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Challenges Facing Young and Older Blogs

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of August 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

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.
About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. new bloggers also have to deal with some type of aging delay in Google. One of the best ways to build traffic to a new blog is via search optimization but new bloggers (especially those on new domains/sites) are going to have a tough time ranking on big traffic keywords right out of the gate.
    this is one of the things I talk about in my upcoming ebook.

  2. I’ve been coming across some of the ‘older’ issues recently, but I’ve always struggled with finding readers and gaining a reputation. I don’t know for sure, but it seems writer-bloggers often struggle with gaining themselves a reputation.

  3. Dan: Amen… I’ve been waiting for my PR 5 for a year…. When that happens, I suspect my readership will increase significantly.

  4. […] Den altid læsværdige Darren Rowse fra Problogger.net har i dag en interessant observation, hvor han behandler de udfordringer som de fleste bloggere er oppe imod. 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. […]

  5. […] Challenges Facing Young and Older Blogs Darren Rowse has a great post up on the challenges facing younger and older blogs, where he describes some of the things I have made it through when I first started my personal site, and outlines some of the hurdles I have to overcome over the next while. […]

  6. Challenges Facing Blogs…

    Darren Rowse at ProBlogger posted a list of Challenges Facing Young and Older Blogs today, and I just wanted to point you to his post and also add some thoughts of my own.


  7. Patience is a virtue.

  8. Hey Darren,

    First off your blog is an inspiration for newbies like me.
    You’ve touched upon all the problems facing younger blogs since mine falls in that category. I guess lack of readership and defining a niche, go hand and hand, simply because there are just too many blogs out there writing about the same things, so for a new blog to differentiate itself and surface amongst the top blogs requires time. And that is where most of us give up.
    Just out of curiousity, what is the threshold time limit (a year ?) for a blog to either die out or establish itself and rise in ranking, does anyone know?


  9. […] Los retos a los que se enfrentan los bloguers son distintos cuando empiezan que cuando ya llevan un tiempo escribiendo. Los han descrito una vez más en Problogger en un artículo genial. De hecho te hará sentirte un poco mejor pensar que no eres el único con ciertos problemas. […]

  10. As the owner of a somewhat still new blog, I do agree with these challenges. I think my hardest challenging is establishing a consistent, posting rhythm. There’s so much going on that sometimes you forget a set time for posting.

  11. i agree with the point, and im one from the young blog. What i have experienced before, the blog that already have lots of post when the first lauch create more readership and subscribers..

  12. You’ve hit the nail perfectly on the head!

    I have been blogging for nearly 3 years now and I know how extremely frustrating it gets at times.

    There have been other times I have started blogs and just let them die out or have deleted them just because though the concept seems good at the start, it just isn’t worth the effort.

    have decided to cocentrate all my energy into a single blog. Hopefully it works out :)

  13. I have a really new site that just got 5000+ hits in the last two days. The first week it was around 5 pageviews a day. I’ve never dealt with anything like it before and am kind of at a loss about what to do expect reply to the comments and hope a couple of them stick around for tomorrow.

  14. Comment Management and SPAM are my biggest problems. Learning to mature my blogs is the other. I post every day, but sometimes it is just an article or a link to another blog. It’s easy to get lazy.

    But it does get frustrating to start a niche and then nothing happens, and I am always amazed when you start a blog and out of nowhere you have thousands of hits.

    But my best advise is to read other blogs every day to keep you motivate.

  15. Mike – I think you could be on a real winner with your blog. You’ve hit a topic that I’m sure has a lot of men thinking.

    I also think that it’s one you will find difficult to carry on over a long period of time but you might be able to feed of the comments your readers leave.

    I liked the way you didn’t try and claim ‘expert’ status – you’re just a dad working at the coal face and that should appeal to a lot of ordinary dads :)

  16. Thanks Stuart.

    Before I started, I jotted down about 30 post ideas to see if there was any hope of still wanting to write a month from now. I had no trouble doing that. We’ll see how it goes.

    I’m trying to brace myself for when the traffic falls off tomorrow and I’m realize that it’s really just a brand new blog with no traffic that happened to get a bunch of people to magically appear over a couple days. That way I can get back to trying to build for the long term instead of trying to recreate that kind of one-off traffic surge.

  17. As the owner of a “young blog”, I’ve found that one easy way to tackle blogger’s block is to sign up for a few advertising websites like Blogitive – they give you things to blog about. While I agree that they won’t bring in the exact kind of readers as your personal niche will, it keeps you typing and keeps the juices flowing. And while making some ad-posts, I’ve come up with ideas for posts in my proper niche so it’s not a total loss!

  18. evening says: 08/11/2006 at 8:53 am

    My husband’s site has been around for a few years, and he posts an average of 8 posts a day (it’s a news/political blog that he does full time). Needless to say, I have no idea what to do with the archives section! All the archives plugins I’ve seen (for WP at least) and examples are all for those that post only a small amount. Maybe someday I’ll figure out a solution.

    So that and the setting priorites are our toughest issues. Luckily with a news blog the rest pretty much falls into place :)

  19. Well written, just brilliant. My blog is still young at just barely three months old. I suffer a lot from blog addiction but some of my friends say it’s good for building up my blog at this early stage. And yes, seo success and rankings can be so frustrating at times. However I’m confident I’m going to survive all of this and be quite successful at blogging. With Darren’s help of course.

  20. […] Darren Rowse from problogger.net wrote an article about challenges facing younger (and older) blogs, I’m always amazed by the simplicity of Darren’s simple yet precise writings.. I am going to put in my own words here. […]

  21. My blog is just over 6 months old. I think I’ve been fortunate to see a good, solid (and gradual) increase in traffic (just hit over 8500 last month), and my PR is 3 after the last Google update. I’m definately relating to the “young blog” issues related in this article. I’ve researched a lot of traffic trends and the geometric progression … can someone tell me … do you think I’m on track? I know I need to sit down and re-evaluate sources for articles, and brainstorm ideas … but overall, is a PR3 and 8500 page views after 6 months sound about right for building up a long-term blog? Looking forward to some feedback …

  22. Google has an aging delay filter in place, known as the famous “Google Sandbox”. Its purpose is to prevent spam sites from gaining fast traffic through an unnatural number of purchased inbound links. The problem facing the average webmaster and blogger is how to overcome the Sandbox. The only real solution is time, unfortunately. One solution is if you already have a website, host the blog on it, instead of on one of the blog server hosts. WordPress provides great blogging software for hosting a blog on your own site. The blog adds theme relevant fresh content to the site, and the site already has a built in readership.

    Keep in mind, however, that the Sandbox is only in place on some selected keywords and phrases, but not all. As a result, your blog can still rank highly, and perhaps for the phrases that are the most important for your blog’s niche readership. Keep building content and natural links and the Sandbox time will pass leaving your regularly posted blog in a very strong position.

    Don’t worry too much about that little green line on the Google toolbar. It’s hopelessly out of date, and the amount of Google PageRank displayed is not the same level as Google uses in its search engine ranking algorithm. The reason that the publicly displayed green line is about two to three months (or more) out of date is to prevent link sales based on PageRank.

    Don’t obsess too much about PageRank either as it’s no longer a major component of the Google search algorithm calculations. While it measures the relative importance of a page on the internet, based on the number and importance of the inbound links, it’s only one factor of well over one hundred. More important is maintaining theme relevance and providing good content that attracts natural links.

    The fresh content provided by your blog will serve you very well on the search engines.

  23. “One solution is if you already have a website, host the blog on it, instead of on one of the blog server hosts.”

    one “feature” of google’s algo (that is often exploited by spammers) is that it treats every sub domain as a new domain, so the efficiency of this tactic is a bit questionable. Also, the aging delay is actually measuring the age of incoming links to the blog, not the domain itself, so again, simply using a wordpress.com or blogspot address doesn’t solve the “sandbox” problem.

  24. Getting taken advantage of, depending on your niche, can also be problematic. I’m new to my niche, and started talking to other people writing about the same things I am. The hard part comes to drawing the line between telling-all and leaving a little bit of proprietary data. I hate the way a few people have approached me — they aren’t willing to put in the time to really make their niche grow, and would prefer to just spam a bunch of affiliate links with no real information.

    That said, there’s a lot of great partnerships to be made out there, without letting people latch onto all your ideas.

  25. Great post. I would have to say I am struggling most with building up a readership and reputation. I understand in order for me to get a reputation I must have a readership base so my main focus now is to build that up. I get excited when I just receive a few comments but I can only imagine getting 10, 20 or more comments a day and how great that would feel.

  26. I’ve been seriously blogging since May, and I’m facing the inevitable growing pains that most bloggers face. While I post on a fairly consistant basis (once a day), I’m finding my archives are starting to grow and it is becoming more cumbersome to find “related posts”. Also, I don’t think my readers take much time to explore the archives. So I’m seriously considering doing a “Best Of” link that will list some of my better posts. That way, readers will have a fast reference to find the good stuff (at least, I hope it’s the good stuff).

    I’m still having fun with my blog and trying not to let it stress me out.

    As always, another fantastic post by Darren! Good job!!!

  27. […] Challenges Facing Young and Older BlogsProBlogger takes a look at the challenges of blogging — also known as the challenges of writing. […]

  28. great posts darren. that observer guy, maybe he has a shared computer? i know that my friends like to go into my forums pretending to be me leaving weird (normally its funny stuff, so i dont mind!) stuff to other people. either way, observer should just admit he loves problogger :D i mean, who doesnt?!?!

    great post, as usual. my blog started a few weeks ago, but i had another blog before tht that was about 6 months old. I think that a blog is still considered “young” until it’s one years old, so im def in that Young catergory!

    all the best,

  29. […] Darren Rowse hat diese Herausforderungen zusammengestellt, die ich hier anhand meiner eigenen Erfahrungen ein wenig vertiefen möchte. […]

  30. it’s hard to gain visitor for a new blog.. But my blog now gaining more visitor and i love it.

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