The other day I got an email from a blogger that said just this: I stopped blogging. It made me sad. This girl had been blogging for years and years. She just up and stopped! Why? I can think of exactly one word: passion.
I believe that we do everything out of a love of wanting to continue. If we are at a job we hate we do the bare minimum. Same goes for blogging. It can easily lose its spark when we lose our passion. I think that passion is directly connected to one other thing: success. When we are doing well at something we want to continue going. We want to keep up the momentum and prove that we have what it takes. We are seeing progress, and we want that to continue.
I believe that the blog world is big enough for all of us. We all have our own voice and style and web of influence. But there are also a few mistakes that I think most bloggers make that hold them back from success.
The good news? They can be fixed! So hopefully you won't lose that drive or passion to keep going with your blog. I promise, it's worth it.
12 Mistakes Most Bloggers Make
1. No community
Not having a community is my number one mistake to avoid for bloggers. Without a strong community no one is reading your blog, commenting, or frankly, caring.
I remember when I first stated blogging I had hardly any comments or followers. Then, I started making a real effort to establish connections with other bloggers. I commented on other blogs with meaningful comments, followed on social media, and joined groups. Luckily, the world of blogging has changed a bit since when I started, and there are communities in place to help you get started.
But no matter what, having these connections will help to build your blog, give you advice, and support you in your endeavors. If you don’t have people that care about your blog you can’t make money, influence, or continue to grow.
2. Not using WordPress
I'm not saying other sites are bad to use, not at all. But WordPress is the best. As someone who has had blogs on almost all other platforms, WordPress takes the cake. It's just so intuitive. The plugins make it so easy for you to create the exact kind of site you want.
Need a leg up? Here's how to Start a Profitable Lifestyle Blog from Scratch.
3. Publishing something boring
We are constantly told to “find our niche” and “only post about one subject”. I don’t believe in niches and I think you can have a successful blog when you have a few different focuses, then write awesome content.
My advice is to choose some areas you want to focus on, then write about them well. I call this “foundational content.” It's blog posts that are evergreen that people will come back to again and again. When you write interesting posts that connect with readers or is beneficial to them in some way, it moves them. People want to stick around when you strike a chord. And you just can't do that when you write about doing your laundry.
4. Not being yourself (and honing in on your uniqueness)
In order to write well you need something else: your voice. It can be difficult to find a style of writing that represents you. My advice is to spend some time writing, look at those you love to read, and piece together your unique style. I promise that over time you’ll be able to clarify your writing style into something that is undeniably you. And people will LOVE it.
5. Not planning
I never thought I would be the kind of person that scheduled blog posts. I wanted to always “write in the moment.” Let me tell you, I still do. But now that I'm a full time blogger and traveler, I find I don't have the time to post on a whim and expect to post regularly. I think posting regularly is a major factor to growing your blog (and by regularly, I mean a schedule that works for you.) I personally post 2-3 times a week. And I do that by scheduling my posts! It's so freeing and helps keep you on track.
6. No Pinnable Image
I've talked to you about foundational content and evergreen posts that keep people coming back for years. One way to do that? A Pinnable image. I have a post on the best spots in Nashville to take a picture that repeatedly gets traffic. Know why? The image has been shared to Pinterest tens of thousands of times and keeps getting repinned. Creating a Pinnable image is a HUGE way to drive traffic to your blog and help give others a visual way to understand what your post is about.
Want to test it out?! Pin this image!
7. No compelling title
Let's say you just wrote the single best post in the history of the world. CONGRATS! But what if the post title is something boring and compels absolutely no one to click on it?! You just wasted your time hitting publish!
Spend some time to think about WHY someone might click and read your post. Give yourself multiple options and play around with them to see what will work best.
8. No clear navigation
The truth is, if I arrive on your website and can't find what I need I'm going to leave. I don't care how pretty it is. I want to understand what you're about and how to get there. The number 2 page on your blog after the home page is your “About Me” page! So make it easy to find. I think this echos back to focuses. When you have a few focuses on your blog you can easily list them in your navigation bar.
9. Messy design
We think when we start a blog we need to have all the bells and whistles and then some. But remember this as much as you can: simplicity is key. We want to make it easy for our readers to find exactly what they need.
Start simple, even plain. You can change it up as you go.
10. Not using Instagram (or social media) to bolster your blog
As bloggers we dedicate hours to perfecting our blog posts and images. Then when it comes time to publish them we might share on social media, then cross our fingers that everyone will come running to read. But really, we need to spend time and effort on cultivating our social media audience. This is a HUGE source of traffic (and even income) and we need to make sure to spend ample time to get people from following to actually reading.
I'm thrilled to tell you about my new book! It's called Instagram Unlocked: How to Find Followers and Engagement that Lasts. This is all about how to create relationships that lead to real followers and engagement. Instagram is one of the top traffic sources to my blog. And it's because I know what works to help my Instagram grow in the right direction.
11. Not having a clear strategy
This past year or so I doubled my blog's pageviews. I learned some hard lessons about what a high traffic blog needs. My site did end up crashing a few times before I put some things in place to make sure it worked.
When you want to take your blog to the next level, make money, or even turn it into your business, it's important to have a plan. Understanding your audience and what direction you want to go can play a huge role into whether or not you will succeed. And I should know. My blog has totally failed before.
12. Not getting help
I mentioned this above, but I once tried to go full time with my blog and it crashed and burned. There is one reason for this: I didn't seek help. I thought I could do it all on my own. The thing is there are bloggers out there who WANT to teach you their ways. How they set themselves up for success. The tricks and tips they use. How they gain pageviews, followers, or make things look good.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed and felt like there is just SO much to learn, you aren’t alone. All of us are trying to get better and improve our blogs and social media, myself included. I hope you'll check out Instagram Unlocked and help your Instagram grow!
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