I have Pinot Noir to thank for my blogging career.
Seriously. It was near the end of summer in 2011 and I had just poured my 2nd glass of Oregon Pinot and sat down in front of the computer and literally told myself “Enough of the excuses woman! Just do it!”
I had been thinking about starting a blog for nearly a full year. But like so many women who consider starting a blog, the reasons why it wouldn’t work out always seemed to outweigh the reasons to go for it:
- We compare ourselves to others who are already successful bloggers and the doubts creep in as we tell ourselves “I could never be as pretty/funny/stylish/you-name-it as she is.”
- We inventory our level of expertise and decide we aren’t worthy
- And we make excuses with lame self-talk like “I am not techy enough” or “I wouldn’t even know where to begin!”
So we go back to watching Bachelor in Paradise and another day goes by with no action.
Any of this sound familiar?
Well, this was my own personal experience…but it all changed that night. I stayed up until nearly 2am that night, but when my head hit that pillow, I was officially a “blogger.”
Right away, I set about researching best practices for blogging and how to grow a community like the good little nerd I am. I then put into practice what I learned and after a year and a half, my little corner of the internet was averaging well over a quarter million pageviews a month.
But we all make mistakes when starting something new, right? I mean, that’s HOW we learn in the first place!
So whether you have a blog or you have just been thinking about starting one…here are the top 5 mistakes new bloggers make (that hopefully you can avoid!)
MISTAKE #1: Not engaging on other blogs + connecting with other bloggers
One of the best pieces of advice I can give to any blogger who wants to grow a community, would be to engage with other blogs (comment thoughtfully on posts, share posts on social media that you love, etc.) AND actually connect with other bloggers (send a DM with a specific complement, arrange collaborations with other bloggers, etc.)
And yes, I know this sounds confusing because you might be thinking, “How is connecting with other bloggers going to help my blog?” So here’s my answer yo:
- You cannot be an island and expect people to just stumble upon your blog. It just won’t happen.
- The blogging world is actually somewhat small, especially when you break it down into niches. The more you contribute by initiating conversations and sharing others work, the more it will be reciprocated!
- When you go to events or meet-up with other bloggers, you tag one another in social media posts which essentially means you are sharing your unique audiences with one another. That is huge!
ACTION TIP: Commit to commenting thoughtfully on at least 10 new blogs each day. Bookmark your favorites and send 2 direct messages a day to give a compliment/engage personally.
MISTAKE #2: Posting infrequently and inconsistently
How often you post often depends on your particular niche. But the rule-of-thumb for most new blogs that *truly* want to grow into something larger would be to post 3-5 times per week. This level of frequency can taper off slightly as you are more established.
But THIS is the more common path new bloggers take:
Month one: 20 posts
Month two: 18 posts
Month three: 3 posts
Month four: 0 posts
Month five: 1 post (the ever common “Sorry I’ve been MIA guys!” post 😉 )
Because let’s be honest, coming up with ideas and then executing the actual content is A LOT of work. But one must treat their blog like their business and show up no matter what.
Going on vacation? Preschedule posts.
Super sick? Ask a blogger friend to guest post.
Readers want to know what to expect from you, so establish your schedule and let’s do the damn thang!
MISTAKE #3: Not responding to comments
Blah! This one irks me. If someone takes the time to leave a thoughtful comment, then let’s just all agree to reply, m’kay?!
We can’t expect people to want to comment and engage with us if it’s one-sided. So be as gracious with your comment section as you are in real life.
MISTAKE #4: Thinking the blog is all about them
It’s not about you. It’s actually about everyone else!
The bloggers who understand that ideas + engagement + adding value + entertainment are what it’s allllllll about are the bloggers who explode!
MISTAKE #5: Trying to be someone else
Oh Nelly! This is a big one!
When I first started blogging, I thought I needed to do everything the exact same away as all these other bloggers. So I followed their lead and basically re-created a version of them (very poorly I might add!)
But my blog didn’t explode until I decided to stop the madness already and embrace my own voice and write about the shiz that I wanted to write about! I did things differently and in a way that felt authentic to me…which in turn allowed readers to connect with me on a much deeper level!
Because let’s face it, the comparison chip is implanted into the mindset of nearly every woman on earth and it’s way too easy to browse your Instagram feed or your favorite blogs and find yourself stung by the comparison bug.
So quit that! 😉
You will never find true success if you are trying to be a carbon copy of someone else. So abandon all the white noise created by the content of other bloggers in your niche and create content for YOUR unique voice and perspective!
So I’d love to know…do YOU relate personally to any of these common mistakes?
Thanks so much for reading!