Starting a Blog? 16 Ideas To Avoid Complete and Utter Failure

starting a blog

So you have a domain.

You’ve set up hosting.

You installed wordpress and a nice theme. You’ve even got an Aweber account to start collecting email addresses and start building your list of targeted people.

You have everything you need for starting a blognow what? How can you avoid being just another one of the millions of failed blogs on the internet?

What do you have to do differently? What steps do you take? What do you focus on to succeed? And more importantly, how can you avoid the road to complete and utter failure?

Below are 16 blogging ideas to help you do just that. The point of this post is to help you have a better blogging year in 2013, as far as visitors, leads and money. Let’s get stared:

1. Don’t neglect SEO

I did for a while and I think about that every day. Remember that search engines take their time to find and rank the best content online. Our job is to make sure they know what our content is about by using the right keywords in our titles, descriptions, and meta tags.

So don’t neglect it. Put in the extra effort to filling in all the necessary fields and get your awesome writing found.

2. Make Sure it’s a Self-Hosted WordPress Site

I can’t stress this enough. Don’t build your following on another person’s platform. You don’t own blogspot, Tumblr, or Typepad so your business will always depend on the rules those sites set.

When you write on your own self-hosted wordpress site, you set the rules and you control what happens with your site.

3. Be Consistent

I’ve had trouble with this in the past, but I’m going to try really hard next year to fix it because I know the benefits consistency brings. Whether you keep a editorial calendar or not, it’s important to continue to publish content on your blog because that consistency brings in more traffic.

It gives your visitors more content to share, and it gives the search engines more content to index.

4. Repeat What Works

I’m not saying “don’t be an innovator”. By all means, experiment with new ways of promoting and executing your marketing strategy, but there will always be a proven set of tactics or methods that will always work. We tend to ignore these things because, “it’s been done” – but if it works, you should focus on doing more of it.

For example… Inforgraphics take me forever to do. These things are a pain to put together in Photoshop, but I know they work, so I’ll be doing more of them. Starting with this one.. =)

5. Have a Business Model in Mind

What’s your business model? Are you selling information products? Are you getting people on your email list to sell them tools and software as an affiliate? Are you growing your audience and providing a service for sale? These are all very important questions to ask yourself.

How is your blog going to make you more money in 2013? Write that down and make that your focus next year.

6. Create Epic Content

There’s no question that your content is what’s going to drive your information business next year. It’s true for all of us – that’s how the internet work. It doesn’t work without content. The way to grow your audience and business in 2013 is to create practical, useful and valuable stuff.

Whether that’s in text format, audio or video, it doesn’t matter. You just worry about getting your message out there and bringing value to people that need it.

7. Go Above & Beyond for Your Audience

Look around at what the other bloggers, or content producers are doing in your niche and Do Something Better. Are they only creating articles? …maybe you can add a podcast to the mix. Can your audience benefit from watching video tutorials?

What about free downloadable reports, or ebooks? Can you create those and give them away? Have you ever thought about doing a free Q&A tele-seminar for your email subscribers. These are ways to do more for your audience  They will love you for it.

8. Web Design is Critical

I would even say that web design might be more important than your content. Why would I say something like that? Well, because new visitors see your design first, even before reading the first blog post. If they decide to leave because the design was hideous, then your content never had a chance.

This is why I recommend using a premium theme like those offered by Studiopress.

9. Make Sure Your Site is Usable

Usability is a topic I’ve covered briefly in the past, and we can talk about it for hours. But for now, just try to keep your site as clean as possible. Don’t fill your sidebar with useless plugins and widgets that don’t bring your real business results.

They will only deter people from staying on your site or joining your email list… and you don’t want that.

10. Write in Your Own Voice

You’re not a robot. I know I’m not. That’s why I write like this. I write like I talk. This is my voice and this is what resonates with you. There’s a fundamental difference between blogging and the way textbooks, novels and magazines are written.

You see, textbooks are written to give you information. Bloggers write to communicate a message. (..that was good, you should tweet that)

11. Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Building an audience takes time. I’m sure you’ll hear about the “overnight” success stories all the time, but what you don’t hear is the years of struggles that led them to that success.

The best way to stay motivated is ignore what everyone else is doing and focus on yourself. Focus on your business. Focus on what you’re doing and don’t compare yourself to others.

12. Know When to Quit

However.. you gotta know when to call it quits. If you’ve been working really hard on a project, or a site that doesn’t seem to be working or going anywhere, then let it go and move on to something else.

Just don’t give up until you’ve actually given it your all. Get advice from others to see what they think of your project. Getting an outside perspective may be just what you need to determine what your next move will be.

13. Focus on Building Your Email List

Again.. I’ve said it once and I will say it a thousand times. If you’re not building an email list of people interested in what you have to offer, you’re wasting your time. Everyone running a profitable online business knows how important this is. I do it, too. …click here to see for yourself =)

To learn the ins and outs of list building check out the page I recently created: List Building 101.

14. Use Multimedia

The idea behind using multimedia content is to attract a brand new audience that you wouldn’t otherwise, just writing text articles. For example, video exposes your brand, blog and business to YouTube and other video sharing sites. Audio podcasting can help you attract iTunes listeners.

But there’s another reason why multimedia content is important. If you’re not a writer, then you can focus on the areas that make it easier for you to create.

15. Be Social. Your Community Will Spread The Word

You don’t have to use all the social networks and build a following of 100,000 people before you start seeing the benefits of social sharing. The more practical, useful and valuable your content is, the more people will click the share button and spread your message with their network.

But it’s your job to build those relationships on the social networks first. Be social and people will help you spread the word.

16. Have fun with it

I don’t take myself too seriously. I like to have fun with this. I enjoy sharing. I enjoy communicating with you and I enjoy building my business. If I didn’t enjoy it, or at least part of it because some of it isn’t fun, I wouldn’t do it.

So in 2013, enjoy what you do. Focus on what works, work hard and the results will come. I hope these 16 blogging ideas work wonders for you..

Check out the Infographic:

Starting a Blog in 2013? 16 Ideas To Avoid Complete and Utter Failure
blogging ideas

build your audience guide


  1. says

    Love the infographic with this one. I find #7 and #11 are key lessons for any new blogger. And #16 helps one become a long term blogger. Have a Happy New Year Hector!

  2. Ria says

    This is awesome advice. Thanks for such a concise outline. I haven’t been on your site for a while, but I’m glad your content is still awesome. :)

  3. says

    Following these ideas will not only avoid failure, but will make sure you start a great blog which hopefully turns into a success for you as well. Thanks for sharing and all the best in the new year!

  4. says

    Hey great info here and very fresh. I always stick to what works and agree that we have to master something before we move on and then tackle the next thing. Always a pleasure to read your fresh words here brother!

    Have a great New Year in 2013


  5. says

    A good tip is to network with other bloggers and write guest posts for bigger blogs, its always a great way for a new blog to get traffic.

  6. says

    Well its a great for everyone including new and experienced bloggers. Being a blogger you have to invest time. the more time you give to your blog and the more good result you get. I think social media as mentioned in your post plays an important role in the success of a blog. Be more social.

  7. says

    The most crucial aspect that will help you determine if you will never be effective as a pro blogger is if writing is not your thing.

  8. says

    Thank you for this great list. Lots of ideas to remember. I am a new blogger and a couponing blogger. So many things to learn, learning something new everyday!

  9. says

    Hector, I found your podcast and site by accident. I might be behind a little, but I had a friend to tell me to check out ITunes and I was searching for investing but since I am blogger I had to check out bloggers.

    I thought I had heard it all, but you bring a new twist that resonates with me. I appreciate your attention to detail and careful explanations.

    I subscribed to your podcast and I will be coming back for more. thanks

  10. says

    Starting your own blog is a must for everybody connected to the internet. This is surely a blogging era and if you don’t have a blog yet then do start your own blog as early as possible.

  11. says

    This is the first time I’ve visited your site – what a terrific article. So glad to see that SEO is still #1 on the list. I’m sick and tired of hearing people say that SEO is dead. It’s not dead, nor is it sleeping. It’s still at the core of all of our efforts. I’d like to add a little something to item #6 – don’t be afraid to ask for help. Creating content is not always easy. I’m a prolific writer but I can’t always come up with material at the drop of a hat. I’ve found several really good guest bloggers who keep me supplied with well written articles, and I’m so thankful to be able to turn to them when I need a good post.

  12. says

    Awesome points – the only one I dont 100% agree on is the “host your own”. Most people will still need to buy hosting form a service provider and then install the WordPress onto it (takes energy, knowledge and time). So the next option of self-hosting is going to use a pre-existing WordPress hostinng provider so you might as well use . Let them do the work of maintaining their own system. Its open enough that at any point you can export your blog so you are not restricted. I am a techie, have own servers and still choose so I just dont have to worry about bandwidth, backups, security breaches, latest patches etc. Just my opinion…

  13. says

    I may be one of the few who do not believe everyone needs to start their own blog. For small business owners and many others it makes more sense to write for established blogs instead. That way you have an immediate audience and there are many building incoming links, providing content, and promoting across social networks.

    For those who do want their own blogs, though, this post and infographic are very useful. It has been quite popular on GrowMap among both new and very experienced bloggers.

  14. says

    Hi Everyone. Just wanted to add my little two-cents for those who are just starting out. If they’re anything like me, there was a lot to learn going in, and I was a complete newbie.. knowing almost nothing about marketing in general, and very little about writing, publishing, or building an online presence. The only think I knew was that I was in this for the long haul.

    Fast-forward 18 months down the road and what I can tell my fellow readers is that I finally think I know what I have to do. It’s been fun learning but now its time to kick into high gear. None of the 6 domains or so that i set up can be called successful, and I’m not really giving up on any of them. But here’s the thing: I know exactly what is wrong with all of them, and thought your readers can benefit from this information if they have one or more blogs that haven’t gotten any traction as yet, and they’re considering throwing in the towel.

    First and foremost, KNOW what’s wrong with your blog, and be sure about it. Experience does that for me, because I’m hooked up with some bigger, more successful bloggers and when they take a look at what I’m doing, their analysis is similar to mine (finally). One blog is about teaching others how to do what I’m doing. Well if I haven’t been successful as yet, why should they listen to me? So for THAT site, its going to be parked until I’m sure that what I’m preaching will help people. I need to make at least one of them a success first.

    The one I’ve been busiest at, with most of my content, my target audience isn’t well defined. I’m all over the place in a huge market, and I’ve only just gotten a handle on just HOW to narrow down my niche and do EVERYTHING for my one customer avatar. There’s a lot of aspiring bloggers out there making the exact same mistake.

    Finally, get a coach. I’ve been familiar with the concept of niche-blogging and writing for some time now, but it wasn’t until I got a coach that I REALLY understood how it works in the real world. Hector has everything you need here in one place to begin learning the ropes, Very few blogs out there offer as comprehensive a look at online marketing. Don’t hesitate to invest in the courses he offers.

  15. says

    If writing your own content isn’t for you, there are many people around who will be happy to write for your Website. They do it because it projects them as experts, and gives them exposure and access to your readers. Most often, all that these authors ask in return is a by-line – a short 3 to 5 line description of the author and his/her business at the end of the article. So if you don’t want to (or cannot) create your own content, ask others to help.

  16. says

    I actually started blogging by accident. We offer services on our web site and I decided to add more content with generic blog entries. Eventually, I started enjoying it and recently came up with some future ideas in my last blog post.

    We have over 1000 accounts created with our site with about 200 of them subscribed to our newsletter. We only have between 100-150 visits a day, but 10-15 of them sign up for an account on our site daily. Out of those, only 2 or 3 sign up for the newsletter.

    My question: Why do most people prefer to create an account and opt out of the newsletter?

  17. says

    Thanks for an awesome article. I have read this while I am waiting for wordpress to load my first website. I am still a bit apprehensive about everything but also pretty excited about my project. You have given me additional motivation. Thanks again.

  18. Joseph says

    They want to see your information on their terms. They don’t want hundreds of messages they never read clogging up their e-mail.

  19. says

    The Infographic is pretty amazing, thanks for sharing.

    Why people still bother to blog on free platforms, but WordPress self hosted blog has so many goodies, which even rules the blogosphere.

    I’d say about the 13th tips is to focus on building your own traffic stream, instead of focus on building email list. That’s so important, but still bloggers avoid to build email list.

    Thanks for putting them all together Hector.

  20. king4532 says

    i am going to start a blog.. You’r working great . I like you r website too. And i find it useful to add a guest post but haven’t mentioned. Thanks and how can i make stunning images like you in this post. Thanks

  21. king4532 says

    i am going to start a blog.. You’r working great . I like you r website too. And i find it useful to add a guest post but haven’t mentioned. Thanks and how can i make stunning images like you in this post. Thanks ,

  22. says

    I would add to the list the importance of having your web site optimized by mobile devices. I was shocked to find that 1/3 of my site visitors for a gadget site were on phones and tablets. I use a responsive theme that formats the layout depending on the width of the display.

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