The 11 Most Common Excuses of Failing Bloggers (And How You Can Start Succeeding)

Filed in Blogging, Content by on January 12, 2015

Whats Your Excuse Concept

Ricky Ponting is a world famous Australian cricketer. He’s won a lot. He’s lost a lot. And he played at the highest standard of his sport for most of his career.

This has given him a great insight into the minds of other athletes. For example, after one loss to England, he was quoted as saying this:

‘When England loses you look for excuses. When Australia loses we look for things we can change’.

Which is true. If you’ve spent more than five minutes around the English Press we’re always looking for something to blame.

However the exact same can be said about Bloggers. The exact same thing can be said about you. You don’t look for solutions; you look for excuses.

Whenever something fails on your blog it’s always someone else’s fault:

  • No shares? Blame the reader.
  • No sales? Blame the customer.
  • Not enough traffic? Blame the niche.
  • Headline sucks? Blame Clickbait.

The hard truth of it?

The problem is rarely anybody else. The problem is you.

You wrote content not worth sharing.

You wrote a crappy sales letter.

You’re not finding high quality traffic.

You’re not crafting good headlines.

You’re the reason behind it all.

That doesn’t mean you should quit; throw in the towel and be done with it.

It means you can begin to look at your excuses and learn what they really mean.

The best part of it? I was a failing blogger too. I’ve not just heard the excuses. I’ve made them repeatedly. And I know what they really mean.

And I know how to fix them.

Which I’m going to show you how to do right now. Below are the most common excuses from Failing Bloggers. What they truly mean. And how you can fix them right away.


(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)


#1 "It Used To Be Easy…But Now It’s Not"

Failing Bloggers say this all the time. In fact it’s a go-to excuse.

There is a grain of truth here: people like Brian Clark, Chris Guillebeau and Sean Ogle seemed to start blogging just at the right time.

Back when blogging was still shiny and new. Blogs just sort of ‘happened’ for them.

Do you know what this excuse says about you? You’re not willing to work hard.

You thought blogging was a ‘Get Rich Quick’ method and then were over faced with what you really needed to do.

You don’t just write and someone gives you money for it. And 10,000 subscribers aren’t just going to stumble on to your blog. If that’s what you think, maybe it is time to quit.

If you really want to make this work go out and build some traffic. Engage with your audience. Become an authority.

It might have been easier 6 years ago. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible now. You just have to set yourself apart from other blogs.


#2 "People Don't Trust Mailing Lists Anymore"

The real thinking behind this is: you don’t trust mailing lists anymore.

You know what mailing lists are really for. You know the motives behind creating a buy-in. You understand why Hello Bar’s are suddenly on every site.

You have what psychologists call The Curse of Knowledge. And every time you see an opt-in box you begin to pick it apart.

People still love to feel connected to you and your blog. And you still need a mailing list to make money from your blog.

That’s a simple fact of online marketing.

You’ll be amazed at how many people in your niche are actually looking for mailing lists to join too.

They want to be on your mailing list.

Stop hiding your mailing list in the footer of your site. Behind the closed door of a link. Away from the eyes of your reader.

Put it as pride of place on your blog. Make people aware it exists. Funnel everything towards it. As long as people trust you; they will trust your mailing list too.


#3 "There Are Too Many People In My Niche"

At the bottom of my street there are four pubs next door to each other. Which sounds like a recipe for failure.

All of them show sports. All of them serve beer. But all of them are full on a Friday night. Why?

Because each pub appeals to a different person: music, beers, design, sports shown and so on.

They’re all in the same niche – serving alcohol – which on the surface should be ‘too full’ for one small street to handle. Yet they are all successful businesses. After all, there are lots of people who want to drink beer.

The same goes for your Niche.

Don’t think your niche is too full. This drives you to produce sub-par work.

Focus on the fact that there are lots of people who want to read about it. And give them something new and different to the other blogs out there.

No niche is ever too full if you work harder than the other blogs around you.


#4 "Blogging Is Dead"

This is my favourite excuse, “Blogging is dead, it’s a waste of my time – I should be doing something else”

All I can really do is call bullshit on this one. Because if blogging was dead I would be homeless and hungry.

If you’re a Nichehacks reader, you’re reading this on a blog right now. If you found this through Google you were looking for a blog to help you with your problems.

Blogging isn’t dead. Blogging is just harder now. There are more people fighting for attention.

If you try to sound like your competition then you’ve killed your own blog. Because readers are already getting that information elsewhere. Instead it’s time to set yourself apart and put your stamp on the niche.

  • Find a new angle
  • Create a different product
  • Share your stories with them
  • Try using videos instead of text (or vice versa)
  • Do something to set yourself apart


#5 "Nowhere Accepts Guest Posts Anymore"

If this is your excuse you’re doing one of two things:

1. Not looking hard enough
2. Not pitching well enough

Unless a blog explicitly says it doesn’t accept guest posts; they will still accept guest posts.

Every site has a contact page that will say for sure. But even if guest posting isn’t mentioned assume that they do accept them.

In fact the best guest posts I’ve ever gotten weren’t openly advertised.

If your pitch is well thought out. Your content is good enough. And you have written with their audience in mind you will have no trouble getting in front of an audience.

For guidance on pitching check out these two posts: here and here.



#6 "The Audience Can’t See My Value”

Translation: you’re not making it obvious enough.

One of the biggest problems for bloggers is that you solve a problem the audience doesn’t know it has. So they can’t see the value because there is no value for them.

Firstly, you need to spell your value our in the plain English. Say exactly what it is you’re trying to say. Make everything as obvious as possible.

Don’t hide behind metaphors. Don’t imply something. And never assume your reader knows what you’re talking about.

Get straight to the point and punch them in the gut with it.

Secondly, you have to Trojan Horse all of your ideas.

A great example of this is in the Fitness Niche.

People don’t know that the foods they’re eating are inflaming their bowels. Because they can’t make that connection.

But they do know that they don’t have a six-pack. Or that their jeans don’t fit right.

So the headline: ‘Stop Eating Sugar For Your Stomach Health’, wouldn’t work anywhere near as well as ‘Want Six Pack Abs? Cut This One Food From Your Diet’.

Give them what they want. Show them what they need. And your blog will be much more successful because of it.


#7 "Running A Blog Costs Too Much Money"

The problem here isn’t that it costs money. It’s that you’re not seeing a return on your investment.

A blog isn’t just words on a screen. It’s a business. And a business costs money.

If you’re not seeing a return on the money you’re putting into your blog then you need to change something.

Most of the time this is because you haven’t launched a product yet. You don’t have any way to make money from your blog.

Which means it’s always going to cost you more to run it than you stand to make from it.

If that’s you then go and create a product to sell. It really is that simple.

If you do have a product, maybe you should be investing your money more in marketing that product than just the other ‘nice to have’ elements of your blog.

Once you start making some real money from your blog, you won’t be making this excuse any more.


#8 "I Can’t Think Of New Content”

Okay. I’m a writer. So I’m a little bias on this one. Content creating is one of those things I have to do in order to put food in my mouth.

So I’ll cut you a little bit of slack. But this basically says you can’t be bothered to find new content ideas.

There are lots of different ways to combat this one instantly:

  • Look for common ideas in blog comments
  • Visit a relevant forum
  • Look at Quora Questions
  • Ask your audience
  • Create a ‘Top 10’ list post
  • Hire a Freelance Blogger
  • Get Guest Bloggers
  • ‘Call Out’ an Authority in your Niche
  • Write an opinion piece on a current argument

And many, many more other options. Content creation isn’t hard. But it’s important for you to get off your ass and do it.

Because, well, it’s not really a blog without content.


#9 "People Don’t Trust Headlines…"

Simply put: People aren’t clicking through to your content and you have no idea why.

Since clickbait has arrived on the scene you’re pretty dubious about all the content that’s lurking behind them.

The better the headline sounds, the worse you think the content is going to be.

Your reader doesn’t feel the same way though.

They’re all they have to trust about what they’re clicking through to. It’s the only information they have about what they’re clicking through to.

People aren’t clicking headlines less. They’re just bouncing from the content on the other side much quicker. The use of the headline will never change.

The reason they aren’t clicking through to your content? Your headlines suck.

Spend a lot of time perfecting this art. Because it’s the most important part of content creation. Without a good headline nobody is going to want to read your content.


#10 "There's No Money In Blogging Anymore"

Nichehacks is just over 12 months old. And in his report, Stuart Pointed out his earnings from the site.

In one year he managed to build up to an income of $6000 per month from Nichehacks. And, funnily enough, you’ve probably never spent any money on this site have you?

The problem behind this excuse is that nobody will pay you to just write. They aren’t going to pay you for your blog posts.

But they’ll pay you for the products you sell, the affiliates you work with and the services you provide.

There are lots of ways to make money from Blogging. Ironically writing isn’t one of them.

Stop hiding behind this excuse and scour your niche to find ways to make money.

  • Does your audience want coaching?
  • Do they need an eBook about a massive topic?
  • Is there an information product that people are crying out for?
  • Are there bloggers in your niche who you can affiliate market for?
  • Are there Clickbank or Amazon products you could sell?

There is always something you could sell. Something to generate an income from. Spend some time finding out just what that is - and do it.


#11 “I Just Can’t Find The Time…”

You will not make the time to turn your blog into a success. Don’t beat around the bush with this one. That’s all you are saying.

You don’t have time to make money. You don’t have time to put food on the table. You don’t have time to grow your business. You don’t have time to build a better life for yourself.

Blogging doesn’t need to be a drain on your time. But you have to make time to do it.

You can build a successful blog in around 10 hours a week. That’s less than 90 minutes each day. And you definitely have 90 minutes a day to build a business.

If you don’t have time to manage your blog, be brutal with the time you have in the day. If you come to me with this excuse, you’re usually:

  • Spending too long on Social Media
  • Reading way too much (20% reading; 80% action should be your maximum)
  • Watching a lot of TV
  • Playing Video Games
  • Procrastinating

Above all else, making a living from your blog requires your time. It needs time and dedication from you to make it a successful, profitable business.

There’s an old saying in New York about Eggs and Ham: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

Make a commitment to yourself, your blog and your income.

Allocate specific time to get stuff done. Make it a priority every single day. Even if it doesn’t make you money now; it’s going to make you money in the future.


(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)




Instead of blaming the world around you: the Internet, your readers and the world. Look for parts of your blog you can change.

  • Write better headlines
  • Improve your content
  • Make time to blog
  • Invest your money in different areas
  • Stop blaming what you have no control over

Once you begin to focus on the solutions to your problems you’ll begin to have a lot more success as a blogger.

There is a reason for everything that goes wrong on your blog – and you’re always able to fix it.

Can you think of any other excuses you’ve made on your blogging journey? Tell us in the comments below...


Author Bio: James is addicted to the three C's: Coffee, Copy and Creativity. He uses all three to power his Freelance Blogging business. And you should definitely hire him.

James Johnson
James is a Freelance Blogger from Manchester, England.

He specializes in the topics of blogging, growth hacking and content marketing.

You can read more topics from James by clicking on his name.

Comments (8)

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  1. The Cub says:

    "Make a commitment to yourself, your blog and your income." - thanks James - great post!

    This is a great summation of (mostly) psychological barriers-to-entry to blogging, which you shot down nicely! The fact remains that, yes it might have become harder to earn huge income from writing a blog, people are still doing it - and still making money - People like Stuart here at NH or Matt Woodward, are testament to the fact that even starting in recent years you can create an authority site in your niche that will pay you a solid income stream, if you're doing it right.

    Interesting that #2 on your list was people not trusting mailing lists - I recently got in touch with a dozen pro-bloggers to find out what they're focusing on in 2015 for their blogs for an upcoming article - Stuart included! - and it was amazing to see that pretty much everyone still has list-building as an extremely important element to successful blogging - definitely shooting down this excuse!

    I think that perhaps the biggest failing is never starting or getting too wrapped up in the above, to borrow from the great Michael Jordan, "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."

    • NicheHacks says:

      I'm not even sure it has become harder. We now have all the information we could ever possibly need at our finger tips to succeed. Everything to be done has been done before many times over and documented.

      • Qoyyuum says:

        It has become harder because the market is so saturated with information, that its basically repeating the same info over and over again at different sources. So getting new ideas for content in blogging gets challenging but that's not an excuse. Every dollar earned is to solve through each challenge anyways, right?

    • Hey Buddy,

      Thanks for the awesome reply! I love that Michael Jordan quote too.

      People will always be skeptical of success. People will always find a reason *not* to do something. And they'll keep making excuses.

      That's why they fail.

  2. Qoyyuum says:

    Actually for Excuse #5 on guest posting, I would like to quote from Amit Agarwal of ( " 6. Avoid guest blogging. Yes, it would help raise your profile if you manage to write for a reputed and authoritative site but 99% of the guest blogging is done with the sole purpose of gaining links and that’s just waste effort. Also, as your website grows popular, you’ll find that big sites are approaching you to for permission to republish your stuff. They will promise you eyeballs in return for your content but that won’t actually happen – people will just read your content on their site and move on."

    So if I were any other blogger, that the cost-benefit ratio of writing guest posts for others is actually bad for your time.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Thanks for commenting. I think guest posting is a great way to build your authority and get traffic over to your site when done right but you have to pick your targets. Posting on crappy sites just for links makes no sense.

    • James Johnson says:

      Hey Buddy,

      Everyone had their own view on Guest Posting. And it's something my entire business has (and continues to) grow from. Admittedly the *power* of Guest Posting may be less than it was two years ago.

      But, let's be honest: this is a guest post, you're commenting on it and people are linking back to my site right now.

      So whilst I appreciate Amit's sentiments, I find the reality slightly different.