There is a pathetic phenomenon happening around the blogosphere of late. More and more bloggers…
In its State of the Blogosphere 2010 report, Technorati.com (now a part of Synacor) revealed that:
- That more than 8million blogs were online
- A new #blog is created every 7.4 second
- Twelve thousand new blogs are created every day
- 2,750,000 new blog posts are made every day
- 10,800 updates are made every hour!
Indeed this are startling figures. But that was 2010. Today, the figure of blog posts made every day is above 3million! (Source).
Now, in 2010 the blogosphere was actually undergoing some form of evolution. In its state of the blogosphre, Technorati put it this way:
The 2010 edition of State of the Blogosphere finds blogs in transition—no longer an upstart community, now with influence on mainstream narratives firmly entrenched, with bloggers still searching for the next steps forward. Bloggers’ use of and engagement with various social media tools is expanding, and the lines between blogs, micro-blogs, and social networks are disappearing…
…These changes are occurring in the context of great optimism about the medium: over half of respondents plan on blogging more frequently in the future, and 43% plan on expanding the topics that they blog about. Bloggers who get revenue from blogging are generally blogging more this year than they were last year.
Indeed today bloggers who get revenue from blogging has increased greatly as many basically run their blogs as a #business!
Unfortunately, from recent statistics it does appear that more than 80% of those who set out to use the medium of blogging to achieve that entrepreneurial dreams, end up falling flat on their faces – failures!
Over the years this has been a pain in my heart as I observe many well-meaning, and hard-working bloggers start off with great enthusiasm but after years of struggling to make ends meet, throw in the trowel.
In my own way I’ve tried offering some help as can be seen this spirit in posts like:
Lessons from the London 2012 Olympics games
Timeless wisdom to increase your earnings
Reminiscences of a trade unionist turned entrepreneur
You may also want to read:
Are You a Blogger or An Entrepreneur Who Blogs?
All of these posts were written with the mind of helping you succeed with your online business.
In this article I want to touch on what I consider as the fundamental reason why many bloggers are finding it difficult to achieve their dreams online. Frankly, this post is an updated version of an article I wrote back in 2005. Then it was supposed to serve as a personal note to help me ‘de-glaze’ my eyes and ‘un-dump’ some wrong beliefs and perceptions which would have been a problem to me when I was just starting out on my online business journey. To show how this post has impacted me, I later updated it some time in 2012!
Now in 2016 having considered the state of the blogosphere for the past few years, I passionately believe that this post is still very relevant that I have again decided to update it. Please read it with an open heart!
So, why do so many bloggers fail?
Square Pegs In Round Holes?
It is a fact of life; all of us desire success whatever the endeavor we undertake! But unfortunately, not all can boast of truly achieving this desire. Try as they could, many just seem to only run in circles.
But why is this so?
From my personal experience and the experiences of others that I’ve studied, I’ve discovered that businesses do not fail for lack of capital or material resources but as a result of a wrong mindset – what I’ve come to regard as square pegs in entrepreneurial round holes!
Of course, many of us understand the power of the human mind…
- We know that the human mind is so powerful that there is no obstacle it cannot surmount if properly used.
- We know that every inventions of note came about through the instrumentality of the mind, and
- We know that seemly hopeless situations have been and are still being turned around simply by the proper application of the mind!
In fact, it is this awesomeness of our minds that make us stand apart from the rest of all creature!
But what does this have to do with succeeding in business you might ask.
Much more than you can imagine!
For one, the business world has its own principles and systems which demand a different approach from what many of us are familiar with. To make any mark therefore you need to check if you’re not a ‘square peg’ trying to fit into the ‘round hole’ of the business world.
A ‘Square-Peg Mindset’?
But what is that anyway?
By the ‘square-peg mindset’ I mean the totality of your beliefs, social orientation and other negative norms that have made it difficult for you to really fit into the mold of an entrepreneur. I’ve seen this widely in most of the bloggers I have studied over these past few years.
You may have heard the saying, “As A Man Thinketh In His Heart, So Is He!” indeed, this is true because the decisions we make are a product of the way we think; the actions we take are a product of our decisions, and our success flows from the actions we take.
To achieve success therefore, we must first of all change our thinking!
Succeeding as an entrepreneur blogger is not in ‘flowing’ with the tide but first being a success with who YOU are!
You are first and foremost the business you should work on. Once you have the right mental attitude you can always develop the enthusiasm that will propel you to succeeding in any business.
But How Did This ‘Square-Peg Mindset’ Came About In The First Place?
1. The Negative Attitude Prevalent In the Society
It is a fact that negativity rules our society. It’s all around us both in our personal and professional lives. And the older you are the more susceptible you are to this. After years of disappointments in different areas of life, a thick layer of negativity had settled on many minds. They simply cannot trust in the government. They cannot trust their fellow men and women. And of course, they cannot even trust themselves either! Simply put, they have no faith that things can be done right.
This is indeed a grave situation but it can be remedied. A simple suggestion will be to commit to studying success stories of others who have succeeded in similar fields. Seek motivation through reading and being around those who have a positive mindset. Doing this will help in no small measure in helping you to see the possibilities of what you can achieve in life.
2. The Employee/Employer or Master/Servant Orientation of the Society
Some years ago, I worked in the construction industry. During this time, I watched with dismay as many who pulled out to start their own businesses returned a few years later looking for employment because their businesses have flopped. At the time I really did not understand what was wrong but after years of researching this issue I have come to understand that the biggest culprit is, trying to run a business with an employee’s mentality!
It is clear that our formal educational system prepares us not to be our own bosses but to be job seekers. And so when we leave school our first impulse is to go looking for a job. Of course, once we have been in employment for a few years, this belief is entrenched strongly in our subconscious mind.
Now, because working for someone else and running a business are a world apart, pulling out to start your own business is a herculean task for many. And so, you simply need to shed the employee or servant mindset and take up the employer or master mindset if you must succeed with your own business. This is really the ’round-peg mindset’ that will bring you success.
3. Follow-The-Boss Mentality
This actually flows from 2 above. You see, running your own business demands taking risks and making decisions. But this is not the same when you are working for another person. As an employee, the boss takes these responsibilities. Transiting from an employee to your own boss therefore, you just need to dump this mentality. You must be prepared to take risks and develop quick decision making abilities. Without this mentality succeeding as a blogpreneur will simply be like driving an automobile on flat tires – an impossibility!
4. Hating the Idea of Selling
This is the biggest area where many blogpreneurs are failing. It is true that as humans we hate to be sold but the entrepreneur knows that you cannot make a profit without selling. These are indeed two different worlds! To succeed as a blogpreneur therefore, you definitely need to know how to bridge these two worlds or you will find it difficult to pull in any returns from your blog.
In their response to the post, “Is Blog Monetization Really a Turn-Off for Blog Readers?” many clearly stated they hate ads on blogs and will not feature ads on their blogs. Now, except you have a product or service that you are promoting on your blog (and of course, you will not need to add any graphic of that product on the blog if you hate to see ads on blogs!) your blogging enthusiasm will soon wane when you are not seeing any returns from your labors.
But as a blogpreneur instead of the mindset that hates selling you will need to learn how to sell without appearing to really sell. For example here is a conversation I had with Gareth Morgan in the comment section of that post, please read it.
Here’s the conversation:
I’ve had my blog for about 2 years now and haven’t monetized it….so far. I am still undecided on whether it would be a good look, having adverts for different businesses on MY business blog. I don’t want it to look tacky and I don’t want it to draw attention from my site but obviously some extra cash would be great.
Thanks for your thoughts.”
Hmm, I truly understand your point. Some extra cash could be of help but you are concerned with distracting visitors with ads. So what do you intend to do? Stay off making some extra cash to please your blog visitors or find a way of doing it and not causing any distraction?
Now, this is really the point of this posts. I really want our readers to brainstorm some creative ways to overcome this dilemma. You see my point? So, let’s know what you can do to overcome this. For me I’m working on something which I believe all of us can benefit. If you have an answer let’s know it, will you?”
Sure, I see your point. I guess I’m still wrestling with the idea of maintaining the integrity of my business and making some good money on the side.
What I think I’ll do is move towards promoting products that I’ve purchased and approve of and only allow ads for similar products.”
That indeed, is a wise decision. Integrity is very important that you cannot do without it online. Going for products you have used will help you give your honest assessment and of course earn more trust.
Of course what you show case as ads on your site should be that that is related to your niche, what your blog readers will be interested in.
Really good way to go!”
Marketing Take Away:
Your mindset is very important if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur blogger. Your first business is to work on yourself. The key to your success is within you, right in your mind. You will need to trim the square pegs of your mind if you must be a round peg fitted for the round holes of the world of business. If you cannot fit into the entrepreneur mold you simply cannot succeed as an entrepreneur blogger!
It’s Now Your Turn: Yes, I love reading and replying your comments. So, let’s know what you think of this. What are your experiences trying to build a business online? Do you see any correlation of your mindset and the success you have achieved so far? Let’s have your thoughts in your comment below.
Your mindset is very important if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur blogger. I can’t agree more Chadrack, this issue of being afraid of what readers will think if you monetize your blog has eaten deep into the bone marrow of many bloggers,
However, we often forget that we actually owns that blog and has every right to do whatever we want to do with it without anyone questioning us, with that in mind, what is wrong with finding out a way we can benefits from our labour?
The key is to do it in a smart way so it will not be spammy, so that it will not appear as if we’re actually selling. I’m sure any good person will not be sad seeing that one is trying to get rewards for his labour.
Thanks for sharing this Awesome post Friend.
BTW: I’ve fixed the error you noticed on my blog.
As you pointed out, working for yourself requires a very different skill set. Shedding an old way of thinking to accommodate a new one, being your own boss, is not an easy task. It is fought with challenges, issues and set backs. However, if a person is willing and can keep the faith and the discipline to becoming self-employed, the rewards are very great indeed. It really doesn’t matter what profession you choose. The challenges are generally the same. A blogpeneur differs from many business becuase, generally, a person works in independent isolation. Many have great difficulty with that.
In the end it will always take, patience, persistence, desire and determination to achieve the success in what ever profession we choose, including a blog as a business. Just my thoughts for now. 🙂
Ethical monetization, is something lots of people grapple with but keep sitting on the fence you might actually end up giving up on your blog since it does not bring in any money. Split testing is one way of testing the reaction of your readers. Otherwise do the easy thing, ask. We all got to pay the bills at the end of the month.
I just advertise my book and my services for now. I keep growing my audience and I have from time to time promoted a book but that’s it. For the moment there is no need for more but never say never!
Yeah a negative attitude will be a major stumbling block to success, in business or in any other walk of life. You must believe, without belief you have no chance.
This post will enrich the discussion: http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-relationships/
Being an entrepreneur is very easy,even though you are only a fresh graduate and took vocational courses only,the things we should bear in mind is positive thinking, you shouldn’t have any weaknesses for you to become successful in the future.
80% of Blogpreneurs fail, which means 20% Succeed.
We all know that everyone can not make it, but compared to Internet Marketing where the stats are.
99% of Internet Marketer fail, which means 1% Succeed.
Yes if you work for someone or a company you can get brainwashed into not thinking for yourself, yes, some people don’t like selling but they don’t realise that they sell them self everyday of the week in some form.
Change mindset, become a success.
Hating the idea of selling! Funny that, as all through our lives we are, essentially, selling something, even if it’s our skills to our employer. What I would hope is that what is being sold is of value.
Enjoy the journey.
sure i agree with your points , it really happens and thanks to you for pointing out these mistakes , this would be really helpful to us to correct ourself
That sounds like it was an awesome post, the idea to remember and re-assess why you started blogging is probably the best advice I`ve come across for ages…Too quickly I think we get caught up in things and distracted and forget the real reason we are doing something. I tend to have a clutter clear of my life and stop and look if I`m happy where I am going and if it’s still on the pash I originally intended to be on in the first place.
having a kind of negative attitude can lead to a problem when it comes to blogging… what ever you do should be done with a positive kind of attitude
Awesome blog and now I feel a little bit famous too! I’m glad that our conversation helped inspire you to write this. After our chat I took down a couple of widgets on my site that I felt weren’t doing anything for me and I’m now in the process of putting up banners etc for products that I truly believe in to help get some easy sales flowing!
Thanks again for including me in your article. Very cool indeed.
Personally I feel that the best and most successful ventures started out wanting to help people for free, they then stumbled into financial success, as everyone wanted a slice of the pie. The trick at this stage is not to loose sight of your roots. Okay your roots might not be in the muddy ground any more, they may be wearing a golden crown orbiting the planet, but they are still important.
That’s why I think Facebook is doing really badly at the moment. It started out as a great free service, then the ads came, but it still seemed true to its roots, however now it seems like (since its stock market launch) it has shredded them and is pursuing a 100% profit strategy. Big mistake in my opinion 🙁
I see the slow demise of Facebook on the way. Watch this space!
Thanks for sharing this. You have some great tips when considering starting a business! these are definitely some things you have to look out for
thanks for sharing this Chadrack you have been completely honest i agree more about making money majority start as a hobby and then their is an opportunity to make money which in my view i think there is nothing wrong with it.
Nothing is inevitable. And we occassionally see that one is exceedingly planned failed eventually, but another without planning can achieve more.i guess to find acomplishment in the business including many thing, such as individual, the team, chance and many other things.
it really a helpful post,i agree with all the point,defiantly it will help me alot,thanks for sharing such a helpful post
You are welcome. And thanks for stopping by.
I really love coming back to your blog reading your posts. I like the way you construct your article and the best part is you have your own uniqueness on how you describe it. Great job!!!
I want to start a blogging website. On the blogging site I want to also sell clothes and beauty products on it. Or charge a small fee for consultation.
despising the concept of selling! entertaining that, as all through our lives we are, essentially, selling something, even if it’s our skills to our employer. What I would hope is that what is being sold is of value.
The topic you choose is perfect for bloggers who actually fail and don’t know what to do. This information is very helpful and valuable to avoid failure. Nice and interesting post.
Have a Great Day !
it’s really a sad thing to see many labor year to year on the blogs and at the end throw in the trowel because they couldn’t make things work. I truly believe if they work on their mindset from the beginning things could be better. Thanks for the comment.
Yes i agree with your points and it’s really very helpful for everyone even thanks 🙂