The No.1 Reason Why Bloggers Fail (And What To Do About It)

    Every blog starts with a dream.

    A dream of expressing yourself and getting your message heard.

    A dream of gaining recognition.

    A dream of standing proud.

    But the sad reality is, most new bloggers fail.

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    Depressing, isn’t it? So many hopes dashed.

    So much energy wasted.

    So many important thoughts lost to the world.

    I must admit, I too, was once close to quitting. But the reason wasn’t one of the many reasons you can read about online.

    There was one simple reason my blog nearly died:

    I ran out of ideas.

    And I think this is the main reason new bloggers fail.

    You see, after a while, I just couldn’t think of topics to write about. Blogging turned into a grind.

    Sometimes, I’d spend hours writing a post, and then, halfway through, I would decide against it.

    Has this happened to you too? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

    Luckily, there’s a way to fix this.

    But before I dive into how to fix this problem, let’s take a closer look at how the creative brain works.

    My inspiration got blocked because I didn’t understand the psychology of creativity. In fact, I was working against my brain instead of with it.

    How to Overcome Barriers to Inspiration

    Let’s first take a look at one of the main myths about creativity.

    Myth: Creativity works best when you are at ease.

    Here’s a little quiz for you. Imagine two different scenarios and tell me in which circumstance you would be more creative.

    Scenario 1: You are sitting on the deck of a house above the beach. The tide is coming in. All you can hear is the sound of waves lapping and the cry of seagulls. As the sun comes up, you open your notebook on a fresh page, pen in hand, and look up at the distant mountains…

    why new bloggers fail

    Scenario 2:
    You’ve just got home from work. Everyone seems to want some attention from you, even the cat. You’ve got less than an hour to get a new post written and published. Next door you hear kids squealing and a door slams. You boot up your laptop and look at the empty page…

    why new bloggers fail

    What’s your answer: scenario 1 or 2?

    I bet you chose the first scenario! It’s a writer’s dream: peace, space, breathtaking landscape, an empty page… aaaah!


    The correct answer is ‘Scenario 2.’

    ‘What?’ I hear you say. ‘My life’s like that all the time and I still can’t think of things to write about!’

    Hear me out…

    When you’re faced with a host of demands and thought-streams, the Medici Effect can kick in. This term was coined by the psychologist Frans Johansson to explain his theory that creative thinking is triggered by the collision of unrelated ideas.

    In scenario 1, there is no collision of ideas. That’s why an idyllic place is the worst choice for creative endeavors!

    Whereas in scenario 2, many different thoughts collide and from this chaos arises creativity.

    The Medici Effect implies that it’s not enough to want to be creative. We need to fuel our creativity.

    How to Find Fuel for Creativity

    As I explained in my article, 10 Ways to Refuel Your Creativity, creativity is like a car.

    Imagine that you want to drive a car, but the tank is empty.
    How far can you drive?
    The answer is simple: you can’t drive anywhere.
    It’s the same with creativity. You need to put in fuel before you take it for a drive.

    What is fuel in this context?

    Many different things can act as fuel. Let’s work with one example as a playful exercise for you.

    This particular fuel is a story in 21 words. The geology professor John All wrote the following message on the Facebook page of the American Climber Science Program:

    Please call Global Rescue. John broken arm, ribs, internal bleeding. Fell 70 ft crevasse. Climbed out. Himlung camp 2. Please hurry.

    This is a heart-stopping message, right? Not only did John All send out this message, he even created a terrifying selfie video just after falling in the crevasse.

    In fact, John managed to survive against all odds.

    How Does This Fuel Lead to Blog Post Ideas?

    Remember, the key to using creative fuel is to hold the main topic of your blog, as well as the fuel item in your mind… and then let your imagination hang loose.

    Here are some examples off the top of my head.

    Blog about self-development
    What is the Key to Surviving Against All Odds?

    Blog about food
    XYZ In Our Food Is Killing us. Why Doesn’t Our Survival Instinct Kick In?

    Blog about entrepreneurship
    How to Use Your Survival Instinct to Rescue a Failing Business

    Blog about money
    How Determination Can Lead to Miraculous Results

    Blog about writing
    How a 21-Word Story Captured the Attention of the World

    Blog about videography
    How A Selfie Video Became Viral News

    Now it’s your turn!

    Please share in the comment section the post ideas this creative fuel triggered.

    Of course, we have to ask WHY this works.

    Why does connecting two unrelated thoughts trigger new ideas?

    The Secret of the Medici Effect

    As I said earlier, the Medici Effect means creative thinking is triggered by the collision of unrelated ideas.

    To clarify this theory, let’s forget about writing for a moment and think about pearls.

    Pearls form when an irritant—usually a parasite or a grain of sand—works its way into an oyster, mussel or clam. The mollusk then responds by producing a protective layer, which turns into a pearl.

    The process of dreaming up a blog post idea is similar. An unrelated thought can act as an ‘irritant’ in the brain. If you let the creative fuel rub up against your blog topic, your brain will start to spit out ideas.

    In essence, your brain will begin to form pearls of thought.

    When two bits of information intersect, an idea is formed (that’s the pearl). The idea then triggers radiant thinking. This means that the brain makes countless associations, radiating in all directions.

    How You Can Use This Creativity Principle

    Let’s say you’re sitting at your desk, trying to find what to write about. You desperately need fresh ideas for the next blog post.

    What to do?

    Here are three steps you need to take.

    Step 1:

    Get up from your desk and grab a notebook or your phone in order to record even the wackiest idea. This simple action will prime your creative well.

    Then let your mind go into free-flow and allow your next humdrum actions to trigger ideas.

    Step 2:

    Hold the idea of writing a blog post in your mind while you experience the actions of your day. When you connect two thoughts that are unrelated—such as your experience of the moment and writing for your blog—new ideas will emerge.

    Here’s are some examples:

    You make yourself a cup of coffee.
    Here are possible blog post topics this action can trigger:

    • 10 Nutrition Mistakes that Make Your Immune System go to Sleep.
    • Peaceful Communication: How to Drip-Feed Your Truth.

    You go to the window and stretch.

    • Are You Giving Your Readers a New Perspective?
    • How to Change Your Point of View Without Losing Face.

    You have a shower.

    • How to Clean Out Your Love Life.
    • How to Flow Like Water When Faced With Conflict.

    You play with your dog

    • Why Playfulness Makes You More Creative
    • Why Time-Out Can Boost Productivity

    These examples are focused on writing and self-development. But you can just as easily find post ideas for your blog niche, using the same process.

    Step 3:

    Record your idea. Ideas are fleeting; they fade away within seconds.

    That’s why it’s important to record immediately the ideas that come to you. The key is to record every idea without judging, even the ones that seem daft or dangerous.

    When you record your idea, add two or three bullet points. Otherwise, you may later find a cryptic thought in your notes and have no clue how you wanted to develop the idea.

    Your next task will be to create a storehouse for your blog post ideas.

    Create Your Personal Storehouse of Ideas

    You need a storehouse of ideas where you can leaf through them.

    There are some great apps around, like Evernote and other note-taking apps. Or you can use a dedicated notebook. You may also find it helpful organize your blog ideas according to categories.

    Whatever you use, make sure you browse through it regularly to trigger new blog post ideas.


    In the example above, I used just one kind of fuel, a news story. However there are many different kinds of fuel such as books, overheard dialog, magazines, movies, Facebook groups, friends, quotes,, mundane experiences of daily life, and many others.

    Once you’ve come up with a post idea, it’s important to complete the post.

    Don’t take any notice of the doubts in your mind!

    Your post doesn’t need to be brilliant; it just needs to be good enough. Good enough means that you have an introduction that leads into your idea, a middle part that delves deeper into your idea, and a conclusion that wraps things up.

    (Okay, there are some more refinements, but that’s a topic for another day.)

    It’s much better to publish posts you personally find mediocre, than to stop blogging because you set the bar too high for yourself!

    Let’s get back to the main idea: why new bloggers fail.

    Well, bored bloggers fail; frustrated bloggers fail. And bloggers feel bored and frustrated when their creative well dries up.

    But passionate, creative, lively online writers not only survive – they thrive.

    The creative process, the act of writing is invigorating.

    That’s the thrill of blogging.

    If you train your brain to respond to triggers which fuel your creativity, you’ll not only enjoy blogging, you’ll also gather a rapt audience.

    As soon as it’s finished, I’ll email you a link to my free Post Inspiration Tip Sheet. Print it out and keep it on your desk. It will prime your creative pump and you’ll never be short of blog post ideas again.

    Learn This ONE Essential Skill ALL Successful Bloggers Have in Our FREE Course

    Let’s have a conversation. What are your thoughts about generating blog post ideas?

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Vishu says:

      Quite , useful information and a great inspiration too , many failed due to the reason you shared , thanks for the info.

    • Thank you very much! Your blog is always full of great idea. They are really helpful

    • Gagandeep says:

      Thank you! This is a great post I must say. I’m, sure you inspired many with this post just the way you inspired me.

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    • Hi Mary
      Good to be here on your blog. I’m feeling very welcome and comfortable here.

      Yes, lack of profitable ideas is a big reason many newbies drop. But as they blog on, they grow into maturity that can trigger a great content idea from even a very stupid idea.

      Yes, this post is an inspiration Mary and thanks for creating it.

      It will be wonderful to be around again

    • Nice post dear . I like your post thanks for sharing .

    • Libra says:

      As a new blogger I must say I found your article not only informative but also impressive and full of quality content. Your article has fantastic ideas and I wish to make changes the way you have suggested! It’s really motivating to see such amazing blogs which gives some awesome tips! Your blog certainly seems to be a ‘benchmark’ that many can aspire to!

    • Thanks for the inspirational note. I have been involved in more than 3 blogs but never been successful to generate much revenue but I was still going on blindly. After reading this post I am planning to adopt some changes. Thanks a lot.

    • This reminds me of something I learned in college. In my writing classes we would frequently do ten minute long free-writes, where our pen had to constantly be moving. We weren’t allowed to stop and think, we just had to write even if what we were writing didn’t make much sense. And more often than not, I was able to get a lot of inspiration out of those rushed sentences.

    • kksilvery says:

      Excellent, Thank you for amazing article for new bloggers. It helped me identify my mistakes and i enjoyed the article. i will improve myself.

    • SCO says:

      Thank you for your insight. Very inspiring and practical.

    • Cheejsbrew says:

      This article is so insightful!

      When I started my first blog years ago, I thought my love for writing will get me through everything. Boy, was I wrong! Zero visitors and zero comments well into my second month! ? I never knew, until then, that blogging/writing takes so much work!

    • Thank you for these wonderful ideas. I have resisted starting a blog for many years for just such reasons. Now that I’m a “newbie” I will hold on to your post for future use.

    • Richard says:

      A good post Mary, but I have to say that scenario 1 is more likely for me.

      2 looks far to stressful, with to many distractions and demands to ever be creative. I do most of my thinking and creating in peace and quiet.

      It’s why people have ideas walking the dog, in the shower, waiting in a queue.

      That being said the pearl metaphor is true. Creativity comes from a need.

      ‘Necessity is the mother of all creation.’

      That can often be pain, suffering.

      Also I like the suggestion that you use the everyday moments as the basis of inspiration.

    • I enjoyed the article, even though as a new blogger it did leave me with a gut wrenching sense of impending doom in places, but I know, as you have rightly said persistence and fuel for your ideas will win the day. As a budding digital nomad who is looking to travel again (spent 10 years out of uk but been back for 7) I am looking to get mt blog off the ground, todays technology makes this so much easier than it once would have been and it’s great that there are many seasoned blogger like yourself us newbys can rely on,


      Lee aka Digital Nomad

    • bernard says:

      In thailand, Police and army are corruped here. Police controlled the prostitution and the army the drug. Bernard Lemagnan

    • bernard says:

      Police and army are corruped here. Police controlled the prostitution and the army the drug.
      Bernard Lemagnan Breivik

    • I’ve been a food blogger for quite a while now and often feel like I’m failing. I try to take the perspective that as long as I post weekly and keep my hopper of ideas going, I’m doing what matters: to keep blogging.

      I’m going to use this concept of the Medici effect to add to my own sources of inspiration: ready widely via email subscriptions (like this one!) and social media.

      I also love the WordPress feature where you can quick draft ideas from the dashboard. I use that to brainstorm a host of draft ideas I may (or may not) use down the road.

    • Yahya says:

      It was helpful, thank you.

    • Juthi khan says:

      Great article.

    • Thank you for this post.

      I need to be more alert to colliding ideas.
      I also need to publish those mediocre stories I’ve been hiding from my blog.

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    • Hello,
      I don’t feel like I have ever run out of ideas. Because I have consciously decided to write one post every day.This helps me thinking about ideas every time. Even when I am sleeping I see dreams of writing a post or any good topic. 🙂

    • Just what I needed, I’ll definitely implement these tips. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    • Zawadi says:

      This is fantastic advice, I admit I became a bored with my blogging ideas, the whole experience became a chore when despite my efforts I struggled to get a decent readership and to get them to engage (not counting spam, of course! ?) In the busyness of life unfortunately I chose to abandon it. This was less than a year ago. Now, I’m armed with HOPE and actual tools, and I wondered what your thoughts are on reviving a blog? Especially if it never really “took off” in the first place.

    • Zawadi says:

      This is fantastic advice, I admit I became a bored with my blogging ideas, the whole experience became a chore when despite my efforts I struggled to get a decent readership and to get them to engage (not counting spam, of course! ?) In the busyness of life unfortunately I chose to abandon it. This was less than a year ago. Now, I’m armed with HOPE and actual tools, and I wondered what your thoughts are on reviving a blog? Especially if it never really “took off” in the first place.

    • I use writing prompts I get online to write my short stories on my blog, it keeps me motivated another way is going to the museum or park to get ideas.

    • Studying all my past blogs recently I discovered that I wrote randomly, meaning I wrote about all kinds of travel stuff (obviously I’m a travel blogger) but that was too broad. I have tripled my subscriber numbers after focusing on a couple different areas of travel and making sure my content is valuable, not just interesting. If it’s any help to newbie writers and bloggers, I have written 28 books and been in this business a long time and I’m still learning!

    • I kick it old school. I keep paper and a pen near me at all times, and your article produced an irritant. No, not an unpleasant one. It’s a very pleasant irritant. Perhaps a stimulus would be a better way to put it. It’s a stimulating irritant, around which I’ll build my pearl of ideas.

    • Valerie J Runyan says:

      I liked your post about blog ideas I always have a notepad and pen with me and in all of my purses and thanks for the reminder about writing bullet points about the idea- I have written ideas down and later had no idea as to what let alone where I was going to use them- I think the question about why ideas just flow like water in the shower, my theory is that the bathroom is the only space where you feel relaxed- physically and mentally- for those few moments and ideas that were just sitting there leap out unrestrained- that is why they are so fleeting- so keep a notepad and pen in the bathroom on top of the other reading material.

    • Thank you Ms Jaksch for this insightful post. I’m not a new blogger, my blog is 8 years old and has never made money. It’s full of stuff; movies, t.v, books and fanfiction and I’ve recently run out of ideas. I would really like to boost my creativity and what I’ve just read gave me hope. Thank you very much

    • Mel Wicks says:

      Hi Mary, thanks for the inspiration. I totally agree with your comments about letting your creative juices flow doing everyday chores. Whenever I hit a mental brick wall I always take myself away from my desk to do something menial in the kitchen or go walk the dogs. Now I can give it a fancy name – the Medici Effect. I like that.

      I scribble all my ideas down on index cards, along with quotes, great advice, resources etc. I find the physical act of writing it, rather than typing it onto a screen, makes it seep into the recesses of my brain somehow, where I can kick it around like a football for a while. But coming up with new ideas is still one of my greatest challenges. So I look forward to your Post Inspiration Tip Sheet.

    • Wow Mary. Thanks for finding a way to read my mind and speak to me about what I didn’t know I was already thinking.

      Just in reading your post I stumbled on a few different ideas, and may have to reference this post about the Medici effect in a future one I write.

      My question regarding the collision of ideas spurring creativity is; what is it about the tranquility of taking a shower, that we all generate so many fleeting ideas?

      Is it a confluence of recent thoughts with a new stimulus? I know there’s research on this but I haven’t seen any thing definitive.

      Thanks again for helping all of us in the community learn how to be better at our craft and our blogs.

    • Hi Mary (I hope it’s okay to call you Mary),

      I’ve been following along on your blog for quite a while now. Some great ideas you have given to get the creative juices flowing again.

      I usually find my next post developing from a conversation or a blog that I have read. I keep something close by to write my ideas down too. I find it is so irritating that I have so many come to mind and I start losing the ideas before I can get them written down.

      Thank you for all of the great information that you share. Wishing you a great year.

    • Alex says:

      Great post, Mary. I agree. For me, though, it’s kind of crazy. I get up in the morning or on my way to bed, and the ideas just flow like a river – on certain posts. By the time I’m done brushing my teeth, the ideas are gone. So I try to keep a notepad handy, or my phone to record them. Evernote works good for this task.

      Also, when I’m writing a blog post, I often get several other ideas and I just go from one blog post to another until I get two – four done in a matter of one hour. This doesn’t always happen but it often does. Yesterday was just like that. In two hours I wrote three blog posts, (I started with a marriage post, and that took me to a post on how to be a dad when you didn’t have one in the first place – to hoe to be a homeschooling dad). All three with Slideshares added to it in 3 hours – unedited. So it’s crazy how your mind works and how sometimes you just need to flow with it.

      The most frustrating thing is to stare at a blank screen with nothing moving between the ears.

      Thanks again for another great post!

    • Hi Mary ~ I always enjoy your articles and appreciate your thoughtfulness in creating them. This article about generating ideas for blog posts is helpful and I’ll use your tips to keep the juices flowing…but it’s off the mark for a need I have with my blog: I’ve been writing a slice of life/humor column for 5 years. I post it online and it runs in my small local newspaper. The blog gets a steady 400 views each month ~ some of which I suspect are electronic crawlers. Perhaps you can offer advice and concrete tips on how to build readership. (Forgive me and redirect me if you’ve done this already and I missed it.)

    • With her cup of coffee, she stretched in the shower while the dog, wanting to play, scratched outside.

      Ideas are like smoke butterflies. Catch’em while you can.

      Creativity tips that are going to stick. I can feel the well of ideas bubbling up already. Thanks for more go-go juice!

      *SumoMe pointer for increased blog / socialability was excellent. It was surprisingly easy to install.

    • Padaek says:

      Thanks very much for your advice and tips. Love the analogies and point of utilizing everyday events and working under pressure to inspire new ideas. I like to plan ahead and continue to edit post ideas for sometimes weeks before finally publishing them. Best wishes.

    • Yes, very helpful. I recall reading the suggestion that one can generate many good ideas by taking two dissimilar words and then asking how they might be related. I just tried MONITOR and DOG, as I sat at this desk with my screen and with my dog beneath it. Monitoring your dog with a TV? A dog that watches TV avidly? We had a dog that challenged the MGM lion when it came on the TV screen ahead of a film. A school that uses dogs to monitor their hallways? Well, you get the idea.

    • Anita says:

      It never fails…..when I think I have a wonderful idea and just start writing, I usually come up with another, even more wonderful idea. You are so right in saying that we should keep a notebook handy all the time. My inspiration is usually the thing I resist the most…….just sitting down, knowing that I need to write. Call it crazy, but it works for me!

    • Hi Mary,
      This post is an inspiration to move ahead on a blogging journey, although having a lack of ideas to write. Thanks for valuable information.

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