I started my first professional blog in 2012. I had no idea what I was doing.
Literally. I was pretty clueless. I probably made every major mistake in the book.
The fact that you’ve searched out this article puts you head and shoulders above other bloggers out there.
You’re actually working to educate yourself and get better at your craft.
With this article, I’m going to reveal some of the extremely costly mistakes that beginning bloggers make – and how to avoid them!
Some of these mistakes will cost you time. Others can be financially expensive.
My overall goal is to accelerate your blogging career and help you become a full-time blogger SOONER.
I’ve put all of my proven, tested, and verified strategies to rapidly grow your blog into a program that I call, the Lifestyle Business Accelerator.
You can click here to sign up for the waitlist to join the accelerator.
Now… let’s get into it!
1. Failing to Build an Independent Email List
When most bloggers get started, they use the default WordPress subscription functionality to be able to accumulate subscribers and send out new posts to their readers.
You don’t want to do that.
Instead, you want to build your own mailing list, using software like Mailchimp.
Having your own mailing list gives you great flexibility so that you can notify your readers about announcements that go beyond “your newest article.”
In addition, you don’t necessarily want to send an email to your readers every single time you publish a new blog post. WordPress would do that for you automatically.
2. Writing About Too Many Topics
Myself included, I think that most writers suffer from having many different interests. There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of hobbies or interests.
However, if you make your blog your “personal journal” and write about every topic under the sun, you’ll end up confusing your readers.
You want to choose a specific niche or topic for your blog. Once you establish yourself as an expert or authority in that niche, you can then expand to others.
When someone subscribes to your blog they’re expecting a certain type of content from you.
If they get sent an article on some other random topic, they’ll be more likely to think… “What the heck?!” and end up unsubscribing.
3. Ignoring Monetization Strategies
A blog alone is not a business.
Certainly, it’s a great way to attract an audience. Free quality content is always a great way to attract an audience.
It’s up to you to figure out how to monetize that audience.
From day 1, you should be examining the different ways that you can make money from your blog. This could include:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Digital Products
- and more…
I reveal to you how I monetized my blog and how much money I make from my online activities in the Lifestyle Business Accelerator.
When you join the accelerator, you’ll discover how to make money from your blog.
4. Thinking You’ll Build It And They’ll Come
I’m going to admit something personal.
I have a big ego. Or, well, I used to.
I used to think that simply because I wrote down incredible thoughts or shared amazing information that people would just find it online.
If you spend 2 years writing a thought-provoking book, then the world should beat a path to your door, right?
You have to be willing to go where people are if you want to communicate your message with the world.
You have to consistently persuade readers of the value of your message, and why they should pay attention.
It should never be about YOU. It should always be about THEM and why your blog is relevant to their life.
5. Being Really, Really Cheap
Yeah… this was me too. But, I have an excuse! I was in college!
I started my first professional blog when I was a Junior in college at George Washington University.
I didn’t have very much money, so I was really cheap when it came to anything related to my blog.
Boy, oh boy, did I pay for that one.
You’re never going to buy something that’s cheap and get high quality.
Cheap = low quality.
If you want to see results online, you have to be willing to invest in your blog.
Bite the bullet and invest in $4/month blog hosting. You’ll thank me later.
When you host your own WordPress blog, you’ll have far greater control over your website. You’ll be able to install cool-looking themes and premium plugins to expand the functionality.
6. Forgetting About SEO (And What Goes Into It)
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Most professional bloggers see the bulk of their traffic from search engines.
This recurring stream of consistent traffic is what enables them to grow passive income streams and live the laptop lifestyle.
If you want to do the same thing, then you need to read up on SEO. I have a module on this in the Lifestyle Business Accelerator.
You’ll want to optimize your overall blog and each individual article that goes out to maximize the chance that it will rank well in Google for key terms.
7. Brushing Off a Writing Schedule
Blogging hobbyists will usually write when they feel like it. If they’re having a bad day, or don’t feel like writing, they won’t.
What separates the hobbyist from the professional is that the pro will write even when he is having a bad day.
He or she sticks to a writing schedule that they’ve established. This is what allows them to pump out content over time.
You have to treat it like a job. You gotta hold yourself accountable. You have to be willing to work regular hours in the early days.
8. Lack of Consistency
This mistake is a blog killer. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
If you want to build up a base of loyal readers, then you need to be consistent with your content.
You need to regularly write and publish blog posts. I’m talking 1-3 per week.
In my early blogging days, I was actually writing one new post per day.
There are many reasons that you’ll want to produce content on a consistent basis. I’ll just cover two of them.
- It gives readers a reason to return. If they know that new content is coming out every week, they’ll be more likely to regularly check your blog for updates.
- It helps with SEO. The more you publish quality content on your blog, the faster you’ll become an authority in the eyes of Google.
I also believe that consistent publishing helps drive away laziness. A lot of people stop blogging because they lose momentum. They simply lack sustained interest.
9. Being Afraid to Put Personality Into Your Articles
Personality is what makes you stand out online.
It took me a while to learn this lesson.
For so long, I would write in very dry business-speak. That’s how I was taught to write by my english teachers.
This is WORST way to write blog posts.
By adding a bit a personality to your posts, you’ll make it easier for people to connect with you and be willing to buy your products or services.
No want wants to learn from a boring teacher who just rattles on and on about a subject.
We wanna learn from “cool” teachers who have interesting stories and use the same kinda vocab we do.
Here are a few ways to add more personality to your articles:
- Tell personal stories to convey points.
- Refer to the reader as “you.”
- Write the same way you’d talk to someone.
- Use popular idioms
10. Overlooking Website Design and Branding
The way that you dress at a networking event communicates information about who you are, what you do, and how seriously you’re taking the event.
Similarly, visitors vibe off your website’s design to get a feel for you and your business.
If you have a poorly designed website, it’s going to be difficult to get people to take you seriously. If you have a well-designed site, you’ll be able to command a premium price for your products.
This is one of the reasons that I recommend blogging with a WordPress website, so that you can easily install premium themes to make your site look gorgeous.
Once you set up the hosting for your blog at $4/month, the you can go about picking a great-looking theme that will communicate just how serious you are about your brand.
11. Never Using Email Marketing
What’s the easiest way that you can send a bunch of traffic to a new blog article at the same time?
You guessed it… email marketing!
Similar to your blogging schedule, you’ll want to send out emails fairly regularly to maintain a relationship with your readers.
I’m talking once a week or once every other week. Otherwise, people will simply forget who you are.
When you’re doing more of a product launch, you might be sending emails every single day.
12. Shying Away from Social Media
Arguably, social media is one of the biggest leaps forward since the advent of search engines.
Over time, a social media account can even take on a life of it’s own. There are many Instagram influencers that are making a living solely off of their social media account.
There’s no reason not to start a social media profile on the major accounts like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You can use social media to reach thousands and thousands of fans that are interested in your niche.
13. Confusing “Sales Copywriting” With “Educational Information”
This is more of an advanced topic.
There is a difference between educating readers and selling a product.
In order to become a full-time blogger, you’re going to have to learn how to do both.
The term “copywriting” refers to the advertisement copy that’s used on a sales page to turn website visitors into customers.
Copywriting is a very different style than traditional informational writing.
You would use this style of writing to get your readers to click on a link, buy a product that you recommend, or check something out.
When you’re teaching, you don’t have to worry about copywriting. You’ll just write as you do normally.
I know this probably doesn’t make much sense right now, but it will in time.
14. Not Promoting Your Work (Constantly)
What I’m going to say flies in the face of many “experts” out there who warn about over-promotion.
I got where I am today is because I’m willing to aggressively promote my work. I don’t mind being the loudest one in the room.
Now… the reason I’m okay with doing that is because I’ve spent so much time making sure that my work is exceptional.
I would’t be able to talk with the same level of confidence or bravado if I thought I had a shitty product.
But, because I’ve invested the time in making a great blog post, I almost feel compelled to go out there and market it, because I know people would benefit from reading it.
Don’t be shy about promoting your work.
15. Being Too Anti-Social
Let’s get this out of the way. I’m a nerd.
Like a super nerd.
I’m also an introvert.
I don’t like being around people too much. I find it draining and overwhelming.
Even with my closest friends, there comes a point in time where I need a breather. Some quality time with a book, meditation, or TV will then recharge my energy.
If you’re like me, then you might struggle with being a bit anti-social.
That’s fine, but it’s going to affect the level of success you see with blogging.
The fastest way to up your blogging game is to network with other bloggers and gain access to their audience.
This could take the form of a guest blog post on their blog or a collaboration of some sort.
Eventually, you’ll find that the growth of your blog is limited. If you want to continue to expand, you’ll have to form relationships with other people in your industry.
16. Thinking You’ll Get “Quick Success”
Blogging success takes time. It took me about a year of serious blogging before I took the leap and went full-time.
During that year, I was writing a ton, figuring out ways to monetize my work, and networking with other people.
It really comes down to how hard you’re willing to work and the niche your blog is in.
Over time, I’ve built up a very healthy income from blogging, but it didn’t start that way. My beginnings were very, very humble.
I still remember the day I earned my first $2 from the Google Adsense program and took my girlfriend at the time out for a cup of coffee.
Great things start small.
17. Waiting For Someone to Teach You Everything
This career is different from every other career out there. School doesn’t prepare you for it.
You have to figure out everything on your own. You need to take the initiative.
Does that sounds hard?
Yeah… quite frankly, it sucks.
That’s the #1 reason that I put together the Lifestyle Business Accelerator.
The easiest way to think about is… once you enter this machine, you’ll be transformed into a full-time blogger.
I’m going to share with you the step-by-step process I used to go from 0 to more than 20,000 email subscribers.
I’ll reveal the exact strategies that I used to start, grow, and monetize my blog.
Lastly, I’ll introduce the passive income system that I set up and how you can do the same thing.
You’re going to save SO MUCH TIME with this course. No more figuring things out. You just have to copy and implement the techniques I’ll show you.
Can’t wait to see you on the other side!