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How to Kill Your Blog Successfully – Factors to Consider

Yesterday I started talking about how to end blogs well and today I want to run through a number of factors to consider when asking whether you should end a blog or continue with it. Hopefully in pondering some of these questions bloggers will be able to make a a good decision.

Keep in mind that not all of the questions will relate to every blog. In actual fact each blogger needs to take a look at whatever goals they have for their individual blog and to see if they are on the way to meeting them before making this type of decision.

Here are a few factors I generally consider before pulling the plug on a blog (stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on how I suggest you actually kill one).

Blogger Time and Energy Levels

do you have the energy or time to maintain your blog?

Blogs don’t just happen and good ones take significant levels of time and energy – without them you might just be kidding yourself that you can keep things running for the long term.

Topic Passion

does the topic of the blog interest you?

A blog not only takes energy to run but it actually can give energy to a blogger if it’s on a topic that they are passionate about. As i look at my most successful blogs that have sustained themselves over time that they are all ones with topics I am interested in – others that I’ve had less passion about have tended to die pretty natural deaths.

Is the Niche Alive?

is the topic one that others are interested in?

While a topic may interest and energise you it won’t ever grow it’s readership if it’s not on a topic that interests and energises others? Of course there are more reasons to blog than just being popular but if you’re blogging at least in part because you want to be read by others a topic that people actively seek information on will be one that you’ll want to identify. Another question to ask around the topic of ‘niche’ is whether your blog’s topic is too wide or narrow? Sometimes a blog is unsustainable because you can’t possibly keep up with the width of the niche, other times it’s because there just isn’t enough to write about because it’s too narrow.

Traffic Levels?

are people reading your blog?

Traffic isn’t everything, but in most cases it will be a factor to consider when deciding on whether to let your blog die. Particularly consider traffic levels in connection to the length of time you’ve been blogging (see below). Also don’t just consider absolute numbers of visitors but the trend in your traffic – is it on the rise, has it hit a plateau, is it on the decline?

Income Levels?

is writing the blog worth the time you put into it financially?

This won’t apply to all blogs of course but if one of your goals is to make money from your blog you’ll want to judge your blog on the actual income it earns. Once again you’ll need to factor in the length of time you’ve been blogging into this as building an income takes significant time and it’s often not until you’ve been at it a while that things come good. Another related question to ask is ‘what opportunities is your blog opening up for you?’ Direct financial income from a blog is just one way of benefiting from it – other indirect income and opportunities can make it well worth a blogger’s while.

Have I given it enough time?

how long have you been blogging? Is it long enough to test how it’s going?

In my conversations with many successful bloggers over the past few years I’ve noticed that a common feature of their approaches has been to take a long term approach. Few blogs hit large levels of traffic (or income) quickly – most take at least 12 months to hit their straps.

Blog Reader Interaction Levels

how are readers interacting with your blog?

Traffic numbers are not everything – in fact sometimes a blog with a small readership but an actively engaging community can be a very powerful thing. Are people leaving comments, do people link to your blog, is the vibe a positive and life giving one or a negative energy draining one?

What other Factors would/do you consider when ending a blog?

Tomorrow I’ll continue this mini series with a post talking through a few options of how to end a blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Don M says:

    I have one site that I let die that has a couple thousand blog entries. The site is online but I rarely update it with new content.

    However, I look at each of these blog entries as “doorways” into the search engines. The niche is broad enough that I can just let it sit there and pull users. I don’t believe I am tricking people either. It is information they need. In exchange I promote some of my newer specialized blogs on key entries.

    There are also a handful of entries that provide some modest affiliate revenue.

    It definitely provides me more value than the few dollars it costs me to host it every year.

    I’m looking for ways to leverage the content further, but we’ll see what happens.

    -dm

  2. Personally, I’m giving my blog 12 months to produce a certain level of income. If it doesn’t it hit, I’ll have to re-evaluate the situation.

    However, I will say that even if it ends up dieing after 12 months, the whole process I went through should allow me to make starting other such sites much easier.

  3. ming2.0 says:

    I didn’t kill my blog, i just changed the title(twice) and i’m carrying on..
    While I thought it was time for change, I felt the archieves are worth keeping around.

  4. ming2.0 says:

    oh, the blog i’m talking about is :

    called 2.0 now
    formerly:facts are dead
    formerly: what they don’t teach you in art school

    it resides behind: http://artmaker.blogspot.com

  5. Michael says:

    Interesting article Darren.

    I`ve asked myself some of these questions even before I started my blog over a certain niche.

    Lists like this one will be helpful to realize, if the whole blog goes unintentional ways.

  6. Glad to hear people throwing out 12 months as a cut off point. My oldest blog is about 7 months old and it’s reassuring that it could take as long as 12 months for it to start showing it’s true promise.

    I have a huge backlog of web projects I want to do (some blogs, some other) and I sometimes look at my 30 cents I make from my main blog and wonder whether or not I should dump it. I’m now more confident in waiting at least 12 months before thinking of killing it off, so hopefully the next 5 months will start showing a significant upswing :)

  7. Great Post keep ‘em comming. I think a lot of people may have started too many blogs and need to know if it’s worth continuing. I like that you really stress the amount of time it takes for a blog to hit its stride..

  8. Clark says:

    I’m in the process of stopping development of my weblog Pop Wuping (http://www.popwuping.com). It’s tough to take a pragmatic approach to something you worked on for over a year but this site unlike so many others I have started was never meant to be a hobby. I had some general goals with regards to reach and income, neither of which were met. There is traffic and I have made some contacts but I have a feeling my time is best spent elsewhere.

  9. Gdog says:

    My blog is on teaching English in Korea. My one year is up soon…do I end the blog or keep it going? I’ve established a loyal readership! Help!