A recent observation has compelled me to reflect on the title of this blog post: Is Blogging A Calling? Who said blogging was easy? Why do so many blogs fail? The focus of my observation is on the multitudes of personal blogs that have closed shop and those on indefinite leave of absence.
For the purpose of this blog post, I would classify blogs into 3 groups and explain why I think the 3rd group is the most vulnerable.
These types of blogs are managed by two or more bloggers, whether as a formal business or not-for-profit. At the top of this ladder are blogs managed by professional bloggers. Their day job is to proactively search for currently relevant information and share same with their audience. They get a pay cheque and so are contractually compelled to perform at optimum level. The most popular blogs on the Internet today fall squarely into this category. Example: mashable.com
These blogs are usually well-financed and make money from ads placed by leading brands. Since such blogs are managed professionally, their chances of failure are low.
These are individuals who blog for a living. They spend most of their time focused on events, magazines, websites and other sources relevant to their blogging niche. They are hardly ever short of material and are wildly popular whether on a global scale or within their region/country. They are usually popular enough to attract advertisement directly from businesses that want to reach the blogger’s niche audience. Example: problogger.net
Chances of failure? Medium. The professional blogger would have to loose focus to fail.
Most bloggers fall into this category. While there is really no such thing as a “freelance blogger”, I am compelled to use that term to distinguish this category of bloggers from the others listed above.
These bloggers usually have a day job that pays their bills. Blogging for them, is only an activity done out of passion to change the world, or to make a name, or earn some cool cash on the side. Their main life focus is understandably on their job and they only make time to blog. As such, these blogs are typically not updated regularly. At best, they are updated regularly for a period of time, before falling back into the cycle of irregularity.
While the chances of failure are high, the reasons for failure abound:
- Get rich quick: Some get into blogging because they consider it the holy grail of unending cash. While it is possible to earn $100,000’s of cash annually from blogging, one would need to run the blog properly to earn over $100 a month.
- Doing it right: Some do not follow the basic principles of blogging. It helps to learn well before delving into it. Writing well and not gaining the right audience is like lighting a candle and placing it under a table. The blogger soon looses steam when he/she gains little attention, and quits.
- Lack of ideas? The world is never short of blogging material. The leading news houses for example, never struggle for what to broadcast/publish, but rack their brains on which to leave out! A blogger who does not know where or how to look for fresh material soon gives up.
- Time. “There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time”. ~Napoleon I, Maxims, 1815.
Sometimes, a blogger can have all the material to publish, know exactly how to blog effectively, but simply lack sufficient time to sit down and put it all together. Freelance bloggers are often obliged to give utmost priority to their day jobs, and constantly struggle to create time for blogging. The not-so-committed ones soon abandon their respective blogs to gather dust and cobwebs. Many of such litter blogger.com while the committed ones only manage to publish randomly, at best.
Now you see why I am wondering if the art of blogging is a calling for a special set of people who can afford to give it all the time it requires, and do it right.
Are you a blogger? What are your views? How do you cope with the rigours of blogging? Share your thoughts here and now.