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I’ve been around the blogging block for circa three years now, but only really doing it for about half of that. (Really doing it meaning blogging more than once a week, building community and making money). There are so so (so) many things I’d want to list out for younger blogger me right from the get go – things to do and not do and run from altogether like the plague. I lovelovelove helping those of you who have blogs feel more confident in your journeys while learning legitimate, meaty tips and tricks to better your brands and digital spaces. So without further adieu, grab yo’ coffee, notepads, and gel pens of choice, and let’s chat about 13 different mistakes you’re making with your blog without even knowing it.
You’re neglecting SEO.
This is just badbadbad, and I learned this *waaaaay* too late in the game. SEO, or search engine optimization, is what gets your blog recognized by the almighty Google + friends (like Internet Explorer, Bing, and any other random search engine). Using SEO means you’re connecting the dots between what you’re writing and putting out there, and what people are specifically searching for online. MEANING, when you create content that’s relatable, useful, relevant, or just plain awesome, there’s a higher chance that it will get matched to search inquiries and introduce new eyes to your website. #yesplease. SEO can be super intimidating, I know, so check out these SEO Basics and these common SEO mistakes + how to fix ’em to feel more comfy diving in.
You think social media will just “happen.”
If you’re just hangin’ out, wishing and hoping that your social media followings will grow without actively trying to grow them, it’s like planting roses and never watering them – it ain’t gonna work! Social media doesn’t just “happen,” and everyone who loveloveloves your post won’t necessarily share it without being directly inspired to do so. What does this mean? It means you need a social media Strategy (yup, the S-word!) for when, where, what, and why you share. Seems simple enough, but think about it: is your current “strategy” to just share your latest blog post in all of your Facebook groups once as soon as you publish and then throw in a few tweets, too? By itself, this isn’t going to bring you the results you really want. Do you have a method to your promoting madness? Specific tactics for promoting posts in an enticing, clickable way, and specific times for specific platforms that will get you more clicks, too??? Complex, but necessary.
You’re posting inconsistently.
This is blog AND brand suicide! One of the biggest elements in building a BRAND is consistency. Consistently coming back with the same voice, same message, and same experience for your peeps time and time again is key. It’s trustworthy, and it builds a loyal following from that. If you’re posting every so often or just whenever inspiration strikes, you’re missing out on building a tribe of people who are true to you and learn to love your every word, and we can’t have you missing out on that! Vow to post consistently, whether that’s once a week, three times, or every single day. And to take it up a notch, vow to post on the SAME day (around the same time!) every week. But stay away from…
You’re sacrificing quality for quantity.
Posting consistently should not trump great content, though! Try to find the blogging schedule that works best for YOU. If you can’t churn out five amazing, shareable posts every week, then don’t strive for consistently posting five times! Work with your own personal best balance. If you’ve ever unsure of whether or not you’re stretching yourself too thin and letting quality slip, ask yourself, “If a new set of eyes found this post and it was the very first post from my blog that they saw, would they stay and click for more?”
You don’t have a Pinterest-able image accessible to your readers.
Pinterest is the bees knee’s when it comes to sharing blog posts. But unlike Facebook or Twitter, it’s an almost entirely visual platform. If your post is just a buncha words, no matter how great they are, you’re missing out on a huge traffic source! Give your readers a helping hand and lay it all out there for ’em. Make it easy to share your post by creating a Pinterest-optimized graphic that they can pin directly from your blog to their Pinterest board of choice! An easy peasy (and FREE) online graphics creator is Canva; select the “Pinterest Graphic” option to create your on-brand images. Like this one: 😉
You’re not asking your readers’ opinions (or you’re not listening to them!).
If you ever find yourself feeling unsure of whether or not your content is really resonating with your readers…ASK THEM! Creating a reader survey is one of the most effective ways to figure out if you’re hitting the mark and to think of new content ideas that you KNOW will interest your crowd. If/when you do survey your readers, just make sure you actually take what they want and put it into action wherever possible!
You’re not doing what makes YOU happy.
Lately, it seems like everyone and their mother preaches the importance of writing not for yourself, but for your “ideal audience.” As a branding gal, I get that – obviously you need to cater your own audience’s wants and needs. But you still have to love what you do…it’s YOUR life! If you ever feel like you’re sacrificing your own enjoyment for the sake of the internet, it might be time to figure out a few changes to bring joy back into blogging. At the end of the day, you gotta make sure YOU are happy and loving the journey, or else the journey will become less enjoyable for your readers when they sense your frustration.
You’re forgetting to call your peeps to action.
Do you consistently find yourself feeling like you’re talking to a wall? Do you constantly find yourself wondering why the heck no one is commenting on or sharing your blog posts? …are you ASKING them to comment or share? Boom! There’s your problem! How many times do you semi-mindlessly scroll the web, skimming post after post without fully engaging? We all do that! If you want to truly engage your readers, make sure you’re calling them to action. Meaning, end your posts with an interesting question to start conversation. Then say something like, “Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!” to direct them even further to the comments section below. If you want someone to share something specifically, consider adding “Tweet this:” before a tweetable or “Pin this:” before a graphic to clue people in on a potential action step. Make it EASY for readers to engage with you!
You’re in a Facebook group, but you’re just lurkin’ around.
Social media is great for sharing, but it’s also great (and even better) for *connecting*. Make it a two-way conversation, take the plunge, and start engaging with people! Forget about the “follow for follow” or “like for like” threads, because they couldn’t be more meaningless. Focus on creating actual connections with people, where you genuinely enjoy each other’s content and share because you genuinely want to share it! You never know…you might make an AWESOME friend along the way. 😉
You’re not treating your email list like the VIPs they are.
If someone opts into your email list, it’s like they’re stepping up to the plate saying, “I CHOOSE YOU, PIKACHU.” They’re affirming that they lovelovelove what you’re doing, and they want MORE! This is VIP status if there ever was any. So don’t take this lightly! If you’ve got a list, are you giving them exclusive content? Are you giving them what they signed up for, and are you being really valuable in their life? I’ve got two lists – one list for an inspiration-packed inbox break that comes every Sunday evening, with personalized motivation, a pinnable quote, pretty pic, fun video, weekly post re-cap, and a much-needed energy kick to jump into the week ahead, and one list for blog monetization tips, brand strategies, and first dibs on product and service launch info. (This second list is newly launched and is getting love this week, so get on it!). Two lists were needed, because the folks who lovelovelove a dose of empowerment and lighthearted fun things to check out aren’t necessarily the folks who want to learn more about how to make thousands of dollars every month blogging. Just because you’ve got direct access to your email crowd doesn’t mean it’s a.) a one-way megaphone, or b.) that people won’t bounce if you abuse the right to inbox. Treat your list with the utmost love, and make sure you’re delivering what the people want to the right people.
You’re forgetting to update things once in awhile.
When it comes to mistakes you’re making with your blog, letting things grow obsolete is a biggie. When was the last time you reread your own About section?? Before CUR got its facelift, I went back and checked out my own knowing I’d likely need to do some editing. BOY…editing was an understatement. Nothing was current or relevant, so any newbies around these rosy parts that clicked that tab were seeing a photo that was ~2 years old and seeing “popular posts” that were popular before Instagram was cool. Get into a routine of checking back in on old posts – aim for two per week! – and showing them a little TLC to bring ’em up to speed with the rest of your website.
You’re thinking of promotions as a “once and done” deal.
There are 31.25 million Facebook messages sent per minute, 347,222 tweets sent per minute, and 48,611 Instagram photos posted per minute. (Source). PER MINUTE, PEOPLE! If you tweet once or twice to promote a new blog post…you do the math. You’re getting lost in the hubbub, and people who might really want to know about your latest post aren’t even seeing it because there’s just so much other content getting published by the hour. Get into the habit of using scheduling software if you need to (I love Hootsuite!), and schedule social media promotions all throughout the day at your peak times (use each platform’s analytics to determine when it best for you personally to post) to maximize the amount of eyes and engagement on every blog post.
You’re not investing in yourself/your blog.
I get it – we all have things we want to spend money on, and spending potentially hundreds of dollars on a business expense over a wardrobe haul or a lot of pizza can be intimidating. It can be hard not knowing if something is “worth it” or if you’ll actually see results from this course or that webinar or the coaching that you’re tempted to get. BUT. We can’t do it alone! If you’re serious about wanting to grow your blog – heck, maybe even turn it into a nice lil’ business for yourself! – you need (read: need) to smartly invest in it. Smartly, meaning you should never feel unsure about an investment before taking the plunge. ASK YOUR QUESTIONS! If someone truly knows their stuff, they should have zero problem answering any and all questions you might have about a service or product. If you, for example, wanted to snag a 1:1 personal coaching session with me, I’d want you to feel 100% comfortable and confident that you were making a solid choice before you hit “buy.” So, you can email me. Heck, you can CALL me! And we can talk about exactly what your questions and needs are and exactly how I would (or would not) be able to help you. When you know you need to invest in, say, a car, you probably do a ton of research before choosing the car that fits your exact needs and lifestyle. Same goes for investing in your blog! You know you’ve gotta do it, so take the time to ask questions and really dive deep before paying for anything, that way you know you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.
Are there mistakes you’re making with your blog? What questions do you have about blogging?
I’d love to hear them in comments below, so that I can plan a few future posts tackling EXACTLY what you want and need to know. So have at it!