Hold Tight, It Will Only Get Easier

By Daniel Scocco

Most bloggers that get discouraged and decide to abandon their blogs tend to do so on the first three to six months. Sometimes the traffic is not growing as fast as they would like. Other times they are not happy with the money that they are making.

Personally I think that quitting after such a short period is a mistake.

There are two situations where quitting would be a smart move. One is when the blogger consciously decided to try out a new niche. In that case he must have some previous experience with blogs and websites, and he should know what numbers to expect and how to evaluate if this new blog has potential or not.

The other case refers to blogs that get stuck. If after six months you are still struggling to receive a couple hundred unique visitors daily then you probably are doing something wrong. Under this scenario you should probably stop to rethink your strategies (niche selection, content creation and promotion strategies) and try again.

On all other cases, however, the best idea is probably to hold tight and keep working hard until your blog or website achieves some critical mass. It does not matter how small or big your traffic is, as long as it is growing month after month you are on the right track.

The first three to six months are the hardest, and after that period you will notice that things will flow more smoothly, for several reasons.

First of all your content will achieve a bigger audience, improving the chances of receiving backlinks and traffic. Suppose two blogs, one with 200 daily unique visitors and the other with 2,000 daily unique visitors, publish the exact same article. The second one will have much higher chances of receiving backlinks, because more people will be exposed to its content.

This means that as your audience grow you will be able to spend less time promoting your content and more time actually producing it and making sure that it has quality.

Secondly, the credibility of your website will grow with the time, both for human visitors and search engines. Suppose again that two blogs, one that has been online for 1 year and has a Google PageRank of 5 and the other that has been online for 1 month and has a Google PageRank of 1, publish the exact same article. Even if we disregard the backlinks that each article will receive, the page of the first blog will appear first in the search results because that domain has more trust in the eyes of search engines.

These are just two examples of how allowing your blog to grow and mature will benefit you. The are several others: over the time it will be easier to monetize it, to get favors and support from your readers, to create a network of contacts, to receive freebies and so on.

If you are considering to quit, therefore, my advice is to hold tight a little longer, and then take that decision.

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62 Responses to “Hold Tight, It Will Only Get Easier”

  • Blogging for the Money

    Excellent point, Daniel. I have five (yes, 5) blogs — not websites, but actively, regularly updated blogs. One of them will celebrate it’s 5th year anniversary in a few days. The others were born over the past year, with the latest going online in December.

    I used to obsess over traffic, then I noticed with my oldest blog that it doesn’t matter how often I post. Now that I have built up a huge amount of content (nearly 6,000 entries), I get a certain amount of reliable search engine traffic daily. I also have a long-standing readership which visits daily, too.

    I’d forgotten that when I started launching my other blogs, and really nearly threw in the towel with a couple of them because they didn’t get immediate high traffic in the first couple of months. But I kept posting, and eventually traffic’s built up for them, too.

    As I tell folks these days, if you blog it the traffic will come.

  • Scott

    Oh, this is so true! You pour your heart and soul into a blog only to find out that no one is reading it. It will make almost anyone quit.

    Like Blogging for the Money said, traffic will come with time. But I would also suggest learning basic SEO if it comes to the point of quitting because you lack traffic.

    My motto is “Never Give Up!” and I live by that for my blogs too.

  • mac

    To give up a blog in just a 6 month old is really a mistake. Even try to create a new one after that is another mistake. Bloggers should try to find a solution on their problems. I always remind myself that content is not the key, but marketing, advertising is. If you want a high traffic at your blogs, theres a lot of work to be done.

    Be creative, try to gain more experiences and knowledge from other bloggers. Read all the comments from other blogs, and start taking note on what they really like to read. Bloggers need to have a great passion on his work or it will just be a waste of time.

  • David Zemens – 1955 Design

    I think one of the keys to being able to persevere is to always choose to write about something that is very, very interesting to you.

    Even with few readers, if you are writing about what truly interests you than it is worthwhile nonetheless.

    On the other hand, if your main goal is to monetize the blog then you will undoubtedly become frustrated. That’s why so many people always recommend to write about what you love.

  • Daniel

    David, good point.

    A blog with 10 daily readers would it will be worth while if you like what you write. This point was not included on my post.

  • Brooklynite

    Daniel, Thanks for the encouraging post. Any advice on how to handle situations where you network with other bloggers (i.e. write up an entry about them or devote an entire podcast to their blog and provide a link to their blog from your blog) and then they don’t reciprocate by posting a link on their blog to yours, even though they said they would?

    When I send a polite email reminding them of the agreement, I get back a response of “Oh, yeah! I forgot! I’ll do it right away” and when I check back a few days later, nothing, still no link, etc. When it initially happened, I thought, whatever, they’re busy. But now I’m seeing it happening more frequently and it’s really pissing me off, especially since my blog is only 4 months old and I’ve been working hard to build up content. In four months I’ve posted 20 podcasts and blogged over 100 entries, so it’s not as though my blog appears to be a brand new upstart with little content. I could understand people unwilling to link if they felt that the blog didn’t have enough content but that isn’t the case.

    Any suggestions? Or do I just have to grin and bear it, even though it is grossly unfair? If there is still no action after sending two emails to the blogger to remind them, I can’t see what else I can do other than to write that blogger off as a lost cause. Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this subject.

    Switching gears, whatever happened to that guy who won the new blog contest you sponsored back in December. Has he launched his blog yet? How are things going for him?

  • Jagannath

    Thanks that threw some sense into me 😀

  • OldSailor

    Your reasoning is very correct. It is like sowing a seed and waiting for it to grow as a big tree. It needs lot of patience and continuous hard work to see the results. My blog has just completed five months.

  • Rakshit

    Very helpful especially for new bloggers like me.
    Thanks for sharing that with us.
    🙂

    Stumbled!!!

  • Daniel

    Brooklynite, for your first question, I think the best thing is just let it go, and keep networking with bloggers that will help you out as well.

    Most of the times I do believe that this happens due to lack of time though.

    Keep working on the content, the idea is to publish something to good, so useful or so funny that other bloggers would actually be having a loss if they did not mention it.

    The guy who won the “Blog Incubator” project has put the project on hold for now. I will get in contact with him to see how it is going, I forked $100 for that as well :).

  • David Karl

    Is it a good idea to build up comment before going live? Obviously some people will stumble upon the site through search engines but should I post for a while and then start actively marketing once I have some posts built up?

  • Daniel

    David, absolutely. at the very minimum you want to have enough content to keep an eventual busy for some time.

    10 articles is the minimum I would post before starting promoting the blog.

  • Madhur Kapoor

    During my first year of blogging, i never cared much about getting too much traffic and money. I was happy with what i was doing and it helped in the longer term. I have made a slow progress but the point is to be pleased with what you are doing.

  • Coen Jacobs | Webhypes

    I recently gave up blogging on my Dutch blog and started of my new English blog; Webhypes.

    It’s true that a blog is a long term project, but I just couldn’t manage to keep on posting om my Dutch blog any longer. Why? Because of the following points;

    1. Blogging is still considered weird in Holland, so you aren’t taken seriously as a blogger.
    2. English blogs do have a bigger amount of people that are able to read your postings, but at the same time the competition is bigger.

    It was a great loss to me, to give up my Dutch blog. Maybe I will give it a restart, but now I’m happy with my new blog!

  • Jeremy Steele

    Great point Daniel. I started my current main blog in August/September 2006 (although I completely redid it in 2007), and it is just now starting to bring in a bit of traffic, cash, work, etc.

  • Don

    Daniel of all your writings about blog. This is the one that inspired me more to take the second chance again. Because I was before on that situation.

    I quit blogging to early. Perhaps lack of money to support the promotion.

    And most of all I do blogging without a single money on my pocket.

    The temptation of monetization beats me.

    Also i recommend to those new to blogging.

    Don’t get tempted with so many pictures of check.

    It is not easy at all.

    Thank you and more power Daniel

  • Marty

    Good read. I feel like this is really talking to me. I’ve been blogging for 4 months now, and am still keen to do so yet sometimes I’ll look at my stats and think how much time I’m wasting on this people aren’t reading.

    I’m still motivated thought and will continue to blog about my passion and I know I have a few readers and am slowly building up my Google juice.

    I think I remember reading somewhere if after a year you haven’t “taken off” its worth considering what you’re doing. But until then, I’ll blog away!

  • Moshe

    Thanks for the encouragement – as someone who is just starting out on his second blog it’s nice to have some perspective of how long things should take.

    I gave up my first blog for a variety of reasons, but in my case I think it was the right move. I learned a lot about blogging in the 6 months or so that I ran my first blog and that knowledge will (I believe) serve me well with my new venture. In fact, if one can afford it I think have a first trial blog is a great way to learn about blogging.

    I didn’t know anything about WordPress, RSS feeds, how to produce good content, monetization, html, css etc. when I started my first blog over a year ago. That’s all changed now. I was constantly researching and studying new tactics and strategies as I went along. Every few weeks or so I would realize that there was something else that I needed to know and would research it.

    Needless to say, this made it hard for me to maintain and market the blog (although in hindsight I probably should have blogged about my research experiences, but again, that’s something I needed to learn).

    So, I guess I would say that there are (at least) two types of blogs. There’s a learning blog and there’s the real thing blog. Both should be taken serious – both you should stick with and try to make work. But I don’t think it’s as big a deal to leave a learning blog. The point of that blog is to learn how to blog. You can then start over and take your new knowledge and then stick it out. At least that’s what I did. I guess in 6 months or so we’ll see how it worked :).

  • ITrush

    Very informative, thanks for challenging specially us new bloggers.
    Stumbled!

    nhick
    http://www.itrush.com

  • Lex G

    Good post and very useful to many bloggers who are considering to throw the towel in.

    It depends though how serious you are about succeeding with your blog. I always wanted to succeed, and now that my little blog is about 2.5 months old I’m starting to wonder if I want to continue because of completely different reasons than the ones which are usual stop-factors …

    Lex

  • Adam

    great post daniel, i would tend to agree with all of it…in fact i might even link back to this one later !

  • Lindsay

    Thanks for this post. I am new to blogging, and while I am working hard to build up content (I currently have 4 articles), I sometimes wonder if this is all a waste of time. My particular niche is one that I have read is not a very profitable one and this is discouraging to hear. But your article is just what I need to hear right now, so thank you!

    Lindsay
    http://www.supersweetlife.com

  • simon

    i can understand your points, i almost into the second year of my first blog, and have added 3 more since that….

    but it does get tough when as a part timer i seem run out of time and never get them all running like i would and thats where i almost quit some…

    Lucky my last two are co share with a friend

  • Michael Aulia

    If you blog out of your passion and put it as the first priority, instead of making money, I’m sure you’ll never want to give up.

    Even to have just 5 people reading your post is already worth the effort (IMO)

  • Coryan | UTurnAhead

    I’ve been blogging for almost four months, and I’ve just hit my first rut. I actually have four blogs and was posting every other day on each. This past week I only posted twice on each blog. But I think I’m catching my second wind.

    Your post was encouraging and very much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Chris Auman

    I swear, I love posts like this. This is totally just common sense but you absolutely HAVE to hear it on a regular basis when you’re starting out. My blog is still in it’s infancy and I have a huge hill to climb to get any traction in the niche that I’ve chosen. But I think I do a great job and I really need to stick with it and all the hard work will pay off. Nothing good ever comes easy–and as Walt Disney said–“Find a good idea and stick with it”.

    There is no better advice available. Thanks.

    Chris Auman
    Search Engine Optimization Blog

  • Syahid A.

    Good insights man. I am feeling discouraged too at the first few months of writing a blog but now I am quite happy because the traffic to my website is rising steadily, althought not that much.

  • Bill

    This is great. I think as a beginning blogger to hear concrete numbers like “If you’re not getting x readers a day by this time then you need to do x” is really really helpful.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  • knupnet

    Great writeup Danielle. I think competition slows down a bit after the first 3 months of the year for sure 🙂 Just keep plugging away!

  • knupnet

    I just noticed i spelled your name WAY wrong. Sorry man!

  • Kevin LeMaster

    Despite strong growth in our local blog scene, I can’t tell you how many have flamed out quickly within the past year.

    A couple of them were promising, but most of them suffered from the same thing – weak or uneven content.

    My advice: Do NOT start a blog unless you’ve given some serious thought to your content, unless you’re just looking to do a very limited personal blog. Many people seem to think that they can write a couple of popular posts and then coast, then wonder why their readership numbers aren’t growing.

    Serious blogging takes work and dedication, so if you’re not up to it I say you should go ahead and quit. But if you’re in for the long haul and have a clear idea of what your blog will be, then definitely stick it out.

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for such a great article Daniel, we all appreciate it.

    I’m expecting my first year of blogging to be really tough and I’m fine with that. I block out 30% of my time writing content and the rest of the time I’m learning about marketing and promotion. So far it’s working for me.

    – Jennifer

  • Judi

    Hi, Great topic and good to get some validation that readership will keep improving over time. I have been blogging three months about five times a week. I love watching the stats since it is easier for me to write when I think someone is actually out there reading it.

    My readership has gone up to 140 per day and I was thrilled. It isn’t that high everyday but I will keep at it. Maybe one day it will be in the thousands!

  • Adam Singer

    Great post Daniel – I gotta figure out how you separate trackbacks and comments like this — this looks so much cleaner!

  • Timawa

    I like this article, and realized that if only I didn’t quit with my previous blogs in 2003 I’d be making it bigtime now. 🙁

    But like what you’ve said, i’ll never give up! God bless!

  • Fight Videos

    Good point, it is true that sometimes we get discouraged from continuing what we love to do just because of some little mistakes but that is our motivations..

  • space code

    I think the problem with many bloggers is that they think that with a blog they can make money easily. Then when they realize its hard, they quit.

  • rake

    What a good point that you have stated! Don’t get down too easy on what we love to do, hold it tight!

  • SEO Genius

    Excellent article again, i have struggled in the past to get a large amount of traffic however it has increased monthly since i first began and i think thats what shows you whether or not your website wil make it if it increases monthly hold on to it

  • hee-haw

    yup i do agree with this article, but we as human not aliens, its a normal thing to have such decision.

    But i hope all bloggers dont quit doing what you doing, you may pause but not put a full stop to it.

    I myself sometimes do feels like wanting to just leave all behind.But as time goes by, if you do the tracking of visitors to your website or blog, you will notice each month at least there are some new aliens coming from all over the universe.

  • moserw

    Persistence needs to be the mindset one needs to have to be a regular blogger, otherwise one might as well fold up and give up now itself. Also, you cannot blog just for the sake of keeping the blog going, or for traffic. Blogs should come from within since you want to express yourself and your thoughts or else it will all be in vain.

  • G of Slashdox

    Thanks man. This helped. I’m in my 4th day and its kinda sad getting like 50 uniques a day.

    I’ll hold tight!

  • Peter Szabo

    Thanks for this post. I am new to blogging, and while I am working hard to build up content (I currently have 4 articles), I sometimes wonder if this is all a waste of time. Thanks

  • Alex Griffin

    Good insights man. I am feeling discouraged too at the first few months of writing a blog but now I am quite happy because the traffic to my website is rising steadily, althought not that much.

  • Christian Solei

    Great writeup Danielle. I think competition slows down a bit after the first 3 months of the year for sure 🙂 Just keep plugging away!

  • Patrick Pete

    Daniel,
    This post was awesome. I needed it, but it would be great to see a post on ways to find the right niche. I have been told that you need to find something you are passionate in, but if you are trying to make a living through blogging your passion might not be something other people are interested in. I would love some feedback on this issue. Thanks

  • medyum

    Thanks for this post. I am new to blogging, and while I am working hard to build up content (I currently have 4 articles), I sometimes wonder if this is all a waste of time. My particular niche is one that I have read is not a very profitable one and this is discouraging to hear. But your article is just what I need to hear right now, so thank you!

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