10 Common Blogging Mistakes You Should Avoid If You Want to Turn Your Blog Into a Business
Blogging as a career is so much more than just opening up your laptop, typing up some articles, and snapping a couple pictures here and there. If you want to turn your blog into a business, there are crucial steps you need to take to make sure that you pave the way for success.
Let me just say this: Turning your blog into a business is a bit more complex than people think, but it can also be really fun and rewarding. The feeling you get when you make your first dollar from your blog is unforgettable. It's your baby and YOU created it!
I've observed some of the things that make a successful blogger, and observed some of things that make and unsuccessful blogger. I've made A TONNNNN of mistakes in my blogging career, and a lot of them have set me back some time in my success...but hey! That's life! Live it, learn it! I'm here to share those common blogging mistakes so that you can avoid them and save some time by learning from my mistakes.
Mistake #1: Paying Attention to the Noise Around You
Ok, so this one can have 2 meanings. I'm talking about (1) the people in the beginning who will try and talk you out of starting a blog or make you doubt your decision, and (2) the other bloggers who claim to have the secret formula to success for turning your blog into a 6-figure empire overnight (UGH. STOP WITH THIS SHIT!).
Listen up: If you want to start a blog, DO IT! I've even mapped out an easy 5-step process for you right here. Don't let someone talk you down or make you question whether or not you should do it. Trust your gut instinct and go with it! What's the worst that can happen? You decide you don't like it and move on? Ok! **Before I started TCS, someone I once knew tried to talk me out of it by saying, "blogs weren't relevant anymore." BOY, AM I GLAD I DIDN'T TAKE THAT ADVICE!
There are a lot of bloggers and coaches out there who are trying to hook in other bloggers to buy into their "formula for 6-figure success" these days. You guys... Don't fall into the trap of listening to the noise around you. Making 6-figures in any business takes a lot of hard work, dedication, passion, and time. THIS is the TRUE formula: Put your head down and grind it the f*ck out. **PS-Check out this incredible post from byRegina.com that exposes this phenomenon of the 6-figure trap.
Mistake #2: Not Writing Constantly in the Beginning
Oh boy, did I learn this one the hard way... When you start a blog, you must write prolifically in the beginning. Seriously! Pump out as much crap as you can. And I say "crap" because that is probably what it will be. CRAP.
My goodness...I look at the stuff I posted when I first started and I want to claw my eyes out! It's horrible! But that's the reason you need to write constantly so that you can put the bad stuff behind you and make improvements fast. It will help you find your voice and it will get you in the routine of putting out quality content. The more you do it, the better you will become.
Mistake #3: Not Starting an Email List or Creating an Opt-In
You know all those social media followers you have? 10K on Instagram, 5K on Facebook, 20K on Twitter... Guess what? They could be gone tomorrow. Legally speaking, you do not own your social media followers. But do you know what you DO own? Your email list.
If you haven't done so already, start an email list! Even if you only send 1 newsletter of your blog post roundups, start it now! Open an account with an email provider (Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, etc.) and get rolling. I waited until late in the game to start building my email list and it's one of my biggest mistakes. Lesson learned!
The best way to grow your email list is to create some sort of opt-in or freebie that people can get when they sign up. Even if you put together a nice, professional looking, 1-page checklist that people can get value out of when they sign up, that is better than nothing. There are so many "sign up for my newsletter" messages out there that you want to stand out from the rest. Create something of value to give away to your audience FOR FREE.
Mistake #4: Waiting Until Your Blog is "Perfect" to Publish It
Are you in the process of designing your blog, playing around with the layout, or messing with it until it's perfect? STOP! Don't wait until it is "perfect" to hit publish because that doesn't exist. As long as you have the basic info (About Page, Social Media Links, & Blog/Home Page) that's all you need to start! Don't even worry about having tons of blog posts up. Just do it now or you'll get analysis paralysis.
I've probably gone through over 10+ different designs of TCS since I started it, and I'm STILL changing things all the time! It's never going to be perfect. You'll like it for a bit, and then want to change something. So don't waste time waiting for perfection. Just get yourself out there now and start at it!
Mistake #5: Not Utilizing Pinterest
You know what my #1 traffic referral is? Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. And by a massive landslide too. The platform that we all kind of overlooked turns out to be the biggest referral generator for me and tons of other bloggers.
You want to grow your blog and your traffic fast? Get on Pinterest. I grew my traffic over 800% in 2 months just by putting my content on Pinterest. Here's the easy step-by-step to start now:
- Set up a Pinterest Business Account with your blog's name
- Create a solid profile that includes a picture of your face (or logo if you're a biz) and type up a strong bio with great keywords peppered in
- Use Canva (or other similar programs) to create Pinterest-length pins that will act as the cover to your blog posts
- Upload those custom pins you just created and link your blog posts to them
- Create relevant boards for your blog and pin to those boards
- Join group boards to participate in and pin your content to those boards too
It takes a little work, but the results are sooo worth it. You can join me on Pinterest here!
Mistake #6: Playing the Comparison Game
Confession: This might be the #1 mistake I've made as an entrepreneur. There are so many other people in this space that it is extremely easy to look to the left or the right and find someone to compare yourself to. Not to mention all the bloggers right now who are putting out income reports to expose how much money they have made.
It can be really discouraging to a new blogger--or even veteran blogger--to look at all this stuff that's happening around you and feel like you don't measure up! You see someone else's blog and how good it looks, or you see this person's accomplishments and awards, or maybe this blogger's claim to making $100K their first year of blogging. It can be a REAL heavy shot to the self esteem and creative drive. I'm saying this because I've been through it!
You CANNOT play the comparison game. Comparison is the DEATH of creativity. The best thing you can do is put your head down and focus on you and what makes you happy. Stop focusing on what other bloggers are doing and look to yourself. That is their journey, not yours! The best thing I've done to battle this (yes, I still struggle with it sometimes) is to be selective with what you put your focus into. Focus on creating, not comparing.
Mistake #7: Thinking Your Blog Will Go From 0 to 10K Views Overnight
I get an eye twitch every time a brand new blogger posts on a Facebook group that they just started 1 month ago and only have 100 views on their blog. Reality check: that is to be expected! You just started your blog and 100 views is so great! You should be celebrating, not feeling discouraged (Are you playing the comparison game? Is that why you're discouraged?!).
I wish that I could tell you that your blog will become an instant overnight success; but unless you're a celebrity and just getting into blogging, that probably won't be the case. Getting your blog to grow is going to take time and effort. Be patient, put out awesome content, and the followers will come. I promise.
Mistake #8: Not Joining Affiliate Programs
If you want to turn your blog into a business, why not start by generating some passive income from it? Join some simple affiliate programs from the get-go just to get you started. Amazon Affiliates is a great place to start (every time you recommend an Amazon product and back-link it with your code, you make a commission if someone buys it). Share-A-Sale and Commission Junction are other ones. The list really goes on and on! Point being: join some kind of affiliate program to at least get you started.
Mistake #9: Not Being True to Yourself
You know what stands out amongst a sea of Internet content? Authenticity. Authenticity always wins over anything else. People can easily sniff out the garbage or imposters, so make sure you're being true to yourself and putting out content that is honest and really makes you happy. Don't post about things you "think your audience would like." Nah, post about the stuff that really matters to you.
Being true to yourself is the most important thing and it will attract the genuine followers. The minute I started writing as if I was chatting it up with my best friend was the minute my blog started taking off. Let your personality and voice shine through (*kudos to John Romaniello for giving me this incredible tip of advice). People notice and appreciate it.
Mistake #10: Not Providing Value or Creating Trust With Your Audience
Do you know why someone would choose to come back to a blog again and again and again? It's because that blog continuously provides a tremendous amount of value that people can't wait to consume. Are you doing this in your business? What are you doing right now to provide value and create trust amongst your audience? Do you have amazing *FREE* content that they can come and consume time and time again?
The secret to being a successful blogger is to create and establish a trusting relationship with your audience. Once your audience trusts the stuff you're putting out and you've created a ton of value, they are more likely to buy into the stuff or services you have to offer. Provide value, create trust, and repeat. Once you do this enough, you'll have a loyal following behind you that is eager to consume and promote your content for you.
What are other blogging hurdles you've overcome in your quest to become an online entrepreneur? Comment below with feedback or other tips for people to create a successful blogging business!
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