2017 State of the Blogging Industry

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part 8: the struggles

What bloggers struggle with

The lifestyle is enticing. The income is rewarding. The motivation is there. And yet, no matter how great an opportunity might be, there will always be struggles. The blogging industry is no different. These are the major struggles bloggers cope with on a regular basis.

Finding or dedicating the time to their blog or business is the number one struggle for every segment of respondents other than those without children. Respectively, 22% of all respondents, 27% of pros, 21% of not-yet-pros, 24% of females, 19% of males, 26% of bloggers with children, and 18% of bloggers without children say that finding the time is their number one struggle in running their blog or business.

Of bloggers without children, 21% named “Growing my audience” as their number one struggle, making it their top struggle. “Growing my audience” is the second most popular main struggle for not-yet-pros (19%), females (19%), males (16%), and bloggers with children (15%). “Growing my audience” is the third most popular number one struggle for pro bloggers at 14%.

What is your #1 struggle in running your blog or business?

The number two struggles showed a similar trend below.

All respondents most often listed their number two biggest struggle as “Growing my audience” (18%), “Growing my income” (14%), “Converting email subscribers into customers” (13%) and “Publishing consistently” (12%). You can see from the graph that this order was not true amongst all respondent segments based on outlier results like the pro column in “Converting email subscribers into customers” and “Publishing consistently”, bloggers with children in “Publishing consistently,” as well as the male column in “Writing popular posts.”

What is your #2 struggle in running your blog or business?

Having these two separate graphs left a bit of an unclear picture as to the top struggles for bloggers, so we combined answers from both questions and to understand the most often stated struggles.

Combination of #1 and #2 struggles

You can see the order of importance for all respondents as:

  1. Growing my audience
  2. Finding/dedicating the time
  3. Growing my income
  4. Converting email subscribers into customers
  5. Publishing consistently

If we look only at Pros, the struggles are the same, but in a different order:

  1. Finding/dedicating the time
  2. Converting email subscribers into customers
  3. Publishing consistently
  4. Growing my audience
  5. Growing my income

All other segments of respondents have the same top five, in slightly different orders. Based on this, we can see that there are a few major topics that bloggers can focus on to help them overcome their biggest obstacles.

First, bloggers should focus on setting aside time in their schedule to work on their blogs and businesses, just like they do with other appointments and meetings throughout their week. To make sure they make the most of their time, they should also get very clear on their priorities based on what strategies and tasks will help them achieve their goals, focusing relentlessly on those priorities during their scheduled blogging time each week.

We can also see that bloggers will benefit from finding a couple of key teachers or mentors to help them learn the best tactics for growing an audience and turning that audience into customers. Specifically, bloggers will want to learn how to grow their email list, the different products and services they can sell to turn their blog into a business, and marketing methods for turning email subscribers into customers.

The ConvertKit blog is a great place to learn about these topics, and we also recommend the following blogs and businesses to learn more:

While this list isn’t exhaustive and doesn’t represent all of our friends who are great teachers, it’s a good place to start. Most importantly, your job is not to subscribe to every blog and publication you can to learn everything you can. Instead, focus on finding one or two teachers whose message and style resonate most with you and learn from them until you feel like you’ve soaked up everything you can from them. Then, focus on your very next step in your business and find the best teacher to help you make progress on that step.


Blogging is still what powers the growth of small online businesses

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