Be honest… Does your WordPress blog suck? No, really — be honest.
I ask because I am approached to provide my input on sites that suck. It's not that website proprietor sucks. It's the actual website itself. So how does that happen?
In my experience, it is due to the overzealous DIY syndrome. The site owner wants to do what they want to do without considering best practices or recommendations. Then add a dash of lack of skill (design, coding, layout considerations).
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 they will produce “additional income by starting a blog.” Not based on any reality, just because they think so. Very few have the skills or have any solid knowledge of what works.
They saw a commercial that makes success look as easy as pushing a couple of buttons. Instead, they have an idea, a “solution” or “system,” and easy peasy to the bank.
What 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. But, 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. 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 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. However, the reality is that now the bar is high — very high — to succeed online.
You think by putting affiliate links and AdSense everywhere.
How do I monetize your blog? First, you have to have something to monetize. Just slapping up ads everywhere is the sign of a sucky site.
Do not assume visitors will click on those ads, and you'll get that paycheck, so you don't have to work for the man. Most 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 the action you want them to. No content? Your blog probably sucks.
You are scraping content from other feeds or websites.
Using other authors' articles or scraping content feeds from other skilled and hardworking site owners, if not done correctly, can get you in trouble. Do you have more content from other authors than your 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. It would be best if you took the time to learn how to display your content in a visually appealing, user-friendly way.
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 straightforward and intuitive navigation. Navigation should be all about site visitors (not purely in existence to keyword stuff). Have menus that don't speak to your site visitors or 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 for all this.” 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 not to be paid for advice that is then ignored. Something about that is just wrong.
Advice and direction are 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.
In 27 years in business, I haven't found those easy riches on the web yet. My business is busy and successful, and I have the luxury of choosing who I do business with. So why am I still working so hard to keep learning and keep up? Because that's what it takes — and I enjoy it.
There is no “easy” income.
Those who surmise I sit on my couch eating bonbons 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…”).
I don't like bonbons. I don't have hoodie-footie P.J.s. And I work the hours and put in the hard work to accomplish my goals. So I do not water down what I need to do based on what I may be willing to do.
Is that attitude to have 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 were willing to work for it. So I don't hesitate to work hard, learn new skills and try new things.
Those who work on their niche, their different, exclusive, individual, lone, one, one and only, particular, rare, separate, single, solitary, solo, sui generis, uncommon blog better their chances of success. (You get my point, right?)
Site owners need to constantly work on their blogs to make them great-looking and filled with helpful information that is updated regularly. In addition, this approach will allow you to stand a chance to produce some level of residual income over time.
Yeah, some level — over time.
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.
At your service,