Blogging is a tough business, and many others have set a standard of what quality truly is so have excelled in the business. Blogging is tough because unlike several years ago, you have to put an emphasis on specific things which didn’t matter before. For example, there is huge importance put on value, layout, marketing, and even proper link building. I forgot to mention, it’s important you always do your research before getting started because if you don’t then you’ll be focused about the direction you should be heading in. However, you also have many resources available to you which will guide you on track, and this is where you’ll benefit where others have failed. You have to know how to utilize what’s available so you create something very special for your readers. I’ll be discussing this in another blog post, but today let’s look at “blogging mistakes”, and why you’ll fail when others have succeeded.
Let’s get started, and your feedback will be greatly appreciated. The blogging mistakes listed are what I think have impacted my growth over the last few years.
No Email List
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is NOT collecting email addresses from the very start. Grabbing email addresses is a way to build continued growth, and a way to build loyalty by sending updates on new content, and trends. If you ask any authority blogger they’ll tell you it’s important to start collecting email addresses right away because it’s something, you’ll be doing later on. Not to mention, signing up with ESP providers is very cheap, and cost effective so why NOT implement a form right away. Platforms like WordPress make it very easy for you to plugin forms in different locations.
Here are a few things you can do with a solid email list:
First, you can send them updates on continued content being posted, and keep your brand on their mind. It’s easy for people to forget about your blog once they leave, however very hard if you send them follow-ups every few days…right?
Secondly, you can ask them for their opinion which is a great way to generate topic idea’s, and even ways to improve your blog. For example, it’s common practice for bloggers to ask their subscribers to fill out a survey, then implement what others have said. Asking to fill out a survey will give you a chance to learn about the type of content people want to read, or changes they want to see on your blog. Next,
Third, if you sell products or services then sending out a newsletter is a great way to generate profits. Imagine having an email list of over 10,000 subscribers and launching a product? You can send these people a follow-up about the product and generate sales almost immediately.
I know many of you think implementing a form is difficult, however these days it’s become very easy. Let’s look at how you can add a form to your blog.
- Sign up with an ESP like aWeber, MailChimp, etc
- Create a list, and you can view some of their tutorials to see how this can be done quickly.
- Create a form which is very easy because many of these ESP provide pre-configured formed. All you have to do is add some text, images then add the code to your page.
- You have to create your first follow-up sequence which can be done in minutes using the drag & drop feature.
The point is all of this can be done within minutes, and with very little investment which is why it’s important to have a form on your blog from day one. If you don’t add a form then you can have several missed chances to build retention, and not to mention your competition will have a solid email sequence which will allow them to compete for the same traffic.
No Updating or NO Consistency
One of my biggest pet-peeves is when I don’t find a blog I love to read updated. This means they are NOT up to date with the changing trends within my niche, and I should go somewhere else to find the information I’m looking for. You can imagine if I feel like this how many others do as well? The point is it’s important to keep your blog always consistent, and up-to-date. This should definitely be the case especially when it’s so easy to come up with solid content if you really want to quickly, and with very little time. You have so many tools which will generate topic ideas for you like Topsy.com and Buzzsumo.com.
It’s all about quality NOT quantity so you can post every 3-4 days, and spread out your writing to make it as streamlined as possible. If you write 600 words every day, you’ll have 2400 words of content to publish on day four. This means you’ll have more than enough words to add substance to your content.
You have the option to hire a blogger or even allow for guest posting opportunities if you feel you don’t have enough time to keep producing content. Many new bloggers are trying to breakout within your niche so are more than happy to produce content for you going forward. I started out the same way, and still write content for a handful of blogs going forward. It’s important you find the right people before letting them publish on your blog so it’s important to look for the following things:
- Make sure you look over their previous content, and the quality they write.
- Make sure you look over their personal blog and Google their name to see if anyone has reported them for plagiarism.
- Ask them to hand in sample work on a topic so you can evaluate their writing skills.
- Just give them a chance to prove themselves, and hopefully they meet the standards you require.
A few years ago Google introduced the freshness update to their algorithm which means they’ll reward those blogs who update frequently. Google wants to ensure their users have the best experience when using their search engine, and one way is to make sure they find the best information possible. This means it’s important to Google that they have fresh content which is updated always showing first within the ranks. You’ll benefit from this algorithm change if you post high quality content frequently. It’s that simple!
If you think about the people or blog’s you remember, then something will stand out. You’ll notice they all have personality or are different than anyone else within the same niche. This is very important when starting a business, and if you want to continue to grow, so establish yourself as being unique so that readers will remember the experience they have on your blog. You might think this is difficult however it’s all about being unique, genuine and authentic. For example,
What defines you right now as a person is your own voice, and the way you communicate with people when providing value…right? When blogging it’s important you use the same approach, and don’t change the way you present your content to readers. Keep your voice when writing content, answering questions or even replying to comments because this will help you stand out compared to others.
No Passion Involved.
One reason why people fail when getting started is because they have NO passion in what they do. They chose to blog because of the money involved, and NOT because they love the industry or niche. When you don’t love what you do, you’ve failed before you even got started. Passion is what drives you when you think everything else has failed, and this will distinguish you from your competition. No matter who you talk to they’ll tell you in order to succeed in what you do, you have to love what you do…it’s that simple!
Many bloggers fail because they got involved for the wrong reasons which is money alone. I’m NOT saying this is a bad thing, however, it is if that’s the only thing which matters when starting a business. Even though many bloggers will make money if they hang in long enough, you need passion to keep you pushing forward during those first few critical years when you start out. No business makes money right away, and the chances of failure increases as time goes on, however with passion involved you have just decreased the likelihood of failure.
Make sure whatever blog you get involved in you are passionate about the niche.
Not Treating It Like a Business
Many people will fail at blogging because they don’t treat it like a business. If you are starting a blog to make a living, then you have to worry about the business side of things. You have to pay close attention to marketing, user interaction, user retention, and how to grow your blog. You have to know how to utilize new trends entering the market, and how to stand out compared to your competition. If you are blogging as a side business then the finer things won’t matter, however if it’s a business, then you have to pay close attention to the following:
- Content writing to engage your readers
- Understanding your audience
- Current and new marketing trends
- Marketing budget, and investment going forward
- User acquisition
- User retention
- How you’ll continue to grow over the years and earn a product
- Products and services
All these matter when you are blogging as a business because in the end it’s all about the bottom line.
Now that you have a few important reasons why your blog will fail, it’s time to start re-evaluating some of factors as they apply to your blog. Go through looking for areas you can improve on your blog, and start implementing changes where you can. For example, if you’re just planning on starting a blog then consider jumping into a niche you’re passionate about so you’ll continue to push forward, Next, start improving your writing so it includes your own voice, and represents you when publishing content. Every great blogger has their own voice which has allowed them to stand out compared to other bloggers. This is why it’s important you keep writing using your own voice, and make sure this can be seen throughout your blog.
It’s also very important to treat your blog like a business going forward. It’s time you start analyzing your data, spend on marketing and explore options to increase user engagement. Many times we fail because we don’t find ways to improve continuously throughout out blogging career. If this is truly your business then find ways to keep users engaged by writing on trending topics, introducing new products or making things much easier. This all falls under the idea of treating your blog like a business which caters to your audience.
Finally, don’t forget to use the marketing tools you have available. Always build an email list because it’s a great way to build user retention, and get people coming back to your blog. Neil Patel once said it’s very hard getting 200,000 people to visit your blog unless you don’t have a way to get them back which normally means to have a solid email marketing sequence. ESP’s (email service providers) are very cheap so it’s something you should add to your blogs marketing strategy, and track results to find out what’s working.