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What My Dad Taught Me About Blogging Success & Failure

Success is 99% failure - Soichiro Honda
It’s no secret that I used to be homeless when I was a kid (and later as an adult), but that childhood experience resulted in a lesson on business. The lesson learned was to avoid the same issues that took a strong business concept from brainstorming to failure.

Back when I was around 14, I just got out of the tent my parents and I were living in and into the house of a friend of my dads. The condition of me living there was that I had to get a job, even at my age. So when I was not delivering newspapers, I was learning from the adults in the household.

My dad and his friend came up with the idea to start a business on the internet. Consider that this was back in 1995, and if that business had gained momentum then it would be a serious force in 2011 thanks to the whole seniority concept behind websites.

I remember the brainstorming session like it was yesterday. We sat down with a chalkboard on an easel and came up with ideas on the ‘type’ of business we would create. We decided on an internet shopping mall. Next, we laid out various ideas on what we would sell in this mall, and decided to sell various items rather than choosing a narrow industry, like camping equipment for example.

The next day, my dad started working on the website. It didn’t take him long to create and publish. But once the website was up, everything fell apart. The website never took off because I don’t believe that anyone knew how to market it. They seemed to follow the idea that “if you build it, they will come”.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work like that, and that was the last I heard of the mall.

Your Blueprint For Failure

Before I can teach you how to make your blog or website a success, I have to teach you how to run it into the ground. That’s just the way I work because I know it’s a great way to learn.

If you want to kill your plans before you start:

  • Do not plan at all. Instead, jump in head first without choosing a niche and having a solid marketing foundation.
  • Get in it for the money. Avoid choosing a niche because you are passionate about it and can blog about it for free.
  • Lose interest because it’s slow to take off. Abandon your project and never look back.
  • Get greedy and place ads all over your blog. Make it impossible to read the content because of the ad distractions.
  • Be rude. Anti-social behavior will ensure that established bloggers will avoid you rather than network with, and recommend you.
  • Be irresponsible. Make sure you do not pay your hosting bill or renew your domain. When your site is deleted, you can start over again.

If however, you wish to be a success, there is a completely different strategy that you must follow. It’s really no secret, because established bloggers like Darren and I have done it and shared our tips with you on many occasions. Many newbies attempt to go with the all-in method, and avoid creating a game plan.

If you want to be successful in your blogging adventure:

  • Decide ahead of time on a niche. If you are not doing a niche, but choose a personal blog approach, stick with it.
  • Avoid the money motivation if that’s your only motivation. Choosing a topic that you love will allow it to be easy for years.
  • If you plan to flip or make money from your blog, treat it like a business. Build your list, and place non-intrusive ads.
  • Be consistent. If you post 4 times in a week, then take a month vacation without scheduling posts, then you will turn off readers.
  • Be Persistent. Don’t give up because you are not making money or getting commentary. Just keep trying and experimenting until you find a winning solution.
  • Be social. Go to blogs and leave excellent comments that make other bloggers remember you. The feedback will be public, and it will add up over time.
  • Be an expert. Great blogs like ProBlogger allow you to submit guest posts. This will lead to exposure and much needed traffic to your own blog.
  • Don’t be afraid. People avoid trying to partner with established gurus because they have the “celebrity syndrome”, and think that the person will automatically tell them no.
  • Leverage names. Contact the established bloggers with lots of followers and ask them if you can interview them. This will result in traffic, and the idea that you are networked with the big guys.
  • Finish what you start. If you worked hard on building traffic, then finish that ebook product you started so that you can leverage your traffic and get affiliates to sell for you.

I can go on all day with negative and positive advice. But my most important piece of advice would be to start right now, and don’t stop until you are finished. If you can’t have that mentality over the long-term, then blogging is not the thing for you.

Do you have blueprint for success or failure that we could add here?  What are some other mistakes to avoid?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Brandon Connell blogs at Make Money Blogging.  You can follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Connell.

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