7 Signs You’re Blogging a Dead Horse.

by Alex on April 7, 2013

7 signs your blogging a dead horse

Blogging is dead! Authority ROI is… oh hang on, I’m not Ryan Deiss. My bad

Ahem… Ok let’s try that again shall we.

Blogging as we know it.. well as I know it at least, has changed dramatically in the last year or so and yet I find myself still following the same ‘blogging patterns’ that I adopted when I first started all those years ago.

Isn’t doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result one of the definitions of insanity? 

Something has to change, I mean there is only so much flogging that a dead horse can take right? With this in mind I wanted to discuss the 7 obvious signs that you are ‘blogging a dead horse’ as it were – and how to snap out of this procedure so you can start to break some new ground.

Giddyup!

Sign #1 – You choose to utilise the #7

What is it with the number 7? I really enjoy world history, and in this regard the number 7 holds great significance – and for some reason this significance has found its way online too. Granted the number 7 has been proven to improve sales ($57 for some strange reason is worth far more than the $2 increase to $59 in terms of sales and conversions – go figure) but is that any reason to choose it when writing a post?

In this case NO, I have now gone and made myself work harder to find 7 valid reasons why you need to evaluate your blogs direction. Go me?!

Sign #2 – Your subscriber count has been increasing at an ever decreasing rate

If your visitors and occasional readers are no longer subscribing to your list or adding you to their G+ circles then isn’t it time you asked why? Nothing against your writing style or your blog design surely – but your content is obviously not cutting edge like it used to be.

Sign #3 – You still have an RSS Feed

The second sign is a decrease in subscribers, but if that decrease is in your RSS count too then you just killed two birds with one stone. RSS Feeds are becoming more and more defunct, with social services like Google Plus, Facebook and Google Circles providing a much more interactive experience for visitors to read and share your content.
When was the last time you checked your Google reader? I rest my case

Sign #4 – You Are still writing about Making Money Blogging

In 2009 people still believed you could make money blogging. I always knew this was not the case, (read this post) but still people persisted. By 2011 the realisation that making money by blogging was probably the slowest and most unrealistic way of generating an online income was beginning to sink in. The truth is that money can be made blogging – great money, but this is an indirect result of what you do through your blog (affiliate marketing, branding, product creation etc) and the blog itself was just the ‘shop window’ as it were.

 Sign #5 – You still rely on commenting as your primary method of driving traffic to your blog

Don’t get me wrong, blog commenting is an incredibly effective way of driving traffic and building your ‘brand’ in the blogosphere, but now that social media is such a huge part of it you need to embrace it.
Over the last few months I have made a huge effort to be active on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ and I am getting better traction than commenting could ever do. The advantages to this engagement is that you can share the post/article through social channels AND make your meaningfull comment at the same time. Not only this, you can tag the author him/herself and hashtag relevant keywords. This helps get you the attention you want from the blog owner AND helps cement your place as someone who is ‘in touch’ with that particular niche.

Sign #6 – You have the same affiliate links on your site that you started with.

Affiliate links are important for bloggers -it’s what we do after all ;) but what you promote is key. If you have been advertising the same affiliate offers in your sidebar and/or blog posts despite the click through rates being dismal at best then you are definitely flogging a dead horse with your advertising. Take some time to see what posts are being read the most and what keywords people are finding those posts with so you can find the right affiliate offers to match their interests.
At the very least, change them up and test out various offers – in different positions.

And for the love of God – get rid of that Adsense block!

Sign #7 – You have not optimised your Meta tags or sitewide keywords …EVER

I am sure you did the most thorough keyword research known to man when you first launched your blog, optimising your home page and each category with the most searched and relevant key phrases you could find.
Have you done that since?
How much traffic are you losing because of this one simple tweak? And are your keywords even relevant anymore? (make money blogging ring a bell? ;) )

Einstein defines Insanity

Conclusion:

Blogging, like any online pursuit requires constant work, with the job of tweaking and optimising being a constant – but often as bloggers we become complacent and forget the most obvious things. Isn’t it time you gave yourself the focus you have been giving to every other blog and really looked at where you are heading now, because I’ll bet you my next affiliate check that it has changed somewhat, maybe even drastically.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

John Banks April 7, 2013 at 2:15 AM

Hi Alex,

Great post – I have been thinking a lot about this recently. Sometimes I think about changing things…
You sum it up well.

What is it with the number 7? It seems all products in the IM niche end with this….

Its true what you say though about this niche – so competitive and full of the wrong kind….

I want my blog to become the sort of a “center for my online ventures – not an MMO blog…..”

Regards,
John

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Alex April 7, 2013 at 2:23 AM

Hey John, appreciate the comment mate and I know – what is it with the no. 7?! There are 7 days in the week, 7 notes on the musical scale and 7 directions (left, right, up, down, forward, back and center). and then there is the 7 Ancient wonders, 7 pillars of… mate I could go on (but I won’t because I do enjoy your comments and I want you to actually come back! LOL)

I also like that you have the right idea about your blogs direction… just don’t get complacent ;)

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Sergio Felix April 7, 2013 at 7:17 AM

LOL you had me rolling with the Ryan Deiss opening line…

Anyway, I don’t really know what is up with the last “7″ but everybody says it’s about conversion which reminds me of the .95 cents termination as well.

I am actually starting to see a trend with these pricing concepts…

$4.95 on the Warrior Forum, $9.95 for digital books (although Amazon Kindle end normally in .99 with sporadic use of .69 -I wonder why- and .39 as well) for coaching it’s always something-97 like $497, $997, $1997, you get the idea.

Btw this is a big coincidence, I just removed the RSS feeds from my site today but I still want to add a regular AWeber subscription box at the end of my articles.

I don’t have an idea of how well is that going to be but it’s better to test it myself before making any assumptions.

And you know what’s funny about Authority ROI?

When I finally said something like “Okay, my site is finally distraction-free now let’s create some awesome content and put a few opt-in boxes”

Ryan comes up saying we have to clutter our sites for better conversion.

I think I should write a huge rant about how impossible it is to follow everybody’s advice particularly on blogging, making money online and of course, conversion.

It’s still something that keeps everybody interested but it’s starting to get a little bit too crazy already.

Great post man and you did get away with the seven points! ;-)

Sergio

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Alex April 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I think I should write a huge rant about how impossible it is to follow everybody’s advice particularly on blogging, making money online and of course, conversion.

You bloody should mate! people would relate to that. I’d share it!
And as for the stuff Ryan said about clutter – tell me about it?! I had my blog looking how I liked and he came along and said that. I think i have found a nice balance, because what I did was add my facebook stream (another word for stream is brook – hence why I call it my faceBrook – yes I am so awesome sometimes it hurts) and so this gives my blog a clean look still whilst providing fresh streams of content from my Facebook page in the sidebar.
Now of course I have to actually make the effort to share stuff on said FB page and not to post my own articles there – or I end up with a stream that mimicks the site –

Thanks for the comments man, I do enjoy the fact that I actually get to use my brain as a I read and reply to them.
Respect

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Suresh Khanal April 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Great tips. I just wondered to reveal the relation of Ad banners and popular posts. Its really a convincing one. I need to go to study my own blog and find which products I will promote on my sidebars.

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Alex April 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Thanks Suresh, yeah even I am guilty of that – and I wrote the bloody post!! LOL, thanks for stopping by Suresh, good to see you here

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Jeffrey Morgan April 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Ok, Ok, I’m guilty of all 7 counts. However, I just don’t have the time to devote to my Blog that I once did. Reason being that I’m to busy earning an income online. Yes, this is indeed going to be my biggest year yet!

Oh by the way, did you spend any time in jail for cutting the head off of Harrison’s Teddy Bear with those scissors. Hey, I’m just sayin’ ……

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Alex April 7, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Holy shit man! How are you??! Wow dude – great to see you again, and stoked that you’re having an awesome year.

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Kapil April 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Great Post AW! I know a number of people that rely entirely on blog commenting as their “SEO” but leaving insignificant comments such as ‘great post, really learnt a lot and will try it’ will not get you any credibility or traffic for that matter. I like how you have singled out the sidebar banners which haven’t done anything for you – time to refresh the sidebar.

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Alex April 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Hey Kapil, it’s definitely time. It’s amazing how a few tweaks and a product refresher can suddenly increase sales and clicks.

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Matt Smith April 8, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Hi Alex,

I’m probably guilt of a few of these myself.

I find that just when you think you have got something right on a site, someone ends up saying that that whole process is no longer relevant/necessary. Blogging seems to be changing at an even more frantic rate than ever!

Still, it’s important to keep looking at what is and what isn’t working on a site. Still doing the same things that don’t work is just pointless.

Nice post Alex :)

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Alex April 9, 2013 at 12:44 AM

“I find that just when you think you have got something right on a site, someone ends up saying that that whole process is no longer relevant/necessary.”

hahaha I could not agree more man. Now just tell me when you make any changes so I can post a new update to this post and make you change it all again ;)

Thanks for stopping by Matt, always a pleasure mate

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Catherine Holt April 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I think I need to review a number of things listed here! I have recently reviewed all my keywords so trialling some new ones for the next 3 months to see how they pan out. I think I should also look at my affiliate links because they don’t seem to be giving me the best result at the moment, so like you say….why continue!

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Alex April 9, 2013 at 12:42 AM

I think you should be focusing on that ebook of yours. It looks great and has potential to generate leads and sales – first though you need to decide whether to continue giving it away or offering it for a price. Are there affiliate products within it that could potentially make you sales down the track?

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Andi Leeman April 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Hi Alex, another great post designed to wake us up a bit with some great reminders. We can keep advertising on our site but if they are not making sales then why the hell have them on there? It is time to go looking for some that do work. I think once they are up people do not like the idea of the work that is involved from removing them from all of the posts and then replacing them with new but if your commissions increase then it is very worth it.

Sign 4 is very important, when I write about blogging and what money can be made I do try and explain that it isn’t a fast thing and that people should not expect it to happen over night without a lot of hard work. I don’t want to scare people away but want them to have a realistic outlook at what they can achieve along with what it will take to get it.

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Alex April 9, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Hey Andi, thanks mate.
Yeah I don’t think you would be the sort to fall into the ‘make money blogging – just buy my shit first’ category LOL

I hold you in very high regard my friend – thanks for stopping by and supporting my ‘comeback tour’ as it were :)

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Thomas April 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I have recently shifted my focus partially from blog commenting because they are not the best way to generate traffic for your website but rather focus on affiliate links, meta tags, keywords, call to action and many other things. This will work for my better. Also I will have to keep myself updated because changes are certain.

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Darnell Jackson April 8, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Good point Alex.

It’s sad but true.

I didn’t start getting real results until I started reviewing everything that I was doing weekly.
I didn’t leave any stone unturned I was willing to change ANYTHING in order to improve.

With this approach I’m now on my 10th week straight blog growth.

I spent waaaay too much time spinning wheels last year.

It is a form of insanity.

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Alex April 8, 2013 at 11:39 PM

I am enjoying watching your progress and the updates you are providing mate – great stuff.

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Ryan Biddulph April 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Hi Alex,

Yep, you nailed it. I am a big social guy these days. No sense in commenting myself to death….well, I still comment a lot, but this is secondary after tribing it up and using social sites.

Thanks for sharing, and yes, it is good to be back. Although why do I show up here AFTER leaving your part of the world? ;)

Ryan

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Jacqueline Gates April 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I love that your wittily clever title is followed by an equally intelligent post … but I absolutely hate that I saw myself in no less than FIVE of your points and now have copious amounts of work to do.

But you’ve definitely hit the nail on the head. Blogging is a fluid, rapidly changing industry and to be successful we are obliged to be fluid and adaptable too.

I appreciate the recipe for currant success, Alex.

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Alex April 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

AND I love that you have followed up my post with an even wittier comment!
You truly are a wordsmith.
Great to see the goddess here :)

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Musician Makers April 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Great post. My current traffic methods is trying to implement SEO exclusively but I’m moving towards social media now

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Lancia April 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Really love the quote of Einstein about insanity and it is very true because by giving the same input repeatedly we cannot expect a different output altogether. I am a prey to the negative signs that has been mentioned in this article and I need to work on this to change things around. Thanks for some amazing piece of advice.

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Chri April 15, 2013 at 4:47 PM

hmmmmmmmmmm, many people have testified on making the shit called money online.

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Bee April 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Hi Alex,

All the seven are good. However it’s sad but true. I didn’t start getting real results until I started reviewing everything that I was doing weekly. I didn’t leave any stone unturned I was willing to change ANYTHING in order to improve.

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Alex April 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Nice work – it’s the only way to see positive results. (side note, I have changed your name to Bee, please use your name as I do not tend to approve comments by ‘Keywords’ )

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Wamiq Ali April 17, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Some Nice things mentioned out there specially “When you don’t do something different don’t expect different results” , Blogging is nice when you are writing for the people, many bloggers make money by promoting the product etc and yes the right method to present your content to the social sites just matters a lot, now a link shared with no thumb who cares….

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Alex April 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM

The points described are so true. I am taking the help of social networking websites to increase my exposure in the blogging world. This is a great way to drive traffic to my website by building a community on such platform. Also in this way I will achieve a leap in my rankings.

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Daniel April 20, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Da Vinci – I couldn’t have said it better. Glad that you are willing to provide that service to people in your area – what a nice way to recycle and to have professionals come to your farm to get the horse. More on ambulance services in a future post.

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John Hanly April 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM

its a great post for every webmaster to manage his blog

Thank’s for sharing guys

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Hazel Mae Pan July 19, 2013 at 2:54 AM

These are very useful tips, especially when the blogosphere is getting more and more saturated – AND the rise of vlogging and infographics as well.

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