Launching a blog stands out as a more attractive prospect than ever before. Research shows that bloggers earn an average of $45,000 per year while the industry is still growing, which means that figure is likely to rise. Better still, a career in blogging presents the opportunity to rewrite your future in an enjoyable and engaging manner.
Another key selling point of blogging is that the venture can start out as a side hustle that runs alongside a more traditional job. The blog is your baby, meaning you get to set your schedule and determine how much effort you put into the project. Even when there is no pressure to earn money quickly, though, it’s vital that you treat your site with the seriousness it deserves. Perhaps most importantly, you must avoid the common pitfalls that trap millions of blog owners each year. This guide will help you identify and overcome the obstacles in style.
Even if you produce the best content anywhere on the internet, your blog cannot become a commercial success if nobody knows of its existence. If you’re going to treat your website as a business, building brand awareness will be vital. Thankfully, an audience of over 400 million readers will read over 20 billion blog pages each month. Your audience is out there.
Search engines like Google are your greatest friend because they continue to deliver more traffic than any other outlet. Moreover, organic traffic gained through the SERPS (search engine results pages) will come from hot leads. This means web users that are actively looking for the content that you produce. The Search Engine Optimization, or SEO industry, is now valued at $100bn. As such, a defined strategy to fire your blog up the rankings should be the primary marketing objective. To do this, you’ll need to;
- Use keywords and on-site SEO tools like alt tags,
- Choose an authoritative domain like a .com address.
- Ensure that your website loads fast and is optimized for both mobile and desktop,
- Gain backlinks to your site from blogs, directories, and more,
- Encourage readers to leave positive reviews.
In addition to SEO, you must put several other key features in place to secure greater awareness. PPC (pay-per-click ads) and social media marketing are great examples.
Not Blogging With Authority
When starting a blog with the intention of making money, it may be tempting to chase cash by picking a popular subject. However, there are thousands of great bloggers in those environments. If you are not truly passionate about the topics you cover, the harsh reality is that your content will not resonate with readers. Writing with authority is essential.
Money can be made in virtually any content creation niche. This is why everything from trainspotters to skipping enthusiasts exist. As well as finding the right subject matter, you must invest heavily in finding your voice as a writer. One of the best tips for beginners is to produce the content you love rather than focusing on what you think readers want. If you love it, there will be an audience of people who feel the same. Some ideas that may help you write with authority include;
- Use statistics and quote the experts where applicable,
- Be clear and concise,
- Don’t be afraid to inject personal anecdotes or your sense of humor,
- Use specifics where possible,
- Write with consistency to build your true writing voice.
Blogging with authority in an environment that you care about will result in content that resonates with readers. And this should result in loyal readers rather than one-time visitors.
An Unwillingness To Diversify Your Content
On the one hand, all of your content should link back to the main topic of your blog. Alternatively, you may choose several subjects as long as they each target your audience. It is a tactic used by many successful bloggers and can reduce the risk of hitting writer’s block.
However, this isn’t the only key way to diversify the content on your blog.
The beauty of blogging is that you can use multiple media types. Visitors retain 65% of visual content compared to just 10% of text. A diverse range of content types could include videos and vlogs, infographics, guest blogs, podcasts and audio, quizzes, and more. It can deliver an array of benefits for your blogging business, starting with the chance to keep the content fresh. It also enables quick responses to major news developments in your niche. Other rewarding features include but are not limited to;
- Break down language barriers,
- Gain the opportunity to try longer form content,
- Showcase your creativity and personality as a creator,
- Digress into new (but still connected) topics,
- Have more fun as a content creator.
Conversely, if you stay in your comfort zone, it’s likely that the blog will eventually feel a little stale. A willingness to be creative and try new things is essential.
Failing To Interact With Readers
The ability to embrace multiple media types isn’t the only advantage that blogs have over traditional publications. Perhaps more importantly, it creates the opportunity to build a 24/7 two-way dialogue. People leave over 77 million comments on blog posts each month. And this doesn’t even account for social media interactions. Ignoring them is ill-advised.
Encouraging participation from your visitors is the catalyst for building stronger emotional connections. In turn, this will turn one-time readers into loyal visitors. Once you have this fanbase, there is no limit to what your blog can achieve. It is shown that 83% of consumers pay as much attention to the way brands treat them as they do the product. Likewise, blog readers want to feel valued by the content creator. Participation can grow a reader’s loyalty while simultaneously growing your readership. To encourage interactions, you should;
- Raise questions at the end of posts or social media posts,
- Ask readers to comment about their experiences linked to the topic,
- Actively respond to comments and use this section to show your personality,
- Encourage readers to share your content with people they think will love it,
- Open up a Q&A comment section on live streams.
One of the main reasons that new bloggers continue to have a one-way interaction is that they lack confidence. Once you start interacting with readers, though, you’ll never look back.
A Lack Of Revenue Streams
The joy gained from being creative and sharing your thoughts on something you feel passionate about matters. Not least because it drives you through the teething problems and any future stumbling blocks. Still, if you are looking to make a profit from your blog – as 73% of content authors do – you must learn how to make revenue.
When first starting out, it’s likely that you’ll use Google AdSense to turn pageviews into cash. To make significant revenue from the platform, though, you just look to do more. Once again, diversification will play a central role. When revenue is generated through multiple streams, the likelihood of making a good living from blogging is improved. Not least because you’ll avoid the threat of relying too much on any single solution. Revenue may be generated from your on-site content, brand, or newly acquired skills as a blogger. Options include;
- Selling sponsors or ad space within specific content,
- Create a line of merchandise through print-on-demand services,
- Produce premium content such as downloadable eBooks or courses,
- Selling your services as a writer or guest speaker,
- Using affiliate schemes to leverage success from your influencer status.
Many bloggers feel guilty or embarrassed about monetizing their platforms. Or charging for their services. But if you’re good at what you do, it is truly the least that you deserve.
Ignoring The Community
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s you versus the world. But the content creator industry is one where collaborations and partnerships can work wonders. As well as brand-creator collabs, you can work with other bloggers or other content creators. After all, audiences can follow multiple creators without impacting your potential earnings.
Two heads are always better than one, not least because you can combine resources as well as your knowledge. In turn, the content you create can carry greater authority and engagement. Research shows that 22% of bloggers spend 2-3 hours on each post while bigger posts can take significantly longer. Sharing this workload will significantly aid your time management. Moreover, the content creator community can help you establish mutually beneficial partnerships. Some of the rewards you may gain include;
- Win some of your collaborator’s audience,
- Get introduced to other creators that may be able to support your brand,
- Secure links from authoritative sites that also carry great relevance,
- Learn valuable skills that enhance the quality of your work,
- Find out about opportunities with brands.
Ultimately, if you don’t remain an active in the community, you will soon be forgotten. By creators, who also boost awareness through interactions with you, and viewers alike.
Not Tracking Your Progress
Once you start to make money from your blog, it would be easy to assume that you’ve cracked the code for sustained success. However, tracking your progress is the only way to ensure that your blogging career keeps moving in the right direction. Firstly, you should ask readers for their feedback. This will offer insight into what works or doesn’t work.
You can also track your progress by adding a UTM link to your blog posts to see how campaigns perform. Alternatively, heat maps can provide data on user engagement across each page. This can teach you what pages they visit, when they leave, and how they interact with your posts. The insight can then guide your future work as your goal will be to gain maximum engagement. Conversely, if you fail to track the progress of your blog’s performance, it’ll place multiple limitations on your endeavors. Such as;
- Not knowing how much you should charge sponsors and product placements,
- Failing to identify when (if) readers think your content has gone stale,
- Continuing to suffer as a result of any minor errors,
- Being unable to time expansion correctly,
- Not truly understanding which audiences respond to each type of content.
You can think of data analytics and progress tracking as the sat nav that will keep your blog on track. Without it, you may never reach your intended destination.
Building a successful blog takes a lot of hard work. It is suggested that you need 10,000 unique monthly pageviews before you can start generating significant money. Once you reach that stage where you can earn a living, though, there will be people looking to target you. If you fail to implement sufficient protection, it could come back to haunt you.
It is particularly important to put the protection in place if you have sold products like merchandise or eBooks. However, even if you have simply captured personal details like names and email addresses, you must take this seriously. Understanding data breaches and how to prevent them should be at the top of your agenda. A single breach could destroy the trust in your blog and once the doubt has been raised, readers are unlikely to return. Other key features for your security measure include;
- Using a web host that will guarantee maximum uptime,
- Adding SSL certificates and other website security features,
- Ensuring that other blog contributors only have limited CMS credentials,
- Support users by implementing encrypted passwords,
- Limit the personal data collected to the items you actively need.
Protecting user data will protect your platform. In turn, you will be free to focus on actively creating new content and building a bigger brand for your blog.
There is no time limit on how quickly your blog needs to become profitable or capable of replacing a traditional job as your full-time role. Nevertheless, you need to know that your blog is moving in the right direction in terms of quality and commercial value. Avoiding common pitfalls will allow you to enjoy a far smoother path to blogging success. You’ve got this.