5 Pitfalls of Blogging to Avoid
Pitfalls to happen to all of us.
We’re not perfect. There is no such thing are perfect. We can always do better at every aspect of life whether it’s personal or professional. We’re constantly improving and blogging fits in the same category. We can get close to perfect, but we’re always improving.
The pitfalls that happen to bloggers are many, but a few have stood out in my time as a blogger. These pitfalls seem to happen the most for anyone or any organization looking to blog. I thought I would share my experiences and hopefully help you as you and your company look to get into blogging. I try to avoid these pitfalls still to this day in the pursuit for perfection.
I saw the post – 5 Pitfalls of Online Marketing – and it sparked the interest in this post.
1. High Expectations
This could easily be labeled as having the wrong expectations. It’s the biggest issue I see with bloggers including myself. We start all excited about our new blogging idea. We look at a handful of examples of blogs that seemingly came out of nowhere to be the stars on the online world. We think we can get there and often we think we can get there in a short amount of time.
I’ve been burned by having this thought and it seems to happen to others as well.
When you get into blogging you’re taking on something that is either very hard or very expensive. You’re investing either your time or you money to create a business strategy that will bring new customers and loyal customers for the long-term. Something like that can’t be built overnight.
The Internet is littered with blogs that have gone dead. Look at any number of sites and you’ll see that the last post was a month ago or six months ago or maybe even years ago. It’s common and every time it happens I know exactly what went wrong.
The expectations were too high for success and too low for recognizing the amount of work that goes into blogging. You need a mixture of understanding what it takes and how long it will take to build a successful blog.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. Every successful blog you read about that came out of nowhere likely had years and years of hard work with nothing before it had any success.
2. Getting Lost in Research
Blogging might be 75% research and 25% writing and formatting. It seems like people don’t get this fact. Much of the time you spend creating blog content is about research. Even if you get an idea for a post and sit down and it flows out in 10 minutes you don’t realize that everything you’ve read and experienced over the years was research that led to this post.
Something that happens to me when doing research is that I get lost. I’ll be researching a certain topic and then I’ll get off on tangents. There will be something interesting and I’ll go off looking at it and reading and before long I’m a couple of hours down the road and I need to get back on track.
When you’re working on the Internet with so much information available it’s important to stay on task.
3. Worrying About Search Engines
This has happened to me and it still does to this day. Search engines can be such a great thing for a blog. Country Music Life started out gangbusters in the summer of 2010. This blog was hitting it big right away and going against the expectations. All the traffic was search traffic. Then the results changed in Google and Google started sending more traffic to YouTube for country song queries instead of other sites (even the artist sites). Traffic went down and it made me realize that you can’t focus on what the search engines want.
The focus needs to be on what your target customer wants. If you create content for the people you’ll win in the long run because those people will read your content no matter how they get it.
It’s about subscribers and not just traffic.
Often what people want and what search engines want is the same thing, but there is a difference and it’s important when you’re writing posts to write them for people and not search engines.
4. Doing Everything Yourself
I’m still learning this lesson, but I’m aware of it. I think it’s just something that is engrained in my makeup that makes me want to do things myself.
You can make a blog successful on your own, but your chances greatly improve with a team and with friends. Include others in your blog in various ways. The more people that have a vested interest in the blog and the success of the blog the better chance it will have to succeed.
Think about it in terms of a single post. I can sit here and write a post about a topic. I can share it across my social networks and subscribers will read it. That’s great.
But if I co-write the post with someone else or if I interview someone now we have the followers of this blog and the followers of the other person involved.
This is why guest posting is great. You tap into the network and audience of others to expand your own.
Getting back to country music. New artists can spend their time headlining small shows and it can work, but things can happen faster if they open for larger acts. You can grow an audience faster the second way.
I’m still learning this concept and I fall into this pitfall all the time. It’s tough.
5. Doing the Same Things
Somewhere along the way I read a quote that basically said what got you here won’t get you there. If you know where that comes from please comment.
Anyway, I’m trying to change formats from time to time on all the blogs I’m involved with. It’s important to find formulas that work. You want to keep doing those things, but also mix in a little experimentation to keep your evolving because someone is always working behind the scenes to come up with something different.
Again I think about the long lasting country music stars. People like George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith have been able to stay the same, but change over time. If you keep doing the same thing in country music your career will have a lifespan because someone new is always there to change the music scene and if you’re not the one changing it you’re going to get left behind.
Don’t get left behind.
Image Credit: GilbertoFilho