Clearly, blogging is competitive. You’re constantly vying for people’s precious online attention, which is around 15 seconds for more than half of readers. But for many, the benefits of running a blog outweigh the time, cost, and effort involved. That’s because in 2019, marketers who prioritized blogging received 13X more ROI than companies that put it at the bottom of the stack.
Beyond revenue, blogs are a great way to raise brand awareness, share engaging articles, and bring in new customers. Seems like an easy marketing win, right? Not quite. Before you hit ‘publish’ on that first piece, it’s important to consider why blogs fail.
To figure out what causes blogs to flop, let’s look at a handful of blog statistics — and simple ways to make sure yours is a success. But first, let’s answer that nagging question in the back of your brain:
A 2020 survey by Orbit Media found that just 21% of respondents either didn’t know if their blog delivered value or found that their blog was delivering disappointing results.
So, we know what percentage of marketers feel their blogs aren’t successful, but what might have contributed to this failure? And how do you avoid these mistakes? Let’s take a look.
Do you know why your blog exists? If so, does your content support that raison d’être?
One of the main reasons why blogs fail is a lack of purposeful, engaging content. In fact, “original written content” is the most important type for 58% of marketers. If you’re wondering what exactly is a purposeful post, Google defines it as “original content that adds value for users.” And that value is “meaningful content or features, such as additional information about price, purchasing location, or product category.”
The first step to creating valuable content is to make it a priority, like 72% of B2B content creators. Planning starts with a well-documented blog strategy, which you can dive into in our Business Blogging Course.
A strategy may sound like a simple solution — but it works. Sixty-five 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 don’t have any strategy.
Once your plan is in place, you’re ready to craft engaging content. It’s important to learn what works well for your buyer persona, but you can use these guidelines as a starting point.
Let’s just say it — search engine optimization (SEO) can be frustrating. Just when you think you’ve done all you can to optimize your blog, the algorithms change. But ignoring SEO altogether is another reason why blogs fail.
You need people to find, read, and share your blog, yet that’s nearly impossible without any optimization. Across all industries, search is the top traffic source for blogs. In 2019, 68% of web traffic came from paid and organic search, beating out channels like display and social media.
Fortunately, certain SEO rules continue to ring true. So, if you focus on the following practices, your blog will be better poised for success:
Imagine you click on a blog you’ve never visited, only to be met with low-quality images, slow loading times, and an unorganized layout. You’re likely not staying long — and you’re not alone. Ninety percent of people have left a website due to bad design.
While the look of your site is important for reader retention, a well-designed site architecture helps search engines organize and index your blog pages (Both benefit your SEO). If it’s tough for people to navigate your blog, they’re probably going to bounce … and never come back. A bad experience makes 88% of consumers unlikely to return to a website.
The solution to keep people scrolling your site? A good experience.
User experience (UX) design is a speciality all its own. So unless you want to dabble in the psychology of human decision-making, it’s best to work with a professional or a templated web design software like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. But you can improve the look of your content by incorporating design elements from these blog statistics:
On day one of your blogging journey, you have big plans to post every day. Two weeks later, only one article is live. This scenario highlights another reason why blogs fail: inconsistency.
Blogging takes time. In 2019, bloggers spent an average of three hours and 57 minutes writing a single post. You then have to factor time to add images, edit, format, share, and promote. For small companies, it can be too time-consuming to put out content every day. Posting one to four times a week is often enough for smaller teams. 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 following tips to get on a consistent blogging schedule.
There are hundreds of reasons why blogs fail. But if you avoid these four common pitfalls, you’ll have a better chance of creating a blog that shows up in search results, offers engaging content, and keeps readers coming back.