So, let me guess.
When you first started blogging, some so-called guru made you believe it’s easy.
You pick a topic you’re passionate about, buy a domain name, throw up a basic blog, share your knowledge and/or expertise in every blog post you publish…
And before you know it, working just two hours a day, you’ll have an avalanche of traffic hanging on your every word, eagerly waiting to pull out their credit card and pay you for your awesomeness.
Am I right? I was fooled by their deception too.
Convenient how they forget to share all the struggles you have to overcome BEFORE you can build a successful blogging business, isn’t it?
Well, I refuse to breathe the same air as those people. I’m a big believer in sharing my failures as well as my knowledge, expertise, and successes.
Why? Because it helps you create a successful blog much faster, and by helping you I get to build my business in the fastest time possible to – it’s win-win for us both!
Thankfully, my passion for blogging gave me the motivation to push through the rookie mistakes listed below.
But anyone of them will make you fail as a blogger if you don’t overcome them.
Rookie Mistake #1: Niche Hopping
As an entrepreneur, you’ll naturally want to build new things.
It’s inevitable. It’s in your DNA.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ll really enjoy the planning process.
You’ll have lots of fun building out your new niche site and gaining an online presence.
But then, a few months into the project, you’ll start to lose focus because you’re no longer seeing immediate results.
You’ll get overwhelmed and frustrated trying to figure out what to do next…
So you’ll lose interest, get distracted and start all over again in a new niche, convincing yourself that “this is the one”.
Don’t fall into this vicious cycle. Learn from my mistakes and see niche hopping for what it really is – procrastination that stops you from building a successful blog.
Rookie Mistake #2: Not Being Consistent
I totally understand that a lack of time is a huge challenge for you. Especially when you have a job, and a family who needs your attention.
By the time you’ve finished work and put the kids to bed, the last thing you want to do is write that blog post you keep meaning to publish.
So, you decide to work on your blog over the weekend in your spare time, right?
Heck, I get it. I work full-time on my blog and it still feels like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Can I be honest with you?
Stop blogging right now, because you’re going to fail. A few hours here and there to grow your business isn’t enough.
You NEED to be consistently creating new content, networking strategically and promoting your site.
For a long time, I was randomly jumping from one task to next like a headless chicken on autopilot, with no predefined structure in place.
Guess what happened? Nothing – Nada – Zip!
Yeah, I got a trickle of traffic and the odd blog comment, but that does not enough create a successful blogging business.
I was getting nowhere fast and the same thing will happen to you unless you schedule time on your calendar to get stuff done!
The good news:
It’s not as hard as you may think…
During the week, work in 15-minute time blocks on smaller ‘priority tasks’ such as blog commenting, social media sharing, networking, etc…
And at weekends, write and publish a blog post when you have more time.
Rookie Mistake #3: Obsessing Over Differentiation
On your quest to build a successful blog, some gurus in this niche of mine will tell you that your blog must be different from your competitors if you want to “stand out”.
You’ll hear lots of talk about unique selling proposition (USP), domain names, slogans, marketing messages and a whole bunch more…
Don’t obsess over that stuff! You’ll get trapped in a state of analysis paralysis and it’s not a fun place to be, I can tell ya.
In the early days of your blogging career, and I’m talking years, you are still trying to master the art of blogging and discover what works best for you.
So right now, focus on becoming a better writer, build relationships with other bloggers in your space and nurture trusted relationships with your email subscribers.
Be yourself, be honest, be ethical and be genuine. Put your reader’s needs before your own wants and you WILL stand out in a crowded marketplace.
With time you’ll naturally find your unique writing voice and define your marketing message as you learn more about your target audience, their needs, wants and desires.
Rookie Mistake #4: Always Tweaking Your Blog Design
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist at heart.
And there’s nothing I enjoy more than tweaking themes and creating beautiful websites.
So I do know what it’s like when you have a blog, but you don’t want to publish any new content until you’ve improved your design.
After all, first impressions count, so any traffic that lands on your site before it looks good enough, will just be wasted because they won’t stick around to consume your content, right?
Well, yes and no…
As I learned the hard way, good design isn’t about how pretty your site looks.
It’s about using the right fonts so people can easily read your content, and make it easy for them to navigate your site.
But mainly, it’s about effectively converting readers into subscribers and/or paying customers.
By all means, spend some time putting the above web design elements in place before you launch your blog.
But if you’re wasting time tweaking your site after that, you’re just procrastinating!
A vast majority of readers won’t even see your blog design because they’ll consume your content on mobile devices and tablets.
And most desktop users will be totally oblivious to your design anyway.
Rookie Mistake #5: Hiding Behind Your Blog
If like me you’re an introvert, you may be tempted to hide behind the confines of your own blog, creating content and tweaking your blog design.
And that’s fine if you enjoy talking to yourself, but it’s no way to grow your business.
You can have the best content in the world, and you can tweak your blog design until you’re blue in the face.
But if no one even knows your site exists. If no one knows you exist…
You’re doomed to failure!
If you want to build a successful blog you NEED to throw yourself in front of your target audience. Not literally of course, lol.
Find existing channels of communications in your space and immerse yourself in those communities.
Build relationships with other bloggers. Write guest posts, interview influencers and be interviewed by others.
Comment on other blogs, network in forums, Facebook & LinkedIn groups, Google Plus communities, and build your social media following.
Yes, it sounds like a lot of hard work and truthfully, it is. But it’s the only way forward if you are serious about building a successful blog.