Guest post by Heather Shaw. Many bloggers don’t even make it to a full year. The truth is, blogging is much more difficult than most people realize. It seems easy enough, keep an online diary on a topic you love and people will read it, right? Wrong. I’ve witnessed so many blogs rev up…and burn right back down. Avoid these common pitfalls to stick around for the long haul!
1. If I build it they will come
Not true. The internet is enormous. Sure someone might stumble on your page by accident. It’s not likely though. If you want people to read your blog, you need to go get your readers. There are people out there that want to read what you have to say. You can write the best content on the planet, if you don’t promote it; it’s as if you are writing into a black hole.
2. I refuse to share anything personal about myself
In that case, it might as well be a robot writing your blog. Blogs are personal. No matter what the subject matter, a robotic unemotional blog is not going to have many fans. If you don’t get personal, you have a website. Not a blog. This doesn’t mean you write about every diaper you change or girl you date. It just means you write like a human being with emotions.
3. You reveal too much personal information about yourself
What is the main focus of your blog? Does it really make sense to go into full details about the cavity you just had filled? If you have a dental blog…maybe so. If you have a crafting blog, probably not. Use discretion, and remember your online persona does not have to showcase every facet of your real life personality.
4. Social media is not worth the time
Do you know where the majority of your readers are right now? They are on Facebook. They are on Twitter. They want you to make a fan page for your blog. They want you to update it. That might be the only way they see your content nowadays. Bloggers are expected to be social; therefore you need to be involved in social media to have any kind of success.
5. You aren’t a team player
Bloggers do not have competition. They have colleagues. Become active within your niche and participate. Even if you think blog hops are silly wastes of time…if it’s something that your niche participates in…put on your sneakers and hop along. Most niches work with each other. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. If you are always the one taking, you will not be popular with other bloggers in your niche. This means they won’t link to you and won’t look for you when they need something.
6. You get too big for your britches
You’ve been blogging a few months, you have decent traffic, a loyal readership…and you take it for granted. You don’t post on a reliable schedule. You get complacent with your status in the blogging world. The next thing you know, your readers are gone. I guarantee even professional bloggers network daily. Your readers follow you because they are interested. If you stop providing what they came for, they will stop coming.
7. You turn into a paid advertisement
You decided you want to make an income blogging. This doesn’t mean you turn your blog into one big fat advertisement. If you consistently give nothing but positive opinions on products and link your readers to spam, they won’t come back. You want to get paid for what you do, but to keep getting paid…you need the trust and respect of your readers. If I don’t trust you, I won’t click your affiliate link.
8. You don’t offer anything unique
If you are an exact cookie cutter of another blog, it will show. Every blogger is unique. We all have something special to bring to the table. If you aren’t showcasing your own voice and your own ideas, you are simply being a copycat. You have to have passion for your topic, and you have to be original in some way.
9. You try to be all things to everybody
I am a people pleaser. I don’t like people to be upset with me. This is the hardest part of blogging for me. Not everyone thinks what I post is the next best thing to sliced bread. Not everyone always agrees with me. This is a fact that as a blogger, I have to accept. I can’t bend over backwards to please everyone. I won’t keep every reader who happens upon my blog. If I tried, I would be miserable. Don’t even try.
10. You stop participating in life
Your mind becomes overwhelmed with the possibilities for your blog. So much so that you realize you are living for your blog. Every moment is a bloggable moment. Every picture you take is set up so you can post it. You turn down obligations because they aren’t blog-worthy. Your blog should enhance your life, not take it over.
Being a blogger is probably the hardest job I’ve had in my life. The hours are insane, the day is never done, and the return doesn’t always reflect the effort put in-yet.
It would be so easy to give up. I refuse to give up. The professional bloggers don’t give up. They work for their money, but most of all, they work for their readers.
Never lose sight of why you started your blog. I started to help people. To teach them what I had to learn the hard way. Bloggers are successful when they are active within their niche, earn the trust and loyalty of theirs readers and when they participate in life.
Guest author Heather Shaw writes a family blog about frugal living called FamilyFriendlyFrugality.com. She posts about great deals, frugal recipes and activities and family fun! You can also share your blogging tips here.