Bloggers tend to face challenges in the path to becoming a successful blogger which may make them think they should give up. Here are some of those common roadblocks in the blogging path, and a few suggestions on how to get past them.
1. Your blog lost or has never gained PageRank
PageRank is not a determining factor in whether or not your blog is valuable. PageRank is simply Google’s analysis of your site based on an unpredictably changing algorithm.
Remember that most readers do not care about your PageRank. Quality writing comes from sites ranked anywhere on the Google scale. PageRank does not necessarily affect your position in SERPs (search engine result pages). This means that sites with a 0 ranking could still be in the first 10 results for a given keyword or phrase.
If your site is suffering from low PageRank and missing from search engine results, it may be time to review the above mentioned Google guidelines and ask them to reconsider your site.
2. You don’t have a lot of subscribers.
After a period of blogging, bloggers come to expect they will have high subscription numbers. This is not always the case, and seeing that Feedburner count in the single or double digits can be frustrating to the point that some give up.
What you have to realize is that people “subscribe” to blogs in different ways that may not be reflected in your subscriber count. Some may be heavy StumbleUpon users, and if you generally send your latest post as a share, they do not need to subscribe because they will get your article that route. Some may spend all day watching their Twitter messages and count on seeing your latest post that way. Some may have their favorite blogs (including yours) bookmarked especially on the homepage of their Safari browser.
If your Feedburner count is still driving you mad, here are some ways to change the trend. To get real subscribers (ie. people who are subscribing because they are truly interested in updates to your blog).
- Provide great content (duh!).
- Encourage people to subscribe at key points on your blog, including in the header, sidebar, ends of posts, and footer.
- Be sure to add the benefits of subscribing via RSS or email for those who may be new to RSS.
To simply “boost” your subscriber count:
- Offer incentives for subscriptions, like contests or giveaways. The downside to this method is that some people will just subscribe for the freebie and either unsubscribe after or never read the updates .
- Participate in “RSS exchanges” where you offer to subscribe to someone else’s blog in return for them subscribing to yours. Again, the downside is having some that are not really interested in your blog, but just getting the reciprocal exchange.
- Have a lot of FriendFeed subscribers? Include them in your Feedburner count by adding your blog’s Feedburner URL to your FriendFeed services. Your number of subscribers in FriendFeed will then be added to your Feedburner count. You will still be able to see the difference in numbers between FriendFeed subscribers vs. the rest. The downside of this is, although your FriendFeed will now be updated every time you make a post, not all of your FriendFeed subscribers will necessarily see it like they would an email RSS subscription.
3. You don’t have a lot of commenters.
Bloggers generally start blogging to get feedback and start conversation about the topics they write about. Seeing the “no comments yet” next to posts, or only getting spam comments is a harsh thing to deal with. It doesn’t mean you should give up though!
There are many ways to stimulate commenting on your blog, including:
- Commenting on other blogs. Most bloggers are very community oriented and tend to return the favor, unless the only blogs you are commenting on are Mashable, LifeHacker and ProBlogger.
- Joining bloggers on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, etc. So if you don’t have accounts on social media sites, get them. Then find bloggers in a similar niche, find their social media contact information, and start following, friending, and subscribing.
- Reward commenters by making your blog a dofollow blog. Yes this might make you a prime target for some spamming, but it will also show bloggers that you are giving them something in return which will make them more likely to comment.
- Encourage comments by asking readers for their opinions at the end of articles.
4. You don’t know what else to write about.
Blogging writer’s block can strike at any time, from the very beginning of your journey into blogging and onward. It doesn’t mean that you have nothing left to say. You just need a little inspiration. Blogging writer’s block can be cured a number of ways, including:
- Commenting on other blogs in your niche. Reading other articles and commenting can help stimulate your brain into deeper thoughts about your blog’s topic. (But by all means, do not steal someone else’s idea or content.)
- Use Twitter search or advanced Twitter search to see what people are talking about on a particular subject.
- Revisit older popular posts on your blog and see if there is a way to update or add to them.
- Create list posts of top blogs / articles in your niche, your favorite older posts on your blog, etc. It is valuable to readers as a resource, and buys you time to think of future posts.
5. You have taken an extended leave of absence from your blog.
There are times when bloggers will have to take a break from their blogging, whether it is due to personal or career circumstances, writer’s block, etc. But it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your blog completely.
A break can actually be good thing for your blog in some cases. Take the two month hiatus I took from Kikolani around this time last year. When I returned, I found that I wanted to change my focus for the site. Once I did, I didn’t have as many issues with writer’s block and the Kikolani became stronger than ever.
If you have taken time off and are just getting back into the swing of things, whether you change direction or continue on your original path, one of the most important things to do as soon as possible (besides creating new content again) is to make an effort to reconnect with your community via social media or blog commenting on other sites to let your previous readers know you are back.
Don’t give up!
In conclusion, remember that no matter what the obstacle, there is probably a way to conquer it whether. You may need to learn about search engine optimization, how to extending your community outside of your blog, or where to find inspiration. But whatever it is, don’t give up on blogging so easily. Fighting past the problems could lead you to a rewarding future in blogging.