Anyone who has been blogging for any length of time will tell you, there is no shortage of information or ideas out there when it comes to starting and growing a thriving blog. The bottom line is that anyone can start a blog. However, creating a successful blog with a dedicated audience is another story. Developing a site with healthy traffic, consistent readers and the potential for monetization will take some hard work and resilience. The challenges of blogging are many and varied. But don’t let that deter you from getting started.
Here are the common challenges you’re likely to run into as well as the potential solutions.
Finding a niche, or a specific topic for your blog is an initial challenge many bloggers face. Make no mistake, it’s way to easy to overthink this process. Having been through this process on more than one occasion, we can say without a doubt, the number one fear is picking the wrong niche. Your mind is probably overflowing with the “what if” scenarios.
- What if it’s difficult to monetize my niche?
- What if I pick the wrong niche and want to change?
- What if there is too much competition?
- Do I have enough knowledge?
- Are there enough things to talk about?
As an aspiring blogger who is trying to decide on your niche, consider starting the process by thinking about an overall topic that your friends, family, or colleagues are already asking about. When people approach you with questions, is there a topic you know inside out? Also, determining where your interests, skills, and passions lie can make finding a niche easy and turn the writing process into a breeze. As long as you can produce consistent content within the niche, the next challenge is simply to start writing articles.
Finally, don’t spend more than about 5 minutes worrying about making a wrong choice. There is absolutely nothing that says you can make a change down the road or transition from on niche to another. Learning how to assess different niches is a process that improves with experience. And the only way you can develop that experience is by getting started ad being willing to make mistakes. More on identifying your perfect niche, remember to check out our guide on how to choose a blog niche.
2. Producing quality content and overcoming writers block
Now that you’ve determined your niche, writing style, and a content schedule that will keep readers engaged, one of the major problems your may face is producing quality content consistently. It may be difficult to come up with new, fresh ideas that are relevant and compelling day after day. Sometimes this is referred to as writer’s block.
One thing that you’ll find beneficial as a writer is to spend as much time as possible reading. Blogs, books, opinion pieces, magazines – you name it – they’re all good sources of potential inspitation. The more reading you do, the more you’ll find new ideas popping into your head. Eventually you’ll be able to break through your writer’s block. Another good idea is to carry around a small notebook.
Anytime an idea pops into your head, write down a few notes so you’ll have a starting point when the time comes to begin plucking away at your keyboard. Another strategy for creating quality content is to find different ways to package material, such as developing compelling posts with quality pictures and videos. If you find yourself running out of ideas, try mixing up the type of content you’re creating. For more perspective, check out the essential things every content marketer should know.
3. Growing your blog traffic
Running a blog without any traffic or readers is like speaking to an empty room. It can be discouraging to put work into a detailed post and have no one read it. There’s little room for improvement or success if the blog or website isn’t gaining any traction. This stage of blogging can be a challenge to overcome mentally. You’ll probably find yourself wondering if anybody will actually show and when your first comment will arrive.
The number one tactic/solution when it comes to traffic is time and consistency. First, you need to create content on an ongoing basis. Second, you’ll need to wait an adequate amount of time. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing else you can do to keep the process moving along. Here are some additional strategies you can implement:
- Incorporate guest blogging or writing a post for an already established blog. When you publish your work on another blog, you’ll be tapping into an existing audience and established traffic flow
- Use social media in order to promote your content. As a general rule social isn’t the best source of traffic and many bloggers choose to forego it altogether. Our opinion is that social deserves some time and attention but don’t overdo it
Fear not! All good things come with time. If you’re consistent with your efforts, the traffic and readership will grow. To tackle the traffic problem, check out our guide on how to increase your blog traffic.
4. Reader engagement
When you begin publishing content and your traffic is just getting started, it can be hard to know what your readers are thinking. If there is no sign of a forming community, and no feedback, your job as a writer will be more difficult. Primarily because it’s tough to determine your readers’ wants and needs. How can you as a writer strike up a conversation with a new audience and learn what they want to read about?
Once your blog begins attracting traffic there are a few things you can do to learn more about your audience:
- Include a call to action (CTA) in each one of your posts. For example, an email opt-in offer that encourages readers to share their email address in exchange for something of value. You can test different offers until you figure out what appeals to your audience
- Encourage readers to leave a comment or feedback on your blog posts. If they do, make sure you take the time to interact with them. Just because you’re running an online business, does not mean you can forego the human connections
- If you’re going to use social media, make sure you engage in quality conversations. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to simply post a link to some content and call it quits. You’ll need to actually engage on a personal level
To get more insight on reader engagement, check out our guide on how to make your content highly engaging.
5. Making money
As your blog becomes more established and your traffic grows, you’ll begin looking for ways to monetizing your website. Though many writers and bloggers are lured into blogging because of the potential to make good money, very few actually reach this goal. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be this way.
First of all, blogging is a dedicated process that requires time and energy. As a blogger, you should focus on establishing your blog and brand before you attemptto make money. Don’t place your focus on making money too early in the process. You blog is a lot like planting a garden. If you begin picking the seedlings, your garden will never have a chance to yield anything of value.
While we don’t recommend that you avoid monetizing until you have plenty of traffic, we do believe that you’re better off providing as much value as possible. The ability to monetize is a result of the value that you provide. Our guide on how to make money on your blog will equip you with the tips you need to turn your blog into a money making enterprise.
There are many challenges to blogging, with traffic and keeping a readership probably being the two biggest issues. Also it takes time and hard work to make these challenges a tad easier on a blog owner, it can’t be done overnight. Many think they can slap a blog online and get instant (magical) traffic and readers, but they quickly find out it doesn’t work that way. Growing a blog takes time, and you may want to be acquainted with the 10 commandments of blogging.