One of the most common ways I see a blog ‘failing’ is when a blogger distracts from the whole task of blogging because of one aspect of blogging.
Here’s the thing – to make a blog successful, you can’t work on just one aspect of it – there are many tasks to work on as you grow. These include writing content, engaging readers, tracking what’s going on in your niche, building a network with other blogs and sites in your niche, designing your blog, moderating comments, promoting your blog / marketing, finding, managing and optimizing revenue streams. search engine optimization, tracking the metrics of your blog…. and more.
That’s a bit of a huge list, isn’t it !?
When a blogger becomes obsessed with any aspect of the list, it comes at the expense of other critical aspects of blogging.
Each of the things I mentioned above are legitimate things to work on your blog (some are more important than others at different stages of a blog’s life), however a blog grows best when you’re working on all of them, not just when you do one of them.
Five types of obsessed bloggers
Let me share five common scenarios I see:
1. A design maniac – perhaps one of the most common examples of this is a blogger who becomes so obsessed that their blog seems to do nothing but visually tweak it by playing with their CSS, changing logos, trying out different layouts, testing new menus and navigation….
Not that there’s anything wrong with all of this – but if that’s all you’re doing, when are you going to write content, work on networking, and moderate comments?
2. SEO (obsessed) – I went through a phase in which I became obsessed with search engine optimization. Symptoms of this disorder include write for search engines instead of for human beings (you know, posts with the same keywords 400 times, all in bold and in header tags), spending more time tweaking your templates more than spending time writing content, making every post you write a link to your ‘make money online’ page that is filled with partnerships, I check yours page rank every morning before moderating your comments and sending hundreds of emails to other bloggers you’ve never heard of before asking them to connect on your post ….
OK – again, SEO is not bad, search engines can actually be a rich source of traffic for your blog – however SEO is also enhanced by quality content, well-coded pages and top-ranked sites in the SE because they link to their quality.
3. Social media is sold out – this is something that most bloggers go through at one stage or another. They hear about the mass of traffic that sites like Digg or StumbleUpon can send and write post after post especially in the hopes of getting to the front page of social media bookmarking sites.
You know the posts I’m talking about – 419 stupid Britney Spears quotes, 10 ways to get cat skin off…. Really !, Ron Paul (enter anything here) (.
These types of posts can drive a lot of traffic to your blog, the problem is that it can be a pretty empty experience if you haven’t worked on designing your blog and worked out how to retain readers. It can also frustrate your regular readers who want content posts. Finally, traffic can be quite destructive (both for your servers and comment areas on your posts – especially if you attract 10,000 angry little Digg users to your blog). Sure – write some posts and experiment with social media, but don’t be obsessed.
4. Money hungry blogger – There is nothing wrong with monetizing your blog, but if someone comes to your blog and has NOTHING other than ads above the break of your blog, maybe you should think about the first impression you make.
If every post you write contains an affiliate link or a paid review, greets another sponsor, invites new sponsors, or launches your latest ebook – then you might also consider the reputation you build for yourself as a blogger.
5. Stat-a-holic – if you wake up in the morning and before you drink coffee, go to the bathroom, kiss a woman or pick up a baby screaming from his crib … you just need to check the statistics of your blog – YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!
Once again, most bloggers go through a phase when they start when they seem to check their blog statistics more times a day than they do anything else – but for some bloggers they never grow out of it. They spend hour after hour not only checking the number of visitors, but have a daily process of checking where each reader came from, how many pages they viewed, which links they clicked, how long they spent on each page and where they headed after leaving.
It’s good to know how people use your blog – but…. if you spend more time checking statistics then you will notice one big statistic in anything else – no one comes back because you don’t invest enough time in writing content!
The list could go on
I could go on to describe bloggers who are obsessed with promoting their blog, networking, building a community of readers, writing about just one aspect of your niche, researching new blogging tools, etc. – but you’ll understand the picture.
You have to keep your balance!
Tips for individual bloggers
Do a time audit – Take some time today and think about how you use your time when it comes to blogging. Where does most of your time go? List all the tasks in the order in which you invested your time and ask yourself – am I in danger of being obsessed with some of them? What am I ignoring that I should do more?
When you know where (if) you are out of balance, it’s time to do something about it.
Give yourself a schedule – One thing I did in the first days of blogging was that I set a schedule for myself. At the time, I was working two jobs and studying part-time, so I only had a few hours a day, so my schedule included a little time in the morning to check email, an hour before I went to work to write a post or two. , and then in the evening I devoted my time to networking, emailing, and moderating comments. Once a week I also set aside an hour for SEO and once a month I would set aside time for design.
Create a scoring system – Another system that some bloggers use is to create ‘scoring systemwhere they give themselves different ‘points’ to achieve certain goals on their blog.
Get feedback from others – I would also recommend that you ask someone else for their opinion on this. Sometimes it’s easy to draw attention to one aspect of your blog without even realizing it. Ask another trusted blogger or reader for honest feedback on how they think you are progressing. You may be surprised at what they come back with.
What is your obsession (or was) as a blogger? Are you in danger of getting out of balance? What are you doing to be more balanced?
This post was first published on June 27, 2008 and updated on October 28, 2021.