Jul 252010
 
Share this article...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone


Giving Up by natalicious
Being a successful blogger is like trying to pull weeds in the open Arizona desert, you will clear some patches but you will get bit by cactus along the way. No matter how hard or dedicated you are as a blogger you will go through periods of excitement, frustration and even in some cases “depression” when success waxes and wanes as it does for many blogs online.

Many bloggers exit the market after determining it is just too difficult to carve out a niche, replace your day job or find that it consumes more hours of your time than you get in return. The rest however persevere and know that to really make your mark you must continue to stay the course and hone your strategies, trim the fat and adapt in ways you may not have considered.

So lets talk about the three things you can do to help overcome some blogging plateaus and pitfalls that all but the few lucky bloggers encounter during their blogging ambitions.

Hone Your Strategies

This means it is time to re-evaluate what you are doing for your blog and start prioritizing your time and effort into your site. Take your weekly time you are spending on your blog and break it down into the following categories:

  • Content Writing
  • Promotion
  • Advertising
  • SEO
  • Social Media

Find out how much time you are spending in each category per week and then re-prioritize to focus on spending more time working another category. If you are writing content but not spending at least 30% of your time doing promotion or SEO, then it is time to switch focuses and make sure you shore up your promotional areas.

Trim the Fat

Simply put this means cut out anything and everything that doesn’t give provide you with value for one of the five area’s listed above. Drop any services or programs that bring you less than 5% of your monthly blogging traffic, unless you see potential for some to improve in the near future. Find out which of your blogging topics are most popular and focus on writing content to match your most popular topics, I have found I had to cut content from my own site after seeing much more traffic coming for specific categories and virtually no traffic arriving for others. Part of this is also adapting which is the next bullet.

Triming the fat also includes cutting out time wasters, and this means don’t spend another minute dropping Entrecard Drops, CMF Spikes or other traffic generation methods which require you to “invest time” to send traffic in order to receive traffic. These are typically a losing proposition and only help the most beginning stage blogs that don’t yet have a foothold on search engines or readership.

Adapting

Adapting your blog is perhaps the most prominent and I have seem many bloggers change the focus, theme and structure of their blog in order to attract or retain their audience. This could mean stripping out categories that don’t resonate well with your readers, or experimenting with a new topic or niche altogether and seeing how well it digests with your fans. The internet is ever changing and you sometimes may need to look and see if your Theme is also something that detracts from your audience and I have seen some themes that really take away the enjoyment of reading articles because they are either too distracting or too plain to really stand out.

Trim out all unnecessary plugins, widgets and other items which will slow your site down, lower your PageRank due to the external links and tend to make your blog look more like a personal blog. A facebook fanpage widget is fine, but having a Google FriendConnect, FaceBook, NetworkedBlogs and half a dozen other badges and widgets all running on the same site is distracting for readers. Pick one clear service you want them to join you on and stick with it, it is hard to pander six services to “follow your blog” and expect your readers to choose any but one or two of the six.

In Summary

The answer to the question “When Should You Give up on Blogging?” is Never. Because you can always adapt, change your strategies and test new methods to reaching an audience. The older and longer lived a website/blog is on the Internet the better for the site, and even if it takes you three or four years to start increasing your blog audience you will always have time to continue when you can. Never stop innovating and if you start to lose the passion and drive for blogging dig down deep and find out why you wanted to blog in the first place and reach for inspirations that will help fuel your passion again.

Only the truly passionate bloggers stand the test of time and you can see how they have risen and shine above the rest.

-Dragon Blogger


Share this article...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone
Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

Technology, Gaming and Wordpress blogger who runs gadget giveaways, helps others with blogging tips, monetization, earning and more!
The web hosting provider I use and recommend for my clients is #Bluehost http://t.co/TEpyOaMmi1 have 8 sites using them. - 6 mins ago
Justin Germino
  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    “The answer to the question “When Should You Give up on Blogging?” is Never. ”

    Absolutely right!

    Put it down for a while if necessary, come back to it later.

    Spend a little a money to get your blog updated and “mothballed.” Do maintenance on it once a month. Easy peasy.

    Just let it sit and collect Google age ranking. You get that for free.

    Hire someone to post once a month on it.

    Dictate a year’s worth articles posted monthly, have them transcribed, put them in queue.

    So many ways to take a “leave of absence.”

    Makes no sense to abandon ship in the doldrums!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      Precisely my point, even if you take a month off, the blog will age and still collect valuable stats.

    • Kamal@Interesting Websites

      You don’t fail at anything until you give up because you run out of ideas or something.. Just give your best and it’ll all work for you at point or the other..

  • John Sullivan

    Now that’s blogging.
    This is the best post I have read in a while :)
    Nice work
    Thanks
    Stumbled

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      Glad you enjoyed the article.

  • http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com Joanne Olivieri

    I don’t think one should ever quit. However when it becomes a chore, I think it’s time to take a break and refresh. It’s like anything else in that if you are passion about what you are bringing to the world with your blog, it will show and bring traffic. As bloggers we are always trying to find a way to make $$$. It’s different for all of us but you are correct that we all need to trim the fat. Great post, Justin.

    • http://www.cravingtech.com Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com

      When you blog just out of passion and the money is a bonus, taking a bit of break helps a lot in my case :)

      • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

        Yeah I agree, the passion should come first, money usually follows.

  • http://www.linknami.com Andreas

    If your goal is to make a specific amount of money with your blog and you do not make any money at all or a much lower amount over a certain period and timeframe, quitting blogging should be an option to consider.

  • http://basicblogtips.com Ileane @ Basic Blog Tips

    Hey Justin, you really got my attention with that title! I think that even when you have reached a plateau with a specific blog there’s always new ways to expand your horizons in the blogosphere. Look at what John is doing with BloggerLuv – it’s easy to start up a blogging community now that WP 3.0 includes multi-site.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      It is a question that I have posed to myself and my wife has considered as well. I figured the title would be a strong one for bringing in interest.

  • Dana @ Blogging Tips Blog

    Agree with you. If our blog is fail, we always can change it to new fresh blog or to new goal as well. In short word, blogging is adaptable as what we need.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      Exactly, we can adapt what we have into anything and the traffic, page hits and ranking aren’t lost.

  • http://www.videocharacter.com/ Service Desk

    I like this post. Never give up on blogging! If your content is interesting and you always do innovative things and think of creative ways, it’ll will go great and I am sure it can help a lot of people too.

  • http://ineeddiscipline.com Dean Saliba

    I really like the analogy.

    I’d never give up blogging, I may get tired of it at times but after a couple of days (or a week) I’m itching to get back to it. :)

  • Nasif

    The best motivating blog post… Enjoyed it…

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      Thanks for reading, it was a great guest post.

  • http://www.richwallace.net Rich Wallace

    Oddly enough I was considering calling it quits today but if I do that, I’m only giving up on myself. When It’s all said and done, I still have a passion to write whether the world needs another blogger or not.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      I had considered quitting previously as since I became a blogger I found I had barely any time to still be a gamer, and I miss gaming.

  • http://www.wpexplorer.com AJ

    That is exactly what separates a good blogger from a crappy one…the crappy one quits. I think if you find something that you are really passionate about you should never give up, however, I find that sometimes I will create a site because it sounded like a good idea at the time but later found out I didn’t enjoy that niche – in this case I think it is fine to quit, but not on blogging, just on that specific blog.

    ps: I sent you an invite on SC2 – maybe you have some tips for me here as well :) (my name is under Alexander Clarke). What an awesome game!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

      AJ, my review of Starcraft 2 is just going to post in about 1 hour on JustinGermino.com. I also haven’t played multiplayer yet, I always like to beat campaign mode before I start playing multiplayer (is one of my habits). I look forward to networking with you on SC2. I am not a master Starcraft player but I was in guilds and ladders back in SC1.

  • Joe@El Paso Divorce

    well if your only intention why you created a blog is to earn passive income, you should stop blogging and use autoblog plugin on your site. that at least makes the job done that can make you focus more on promoting your site, etc and you can still blog once in a while if you’re in the mood…

  • http://www.sweetsfoods.com/ Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog

    Excellent tips and so true all the points.
    I use EC, but try to limit to the minimum.

    Bloggers must adapt and learn new skills permanently, but I think everybody on this tech-society should be doing it.

    Cheers,

    Gera

  • Tinh

    I will give up when no one wants to read my articles and no one wants to be my friend online :-)

  • http://www.morphodesigns.com Mitchell Allen

    Hi Justin,

    This post popped up in Twitter, so I checked it out. I just did a complete re-evaluation of my business goals at the end of 2010 and I totally agree with all three points.

    I needed to adapt in a way you haven’t mentioned. I needed to strip out the time-consuming portion of content creation. We all have unpublished dogs of posts that perhaps we labored on a bit too long. I curtailed this by creating an editorial calendar for the whole year. One unexpected benefit is that, if I get an idea, I can check the calendar and see where it would fit. This gives me a built-in deadline.

    Also, I am only writing one post per week. The extra time will go toward promotion and product creation.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      I put more effort into creating content than promotion, my theory is that content stays in indexes on engines forever, promotion is so “short term” with things like social media. I would rather have a page indexed getting 1,000 views a month steady from searches than a short term social boost of 2000 visits.

      • http://www.morphodesigns.com Mitchell Allen

        Ooh, boyoboy. We get to “be startin’ Something”.

        Supposedly, acquiring new customers is harder than keeping them. So, using that logic, you’re absolutely right to focus on content creation, as that will keep your existing customers (your readers) coming back.

        Despite that, I believe that social media is anything but short-term. In fact, using Twitter for example, treating the medium as a one-shot billboard is doomed to fail. I know you know how to leverage Twitter, so this doesn’t apply to you. In fact, you are a model Tweeter, mixing marketing and social and helpful tweets in your account.

        The activity for promotion on social media should be no different than that employed by Direct Marketing Associations. Namely, speak to your target market.

        Whether you choose to do that within your personal Twitter account, or by setting up a separate account, consider this: out of those 2,000 “short-term” visits, if your customer retention rate is merely 1/10 of 1 per cent, you’ll acquire 2 new readers with every promotional campaign. While that may not seem impressive, keep in mind three things:

        1. The reach of those 2 people may be great enough to pull in “residual” visits, effectively boosting the acquisition rate.

        2. If your analytics warrant it, you could increase the number of promotions until you hit the point of diminishing returns

        3. If you could figure out WHY the rate was only 1/10 of 1 per cent, you could test ways to improve it.

        Ironically, had I read this post even two months ago, I would have agreed with you 100% on the short-term benefits. Lately, though, I’ve been really trying to get a handle on the “social” in social media. I feel that many of the sound bites regarding social media are based on a misinterpretation of the term.

        Cheers,

        Mitch

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

          Okay, calling Social Media short term wasn’t really articulating what I mean’t properly. Social Media of course is used to build “long term connections” establish trust, brand, and have people “connect with you” which leads to long term tangible benefits, people willing to retweet, expanding range of influence….etc. What I mean’t was that I won’t overly promote or spend more time broadcasting on social media, if I have only 1 hour to say blog and I would put most of that time into content creation. You can spend less time promoting by leveraging tools to auto promote articles, but being social on social media is critical, engaging in conversations, helping and promoting others as a way to build is important.

          However, as much as you see me on Twitter, out of the 50k visits that come to my 3 blogs combined, know that only about 1,000 of those visits total come from Twitter. So 2% of my traffic comes from Twitter and about half of that from Facebook, less than 5% of all of my sites total traffic comes from social media sites combined. Another 10% comes from article directories like StumbleUpon, Digg, BlogEngage…etc. 75% total comes from Search Engines, so if I shut down all my social media accounts today, I would only lose at most 10% of my total site traffic. I would however lose invaluable networking possibilities which only help long term.

        • http://www.morphodesigns.com Mitchell Allen

          Okay, cool. So, really, we agree.

          One thing I notice is that you say ONLY. If your blog were a mutual fund, your traffic stat would be like a prospectus. Depending the “income” goals of your “fund”, those percentages could be ideal, average or sub-par.

          Going further, we might say that Twitter traffic is like derivative paper – a great hedge, but you don’t want to be too vested in it :)

          Thanks for sharing your numbers and insights.

          Cheers,

          Mitch

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

          That fund analogy is exceptional and a good way to look at it. Right I mean only in that for the amount of time/effort I put into social media, I actually see very little traffic in return. For my own methods, Social Media is not as effective, this is partially because my one account does poetry, technology, blogging…etc and is not focused enough so it turns off audiences not interested in the other topics I feel.