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Kassandra Dasent is a self-employed wife and step-mom striving to live life beyond what money can buy. She writes about a variety of topics and personal experiences that all intersect with money. You can communicate directly with Kassandra at More Than Just Money.
You’ve decided to become a blogger? Welcome to the jungle! How’s that been going for you?
Cue the crickets…
If you haven’t been seeing much action on your blog, the blame is pretty much yours for the taking. I may sound harsh but I’m not one to sugarcoat my opinions.
It’s one thing if you started a blog in the way of an online diary; which essentially amounts to having a conversation between you and yourself. No harm, no foul. But if you began blogging with a focus on any topic such as fashion, music, minimalism, fitness, or personal finance, then it’s clear that you’re writing to attract an audience. Yes of course I know you’re blogging because you love it-but let’s be honest here. You also want a slice of the internet real estate pie!
How To Avoid the Pitfalls of Blogging
I want to cover some tried and true ways that bloggers manage to sabotage their efforts. Better yet, I’ll offer suggestions on how to fix the problems. I’m nice that way. There are already too many sites gone the way of the blog cemetery so let’s save yours before it’s too late.
Quality of Content
Problem: Your blog posts are all over the map and it’s hard to figure out what’s point of your blog.
Solution: Take some time to define the purpose of your blog. Some refer to this as a blog manifesto. This should be done before you even publish your first post, but sometimes you just figure it out as you go along. You don’t have to limit yourself to writing every post on the same topic but find clever ways to relate back to the central tenants of your blog.
Problem: You want to create content that appeals to your target audience, but writing a blog post in the manner of a thesis hasn’t been scoring any rave reviews.
Solution: Inject your personality, sense of humor, and opinions into your posts. Your unique writing sauce is what will have readers coming back for more. You don’t need a BA in English Lit to be a successful blogger so let loose a little and let your readers discover you, the blogger; not just the blog. Your goal is to have compelling and original content written in an easy to read format.
Problem: You’ve been blogging every day in the efforts of building your blog but, by the second month, you’ve got nothing left in the tank.
Solution: Stop with the daily posts because you’re not giving each post enough time to gain traction with readers and via social media. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to come up with amazing posts every single day. I prefer quality over quantity when it comes to blogging so dial it back to 2-4 posts per week. Try to write a few posts when you’re feeling particularly inspired and schedule them in advance. You can also count one of your weekly posts as part of an ongoing feature or series, week-end wrap-up/link love post.
Problem: On the flipside, you post sporadically and pull the “Now you see me? Now you don’t!” magic act on your readers.
Solution: Hire a staff writer and/or accept guest posts from bloggers in your niche but with a variety of perspectives. Once you’ve created value in your blog and don’t want to lose your following, I find that sharing content from other writers is a great way to keep your blog afloat until you can commit to it more regularly.
Problem: You’re writing posts that are pretty darn good, but are tempted to fake reader responses because no one leaves any comments.
Solution: You need to be seen in order to be heard. This means investing time by visiting and commenting on other blogs, broadcasting your posts on social media sites and sharing those of the blogs that you frequent. A surefire way to get comments is to ask questions in your posts to generate reader discussions.
My personal blogging pet peeve highlights bloggers that don’t respond to their comments. You may not get to each one, but people are taking the time to read and respond to your posts so make an effort already!
Problem: You find yourself wasting too much time on other blogs instead of focusing on your own.
Solution: Find blogs that truly appeal to you. Aim to visit them weekly and comment on a post. Add new blogs with time and stop following blogs that are at a standstill or not holding your interest anymore. Use sites such as Bloglovin to keep track of new posts by your favorite blogs. I believe in building genuine relationships with bloggers you feel more of a connection with and usually you’ll be reciprocated for your efforts.
Monetizing A Blog
Problem: You love to write and blogging is a passion but you see other bloggers making thousands per month from it. You want in!
Solution: You need to slow your roll and think about this very carefully. The financially profitable bloggers are not overnight success stories. Do you have the energy, desire and time to commit to earning more money? If yes, then create a Hire Me page on your blog that details your services, build your writing portfolio, promote yourself and start applying for freelance work. Don’t work for peanuts and keep your expectations in check. Be prepared to accept rejection but if you are tenacious and do all the above, eventually you’ll start landing jobs.
Problem: You have zero interest in being a freelancer but you want your blog to at least pay its own bills.
Solution: Don’t solely rely on Google Adsense. If you’re testing the waters with advertising, then Adsense is an easy way to start, but you won’t be making money quickly from it. You have options such as sponsored posts, affiliate ads, selling a service or product, or owning multiple blogs with the same intent of building revenue. My opinion is that you’re investing considerable time in your blog so why not make money from it. However you choose to monetize your blog, it should be done according to your personal values, not be offensive to your readers or poorly placed on your site.
Blogging is hard work and you only realize it once you’re in the thick of it. You’ll learn a lot about what it takes to become a successful blogger as you go along, so stick with it and don’t allow yourself to fall by the wayside.
What are the biggest mistakes you see blogger make? How do you propose they solve them?