It struck me today as I sifted through a variety of questions from readers that the age of a blog brings with it a different set of challenges to their bloggers.
Bloggers with young blogs tends to ask one set of questions and bloggers with older blogs have their own set of ‘issues’ that they are tackling.
So what are the challenges that old and young blogs face? Here’s a few that come to mind – feel free to add your own in comments:
Challenges facing Younger Blogs
- Lack of Readers – one of the main reasons why so many new blogs fail is that no one seems to be reading. Developing a loyal readership and establishing a search engine presence takes a longer amount of time than many bloggers are willing to wait.
- Establishing a Reputation – some blogging niches can be quite snobbish and hard to break into. Becoming a respected and valued part of a niche (and getting linked to by others) can take time as you prove your worth.
- Time Management – many bloggers underestimate how much time and energy getting a new blog up off the ground can take.
- Defining a Topic or Niche – it can take months to get a feel for a niche and to find your place within it.
- Finding Post Ideas – after a few weeks (or months) of blogging many bloggers hit a brick wall with how to sustain it because they run out of ideas. Building up a good list of sources for stories and a way of creating fresh stories can take time.
- Blog Addiction – many new bloggers become quite obsessed with blogging and struggle with it becoming a little addicting (to the point where the rest of life suffers).
- Establishing a Posting Rhythm – finding an appropriate posting frequency and rhythm for a blog can take time as you work out you blogging style and how your readers are interacting with what you do.
- SEO and Getting Indexed by Search Engines – there is a perception among many new bloggers that all you have to do is write a post and you’ll be picked up and ranked highly in Google and other search engines. The reality is that it can take months and can be a very frustrating process.
Challenges facing Older Blogs
- Managing Large Archives – the challenge of helping people to find the Gold in your Archives is one that becomes more difficult as your archives become bigger.
- Staying Motivated – blogging daily about a topic for a long period of time can be hard to maintain.
- Battling Bloggers Block – a challenge for young and old blogs but especially hard after longer periods of time.
- Finding Fresh Post topics to Blog About – getting over the fact that you’ve written about an aspect of your niche before can be difficult however it’s something you’ll have to do in most niches.
- Managing Trolls and Disillusioned Readers – the longer you blog the more chance there will be that you’ve peeved someone off. This will result in more trolls in your comments, increasing amounts of other bloggers having a go at you etc.
- Comment Management – comment moderation, spam, interacting with readers – all this takes time and the older your blog is the more posts you’ve got to manage.
- Dealing with Copycat Blogs – ranging from competitors through to plagiarists – it can be quite tiring to deal with.
- Setting Priorities – some bloggers find that the longer they blog in a niche, the more opportunities open up for them to do other things. Offers might come in for taking on other projects and partnerships, new ideas for extensions to blogs might emerge etc. Discerning which opportunities to take and which to leave can be a real challenge and the whole process can be quite distracting.
- Disillusionment with a Niche – I’ve noticed a number of longer term bloggers in different niches becoming quite disillusioned with the niche itself. Perhaps it’s partly blogger burnout (I know I get cranky just before a holiday) or perhaps its an inability to adapt with the changes happening in a niche as it develops.