If you can keep blogging for more than 1 year, your odds of success are greatly improved.
Starting a blog is easy. Anybody can do it. Furthermore, its also not difficult to pick up your first few readers.
However keeping up this momentum is a while other ball game.
The 1-2 Year Rule
This isn't the first blog I built. In the past (2003-2005), I ran a startup blog. And 2005 onwards I ran an online marketing blog. Both of these were eventually sold for less than they should have been. I got impatient and it cost me. I should of held onto these blogs.
I have found, that if you can keep a blog going, with at least new content happening on a weekly basis, the odds of success are greatly improved.
New blogs that are less than a year old will have very little organic traffic. This traffic comes from search engines, blogrolls, other blogs that mention you etc.
This traffic, unlike paid advertising, isn't instant and takes months and months of ongoing work to achieve.
A Compounding Effect
Every post you make on your blog will have a compounding effect on your traffic. It will be picked up by the search engines, and will eventually, in time, send through search traffic.
This search traffic, will either bounce of your blog (leave straight away) or hopefully, visit more articles and even subscribe.
This compounding effect is important. You simply can't build a blog and just stop posting after a month or two. You need to continue to add new and fresh content. If you don't, things may actually become stagnant or worse, go backwards.
From personal experience, about 2-3 months into blogging, I usually hit a wall. Content ideas suddenly seem harder, traffic tails off and everything begins to slow down.
This 2-3 month period is a very important time. 90% of blogs will stop posting or dramtically cut back on posting frequency during this time. If you want to succeed you absolutely, must, must, must not give in to any excuses and stop posting.
The worst thing you could do is create a post letting readers know you don't plan on blogging much due to "insert excuse here". This will cause readers to stop checking for new posts (if they don't use an RSS reader like me) or worse, even unsubscribe from your blog.
Dig deep and go above and beyond to create a killer post.
If you push on past the two year mark, 90% of the competition you started out with will have disappeared.
Photo by - Studio494 (Simon)