We’ve long believed that like most good things, blogging is a journey. You win some, you lose some, but throughout this experience, you make blogging mistakes, learn from them and grow.
In the following post, we address the top 5 most common mistakes that can lead to a blog failure.
Get the details based on one blogger’s experience and evaluate how you might change your path!
As a teen in the technology age, blogging was something that I started at a really young age (11 in fact), and every blog that I’ve had since then has ended in – failure.
That’s right. FAY-EL-URE.
But has it been worth it? Yes!
My last blog (focused on fashion) to “fail” was back in 2011, which I had been working on for about 2 years, but things went pretty pear shaped in the end.
2 years later though (oh hey, that’s now!), I’ve turned my failures into learning curves and built a new blog which is seeing amazingly rewarding results that far outweigh my previous blogs altogether.
And did I mention that I’ve only been running it for a few weeks?
5 Common Blogging Mistakes
Failures and mistakes are always essential for success.
So in preparation for my new blog I took a trip down memory lane to see what exactly what my mistakes were. And more importantly, how I could avoid those pitfalls on my new blog.
Surprisingly, 5 mistakes came back that are incredibly common in the blogging community.
1. Not Focusing on High Quality Content
Looking back on my old blog, I can see just how little importance I placed on making posts that stood out for their quality and usefulness. Instead I made posts that EVERY other fashion blog and their mother was doing. I saw it as “well – if everyone else is doing xyz, then it must be right”, and this, my friends, was a HUMUNGOUS mistake!
I mean after all, when I go to other blogs and don’t see anything unique or valuable for me there – I leave, never to return again. Simple as that, yet I didn’t review my own blog in this way.
Blogging Mistake # 1
The vast majority of fashion bloggers that I followed all did outfit posts, outfit collages and posted a few images from lookbooks/mags/editorials that they liked. I figured if the pro’s are doing it, then this has got to be the winning formula.
The reason why this didn’t work well for me was because the pro’s were simply curating these posts a lot better than I ever could. They normally had top of the range cameras, photographers, expensive versions of Photoshop and more money to spend on clothing etc.
So when I tried to emulate them, I did it at a much lower quality, so I really couldn’t compete with them on that level and in that niche. I also found it terribly boring after a while, as I wasn’t doing it because I loved it, and in the end found blogging frustrating.
What I should have done was find ways to make my fashion blog stand out and become specialized in my own niche.
How you can avoid creating mediocre content:
- Look at what others in your community are doing and think of ways that you can differentiate yourself.
- Think about what makes a blog SO irresistible to you. Perhaps your favorite blogger has great photography, or fab writing – use these as the standard for your own blog and develop your site to include these attractive qualities.
2. Becoming Numbers Obsessed
Those follower and visitor stats. Both a blessing and a curse.
While it’s nice to check them every once in awhile to see that people are taking an interest, obsessing over numbers is just one giant burnout disaster waiting to happen.
I used to constantly waste my time seeing if my stats had gone up or down, yet never used this information in a productive manner. Checking my stats consistently made me frustrated that my blog was not growing quickly enough.
How to avoid becoming a stats stalker:
- Go on a stats ban! Only check your stats weekly or monthly.
- When you do check your stats, take a notebook and write down which posts are performing the best, and then analyze what made them so popular. Was it the writing style, the images, or a compelling title? And how could you replicate this success for your future posts?
3. Not Promoting Effectively
Rather than trying to promote my blog by encouraging the sharing of my content, I may have spammed comments (FINE, I did. I’ll just be brutally honest here) with those shallow “oooh that’s such a cute look NOW HERE’S A LINK BACK TO MY BLOG”.
No wonder people never bothered clicking through to my blog!
My other tactic was trying to promote my blog via my social media accounts (sounds good? I hear you say) – BUT, my tweets were uncompelling (e.g,. here’s me promoting a blog post: “New post -> http://BlaBlaBlaBla.com” – giving no incentive to the reader on why they should click through).
How to promote your blog in the right way:
- Promote your blog by engaging with the community; leave meaningful comments on other blogs.
- Make your social media accounts engaging, useful, and start conversations with others.
- Promote others first. You’ll find that some will do the same for you in return or in lot’s of cases, at least check out your blog and show some appreciation.
4. Comparing Your Blog to Others
You know that frustrating feeling you get when you see someone’s blog that has everything, and you think, “hey, why can’t I get to that level/those opportunities/those gifts/that income like him/her? My blog has xyz, why am I not this popular yet?”
Do you ever fall into this trap? If yes, then I have just ONE word for you: STOP.
There’s a reason why those pros are, well, pros! They work hard to create amazing content and make their blogs stand out. So rather than just pointlessly comparing your blog to theirs, try conducting comparisons with those at the top of your niche instead.
How to avoid getting sucked up into the comparison trap:
Here’s what to do to make your comparisons constructive and useful:
- Take a look at their site and review it. Note what you feel is working and not working and use that information to create your own unique content.
- How could you incorporate these strengths into your own blog? Maybe better quality content, better pictures or more interaction in your comments section.
- Point out a few things that you think could be improved on. Maybe they don’t chat with their readers, to much sponsored content or low-quality pictures.
- How could you use their weaknesses to develop your own blog? (e.g., ask yourself, what can I do better? Or more uniquely?)
5. Not Forming a Tribe
I was constantly under the “build it and they’ll come” mentality. I never reached out to bloggers on Twitter, I never emailed them to discuss a post that I loved, I never interacted with them meaningfully in their comments section.
Perhaps I was even too scared to approach them.
If you ever feel like this, then remember that if you don’t get yourself and your blog out there, then it will simply go ignored like the thousands of other blogs created each day.
How to connect with others in the blogging community:
Twitter is probably the easiest and quickest way to connect with the community, so use it to your advantage!
- Try including fellow bloggers in a #FF roundup tweet.
- Tweet about a post of theirs that you loved and make sure to include their Twitter handle. Other bloggers are always happy when their blog posts get tweeted out by others.
- Respond to their tweets with something witty, chatty, or useful. Get the conversation started!
- Get involved in trending hashtags (there are SO many these days for bloggers, like the #SITSShareFest for instance) and find new bloggers to form friendships with.
And if they don’t manage to respond? Then don’t worry! Someone will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to speak to them, so keep going!
Have you ever been guilty of any of these blogging pitfalls? Let’s chat in the comments below or head over to our Facebook fan page to keep the conversation going!
About the Author:
Hey, I’m Sanam Mohammad. The sarcastic, high aspiring (almost bordering on the point of being nuts) student blogger, encouraging young women to pursue their big-to-insanely-HUGE ambitions at A Chic Lifestyle. If you have any Q’s or need a hand, then let me know on Twitter @AChicLifestyle!
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