Even if you’ve only developed an interest in digital marketing in the past month, there’s still a good chance that you’ve come across something that mentioned the benefits of blogging.
Whether you’ve read my content, or someone else’s, blogging certainly has its fans.
Though, for every successful blogger that is out there, pushing the benefits of blogging, there are also many, many bloggers who have failed.
It is important to recognize why these bloggers may have failed, so that you can make sure you don’t fall into the same traps. After all, if blogging doesn’t work out for you, it isn’t because blogging is a bad way to market yourself – but more likely because you didn’t execute properly.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at the flawed blogging practices that knock most people out.
We’ll go through the mindsets and habits that cause bloggers to fail and take a look at what ‘winning’ bloggers do instead.
By the end of this post, you’ll understand what it takes to become an accomplished blogger, so that you too, can join the long list of blogging success stories.
You don’t take blogging seriously
As with many other things in life, if you want to have a successful blog, you can’t treat blogging as a hobby or a side project.
Too many first time bloggers make this mistake and end up achieving lackluster results.
Blogging requires you to be consistent and dedicated.
This means that you must produce great content and produce it often.
Download this checklist of flawed blogging practices that knock most people out.
Consistently blogging will help increase the amount of traffic that your blog generates.
As you can see below, companies that blog 16 or more times a month get 3.5 times more traffic than those that blog 0-4 times a month.
On top of that, companies that blog regularly also tend to generate more ‘inbound leads.’
The chart below shows that companies who blog 16 plus times per month get 4.5 times as many leads as those that publish 0-4 posts a month.
So, ideally, you want to publish content at least every day. The more content you publish, on a consistent basis, the better your results are going to be – especially in the long term.
Taking that into account, you must therefore accept that blogging can’t be treated as something you do rarely, but rather as something that has to be a priority.
You’re not creating engaging content
Another reason many bloggers fail is because they don’t produce engaging, outstanding content.
With so much content being produced, great content is the minimum bet for getting in the game.
Creating engaging content is so important, that 72% of B2B content creators have made the creation of engaging content a ‘top priority.’
Admittedly, it will take some practice to get to the stage where you’re producing outstanding content on a regular basis, but there are ways to shortcut the process.
The first and most obvious thing that you can do is to develop a better understanding of your industry.
If you know your stuff, you’ll also do a better job at breaking down complex topics, so that your target audience can best understand new developments in your industry.
And, most of the time, you can only do that if you have in-depth knowledge on what you’re covering.
So, take the time to do all of the reading, watching, listening and thinking necessary. Then, you can discuss complex topics in a simple and easy-to-understand manner.
If you want to be kept up to date with the latest developments in your industry, consider setting up a Google Alert, so that you get notifications whenever there is something new published.
You can also develop outstanding content by building on what’s already out there.
Say you’ve just started a business selling green tea and you want to build out your blog.
It can be helpful to find already successful green tea related content, so that you’re able to reduce your chances of failure by working with already proven topics.
You don’t want to do this forever. But, to begin with, a method like this can help you get rolling.
Buzzsumo is a tool that will allow you to work out what types of content do well within your niche.
So, for example, suppose I want to find some proven topics for my green tea blog.
I can type ‘green tea’ into Buzzsumo and then see what comes up.
If I want the results returned to be a little bit more relevant, I can either change the date range, so that the results returned are more recent or I can use a different keyword.
You may, for example, want to combine your niche keyword with something like ‘how to’ or ‘guide’ or ‘tips.’ In a sense, you want to create keywords that will help return actionable content – something that tends to do well in most niches.
You can also use the Autosuggest features, provided by Google and YouTube.
Here’s what comes up, when I type green tea into Google.
If I head to YouTube and type in my keyword, you can see that, again, I’m presented with some keywords that represent what people are already searching for that’s related to green tea.
I can work with these topics to create outstanding, useful blog posts. I can even use the videos that come up as part of my research.
You might need to get a little creative, when using the Autosuggest feature, but it can be a gold mine of ideas, if you have the patience to experiment with it.
You’re not promoting yourself
As I mentioned earlier in this article – a lot of people are blogging nowadays.
76% of marketers stated that they were going to produce more content in 2016 than they did in 2015.
And, with blogging being so popular, you can bet that a lot of that content is in the form of blog posts.
And, that means that you need to get a heck of a lot better at promoting yourself.
The best promotional tactic is producing a great piece of content to begin with.
But, if you follow the tips from above, there’s a good chance that you’ve already got that covered.
So, what can you do to promote your content?
In basic terms, you have two options.
You can use organic methods that require a bit more time or you can promote via paid methods.
Organic methods can be split into two categories.
For example, you can email people, who’ve shared similar content in the past, to let them know that you’ve developed something similar that they might also enjoy.
You can find those people by using the ‘View Sharers’ feature in Buzzsumo, then gathering the emails of those people, so that you can email them and let them know about your content.
When you email these people, they might share your content, so that it gets out to a larger audience, hence driving traffic to your content.
I go into detail about this here.
However, you might also be emailing people in the hopes that they link to your content.
While it is true that you might get links, when notifying relevant people about your content, this method does not have the primary purpose of gathering links.
For the second option, however, you’re primary goal is to gain link,s so that you can improve your SEO standing in the long run. You’re not looking for short term results, asking people to share your content.
You can do this by finding broken links on websites, letting the owner know there is a broken link and then asking if they’ll link to your content.
The process for this is a little complex, but you can learn more about it by reading this post, where I go into extreme detail on how you can accomplish that goal.
By improving the SEO standing of your content, you are, in a drawn-out way, promoting your content.
Note: Guest posting can also be a great way to promote your blog and its content.
If you’re relatively new to blogging, then it can be a good idea for you to try and land guest posting spots on well known blogs.
The benefits of guest posting are two-fold.
First, you’ll be able to benefit from the already established audiences of these blogs, making it so that more people aware of you and your message.
This will increase the number of people that search for you and visit your blog.
Second, in most cases, when writing a guest post, you’ll also be able to provide a link to your own blog in the author’s bio box.
This link will help drive direct traffic, but can also help your SEO standing in the long run.
If you want to find guest posting opportunities, consider using the keywords below in Google searches. In place of ‘Your Keyword,’ use your niche.
If you want to learn more about guest posting, you can read this blog post.
As I mentioned, you can also use paid traffic to promote and drive traffic to your blog.
If you are going to use paid traffic, it’s important that you have a way to convert that traffic into profit.
If you do not have a way to collect leads and turn those leads into customers, then you’re going to be wasting a lot of money, as people will likely engage in your content, maybe share it and then move on.
Note: This concept also applies, if you’re looking to do some organic promotion.
When you know how to turn readers into subscribers and you send those subscribers through a well-tuned funnel, you’ll be able to run paid traffic campaigns (and organic promotion campaigns, for that matter) for a long time and turn a profit in the process.
One of the best forms of paid traffic for beginners is Facebook Ads. If you want to get started, there’s some useful information on the topic here.
One of the best ways to collect leads is by creating a lead magnet.
Note: If you want to, you may even want to link to a lead magnet in your author’s box, when posting a guest post.
This will make it easier to collect leads and will ensure that you have someone to email, when your next blog post goes live.
You’re just like everyone else
We touched upon this slightly, when discussing what it takes to produce outstanding content.
But, there’s more to creating outstanding content than working with proven topics.
The key point that I want to make here is that you need to give your blog an edge. You must give people a reason to attach themselves to your content and become avid fans of your blog and, ultimately, you.
There are multiple ways to do this.
One way, of course, is to create incredible content for your audience – but you need to define what that is.
Is it content that is much, much, much, more in-depth than existing sources?
Is it content that is highly researched?
Is it content with unique illustrations and graphics?
Is it content that has been formatted in a quirky way that makes it easier to consume?
It may even be that your writing style is what sets you apart from the other people in your niche.
Writing style can have a big impact on how well your content performs. And, if your personality shines through, people will remember the content, as well as you.
Writing as you would write to a friend is often the best way to balance out the style of your writing, so that it’s not hard to read and is still informative.
You might also want to question what it takes to create unique and memorable content.
If you’re a marketer, you could run some crazy marketing experiments and then discuss the results.
It may even be that you approach things in your niche from a perspective that it is currently missing.
You could be someone who is documenting their journey as a marketer, while also having a day job. Or, maybe you’re someone who is training for a marathon, using against-the-grain strategies.
If there’s something that you can do to make yourself and your content interesting – do it.
People will remember you for it and often like you for it, too.
Blogging is growing ever more popular, but that doesn’t mean that everyone knows what they’re doing.
If you want to avoid failure and some of the common pitfalls that knock out rookie (and even seasoned) bloggers, give this post a second read and think about how you can adjust your strategy.
Whether you need to make small changes or big changes, make sure that you do something to adapt your blogging style, so that you can achieve major success in the future.
Do you have any tips that you can share, in relation to blogging and the pitfalls that need to avoided? Please let me know in the comments below!