According to a June 2009 survey conducted by Technorati, only 7.4 million of the 133 blogs on the web had been updated within three months. That’s not even 6 percent! If your blog falls within the 94.5 percent of those blogs gasping for breath, should you even attempt to resuscitate it?
Why not? They do it on soap operas all the time.
I don’t watch soaps anymore, but I used to. And I watched enough of them in the past to know that whenever the writers kill off a popular character, the oh-darn factor soon set in, and within weeks — viola! — the character is “brought back to life.” They either limped away from the plane’s wreckage before the fuselage exploded or the corpse burned beyond recognition in a car crash turned out to be a hitchhiker they’d picked up, or the witch doctor from a native village in the Andes nursed them back to health or — pick a storyline. And I say, if the soaps can bring back the “dead” or dying, so can bloggers.
Athletes come back of retirement. Bands schedule reunion tours. TV shows syndicate on cable. And blogs re-launch.
Why do blogs fail, anyway?
I’ve left my share of abandoned blog carcasses scattered across the blogosphere, and I’m considering breathing new life into one of them. Before I take on that project, though, I decided to stop and consider why my blog flatlined.
- Lack of time
- Lack of money
- Lack of interest
- Lack of definition
- Lack of knowledge
I think in my case, lack of knowledge topped the list. I started blogging without any investigation as to how to do it successfully. I never checked the status of my blog’s health (stats) or attempted any type of promotion.
What can you do to revive a dying blog?
If the health of your blog is ailing and lack of knowledge is part of the problem, the Fundamentals category here can help. If lack of interest is causing your blog to flail in the water, perhaps you haven’t firmly settled on your blog’s purpose. Read “Ready, Aim, Blog” to get your blog back on track before it drowns.
Give your blog a checkup.
Before hitting the delete key, evaluate what can be done to repair your ailing blog.
- Check all the links — repair any broken links.
- Look at the blog’s design. Is it appealing? Does your blog need a facelift?
- What about resources? How can you add more value for your readers?
- Do you need a new platform? Is your old blog on one of those free ads-in-your-face platforms? Is it time to kick it out of the nest and develop a more grown-up blog?
What else should you do?
Remember the “out with the bad air, in with the good air” cartoon scene? (Okay, I may be giving away my age here, but if you watch Cartoon Network . . .) My point is, you’ll need to make a few changes to kickstart your old blog.
- Blog regularly. At least 2-3 times a week, 4 or more if possible, but don’t over-commit and get overwhelmed or your blog will be back on the gurney before you know it.
- Do some promo work. Distribute articles. Tweet. Make a Facebook Fan Page. Call in favors from friends to gain incoming links. Leave comments on related blogs. (TIP: Make a list of the keywords and phrases you want your blog to rank for. Set up a “Google Alerts” for blogs mentioning those words and phrases. Visit the blogs in your Google Alerts results and leave meaningful comments on them. Build a relationship with those bloggers, and invite them to visit your blog.)
- Create a “What’s New” page. Let your readers know this blog was brought back from near-death and share with them how it’s “gonna be different this time around.”
- Have fun! Think back to why you created that old blog in the first place. As you renew the blog, renew that excitement you had when you created your very first post.
Within no time, your old blog will regain its former health and grow into a strong, vital force on the World Wide Web.
Until next time,