Starting a blog can be a lot of fun! It’s new, exciting and best of all, it can be a great way to help earn you a side income. However, it is also really easy to fall into some of the biggest and most common blogging mistakes.
1 – Stop Talking to Yourself
You’ve started your blog and have decided to write some truly interesting content, but no one knows you exist, and no one is reading what you have to write… Doesn’t sound like much fun does it?
Of all the sites that I have owned, the ones where I have engaged with the existing community have been the ones that have had the greatest levels of success. Despite what many people think when they first start out blogging, the internet doesn’t follow the build it and they will come mentality. You need to let people know that you and your website exist and that you have some killer content that they just have to read.
I can hear you right now – OK, thanks for the tip… But how do I engage with the community?
The first thing you are going to want to do, is to find some of the more popular blogs in your niche and start commenting on their posts. Don’t just do it once or twice – do it consistently, and make sure your comments add something to the conversation.
Remember – your aim isn’t just to get people to come back to your site. You want to build a lasting relationship with both the website owner, as well as other commenters.
Try reaching out to other website owners and contributing to their website in someway. Offer something of value – perhaps you have found a broken link on their site, or you were so interested in one of their articles, that you decided to send them an email to follow up with a question. It really doesn’t take much to get to know other website owners and to start engaging with them, and the community.
2 – Off Topic Content
If you want to build a thriving community around your website – make sure you target it correctly. Nothing turns people away from a website faster than having a website dedicated to one topic, start talking about something completely unrelated.
As an example: I might run a website about cars, but one day I write a post about growing apples. It just doesn’t make sense, and you will struggle to build an audience.
If you are planning on talking about a few different topics (and there is nothing wrong with that) have the topics at least loosely related. On this site I try to help people make the most of their life and improve their financial position. So I talk about a few key topics including:
- Making money
- Finance topics
- Internet marketing
- Lifestyle choices
They are all loosely related to my theme, but close enough that the odd one or two posts that don’t interest someone, aren’t going to turn them away forever either.
3 – Uninspired Content
Don’t get stuck just churning out boring posts day after day just to meet a schedule. There is nothing worse than reading through some dribble someone slapped together so that they had a post everyday of the week.
Write content with the goal of it having it enrich someones life. Make sure your articles are genuine and that they serve a purpose. In other words, don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. It’s boring, and your readers aren’t interested in being bored.
4 – Inconsistency
So I know I just said to avoid posting just to meet a schedule, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also try and create a regular posting schedule. What it does mean is that you should work out how regularly you are able to post something that is worthy of your readership, and then make sure your readers are aware when you will be posting.
I hate going to my favorite sites, only to find there is no new content since the last time I visited. It makes me as a reader feel really unimportant, and I will get bored with checking back every few days for an update.
If you think you can write great, interesting, helpful and inspired content every single day – go nuts. If you think you might be able to do it only 1 time per week, great. Even just once a month – it doesn’t matter, just make sure you communicate to your readers what your posting schedule is, and do you best to keep it.
5 – Selling Out
The last big mistake that I see a lot of people making, is selling out their blogs for money. What I mean is people only posting sponsored content, where an advertiser has paid the blogger a fee to have their link inserted into the body of the post.
Now I’m all for making money out of your website, and advertising is a big part of that, but you don’t want to over do it. I find that websites that only post sponsored content tend to lose the personal feel about them and ultimately end up losing a lot of readers. If you really want to sell links in posts, I recommend setting up a second website where you post only average content, but where you also are happy to post as many sponsored posts as you want. That way you keep all the good stuff for your main website, but you still end up making money.
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