6 Sure Ways to Commit Blog Suicide

Oct 24, 2011   //   by Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  16 Comments
ways to commit blog suicide

NOT!!!

Since this is my first guest post for Gerald’s blog (thanks for having me here, Gerald, by the way – I am honored!), I somehow find it appropriate to start this post with bragging about myself.

I run a very successful blog that primarily focuses on increasing your website traffic by all (mostly free) means possible: TrafficGenerationCafe.com.

My blog is just over a year old, yet it has achieved a lot of recognition in the internet marketing niche. If you haven’t heard about it, you must be new; let’s quickly fix it by you visiting Traffic Generation Cafe as soon as you finish reading this post.

Now that I opened this post with a good amount of blowing my own trumpet, let me tell you something that not too many people know: TGC wasn’t the first blog I started.

As a matter of fact, my first blog miserably failed. Just goes to show that the path to success is paved with failures, right?

Well, the good thing that came out of all of this is the fact that I learned from my mistakes, avoided them when I created my present blog, which turned out to be a success, and now feel qualified to tell you what I did wrong in the first place, so that you can hopefully learn from my mistakes.

1. I Failed to Pick a Niche

I see it over and over again in the blogosphere – people who blog about everything under the sun.

Result?

Even they don’t know what their blog is about. Where does that leave their readers? Or better yet, Google?

Yes, Google needs to be told what your blog is about in order for it to start ranking you for your chosen keywords. Left alone, it’ll just guess what your niche is and start ranking you for some strange keywords that will never result in targeted SEO traffic.

And your readers? They need a reason to come back to your blog and the best way to do it is to provide them with information that is beneficial to their businesses. However, it’s a bit hard to do when you don’t have a niche.

Here’s another good one: “I am in the internet marketing niche.

In my book, that falls under “everything under the sun.”

Take, for instance, Gerald’s blog.

Why do I love to come here? Because I can count on finding consistently great information on SEO link building here.

Why do my readers return to my blog again and again? Because they know that they can find everything they need to increase their blog traffic at Traffic Generation Cafe.

My first blog had no niche.

NO NICHE = POOR CONTENT = NO READERSHIP

That was the first reason why my original blog was on its way to blogging suicide the minute I started it.

2. I Failed to Do Keyword Research

This one goes hand in hand with failing to pick a niche.

Just because we THINK something might make a good niche, doesn’t mean that there will be any demand for it.

Did you know that:

  1. 90% of keywords will never bring you much traffic?
  2. Out of the remaining 10%, 90% will never make you any money?
  3. Out of the remaining 10%, 90% are way too competitive to consider for your niche?

I hear this a lot from bloggers giving advice on picking a niche: go with your passion. “You have to love what you do.

LOVE?

This is not EHarmony; LIKING what you do and making a good income from it is good enough for me.

Picking the right niche starts with a thorough keyword research, period.

And picking the right keywords starts with exploring what your potential target market might be interested in, NOT where your passion lies.

As you can imagine, this topic goes way beyond the scope of the post, but I’ll tell you this: both Gerald and I can’t take a step without Market Samurai as our primary keyword research tool.

Picking up a copy of Market Samurai was the first thing I did when I realized that my first blog was on its last leg.

That’s what helped me to pick “traffic generation” as my niche and turned out to be one of the most profitable decisions I’ve made.

3. I Failed to Pick a Great Domain Name

I know this one will rise some eyebrows, so let me start with an example.

Let’s say you are searching for information on how to increase blog traffic.

You do a Google search and the top two results for it are as follows:

  1. “AnaHoffman.com”
  2. “TrafficGenerationCafe.com”

Which one would you believe provides the information you are looking for? Which one would you choose over the other?

See my point?

Sure it’s nice to have YourName.com as your domain name: it’s flattering, boosts our egos, and… well, that’s about it.

Does it make you money though?

Unless you are a household name, I strongly suggest that you let your domain name reflect the essence of your niche, your main theme.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying you shouldn’t own YourName.com. Quite the contrary, I definitely think you should purchase it.

Just don’t use it as your primary domain, that’s all.

More tips on how to pick a great domain name:

  • Make it as short as possible.
  • Don’t use words that are easy to misspell.
  • Buy a .com domain.
  • Use your main keywords in it if you can.
  • Make it easy to remember – great for direct traffic.
  • Stay away from hyphens and numbers.

Fun and catchy is always a plus; although this guy might’ve overdone it by a cinch – www.the-name-i-wanted-was-already-taken-so-i-used-a-lot-of-dashes.com. Did I mention not to use hyphens?

What to do if you already have a domain name, but don’t think it’s working for your blog?

Change it.

Yes, it’s a pain in the neck.

But if you look at the long-term benefits, they usually far outweigh any short-term hassle this move might cause.

I did it when I killed my first blog.

Instead of creating a brand new blog from scratch, I created Traffic Generation Cafe using my first blog as a foundation. Since it already had some traffic and content, it only made sense.

My friend Jane Sheeba recently did it as well and wrote this great tutorial on how to do it step by step.

Marketing Takeaway

No, I am not short-changing you – just trying to give your attention span a break.

We’ll talk about the other three reasons I committed blogging suicide next week, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, let me leave you with this: if any of this struck a chord with you, don’t just ignore it.

Don’t just say “It’s too late to change it now.”

It’s never too late. Especially if your business is struggling. One of these changes just might be the push it needs.

Love it or hate it? Comment to show me that you’re alive!

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PS I am excited to announce that I am starting a new giveaway for CommentLuv Premium plus a free 30-minute consultation with me. Entering is easy. Just check out my CommentLuv Premium Giveaway post for more details.

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Comment Policy

  • David
    Twitter:
    says:

    But blogging about everything under the sun is so much more fun. Here’s what to do. After setting up your money blog, set up a just-for-fun blog – a hobby blog. You can still have all the fun you want without cramping your business.

  • Jane
    Twitter:
    says:

    Ana, thanks for the mention and for such a wonderful post. Indeed, if we look back our path to success, it is actually mostly failures. The good thing happens when we learn from our mistakes and improvise.

    Changing the domain name to a keyword rich name and focusing on a niche by cutting out all “other” category posts than blogging/internet marketing is one of the wisest decisions I’ve made in my onine business. I’m so happy I did it.

  • Darren
    Twitter:
    says:

    I agree with many of your points, especially that old argument about having passion. Where I’m from paying the bills is enough, whether you LOVED every minute of your day or not :)

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    But what do you mean this isn’t E-harmony? LOL

    That one really made me LOL for real hehe :-)

  • Marbella says:

    Hi Ana,
    Good article as usual from you. It was very strong of you to dare to start again with a new blog. Many dare not and will not come anywhere with their blogs.

  • nicko
    Twitter:
    says:

    Should have known some of these things when I set up my blog, lol.
    Oh well, good to know for the future, at least =D

  • Satrap
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Ana,

    I love your explanation about domain names. I can understand it when newbie like myslef make that mistake, but I dont really get it when I see seemingly successful marketers using their own names as their domain.

    Although I can understand in some cases, your name is so well-known that people will automatically know what your blog is about.
    Great post as always Ana. Thanks.

  • Frank says:

    Many bloggers out there didn’t know that keyword research is very important. You have many things to consider especially the domain name. So glad that you wrote about this I’m pretty sure it will help bloggers know their mistakes.

  • [...] blogging, SEO Blog  //  No Comments TweetLast week, I got all teary and vulnerable as I spilled the beans on how I miserably failed with my first [...]

  • Sharron
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi there. I’m in my fourth year blogging and still learning. Posts like this one, and the followup post above, are so useful and informative. I wish that I’d read more of these type of posts in my earlier years blogging. Many thanks for such useful information. – Even after having been doing it this long it always helps to be able to learn from others’ experience – even of the basics.

    Just one thing though; and that’s your point on domain name. I too failed to pick a great domain name for various reasons, yet I get a fairly good level of traffic all the same. Maybe I’d have done better with a better domain name? – idk. -’Thing is; I see kkomp.com is an established name now. I think my readers do too. I’d be worried about changing it in all honesty.

    When I read “Sure it’s nice to have YourName.com as your domain name: it’s flattering, boosts our egos, and… well, that’s about it. Does it make you money though?” I thought of davidrisley.com: In the case of that site it appears that the answer is: yes, it does make him money. Maybe that’s an exception to the rule in his case. He also owns one of the biggest tech sites; pcmech.com.

    I started again with my blog in November 2010 – though with the same sucky domain-name – everything else had a revamp… I feel as if I missed out on one big thing now. – maybe? Oh well; we live and learn. Thanks again for such a great series. – I think it’s time to visit your blog and get on the mailing list post-haste. :)

  • Ileane
    Twitter:
    says:

    Ana, it’s always better the second time around isn’t it? I can tell when I see a so called “newcomer” and I pick up right away on whether they are really new to the world of blogging or not. Don’t let the age fool you either, some of these folks are in their teens and already on their second blog after the first failed attempt. Having a dynamite domain name is a dead give-away. Nobody gets that the first time around (unless it’s by mistake). Live and learn. :)
    Thanks for the pointers. I’m off to read part 2.

  • You mean, a dynamite name like basic blog tips ?? :)

  • Hey Ana,

    Great food for fodder.

    I was pretty confused when choosing my domain name. So much information on the web is contrary to other information, it’s a tough decision making process at times due to not knowing which voice to listen to. I am one who went with a personal domain name with a dash in it. I mostly use it for internet marketing for my network marketing business, but I wonder if this may have been an error.

    Anyhoo…a good qualifier is the source of the info, so hearing your perspective certainly has opened my eyes to some things that may not have been originally considered. I’ll be giving this all some thought as to the direction I am going and being sure to move forward in the most clear and direct path.

    Thanks!
    Cat Alexandra