As fun, fulfilling and profitable a blog can be, the unfortunate truth is, many blogs fail. But before we continue with this post, let's define failure first. As subjective as success can be, failure is rather objective. Failure in terms of a blog has two parts to it.
One, it's not fulfilling because your content isn't being shared or found. You don't have traffic, nor do you have a readership.
Two, it's not profitable because your content is either not being found or your content has not been monetised.
The result of both of these failures make blogging horribly tiresome. So now, a blog isn't fun, isn't fulfilling nor is it profitable. At this point there's little to no motivation to keep going. That's when bloggers give up, and blogs fail.
Now that you understand the above, you can start to understand how to avoid blog failure. You need to get traffic and you need to monetise your content. Easier said than done, if you're a new blogger that has no experience or knowledge in both areas.
That's where this post comes in.
Traffic is a key indicator for blog success or failure. Everyone knows this, but almost every new blogger is absolutely clueless in how to get traffic. So, let's go over the key methods of traffic generation
The fast and easy: Pinterest
Pinterest is a treasure chest of potential traffic that is easy and waiting for you to grab. Pinterest is essentially a search engine of content online, just like Google.
However unlike Google, Pinterest is very visual because it uses Pin images to list search results and it's ranking system is very contained within it's Pinterest environment. This means nothing you do outside of Pinterest effects the rank of your Pins to Pinterest's rankings directly.
This makes ranking and getting your Pins exposed to a lot of people A WHOLE LOT easier than doing traditional Google SEO work. (where you're dealing with the whole internet environment instead of a confined platform) The ease of this makes getting traffic to your blog a lot faster.
Pinterest is not just a search engine, it's a social search engine. Every user on Pinterest actively impacts a Pin's rank, popularity and amount of exposure Pinterest gives it. Users can save, or re-pin Pins to their boards or group boards and this can make any individual Pin go viral overnight.
The downfall to all of this is like every that is fast and easy. There are limitations.
Pinterest only allows every user to Pin 200,000 times for the entirety of the account's lifespan. This doesn't seem like anything important at first glance, but pinning other Pins is a key element to getting Pinterest traffic yourself. If there's a limitation on how many times you can pin, it's essentially putting a real limitation on how long you can depend on this traffic source.
The good news is, 200,000 Pins means you can happily pin for 5 - 10 years without a problem. And considering that main stream internet hasn't even been around for more than 20 years; 5 - 10 years worth of easy traffic is actually very good.
The slow and difficult: Google SEO
Google traffic is what we deem as organic traffic. You do various things to improve your SEO on your blog in hope to rank higher on Google. Sounds simple enough, but is unfortunately not simple at all.
No one knows how Google's algorithm works, and a big search engine that can heavily influence the success and failure of every piece of content online; they are very keen to keep the algorithm a secret so it doesn't get manipulated or abused by people.
However, Google does give clues now and again or outright tells you what the algorithm likes and dislikes. Smart and savvy people on the internet than compile, experiment with this raw information to determine the best way to optimise content for search. a.k.a SEO
So it's not impossible, and you don't even have to figure it out yourself. BUT the process is much slower and much more difficult.
There are 200 known variables that can effect SEO.
Some are quick tweaks and some will take painstaking work. Others may simply take time. For example, the age of your url is a factor, but you can't actively manipulate that.
Organic traffic may be the hardest streams of traffic to achieve, but it's also the most valuable. One single page that ranks first for a keyword with a good amount of traffic can easily take an entire blog to stardom. The payoff for getting SEO right is huge.
It's also the best long-term strategy for traffic as well. Unlike Pinterest or other social media based methods, Google's future is rather secure in internet history and standing. It's unlikely for it to disappear or be bought off and dismantled by another company. This means all your efforts to gain Google's favour will unlikely go to waste.
Both traffic methods are KEY for new bloggers. Pinterest is a great traffic generator for new bloggers who aren't skilled in SEO. It allows them an easy and accessible way to create a readership around their content. It is however, not an end goal and shouldn't be used with the intentions being the ONLY traffic source. There are real limitations to it and new bloggers shouldn't actively put all their eggs in one basket.
Organic traffic will and always will be the ultimate source of traffic for anything online, but developing the skills needed does take time and seeing the results of SEO efforts also takes time. All this time used is going to see most bloggers lose motivation and give up before anything happens.
Which is why...
A new blogger should be focused on both from the start to give themselves the best chance of blogging success.