The Curse Of The Blogger

I recently left a comment on the blog of my friend Terence Chang, that I feel is worthy of further exploration. It discusses a common phenomenon that seems to be a danger to many bloggers and which I’ve come to call the curse of the blogger.

No, it’s not the syndrome of bloggers running out of steam at the six month mark and giving up, just before their blog starts moving. In fact, it’s the opposite: bloggers diversifing and trying to do too much.

The Seed

When reading Terence’s post on the challenges and opportunities he’s facing with his blog, I was struck by the following words:

I know my readers tend to spend less time on reading my blog post. I know. I know. There are many reasons that people don’t tend to spend too much time on reading blog post.

He’s talking about me – at least I’m someone who spends a lot less time reading Terence’s blog (and many others) than I used to. I responded with the following in a comment:

I spend less time reading your blog (and many other blogs) and the reason is because I’ve expanded my online enterprises. When I started out, I just had one blog and spent a lot of time reading and made lots of friends such as yourself.

As I’ve started other online projects, I’ve had less time to read and I’ve needed more time on the new projects. That’s actually meant that I’ve lost contact with other bloggers and they visit my site less.

I think this is a real danger to bloggers who’ve been blogging for more than a year. They expand their projects (to make money) and lose the relationships they formed in the early days (and actually become less successful).

The Pattern

Having thought about it more, I can see a common pattern that I’ve noticed:

  1. Your blog is born. You throw all your energy into your blog, but also spend a lot of time meeting other bloggers and forming relationships with them.
  2. Traffic slowly grows and comments start to increase, led by your new blogging buddies and your blog’s momentum builds.
  3. At some point, all the Make Money Online and Pro-blogging blogs get you thinking about making money from blogging. You start having ideas!
  4. You start putting the ideas into action. This often involves creating one or more other sites. It takes a lot of effort, but you throw yourself into it.

But wait! Why aren’t your blogging buddies commenting on your blog any more? It may be that they’re going through the same thing as you and don’t have time anymore. But even if they do have time, they won’t visit your site as much, if you don’t visit theirs.

The Trap

There’s the trap: neglect your relationship with other bloggers and you risk losing your core audience.

That’s what I call the curse of the blogger: the lure of making money can often derail your original blog and leave you with a collection of projects, none of which is as strong as your original blog was.

The Disclaimer

I’m not saying that you can’t juggle projects successfully or make money online (although that’s a whole different kettle of fish). I’m just saying that if you want your blog to remain successful, you need to look after your relationships with other bloggers.

I know it’s not as simple as that. There are many different definitions of a successful blog and there are many other variables that go into the mix, such as having great content, effective use of social media, etc.

My own blog is still doing well, despite the fact that I’ve neglected those relationships, because it attracts a lot of search engine visitors, people wanting my WordPress plugins, and visitors looking for Dofollow comments. However, I have a far more transient reader base these days, rather than the core group of regulars I had in the early days.

Final Thoughts

Does this theory make sense to you? Are you trying to juggle multiple projects and if so, have you been able to maintain the relationship with your regulars? I’d really like to know your thoughts.

47 responses on “The Curse Of The Blogger

  1. olly@computer parts

    It’s easy to get lost or sidetracked when you enter the world of blogging. I started off with one blog, now I have about 7. Along with the blogs I read it is hard to find the time to keep the communities alive.

    Since I have started combining it all in once place i.e Google reader I have found it much easier to manage everything and seem to be able to keep in touch with the few readers I have.

    I guess on a busier blog like this, it becomes a much tougher job.

    The more life progresses teh less time we have so unless you can make blogging your full time income (which must be so hard) then it will be hard to dedicate your entire spare time to the community

    1. Abdul@Make Money on the Internet

      I guess I’d have less to say about this because currently my online ventures are somehow limited to my blog, can’t tell much about the future, but I hope that I continue reading blogs like scratch99(Stephen’s blog) and keep enjoying them!

  2. Rika@Web Site Design Michigan

    What you have said makes a lot of sense. It is already difficult to juggle one blog with their regular day jobs for most people. And once you are lured into maintaining multiple websites, these issues are sure to crop up. There are fewer regular dedicated visitors and more of the search engine traffic or people just looking for the links.

  3. Rezki@PCMAV 1.6

    i have multiple blogs and i don’t have much time to maintain it. That’s make me stress too. that’s my curse i think. :D

  4. Ina@HowToGetRich

    I couldn’t agree more! I tried this search engine and for some common phrases I got no hits at all!! Strange..

    Anyway, thanks for a great website. I just stopped by for the first time. Love technology, blogging and money making websites. Just started a money one myself too :)

    I shall return..

  5. Chelle@Alternative Love Songs

    I am learning this too – I actually just wrote a guest post on the subject of building better business relationships – that networking is important! And if you’re too spread out to be active and networking, you’ll find none of your projects being very succesful!

  6. Marie @ Neon Signs

    Thank you for the thought provoking post. I agree we spend so much time trying to develop our various online enterprises that its hard to just sit back and enjoy a good blog post from someone else. Very interesting

  7. A. Georgiev

    hello, I have multiple blogs, but I haven`t got many time to do something on it. But this article is great and motivate me to do something on my blogs. Thank a lot for great content!

  8. Joey Martini

    I think you are exactly right, some people who start online don’t start to make moey. They start because they hear all about this new blogging thing, it’s exactly how I started. Then in time any blogger will want to make money online, because it’s possible. So what does this blogger does? He starts filling up his blog with articles with high paying adsense keywords to get a bigger income. He build more and more blogs, and he realizes he cannot maintain them, or update them. This is a curse and no matter how good you are at advising people, the blogger will fall in the trap you are talking about. Great post btw!

    Joey

  9. lisa@Woodbury Commons

    You hit the ball out of the park with this one – it’s like you are talkin about me. Myfirst blog is over 5 years old, my second is over a year and then I have a bunch of ones built since then. Only one one of the blogs have I really built relationships with readers and even there it has waned a little bit where I was getting 20+ comments per post, now I am getting 5-10. The thing is there is only so much we can do in a day and when youtake on too much it leaves less time for reading RSS and surfing favorites.

  10. Jonathan@Affiliate Marketing Tips

    Thanks for the post! I started my blog about 5-6 months ago, and I think I went through that exact cycle. LOL. Anyways, it is good to get a reminder to stay plugged into the blogosphere. I think the sheer fact of reading what others are talking about is incentive enough to create posts of your own. The trick is that initial kickstart by reading something interesting…

  11. Jon@Beauty Salon Marketing

    Thanks for the heads-up! I’m still at stage one of your process, on my first blog, but it’s very useful to read posts like these, to be aware of potential pitfalls along the journey

    Cheers, Jon

  12. Sire

    It makes total sense and I can safely say that I am cursed, more so because blogging is a hobby and I have a business and family to take care of and still I have been sucked into this curse. And will i do anything about it? Probably not, because I am addicted and having way too much fun.

  13. Bleuken@Busby SEO Challenge

    I agree with you regarding not neglecting relationships with other blogger. But sometimes people intend to go and another people come. It is really difficult this relationship but blogger like me should give our best to maintain this connection. Good point here!

  14. kailoon

    I agree withyou. One more thing, when you started to follow those making money blog. You will easily lose your initial intention for your first blog. Then you start another one. You may lose your audience because the content is already not organic as before. Then the rest of the problem mentioned will come out in sequence.

  15. Mert@Chicago SEO

    The problem is that even in the world of blogging, traffic requires attraction. Attraction requires interest. Interest requires full attention. If you cannot pay that full attention and try to diversify; without financial backing and/or manpower you simply fail at all the projects.

  16. Olivier @ brainwave meditation

    I do agree. I also started with just posting and tossing in some adsense. But now I have multiple blogs and I try to promote them in some sensible fashion (using SEO) and then I need to find product to promote and then keep track of all the statistics and then … (running out of breath here).
    So it tends to become a full time job. But that is not necessarily bad.

  17. Stephen Baugh

    I agree with this. What I am having trouble doing is finding blog friends that, both are in my area, and also who want to participate. Trying to stay focused, but experiment at the same time.

  18. az@debt settlement

    I think the otherwise. Its all depend on your intention/vision when you are starting your blog. I switched to write blog after i had success with other online success. So my primary goal is to achieve livelihood, which is of course bringing hundreds of visitors. I won’t mind if 90% are new visitors. But what if you started primarily as to make it vast your social network and then if you are getting handsome traffic, to monetize it 9secondary) as you mentioned above, then of it may hurt.

  19. Hernando

    I agree with you regarding not neglecting relationships with other blogger. But sometimes people intend to go and another people come. It is really difficult this relationship but blogger like me should give our best to maintain this connection. Good point here!

  20. Aske@Sharepoint Training Courses

    Interesting point of view. At the end of the day, money talks and relationships walk. Think about that… I’m not saying that meaningful friendships cannot be made online but I question how many of them are just fake cliques that are so apparent with MMOs – whose owners finally figure out it’s a small percentage that actually make it.

  21. SEO Consultant

    what i call the The Curse Of The Blogger whatever thing i seem to blog about, something goes wrong shortly after.

    like my kids ‘love’ for each other. seems we’ve entered the jealous world. hitting, hurting and fighting…..no more long gazes of love. that is a blogging thing of the past.

    or my mature love for matt. not too shortly after that we got into a huge work-it-through obstacle. (i’m afraid to type ‘fight’, but that’s what it was). it took us days to work through it.

    or the most recent….snuggling. the last two days have been WAY TO EARLY. this morning’s snuggle beginning with a slap in the face (literally).

    maybe it’s all in my mind…but lest you think my life is full of love and snuggles remember — the curse of the blogger.

    Cheers,
    D.W

  22. Lakeland Florida

    I always say just wait a year for a website or a blog to take off. Many people don’t realize that. Traffic wise, after 45 days or so the organic visitors will start coming. but…wait until your one year anniversary. It’s almost like a organic clock. Poof, you get about 35% more visitors. I’ve been involved in many websites and this was the case for all.

    LINK REMOVED: because of failure to use KeywordLuv syntax (name@keywords)

  23. Gary@Busby SEO Challenge

    After 6 months its easy to get burned out and hard to commit do your blog if you think no one is reading it.

    Take a little time off then look in to way t promote your blog after you start getting more traffic you’ll want to blog more.

    I like the keyword commit preview very cool

  24. chloe@Petite Star

    Coudn’t agree with you more.
    I originally started my personal blog as information about babys for parents, but soon i ended up trying to do too much and ended up having lots of things half finished instead of 1 or 2 good quality features / themes to my blog.

    Lesson learned.

  25. Magnus Brath@About me

    Have experienced it myself several times actually. By leaving a blog or topic behind you have to start from the beginning making a completely new blog and new friends. After a little while it’s the same thing again.

  26. Erika

    OMG, My sister and I just had this conversation earlier today. It’s like the hamster on the wheel all over again. I work at home so I can afford more time for my daughter and then she says, “Mommy, I think you love the computer more than me.”

    :(

  27. Ant@Science Fiction and Fantasy

    I can relate to this theory, the main problem I see is that one thing leads to another and before you know it you are juggling too many projects and don’t get the time to devote everything.

    However I also think that there are that many blogs out there now making it more difficult to generate the traffic, and people are now spending less time on each website partly as they become more Internet capable…

  28. Tom @ The Home Business Archive

    I agree.The best thing about blogging is that you have total control over what happens, but you really don´t have to write 3 blog posts per day.There is so much else to do than just writing posts.Communication and visiting other blogs is as important.

  29. G@Mr Article

    Great post, i agree 100% on all points. Keeping a blog going and growing strong can be very hard work indeed, got to keep with your roots to success to make it i believe, and not try to do too much.

  30. Supplements

    Hi,

    This is really a great blog, i have also started my blog but can’t find the right path. Thanks to writer who did work hard to make the thing easier for blogger’s who new to this field. :)

  31. Tony@LCD enclosures

    How do you find content to load to your blog everyday? Iam struggling with this and I have recently outsourced this, giving me more time to conentrate on my site.

    Tony.

  32. Migs@Florida Furniture

    Yes, I couldn’t agree with you more on this post. Most of us bloggers at first get all excited about the opportunities of blogging and see a spike in traffic for sure but when that wears out so does our energy for the blog. Also with so many people out there making blogs about MMO it’s really not worth it for readers to check out new people unless they are saying something new or actually making some money….

  33. Johnny Coates

    I didn’t know that there is this REAL VIRTUAL WORLD out there!!! A society, a culture, a country without boundaries, A WHOLE NEW WORLD (Aladin??) ahmm… never thought of taking blogs that seriously… This is definitely a new trend, and I think some people are left out! (I know…).
    Well I liked the part regarding “professional blogging”. It is true, money can destroy beautiful things. I mean, the persons greed of course!
    Nice entry… very eye opening

  34. Raine @ prets hypothecaires

    Indeed, I agree with this article. I have been through that same cycle when I have to maintain different blogs, all at the same time. Writing has always been my passion, when I started to stick with one blog that truly interests me with the topic I was surprise to see the traffic increasing within 6 months. =)
    Nice post!

  35. Sam@Residual Income Online

    I couln’t agree with you more about how you must keep your relationships with other webmasters and bloggers up. It’s so key for many elements of this game. Not only will they help you out with ideas, questions, etc, but I find that I have found many good people to work with and learn from by keeping up my online relationships with other bloggers.

    I’ve recently given up on trying to run multiple meaningless blogs and concentrating on a few key blogs that make sense to me and my audience!

    Nice post and insight into this whole internet game…

  36. tony@Cheap web hosting.

    You can only make so much off the same readers. Yes you have less friends but you actualy need new people coming to any website all the time to make money. I agree most people start to many projects and never do well with one. When they should have built one up and then worked on one more not 10.

  37. Chris@Christian church supplies

    Thanks for the insight. Sometimes we really get busy with our other sites we tend to neglect our already established blog. I guess, it’s just a matter of focus of knowing what we want to achieve. And of course time management, too.

    Chris

  38. Graham@Outdoor LCD tv enclosure

    We must not ignore or neglect our original blogs, we must spend time equally and in the right order to ensure the following we have stays as followers.

    Like everything in life, we need to discover time management or delegate, delagation is hard because it’s our “babe” and we wnat to look after it, but just sometimes we have to let go.

  39. mouse

    I spend less time reading your blog and the reason is because I’ve expanded my online enterprises. When I started out, I just had one blog and spent a lot of time reading and made lots of friends such as yourself.

  40. Angela Paul

    writing alone can be a brain draining activity, but maintaining a blog is far way more brain draining. i am just tankful i am passionate of what i do coz if i’m not i quited 2 years ago.

  41. Christian Quinones

    This made me wonder why I became a blogger. Time management and focus are essential aspects in the life of a blogger. Gaining and having a lot of followers and readers makes a blogger happy and glad.

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