I first got online with a free website host (which has since disappeared into the depths of the ethernet) with the simple aim of sharing some programming code between college friends. This grew into a basic tutorial site as I helped my friends develop their programming knowledge. When I got my first car, I wrote a few guides on how to replace the speakers and radio, since these were complex tasks and no other guides were around.
Fast forward to now and that free site has evolved into 6 dedicated websites and a further 4 niche sites covering my hobbies from Astronomy to Photography, Paranormal to Design. In total, I have written over 1,300 articles and tutorials, 70 galleries and over 4,500 photos.
This all sounds very successful, so why would I want to quit blogging?
It all comes down to the time-effort-money triangle. It takes a lot of time and effort to produce this content by myself, and even more time promoting this content and attracting visitors to my sites, and the rewards is getting less and less. At the end of the day, it's becoming increasingly difficult to drive traffic to my sites, the month on month hits are going down and as a result, the small amount of ad revenue I get is also going down. It's very difficut to get social shares and likes or comments on posts. The problem isn't helped by the sheer quantity of content scrapers stealing my articles and photos and the constant bombardment of spam.
Due to the sheer number of websites on the internet these days it's becoming increasingly difficult to get organic traffic from Google and the few folk I do get visiting my site are not sharing on social media or engaging. I'm stuck in a catch-22 situation - I can't get the social shares because nobody visits my site, and nobody visits my site because it's not shared in social media.
I'm not running these sites to make a profit, in fact since I registered my first domain name I've been making a loss, and all my articles and tutorials are provided free of charge. Annual hosting costs and domain name fees alone cost more than I spend on annual car insurance and vehicle tax combined.
So now I have a choice, either spend a load of money getting an expert in to help drive quality traffic and hope I can increase revenues enough to cover the time and effort I put into my sites, or quit blogging, close my sites forever and sell off the domain names. It'll be a tough choice, but I can't continue putting so much time and effort into them and not get anything back.Have you been through this dilemma? What would you do in this situation? Have you any suggestions how to improve my sites? Please let me know in the comments below.