Blogging is one of the most effective ways of illustrating your passion or expertise online while making an income. But over the years, it has evolved and now the only people who run successful blogs are the ones who understand how to stand out from the massive competition.
The blogging arena has witnessed a huge expansion in the past decade, and the competition is fierce in every niche. This is mostly thanks to the fact that these days, starting a blog is so easy that even a small child could do it in minutes without any instruction.
However, growing a blog and making it a successful income generator is another story.
In this post, we are going to look at some of the mistakes that bloggers make when they first get started online so you can avoid falling into the same pitfalls when building and growing your own blog.
Before we get started, let’s acknowledge the variety of factors that influence the performance of your blog:
- The quality, relevance, and value of your content marketing strategy
- The branding strategy of your blog
- The advertising, marketing, and sales strategy of your blog
- Your ability to effectively adapt to constant marketplace shifts
- Your digital marketing skills and knowledge
- Your passion, talent, or expertise
- Your persistence and consistency
As you can see, there are many factors that are going to have an impact on determining your future success. When you first start out, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of responsibilities that you’re facing.
You may doubt yourself each step of the way because of your lack of experience and knowledge, and this will trigger a lot of other issues.
But if you pay attention to these 8 biggest mistakes that new bloggers make, you will be able to start improving your own blog immediately.
8 Blogging Mistakes That Cripple New Blogs in Their Infancy
1. Not Having Specific Goals For Your Blog
This is the biggest mistake that you can make as a blogger.
If you don’t have a goal to shoot for, then there’s nothing guiding all your efforts. For any project to be successful, it has to have goals assigned to it.
And your blog is so much more than just a project – it’s a business that has to have a specific direction if you want it to succeed.
So you need a roadmap, otherwise, you’ll have chaos along the way and likely never reach your destination.
Ensure the stability and performance of your blog in the long term by doing the following:
- Clearly define your long-term goals
- Split each of the goals into a smaller chunk
- Establish milestones
- Create deadlines
- STICK TO YOUR PLAN – no matter what!
2. Not Understanding Your Key Audience
Your target audience is made up of the people whose needs, desires, or problems you seek to solve (so that they’ll pay you for it…) and if you don’t really know or understand who they are, and what their issues are, then you won’t be able to help them effectively.
A deep understanding of the audience that you’re targeting is essential if you’re going to succeed as a blogger.
Your blog needs to be a place where people know they can come and find the answers to all their specific questions or problems – ‘specific’ being the key word.
If your answers are too vague or if they speak to everyone, they won’t help anybody.
The relevance of your content will drop, as will the performance of your blog. And that’s the second reason why many new bloggers fail.
So keep your blog relevant by understanding your target audience, knowing what makes them tick, and creating a strict, efficient plan to approach those (and only those) people that are truly interested in the product or service that you offer.
3. Not Having The Right Skills Or Knowledge
There are no magic pills that you can take and make your blog an overnight success.
It all comes down to consistency and hard – strike that, SMART work! All these Internet gurus that are teaching people how to make money with their blogs usually omit one important fact:
The need for the right knowledge and skills.
Yes, you can create a blog in under 60 seconds with a few clicks of the mouse, but that’s not the same as creating a SUCCESSFUL blog.
So, if you come across any of those ‘teachers’ who claim that you can build a thriving blog without any kind of skills and knowledge, then don’t pay any attention to them as they really don’t know what they’re talking about.
Any time you see someone promising big results without asking for any significant requirements, it’s probably a scam.
You need relevant skills and basic industry knowledge to make it as a blogger, otherwise, your self-confidence is going to take some serious hits down the road.
The best way to get past this is to adopt the attitude of constant and never-ending learning.
Read about your industry every day, check out the news, reviews, and the top blogs in your niche.
Take a course, watch how-to videos – whatever you can do to gain more knowledge and skills will help you make your blog a success in the future.
4. Publishing Content That Is Average
As previously mentioned, the competition out there is fierce!
There are millions of blogs online, and a whole lot of them are run by people who are actually very good writers and content creators.
So, if you’re going to compete in such an environment, you cannot do so with mediocre content.
In order for you to set your particular blog apart, you’re going to need to develop truly epic content that offers real value to your readers. Of course, that is easier said than done!
But that’s the way things are now. You simply won’t be able to impress anyone enough to get them to come back to your blog if you’re sharing information that is average.
The topics that you choose have obviously been covered a million times before already (you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything new on the Internet these days…) but, you can still cover a topic using a new or unique angle.
You can use a fun, engaging writing style, or you can even use other media formats like videos, memes, and infographics to complement your written content and make it stand out.
Find ways to make your blog original.
Don’t follow the crowd.
From the way you create your content to your marketing, you can surprise your audience with original insights as well as a unique value proposition, and they will keep coming back to your blog for more.
5. Not Having A Well-Developed Blog Marketing Plan
Someone once said, ‘If you build it, they will come!’ Unfortunately, he wasn’t talking about a blog.
Even if you build the best, most impressive blog online today, if you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to make it popular, then you’ll end up with a really good looking piece of Internet real estate that no one even knows exists.
Avoid this mistake that most newbies in the blogging world make by planning ahead. You need to come up with an effective marketing strategy if you are going to make your blog a success.
Use the techniques listed below to help you bring targeted traffic to your new blog:
- Make sure that the content you write is optimized for search engines.
- Build up your presence on social media and share your work consistently
- Use influencers to help improve your blog’s reach
- Spend time engaging with others in your niche’s forum communities
- Offer value through comments on other blogs in your niche
- Collaborate with bloggers in your niche to get back-linking opportunities
- Use guest blogging to get extra traffic to your site
6. Not Using Compelling Headlines
Your headlines need to be interesting enough to attract attention.
People’s attention spans online are very short, and they don’t want to waste time on an article that won’t serve them. They make snap judgments about whether to read something or not based on its headlines and subheadings.
If your headlines don’t inspire them to click, then your content will go unread.
The importance and role of well-crafted headlines for blog posts is something that new bloggers fail to understand. They create amazing content and then slap the first headline they think of onto the post, and hit publish.
Here is an example of what I’m talking about:
‘8 Tips For New Bloggers’
‘8 Blogging Mistakes That Cripple New Blogs in Their Infancy’
See the difference? If you, as a new blogger, saw both of these results in the SERPs, which one would you be more likely to click on?
So, before you publish your next article, brainstorm at least 10 different titles, and then make sure that you choose the best, most interesting, specific, and attractive one as your post’s headline.
7. Not Engaging Enough With Your Audience
To make your blog extremely popular with your audience, you need to show them your personal side and show them appreciation (in addition to providing great content, of course).
If you do these three things, the odds are you’ll be able to get them hooked on your content.
Ignoring your followers, prospects, and customers, whenever they contact you, is a huge mistake.
Whether it’s through your blog comments, social media, chat forums, or anywhere else, you need to engage with each and every person that gets in touch with you.
If you can’t manage it on your own, then it simply means that you have to hire someone to help you with that, but you absolutely cannot leave a single person’s query unanswered.
Even if you receive negative comments or reviews, you still have to answer immediately. Just make sure that you address their concerns diplomatically.
The reason for this is that if other people notice that you don’t seem interested in answering questions or solving other people’s problems, then they’ll think that you lack professionalism and reliability, which means that they won’t want to do business with you.
8. Not Measuring Your Performance Properly
Your blog is your business, and in order to keep its performance steady, you have to be able to consistently and effectively measure your key performance indicators (KPIs), analyze your web traffic, and look for optimal solutions that will help to improve the experience of your users, and ultimately the traffic to your blog.
If you don’t have analytics on your blog, then you’re basically just working in chaos.
You won’t know exactly what you’re doing right or wrong, and you may spend months doing something that isn’t bringing in any real results.
Use Google Analytics for this. It’s free and it will allow you to consistently analyze your blog so that you get the following insights:
- Understanding the topics that your audience prefers
- Knowing how people come across your blog (search engines, social media, etc.)
- Seeing how visitors to your site navigate your platform
- Determining the frequency of people bouncing off your blog
- Finding out the average length of time that people spend reading posts on your blog
There are a lot of useful resources online that teach blogging, but not nearly enough that teach how to blog SUCCESSFULLY.
Creating your own platform is one thing, but making a healthy, consistent income from it is quite another.
So while absolutely anybody can start a blog, and put up some content on it, only a few bloggers can actually offer real value that helps them stand out from the crowd.
If you want to succeed as a blogger, you have to first establish some clear goals for your blog. Set yourself high expectations, and then work to improve your performance on a consistent basis.
Ignore the truckloads of ‘expert’ advice telling you that you can be successful online by clicking a few buttons.
Use the tips outlined in this post to help yourself avoid the biggest mistakes that new bloggers make, and you will be well on your way to becoming one of the estimated 10% of successful bloggers online today!
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Updated: Originally published January 11th 2019