I must admit that the idea of being a professional blogger has always intrigued me to no end. I am an avid fan of researching a wide variety of topics, and I love to share that information with as many people as possible. Throughout my writing journey, I have failed spectacularly on more occasions than I would care to admit. Out of well over 300 articles, I have had three that I would consider to be moderately successful.
Why do I fail so regularly? Is it because I do not follow the advice of the “experts”? Let’s break it down.
1 – I write about topics that are not widely appreciated.
Is there anything less appealing than Bible based social content these days? If I was a food blogger, a partisan “journalist,” or a true crime podcaster, I would likely have a much larger following. To make matters worse, I am not particularly specialized. I wrote a book on how the old gods worshiped by pagan mystery religions are being worshiped now as Catholic saints or New Age spirits. Do I focus on this topic when I write? Nope. In fact, I rarely even address the material in my other blogs.
I write about politics, I have a couple film reviews, I write about Marxism, social suicide, and a host of other topics. It really is not that smart, but what can I say? I have a lot of interests.
2 – I would rather be correct than popular
This might even be a bigger issue than the first. Not only do I write about a huge variety of topics (and subtopics), but I do so in highly unpopular ways. I do not cater to any one audience. Part of my sociology training involves objectivity in research. You know, because that makes it more scientific. Unfortunately, that also makes it cold, though honest. I try to present multiple sides on multiple issues, but that puts me in an awkward place because I eventually offend even my own “kind.”
I am a man on a proverbial island. I realized that very few, if any, of us agree on 100% of topics. However, not many, if any, of us are so willing to address those “forbidden” topics in such a brazen way. Again, when dealing with the wide variety of subjects that I do opens me up to a greater risk of offending those who would agree with me on the vast majority of things.
I would rather change my views based on data and be correct, than change my views based on the zeitgeist to be popular.
3 – I am not good at using SEO
If you read any blog about blogging, you will have seen something about Search Engine Optimization. It is a pretty easy concept. When you write about popular topics within the peak time window, the algorithms will pick up on your well-timed writing about a topic and give you a boost. There are some caveats though. Some SEO is not related to a particular point in pop-culture, but a broader subject matter (though not too broad, of course). SEO fails if you just use a keyword like, “crime.” However, if you have a more specific subtopic that is not too specific – like “American serial killers” vs “American serial killers from Florida in the 1980s – then you will find greater success.
What keywords do I use? #Religion #Christianity #Bible. Why? Because I am not great at SEO. I am probably never going to attract an audience, because the algorithms hardly know I exist.
My biggest accomplishments so far (remember that I mentioned a couple successes earlier) are that I am currently second on the list of searches when you Google “Double Inspiration” (and I still have less than 1,000 views – because it’s not a popular topic), my writing on The Great Reset (which currently sits at over 10,000 views – because I happened to write about it in 2020 before it blew up in 2021), and a post about Leviathan being Satan (which has around 1,600 views – probably because of video game nerds or mythology enthusiasts more than Christians wanting to learn about Job 41).
Most of my posts garner around 100 views. It’s better than 0, but how many more people might enjoy my work if I could just figure out the SEO puzzle?
To make matters worse, one of my good friends, Ira Bowman, is incredibly good at this. So good, he actually gave a Tedx talk on the subject:
And here I am, not doing any of it, except on this blog about failed blogging, hoping that it will be successful.
4 – I am not good at “selling me”
Check this out, I am pretty good in a retail sales environment. I am fairly personable, and just likeable enough to be engaging in conversation, yet forgettable enough that people do not think of me unless I am around. I am kind of like Matt Damon’s character in Ocean’s Eleven. People seem to like me and find me interesting, but only in controlled situations for short amounts of time.
That is great for social interaction, but it is quite bad for social media and business. I am a “content creator,” in that I create content. However, I am not an “influencer” because I lack influence. Part of that is because I am somewhat confident in my ability to research and present that research, but I am not great at telling you why it matters or why I should be your resource for information.
I do have a master’s degree. I do have a ton of writing, some of which is predictive. You would think folks would respect that, but guess what . . .
5 – I do not have the respect of my peers
I cannot tell me how many times my own friends and family have gotten mad at me because of my “college education,” while academics scoff at me for not having a Ph.D. I am “too educated” for the “common folk,” but far too uneducated for any elites. This leaves me in an awkward position. I have been told, while in college, that I do have some talent for my sociological work. I have quite the analytical mind. However, as I mentioned before, I do not tend to focus on the “hot topics” of the day.
I have no “peer reviewed” research at an academic level, though I have published many of my papers, including my thesis on this very blog site. I wrote two books that I self published on Amazon. I have even sold a few copies. I am, by any definition, a writer, but no one, including myself, considers myself one (how’s that for a sales pitch? See #4 again).
Yet, through all of that work, my blog is not respected or successful.
Blogs About Blogging are the Best Blogs
This goes back to content. I am always amazed at the people who become successful from writing books about success, which then gives them credibility about writing about success and they become even more successful. A similar thing comes about when dealing with blogging. There is an entire blogging industry out there about teaching people how to blog. The more successful the blogging blog is, the more bloggers like myself will see it (because of SEO, dontcha know) and refer other bloggers to the blogging blog, even when my blog is not successful.
It is a fantastic racket, and one in which I could capitalize. Yet, here I am writing about my failing blog using the tactics of successful blogging as a social experiment to see if the algorithms at Google, Yahoo, or even DuckDuckGo will scan this facade and make it an ironic success.
If you have read this, I hope it helps a little. This is one of my greatest passions and I am failing at it, but I enjoy it so I soldier on. Do you have something like that in your life? If you do, don’t get down in the dumps when it is “failing.” It might not be the failure you think it is, because it might be successful in other aspects of your life. Blogging, for me, is cathartic. It also provides a repository for things I have learned over the years. When I want sources on a topic, I can just re-read my own arguments from a time when it was fresh in my mind and find what I was looking for.
Do what brings you joy, not what makes you money. If it pays the bills, than even better!