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Disastrous Blog Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Mar 21, 2013July 8th, 201456 Comments

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When it comes to your blog marketing strategy, do you have one? And if you do, are you avoiding the most common mistakes that bloggers make when marketing their blog?

In this post, you’ll discover three secrets to enhancing your social media marketing for your blog and jump starting your big break!

So, what exactly do we mean by diving into your blog marketing strategy?

It’s that once-in-a-lifetime chance to turn your blog into a real business. You have great content, you’re working your blog marketing strategy mojo and you’re ready – you’ve been ready. You know you have what it takes, but something somewhere is crumbling your path.

blog marketing strategy

Top 3 Blog Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

First, let’s get a few things straight. Your blog IS capable of becoming that once-in-a-lifetime chance. It CAN be a dream come true and it CAN be a catalyst to open doors you never dreamed of, but it will take regular refining of your blog marketing strategy to avoid potential disasters along the way.

Creating great content is 30 percent of the equation, having a blog marketing strategy and promoting your blog is the other 70 percent. So don’t miss this chance. YOU CAN DO THIS.

You may just need a few reminders and a little motivation along the way!

Blog Marketing Strategy Mistake #1

You have no plan. You’re flying by the seat of your pants in anticipation of all the fun milestones and possibilities without a concrete, deliberate way of achieving them.

You may be spending hours a day marketing your blog, but your blog marketing strategies aren’t reaching their potential.

Fix: Any effective blog marketing strategy should have three essential components: audience, interaction, milestones
Define your audience and where they hangout. The more targeted you can be the more powerful results you’re going to get. In other words, your blog promoting strategies shouldn’t be tied to courtesy. For example, people often ask me how if the hours of blog commenting and social interaction are really worth the investment.

My answer to them is yes and no.

  • Blog commenting and social interaction – within the bounds of a deliberate plan – YES!
  • Blog commenting and social interaction just to ‘build a link’ or increase your presence – NO.

When you comment, participate in forums and other social platforms, make sure every move you make is focused on interacting with people who can help you move your brand forward and vice versa. That is part of a plan – knowing WHO pulls more weight and WHERE to find them and interact with them.

You could, and may have already, spent hours and hours just commenting and interacting hoping that your mere presence was sufficient to market your blog and drive more traffic. Make a plan. Know your who and where and focus your interaction to deliberately move you towards reaching milestones you’ve set along the way.

Blog Marketing Strategy Mistake #2

You have a plan, your marketing is deliberate, but you aren’t regularly evaluating your results

When was the last time you were on Pinterest and thought to yourself – I HAVE to make that recipe!


Can you imagine gathering these incredible new recipes, getting the ingredients, slaving in the kitchen for a delicious end product and then NEVER tasting it!?!

That’s exactly what happens with your blog marketing strategies when you don’t take time to regularly evaluate and make adjustments. You invest the time and energy, make connections and then neglect to dig in and enjoy! Some of those new recipes may need a few adjustments, a little cinnamon here and nutmeg there, and they would be perfect, just to your liking.

So is the case with your blog marketing strategies. They are going to need a little tweaking to get the results that you want. Tracking, testing and adjustments are necessary if you want optimum results.

Fix: Test, Track and Adjust
You should be getting measurable results for every blog marketing strategy you apply. If you aren’t getting results, move on. That’ makes total sense, right? Thank you Captain Obvious! But the problem comes when you don’t know what’s getting results, or if you are getting results, what’s driving them?

You don’t have to go ninja tracker on me or your blog (at least not until you have the revenue to hire a ninja to track for you – then it’s totally worth it). Right now you just need to do a few things regularly to track your blog marketing results.

  • Google Analytics, use it simply to track where your traffic is coming from. Don’t worry about all the bells and whistles right now. Focus on traffic sources. If you are commenting on a blog and not getting traffic from it, then it’s time to pull back.
  • If you’re tweeting like crazy and not getting traffic, it’s time to re-evaluate your tweets and refine your engagement.
  • If you’re spending hours on Facebook and not getting results, then it’s time to change things up.
  • If you’re commenting for hours for courtesy and ‘presence’ – stop it. Make a plan. Be deliberate. Spend time commenting on blogs where you have a goal to guest post.
  • Measure the leverage your marketing brings you by the results it creates: opt-ins, guest posting opportunities, cross promoting opportunities etc…

A decent rule of thumb: When it comes to Google Analytics, if a source isn’t sending you at least 5 percent of your overall traffic, move on, focus on the sources that are sending you the bulk of your traffic and keep testing new sources.

Blog Marketing Strategy Mistake #3

Your not consistently implementing new blog marketing strategies

Don’t resist testing new strategies: forums, commenting, guest posting, tweeting, curating via sites like Paper.li or Scoop.it, podcasting, video, slideshows. There are so many ways to promote and market your blog. Don’t hesitate to try new mediums. Re-purpose our content to test, test, test and then test a little more. It may shock you to see what drives traffic and what doesn’t.

Fix: Watch for patterns and apply them one at a time
If your spending all your time blog commenting and your not getting the results you want, then blog commenting is not the place for you (or most likely your commenting approach needs a few tweaks). If Twitter used to be a great source of traffic, and it’s not anymore – apply new tweeting tactics, test them and adjust.

Watch for patterns of promotion coming from industry leaders and influencers. Mirror their patterns. Go be where they are and find out if your market is there too.

If you’ve been frustrated about your blog marketing strategies and if you just aren’t getting the results you want, then applying these three practices is just what you need to get that second wind. Sometimes trying something new and experiencing the exhilarating effects of stepping out of our comfort zones is just what the marketing doctor ordered.

If you have questions or suggestions, I’ll stick around to chat in the comments below 🙂 You can join us on our Facebook fanpage for more great conversation! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • This is such a good reminder. I’ve got some goals I want/need to reach this next year. My marketing isn’t working the way I want so I need to brainstorm some new ideas. I took the summer off and it was needed. I’ve been at this for several years now and sometimes I feel like I’m still floundering around… Sigh.

  • Only list those relevant to the work you do, and resist the temptation to tell them about every qualification you have. If you have a degree, for example, theres no point listing all of your qualifications from school (you may want to say how many you have) as they have been superseded. All you will do is use up valuable space on irrelevant information.

  • Frantic Mama says:

    These are great tips– I needed some ideas to re-energize my blog and audience!

  • Jessica says:

    This article has been so helpful, thank you!

  • what great tips these are – time to reanalyze & update my methods! thank you for sharing this!

    • Kerri, I’m sure you’re doing a great job, but adjusting is always a great card to regularly play way to pick it up and run with it!

  • Anja says:

    I guess these tips are really great if your goal is to maximize the potential of your blog – lots of great details, too!

  • Oughout need to get yourself a dvd . they’ve been almost all good Cheap Michael Kors Outlet for Sale previously they may be model and stylish

  • Hot Gan says:

    Cool boss, I have much to learn from your blog.

  • Richard J says:

    This post seems worth a bookmark. You have mentioned all the inner points of blog marketing and its mistakes.
    I personally like it and my mouse is moving towards the bookmark tab. A great read it was!

  • jackie says:

    Thank you so much for the info, I am new to blogging. I think if I didn’t read this I would have slowly went down the bad marketing road. Thanks for saving me

  • Great info, Bonnie. I don’t think I do enough in the areas of tracking my own effectiveness…will remedy that this week!

    A fellow influencer shared this with us over at sverve.com, and now 3,000 more of us will benefit from your sage advice. Thanks much!

  • Charlotte says:

    Wow! Thanks for this… a lot of really useful information here. I have so much to learn about finding out what does/doesn’t work with blog marketing strategies, and I definitely need to start by paying attention to the Google Analytics numbers a bit more closely.

    Question–I tried clicking on your Twitter link above but it didn’t work for me. @MyPixieBlog

  • Marcy Hanson says:

    I’m so glad I found this site!! I’m relatively new to this whole schebang and have been wracking my brain on the best way to really branch out. I know my niche, and I’ve met some stellar people along the journey, but now it’s time to focus! Thanks for your insight and tips!!

  • Kim says:

    My biggest one is how to determine an audience when your topics are varied. I may write about a recent road trip but I may also write about photography or something about writing. This blog is still new and I’ve yet to fully hone in on exactly what it will be.

    In other words: I suck at planning when it comes to my blog. LOL

    • No way! Kim, I don’t think that’s the case at all. You’re in a discovery stage. It’s a very common place for all of us to be at the beginning and again and again throughout the life of our blogs. That discovery is what shapes our ‘blogging life.’

      It will change. Change is good. As you write down and give thought to what you ultimately want from your blogging experiences, the plans will come naturally and you will know more clearly who your audience is 🙂

      • Kim says:

        No, it is. I didn’t have a plan for my old blog either. I never could figure it out for the same reasons. I have varying topics so I was never sure how to target my audience or how to engage fans. I just wrote posts, promoted a bit and commented on others’ blogs. I still don’t know my audience on my old blog.

        • Ok, let’s narrow a few things down… and for anyone else feeling like this, this is a great exercise:
          1) Make a list of the things people always ask you to help them with. Why do they ask for your help and what expertise do you have to offer? This will help you start on a path that’s two fold, a) you’ll be in your expert zone (which I am guessing you have more than one of) and b) you’ll be filling a need – people ask you how to already

          Narrow down those topics/questions and make a short list.

          2) Focus on two of the topics on your short list
          3) Start searching out questions that people are asking that are relevant to your shortlist and answer them in blog posts and forums etc…

          Q&A is a great way to start (not that you have to formally approach the topics/questions in Q&A format for every post) But it will guide you down a path where you are comfortable as an expert and where people are searching for solutions (your audience)

          4) You’ll find that one of the two topics is more popular than the other, so run with it. Make a decision that it will be your focus, until you feel it’s time to move on to something else.

          If you pick a topic where you can own your authority (which is a choice – not an award), and a topic that engages questions that are already out there being asked, then you have found a good formula for defining your next niche…

          Does that help at all?

          • Kim says:

            Kind of. Trouble is, I get very few questions about things I know. On occasion I’ll get asked for photography or writing advice but I am not an expert on either and often don’t know many of the answers, especially from the technical side of things.

            I would like to really narrow this blog down (it will be considered a lifestyle blog for the time being) but I’m not an expert or even a pseudo expert in anything. The one thing I am remarkably good at is avoiding housework. However, the “undomesticated housewife with no kids” thing was partly was caused me to move away from the old blog. I had crammed myself into a niche I did not want to be in. Plus, I wanted to take myself and my blogging more seriously and didn’t feel I could with the old blog.

            I have the writing thing down, now I just need to hone it in, develop a plan and strategy, and learn to be consistent with regular posting.

  • larry says:

    Very informative and well thought out. I think I will visit the Sits Girls more often!!!

  • This is a great post. It is a good reminder that all bloggers should be willing to make changes.

  • Carli says:

    I would love to hear more abput the first pont. I understand in theory but am just not sure how to implement. And to be frank, then where does SITS fall into this. Not many members are in the same genre as me. And, no, I’m not giving up my SITS girls. Just asking an honest question. 🙂

    • Carli, I love your honesty!

      My candid response: SITS is the place to be, it’s just a matter of connecting and spending time with brands and blogs that add value for you and your readers. (Think complementary, not genre specific).

      There are always new brands coming and going, which makes a great place for stepping out of your comfort zone and making new, value added connections. There is also one very powerful common denominator – we are all (for the most part) female bloggers with a voice to be heard and a drive to be engaged and a mission to make a difference (and a little money too 😉 ). Our engagement on SITS and any other social network, naturally leads to open doors down every road.

      My suggestion: set a timer when you start commenting, maybe 15 minutes at a time for XX amount of time each day, prioritize your commenting relationships, leave room to explore new relationships and get your SITS groove on!!

      As we focus on making connections that have mutual benefits, it will only make SITS that much more powerful in it’s ability to connect, drive and open doors for female bloggers…..

      How do you feel about that?

      • Carli says:

        Yes! I do love that we are all women bloggers! I tend not to be as attracted to blogs written by men even if they are health and fitness focused (my platform).

        The timer is a great way. Usually I use my lunch hour to comment on blogs, tweet, etc. And then in the evenings I focus on getting my workouts in so I guess essentially I am doing that.

        Thank you so much for responding to my question!

        • Lisa says:

          Thanks for this deeper insight Carli and bonnie. I had the same question as Carli, and this is great advice. I had not been thinking in terms of the complementary blogs.

  • Nellie says:

    This is fantastic! Thanks.

  • These tips have given me a lot to think about – I am learning that growth is a cycle of action, analysis and adjustments. You really put that into focus with this info – thank you, Bonnie!

  • Penelope says:

    Great tips, Bonnie! Twitter just sat there for me until I discovered the beauty of the hashtag. I’m now getting more traffic from twitter than Facebook! And then I saw that I was getting traffic from Pinterest & I’m still figuring out how to maximize that. I hope I haven’t missed the boat on that one.

    But all that being said, I struggle with my brand. I want to be more than just a foster parent blogger without alienating my audience. Lots to think about!

    Thanks for this!!!

    • Penelope, You have most definitely not missed the Pinterest boat!! Keep on it. Follow and pin, follow and pin. I’m not huge on Pinterest right now with my new brand, but here is the rule of thumb I use with clients in any social media: follow 50 – 100 targeted brands per day, share/pin/tweet their content 80% of the time and promote your own 20% of the time… (gain their trust, get in front of them) As you grow you have a little wiggle room in self-promotion, but I wouldn’t suggest more than 30% tops.

      As far as your branding goes, take a week to be the CEO and map out where you want to see yourself (what you love and the skills and talents you have to share) and then you can make a specific plan of how to get there… love the brainstorming happening 🙂

  • Really insightful and useful tips as always. I especially love the part about testing what works and what doesn’t. It’s so easy to settle into patterns and rely on the same one or two sources of traffic. And you’re spot on about targeted commenting as opposed to flailing about on blog comment pages which is what I did as a beginner!

    Right now I’m in an exploratory mood to discover new forums and opportunities so this post is perfect timing. Thanks again!

  • Kristen says:

    Fantastic advice! This is exactly what I need. A step-by-step plan of what to do, what to look for, and how to analyze. Question for you Bonnie, how do you feel about sponsoring other blogs? I’ve been kicking this idea around for awhile, but I’m not sure how I feel about it. My initial gut reaction is that unless they have some kind of feature day or guest post, it’s not a wise investment for me. Simply sticking my button on the side of someone’s blog is probably just going to get looked right over.

    • Great question! What forms of sponsorship are you thinking about? There are so many different ways, I’ll be able to give you a more succinct answer when I know where your headed 🙂

      • Kristen says:

        I see many blogs that have some sort of sponsor section along either the left or right side of their page that displays the buttons of other blogs or shops who pay to advertise there (or sponsor). They seem to range from the cheapest option, which is just the ad along the side and nothing more, to something that costs a bit more money, but you usually get a guest post or participate in a giveaway or something else of that nature.

        • IMO: as long as you have complete control over who you pick and choose to sponsor – it’s a great option to test out. Make sure they are adding value. If at all possible cross promote your brands, so your readers will feel the connection, not just like lost puppies led off into sponsor wonderland 😉

  • Julie says:

    I like your style on the site and the way you deliver the content, good work!

    Thanks for the post – strategy is essential I agree and the review of where you are often gets missed or put off and that can have one of the biggest impacts.

  • Stacie says:

    Such a great post. Bookmarking!

  • I agree with you completely. Running like a bull in one direction is not the way to success. You need to be sharp and then do more of what works and do less of what does not. That is the only way to maximize results out of blogging. Thanks Bonnie.

  • Kate, thanks for taking time to read through… I’m excited for you! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Kate says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share these marketing tips. I will definitely be putting them to use…and soon!

  • There is a strategy? Now you tell me ….



  • Great information! Motivates me to get a plan.

  • Great information! Thanks for sharing!