Blogging Pitfalls and Mistakes to Keep in Mind
Blogging can take many different paths. You either take things one day at a time and learn new strategies along the way, or make a series of mistakes that leave you frustrated and ashamed.
Here’s the kicker: Mistakes are not only made by newer bloggers, but often by long-established content creators as well. This is a reminder that whatever fears you may have – or any blunder you have already experienced – is completely natural. I also believe that some of these blogging pitfalls are inevitable because we’re only human, after all.
That being said, you should also learn from your mistakes and those of others. Let’s look at common blogging pitfalls you should avoid at all costs or at least try to prevent as much as possible.
Focusing Primarily on Income
Let’s face it: Most of us look forward to earning money from our blogs even when the work is primarily a hobby. A little side income wouldn’t hurt, after all…
Sadly, allowing financial goals to completely dictate a website is often a person’s eventual downfall. This often leads to nuisances such as:
Having too many advertisements
Being too pushy in your newsletters
Not building proper relationships with followers
Overpricing (or even underselling) your products and services
Developing a bad reputation over time
Instead, work naturally and deliver the very best of your knowledge and expertise. The rest will follow beautifully over time.
Spreading Yourself Thin
In all honestly, who can blame you for spreading yourself thin on occasion? There’s simply too much at your disposal. From multiple social media channels to millions of niches to many content formats, it’s simply too easy for creative minds to stick to a specific plan at times.
Don’t be tempted for this common blogging pitfall, though. If you would like to explore many things at once, I personally recommend you hire a virtual assistant or recruit the help of volunteers. If you lack the funds, explore other areas only on occasion as a side experiment rather than launching a full-fledged plan from the get-go.
We all enjoy receiving blog comments regularly, as it’s generally perceived as a form of acknowledgement for our hard work. Additionally, a blog without comments simply feels too much like a ghost town to many bloggers.
Sadly, did you know that many content writers often abandon their website simply because they feel unwanted? Don’t ever let this ruin your blogging goals and dreams; make a habit of commenting on other niche blogs, connecting with those you admire, sharing their work, and slowly building a loyal mailing list. The rest will come naturally over time when you least expect it.
Obsessing Over Trolls
Speaking of discussions and communities, there will always be a time when someone will have absolutely nothing positive to say about your content.
Now, don’t get me wrong; receiving constructive criticism is great, especially when someone disagrees with you and adds their two cents. This helps you grow as a blogger and every other reader learns a thing or two as well.
When a reader stops by merely to insult you and then starts a flame war, however, Brent Jones recommends you respectfully cut all ties with said troll immediately. Your time is valuable, and any back-and-forth argument will lead nowhere because the troll’s mind is already made up. Spend this time focusing on your next great idea instead.
Letting Your Blog Grow Stale
This is a big one, and sometimes it affects even prominent bloggers.
It usually starts like this: you’re posting consistently, answering comments, communicating with your list, and coming up with great topic after great topic.
But then life gets in the way, contributing to one or many blogging pitfalls…
Your blog starts to show some troubling signs in the form of no new content – or worse – mediocre content. Perhaps your article is half-assed and/or talks about a subject from 2005 (which is fine, as long as you bring something new to the table along the way).
If life is getting on your way, look into revamping your blog with one or several ideas, some which were briefly mentioned in this article already:
Publish the occasional infographic – You don’t need to create your own; simply work with other bloggers and share their projects on your site after reaching an agreement.
Publish the occasional video – Do you hate your voice or face on camera? No problem. Fiverr provides great voiceover and related services for merely $5. An extended video should cost no more than $40 on that marketplace, allowing you to publish a short, two-minute video highlighting a topic’s most crucial points. Doing this just once a month is fine, to start.
Consider guest bloggers – Many blogs are closed to guest posting as a means of retaining a single, universal voice. However, you can always provide highly-specific instructions to ensure that all published content matches your needs.
Obsessing Over Redundant Metrics
It’s good to keep track of certain blog metrics, such as your month-to-month visitors, engagement rate, and bounce rate.
However, even to this day many bloggers are hopelessly in love with Alexa rank and the number of backlinks to their properties, making this one of the most popular blogging pitfalls even in 2016.
It’s time to ditch these redundant, misleading figures and instead keep building authority through several of the following:
Building relationships with readers
Growing a laser-targeted audience
Taking your blog posts one step further whenever possible
Actively promoting your blog
Worrying about quality backlinks, as opposed to quantity
Comparing Yourself to Others
I believe it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, even when we are well-aware this is wrong.
In the case of blogging, it’s easy to look at the likes of Neil Patel and keep wondering when or if you’re ever going to reach his level of success.
Look, admiring someone is healthy and sometimes even recommended. But don’t come to negative conclusions about your abilities simply because you’re currently receiving less attention.
Remember this: These people had to start from zero, just like you. I recommend you study their past strategies and current habits to learn a bit more from them. Also, don’t be afraid to contact them with very specific questions. Fellow bloggers are there to help each other out, after all.
I occasionally find myself making certain mistakes, more specifically related to spreading myself thin. What can you tell me about your blogging pitfalls and weaknesses, and how do you try to avoid them or reduce their frequency?
Author: Elvis Michael
Elvis Michael is an avid blogger and e-trepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.