The wonderful world of blogging. It’s a fickle one, and with the way Google is, quitting blogging may often come to mind.
We’re all one update away from catastrophe. Losing traffic is one thing, but losing income as a result of that traffic is another.
Maybe you feel as if you’re getting no where, even after following the advice from online guides and YouTube videos. Well, I felt the same way. I myself quit blogging years ago. In fact, I quit many times.
I officially started blogging in 2011 while in college. I had tons of ideas for websites. I launched so many different blogs from my apartment — they all went no where.
It wasn’t until 2016 when I started a blog out of a passion and gave it what I assumed was my all. I then quit again frustrated with the lack of traffic.
Out of sheer curiosity, I checked my Amazon Associates dashboard in late 2017 and discovered a few commissions. They were small, but I never thought I would ever see clicks or an actual dollar amount in my account. It was life changing to a degree.
At that point, my blog posts were terrible. To give you an idea, I’ve kept an old blog post private since 2017 to give you an idea of what I mean.
It’s a total of 154 words of content and contains three affiliate links to Amazon. This is one of the first blog posts I ever published on my website and it’s probably my worst. Go ahead and laugh, I deserve it! No wonder why my website wasn’t ranking well back then!
But we all have to start somewhere.
The reason I was able to make my first commission was because I went after products that no one was talking about. Despite barely anyone finding my articles, some people did. I couldn’t go back far enough to find those first commissions (Amazon has limited how far we can go back), but I did find an early month from Feburary 2018.
And that’s my main point. If your blog posts look similar to this early entry, don’t worry. Don’t quit blogging — re-evaluate and improve your content!
Once I saw my first commissions, I focused on creating quality articles and learning the technical aspects of SEO to the best of my ability. I realized that I needed to dive in and create lengthy content that had intrinsic value.
And here in 2020, you can see how things have changed. The holiday bonus was a plus.
But with that out of the way, I’m sure you’ve pondered the following question…
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Is Blogging Dead?
In 2020, you may even be asking yourself, “why should I continue blogging when video is all the rage?” Fortunately for us who still type our words out, blogs are still popular as ever.
According to OptinMonster, approximately 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month. They also mention that 70 million posts are published each month by WordPress users.
With that in mind, blogging is in no way dead.
Since we have to deal with the mysterious Google algorithm, it can be frustrating and infuriating when one hits your website.
And other sources of web traffic?
Unless you have a massive email list or social following across many different platforms, you’re doomed to rely on Google search for traffic.
Quitting Blogging Due to a Loss in Traffic
If an algorithm update has hit your blog, the first thing to do is relax. There’s a good chance you’re not the only person an update has affected.
For example, beginning now after the January 2020 core update, Google announced that websites winning the featured snippet for queries would only show once on page one.
Before the update, you could win both the snippet (position 0) and an organic spot down below.
This change is somewhat unfortunate for everyone. According to a study conducted by Ahrefs in 2017, queries with a featured snippet (position 0) result in a click only 8.6% of the time, as opposed to 19.6% to position 1.
We may see a trend now of SEOs using the No Snippet tag to optimize for the regular position for search results with this change.
A small change to the blogosphere often makes a significant impact. But even with a decline due to an update, I urge you not to quit blogging.
Possible Reasons to Quit
Despite my plea, if you are planning to quit blogging, I assume it’s because of one of the following reasons:
- No interest in writing
- Getting penalized by Google
- Loss in traffic
- Loss of passion for writing content
- Getting burned out
No Interest in Writing or Blogging
If you’re new to blogging and are only a few posts in, I can understand why you would want to quit. Maybe writing isn’t your thing.
I assume you saw a YouTube video that claimed you could make tons of money blogging in your spare time. Maybe you found our blog out of similar ambition.
Blogging takes a lot of work. Success isn’t going to happen overnight, either. I started my music blog back in 2016, and I didn’t get serious about it until late 2017.
It took me two years to see my first Amazon affiliate commissions, and that moment lit a fire under me that burns to this day.
Getting Penalized By Google
Something I haven’t experienced, and hope never to experience, is getting a Google penalty.
Penalties can either remove a single page from the Google search results or your entire website altogether. There are two types of penalties applied by Google:
- Manual action — Google’s team manually applies a penalty to your site. You’ll get both an email from Google and a message in your Search Console dashboard.
- Algorithmic penalty — These types of penalties are harder to diagnose, as your page may decline over time. There’s also no message from Google if you have one.
A while back, I was watching one of Doug Cunnington’s videos on his penalty. I don’t think this is the one (it was older), but it sums up his story. Also, open a new tab right now and check out his blog, Niche Site Project. You won’t regret it.
Back then, I was researching the idea of using PBN (Private Blog Network) links to help rank my website higher in Google.
Using grey hat techniques like PBNs can raise red flags and get your site a manual action. Google calls tactics like this link schemes, and if you’re utilizing grey hat techniques, you best be careful.
If you have a Google penalty, don’t quit blogging, yet
If you manage to get yourself a Google penalty, your best bet is to remove as many poor-quality links as you can. You may have to contact webmasters individually to remove your links.
If you can’t get them removed, you can disavow the associated domains. It’s not the best solution, but it may help eliminate your penalty. Disavowing links takes 2-4 weeks on average.
If that doesn’t work and your rankings don’t return, you may have to throw in the towel and start a new blog, unfortunately. That said, there are services that claim to be able to reverse a Google penalty, so I suppose anything’s possible.
Getting Over The Burn Out
A universal tale among writers and bloggers is burning out. Maybe you feel that nothing is working, or you have no fresh ideas, or you don’t have the desire to work on new content.
Whatever the case, it’s normal. Bloggers experience this feeling all the time. In this case, I suggest taking time off. I don’t think your blog needs new content all the time to be successful.
Watch your blog from afar. Monitor your analytics, and don’t worry about publishing content. If you don’t feel like writing, you can always hire a writer to fill the gaps during your slump.
Don’t Hit Delete on Your Blog
But whatever you do, don’t delete your website. Even if your blog is brand new and there isn’t much traffic on it, I guarantee someone will want to buy it from you (contact us).
A site with ten decent related posts is probably worth around $250, so don’t cancel your web hosting account yet. Writing isn’t for everyone, and that’s understandable.