10 mistakes commonly made by bloggers - And why they will kill both you and your blog!
Is your blog wearing you out? here are 10 crazy blogging habits that you need to stop right now!
What are the biggest mistakes bloggers make?
You may have asked yourself this question whether you're a seasoned blogger or just starting out. And you're right in doing so, because it means that you can avoid stepping into the same traps as those before you.
Perhaps knowing some common blogging problems from the get-go can help you learn why bloggers fail, and, in turn, you can get better results for your own blog faster than you otherwise would.
The biggest blogging mistakes are not unique, and most bloggers encounter them at some point or rather. The results are often the same; we exhaust ourselves, over-work, under-plan, and generally fail to gain the readership and earnings we could very well be harnessing with our existing infrastructure.
Remember when blogging was fun?
Like the very first week, when you and your keyboard were like honeymooners, and couldn't be apart for a second without longing back to each other?
If that keyboard has turned into more of a nagging spouse of late, making you feel guilty and exhausted rather than passionate and excited, it's time to make some serious changes. Let's take your relationship back to those fun days. Let's bring the love back!
Are you plagued by RSI and dry eyes? Does your posting schedule keep you up at night? Are you pulling your hair out wondering when this crazy mary-go-round will ever take a break and let you just breathe?
Then you're probably breaking some of the cardinal rules for sustainable blogging.
how often should you blog?
I used to blog myself to death. For a while there, I was blogging to such olympic proportions that you'd think it really was a sport. I was propped up with wrist braces, special cushions in my space-age office chair, and with colourful schedules swinging from everything but the ceiling fan.
My (awesome) husband would yell into my office at crazy hours that I needed to stop for some food, and I'd reply with "just another paragraph babe," or "great, can you bring it in here?".
I was hooked, but not in a very good way. I was hooked on, tightly and painfully, like a fish on a line, desperately cramping up in violent vigour in an attempt to stay alive.
Not that I minded, because I was sure I was doing exactly what it takes for that crazy "big break" to hit, at which point I would sit back, enjoy the cashflow, and catch up on sleep, food and relationships. Only, it didn't end.
blogging can be overwhelming
You see, the problem with biting over more than you can chew, is that there's always something else to bite over after you've finally swallowed. An inbox is called an inbox because it has a constant flow of stuff going into it.
There is ALWAYS a new, cool social media platform sprouting somewhere on the internet, events you should take part in, media releases you need to follow up on and sponsors who want a piece of your time. You're definitely never gonna run out of improvements you could possibly make to your design, new plugins that you probably should be using, or technological updates that could definitely improve the user experience on your blog.
If you feel like the demands of blogging swarm around your head like a pail of angry wasps most of the time, and you can't sit still for fear of being stung, then it's time to take stock.
can i blog less and still succeed?
Yup, you definitely can!
Have you ever looked at those super successful bloggers who seem to outperform us mere mortals, and wondered how the heck they do it? How do they pop out awesome, popular content more often than you and I pop to the shops?
I used to wonder about just that. Or worry, more like it. I used to cry on the inside, thinking about how many hours I would actually have to add to my already crackpot crazy blogging schedule in order to match their flawlessly designed, clever, informative and just damn perfect content which seemed to fly at me left right and centre. I felt like there was no way in heck that I could muster it. Besides, I couldn't possibly be talented enough, even if I did have an extra 20 hours in the day.
So I lost my pep instead.
The superbloggers' secret weapon
What I didn't know, is how the superbloggers often use copy editors (yup, there are people who fix up your posts before they go live. A bit like makeup before a photo), professional designers, brilliant photographers, and even content marketers and social media managers to keep their channels bubbling over with fantastic content at all times.
Well that's just great, you might think. I was frustrated before, and now I know I've got PROFESSIONALS to compete with as well? Thanks a lot.
You're welcome. Because it's important that you know that there are very few people out there who can do everything at once, and perfectly at that. Some can, but they tend to burn out like one of those flashy indoor fireworks you put on a cake. So bright and sparkly and exciting one minute, dead the next. And I don't want that to be you. Or me, for that matter.
So, what. Now I have to invest in friggin' staff? As if I haven't got enough bills to pay..
No! Don't go paying copy writers and social media professionals just yet. You barely need to pay a designer, at least not the expensive kind. You see, those perfect bloggers who can afford a posse of professionals to take care of their day-to-day stresses, they started somewhere too. And that somewhere wasn't on a silver platter. They built their audiences first, and then they grew big enough to be able to get help wherever it was needed, so that they could continue focusing on writing awesome posts for you and I to read.
Maybe you'll need a copy editor in the future, but right now you just need to lower your shoulders, take a deep breath, and shift your focus. We're gonna get you on the right track!
take the stress out of blogging
There are 10 common mistakes that bloggers make when they try to pursue greatness. All of these 10 habits can literally kill both you and your blog. What they all have in common is that they keep you (very) busy, and although they make you feel productive, they actually have quite a contrary effect.
First of all, being busy isn't the same as being productive. A lot of the time, when we're up to our ears in to-do's, we're at our lowest in performance. Not only will an exhausting schedule tire you out to the point where you're underperforming on quality, but being spread too thin means that neither segment of your job gets the attention it deserves. Besides, it most likely also means you never finish anything completely, because by the time you're just about done with one task, the next has piled up. And, when you get going with that, something in need of urgent attention pops up.
You may feel very busy, but you're really only putting out fires all around.
One thing is for sure, you won't last long at the pace you've set yourself. Heck, if you're anything like I was, both your blog and your health are already starting to suffer.
They key to a successful blog isn't speed and quantity, it's quality and consistency. Quality and consistency is best achieved when you are happy, rested and excited about what you're doing.
10 mistakes commonly made by bloggers
1. Posting every day
How often should you blog? The question echoes into empiricism.
What you're really asking might be; how often should you blog for seo, or what are the best days to blog for your niche. The science of social timing is largely dependent on circumstance, and individual to each blogger or blog in question.
Some blogs are of a format that allows or needs a very frequent posting schedule. Like a daily diary, an on-the-go travel blog, or maybe a project that is updated daily. But those updates are most frequently relatively concise, maybe even just pictures with comments. Most blogs, whether it be fashion, food or parenting, can do very well indeed with fewer posts throughout the month.
The important thing is that you find a pace that works for your niche, your readers and yourself, and that you stick with it. It might only be one post a week, or even one every fortnight for that matter. The most important thing is that is oozes quality, enthusiasm and relevance!
Each and every blog post should have the potential to be evergreen. Evergreen posts are like residual income; they last long after you've written them. Readers favourite them, share them and come back to them time and again. Google takes a shine to them, and you can keep collecting views from the day you click publish until the internet seizes to exist.
With a blog full of evergreen quality posts, who needs a hectic posting schedule!
2. Trying to be present on every social media platform
This is such a big no-no. Who can be everywhere at once? Not me, and I'm not gonna try.
There are social media platforms that don't require you to be online all the time, but many of them do. To build a substantial following, you'll need to pump out something juicy every five minutes or you'll be yesterday's news.
Don't get me wrong, learning how to promote your blog on social media is very important to a blogger (get help with your social media priorities here), but it is also VERY important to remember that those channels aren't your home turf.
Only, and I mean ONLY, spend your time on the platforms that convert, meaning those that literally bring readers to your blog. The reason for this is that a social media platform isn't owned by you, but by the stockholders of some large corporation, and those stockholders literally decide what to do with your followers at any given time.
Using social media to drive website traffic is hugely beneficial, you just have to do it right!
My facebook faceplant
Back in the early days, I spent SO much time building the Facebook page for my first blog. I was getting awesome engagement, and my numbers were through the roof. Needless to say, I was stoked!
Until one day I woke up and Facebook had gone public. Literally, over night, I had next to no engagement. I was still doing exactly the same things, posting the same awesome content at the same rate, but nobody liked it, shared it or talked about it anymore. I had no idea what had happened, and it was wracking my brain!
Then, I found out about algorithms.
Boom, what a punch in the gut that was.
What is a social media algorithm, you may ask. Well, algorithms are essentially nasty little programmed patterns of selection social media companies apply to their platforms, in order to sell more advertising slots -plainly speaking. They mess up the natural flow of your newsfeed, so that Facebook's priorities are, well, prioritised.
There's obviously more technically accurate explanations (which you can get help with here), but to me, that's essentially what it felt like at the time. My followers were no longer actually seeing my posts, and so they couldn't comment, like or share them. Facebook instead wanted me to pay for my followers to see what I was posting.
Because, in reality, even though I had put in all the hard yards, they weren't, in effect, my followers, but rather Facebook's followers.
To sum it up; you wouldn't build you house on rented land, so why would you build your following on somebody else's platform. Your blog is your land. Build it there. Use social media to convert new readers to your blog, and pick your platform by which ones do this job best. Spend your time there, and ditch the rest. They are just time wasters and head space stealers.
3. Failing to plan
Anyone who endeavours to start their own business, start with a plan. If you fail to plan you plan to fail, right?
Then why is it, that so many bloggers think they can throw all caution to the wind, toss out whatever falls into their heads, and expect to sail off into the sunset as the biggest thing ever to hit the web? Shouldn't planning a blog strategy be equally important?
Personally, I believe we owe this fail to the oodles of misinformation available as soon as our fingertips hit the "oo" in Google.
SO many people online want to tell you that succeeding with blogging is pretty much as simple as walking upright. The trouble is, most of these people are either trying to sell you the latest blogging pfaff, or they have no idea what it means to actually run a business. Most likely, they have never actually "succeeded" as bloggers themselves.
- I quote mark the word "succeeded" because I believe that what either person perceives to be a success is totally subjective. Success certainly isn't measured in earnings by each and everyone of us. However, I do believe that regardless of anyone's measure of success, if someone wants to teach you how to do something, they must at the very least be good at doing it themselves. If you buy someone's opinion, you buy their life.
I digress.. The point is, blogging success probably isn't gonna "fall in your lap", and blog post planning is an important ingredient of successful blogging.
I'm sorry to be the burster of bubbles, but I am a firm believer (not belieber) in reality checks as a path to success. Knowing what you're up against means you're prepared to take on the challenge.
This is not to say that blogging is this tough, nut-cracking venture that will haunt your worst nightmares from now and forever. It so isn't! In fact, blogging is the single most rewarding job I have ever had!
Blogging brings with it so many rewards, so much fun and so much learning, it's hard to imagine any other business being quite as exciting!
But, as in any business, if you want to make blogging your career, you must plan.
take up blog post planning
Organising blog content and giving your blog a solid plan is not just common sense, it is a prerequisite for success.
If you haven't already, take stock, and set out to create a real business plan for your blog. If you have no experience with business plans and it all sounds a bit daunting, then either get help or simply create a written plan that works for you.
The main thing is that you put thought and effort into outlining the key elements of your branding, create a strategy for your day-to-day tasks, and track your goals.
In fact, your plan should be built around your blogging goals, and include things like your level of commitment, your audience, your design, your budget and earnings, and your strategies.
The planning you do right now, will have a huge impact on your blog in the next month or 5 years from now. It can literally mean the difference between blogging for a hobby or for a living!
4. failing to schedule
Unless you're looking to take up an energy drink addiction, learn how to function on 3 hours sleep, and give up every hobby and important relationship in your life.. you'll need to learn how to schedule your blog posts.
Sure, you might be at a point where your social media schedule is totally manageable, fun even -good for you! But, if you're aiming to crank up the volume on your performance and go from busker to full-on social media rockstar, you're gonna wanna get good at scheduling your posts.
I'm not Kim Kardashian (I'm guessing she's pretty big on social media), but I really, really struggle to answer every single comment or reciprocate every single like. It's just not something I'm able to achieve on my own at all times. And that's just the receiving end of this game. Currently, I blog in 2 languages on 4 blogs, 3 blogging platforms and to an audience that stretches across every continent. I depend on and share across several social media platforms, and my readers and followers are awake literally 24 hours a day between them.
How can I humanly keep up with that? I can't.
I can't get up at 3am to post on Twitter for my followers in Australia. I also can't crank out fun and engaging Instagram posts at midnight on a Sunday. I especially can't do all those things every hour of every day of every week. Call me mediocre, but I just wasn't made that strong.
Yet, like magic, I still manage to communicate with the Australians and Americans and Scandinavians at their preferred time, every time. Even when I'm asleep.
how to schedule your social media posts
Although it's a bit sucky that I now lose superwoman status amongst those of you who thought I was actually physically online all the time whilst still managing to stay alive and healthy, I have to point out that I do, in fact, rely on scheduling to make the wheels go 'round.
You too need to learn how to schedule your social media posts, if you want to live to see the pot of gold at the end of the blogging rainbow.
Well thought out scheduling and good scheduling tools will keep your brand working when you can't. It will make sure that you can talk to people whenever they are online, wherever they live and whatever times they come looking for your content. Scheduling tools also let you take time off to actually be a human being, go on holidays, get well when you're sick, and spend time doing whatever it is that you like doing outside of your blog.
Sure, you're a professional blogger, but you're not a robot. You won't be able to take care of your tribe if you're not taking care of numero uno!
Examples of scheduling tools are Hootsuite, Buffer, Viraltag, Posts, Mailchimp (and many more), as well as tools available within each app such as Wordpress or Facebook scheduling.
It doesn't matter so much which ones you decide to use. The important thing is that you find tools that work for your needs, and that you feel comfortable working with. Take some time trying free options until you find a couple that you love, then consider a paid plan if your activity requires it.
Make scheduling your best friend, and you'll find a freedom within your blogging life that you might have never thought possible!
5. Failing to revive old content
Sometimes the most obvious solution to a problem is right under your nose. Or already on your blog.
At times, you might find it hard to produce new, amazing content. Perhaps you've run out of steam for a while, you've got a lot on, you're sick, away, busy.. Whatever the reason, you might run into periods where creativity is a bit more challenging than usual. At times like that, it's perhaps easy to either feel overwhelmed and end up distancing yourself from taking any action at all, or to force out content that isn't really of the quality want to be presenting on your blog.
One really great solution to this problem is to take a step back, or, back in time rather.
Have you ever considered that you don't necessarily have to constantly produce new content for your readers to enjoy? In fact, there are a ton of actions you can take to create new interest around old content!
how to update old blog posts
Reviving old content isn't just a good solution for you in times of despair, it can also be super valuable to your readers!
Amongst all the awesome posts on your blog, there are some that have become absolute gems over time. They stand out by their popularity, engagement rates and how great they make you feel. These posts have all kinds of potential still in them!
With a minimal amount of effort, you can add value to these old favourites, and create a brand new buzz to rival any fresh post.
Republishing old blog posts gives you an opportunity to add value whilst saving yourself some time. Perhaps you can design a downloadable freebie, update the content with new, exciting information, create a series of posts that spring from the feedback you've had on the original publication.. The possibilities are endless. All you have to do is apply a little bit of imagination, and your old posts can become brand new and shiny again!
Another way to revive old posts is to republish seasonal content each year, for example a popular pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, or post-holiday workout regime come January. These posts are likely to be a welcome seasonal favourite with your existing followers, and a brand new experience for new ones.
And, don't forget, all of your posts are new to someone at any point in time. Just because you're tired of seing them doesn't make them any less valuable to new visitors!
6. Covering too many topics
Covering every topic under the sun might feel like a way to give yourself plenty of options, and a great outlet for all your interests and hobbies. And that's exactly what it is.
What it is not, is an effective way to run your blog business and build a large tribe.
You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by simplifying your content. Razor sharp, pin-pointed blogs for a specific niche -big or small, tend to attract hard-core fans who will love, cherish, and, above all, read and share your content forever more.
how many topics should a blog cover?
You need to find your niche, and once you've found it you have to choose your topics to suit it. Limit your categories and stay true to your core purpose. If you find yourself slowly adding categories over time, take a step back and take stock, then do the tough job of deleting some topics and reevaluating your focus.
If it's important to you to generate an income from your blog, then you might also want to explore which blogging topics that make money within your niche.
Being general and neutral, or covering a broad spectrum of topics, might be a great way to stay out of trouble, but it may not actually make you a popular blogger. There’s a tribe out there looking for a leader. Will you lead them?
7. Thinking you must be everything to everyone
No one (real) is universally loved. If you are, then you must either be terribly inoffensive or dreadfully boring. And, even with those unusual qualities, you just can't please each and every person all of the time. I'd venture to say that being everything to everyone is literally impossible, not to mention exhausting. So why try?
If you set out to conquer the bloggosphere by thinking you can charm the pants off of every person that happens upon a sentence of yours, then you will be disappointed. But, before you even get to the stage of disappointment, you will hit several stages of disillusionment, exhaustion and frustration. And then you'll give up.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to spread as much love as possible, and there's no harm in being inoffensive. In fact, in very many circumstances, being likeable is the best quality you can possibly possess. But if, by chance, you are not trying to win World Idol or negotiate peace in the Middle East, but rather create a huge and wildly excited blog following, being "blah" won't get you anywhere.
The best thing you can do to attract loyal followers on your blog or social media sites, is to pick a topic, stand firm, and dedicate your efforts to creating hot content for those who actually want to hear what you have to say. If what you're saying is putting off a whole bunch of people, don't let that scare you. Chances are it is attracting a whole other bunch, and all the while you get to totally be yourself!
Spreading yourself too thin or trying to be everybody's cup of tea will water out your brand and dilute your message, and it will exhaust you. There is a reason very few people become olympic champions in more than one sport.
8. Thinking you need to have the best of everything
There is a pile, no a mountain, of tools and things that can help you blog better, be more efficient, reach further, look better and feel more important..
But all you really need is a computer and a great idea. Seriously.
Sure, along the way, as you grow as a blogger, you will find that certain things will help both yourself and your business prosper. You might need to upgrade from being a phone blogger working out of your sofa, to a laptop blogger working in a shared office and eventually a desktop blogger with your own office. Perhaps you'll wanna move from a standard blogging platform to self-hosted with your own design and domain, or take a course, buy an e-book or join a class.
But you don't need the latest iMac to get started, and you definitely don't need your own fancy office with designer cushions, seasonal cut flowers and a ginger kitten to become a great blogger!
Spend your money on education rather than embellishments
Before you purchase that new stonker of a camera with the biggest, baddest lens and the most buttons, or fork out for the coolest ever smartphone, ask yourself: "what could I rather be spending this money on?"
If you want to take better photos, perhaps you should take a photography class rather than buying the latest gear? If you want to move your blog from hobby to professional, maybe you should invest in some educational material on blogging rather than renting an office space?
Think about where your money is best spent, and what will bring your business the most actual value. Learning and developing your skills will always be a better investment than the latest iMac.
Many bloggers and new business owners spend money they don't have on objects they can't afford, leaving them with possessions they can't use on the business they aren't building.
Don't be those people. Make smart business decisions when building your blog. Invest in your skills, not frills.
When the time comes that you have the knowledge and production in place, perhaps even the income, then spend money on upgrading your actual blog, outsourcing where you need help, advertising your services, and building your online real estate. And eventually, if you really, truly want it, then by all means go buy that new computer. Because, at that point, you have become a full-time blogger with a profitable business, and you can afford it.
9. Stressing about numbers
Numbers alone do not a good blogger make, and a huge following on Instagram certainly doesn't determine your worth!
It's pretty common for a blogger to stress a little bit about stats. You see others doing seemingly much better than yourself, and you feel an unspoken pressure to perform. Seeing as physical numbers on your screen is the most outright measure of social media success, it's easy to get hung up on the darn things.
But what you might not have thought about is that your actual influence with your tribe matters far more.
I would take a hundred diehard blog fans any day over 10 000 unengaged Instagram followers who randomly pop in for a reciprocal like!
Influence can be mistakenly measured by the accumulative social media headcount that at any given time presents itself as number on your screen. But real influence is the ability to engage your audience, no matter the size of it.
Influence is when 65 people hang off your every word, not when 2000 people couldn't care less what you have to say.
That's why buying likes and followers is a silly ego rub and not an actual way to gain influence.
So, how many readers does a blog need to make money?
Obvs, I'm not gonna pretend we're not chasing the numbers. Naturally, one aspect of succeeding with blogging is the understanding that any business at some level is a numbers game.
Of course you want your blog following to grow! That's kinda why you're reading this post at all, right! But, I don't want you to put so much focus on those darn figures on your screen that you forget what real influence is all about. Because, at the end of the day, focusing on quality over quantity is what's gonna grow your blog to ridiculous proportions over time in any case.
So, if you catch yourself staring hopelessly at an other blogger's mindblowing Instagram following, or you're literally stressing over your stats day to day, then I want you to unfollow that account and take a week long break from stat-spotting.
Don't get addicted to or imprisoned by numbers. Focus on what really, truly matters: Inspiring the following that you do have, and the numbers will follow!
10. Failing to monetise your blog
If you opened an actual physical business on the high street, you wouldn't turn up every day and work your butt of, yet feel too insecure about the value of your products and services to actually ask people to pay for your hard work. Would you?
That's what a lot of bloggers do. I'm guilty of it too, and I even have a business background and a degree in marketing! But, there's just something so vulnerable about promoting your own stuff -promoting yourself, really. It's different from working for someone or selling a product in a shop where customers walk in expecting to fork out.
how do you price yourself as a blogger?
Asking people to part with their hard earned in exchange for a piece of your very personal creations, that's tough.
It's more like being an artist than being a business person, because the products and services you offer have sprung from you and you alone. And once you put a price on it, you're in effect asking others to accept or reject the value you have placed on your own work. Not to mention the very act of establishing that value.
It can feel almost impossible to decide on a price for a sponsored post or a digital product. It's not like they come with a recommended retail value, and it's hard to compare your products to what other bloggers are offering, because you don't know what they are worth either. Plus, bloggers don't traditionally freely send out their media kits to other bloggers. We're a bit protective of our stats and prices, probably as a result of all the reasons we've just talked about.
- On that note: we should share more!! This protectiveness is part of the reason bloggers work for far less than they're worth. But, more on that in another post ;)
Lastly, if you're just venturing into monetising your blog, you might not even know how to make money blogging, where to start or what types of incomes suit your brand and following.
Never the less, it is a huge mistake to think that what you have to offer isn't valuable enough for others to pay for!
Learn how to monetise a blog
Remember what I said about influence? If you think you haven't got enough followers or booming stats to warrant sponsored posts, think again!
Those 250 readers who hang off your every word are worth SO much to brands in your niche, because they listen to you! Those companies can barely reach them, let alone talk to them with any sort of influence, and they need you to reach out and do that job for them.
As for digital products, courses or webinars; don't underestimate your authority! You have unique experience and knowledge that others can benefit from. You know things about your field that your niche would scramble to learn, so teach them! And don't be afraid to place a value on your expertise, time and effort. People are more than willing to pay for real value, so you need to give them a chance to do just that.
Failing to monetise your blog just means that you have created for yourself a hobby that will grow and grow and consume more and more time, effort and money until you eventually can't sustain it. Start small, begin with something you feel confident about, and then expand your income streams as your confidence grows.
There's no time like the present, so make a commitment to create your first product, service or sponsored post this month!
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to leave a comment or share this post if you appreciated the info :)
Which of these blogging habits are you guilty of, and what will you do to fix it?
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Hi, I'm Kristine!
I've been a full-time blogger for half a decade and a business and marketing professional a decade before that.
Now I help bloggers reach their goals, grow their income and increase their influence by giving them the tools they need to confidently pursue their passion.