuster was a huge business in walk-in video rental stores, years ago. But they refused to innovate. Online rentals were taking off (Netflix) but the company president didn’t believe they needed to go that route because people would always want to walk into the store and browse the titles. Blockbuster is no more, last I heard.

    To new blog owners, get an experienced (and PROVEN SUCCESSFUL) business mentor, make a plan, and work hard.

    To existing business owners, don’t expect that what worked last year will work next year. Review, survey, and innovate.


    1. Anne

      Do you know of any decent blog mentors as I think is something I might be willing to invest in going forward?


      1. Ramsay

        Hi Anne. We are thinking of doing some mentoring here on Blog Tyrant soon. Is that something you’d be interested in?


        1. Anne

          Hi Ramsay, yes I would be. My blog is 3 years old in May and has grown steadily but oh so slowly! Admittedly I’ve been doing my MBA for most of it so was limited on time but much as I enjoy it, I sometimes question my ability to continue for the little revenue it produces, although I will be in profit this year, so it is a step in the right direction!


          1. Ramsay

            Little steps! Congratulations.


    2. Ramsay

      As always, quality comments that I really enjoy. Please don’t change, Chris.


  • Bruce Carlson

    After much review and self examination I have come to the true confession that I have pick niches to work that I’m not interested promoting. I had little, if any, passion for the niche item. It was simply a way to try and make money. I just couldn’t get behind it. My passion is the mission work I do. I will now develop a blog around what I enjoy and want to do. I will monetize it with ads as I get it going, but making an income won’t be the major driving force.


    1. Ramsay

      I totally understand where you are coming from. Most of my projects now are a bit like that, and my income earning blogs are mostly to help me support do more charitable stuff, for example.


  • Jan Gioia

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you for another great post which, I think, is more motivating than discouraging. I think if new bloggers know that the road is hard and the results may take a while, it is easier to keep on going.

    My blog is just about a year old. It is slowly and steadily growing. My blog is not currently monetized. My niche is helping children with anxiety, autism and other mental health challenges and special needs.

    Some days my site stats can be discouraging. But when I get an email from parents whose children have been helped by an article or idea on my site, then it is all worthwhile.

    As a friend, and a pretty successful blogger told me, “It’s not always about how many people visit your site, it’s about the difference your words can make in just one child’s life. If you have helped one child with anxiety, or a disability, then your website is a success.

    I would imagine this advice is true for most bloggers. The words they write can change lives, and site statistics don’t measure those kind of results.

    Thank you again, Jan


    1. Ramsay

      I absolutely LOVE that sentiment. These blogs absolutely can help people.


  • Vishal Ostwal

    Ramsay,

    This topic is something I ponder about a lot – seriously.

    Mostly because I don’t wish to give up blogging … and wonder why certain people quit blogging.

    To be honest, I’ve seen many ‘blog skeletons’ on the internet, which don’t have their website running anymore, and didn’t care to renew their domain names … and just gave up.

    Here are some reasons I personally feel make bloggers do this (and have observed):

    BLOGGING (ONLY) DUE TO EXTERNAL INFLUENCES – They do it because others told them to do so. Or maybe for money, or fame, or some other materialistic reason. But there comes a time when people think “why am I even doing this?”

    Genuine reasons are easy to hold on to, but when people think it’s not working for them and can’t find an honest ‘wish’ within, they give up.

    DESIRE FOR INSTANT GROWTH – There’s a huge wall of assumptions all bloggers have that shatters as soon as they start working. It’s not about “stick ads; earn money,” or “share stuff; become famous,” or “post content; get clients.”

    Rather, the initial stage is when most bloggers are vulnerable to quitting. They need to understand that although they aren’t become demigods of their arena for a while, every little trickle of success counts.

    They’re learning.

    CARING TOO MUCH ABOUT OUTCOMES – This may not make sense, because everyone is expecting something out of blogging. Money, attention, success … something.

    But the fact is, if people have a goal called ‘don’t quit’ then they need to stop caring about outcomes and work towards them at the same time (may sound contradictory).

    WANTING TO BE PERFECT – I was concerned because I wasn’t as good as others. I couldn’t write 1000 words a day (made typos), couldn’t edit images, had no idea how videos were created, “what’s SEO!” and all that stuff.

    The internet is huge – so huge that it can make anyone feel small.

    Though, what I’ve realized is that is better forgive ones mistakes, be awful for a while, keep learning and improving … until you set up a good momentum (and don’t suck anymore).

    You don’t need to compete with everyone else – just create some space for yourself.

    It works.

    One more thing – people don’t need to be a guru or an expert. They can be themselves and yet be loved and cared about (I need to say this because the internet is manipulative).

    There’s a lot I can say, but I’ll skip that for now.

    I love it when you bring up certain topics we can discuss a lot about. It allows everyone to express.

    Great!


    1. Ramsay

      I totally agree on the point about being yourself. It’s so important, and it’s actually a really big branding point because people then want to hear from you instead of some brand. Thanks for the amazing comment mate! I always appreciate them.


  • Liton Biswas

    Hi Ramsay,

    Great thoughts here.

    In my point of view, most of the bloggers fail because they lose interest too early in blogging.

    A blog needs one or more time to be successful.

    So, we should give time to a blog to be successful and work hard in that time frame consistently.

    However, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    – Liton


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you for the comment!


  • Gratisan

    Thank you for sharing this very valuable information. I think blogs fail when the blog owner does not get visitors and income. This causes them to lose interest. I myself have failed several times before and had lost interest. Now the spirit is back and I try again. I hope my blog this time can survive and provide additional income for me in the future.


    1. Ramsay

      Best of luck with the new project!


  • BrianO

    Why Blogs fail?
    They fail because they don’t write about, how to start and maintain a blog, or how to lose weight, or make a passive income.


    1. Vishal Ostwal

      Sarcasm, eh?

      But Brian, it also depends on how you define failure.

      We all have different reasons to blog – so there are probably many genuine blogs out there that are quite popular, too.


    2. Ramsay

      Hi Brian.

      Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean and lot of people feel like that. But, to be honest, I think the hardest niche to be successful in is this one because there is so much competition and most of the existing sites are extremely savvy and well established.

      If you look at the highest earning and most successful blogs in the world they are definitely not about blogging. They just don’t talk about it because it’s not their niches prerogative to do so.

      Take care.


  • Adam

    Hey Ramsay,

    This post definitely came at the right time for me!

    I’ve just launched my blog and having run small businesses before I know that the absolute biggest danger is a loss of interest and motivation when not seeing immediate results.

    I completely agree that clearly defined schedules and SMART goals are key to keeping at it, and I’m hoping my blog will be going strong (and even making a little money) in a couple years from now!

    Cheers,
    Adam


    1. Ramsay

      Keep us posted with your progress!


    2. bob brown

      Nice post. I have had a blog for about 5 years to support the educational aspects of our business. I have looked for an experienced blog professional to help with the site design and SEO. I seem to not have done well. Although I have some good unique content, the platforms seem to not be ideal. The first platform was built on Blogger. the 2nd is a Jupiter content editor site that wants to behave as a blog. Do you have direction to point me to?


      1. Ramsay

        Hi Bob.

        I always recommend WordPress to people who want a professional set up. Are you looking to migrate?


  • suketu vyas

    Hi Ramsay, even though its risky and difficult, people will still attempt lot of mistakes and hopefully they rich out to this blog so they can take precautions. Its very nicely elaborated above. impressive. Like the way you have mentioned things straight to the point. Good job.


  • Alex Joe

    Useful information about the trending, nowdays maximum guys want to create a blog for online business, and this is not passion. Honestly blogging is an art, I know some well-know blogger who come from their skills, and thats why they get success, because they love and loved to write.


  • Freddy G. Cabrera

    Hey Ramsay!

    This is an important topic to talk about – as we go into a new year. Blogging is the best thing that happened to me. But, it was not an easy road to walk through.

    It does take a lot of time and effort to build a successful blog online. It is a real business because it can pay you like a real business – so you should treat it like one.

    I think that is one of the main problems with new bloggers, they do not take the time to actually plan how they are going to build a successful business with their blog.

    This is something I had to learn the hard way myself. When I first started with blogging, I did not have a plan of action or a blueprint to follow. I just got blogging and expected miracles.

    You need to have a detailed plan from the beginning til the end. This is the only way you will stay on course even through the hard times.

    Thanks for sharing man!

    Cheers! 😀


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome comment! Thank you for sharing that.


  • Steve

    Ramsay, yet another engaging post that was always going to divide opinion. Kudos.

    There are too many variables and factors in play to answer this conclusively for everyone reading.

    There has to be a distinction between the failure rates of real business with a proper business plan, financial backing and a website/blog with real products and services………..as opposed to those who enter this with a half arsed approach of ‘let’s try this out’ using WordPress and a few shiny plugins whilst following a guru.

    There are many explanations and excuses for why blogs fail.

    I’ll respond using the second group as the whipping boy to try and explain just some of the reasons why they fail.

    In the most part it’s down to that age old business couple of ‘Supply and Demand’.

    A fool and his/her money………

    And 96% of people who start a blog and fail are the fools that where always going to be easily parted with their money.

    They exist and therefore they are targets. So the supply will be filled.

    That is the crux for the majority who fail.

    They are willingly lead down the garden path.

    There are of course some contributing factors that help them on the way to certain failure.

    Ultimately, if you start a blog with the intention of making some money you are starting a business so it requires a business mentality, basic business education and a consistent business approach in everything you do.

    Have these people all of a sudden become business savvy?

    No!

    They are opportunists.

    Business is not blogging. There is a clear distinction.

    This is fundamental and anyone purchasing a domain name without knowing this really shouldn’t be purchasing that domain name or starting a blog in the first place.

    The so called 96% who start a blog and fail either don’t have the above knowledge or are too lazy or impatient to gain it.

    The likelihood is that they didn’t want that knowledge in the first place.

    They wanted the perceived easy route to easy money through blogging without understanding that they are actually entering into business.

    Blogging is portrayed, marketed and seen as an easy in/easy out ‘business model’.

    Quick to set up. Easy to run with WordPress and cheap as chips to maintain………or so we are lead to believe.

    Obviously this is BS to the real business world but that’s how blogging is portrayed, marketed and sadly how it continues to be taught. Big problem!

    This attracts chancers, tyre kickers, hobos, peasants and get rich quickers………the majority of that 96%.

    They are destined to fail before they even start.

    The world is full of gullible ‘get rich quick’ impatient people with instant gratification in mind who flock to the next great thing in demand. (Up steps the MMO niche blogger).

    And to supply it we have the start a blog/website niche market that is bursting full of the ‘fake it till they make it’ ‘entrepreneurs’. The majority of whom really have no clue about business whatsoever but because they have an attractive site with all the bells and whistles, pop ups, slide ins, welcome mats etc etc etc so they seem to know what they are doing………..don’t they?

    The subsequent training and tutorials that they each deliver is largely the same/same verbatim tripe of ‘make your website look and behave like this and that’ and Bobs your uncle.

    They proclaim this and that and direct you to those wonderful gizmos, gadgets, plugins and funnels that are for the most part useless to anyone, particularly to those without the underpinning business knowledge required to implement them.

    They offer the bare basic set up tutorials with a few affiliate bells, whistles and shiny objects thrown in for good measure to make a few bucks…….if indeed they make anything at all whilst proclaiming to make thousands every month.

    Selling products titled ‘How To Gain 100,000 Pinterest Followers’ – when they only have 2,000 followers themselves. You get the idea.

    Not a sniff of real business training delivered because 99% of those in the ‘start a blog/website’ niche are themselves chancers that failed at their first few attempts at running a normal blog (fitness, health, lifestyle etc) who then got into the MMO niche and simply copy/paste what the previous chancer said……..and it’s a cycle of garbage in/garbage out.

    So, why do the majority of blogs fail?

    It’s glaringly obvious!

    It starts with an ill prepared and none business savvy individual who ordinarily wouldn’t think twice about starting an off line business because they are usually scared away once made aware of what that involves in time, effort, commitment and money.

    So they opt for the perception of an easy bank via blogging.

    They are easily lulled and enticed into this world of the easy/quick $3.95 per month blog business set up nonsense without realising that it still requires knowledge, time, effort and commitment (18 hour days if you really want it to be a success) and the financial investments required to keep it going.

    Don’t get me started on how much the top bloggers really spent/spend on Google Ads, facebook Ads and every other Ad spend that was really behind their true ‘success’ or that gave them that springboard.

    Unsurprisingly, they fail to mention this in their tutorials and rather focus on ‘How to ……..SEO, Guest Post, Use Instagram etc’.

    The reality is that for the majority and Initially, it’s not about the content or the guest posting or SEO. This is bloody hard work and it didn’t get them to where they are.

    Spending money on traffic Ads got them to where they are.

    Spending money on some other form of traffic generating advertising or marketing got them to where they are.

    Their initial growth and audience were largely bought through Ads…….had nothing to do with quality content, guest posting, SEO or the array of other lead generation/traffic growth that is taught.

    Don’t get me wrong. This is basic business practice for that particular niche. Makes lots of sense for the MMO marketer to do this. Ethical? Moral? It’s business!

    That is the reality. But failing to tell the truth behind their success is a sure fire way of ensuring that the majority will spend 3 years in the trenches (if they last that long) before they see any great returns.

    The truth is that for the majority, the positive effects of ‘quality content’, ‘guest posting’ and ‘SEO’ only kicks in once/if the audience is already there.

    Yep. Sorry folks, but the bread and butter teachings of the MMO (effectiveness of Content, SEO, Guest Posting etc) is a byproduct of spending on Ads to generate traffic that in turn reads your content that only then improves your SEO. Getting to page 1 on Google is a myth for most.

    Two top MMO bloggers are said to have 600,000 and 200,000 email subscribers/followers.

    Yet if we believe the failure stats, a suggested 96% of their audiences will also fail because they teach and preach the same stuff as every other blogging coach, only more polished and to a larger audience.

    But we know that it’s a numbers game for them so they are quid’s in.

    This obviously raises the question that if the failure rates for bloggers are so high and also so well known, why do these two top MMO bloggers continue to teach the same curriculum? Ethical? Moral? Or just business? It’s that numbers perception thing again.

    Real offline business doesn’t have this level of failure rate because they know that they don’t have the same volume of reach, can’t afford to play the numbers game and there are measure in place and adequate business trainers and quality training available to actively help limit failure.

    The blogging world doesn’t have this or is unwilling to go in search of it, which goes some way in explaining the stark contrast and divide in failure stats from real business with a website/blog as opposed to our second group.

    Why do the majority of blogs fail?

    The truth…….it has very little to do with your website design. Has very little to do with your Theme or the plugins or the autoresponder that you use. Little to do with your content or SEO (because there is likely already just too much competition initially for you to make any organic headway anyway).

    This is borne out by the success rate of real business owners with real business knowledge, who use the same WordPress themes and Plugins but with minimal content, very little in the way of SEO, guest posting or by using the plethora of other shiny objects that appear in your inbox that are purported to help your blog make you more money.

    So why do the majority of blogs fail?

    Is it down to the knowledge and perception of the blogging individuals?

    Is it down to the quality of guidance and honest education/training they receive on their blogging journey?

    Sadly, I’d say it’s a combination of both.

    My advice ……..If you are serious about blogging as a business and you have the consultation fee available then go and speak to a real life business analyst.

    Then, based on knowing who you are, what you know, what niche/market you intend on entering and what you are able/prepared to spend and capable of learning and implementing, he/she will guide you properly and ultimately give you a realistic analysis of your likely success and at what cost in time, commitment and money.

    Chances are that the majority who are enticed to start a blog on the cheap and run it on the cheap won’t be interested in listening to a real business experts opinion, primarily because that expert won’t have a fitness blog and doesn’t have 600,000 followers on facebook.

    There’s that numbers perception thing again…….means jack s*it!

    Food for thought.

    If we could really emulate the top bloggers and it is all laid out for us to see, why are so many failing?

    If they are teaching us how they really did it, why are so many failing?

    If our schools had such a high failure, wouldn’t they change the quality of the content of the curriculum?

    Have a great Christmas everyone and all the very best for 2018.


  • Megan

    I mean there are several reasons why blogs fail.
    1. Loose interest in long term.
    2. Thought it was easy to make money from blogging without much effort.
    3. No planning as in how to grow the blog.
    4. Loosing views to competitors or unable to change when Technology trends change.


    1. Ramsay

      The trends point is an interesting one. Thanks for sharing.


  • Stefan Alexander

    Great read, Ramsay! Actually, networking is one the most important aspects of a successful blogging career. Many forget that they need to socialize and be less robotic in their interactions with their audience AND other people in their niche. It’s not possible to build an empire without the help of others who have been around for a little longer. They have a bigger reach and they can help you grow if you ask nicely. Everyone can get a piece of the pie if they are willing to network and help each other.


    1. Ramsay

      Agreed!


  • Md Alfaaz

    Wow! Excellent post. Now I have come to know the reasons of failing bloggers in 2018. I have interest in blogging and I love to write. So, I can get success in blogging.


  • Shruti

    Blogging is the powerful channel to acquire customers or educate visitors. In 2018, user-generated content will get a lot of popularity to attract the audience. Blog created on the same lines will get success and will stay ahead in the competition. It is important to follow the white hat SEO techniques to avoid any penalization by Google. Follow the best practices and create a blog on the evergreen topic to drive the massive traffic to the site.


  • Susan Velez

    Hi Ramsey,

    Great post and with so many people set new goals, many of them will turn to the Internet in hopes of starting a new blog and making money.

    You’re right when you start it’s exciting and new. Most people don’t realize how much work goes into building a successful blog.

    I started my blog so I can move away from my freelancing business. I have been blogging for about 14 months now. I enjoy what I do and I know that it’s going to take time to grow a blog.

    It doesn’t happen overnight, you need to work at it and work hard.

    One of the best things you can do when you’re brand new is write down your why. Why do you want your blog?

    If your why is in front of you every day you sit down to work on your blog, you won’t quit. As long as the reason that you started your blog is important enough.

    I spend most a lot of my time guest posting and promoting my blog. After all, if you’re just writing content for your blog, it’s not going to grow.

    Run tests on your blog and see what works. Don’t be afraid to test new things out and see if it helps you out.

    I used to be afraid to test things out on my blog. But it’s your blog and you get control over testing new things out like running a series of blog posts, giveaways and etc.

    When you start your blog, you need to have the mindset that it will take you at least 3 years to create a profitable blog. It may not take that long, but if you walk into it with that mindset, I think it’s easier.

    Thanks for sharing this and I hope you have a wonderful day 🙂

    Susan


    1. Ramsay

      Beautiful comment, Susan! Thanks so much.


  • Fred

    There’s nothing that special about 2018 though, right? 99% of blogs probably fail every year. Though really you could could rephrase that as “people fail at things they try to do 99% of the time because they lose interest”, because although your poll had 54% of people saying they quit because they lost interest, I think that number is actually much higher – if you had enough interest you would continue regardless of how much income the blog was generating, and I’m sure you could find time in your daily 2 hours of Facebook browsing to write up a new post on a blog that you’re actually passionate about.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that’s fair. Although I do think that a lot of the landscape is changing next year, especially if the net neutrality stuff changes.


  • Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hello Ramsay,

    Patience, Consistency and hard work is only the way to become a successful blogger. I have seen many newbie bloggers to jump into a niche where they think that this will bring them huge money. Ultimately they fail to do that and withing few months they quit or change the route.

    Blogging is all about passion and willingness to help others with relevant and quality information. This way bloggers build trust and authority. When you becomes a authority money usually comes to your way. So, My suggestion for newbies are create blog for helping others and rest will done automatically.

    Thanks for sharing these detailed insights. Have a great Christmas 🙂

    Vishwajeet


  • Cathy Mayhue

    Ramsay you got me scared with your title! Never saw such a scary title in any of your blog posts, so it was must read and I am glad I did. Makes complete sense, yes you are right we must treat our blog as a regular business that needs investment, hard work and promotion.


  • allxy

    If we want to be on time with blog trends, we must expect any changes.
    There’s nothing to fear about 😉
    Thanks for your article, Ramsay.


  • Maximum

    Thx for this post. Some years ago I started a financial blog and thought, I just need to write some content and the visitors would come automatically. Later I really realized how much work it means.


  • Matt D.

    If you’ve lost interest in a blog, there’s might be someone interested. So why not flip it.


  • Donna Merrill

    Hi Ramsay,

    Greatly Explained. It’s true that most of the blogs starting this coming year will fail and the reason will be lack of passion, which has always been the reason of failure over the past few years.

    The only way to succeed as a blogger to keep patience and work smartly.

    ~ Donna


  • Tegan Tallullah

    Thanks Ramsay, this post really gives me the motivation to keep going with my blog! Your warning about realistic time-frames and losing interest ring very true to me, and the tips are useful too… (Particularly the point about investing in promotion like any other small business – that’s something I aim to try in 2018).

    I started theclimatelemon.com in February and as the year comes to a close I’m proud of the content I’ve created and how one post gained over 400 shares after being shared by Greenpeace. Yet I’m kind of frustrated with how slow it is to build an audience. But your post inspires me to keep going!

    Also it’s really interesting that you mention climate change as an example of an up-and-coming blog niche. That’s what my blog is about, and I’m actually finding it surprisingly difficult to find other new blogs in the niche (besides the big established sites). So if anyone else reading this blogs about climate, please hit me up!


  • Zach Kearse

    Every encouraging post, I am new to blogging and just launched my website. It is good to know that it takes a while, it just takes consistently work and focusing on the content you are posting to slowly build your following.


  • Aparna @ Elementum Money

    Hi Ramsay, Interesting poll and especially the results. Having had fit starts to 3 blogs (1 dead, 1 dormant and the latest one being hyper active) it was an interesting post to read here.

    Before this blog, both my previous blogs were started for the passion and a mission to improve my writing skills. Monetisation did not really come into the picture. The latest blog is just 3 months old but I am putting much more work and researching far more. While the results are encouraging as compared to the previous forays, I am looking at a 2-3 years minimum time frame and happy to take it slow. I have come across people getting 4-5x views and getting upset at the smallest of traffic drops. I have vowed that I am in for the long run and all focussed efforts are only going to improve performance or my writing or my learning. Either way, I see it as a win-win.


    1. Ramsay

      Sounds like a very level-headed approach. I wish you lots of luck!


  • Ajay Chander R.

    it is very good to know what mistakes are happening in blogging and we can avoid that and you shared a very good info. about it. Thank you , its been much helpful for a start up blogger like mine.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad it helped!


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