10 Time-Wasting Blogging Mistakes That Hurt Your Reputation

10 Time-Wasting Blogging Mistakes That Hurt Your Reputation

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:

via GIPHY

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?

Filed Under: Blogging
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34 comments

  • Tal Valante says:

    Great article, Jade. Setting goals, knowing where to invest your energy, and ignoring vanity markers is good advice in any field, let alone blogging. Thanks!

  • What a wonderful read! It was such a revelation for me to accept the fact that I don’t have to be on every social media platform. Thank you for putting this together!

    • Jade says:

      I know what you mean, Tondeleya! It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype of social media. You just have to know where your audience lives online and set up camp there, haha. I’m so glad that you found it helpful.

    • Hi Tondeleya!

      I agree. Just like Jade says, my best strategy was to focus on just Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook – as a result, they all look cohesive, on-brand and in control! They aren’t the three social sites that I always recommend to my clients, but they work for my consulting brand.

  • Ebony says:

    Thanks for the article! I have a blog, but I haven’t done much with it because ultimately I am afraid to fail. I use social media, but I like it at arms length so I am just working on getting through some of these issues. Everything you wrote was very helpful and I appreciate your insight.

    • Jade says:

      Ebony, I felt that way when I started blogging. I cringed every time that I posted an article. Go for it because you just never know how many amazing opportunities it could lead to.

  • Deynn says:

    One of the biggest mistakes that bloggers do is promoting their content or brand to all social media platforms. Why would an individual spend time and effort on promoting and posting on Pinterest if you’re the audience is active on Instagram? Choose a maximum of three social media platforms that you can dedicate a reasonable amount of time to. Focus on building relationships with your target audience .

  • Ketan says:

    Numbers 7, 9 and 10 – these are what I need to work on.
    I blog about Jesus. But I have sometimes wondered: should I target my blog to Christians to help them become stronger in their faith? Or should I target non-Christians to evangelize by bringing them the message of salvation? I think my blog suits the former better than the latter. For evangelism, I think a website is a better tool, with the blog as an add-on, for engagement.

    As for networking, maybe I have ignored some opportunities to tie up with some influential contacts. I wanted to retain my freedom. On hindsight though, I might still have retained it had I tied up with those folks. I have let the introverted side of my personality block my progress as a blogger.

    The biggest block has been my lack of energy and will power to power-on my laptop after dinner and start typing my next post. I have just not felt like getting into the act of blogging after a tiring day at work, despite longing to do so. On the weekends, I have just wanted to laze around and go out with my family, rather than work on my blog. My once active blog soon became dormant. After suffering several rounds of guilt, I am now reviving it.

    I believe if you want to make money from blogging, or even build your personal or business brand, you need to sacrifice some things, like a bit of sleep, a bit of that lazing around, some TV, some net surfing, etc. In the long run, it will be well worth the sacrifice and effort put in.

  • Fantastic article!

    Don’t forget another very basic mistake many bloggers make: Not building time into the schedule to run each post past a fresh pair of eyes. Your blog is your online portfolio of your writing skills. A poorly developed idea, an unclear phrase, even a simple typo can stand between you and your next gig.

    I would suggest establishing a rhythm that gets every post read by someone with a sharp eye before it goes live. That might involve a trade with a fellow-blogger to read each other’s posts, or it might involve investing a few dollars in the services of a professional editor or writing coach.

    I wish you all success with your blogs!

    Trish O’Connor
    Epiclesis Consulting LLC
    Freelance Editorial Services and Writer’s Resources
    epiclesisconsulting.com
    epiclesisconsulting.etsy.com

  • brilliant points Jade. thanks.

  • marfes says:

    i think i did most of these mistakes in my blog anyway thanks for good article jade

  • Hilarie Rock says:

    Thank you for the hard cold facts about blogging. Many people think it is easy and that is a fun and easy way to make money. That is not the case, so thank you for not sugar-coating anything. I will be working smarter not harder.

  • Enifon says:

    Thankfulness for the article! I include a blog, but I haven’t completed greatly among it since ultimately I am frightened to not succeed. I use public media, but I like it at arm’s extent so I am just work on receiving during several of these issues. The lot you write was extremely cooperative and I appreciate your impending.

    Thank you jade

  • Ana Pascoe says:

    Thanks for this great article Jade! I couldn’t agree more about the challenges of networking and I find the idea of ‘writing what people want’ to be very difficult. I would love to improve my blog and (eventually) get into some freelancing. I’ve added my blog link below & (I’m sure you get this a lot!) if you ever get a chance to check it out, that would be awesome! I’d love to look at having some guest posts on there too 🙂 thanks, Ana

  • Brian Robben says:

    I agree that it’s absolutely huge not to fall into the trap of splitting time between four, five, six, or more social media channels. Focus on Instagram and Twitter, for example, and then once you have a big following and solid results, add another one. Focus is much better than spreading yourself out too far. Sweet write up!

  • You have very technical stuff and it gives me information. Thank you

  • Chelsea Schneiter says:

    I really liked your article and it is so true! I hadn’t thought about some of the points made so thanks!

  • Okon Joseph says:

    Thanks for this eye opening tips. As a freelance writer helping low paying writers in Nigeria, I’m going to stick to this tips.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Great advice–all of it, Jade. I had a blog for a short time, left it, and returned recently two years later, but created a new one on there. I love blogging, but back in college, working on a sequel to my first suspense novel out a few months now, and all the homework I have, plus other parts of life, I get overwhelmed not wanting to just rush my blog, but write about my brand–connect it with books without constantly boring everyone with trying to make sales. I love controversial issues, which many times leads to crime–my field of study. You lit a bulb for me with your advice. I am on five social media sites and try to keep up with them all. But now I am cutting them down to two, thanks to you and I believe it will help a lot. Thank you, Jade.

  • Judy says:

    Thanks Jade. That bit about knowing great content has my name written all over it. This is really helpful. Even though I am base in a different part of the world, all those points are very applicable.

  • Kim says:

    I like your point about great content. When I started my blog, I was surprised by which posts received the most traffic – and earned me the most subscribers. It turns out that the more personal my posts are, the more my audience enjoys them. The difficult part of this comes from being an extremely private person, so it’s hard to bare my soul to readers.
    What I would add to your article is to be receptive to where your results are coming from and adjust your strategy as needed. In my case, that means publishing more personal details in my blog posts. And since the majority of my traffic is coming from Facebook, I know where to focus my social media time. Learn from your audience!

  • Suertz says:

    Great article Jade. Well, I’m guilty of publishing what I think are good articles but my subscriber rate is slow and low. My blog is new though and I know I am in a competitive niche but what keeps me going is my personal passion for personal finance. That helps!

  • Thanks for this I wrote a couple of blogs for my site but I never considered these points. I will surely keep these in mind when writing the next one.

  • There’s no two ways about it, I just have to own it up that I’m guilty of the number point you mentioned here. You can’t believe I have 11 articles on my blog with nothing fewer than 15,000 words yet I don’t have a single affiliate marketing link or product I’m promoting. I think I need to do something about this. I have few ebooks scattered on my desk I’m working on. I think it’s time to be more serious about them.

    Thanks Jade for inspiring me once again.

  • Ashri Mishra says:

    WoW, What a great Post it is.

  • Thank you for this, I have been having problems with traffic and subscribers and this has really helped me to see where I could be going wrong. Thank you.

  • Faith says:

    Thanks for the article. I just launched my website last night thegirlfromnowhere.com and am currently focusing on content, but at the back of my mind is increasing subscribers etc. These points are really helpful and will absolutely be implementing them.

  • Deolu says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I will keep these secrets to heart especially the one about branding my work. Looking forward to more.

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