Most times, when I tell people I make a living from blogging, they roll their eyes. That’s pretty easy, they say. “You get paid for sitting on the internet every day and writing. Even an ape could do your job correctly!
That’s when I roll my own eyes in return. You see, people are often quick to consider blogging as a very simple job, they simply deem it a no-brainer which everyone with a computer and internet connection could do.
But when they eventually settle down to write their first few blog posts, it hits them hard: This is more difficult than I imagined. Like anyone starting a new business or a new job, they mess things up.
That’s alright – it happens to every new blogger. The thing, however, is that it’s pretty easy to escape these challenges if you’re aware they’re coming.
Well, that’s only by learning from other peoples mistakes!
See, everyone makes mistakes. This is something that’s entirely unavoidable. In fact, some of these mistakes can actually become some of your best learning experiences. However, one of the perfect ways to save money and time in your blogging career is to learn from other peoples mistakes.
While I can’t entirely stop you from experiencing some of the misfortunes that bloggers often deal with when they’re starting, but I can give you a few pointers that’ll help you along the way. These are the things I wish I knew when I started blogging many years ago.
After all, the blogosphere is a community – and we all are in it together. We all perform better by assisting each other; so let’s get started.
1: I Won’t Spend Much Time on Writing
Blogging is one of the most time-consuming tasks I’ve ever seen; it’s really a big undertaking. Running a successful blog takes a lot of bending down your head to write, edit, proofread and format.
One of the worst mistakes I made when I first started blogging was spending too many times on writing. I typically spent about 95% of my time on writing, while the remaining 5% was spent on some irrelevant Facebook shares and tweets to try and get the posts in front of my audience and their friends. It was so frustrating writing posts after posts without seeing much social shares or traffic.
After too many failed attempts to grow my blog into a sustainable business, I decided to know what I was doing wrong, and that made me start stalking so many bloggers and marketers.
To my utmost dismay, most of the marketers I talked to all told me the same thing…
…Spend as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.
This was indeed a wakeup call for me. I was initially wasting my time writing content that won’t be read by anyone thinking I was doing the right thing.
Now, I’m telling you the same thing. If you so desire to see any significant result with your blogging business, you have to spend as much time (if not more) promoting your content as you do writing it.
Follow the steps below for an effective content promotion:
- Identify the influencers that your target audience follows
- Build a stable relationship with those influencers (you can achieve this by becoming an active reader of their blog; always leave a genuine, high-value comment on their posts).
- Don’t forget to also connect with them on social media. You want to follow them on social media, especially where they’re active, and then always like, share, and interact with their posts
- Now, they must have become familiar with you. When you publish your posts (especially the high-quality posts), ask those influencers to help spread the word. Chances are, they’ll do that for you being an active member of their community
This was the same approach the guys at Groove HQ used to drive over 60k unique visitors to their blog within 7 days in 2014.
It didn’t end there; they also got over 5k email subscribers over 400 app signups.
2: I Won’t Be Self-Indulgent
There’s no need pussyfooting around this…
The bitter truth is this: Your readers don’t give a damn about you, your life, your stories, or your business.
It’s your duty to help your readers as a content marketer and blogger. Your job is to guide them, inspire them, and direct them.
Talking about your numerous experiences is cool as it can add color and personality to your content — but that’s only if it helps your readers become more productive, happier, healthier, and more knowledgeable about your topic. Outside of that, it’s totally irrelevant.
When you want to write a story of your life, you want to first ask yourself:
- What’s in this story for my readers?
- In what ways can my experience help them grow?
If you give an affirmative answer to these questions, then go ahead with your story.
3: I Focused So Much on The Money
Just as the predator cartoon character pictures its cute prey as a piece of meat, most people visualize your readers as a bag of money.
But here’s the truth, your website is nothing but an ongoing pitch fest. Yes, I understand your desire to sell your “quality” content, not give it out for free. And you’re regularly pitching your latest e-book or e-course.
This is not a good idea my friend and here’s why:
Selling things both online and offline is all about trust. If you’re more focused on pitching different stuff to your audience, they won’t trust you. But instead, they’ll just write you off as yet another sleazy Internet marketer who’s trying to sell them snake oil.
Do you get the point?
You want to, first of all, offer helpful advice, insight and reasonable solutions to their problems:
- Make a difference
And people will be more eager to buy from you without you trying to force your products down their throat.
4: Not Collecting Emails
If I could correct one mistake I made early on; it would be not collecting emails from the beginning!
Building an email list could have saved me so much stress after Googles’ first Penguin algorithm update. With an email list, I’d been cruising along without worry when this one update changed everything for my blog.
In just one day, I lost over 70% of my website traffic (and consequently, my income minimized tremendously).
That’s not all, have you heard of the two famous marketers “Gregory Ciotti and John Chow?”
In case you don’t know them, these guys are among the most successful and famous bloggers in the make-money-online niche.
Now, can you guess their biggest blogging mistake?
It’s not building an email list from day one.
According to MC Kinsey, “email is the most efficient marketing channel for any business – It’s 40X more effective than other forms of marketing including social media.
Email subscribers are often loyal and very engaged (once you know what you’re doing). Most times, they’ll be the first to comment and share your blog posts with their friends on the various social media platforms.
Some time ago, lots of marketers argued that email is dead, but the truth is that it’s definitely not dead.
Interestingly, a study by Exact Target shows that “every one dollar you spend on email marketing has a return on investment of about $44.25.” Email has a conversion rate 3X higher than social media, with about 17 percent higher value in each conversion.
Now, what’s the best way to funnel your blog visitors into your email list?
It’s simply by offering them a valuable resource like a free course or an eBook. Ensure you make it easy for your readers to give you their email when setting up your blog. You want to have your subscription form at every strategic location on your blog.
These 67 email collecting tools will make things easier for you.
5: Holding Back the Valuable Ideas
Have you ever imagined that some of your ideas are too valuable to give out for free on your website? You assume that it’s best to package them up into an audio course or e-book and turn them into your flagship product.
Well, this is a big mistake.
This is because if you don’t offer real value from the beginning, your blog will never grow because no one will ever talk about it. You’ll be holding onto those your valuable ideas forever.
Do you wish to know the right approach?
Pretend like your audiences are paying you to write, and make every content worth it. Make it so amazingly valuable they can’t help but spread the word about it – watch your traffic soar above sky level – and then come up with something else to sell later.
Creating a WordPress blog is effortless. But if you don’t take time, the numerous “expert” advice on the web can confuse you.
These are some of the various beginner blogger mistakes I made myself when I started. If you’ve ever found yourself in any of these mistakes before, you can make corrections now and make things right. Or better still, you can avoid these common mistakes in the first place.
If you want to build a successful blog, you need to be strategic while keeping your business goals in mind. You can follow simple blogging strategy from Blog Tyrant.
Your turn: Please share this post with your friends on social sites. Also let me know which mistake did you make when you started? Comment box below is all yours!