Why Most Bloggers Fail…And Why You Wont!

Hey everyone, if you’ve been following along in recent weeks, you’ve heard the mention of a new up and coming blogger. Well, not a blogger yet, but she’s getting it going. On Monday, Katie A will officially become a blogger with her debut post right here on CNA. I’m very excited to say the least.

Throughout the last couple of weeks, Katie and I have been sending emails here and there to discuss a topic, talk about an article, figure out how to get a menu to work properly, you name it! Well, here we are, a few days away from launch date and I figured I’d write something up that would help her get started with regard to driving traffic to her site. Then I thought…


I’m sure there are other up and coming bloggers that would appreciate tips on how to build high quality traffic just as much as Katie would. So, instead of typing up an email, here’s an article!

Why Most Bloggers Fail

When most people get into blogging, they are under the false misconception that if you build it they will come. The days of writing about something on a blog and automatically showing up on the first page of Google for a keyword related to that keyword are gone.

With that being said, most bloggers get into blogging under the false misconception that all they will need to do is write a post or two a week, and a side hustle income will start rolling in. The harsh reality is that making anything blogging takes some time!

Another major issue is that once you realize that earning any kind of income blogging takes work, most people won’t have the slightest idea as to where to start. So, off to research it is! Once you research ways to get traffic to your blog, you’re going to read about tons of strategies. Then you’ll read posts telling you why all the strategies you just read about are wrong and why you have to revamp your strategy to be successful. Over time, trying to market your blog kind of feels like running in a circle like a dog trying to catch it’s tail. At some point, most bloggers simply get frustrated and give up!

Why You Won’t Fail

The main reason YOU WILL NOT FAIL is this… Deep down inside, you don’t want to be a blogger, you want to be an authority in a niche that you love! Bloggers fail because bloggers blog. Bloggers don’t build communities around their ideas, bloggers don’t reach out to other industry leaders for collaboration opportunities, bloggers are rarely part of communities.

If you’re a blogger, don’t take offense to this, but here’s the truth…There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of personal finance blogs out there. However, there are less than a hundred personal finance bloggers that I would call community leaders, industry leaders, authorities!

These are people like John at Frugal Rules, DC at Young Adult Money, Kim at Eyes on the Dollar, Grayson at Debt Roundup, Jeremy at Modest Money, Laurie at The Frugal Farmer and more. The community authorities are the people that you recognize when you hear their names or the names of their blogs. Why? Because they have done everything in their power to not only give the communities around them something great to read, but to give them advice on day to day life, to lend a helping hand to up and coming bloggers, to make the members of the communities they’ve created truly know they care about them!

So Where Do You Start?

So, you’ve come to the conclusion that you want to be an authority in your niche, but you’re still not sure how to do that. Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan for you! There’s only one problem, the plan is way to big to fit into one or even ten posts. So, from now on, every other Friday I’ll be posting tips about how to become an authority in your online community. So, let’s get to today’s lesson…

Leaving Comments To Introduce Yourself To And Maintain Relationships With Your Online Community

If you want to become an authority in any industry, the community surrounding that industry is going to need to know not only that you exist, but that you’re making a constant effort to be part of that community. Comments are a great way to do that. As a matter of fact, comments do a few things for you…

  • Create and Nurture Online Relationships – As I mentioned above, commenting on other blogs is a great way to get to know the community around you, and for the community around you to get to know you!
  • There Are SEO Benefits – Every time you leave a comment, you create a link that points to this website. Although those links aren’t in the content and are often times nofollow, over time the build up of links will do great things for you. We’ll talk more about nofollow, dofollow, contextual, non-contextual and other types of links and what they do for you later in the series. For now, it’s just good to know that most links are good. Just don’t hire anyone to build them for you and don’t use robots! Only create links in ways that feel natural and you should do just fine….there I go, off on a tangent about links… back to the main topic!
  • Traffic – Tons of bloggers look into comments on authority sites to find other bloggers to follow. I get several referral hits every day from comments I leave around the blogosphere. Because most of these hits are bloggers, most of them have the Alexa toolbar installed. So, in the end, your Alexa rank may get a little boost as well.
  • Most Bloggers Reciprocate – As you get more and more into running your blog, when you get comments, you’re going to start to feel like these people commenting are doing you a favor. You’ll learn that Google likes when content is added to pages, so the more comments you have, the more content your page has and the better it performs in search engines! So, by commenting, you’re doing other bloggers a huge favor. Most of the time, they’ll return the favor by commenting on your blog!

Steps To Creating A Successful Blog Commenting Campaign

Step #1: Find Authorities In Your Niche – Authorities in any niche get a ton of comments. You should be leaving one on every article as well! There are also benefits to knowing who the authorities in your niche are when it comes to running a successful blog commenting campaign. One of the biggest is the fact that chances are, there are tons of other influential bloggers commenting in the same place. So, you’ll never fall short of articles to read and comment on.

Step #2: Plan To Comment Daily – Once you get into comments, you’re making a commitment to the bloggers that you will be talking to on a regular basis. You’re saying, “Hey, I like your work and I’m going to occasionally swing by and show you that.” If you leave a comment, and drop off of the face of the earth for a month and a half, your comment isn’t going to be as valuable in the eyes of the blogger if you are constantly an active part of their community. The good news is that if you’re like me, you like to read daily. If you like to read daily, commenting doesn’t add much to your daily activities!

Step #3: Try To Find At Least One New Blog A Day – From a link perspective, it’s a good idea to find at least one or two new blogs a day to comment on. Think of your link building process like a spider building a spider web. The more strands the spider spins from different points, the more flies that spider will catch. It’s time to build up your little corner of the web. A great way to do that is make it a mission to find a new blog to leave a comment on every day!

Step #4: Start Commenting – Now you know how to get started, it’s time to start actually commenting. While you’re commenting, here are a few things to keep in mind…

  • Be Sincere – If you’re not going to read the article, DON’T BOTHER COMMENTING! It’s frustrating for a writer to put his or her heart and soul into providing honest advice and read a comment from someone that is completely unrelated to what you’re talking about. So, always remember to read the articles and leave honest, valuable comments!
  • Switch Your Name Up – I hate this because I really like the idea of branding one name. However, Google has gotten more and more strict over the years with regard to anchor text in your links. If all of your anchor text is the same, it may raise a red flag causing your blog to be penalized. Because your name becomes the anchor text in your link, using the same name on all of your comments can get you in trouble. Now, I’m not saying not to use your legal name, I’m just saying it’s best to use variations of it. For instance, I use Josh, Joshua, Josh R, Joshua R, Josh Rodriguez, Joshua Rodriguez, Josh @ CNAFinance, Josh R @ CNAFinance.com, Joshua @ CNA Finance, and several other variations. I’m not lying about my name, I’m just making sure to brand each variation instead of getting penalized by search engines.
  • Take Time To Share – Social Networking is going to be another major topic we talk about down the road in these posts. However, it’s always a good idea to spread the word if you loved an article. Most bloggers have buttons on their websites that make sharing easy, simply share the posts you like while you’re there and you’ll be surprised at how many people start sharing your posts as well!

Step #5: Keep Commenting – Commenting is a never ending job. So, when you think your list is getting old and it’s time to revamp, go ahead and revamp, but never stop!

Final Thoughts

Well, that’s all for the beginner to blogging lesson for the day. If you’d like more tips, swing back by in two weeks for the next edition! Comments have done tons for my blog and I hope they do the same for you!

Reader Question

Are you an authority in your niche? If so, did commenting on other blogs help you reach that status? If you’re not an authority, did you know little things like commenting could make such a huge difference?

Great Reads From Around The Blogosphere

What if your family is the Joneses? – In this post Shannon, an awesome blogger by the way, discusses how it feels when you feel like your family is the Joneses, but you live a frugal, financially responsible lifestyle.

Obsessed: 4 Reasons I Love Credit Card Rewards – This is an awesome post by Holly that explains why she loves credit card rewards so much. If you read this, I’d be willing to bet you’ll fall in love with credit card rewards too!

58 thoughts on “Why Most Bloggers Fail…And Why You Wont!”

  1. Great tips Joshua! I think most bloggers burn out before they make enough money to keep them motivated to keep going. And let’s be honest – quitting blogging isn’t a bad thing. Some people it may be the best decision they made because they were never going to “make it” as a blogger and it was an unsustainable side hustle for them.

    But you raised a very important point. Successful bloggers do not throw up content and then automatically have viewers. Commenting is probably the #1 thing you can do for your blog, and I’d be surprised to see successful bloggers out there who have never commented on other blogs.

    • Hey DC, I’d have to agree with you there. Blogging isn’t necessarily for everyone.I know how much commenting has done for my blog, I’d say it’s the second most important thing I do. I’d say the most important thing I do is try to make sure the content is quality…the commenting gets people to read and link to it!

  2. Great article and great blog!- can’t wait for more in the series. I hadn’t heard the tip about mixing up your names while posting so I’ll be Julie R today. Happy Memorial Day!! Long weekend ahead for those of us who are still stuck in the 9-5 grind.

    • Hey Julie R, you’d be amazed at the ranking improvement you’ll see once you start getting various anchors in your links. I hope it works out for ya and I’ll see ya around!

  3. Hi Josh, Joshua, Josh R.

    I loved this article. I am a relatively new blogger and the tools you have highlighted are great. I have attempted many of them in the midst of managing all of my entrepreneurial ventures. This gives me incentive and the knowledge to build upon.

    Count me in as a regular visitor.

    Paula Cashflow

    • I’m counting on you Paula, I hope to see ya around. I’m glad this tool helps, wait until we get further in the series. There are a few “trade secrets” that I intend on sharing!

  4. This is an awesome post Josh and can’t wait to welcome Katie to the community!!! I completely agree with you on the pf community leaders. I love and follow all of them. Blogging has definitely taken more time and energy than I ever thought that it would, but as I retweeted this week “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.” The harder I work at something, the greater the reward whenever it comes in. Thanks for the shout out on my Jones post! Have a great weekend!

    • Hey Shannon, she’s definitely going to be a great addition. I’ve been working with her for a couple weeks now and she’s definitely got the drive, determination and skill to be a driving force in our community.

      I always thought blogging would be easy…that is, until I actually started. Although it’s hard work, I don’t think I could ever work another job!

      Also, you’re welcome on the shout out, the post rocked!

      • Thank you both for the kind words – as a soon-to-be blogger, this is very encouraging for me. I truly appreciate the support so far – and I haven’t even started blogging yet! I can tell that the community you’ve built is genuine and cares about the success of others.

        • Katie, as you move forward into blogging, you’ll see how supportive everyone really is. Welcome to the community!

  5. This is so good! I like how you outlined very specific steps – thank you! I must admit, I’ve been more of a lurker on a lot of the blogs I read – including on CNA Finance. But Joshua, you explained to me how important comments can be because they demonstrate your interest in the material and show support for the blogger. And now, I’ve learned that commenting can benefit my soon-to-launch blog as well! So I will definitely continue practicing commenting from now on 🙂

    Also, I’m SUPER excited to have my very first article guest-posted here on Monday! Joshua, you’ve been SO helpful in the past couple of weeks and I’m very thankful for everything you’ve helped me with. You’re AWESOME!

    • Katie, I’m glad this is a big help to you. I’ve helped other up and coming bloggers, but have never seen a newbie display such determination not only to make it, but to provide something useful to the online community.

      Helping you has been my pleasure and your post is awesome!!! I’m sure the readers here will absolutely love it. By the way, I sent you my phone number, if you don’t mind, give me a call so we can chat about themes, where to find them, how to fit them in, etc…maybe we can get a nice theme up before the launch!

      • I can tell other newbies are also gaining lots of value able insights from you in this very first post of the series – you’ve certainly been a big help to me and I look forward to learning more from you! I’ve just emailed you, hope to chat soon.

        • He Katie, I look forward to chatting next week and getting you set up on a great theme. Thanks for becoming part of the community, see ya soon!

  6. This is great Joshua. Thanks for all the tips. Being new to blogging I’ve been doing some of the steps you’ve listed and by doing so I’ve discovered other great blogs out there.

    I have a growing list of amazing blogs that I visit on a daily basis and if I like what I read, I make sure to say something about it.

    Again, thank you for this. It’s super helpful.

    • My pleasure Aldo. It’s amazing how commenting can help a blog shine! Keep up the great work over there at Million Dollar Ninja…You’ll be an authority soon enough!

  7. This is great, Josh! I think so many new bloggers fail to recognize the importance of community building and reaching out to others, whether through comments, twitter, etc. You have to work on building those relationships, and not just because you want people to read, but because you actually do care and are interested.

    • Hey Lauren, thank you so much! It’s true, reaching out to your community is important. We’ll be talking about twitter, guest posting, outreach and more later in the series. Thanks for swinging by!

  8. Very helpful, thank you!
    While I am not monetizing my blog currently, I do write about issues that I care about and want as my people to see as possible, so I’ve been looking for ways to increase my audience. Unfortunately my niche is not one that boasts a large online community of fellow bloggers, but driving it up in the search engines by commenting could be very useful.

    • Hey Midnight Ride, you’d be surprised at how many bloggers would take interest in your niche. Try to find communities somewhat related to what you do and start there. Thanks for swinging by!

  9. Thanks for sharing this and I completely agree. When I started blogging back in April 2013 I didn’t know how to become part of the community. Commenting became a big piece of it but I have to admit I was a lurker too. I read more than commented. In fact, there are studies that show 80% read, 10% interact and 10% create in all social media.

    There is still so much to learn with commenting. I wish I can do more but I do as much as I can.

    • Hey Jason, thanks for swinging by. Commenting has definitely done a lot for me, but it’s just a piece of the strategy. The main purpose behind it is community building and you’ve done a great job of that over at Phroogal! Thanks again for swinging by!

  10. I didn’t know it’s a good idea to change up your names! I’ve noticed your variations, JRod. 🙂

    This whole blogging stuff is a blast! Thanks for sharing some of your knowledge. I’m tuned in for more!

    P.S. Before I commented I made it a point to find 2 new blogs!

    • Hey Will, thanks, I’m glad my tips help. I love what you’re doing over there at FQF, keep up the great work. I really have a blast doing this too, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I hope to see you around in the series, hopefully I can help more and more with every post!

  11. This is an excellent post. I’ve been blogging since 2009, but I’m just getting to the point where I’m doing the things you mention here. I was trying to compete in a completely different niche that wasn’t a good fit until I stumbled into the world of personal finance by accident (actually, thanks to a blogger who commented on a post of mine!). I feel like I belong. Hopefully everyone else does, too 🙂

    I would add: Once you start blogging, respond to comments on your own blog! I know that’s not feasible for the super popular bloggers who get tons of comments, but as a reader, the blogs I visit consistently and comment on are the ones where there’s some back-and-forth in the comments. I didn’t start out that way on my own blog…I stupidly thought that being too “important” or “busy” to respond to people was part of my blogger mystique. Once in a while I would deign to reply, but it was rare. Commenting on other blogs helped me understand how nice it is when there’s a conversation happening instead of crickets. Readers need to know they matter.

    • Jennifer, thanks for bringing up the great point. It’s so important to respond to comments for several reasons. I should probably add that in a future post!

      It’s awesome that a comment on your blog brought you to the PF community. I’ve found that the people this community is built up of are some of the most welcoming, and helpful people around. Glad to see you’re part of the community…Ooooh and you’re new here so I have a new blog to check out!

  12. So true, Josh! I try my best to create great content and be active in this great community. I don’t worry so much about SEO, but I will start changing up my name here and there. That’s a good point. Google is cracking down and penalizing a lot of people. Thanks for sharing this with everyone, brother!

    • Hey Kalen, I’ve been here and there at the Money Mini blog and it seems like things are off to a great start. It’s important to not worry about SEO because trying to fool the search engine just gets you in trouble. You’re on the right path bro, keep it up!

  13. Comments are a great way to build some new readership, but the effectiveness really depends on your niche. For some niches it’s so narrow that there isn’t a lot of other bloggers in the space to make it worthwhile.

    • Hey William, I’m going to have to agree and disagree at the same time. Comments can build a community in any niche, just in some niches, it takes some thinking outside the box. If there aren’t a lot of bloggers in your particular niche, broaden your horizons and find related topics, products, services, etc… that people are writing about. Doing so in a not so competitive blogging niche could really give you a stronghold on the entire niche! However, it does take a lot more work.

  14. Great tips here! Commenting was by far the biggest step I took in getting people to read my blog. Many people reciprocate if you leave a comment on their blog, and as you said, others reading through the comments might decide to click on your link because it sounds interesting. It’s a great way to gain exposure.

  15. As a newbie, I’m always learning and I like to share info as well because it becomes reciprocal. I certainly learned something here about the name. Thanks Josh! In fact, I have an upcoming post with some tips and tricks and I’m going to include a link to this post because it is relevant to one of my points. The PF blogging community is very helpful so it really does make you want to give back. Oh and see what a fast learner I am! Check out the name! Ha ha!

    • Hey Debster, yes, I definitely noticed the name. You’ve branded Debt Debs, now it’s time to twist it up! Thanks for the kind words and I’m looking for your post of tips and tricks. Also, I really appreciate the link love! It’s amazing how friendly bloggers are, how much of a community can be built from one person leaving the first comment and watching reciprocation take place. Thanks for swinging by!

  16. Great Post Joshua and good to see you writing frequently again! Building community is such a critical aspect (something I still haven’t gotten around strategizing). I beleive more than commenting for the sake of it, its about the passion to really learn things in the niche which can automatically be a driver for commenting/engaging

    • Hey Ankit, I couldn’t agree more, and thanks for showing your face around here! Sorry I had to take the break, I’ve got chronic back issues that made it impossible to sit at the computer for any extended period of time for a while. Things are definitely getting better though! Thanks again for swinging by!

  17. Good day Joshua,
    Thank you for such a wonderful article. I find it to be quite insightful, as I am currently using your tips. Building a community is like building any relationship, you get in what you put out. I too truly enjoy, reading other’s blog/article, it’s like learning from another people’s perceptive. I find commenting to be very important, it lets the author know that you read and have an opinion of his/her piece.
    Thanks again. I look forward to more of your insight.

    • Hey Lozelle, thanks for swinging by. I’m so happy I wrote this one, it brought so many new faces around here! I’m loving it!

    • Victoria, that’s awesome that you found me on John’s new blog! Thanks for commenting, I’ll see you around.

    • Hey Natalie, you have an awesome blog over there and it looks like you’re doing a great job of building community. If you ever get the chance to comment more…do it! It will definitely help!

  18. Very thoughtful post Josh! Thanks for the kind words as well, I appreciate it! That said, I think commenting is huge in terms of getting your name out there as a blogger. When I first started I spent hours each day commenting and it was a good way to get my name out there. I don’t get the chance to comment as much today due to our business, though I do miss it. I love that you pointed out going to new sites regularly. That’s the challenge I run into myself and just have to make myself do it.

    • Hey John, you’ve been an inspiration for a while to me now, you’ve really done some amazing things! I’m honored that in your busy day you took the time to swing by. Thanks!

  19. Hey Joshua! Nice post! As Shannon said, we can’t wait either to see Katie on the blogosphere and her debut. I wish her the best!

    I agree with all of the things said in the article. A blog takes time to be built and it doesn’t drive traffic instantly. It requires patience and to write about something that actually likes you, instead of something that might seem good for SEO and to earn money. If you earn money while blogging that’s terrific and wonderful!

    Nice tips about the comments and building a community and audience with them. Actually it goes beyond just exchanging comments or visits to a blog. It’s about creating and developing relationships. That’s what a real social network is.

    Thank you as well for following us on twitter. This is the first time I see your blog and I liked it! We’ll wait to see more tips about blogging sooner, within a week and a half maybe? Or when this are posted on the site!


  20. Hi Joshua,

    Thank you for writing such an insightful and helpful article. As a blogger, it is rare for me to find resources and tips to help grow my blog that don’t talk about SEO or paid campaigns! Your tips were really useful, and are quite simple to follow as long as a serious blogger keeps at it. I look forward to reading your other posts!

    – AJ

  21. I (respectfully) disagree.

    I think commenting is great for beginning bloggers but at some point your time is MUCH better spent doing other things.

    Nobody is going to get a ton of traffic from purely commenting. Yes, most bloggers are reciprocal but for some reason that kind of bothers me.

    I would comment a TON when I first started out but then I got to the point where I wanted people reading my stuff because they like it. Not because I left a comment on their blog.

    Since I’ve stopped commenting liking crazy I feel like my blog community has gotten way stronger. The same people comment on most of my posts and email me all the time – and many of them aren’t other bloggers. And when this happens I feel like I’ve found the people my blog are meant for. Not to mention my traffic has almost tripled since I’ve put my time in doing things other commenting several hours a day.

    That’s not to say I don’t comment on other blogs. I just don’t comment for the sake of leaving a comment. I’m not a fan of that approach anymore. It feels a bit sleazy to me.

    • I can certainly understand the way you feel. I started my Beyond the Debt Cycle blog (http://www.breakdebtin3steps.com/wordpress1) nearly a year ago and I’ve found that commenting alone on other blogs doesn’t necessary draw new traffic to your blog. It helps, but your social media outreach has to be broader yet more focused to reach your target audience. I still struggle with that, and I even stopped blogging briefly for two months because my response rate was (and still is) so low. I was simply at a lose as to what to do to attract readers. It wasn’t long before I realized I missed it…writing, being part of something I enjoyed doing. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything relevant to say. I just needed to find ways to make my brand more relevant. So, I’m back blogging with the understanding that it’s going to take time to wiggle my way into the personal finance niche market and become “relevant” to readers. I Tweet more often and I’m trying some new avenues to reach my target audience.

      I’ve automated more of my Tweets and I try to get more involved in online conversations (both of which are hard to do when you also have a day-job). It’s important enough to me to just keep plugging away at it, to find other ways to broaden my social media outreach in order to draw more eyes to my brand and commenting on similar blogs is part of the process. I don’t discount it. That’s why I’ve added my two-cents worth here today.

      As long as you have something relevant to share, readers who are interested will check you out. So, for those who are interested in taking your first steps towards breaking the cycle of debt, check-out my “Beyond the Debt Cycle” blog at http://www.breakdebtin3steps.com/wordpress1 and then move beyond your present-day circumstances.

      Also, to Katie A and anyone else with a desire to dip their toe into the blogging waters, do it first and foremost because you love writing and you firmly believe you have something relevant to say, and then find ways to remain relevant. It’ll take time but eventually the audience will follow.

  22. As a new blogger this article really helped me understand the importance of commenting. I have been doing it because I enjoy it but didn’t realize that there was much more to it. I can’t wait to read the rest of your series. Thank you so much for writing this all out.

  23. Hey Josh,

    Thanks for the great post! I am thinking about starting a blog myself and will take all the advice I can get right now. I comment a fair amount on my favorite blogs but could definitely do more and expand the number of blogs I follow. Looking forward to your future posts on this topic!

  24. Hi Josh,
    Great post! I’m moving on to part two now. I am curious about Google adsense. I’ve read elsewhere that the ads are somewhat tailored to your readers. But I’ve noticed that each site I visit (I assume these sites are using Adsense or something similar) The ads are always for companies I would never click on. Not because they don’t interest me but because they are usually banks I currently use or other services I currently use and the ads are offering nothing new to me. Any insight you have on this would be much appreciated.

    • Hey Harold, Adsense is definitely a good way to monetize. The reason the ads you’re seeing are familiar to the services you use is because Google uses your search history when deciding what ads to place. In most cases, this actually increases click volume!

  25. Your post enlighted me a lot.
    Now I know what am I missing out – comment (it does leave a foot print)

    I enjoy reading your post. =)


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