The idea is amazingly simple, a software program which allows anyone with access to the Internet to write, to air their thoughts and opinions, to share. The weblog, or Blog, has captured the public’s heart and established a firm hold on the Internet, one which it is hard to imagine will ever disappear. Literally anyone can write their own Blog, either by using one of many websites with pre-formatted templates or by downloading the appropriate software and installing it, often in as few as five steps, under their own domain. Where the private diary or journal once held sway, the Blog has become the preferred means for millions of people to record their thoughts and experiences, either for their own private edification or, with a little luck and a reasonable amount of hard work, for a much wider audience.
The ease of creating a Blog is, however, a mere drop in the ocean compared to what is needed to keep a Blog alive, to make it half-way successful, with the end result that many Blogs fail to achieve their owner’s aims and disappear or fall into disuse within the first three months of their online lives. There are many reasons why a Blog might fail from false expectations through a lack of time, interest or even, for those who do not know the ways of the Internet, a failure to achieve financial gain or any form of public recognition. Every potential Blogger has their own idea of what their Blog should achieve, which audience is to be targeted and how much time they can devote. Few, however, comprehend that their expectations can only be realized through a high degree of personal discipline and a good deal of work.
A good Blog needs to have regularly updated content. The Internet is a constantly changing virtual world packed with information, with opinions and events. There is not one single second in the day when a new post, a new article, a new opinion or news item isn’t uploaded somewhere in the world, vying for the attention of the masses, hoping to outdo all the others and, where possible, be the first to cover a particular theme or subject. Content, it is said, is King: without good content, without regular updates to keep a Blog new and alive any website is doomed to fade away and die.
Here there are several problems for the new Blogger which prove insurmountable: finding and writing new content; updating regularly; discipline. The last is in our day and age perhaps one of the main reasons for Blog failure: writers need to be able to dedicate time to their Blog, to research, to writing. They need to be able to sit down and work on their project without distractions, to concentrate on what they are doing. Above all they need to be capable of setting time to one side when their Blog takes priority over all else, be it once a day or three times a week. A new Blogger needs to be able to discipline themselves to make notes, to be attentive, to formulate an opinion and research facts. All these worthy traits have been cut from the school curriculum over the last few decades: individual thought, even thinking is no longer considered desirable. Faced with new territory, new challenges, many Bloggers stumble and fall at the first real hurdle.
With researchers claiming that modern youth suffers from a shortened attention span and is more likely to get bored quickly, or even that the present generation only takes a book in their hands when a teacher demands it, it should come as no surprise that some Blogs fail because their owner cannot think of anything new to write about or, just as bad, constantly repeats the same mantra time and time again. Everyone knows that in the town or city where they live, regardless of how large it may be or in which country, nothing ever happens. All the exciting events occur in neighboring towns, in other schools, to colleagues and acquaintances. The life of the average younger Blogger is, therefore, a dull and mundane routine of repetition with nothing worthy of note. And when something is exceptional it is quickly forgotten; too many have never learned how to make notes, how to quickly jot an idea down for later use. The result is a lack of potential content, in the mind of the Blogger, a lack of anything interesting to write about.
Of the over one hundred million Blogs currently residing in the Internet less than one percent – probably considerably less – make money. Many new Bloggers come to Blogging with the set idea that they will be able to make their fortune: that what they wish to write about will attract thousands of readers, a mass of sponsorship or advertizing contracts and make their fortune within a few months if not weeks. Understandable when one reads some of the Make Money Fast Through Blogging websites and emails which regularly infest computer monitors. Over expectation, either financial or fame is, for many, a reason why a Blog might fail. The idea that a Blogger can write an article and then sit back and wait for the comments, trackbacks and links to start flowing in seems to be in many minds, and is another reason why a Blog might fail very quickly indeed. Disillusion: no one reads the Blog, no one comments on the Blog, no one cares. Bringing readers to a new Blog requires a great deal of dedication and work, both initially and in the long term. Many new Bloggers under-estimate the amount of time needed to bring a Blog to the public’s attention, and the amount of work required to keep it there. Getting listed on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Technorati or any other search engine or directory requires time, getting noticed by others, gaining an audience and attention requires time and dedication.
Finally there is the change of lifestyle. Some Blogs fail, admittedly few compared to those which fail for other reasons, because the writer has a change in lifestyle: they marry, move, get a new job. Such outside influences can be counted alongside lack of time as a reason for a Blog failing, the main reasons for Blog failure remain steadfastly by the Blog owner: lack of discipline; lack of content; lack of interest; lack of time; over-expectations and under-achievement.