We have all read the case studies. We know some of the bloggers who get hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors and are absolutely crushing it.
Blogging works, but it does not work for everyone.
Most blogs aren’t getting 100,000 monthly visitors. Most blogs don’t even get 1,000 monthly visitors. When looking at epic case studies, it is easy to either get very motivated or very discouraged.
I look at these case studies as motivation for what I can do in the future.
But there is more behind a blog’s success than your motivation. That motivation must be combined with the right work ethic.
More specifically, you must know what works and what does not work. Blogging doesn’t work for most people. Some of them still consider it a hobby while others give up on it.
I don’t want you to be one of those people. I want you to be one of those people who eventually gets hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors to your blog.
Don’t believe it’s possible? Consider the FACT that all of those people with the glamorous case studies started with NOTHING. They started with less than what you have now.
Still don’t believe it’s possible for your blog to get so many visitors? I hope the answer is no.
It’s just a matter of avoiding what does not work and focusing on what does work. This blog post discusses what you should avoid.
But in discussing what you should avoid, this blog post also discusses what you should do. Without any further adieu, these are the five reasons blogging is not working for you.
#1: You Aren’t Focused On Growing Your Email List
I could have put this method anywhere on the list. I decided to list it as Method #1 for a reason.
If you haven’t heard people mention the power of the email list, you’re going to hear about it later.
With an email list, you get to know your readers and develop a bond with some of them. In addition, email by far gets more response than social media posts.
Some people get over 20% of their subscribers to click on a message. While this is well above the average level, it does happen.
If you have an email list of 100 people, and 20% of them click on the link to your blog post, then you got 20 new visitors.
To fully understand the power of an email list, we need to inflate the numbers. The marketers with over 1 million subscribers and the 20% clickthrough rate get over 200,000 visitors to the blog post.
But you don’t need a massive email list before you get a lot of traffic and revenue from that email list. You just have to start growing your email list.
But maintaining an email list can get expensive. If you don’t want to spend money in the beginning, then use MailChimp.
MailChimp lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers for free before you pay a single penny.
Right now, I use iContact for my email list. As I continue to grow my email list, the cost increases. That’s the nature of the game. However, as I grow my email list, my profit increases.
Just focus on growing your email list. Don’t overthink it. Just get to the step in which you are gaining a new subscriber each day.
I discussed some of the tactics I use to grow my email list in an earlier blog post.
#2: You Publish And Pray
It’s good to pray. I pray five or more times per day. Publishing and praying on the other hand. That ain’t good.
The Publish and Pray approach was first coined by Brian Dean. Here’s how the approach works:
- You publish a new blog post
- You don’t promote it in any way, shape, or form
- You pray that it will get a lot of visitors
If you rely on this approach for getting more blog traffic, then prepare to be disappointed. It’s like expecting that if you create something the people will somehow, magically come.
The Publish and Pray approach does not work. What works then? Promotion through a variety of platforms:
- Social media promotion
- Outreach strategy. Check out Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique.
- Email list promotion
There are plenty of ways to promote your blog post. As long as you are actually promoting your blog posts in one way or the other, you are doing more than publishing and praying.
You are actually taking action.
#3: You Don’t Write Blog Posts Consistently
The interesting thing about blogging and entrepreneurship in general is that it’s all on you. You don’t get a wage for writing blog posts. You can’t get fired.
But it’s all on you.
You have to find the willpower and the time to write your blog posts at a consistent rate. If you don’t write blog posts at a consistent rate, then it is more difficult to grow an audience.
The reason is that when you write blog posts and always publish them at specific times and days of the week, people know when to check in for new content.
It’s the reason why every successful TV show is successful. The next time you watch your favorite TV show, pay attention to the marketing.
At the end of every The Big Bang Theory show, fans like myself are reminded that the next episode is on Thursday night at the same time.
As an experienced fan, you don’t have to tell me that The Big Bang Theory is on every Thursday at 8 pm eastern. I know.
When I first started watching the show, I had to be told.
Once people know when you publish your blog posts, and they check in enough times, they don’t have to be told when you are publishing new blog posts. They know and check in.
The blogger I admire the most is Seth Godin. You don’t have to tell me when he publishes his blog post. I know that he publishes a new blog post at 6:30 am eastern.
That’s what happens when you write blog posts consistently. But in addition to giving your readers a time and day to check in, writing consistently also boosts your accountability.
Once you write blog posts consistently for a long enough period of time, you have a strong desire to continue writing them.
I have easily spent thousands of hours writing blog posts for this blog. I’m not giving up on it now. I never will.
The only way you will get to that point is by consistently writing blog posts.
#4: You Don’t Enjoy Writing The Blog Posts
I don’t like the blogs that are inspired by shiny object syndrome. There is no passion behind the content. These blogs just focus on the next big thing and try to run away with it.
When revolutionary ideas and tools get introduced, there are passionate people who write awesome blog posts.
However, some people will jump on just for the sake of making the buck. Once the shiny object isn’t so shiny anymore, the blogs inspired by shiny object syndrome die out.
Then these bloggers move onto the next shiny object.
Shiny object syndrome is one reason why bloggers get stuck with topics they don’t want to write about.
In other words, these bloggers ask themselves “What content would make me the most money?” before asking themselves “What do I actually want to write about?”
Only write blog posts about topics that you enjoy. No matter what topic you choose, it will take a long time before your blog ends up making money.
The only way bloggers survive to eventually thrive is by writing about topics that they enjoy writing about.
#5: You Overthink Successful Blogging
You can view the path to success in two ways:
- An impossible to solve maze
- A staircase
Most people view success as an impossible maze. They don’t know where to start.
They think about all of the possible ways they can complete the maze. But by thinking too much about how they will complete the maze, people stay stuck at the starting line.
If we did everything we thought about, we’d all have successful blogs right now.
The challenge is to take action.
A while ago, I gave up on thinking about how I would get through the maze. The maze indicates luck and that success is all chance. Make the right turn and then you’re closer. Make the wrong turn and then it will take you longer to complete the maze.
I decided to view success as a staircase. You don’t know how many steps are on the staircase, but what you do know is that the final destination is success.
Small things like promoting my blog posts on social media, sending out email blasts, and writing the blog posts in the first place. Those are some of the steps on the staircase.
Sometimes I like to stop where I am and look back at all of the steps I walked up.
I like looking at my past achievements, but the only part of the future I look at is the grand vision. If I think about all of the steps I have to take to get there, it would be overwhelming.
Instead, I focus on the task at hand. Only once I complete the task at hand do I start acknowledging the next task that I must complete.
If you spend too much time thinking, then you won’t spend enough time doing.
Blogs are powerful tools for building audiences and thriving by following your passion.
Knowing what works and what does not work will aid in your quest to become a successful blogger. But having the knowledge is just half of the story.
The other half of the story is taking action. Writing that blog post. Tweeting the one you wrote a few days ago. Growing that email list. Letting as many people know about your blog as possible.
Which of these tips was your favorite? Do you have any other advice on what we shouldn’t do with our blogs? Sound off in the comments section below.