THE BLOG
09/18/2015 01:02 pm ET Updated Sep 18, 2016

Why You Should Quit Blogging

'If you build it, they will come.' Hey, it worked for Kevin Costner in a Field Of Dreams, so it can work with your blogging. Right? Wrong. It won't work. Here's why you need to stop blogging.

1 - You're too broad

Chances are your target market is too general. Consider this, there are millions of blogs published every day. Millions. For example, most business-to-business companies want to market to small-medium sized businesses (SMBs). If so many organizations already target SMBs, some that have blogged for years, what is the chance yours gets recognized?

Don't get me wrong it's certainly possible, we did put a man on the moon in the 60s after all (depending on what you believe), but it will take serious effort which you probably won't invest in. If you're writing a blog that anyone can read... then nobody is going to read it. True, anyone may find your post marginally useful (the 'why drugs are bad' post), but no one will find it exceptionally useful (the 'how I kicked my drug addiction' post).

Focus

Try blogging to specific types of SMBs in a certain geography instead of any SMB anywhere. What kind of reader are you looking for? Do you want mom-and-pop restaurateurs to read or pawn shop owners? Generally speaking, find 2 or 3 ways to target down your blog to a manageable market. Think 'Jewish foodies in Memphis' instead of just 'foodies.' If you can't do that then freeze and drop the keyboard. Get off the computer and go to happy hour. You'll have more fun, better company and a better chance of winning business than with your useless general blog post.

2 - You're too anonymous

Look, we'd all love to have millions of website visitors tomorrow, but that's probably not happening. Let's suppose you're way ahead of the blogging curve and your blog speaks to an appropriate market with interesting and useful stuff. That's great....it is! But I'm going to let you in on a secret. The Internet community, including your target market, haven't been praying to God, Jesus, Seinfeld or any other higher power hoping for you to discover Wordpress and start blogging. I know that's hard to believe....especially if you're a millennial. People have no idea your blog exists. How would they? Your brother (aka the college drop-out turned digital marketing guru) told you to "share on social media!' Hey that's a great idea and I'm sure him and your other two followers will love it.

'Sell' the article you have instead of writing another one

Channel your inner social seller and pitch your article to famous bloggers in your industry that you know already have traffic. Or, in a forum, Facebook group or other online community that your target market already hangs out at. That way, your voice gets heard by a relevant group of people and you get the exposure you covet. Things like guest blogging and pitching yourself as a source for online/offline articles are great ways to get your name out there. Instead of writing two blog posts, write one and use the time you set aside to write a second one to promote the first one. Be honest, would you be reading this article if it wasn't on the media outlet that you're reading it on? It's ok, I'm not offended...ok yes I am.

3 - You have no strategy

Your blog is a little scatterbrained. You've got posts about religion mixed in with a post about your favorite Nirvana songs. Who exactly are we trying to reach here? Buddhists that smell like Teen Spirit? Dude. No.

Rewind

Work backwards before you write again. Come up with 4 or 5 target recipients and figure out what their problems are. Then, figure out what you want these recipients to take away from your piece and what you want their next move to be (download something, sign up for something, visit you in person, use a coupon, ask for your autograph, etc;). Once you figure all that out you can come out of your blog retirement and write the piece. This way, you can send the pieces directly to those target recipients when you finish and use the post to build a rapport with them. Those 4 or 5 meaningful readers are going to be worth more than a thousand random readers (at this point anyway). You don't get in a car and drive without popping directions into your GPS first. The same rule applies for your blogging. If your blog has resembled a Sunday stroll more than a workday commute it's time to park the car and save on gas.

4 - You have no money

If you're broke you've got bigger problems that blogging can't immediately help you with. Like getting customers. If you need a customer by the end of the day what's your approach to getting one? Blogging all day or knocking on doors (in various ways) to people you know could use your help? Digital and online-marketing tactics work, but they are long-term plays. There is a reason why most online/software company in the world still has a sales team that calls people.

Money gets you out of the pack

Money helps you separate yourself from the ocean of bloggers by buying meaningful traffic and exposure. Say you're an accountant for doctor's offices in Chicago. There must be a club, association or organization that represents Chicago doctors (like the Chicago Medical Society). It would make sense for you, as someone who sells services to doctors in Chicago, to pay the medical society to have your blog post published in one of their publications. Run the blog as an article in one of their email releases and include a link to your ebook that is aimed at helping Chicago-area doctors with their accounting. You can do the same thing if you are looking to expand your offering to other cities as well. Yes, it will cost you, but if your blog is as good as you think it is then it should be well worth your while. If you can't promote your pieces somehow then your blog is going to go in the pile of the other million that were published today. You're better off spending the day hand-delivering printed copies of your blog post to every doctor in Chicago than writing another post.

5 - You're not using best practices

Let's be clear. Blogging is a marketing tactic. You write online because you want someone to read it. It's cool...don't lie about it and say you don't care if anyone reads it. If you didn't want anyone to read it you'd keep it on your hard drive. You also probably want people to subscribe to your blog, share it with their friends or maybe even monetize it somehow. Unfortunately, you're making it very hard for readers to do that. You don't have any invitations for them to get in touch with you. You're not 'selling' them hard enough to give you their email address or another moment's thought after they click off your blog and head back to watching 80s movie trailers on YouTube.

Consider Marketing Automation

Marketing automation software (think HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft, Cision or the countless others available) can come in handy when trying to monetize a blog. At minimum, you'll be able to see which posts get the most traffic. More importantly, you can blog using these tools to get a better idea of where your audience is coming from, classify them into various segments and send your audience relevant information that speaks directly to them over time. Say you're a consultant who helps struggling movie theaters. Maybe some of your pieces are geared to people interested in getting into the movie theater business and other pieces are geared at things like how to sell more popcorn. The bottom line is you can determine which subscribers get what pieces sent directly to them based on what you know about them. However, if you know nothing about any of your subscribers then you really need to stop blogging right now and add in some form of analytics and marketing automation software. Can't afford marketing automation software? This ebook outlines how you can handle a lot of what marketing automation does for free.

There's a good chance you're blogging is destined to fail. So quit blogging immediately and try following some of the steps above when you come out of your self-imposed retirement. You need to wake up if you think writing generic posts with no strategy or best practices in place will get you on anyone's radar.

And you're field of dreams needs a lawnmower.