Now be honest… Does your WordPress blog suck? No, really — be honest.
The reason I ask is that I am approached to provide my input on sites that, well, suck. It's not the that website proprietor sucks. It's the actual website itself. So how does that happen?
In my experience it is due to overzealous DIY syndrome. The site owner wants to do what they want to do without consideration of best practices or recommendations.
We disregard guidelines that are standard and customary to quality sites. By quality I mean both visually and contextually.
There is an abundance of “bloggers” who believe that by starting a blog they will produce “additional income”. Not based on any reality; just because they think so. Very few have the skills or had any solid knowledge on what actually works.
They saw a commercial that makes success look as easy as pushing a couple buttons. What they have is an idea, a “solution” or “system” and easy-peasy. All the way to the bank.
What I surprises me is these folks are intent on making their riches based on what they are willing to do, spend and learn. Not on what is necessary, standard and customary. Big difference.
They'll only make efforts on their terms. Then, they expect to reap the rewards similar to those bloggers who work at their craft 12 hours a day. For years — to make the big bucks.
So how do you know if your WordPress blog sucks?
I'm not trying to insult anyone. I simply am sharing what my experience shows needs to be addressed, discussed and taken seriously. That is if you want to stand a chance for any level of success.
You have nothing unique to offer.
I bet if you searched there are literally thousands or hundreds of thousands of sites already active on your subject of choice. And you don't know where you rank because your rankings are so many pages back that even you stopped searching for yourself.
having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable
Unless you have a plan, an angle and a different USP (unique selling proposition) than the hundreds of thousands of sites already covering your topic; your blog is nothing special. The reality is the bar is high — very high — to succeed online.
You think by putting affiliate links and AdSense everywhere.
How do I monetize my blog? First you have to have something to monetize. Just slapping up ads, everywhere, is the sign of a sucky site.
Do not assume that visitors will click on those ads and you'll get that paycheck so you don't have to work for the man. The majority of folks have “ad blindness” or may have software to block ads. Too much advertising is annoying. So this isn't a valid business model.
You are not prepared to write. A lot.
Content is how you convince visitors to stick around. To subscribe or buy what you have to offer. To take that action you want them to. No content? Your blog probably sucks.
You are scraping content from other feeds or websites.
Using other author's articles or scraping content feeds from other skilled and hardworking site owners if not done properly can get you in trouble. Do you have more of other's content than your own original content? Oh yeah, your blog probably sucks.
Visually your site is boring.
When you don't have a great looking non-generic WordPress theme that you've worked hard to make your own, you are nothing special. You then need to take the time to learn how best display your content in a visually appealing user-friendly manner.
This means unique graphics and structuring your content to make it more readable. Don't want to do that? Yeah, your blog probably sucks.
Your navigation and menus are not fine-tuned.
You must have clear and intuitive navigation. Navigation that should be all about site visitors (not purely in existence to keyword stuff). Have menus that don't speak to your site visitors or that are overwhelming and yep, your blog probably sucks.
Your inner voice is keeping you down.
You find yourself thinking “I don't like to write”, “I can't write”, “I don't have time to post”. If you hear that in your head, learn to write or hire someone to help. Otherwise — sorry, your blog probably sucks.
Does this sound like you?
I know… this isn't very “musey” of me. But you know what? I can't help those who do not want to help themselves. I prefer to not be paid for advice that is then ignored. Something about that is just wrong.
Advice and direction is provided only to be told, that “my way” takes too much work (or cost, or time, <insert excuse here >). So we ignore the reality of what is required and still think our blog is the best thing since sliced bread. And that we will make boat-loads of money.
I've just celebrated my 25th year in business and haven't found those easy riches on the web yet. What the H. E. double-toothpicks am I doing still working so hard to keep learning and to keep up?
Stop it. There is no easy income.
Those who surmise I sit on my couch eating bon-bons with my laptop in my hoodie-footie P.J.s want my life. (Yes, a recent contact stated that was their goal — “just like you…”).
Be careful what you ask for.
I don't like bon-bons. I don't have hoodie-footie P.J.s. And I work the hours and put in the hard work to accomplish my goals. I definitely do not water-down what I need to do based on what I may be willing to do. That's what it takes to live off the Internet.
But guess what? For me, all this is easy because I have a work ethic. A Father who taught me I could have anything I wanted — if I was willing to work for it.
Those who work on their niche, their different, exclusive, individual, lone, one, one and only, onliest, only, particular, rare, separate, single, solitary, solo, sui generis, uncommon blog to make them great looking, filled with useful information, that is updated regularly — are those that stand a chance, over time, of producing some level of residual income.
Yeah, some level — over time. (Check out my favorite Blogger on blogging.)
So, if you want a WordPress blog that doesn't suck, ask yourself these questions…
- Have you researched your topic to find an angle no one else has tapped into and is your Blog niche something that you know well and are passionate about?
- Are you willing to work at aggressively improving your writing skills, being active on social media and answering site email and comments for as many hours a day are necessary to reach your goals?
- Do you understand that this is an ongoing learning process that never ends? Never. Ends.
If you don't answer the above questions with a resounding “YES!” chances are your blog will suck — so get to work. Rant done.
At your service,