Too Much Effort and No Progress? Something Is Wrong There

By Daniel Scocco

My dad always tell me this. If you are putting too much effort into a specific task, while not making good progress, there is something wrong there.

This is true for all endeavors in life, from the most basic to the most complex ones. Suppose you are trying to cut a piece of wood with a hand saw. Despite putting all your strength on it, however, you are not making good progress. Well, there is something wrong there. You are probably not handling the saw the right way, or you are not approaching the wood with the right angle.

Upon facing a similar situation, some people would keep going carelessly, until all their energy is drained and they are overwhelmed by the task and just give up. Other people, however, stop and try to figure out what is wrong.

Needless to say that the second option is always the best one.

Now this principle also applies to the Internet and to blogging. I often times see people putting a lot of effort on their blogs or websites, but even after one year they are only getting a couple hundred of unique visitors daily.

Sure, creating a popular website is hard, but it is easy at the same time. What I mean is, you should not expect to be receiving 10,000 daily unique visitors after 6 months, but 1,000 is completely feasible.

The message I want to pass is the following: If you are working very hard on your website, but apparently are not making any real progress, there must be something wrong there (e.g., on the domain name, on your promotion strategies, on your content, or on all of them).

No matter what you do, you can’t make your website go over 200 daily unique visitors or 200 RSS subscribers? Something is wrong there.

If you are in that situation, the best thing you can do is to stop and think. Take a look around, see what other people are doing, investigate what is working from them, read e-books, study, and re-think your strategy.

Sometimes this will involve shifting the focus of your site, other times it will require you to completely dump it and start a new one. It is not easy, but it might be necessary.



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34 Responses to “Too Much Effort and No Progress? Something Is Wrong There”

  • Ryan McLean

    Sometimes I struggle to get over 200 uniques per day even though I have 270 subscribers. This is growing with time but I agree with you. I definately might need to re think my strategy.

  • Hussein

    Is this blog post for me? HAHA. I think it is because I used to spend more time online but still got slow progress. ๐Ÿ™

  • esvl

    Great stuff. I usually dont have trouble getting traffic to my blogs but it seems I should be making much more sometimes for the effort i put in.

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    This post just made me stop and think for a while…

    Great, now let’s dominate the blogosphere!

    But seriously, I totally agree with you, people should always remember this statement: Work smart, not hard.

  • Saurabh

    Great post Daniel! I put effort into my blog and I am seeing some good results (my blog is 4 month old; and has around 500 visitors). Thank you for this article. I now will put more effort there.

  • Rapid MLM Blog

    Great Post!

    Good time management is a critical factor in online business.Some of us spend too much time in minor details.

  • TechZoomIn

    Hi Daniel,

    Really touching article dude.

    I started TechZoomIn 2 months back and getting around 500 page views daily. Is that good at this stage? or its making slow progress?
    I wanted to ask you this from long time, but now situation comes good.

    How many page views DBT getting daily?

  • Bilingual blogger

    Is it really realistic to expect that all blogs, regardless of topic, should be reaching 1000 unique visitors a day within 6 months? I respect your need to provide us with benchmarks but making a blanket statement like this is akin to making a generalization like all French people are great lovers, all Americans are overweight, all Australians are fun-loving extroverts.

    While it might generally be true, is it always true that a blog that doesn’t hit a minimum of 1,000 daily visitors is always doing something wrong? There is so much competition out there, breaking through and connecting with the people who will love your content isn’t always just a simple matter of having great content and networking. I think you underestimate the part that serendipity also plays. To me there are some audiences (like tech, internet marketing, gossip, politics) that have well-established destination blogs and meeting points on the net. Isn’t it possible that there are some topics that exist that people won’t necessarily think that there would be a blog for? For example, if someone has a grammar question, they’re going to go looking for a grammar web site or a dictionary, not a blog, even though they might benefit and learn more from reading a blog entry on the exact question they have.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Ryan, it depends on your goals also. The post was directed at people that want to have a popular blog or make money online. For some this might not be a desired goal.

    @Hussein, perseverance is key. Just make sure you are using your time smartly.

    @Esvl, keep trying and analyzing your strategies and you will arrive there.

    @Rajaie, I agree with that saying. Though I think you need both, to work smart AND hard ๐Ÿ™‚ .

    @Saurab, means you are on the right track, keep it up.

    @Rapid MLM, definitely.

    @TechZooming, that is good progress I think.

    Daily Blog Tips gets around 10,000 page views daily.

  • tacogirl

    I have a Belize specific travel blog about living in an Island and while my traffic is good around 200 unique range (and world wide) your post made me wonder what I can do to keep building and crack higher numbers consistently.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Bilingual Blogger,

    Of course 1,000 daily uniques is a ball park number. For some the “good progress” number will be higher, for others lower.

    My post was geared towards people that want to make money online or have a popular website. If you goal is simply to write a blog as a hobby, or to share stuff with friends, or to connect with like-minded individuals, then you don’t need to care for your traffic.

    If you want to make money or make a popular website, however, I feel that 1,000 daily uniques after 6 months is the minimum you should aim for.

    Finally, you mention about people not reading blogs on some topics. Well blogs are just a type of website. People don’t search some stuff on blogs, for other stuff on newspapers and so on. These days they just hit Google, and they will click on whatever appears there. So it is your goal to have your information there when someone searches for it, regardless if you use a blog, a wiki, or a forum to publish it.

  • Clog Money

    This is why I’m not checking my statistics. I’m hoping by not checking I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of traffic I’m receiving rather than bitterly disappointed.

  • Rarst

    Such posts always make me feel like I am stuck. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am in the fourth month and my usual daily traffic is still under 100… Still at the same time I am over 150 subscribers.

    It’s all so chaotic and spiky I am not really comfortable putting labels on it. When person makes his tenth blog he might expect stable results and growth. But for beginner and first blog I don’t think it’s easy to say how fast it must grow.

  • thatwashot

    I can relate to your post because I just dumped my old blog and started a new one because I have a big problem on domain name issue. I learned that my old blog does not have a potential to grow but as I read comments, suddenly I am nervous in the same time challenged. My blog is just one week old and now, I’m looking forward if I can beat that 1000 visitor per day, after six months.

  • bastich

    Personally, I can’t dump my hobby blog even if it will not gain me anything. I had a for profit blog that I dumped because of some boneheaded preparations, or lack of it, that I did.

    Good post, Daniel. I’m cutting down on my RSS, but I still keep your blog because of the infrequent but entertaining posts.

  • Jin

    Great post. Daniel, do you have a ball park estimation on what a decent #ofunique daily visit to #of subscriber should be? right now mine is 10:1. I feel it’s too low. Thanks.

  • Ted Murphy

    The flip side of your thought here is the old joke where the driver calls the office to say: “the bad news is I’m lost; the good news is I’m making great time.” Just because you’re showing progress does not mean you are actually getting somewhere (ie you can have an active blog, but be generating no revenues).

    I’d say its worth beating your head against a wall, as long as you’re confident that its the right wall. If you have the right strategic focus, it can be acceptable to be making no near-term progress.

    I think I’ve mixed enough metaphors for now.

  • Cananito

    Nice tip man, even tough I’m always looking for alternatives, I still don’t get to the right one, I’m guessing buying a domain and giving my blog a really nice template will get me on track…

  • Potato Chef

    My old bog seemed to make progress, as far as visitors, in a jerky upward movement. I woul think nobody was reading it and then all of a sudden 100 visitors a day starting showing up.

    Then I would think the blog plateaued at 100 visitors and bang..all of a sudden 200 visitors a day became the average.

    It kept moving up like that. Everytime I thought the game was over, I was proved wrong.

    The secret was that I never stopped working on getting people to my blog. It is time consuming, hard, lonely, and tedious work. But it pays off in the end. You can’t give up.

  • Dennis Edell

    Awesome post Daniel. This was me until somewhat recently. A lot more production with minimalist “busy work”. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Suresh

    I saw some people raising eye brows about the article.

    Let us take it in this way.

    If you are not making any progress on the traffic front after six months of valuable time ,effort in building links and doing the best SEO then you have to think back about the whole project and make the corrections required in the strategy.

    This is what i understand from the post.

    Thank you.

  • bansama

    This was an interesting read and makes me wonder about why I am writing the blog (am I the only one who doesn’t actually like that term?) that I am. I’ve realised after reading this that I think I’m currently writting it just for me and for something to do, although I am surprised that other people actually appear to be visiting as well!

    I guess in the future I could look at building up traffic, but I’m not all that interested in earning money from it.

    I must say that I found this site because I started using a WordPress theme credited to this site. It’s a nice theme, so thanks for designing it!

  • Angel Cuala

    This is common sense but I think this is a good way of reminding us. Whatever we do, must have a target and study the stats to know if you are achieving your target.

    When I started blogging last year, I used blogspot but decided to use paid hosting when I felt I cannot really have the traffic I want using free hosting.

    And yes, there will be times that we must change our strategies if it is not helping us. Before I am submitting articles to directories but stopped since I cannot feel the effect.

    After all, there is always room for improvement.

  • Adam Singer

    On the other hand, if you are blogging for yourself and merely to document your ideas, I don’t think this applies. I actually like where I’m at right now and consider what I’ve done a success. I’m not looking to get to 10K readers, I just like to write.

    But if you are doing this for a living, Daniel’s advice here is certainly accurate. My marketing campaigns get a ton of interest, but my blogging mildly so….I guess I’m better at one thing than the other, but that is okay too.

  • M.Ismail

    This what I’ve done. I think I have to do more effort to promote my blog. I think my blog is good to people in advertising business and creative people in ads. Not just collects tv commercials I also like watching the commercials so I enjoy bloggging.

  • Kok Choon

    I have just re-launch my blog 2 months back, I am aiming for at least 1000 unique visitors in 6 months time, and now I am getting below 50 unique visitors a day.

    I tried to use SEO and article to get some more visitors, and they seems to not “stick”, so I think the keyword and my article are not sending them to the right page.

    My next strategy will be writing about topic that concern the searcher, and use “supporting” articles to drive them to my “landing post”, creating back links at the same time more loyalty visitors.

    I hope this will improve my current situation!

    I believe after this campaign, my visitors should grow steadily and I will launch bookmarking campaign for the next phase, this should bring even more visitors to my site, unless I did something wrong …

  • NeedExtraCash

    The easy bit is realising there is something wrong, the hard bit is figuring it out what it is. You can waste a lot of time just figuring it out and that also requires effort with no progress.

  • Smallpersonalbiz

    I agree with you, but sometime we can not figure out the problems.

    So I think it is important to make such a plan on a piece of paper before start making blog. On each period of time we can see how far we go according the plan we created. Without planning at all, we just like writing something without any objectives at all.

  • Shoto Azikuri

    So you must learn with your mistakes and experience.

  • Social Media Marketing Blog

    great post. Thanks a bunch

  • Lex G

    There’s truth your opening line Daniel …

    In regard of blogs and receiving the return that we wish for, I think many new bloggers misinterpret the ‘level of difficulty’ that their niche is holds…

    For instance, it’s difficult to become successful in the internet marketing niche in a short while (unless you’ve got many important friends of course). The reasons are that this niche is quite saturated with quality pages. As a result, ranking for high traffic keywords becomes harder and takes more time and work …

    IMO the way around getting tired and then disappointing is good preparation (careful research of the niche that you want to approach and building a good strategy on top of that) …

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  • gendut

    hard to evaluate and find the wrong action…..yes the importan keys to do better on next act from failure

  • medyum

    I can relate to your post because I just dumped my old blog and started a new one because I have a big problem on domain name issue. I learned that my old blog does not have a potential to grow but as I read comments, suddenly I am nervous in the same time challenged. My blog is just one week old and now, Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm looking forward if I can beat that 1000 visitor per day, after six months….

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