You’ve been blogging for a while.
You’re putting in the hours and trying to make sure every post is valuable to your readers. In short, you’re working harder than you’ve ever worked before.
Yet, for some reason, things aren’t going as planned. You have the content, but you’re not getting any engagement. No comments, a couple of shares…and traffic is down.
It’s easy to get frustrated in these situations. When you’re genuinely working hard and not getting the return on investment, sometimes it’s a sign you’re not channeling your energy the right way.
Want to hear the good news? It’s never too late to change your strategy.
Here is a list of blogging mistakes you could be making — and how you can change them!
1. You think you need X amount of subscribers before selling
Vanity metrics are everywhere. From Twitter followers to share counts on articles, we are very much used to numbers dictating our work’s worth.
But there’s no rule stating you need X amount of subscribers or traffic before selling your services.
When you start making money, you can invest more time and energy into running a website that looks professional and attracts more people. This will allow you to outsource and delegate responsibilities to people who know the ins and outs of web design.
This doesn’t mean that your blog has to become a sales pitch. Offer your services without overdoing it!
2. You think you need to be on every social network
This is an easy trap to fall into.
In fact, there are multi-million dollar companies that still make this mistake. While a social media presence is necessary, you need to understand that social media requires a lot of time and attention.
Making social media work effectively means that you have to invest time and energy into the networks that your audience actively uses. Why spend time on Pinterest if they’re using Instagram?
Choose a maximum of three channels you can dedicate a reasonable amount of time to. Focus on building relationships with people, share their work as well as your own and set aside time to reply to people’s requests.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s better to be amazing on three networks than mediocre across six.
3. You try too hard to be clever or funny
Above everything, your content must be understandable.
Using big 10-letter words does not make you exceptionally clever. Forcing humor into every paragraph doesn’t make you funny.
Focus on clarity.
Put it this way: If a reader has to pause to think about what you’re trying to say, they’ll get bored and leave. No matter how valuable your advice may be, when the internet is full of articles that get to the point quickly and easily, your reader will just go running to them.
Don’t turn people away by intimidating them with complicated language or using painfully cliche humor.
Keep it simple and clear, and drop in some funnies when you can!
4. You overpromise and underdeliver
“10 of the best tips from industry professionals.”
“Double your blog traffic in a day.”
“Go from 9-5 to freelancer in an instant.”
You’ve given them the bait by nailing the headline. But is your content actually delivering the promise that you’ve made?
Understand that blogging is its own form of relationship building.
Constantly disappointing readers will only hurt your reputation in the long run. Instead of being a reliable source of information, you’ll be known as a person who offers clickbait.
If you’re getting traffic and not seeing a steady increase in subscribers, consider whether you’re providing the value your audience seeks.
5. You think blogging is easy
People often consider blogging as something that can simply be done in their free time. They think it doesn’t require a great deal of energy or attention.
Writing articles people want to read is hard work.
You don’t have a management team to turn to if you’re feeling unmotivated and want some support. You don’t have IT on site to run to when there’s a technical difficulty. You don’t have a brand name to rely on.
Blogging means you have to grind, hustle and push through obstacles by yourself.
When you make mistakes, you’ve got to pick yourself back up again. Blogging is a lot of things, but easy is not one of them.
6. You didn’t consider whether you would enjoy writing when it came with a deadline
Many people consider blogging as a hobby. This means that you have the option to write at your own pace, have no one to answer to when you make a typo and can hit the publish button… well, whenever!
If you want to monetize your work, blogging is not a side project. You have to produce high quality, creative work on tight deadlines.
Not in the mood to write 500 words?
There’s no time to wait it out when your readers are expecting your posts to be published every week. Spend some time creating a sense of structure for yourself.
You don’t have to create an annual content calendar! Just set deadlines that are within your means and measurable. That way, when the work-load does begin to increase, you’re able to manage it.
7. You don’t have goals or aren’t measuring them
Do you want to have contributing writers? Have you planned on guest posting? If so, where?
How many of your contacts have found you via search, social media, or referrals?
If you want to turn blogging into a source of income, you have to know your what channels produce the greatest returns. Before you even start thinking about that, set up some objectives to give yourself a sense of direction.
8. You think you know what great content is
You’ve spent hours toiling over a single article, hit publish and expect the likes, comments and shares to come rolling in.
But instead you get this:
This isn’t always easy to accept, but you don’t define what great content is. Your readers do.
Try to understand your readers, what emotions they relate to, the humor they appreciate and the advice that they need right now.
Listen. Pay attention to the content that does grab people’s attention and start producing more of it!
9. You don’t make an effort to network or build a personal brand
With over 42.6 million WordPress blogs published every month, you need more than a few well-written articles to stand out.
Knowing people helps. A lot.
Knowing the right people is a blessing, but that takes time.
Networking isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary for any business.
The more people you get to know and actively make an effort to stay in contact with, the more exposure you’re likely to get.
Don’t forget, referrals are also a significant factor in reputation management. If other people recommend your services, send them a thank you note or offer them a freebie.
10. You don’t have a way to tackle blogger’s block
We all have moments where our creativity (momentarily) runs dry.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting blogger’s block. It’s all part and parcel with the work. But you have to know how to tackle it straight away and rekindle your flame.
If you want to start turning your blog into a source of income, you can’t afford to go off the grid for weeks at a time. Create a plan that allows you to take a short break, but soon get back to writing. Get into the habit of keeping yourself motivated and staying productive, even when you don’t feel like it.
The only way to truly learn is to do. Mistakes are all a part of the learning curve and you the ability to get better.
Mistakes are just evidence that you’re trying more than most. Don’t let any small faults go to your heart.
Keep going. Because the end result will be worth it.
Which of these blogging mistakes have you made? How did you recover?