Happy New Year, everyone! I am very excited about it! There are so many great changes that are happening this year, and I cannot wait for them! Today, I decided to write a post that all bloggers will find helpful, especially those of you who are starting out! I am sharing 6 frequent and major mistakes that bloggers make, including myself, that prevent them from achieving success!
First of all, I want to tell all of you that it is completely okay and even necessary to make mistakes in anything that you do. So if you realize that you have done some of the things on my list, do not get discouraged! I'm actually very excited that I could figure out what I was doing wrong with my blog, because it only gave me an opportunity to do much, much better! Mistakes are good, okay!?
So... Let's start going through my list of mistakes! Or, we can actually call them lessons! Yay!
1) Not Being Consistent!
This one is huge, and is probably one of the most important lessons that you need to learn from the very beginning of your blogging journey! You need to be consistent if you want to achieve anything with your blog. You can't just post once a month, or twice one week and then no posts in the next two weeks. That shit doesn't work!
Let me explain why. Think about one blog that you absolutely love, and that you feel invested in. I am sure that you know which days that blogger publishes his or her posts. Now, imagine visiting that site on a day when you expect a new post, but not finding anything new at all! Imagine if that person stopped publishing posts for the rest of the month. First of all, I would be annoyed as hell, and I would probably lose my commitment to that blog. How would you feel?
It doesn't matter that you just began blogging! You need to set the pace and work through it every single week. Even if you have one or two committed visitors, you need to work for them! You need to show them that you love what you do, and that you will be there for these people. Don't let anyone down!
2) Not Providing Value to Your Readers!
This is also a huge lesson that you must learn right away! I started out by publishing posts about me going to the library and taking cute photos. Think about it: who really wants to read about that? The only people who read those kinds of posts were my family. Lol!
In the past three years, I learned that if I want to retain readers, I need to provide them with some value while they are on my blog. They need to either learn something new, become inspired, be entertained, or (simply) get something out of my blog. If you look through my blog, even my fashion posts provide value, such as inspiration and similar clothes options for readers on a budget. It is totally cool to have a blog for personal purposes, such as having a diary. However, if you want to have relationships with readers, or make money from blogging, you need to be HELPFUL to those who visit your site!
3) Not Advertising Your Content!
At the beginning of my blogging journey, I rarely did any self-promotion. It felt weird and awkward to even share my posts on my personal Facebook page. To be honest, I was afraid to share my stuff because I did not want to be judged by others - especially by my friends. Now that I am a bit smarter and more confident in this area, I really do not care if there are people who do not like my blog or make fun of it. I am doing this for me, and I should promote it as much as I want, because I do want people to read it and learn something from it. Also, I learned that some people (friends) may not support your blog because they either do not understand what it is all about and how difficult it is to be a blogger, or they are just assholes.
Anyway... You need to promote your blog! There are millions of bloggers in the world. If you want to be noticed, show everyone what you've got! There are several ways to do it. The easiest way is to share your post on your personal Facebook, as well as your Facebook blog page (hopefully you already have one!). Also, share photos from your blog to other social media outlets, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Make sure you write a good caption when sharing your post. Do not just tell people that your new post is ready and that they need to go look at it. NOOOO! Write a short description of what your post is about, and include a call to action or a question at the end of this caption.
Another important way to promote your blog is to leave great comments on other blogs with a link to yours. Here is a huge tip though! Please, please, please, I am freakin' begging you to not just write pointless comments on other bloggers' posts, such as, "Nice post", "Great job", "Cool", "I agree with you"... These are the most annoying comments that any blogger can receive. It obviously shows that the commenter did not read the post, and just wants to promote his or her blog. Please read the post, find information that stood out to you, and comment on that. It's super easy, and you will make another blogger super happy! At the end of your comment, leave a link to your blog, and readers of that blog could possibly visit your blog, too!
I can totally write a separate post on how and when to promote your blog posts. Let me know if you would be interested in reading it! :)
4) Not Writing the Way You Speak in Real Life!
This is a tough thing to do, especially when you are just starting out with your blog. I didn't realize how important it was to speak in my own voice at the beginning of my blogging journey. I was very conservative and afraid to offend people with my wording. I honestly sounded similar to so many famous bloggers, because I really wanted to be like them. If you read my blog at that time and met me in real life, you would probably be confused by the way I speak. Haha!
Thankfully, I stopped pretending to have a voice that was not my own, and instead wrote the way I speak in real life. Yes, I use swear words, and I am very blunt at times, but that is exactly what makes me, me! Remember that not every single person will love your blog, and that is okay! :) However, there will be those who will love the way you write, the way your photos come out, and other things about your blog. Be yourself!
5) Not Doing Research About Blogging!
At the beginning, all I did was visit popular blogs and compared them to my own, which was not helpful at all! There are so many things to learn about the blogging and marketing worlds! Find podcasts, websites, and YouTube videos that can teach you something new about blogging. I personally love Gary Vee. He has a YouTube channel, website, and a podcast! He publishes daily content that is so educational and amazing, and it can teach you a lot about business.
I also love the ProBlogger podcast. It is all about blogging! The guy who creates content for this podcast has been in the blogging field for 10+ years, and he has great knowledge of what works and what doesn't. You will love him. Ultimately, the more you learn about blogging, the more successful your own blog will be!
6) Not Choosing the Right Companies to Collaborate With!
It feels amazing when a company contacts you with a collaboration proposal. No matter how small this company is, it makes a blogger feel recognized. I did several collaborations with companies that were not passionate about my work, and most importantly, I was not passionate about their work! At that time, being offered free clothes or $10-20 per post sounded super exciting.
However, when accepting these offers, think about the future of your blog. Are you planning to make a business out of this, or are you just doing it for the next year or so? If you chose the first option, then you need to be honest and determine if you love the products of the company that contacted you. If you don't or are unsure, then it is a good idea to not collaborate.
You are creating a trusting relationship with your readers. Yes, you will gain some new clothes and some money, but what if the product you are promoting actually sucks? What if customer service of this company also sucks? One of your readers ends up taking your advice and buying the product that you promoted, and ends up hating it. Guess who they will blame. It's probably you, because they found this product in one of your posts. The trust between this reader and you is gone. Also, don't forget that this reader can also tell his or her friends about how unhappy she or he was with the purchase, and who recommended this product.
Be two steps ahead, and actually think about the consequences of your reviews. Collaborate with companies that you love, and that value your work! Collaborate with companies who show you respect, and not only try to use you. If you are interested in how I think companies should approach bloggers, read this post here! :)
I hope you found this post helpful! Please share your thoughts and your own advice on blogging! Can't wait to read your comments! :)