Successful blogging strategies for the rest of us…
Blogging always sounds like an exciting “adventure” for many creative people. It gives you the opportunity to speak your mind, showcase a certain skill and help a potential audience of millions.
Sadly, the average blogger struggles to build momentum and reach a sizable audience. This often leads them to produce more content, faster and more regularly, all while keeping their fingers crossed.
But still, no substantial results are ever witnessed.
This then leads them to try and build a social media following, perhaps by starting a quick Twitter account and following dozens of people in hopes of someone returning the favor. Desperation then makes them open up two or three additional social accounts to maximize their chances of success.
Before they know it, many are spreading themselves thin and they’re no better than they were several weeks or months ago.
I have personally gone through all of this, and chances are many of you have as well. We all have to start somewhere, after all, especially when knowledge is limited.
Do you describe yourself as a struggling blogger? The following reasons will shed some light into your difficulties and help you come up with successful blogging strategies.
You’re Not Reaching Out
With over 3 million blog posts published daily, it’s safe to say that the arena is rather overcrowded. This means that your content will likely remain undiscovered no matter how damn good it is.
…..unless you make new (highly-relevant) friends in the blogosphere, that is.
You have probably heard about the importance of blogger outreach, which essentially goes like this:
Introduce yourself to an influencer by commenting on niche articles, sending a friendly email, and helping him out.
Keep repeating this with multiple people more than once, and (obviously) show a genuine interest in them. Finally, ask for a friendly favor later down the road – this could be a quick mention of your blog, a backlink to your article, a social share, an acknowledgement to his mailing list, and so on.
The question now is, why haven’t you done this yet? This is one of the most successful blogging strategies as proven by countless influencers, which means that others have already done part of the homework for you.
This brings me to my next potential reason…
You Have a Fear of Failure
What if influencers blatantly ignore me? What if they laugh at my request?
Likewise, your fear may be related to the way readers could approach your content. What if the first comment I get is a big, fat insult? I certainly don’t want to be put on the spot!
Listen, we all have to deal with negative comments at one point or another, as I did in this other article after a reader called me “Egotistical.”
The great thing about negativity is the ability to learn from that experience. Whether someone downright dislikes you or is merely providing constructive criticism, address the situation politely and genuinely thank them for their time.
Getting back to the subject of blogger outreach, I’d also like to mention another common reason why you might be struggling…
You’re Praying for Results
Many of us wish to write up a quick article, hit Publish, and watch a healthy traffic flow from search engines. Sadly, it’s not the early-mid 2000s anymore, so creating the content is only the start of your blogging journey.
Many suggest that you spend 20% of your time creating content, and 80% promoting it as one of several successful blogging strategies. In my opinion, these people are 100% correct.
Thankfully, there are tons of ways to get traffic that don’t necessarily involve the great Google. Think about joining several LinkedIn groups related to your niche, broadcasting through Periscope, and/or using older (but effective) tactics like SlidesShare – just to name a few.
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, I personally suggest you use a to-do list app to help keep a more organized blogging schedule. I use Todoist for my daily work, and my creativity has skyrocketed as a result.
Inconsistency was once my biggest weakness. I would create plenty of content one month, only to break for the next three.
Something that scares bloggers is the notion of having to post regularly. While constantly pleasing your audience with new material is great, remember what we had discussed earlier in this article: Spend 20% of the time creating, and 80% promoting.
Dedicate your time and energy into publishing better articles in exchange for quick, forgettable content. If your stuff is truly useful, you can honestly “get away” with publishing once every two weeks, in my opinion.
This gives you a whopping 14 days to befriend influencers, connect with general blog owners, keep working on LinkedIn groups and much more.
Not to mention, this approach will gradually give you more authority as you sacrifice quantity for quality. What’s not to like? After all, successful blogging strategies must start with a set/predictable pattern.
Not Building a List
List building won’t necessarily make or break you as a blogger, but it can drastically increase your chances of success in the long-run.
A newsletter allows you to keep in touch with a loyal following of highly-targeted readers, readily available to interact whenever you knock on their door. Not to mention that a good relationship gradually leads to sales…
Did you know that GetResponse allows you to store up to 1,000 emails for only $10 per month as of this writing? If you can afford pizza or McDonald’s on occasion, do yourself a favor and invest in this as well.
You Don’t Have a Set Strategy
Speaking of inconsistency, implementing a good strategy may consist of several things: What’s your ultimate goal? Are you looking to sell products to your audience? Get them to sign up to a monthly service? Spread brand awareness for your new startup? Where do you want to be in three, six, nine, and twelve months?
If “year one” is quickly approaching and you’re still in the same position as the first day, you might need to reassess your approach to blogging.
The best way is to check off each and every little milestone in the form of a strict to-do list, of sorts. Thankfully, most of the steps already covered in this article can help you reach your blogging goals, so everything is essentially interconnected.
Not Willing to Invest
While you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to build a successful blog, it is in your best interest to make some basic purchases.
Consider a self-hosted plan, which typically comes down to roughly $120 for an entire year for a decent-sized website. Spend $40 to $50 on a premium WordPress theme if necessary, along with any plugin you might need to help you be more successful later down the road.
I understand money may be a bit tight, but there are many of us who willingly ignore these expenses in favor of more “optional” ones (such as junk food). Why? Because there’s always a free alternative – which sometimes comes at the price of decreased quality.
While many free items are insanely useful (there’s no doubt about that) try look into some premium choices if you truly feel they are necessary and never settle for less.
Did you find yourself struggling at one point or another? Is there anything from the above list you wish to implement or improve upon? What other successful blogging strategies and tips can you offer struggling bloggers?
Author: Elvis Michael
Elvis Michael is an avid blogger and e-trepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.