Make Money Blogging (pt 3): 10 Mistakes You are Making Right Now
Every day, new blogs keep springing up to compete for a slot in the blogosphere. A recent study by Netcraft found that there were over 1.4 billion blogs and websites existing on the Internet as at the end of February 2019. With that kind of number, if your blog must stand tall, you need to sit up and find your own space. Commit blogging blunders, and your blog won't go anywhere. This post is a continuation of our MAKE MONEY BLOGGING series. And on this particular episode, we'll be taking a look at some blogging mistakes you are probably making right now. We'll also provide solutions to help you resolve those mistakes and reposition your blog for growth and success.
Ready to see ‘em? Let's go:
1. YOU WRITE ON TOPICS THAT INTEREST ONLY YOU
Yes, we know you're the blog writer and owner, but you're not the intended reader. Are you? Except your blog is a type of personal diary for yourself, family and friends, then your blog should cover ideas that interest READERS. You already know you won't be making any money off of a blog that nobody is interested in, right? As a blogger, ideas will keep coming up at intervals and you might be tempted to go blog about them because you think they're cool and interest you. But what about your target audience? Do your ideas also interest them? And will they benefit from those? These are the questions to ask before choosing a blogging niche or writing on any topic. But unfortunately, most bloggers do the opposite — they talk about anything and everything that pops up in their head.
Write blog posts that serve your readers' interest. You'd want to start each and every post with “audience-based research” even before deciding on what topic exactly to write on. In other words, don't just talk about any idea that you THINK they'll like; instead, use the right SEO and content tools to find ideas that people are searching for on the web and actually write data-driven, audience-appealing posts. There are different types of blogs on the Internet, but the ones that enjoy the most traffic, shares, and engagement are the blogs that publish content that is relevant to their readers. Readers visit blogs to look for useful tips and information that'll help solve a problem they are facing or answer questions they may have.
So, provide them with those. Focusing on what your readers want to read and identifying the problem they are trying to solve will help grow your blog. It's simple. Blogging is about "what's in it for the reader." It's about connecting to your target audience by creating blog posts that serve their interest, not yours. That's why "How-to" posts generate more traffic than other types of posts. So, next time you want to write a blog post on "How I Enjoyed my Weekend at the Beach” turn it around to write "Great Ways to Enjoy Your Weekend at the Beach.”
2. YOUR CONTENT SUCKS
Beyond writing on self-serving topics that nobody cares about except your mom and your dog, another common mistake among bloggers is publishing substandard content. There are several things that can make your content pass as substandard — it's stiff, not conversational, zero white space, poorly formatted, grammatical errors, wrong tone, and so much more.
Write in a conversational way. Write the way you talk to make your content interesting. Use contraction. Use bullets to highlight points and break your posts into readable size. No jargons. Loosen up and throw in a few senses of humor. You aren't going against the rules.
The point is to position your blog to meet a specific need while still sounding like a human. And before you click publish, don't forget to use our grammar checker tool to polish your content to perfection.
3. YOU DON'T BLOG CONSISTENTLY
With a lot of things online fighting for people's attention, it's getting more difficult these days to have readers visit your blog again and again. Your readers can easily forget your blog's existence if you are the type that writes blog posts once in a blue moon. How will you be able to make money from your blog if your audience only hears from you 12 times in a year? Well, you won't because they'll barely know you.HubSpot reports that online marketers who blog consistently get 3.5 times more visitors than those who blog once or four times in a month. Even Neil Patel has attributed the success of his blogs Quick Sprout and NeilPatel.com to consistent blogging.
The fact is that blogs that have content published on them consistently outrank blogs with little content on the search engine. You wouldn't want to relegate your blog to the last page on the search result, would you?
Create content consistently. Plan your blog posts and schedule them ahead by using a content calendar to help keep you on track. With time, you'll form the habit of writing blog posts consistently.
4. YOU DON'T HAVE A NICHE
This is one of the most consequential mistakes blogs make — they go on talking about any and every topic under the sun. Except you're Huffington Post or the New York Times, you shouldn't do this. Posting content about random topics only results in nobody developing interest on your blog, thus nobody to subscribe. It'll also require you to want to write content so very often that you'll be burned out. So it's better to run a niche. Having a niche is about sticking to a specific topic to blog about. We already talked about how focusing on a specific content makes you an authority. Coming down to the search engine, a blog that covers different topics isn't good for SEO.
Plus, there’s no effective way you can monetize a generalized blog. But when you have a niche, you can grow an audience that resonates with your blog focus, who will be ready to buy from you.
Identify who your target audience is. Decide on what to blog about and stick to it. As you decide on what your blog will be all about, make sure it has monetization potentials so you don't end up with an unprofitable niche. Check out what other bloggers are blogging about that's generating income for them to help you decide on which niche you can comfortably blog on.
5. YOU DON'T USE DATA TO PROVE YOUR POINTS
One of the biggest elements of effective blogging is credibility. In other words, for readers to trust your content and keep coming back for more, you'll have to present your content as credible information. Data, studies, and research make your content more credible when integrated into your blog posts. People need convincing before they can believe your claims and it also makes them take action based on your assertions. But unfortunately, some bloggers do not use data to prove their points.
Back up your points and claims with data, research and case studies. Using data on your blog posts gives more weight to your content. It assures readers that you did a thorough study on the topic before publishing it.
6. YOU PLAGIARIZE PEOPLE'S CONTENT
Plagiarism isn't new. Back in school, people have been copying other people's work; it's now down to the copy-and-paste blog posts littered on the Internet. However, readers certainly know copied content when they see one. That's the trap you don't want to fall into. Plagiarism is bad business for your blog. Plus, it's illegal. Google has a policy on duplicate content. If you are found to have plagiarized content on your blog, it will be removed from Google index. This means that your blog won't appear on the search results. Plagiarism has a lot of downsides which we already talked about on this post: But the bottom line is that it's bad for your blog, reputation, and revenue.
Well, the simple solution is to take time to create unique content. There are so many benefits to this. First off, it'll protect your trust with readers, establish you as an authority in your niche, ensure that your site does not get penalized by Google, among other numerous benefits. Start by inputting your content to our Plagiarism Checker tool to analyze it for perfection. If you pay freelance writers to create your content, this tool will come in even handier.
7. YOU PUT QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
You've been told that blogging consistently will make you rank high on search engine. So, armed with this information, you start to churn out 10 short blog posts every week. Doing this implies you are now trading quality for quantity. The quality of the blog posts you publish is very important. Readers can only visit your blog if you are creating high-quality content not the number of content.
Write evergreen comprehensive content. Readers don't care about whether you dish out 3 posts per day. They care about quality. Create well-researched, evergreen content that will make them get excited about reading your posts each time you publish content on your blog. Your posts should be long, comprehensive guides that make your readers and Google happy.
8. YOU ARE NOT BUILDING YOUR EMAIL LIST
We talked comprehensively about this in part two of this series. The. Money. Is. In. The. List. Yet, most bloggers make their deadly mistake.
Don't think blogging is all about getting tons of traffic to your website. When the traffic starts pouring in, you have to convert them into subscribers and the only way to do that is to build an email list.
Set up your email newsletter and add a CTA on your blog for folks to subscribe. Top it up with a compelling freebie to entice readers to subscribe. You'll need an email marketing tool like MailChimp or ConvertKit. Use the email tool to create a welcome email for visitors as well as other forms of email messages. Also, create a landing page for the specific purpose of adding subscribers through social media, the search engines, and from referral traffic. Your email list is the most important asset your blog can have. It’s a guaranteed way of growing your customer base and business.
In research by Sale Cycle, 59% of the respondents attested that email marketing influenced their purchases, while 50% said they've bought product/service via email marketing. Each time you publish new content on your blog, notify your subscribers. This promotes a repeat visit. With time, you will build a relationship and trust through consistent interaction.
9. YOU ONLY TALK ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE
Many blogs are guilty of this — creating content to solely promote their products. That's a huge mistake! A reader just signed up for your newsletter and the first email you send is your product promotion. Or, all the blog posts you've ever published are about your service.
How do you think readers will feel? First, you are being salesy. Then, the reader will feel you don't care about his concerns but are only interested in selling your product and making money off of them.
We know how much you want to earn on your blog but you have to take it step-by-step. First, establish a relationship and build trust with your audience by providing helpful content. Tailor your content to meet the reader’s needs. Show them that you care. Create useful content to help them become better or that solves their problems. This will make them look forward to buying from you. There's a popular content marketing rule which says 80% of the content you create should be informational, educational content that tackles the reader's personal interests while only 20% should be promotional.
10. YOU DON'T DO SEO
If you run ago without paying special attention to SEO, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. Not only are you leaving traffic and money on the table, but you are also setting up your business for long-term failure. How? SEO has serious long-term benefits. Once you write a blog post and optimize it for the search engines, the content can keep ranking for years to come thereby bringing traffic to your site continually even without you having to do any more thing. But look at it on the flip side: if you create a remarkable blog post with zero SEO optimization, chances are that only a few people will ever get to see it. Plus, it won't rank. So, you'll lose traffic in the long run. And such a strategy will require you to put in continued efforts to drive traffic to your blog. That's like living from hand to mouth.
Be nice to yourself. Implement an SEO strategy that guarantees long-term results. You'll find as you do SEO, you'll require less effort as time comes by while your blog traffic keeps escalating. You can start by checking out our several dozens of super-amazing SEO tools. They are 100% free, yet provide the best possible results you can get anywhere on the Internet.
Remember, it's one thing to start a blog and another thing to make it successful. But, YOU can make it happen for your blog if you stop making these blogging mistakes and start growing your blog.