— September 27, 2017
The blogging industry has grown and evolved over the past few years. It’s clear that having a blog can be very lucrative whether you’re trying to establish a company blog or a personal brand blog. However, it’s not always easy to get a brand new blog off the ground. There are many mistakes new bloggers make on a routine basis that’s impacting their business.
A successful blog means something different to everyone but generally, you’d want your blog to have great content, plenty of readers, a clear audience, and be able to help you reach your bottom line whether that’s growing your reach, selling your products and services, etc.
To improve and properly grow your blog, you’ll have to avoid some of these common mistakes new bloggers tend to make.
1. Not Keeping Your Target Audience in Mind
This is one of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make. After they set up their blog, they often just start writing and brain dumping a list of topics they like and are interested in.
While it’s great to start writing, if you fail to think about your intended audience and the types of topics they’ll like and resonate with, you may be wasting your time. A blog doesn’t really serve a purpose if no one reads it. Thus, you have to write for yourself first — and to benefit of others. The benefit to others may not really occur until they actually start finding and reading your information. But hang on. They will find you if you if you keep them in mind and keep going.
When you’re just starting out, it can be a challenge to determine who your target audience is and what content they’ll like but you can do things like check out your competition and analyze their readers and social media followers. Create a profile for your average target audience member and see what their interests and needs are. You may even want to set up a call with your ideal audience member or send them a survey to learn more about their needs and interest.
2. Mistakes New Bloggers Make – Not Blogging Consistently
The next mistake new bloggers make is not blogging consistently. When you start your blog, it’s important to carve out enough time to consistently update and maintain it. Some bloggers make the mistake of initially publishing a ton of content, then dropping off the face of the Earth when they get burnt out. And, you will burn-out.
This can confuse your readers and cause any traffic you worked hard to generate decline. Plus, if you’re looking to work with advertisers or sponsors, it may affect their decision to work with you if they see your blog content is not steady.
To avoid this issue, start out slowly. Get some work ready ahead of time in case an emergency comes up. And, an emergency will come up. Stick to a consistent schedule. Sometimes, quality is better than quantity. If you’re going to put up a post once a month or once a week, commit to that schedule.
Personally, I like to get a few weeks ahead on blog posts so everything is scheduled out in case I can’t blog for a few days.
3. Not Creating an Email List
This mistake is HUGE and can really set you behind. New bloggers who haven’t been warned about this mistake, may not see the need to establish an email list for some time. I know some bloggers who waited years to start building their list and have regretted playing catch up.
If you’re trying to monetize your blog, sell a product, or promote your company, you need an email list and the sooner you start one the better. Even if you don’t have that many readers, choose an email marketing program and set up opt-ins on your site so people can slowly start signing up.
You can offer a freebie or incentive for signing up. If you’re not ready to share a regular newsletter, you don’t have to. You can simply offer your list your freebie then email them whenever you’re ready.
4. You Aren’t Writing Engaging Content
First impressions are everything. When you initially start posting on your blog, I’m sure your writing will improve over time, but you’ll want to put your best work out there and make sure you’re engaging with your audience.
You don’t just want to dump a ton of random thoughts on your readers. Make sure your blog posts are structured and your tone is conversational. Break your posts up into small paragraphs and divide them up with sub-headings. Write like you’re talking to someone so your posts are casual and easy-to-understand.
Also, consider offering up personal anecdotes, tips, and actionable advice readers can follow and don’t forget to properly cite resources to back up your ideas and thoughts.
5. You Stop At Writing
Content is one of the most important parts of a blog, yet one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make. However, it’s not everything. There are many other aspects of your blog that you need to work on in order to grow it into something successful. If you’re simply writing blog posts and hitting publish, your blog will not generate the results you want even if your content is amazing.
First, you need to edit your content and make sure it’s amazing and grammatically correct. Then, you need to work on adding visuals, doing SEO, promoting your content, and maintaining your website.
You can outsource some of these tasks by hiring an editor for your content, someone to create social media images, and someone to update your site. Just make sure you set aside enough time for all these tasks to keep your blog running smoothly.
A good rule of thumb is to never spend more than 50% of your time allotted to work on your blog solely writing content. You need to spend the rest of your time polishing and promoting your content and building up the blog itself.
Summary: Take It One Step At a Time
Blogging is a lot of work. It can be overwhelming at first leading you to make several newbie blogging mistakes. Focus on pacing yourself and taking it one step at a time.
I find it best to set regular blogging goals to stay on track. After you’ve got a momentum going, blogging and promoting your blog will get much simpler. It will become routine and part of your everyday life. You can always outsource some of the more time-consuming tasks later on to streamline your process.