Technorati’s State of the blogosphere report last year stated they were tracking 70 million weblogs and were seeing 120,000 new blogs being created every day.
Whichever way you look at it, that’s an awful lot of blogs. An interesting snippet was also a new word in my vocabulary, a splog. A splog is a spam blog and Technorati claim to have purged 341,000 splogs from their system. If you are interested in the full report it is here.
So with that many blogs being created, it’s a fair guess that some of them go no where and are eventually left to wither and die. I myself have created several that I have subsequently abandoned. Even if only 10% of the blogs created are left to die – and I suspect it is a higher figure than that – that means 7,000,000 dead blogs. I would think at some point, this blog graveyard will need to be disposed of, but I have no idea how that might be achieved. Although, it’s fair to say, I am not the most technically proficient blogger in the world – I don’t even know where email goes while it’s waiting to be delivered.
So, why would anyone let a blog die? Well, I can only speak for myself, and I will use an example of one of my dead blogs. Football Blog.
This was one of my first blogs. When I decided to start blogging for a living, I took a look around at what people were saying about making money blogging. A quick look around the internet and you could be forgiven for thinking it is so simple, just about any one can do it. Just follow these simple steps:
Buy a domain name
Get some hosting space
Upload a blogging platform
Write some stuff
Add a few affiliate links and google adsense code
And away you go – instant money. Piece of piss, even my twelve-year old can do it. Just look at how much money John Chow is making, if he can do it, so can you.
Of course, we are not all Darren Rowse, and I am not naive enough to think it would be that easy. So I decided to try it and see. I had a look around to see what other people were doing and decide what I was going to start my exiting new career doing. I know! Football. Everyone loves football, I’ll start a football blog. So I did. I followed all the steps and set myself up a football blog, with adsense ads and everything.
How exiting. I used this one to learn how to place the google advertisements where I wanted them in the WordPress template, figured out how to generate traffic from both the social networks and the search engines, found out how to place banner ads from the various affiliate sites I joined – the whole thing.
Except for one thing – It turns out to have been quite a big thing too – I forgot one major part that pretty much guarantees the failure of a blog, dooming it to float around in the limbo that holds all those dead blogs.
I hate football.
I can’t stand the game. I have hated football since I can remember. I think it’s the most boring, pointless game on the planet. Who cares if a bunch of overpaid mannequins run up and down a piece of grass trying to kick an inflated piece of leather into the other team’s goal? Not me – never have.
After about three weeks of trying my best to come up with something interesting to write about football, it got to the point where I dreaded opening up the admin interface. Oh Christ – I have to write something about this stupid bloody game again?
I even tried putting some photos of hot Asian chicks playing football in the mud to try and boost my interest, but I soon got fed up of trying to find suitable pictures. This is actually the blog’s most popular post. 😆
So, I left it to die.
It is not completely dead. It does have some page rank and gets up to 150 visitors a day. I learned a lot about setting up and managing a blog. I also learned how to aggregate someone else’s content and get remunerated for providing connecting elements to other places. I am fairly sure the site I get my content from couldn’t care less and I am careful to leave the dozens of links they add to their posts in their full RSS feed, so they get something back out of it. But if they ask me to stop I will do so.
But the most important thing I learned was that if you are going to make a blog work, you better have some interest in or knowledge of the subject you have chosen to write about, or it is going to be one short lived blog. R.I.P