WARNING: If you are sensitive, you may not want to read this article. Sometimes, the truth hurts but if you are wondering why YOU think that your blog sucks, someone has to be honest with you, right?
If you’re just starting out in the writing game, your blog probably sucks. Just accept it: It sucks. You suck. Everybody sucks when they’re starting something new, and very rarely does fate shine down upon a person and turn them into a prodigy from the beginning…and even prodigies need practice.
You may say, “Wait, but no, I have natural talent!” No you don’t. You just like writing more than most people, so you’ve done it more, so now you’re better than average. But how do you bridge the gap between being better than average, to being a master, or to at least being able to squeeze some income out of your blog writing, which so few people seem to be able to do?
Well, first, there’s more to blogging than writing. There’s all sorts of icky aspects to it that you may not want to deal with that are just as important as the writing itself, like promoting your blog, listening to feedback, and constantly improving the layout and content. If you’ve done none of these things, your blog probably sucks.
Actually, let’s get even more detailed and depressing, and get into a painful examination of exactly why your blog probably sucks right now:
Now, it’s important to write for yourself, and it’s something you should always be doing first and foremost, or else you’re not going to enjoy the process, of course. If you’re writing in a personal, your-eyes-only journal, it’s also perfectly fine to write only for yourself. However, no one needs to read your personal journal entries. If you want to be a successful blog writer with a sizable audience, you must consider that audience, and write not only for yourself but with them in mind as well.
Always keep your readers in mind, and don’t assume that they care about what you have to say unless there’s a compelling reason for them to care. You may think that the content you’re producing is interesting—and of course, you do; you’re writing it—but it is important to seek feedback. Ask your readers what they want. Spy on your visitors using analytics software and see if they come back. If your bounce rate is ridiculous, then you need to consider their needs more and your whims less.
2) You’re writing only for money.
This doesn’t mean you need to write for free. Honestly, even the best bloggers usually write at least partially with the intention of making money, but it’s also important to write with the purpose of solving a problem. The way you make money (in a free world), after all, is by solving problems first. If your blog is not solving a problem for the reader, it sucks, and you’re leaving money on the table anyway.
There are way too many splogs (spammy blogs) out there that are just pure sales copy. If you’re okay with having just one-off sales with very little back-end money to be made, then sure, make salesy male enhancement blogs all you want, but if you’re looking to deliver long-term value (and make long-term money), you need to solve your reader’s problems again and again in a genuine way that will make them trust you.
Lots of people get taken in by the idea of being “professional” and self-important as a way of showing their readers that they’re “somebody,” and so they don’t let their personality shine through in their writing. The way they write is stiff, boring, and “business-like,” without a personal touch. In reality, what this really says to your readers is that you lack the self-confidence to be yourself. It’s particularly common in younger people who have yet to develop their self-esteem and people skills, and don’t yet realize that it pays to just be yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to use slang or offensive language (unless you’re into that), but at the very least let your readers connect with you by showing that you’re a unique individual and not a robot.
From day 1, I have been visiting this website for amazing tips on how to write better and more interesting content. Check them out here. You’ll see, they are amazing!
4) There’s no point to your blog.
At least if all that you’re after is money, your blog has some sort of point in existing. Some blogs have no point at all. Ever been to the corporate site of some major brand (like a brand of soft drink or fast food), and you can’t for the life of you understand why someone would be reading their blog? That’s because there’s no real point to it most of the time except to be used as a marketing ploy. Hardly anyone will read their blog because the blog doesn’t actually solve any problems for the readers, and only serves as a way to make the company look good or else exists purely for the purposes of SEO.
Make sure that you have a problem to solve or some sort of value to give, or else don’t bother having a blog because no one will read it (unless you’re a celebrity).
If people like your content, they will make two critical visits to your blog. The first visit is to check it out and see what you have. If they enjoyed what they read, they will come back a few days later. If you have not updated within those several days, they probably won’t be back again, unless you have such a huge back catalog of timeless material that they will be kept busy for hours.
If you don’t have the time to regularly maintain the blog, hire someone else to write for you, but keep it updated with fresh content.
Content, content, content! Let’s add content!
6) You’re wearing a suit in your “About” page photo.
You know who wears suits a lot in publicity photos? Lawyers. You know what kind of people folks trust the least? Lawyers (and other people who wear suits). Unless your blog is a sales funnel for your company that sells suits, don’t wear one. A tie is fine, just don’t wear a suit. Be yourself in the picture.
Your blog should have images on it, and every post should have at least one image to serve as the thumbnail. Humans are visual creatures. Images give their eyes somewhere to go, and no matter how great your content is, your readers will be subconsciously turned off by a wall of text with no visual breaks in between.
8) You are not fluent in the language you’re writing in.
It’s fine to not be fluent, but you need to hire someone else to proofread or, even better, write your content for you if that’s the case. People will trust you less (and also have a harder time reading) your blog if you do not write grammatically and with good style. Sometimes it’s hard to make this self-assessment, so try to find someone objective who can criticize your work mercilessly.
However, there exists many great tools out there to help you improve your writing. Grammarly is one of them. I have done a full review on them. Check it out!
When we’re just starting out especially, we may get overly enthusiastic and make our blog too loud, complicated, and overly-decorated. In fact, this was the major plague of the Internet in its early days, with all its animated gifs and goofy wallpapered backgrounds.
On the flip side, your blog may also be too plain and boring-looking. Go for simple, yet eye-pleasing graphics that match your color scheme. With time, you will get a feel for what you really want your blog to look like and you will get the hand of it. If you need help and you figure out that deep down, your not the “design” type of person, check out Fiverr. I get all of my banners made up there and the cost is only $5. There’s nothing that you can’t find on Fiverr. It’s now my GO TO place!
Check out my review over here.
10) You have failed to monetize correctly.
Just as it’s a turn-off for readers for your blog to be all about the money, your blog also must pay for itself (unless you’re running it just as a hobby) eventually. Do your research. Learn about as many unobtrusive ways to monetize your blog as possible. Ideally, your readers will trust you enough that you can recommend products to them in a very natural, non-salesy way and they will buy; there’s much more money in this model than in random, obvious advertisements.
To an extent, these issues are just the tip of the iceberg, but they’re some of the major issues you should be watching out for, especially if you’re a beginner.