Why Blogs Fail — And How to Make Sure Yours Doesn't

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Katrina Kirsch
Katrina Kirsch

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Of the 1.7 billion websites in the world, more than 600 million are blogs. And the number of US bloggers is over 31.7 million.

why blogs fail

Clearly, blogging is competitive. You‘re constantly vying for people’s precious online attention. But for many, the benefits of running a blog outweigh the time, cost, and effort involved. That's because in 2023, blogs are tied for having the highest ROI (9%) of any marketing channel alongside social media shopping tools and influencer marketing.

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:

Why is blogging so hard?

Anyone can start a blog, but many don’t realize how hard it is until they get started. Your blog requires a lot of research, strategy, and brain power in order to become a successful part of your business.

A hobby blog is one thing, but when you want to grow or monetize your blog, there are several things you need to focus on. Namely, you need to identify the goal of the blog, know your target audience and what moves them, build a blog site that is easy to navigate, and choose a writing style that resonates with your audience.

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why blogs fail, and what you can do to overcome these hurdles and success.

list of reasons why blogs fail

1. The blog lacks a content strategy.

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 a purposeful content strategy. A content strategy outlines the goals, objectives, and roadmap for your blog. It also helps you better understand your audience, align with business goals, effectively allocate resources, and measure performance

Without the guidance of strategy, your blog may lack a clear purpose. This can result in aimless content creation and missed opportunities for growth.

How to Fix This:

If you’re struggling to get your blog off the ground, developing a thoughtful content strategy can help you realign your blog with your business goals.

A strategy may sound like a simple solution — but it works. In fact, only 29% of B2B marketers say their business is very or extremely successful with content marketing. Of those B2B marketers, 64% have a documented content marketing strategy.

When creating your content strategy, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Establish your goals.
  • Define your buyer persona.
  • Conduct a content audit.
  • Determine what kind of content you want to make.
  • Brainstorm blog ideas.

To learn more about developing a winning content strategy, check out HubSpot’s Content Strategy Course. Once your plan is in place, you’re ready to craft engaging content.

2. The blog isn’t optimized for search.

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 second highest traffic source for blogs, behind direct traffic. In 2023, web professionals reported that 17% of their website traffic came from organic search, beating out channels like social media (16%) and email (14%).

How to Fix This:

Fortunately, certain SEO rules continue to ring true. So, if you focus on the following practices, your blog will be better poised for success:

  • Research keywords. Keywords are a short string of words that help search engines understand what a web page is about (e.g., “Why do blogs fail?”). While experts debate whether or not keywords are still relevant for SEO, they do share the intent of your blog and improve rankings. Take a look at our SEO keyword research guide to pick up the best practices.
  • Focus on User Intent. User intent is the underlying motive or purpose that drives a user to perform a specific search query. There are four types of user intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial. When choosing keywords to target in your blog posts, you’ll need to figure out what the user is looking for and how you can optimize your content to align with their intent.
  • Write descriptions for images and videos. Text is the foundation of search, so you'll rank well if you create copy that algorithms can easily understand.
  • Optimize for voice search. With 62% of people in the US aged 12 and older using voice-operated assistants, optimizing your blog for voice search is a way to get ahead of the SEO game.
  • Prioritize E-E-A-T. As AI continues to impact SEO, Google is placing more importance on content that follows the E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) framework.

3. The blog is not well designed.

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. Non-responsive design is believed by 73.1% of web designers to be the top reason why people leave a website.

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.

How to Fix This:

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:

  • Over 50% of marketers consider visual content, such as images and infographics, as an essential part of their marketing strategy.
  • An infinite scrolling feature can reduce a website's bounce rate. (Think: Your Instagram feed).
  • 65.49% of web traffic worldwide comes from a mobile device. Mobile also generates the highest percentage of returning users, at 74%.

4. The blog manager posts inconsistently.

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 2023, bloggers spent an average of three hours and 51 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.

How to Fix This:

Don‘t worry if you can’t post seven times a week. The biggest challenge for half of bloggers is finding time to create and promote content. Instead, try the following tips to get on a consistent blogging schedule.

  • Use templates. You don't always have to start from scratch. Blog post templates are guided outlines to inspire creative thinking and help you format posts.
  • Get inspired. Writer's block happens to everyone — even bloggers. To get ideas for your next post, look for interesting headlines, formats, and designs. Then, make it your own by adding stats, images, examples, and thoughts.
  • Create an editorial calendar. Psychology research has shown that in 90% of cases, specific, challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, “do your best” goals, or no goals. You can use goal-setting to your advantage by planning your blog content for the next one, three, or six months with an editorial calendar.

5. The blog has poor quality content.

If the content you create is not valuable or well-written, readers are unlikely to engage with it. High-quality content that addresses your audience's needs and answers their questions is crucial for a successful blog.

But what exactly makes content poor quality? Google advises marketers to avoid creating content specifically for search engines. That means keyword stuffing, writing on topics you have little knowledge of, or failing to adequately address the topic are big no-nos.

It should also go without saying that blogs with grammar mistakes, spelling errors, unclear structure, and illogical flow are off-putting to readers and may lead them to bounce.

How to Fix This:

Because Google ranks content based on helpfulness and reliability, consider the following when creating your content strategy:

  • Write for your humans, not search engines.
  • Tailor your content to serve the interests and pain points of your audience.
  • Offer fresh perspectives or unique insights.
  • Be transparent when using AI tools to write your content.
  • Edit your content before publishing.

6. The blog is not well promoted.

Even if you have great content, it won‘t gain traction if you don’t actively promote it. Think about it: how can people read your blog if they don’t know it exists?

Promoting your blog is also crucial for staying competitive in a crowded digital landscape. Even if your blog does have some brand awareness, your competitors probably have some kind of promotion strategy. Failing to create your own promotional strategy puts you at risk of being overshadowed and losing potential readers and customers.

However, blog promotion goes far beyond optimizing it for search and posting it to social media. You have to engage with your following. In fact, according to HubSpot’s 2023 Social Media Marketing report, 90% of social media marketers say building an active online community is essential to their success.

How to Fix This:

In order to effectively promote your blog, you have to invest the time and effort needed to reach your target audience.

Social media is more important than ever when it comes to marketing. In fact, 1 out of 4 consumers aged 18-54 prefer social search over using search engines. Of course, that doesn’t mean SEO is completely obsolete, but that does mean social media is crucial to building an audience.

In 2023, the top social media platforms are Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Keep in mind that simply posting your blog posts on more visual channels, like Instagram and TikTok, may not result in the engagement you’re looking for. Be creative with your content and repurpose your blog posts into other formats such as videos or infographics so you can share them across different platforms.

Engaging with your audience is another key factor when it comes to promoting your blog. Respond to comments on your blog posts, encourage discussion, ask for feedback, and create a sense of community around your business.

There are hundreds of reasons why blogs fail. But if you avoid these six 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.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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