Blogging mistakes. We all make them. I’ve been blogging here at Read. Write. Mom! for several years now. It still amazes me that I actually make a little side income here. I can remember when blogging was just that…blogging. I would say in the past three years my income from blogging substantially grew beyond my wildest expectations. Do I make enough to quit my day job? No, not yet. The little extra amount I make mostly goes right back into bettering this blog with the tools I need to keep me organized and able to keep writing here. In the past month, however, I have had some real “light bulb moments” concerning the growth (or lack thereof) of my blog. My traffic isn’t nearly where I think it should be and I spent a good chunk of my holiday break trying earnestly to figure out just why. After reading up on quite a few great articles concerning things like social media, SEO, and general trends, I was able to narrow down a few huge mistakes that are fixable, thankfully. I decided to share these blogging mistakes here in case you might find yourself in the same place, wondering what you are doing wrong when you see everyone else around you passing you by in terms of income and opportunities.
Have You Ever Made These Blogging Mistakes?
Ignoring Your Social Media Accounts- Or Not Having Any At All
Like any good blogger, I have social media accounts for my blog. I have a Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account. If I publish a blog post I usually share it on those outlets and just keep on going. Why is this wrong? For starters, I’ve learned your audience wants to relate to you in some way. Just making all of your posts about yourself is pretty boring. It dawned on me that some of my favorite bloggers I follow through social media were always asking simple, random questions that I enjoyed chiming in on. It’s a great way to get to know your readers and figure out what exactly gets them excited and talking. To test this theory, I posted a funny picture on my Facebook account. Now, I normally maybe got one or two “likes” on a post when I posted random (and inconsistent) updates showcasing one of my blog posts. Do you know that funny picture was seen by over 15,000 people and shared by quite a few? I have never had a Facebook post reach that many people ever! That’s 15,000 potential people who might possibly stop in to check out my blog.
Along with having some fun interaction with your readers, are you posting on these outlets consistently? I wasn’t. I work full time out of the home and I’m also a parent. I can’t hop on social media during all hours of the day and post to all of these social media outlets. I just didn’t see how I could keep up in this area. Thanks to CoSchedule, I can schedule tweets or Facebook updates to post anytime of the day or night I choose! I can load up my calendar on the weekends with great content to share through social media all week long and then check and interact with my readers in the evenings when I have the time. You can also use CoSchedule for making updates to LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+. I’m not as active on those channels, so I’m using this for Facebook and Twitter only. You can also send out links to past posts to still keep that older content in front of people. Bottom line? If you aren’t consistently sharing your content, then nobody is really seeing it. That’s one of those blogging mistakes I feel really silly for not realizing so much sooner.
Ignoring Your Followers
This goes hand-in-hand with being active on social media, but although I had these social media accounts that I was ignoring, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my other blogging friends had so many followers and I was stuck. I seriously maybe gained 100 followers a year on all of my social media accounts and most of those were from a free giveaway entry for following my blog, but my blogging buddies were in the tens of thousands, and some in the hundred-thousand range! What was I doing wrong?
Well, duh! Another one of those major, major blogging mistakes! I wasn’t posting consistently, but I also wasn’t being very good about reciprocating when people followed me or even seeking out other people to follow with content similar to mine that I would enjoy reading. I sat down and went all the way through most of my followers on Pinterest and Twitter. There were some pretty awesome people following me (which I appreciate so much) and there I was not following them. No wonder Pinterest was such a bore! I wasn’t seeing anything that I hadn’t seen a thousand times because I wasn’t following most of those people back. Ditto for Twitter. I also wasn’t participating in these places as well. I’d share my own content and then close the window. I’m working my way through all of my accounts and following back those people that genuinely align with my interests. Do you know what? I have gained HUNDREDS of followers in the past two weeks on each account! And it just keeps growing!
Not Monetizing Your Posts
Do you have about a year to keep reading? I’m kidding. But seriously, this may be one of the worst blogging mistakes I am seriously kicking myself over. I missed SO many opportunities to earn even MORE money because I failed to fully monetize and SEO not only most of my posts, but ALL of my main traffic driving posts. I wanted to cry when I realized that I could have been putting affiliate links in those posts to earn even more than what the Adsense ads I have on those posts bring in. Some of those posts go back two or three years and are consistent traffic drivers to my website. How many years of earnings did I just throw away?!
I love Adsense, but unless you are getting traffic in big numbers, it’s not really going to be a big money earner on your blog and another one of my biggest blogging mistakes was not branching out. If you want to earn money through ads and affiliates, you have to diversify. In the past I had stuck a big Amazon ad in my sidebar just hoping someone would click on it and buy something. It never happened. However, closer to the holidays I took that big clunky ad down and started inserting Amazon Affiliate links into my posts where it would naturally fit the content. I mostly forgot all about it, but randomly checked my account around Thanksgiving. Guess what? I started making sales! I then signed up for this Amazon Master Class that I could work on at my own pace. It wasn’t long or hard to understand and I am learning so much about not only earning more as an Amazon Affiliate, but also learning a few SEO tricks that I desperately needed to get those posts of mine in better position for the search engines. My affiliate earnings just keep going up and I am so exited about this new stream of income, but kicking myself at the same time for not doing it right from the beginning.
Waiting Years to Do a Newsletter
Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your readers and keep them up to date on what’s going on with your blog if they don’t check in daily. I have over 500+ subscribers to my blog by Feedburner, and more by email. That’s small potatoes to most bloggers, but I appreciate each and every single one of them. However, I just recently made the decision to start a newsletter for my blog after listening to several podcasts about it. Why would I want a newsletter? Like I said, most people don’t check here daily or even weekly. Readers do, however, check their emails almost daily. I personally subscribe to a ton of blog newsletters (the ones I read the most) to stay up to date when I just don’t have the time to pop in on a regular basis. I don’t want to miss any of their bests posts, and that’s what a newsletter can do; showcase your best posts for the week or month or as often as you publish one. I finally got myself in gear and got a newsletter going. It’s only been a couple of weeks and I have more subscribers that I could have imagined possible in that short period of time. Another one of the major blogging mistakes I’ve made. What if I had done this YEARS ago? Again, hindsight is 20/20.
Has beginning to correct these mistakes made a difference? Absolutely, and in a very short period of time, might I add! I’m nowhere near finished cleaning up the years of mess here at my blog, so I have plenty to keep me busy this year. Will I still make mistakes? Of course. Blogging is always evolving and a new way to do things comes out every other week it seems. It’s a lot to keep up with, but I love blogging and I know if I want to keep growing, I have to keep learning.
If you think you’ve made these blogging mistakes as well, pick one thing and start working to correct those blogging mistakes. You might be surprised at just how quickly it can turn things around for your blog.
Looking for more great ways to help you get organized as a blogger? Check out these must-have tools for blogging!