How to Avoid Making These 3 Blogging Mistakes in 2017
By Brendan Hufford
Everybody likes to have a romantic view of the “old days” when they started something. This is true of everything under the sun, not just blogging.
They have these dreams of a time when things were easier, simpler.
When I started blogging in 2010, things were different. VERY different. Facebook sent massive amounts of organic traffic, people loved opening up emails from me, and people opted into every single offer.
But here’s the thing: Today IS the “good old days.” Things don’t get harder, they just change.
With this essential mindset shift, know that 2017 is your year. It’s the year you get massive traffic to your blog. It’s the year you double your blog revenue and add a bajillion subscribers.
Okay, maybe not a bajillion, but enough to keep growing your blog, but only if you avoid these three mistakes.
#1: Focusing On Only One Source of Traffic
When I started my first blog, Facebook was crushing it in terms of traffic. I could write on my site, share it to Facebook two times over the next week and 100% of my followers would see the post and most of them would click through to read the article.
But we all know what happened to that. When you post something to your Facebook followers, you can expect roughly 1% of them to engage with it. Even then, the number of clicks through is extremely low.
Everybody who focused all of their efforts on Facebook was in for some rough times ahead.
But, the same is true now of bloggers that are totally focused on Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, or whatever is hot for traffic at the moment. They may be getting great traffic right now, but times will change.
Some of my top tactics right now for traffic are:
Organic traffic from Google
Guest Posting (obviously!)
Perma-free Kindle Books
The only reason I’m pursuing these is because I’ve got solid strategies in place on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, and other places.
Choose a traffic source, pursue it with intention, and then move on. Don’t dabble in each (that’ll get you nowhere). Instead, choose one traffic source to test and implement, and once you’ve completed your traffic test, revise your hypothesis or move on.
Which leads me to our next blogging mistake to avoid….
#2: Focusing On Every Source of Traffic
The number one mistake that I see bloggers making that’s holding them back is that instead of blogging, they become professional social media posters. They spend all of their time posting, responding, creating images, trying to increase engagement, etc.
And then they do this across every possible traffic platform:
Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Search Engines (like Google, YouTube, and Pinterest)
Aggregators – Quora, Reddit
This is why so many companies pay a professional social media manager to handle this stuff.
You’ll never create epic 6500+ word content, like this, if you’re spending your time on everything. Yes, your 349 Twitter followers may be neglected for a few months while you focus on Facebook. Yes, your 179 YouTube subscribers may be left in the dust while you test and revise your Pinterest traffic strategy.
#3: Writing Without Focus
But, Brendan, I have a topic! I blog about:
The problem here is that you don’t have anything that makes you special. On WordPress alone, there are roughly 2 million blog posts published every day.
You NEED to stand out.
This is called your “unique selling proposition.” In order to develop it, you need to figure out two important things:
Your intended audience – The identity of your target reader.
Your niche – The unique angle that you take in your blogging. Develop this by completing the sentence: I write about ___________ for ___________.
Example: At Nerd Fitness, Steve Kamb writes about people who self-identify as “nerds” but still want to be fit.
Don’t just write for librarians. Write for librarians that want to be stronger.
Don’t just write for people who want to save money. Write for people who want to retire by 30.
#4: Trying to Go For it Alone (BONUS!)
While this isn’t the number one mistake I see bloggers making, it IS the one that kills your blog the fastest. The best way to grow is with accountability and mentorship. You don’t need somebody to work with you on your site, you just need a mastermind group.
I credit my mastermind group with every single smart move I made on my websites in the past two years. I’ve be nowhere without them. If you want to make 2017 the best year your blog has ever had, you absolutely must join a mastermind group.
Let’s Do It!
Since we’re committed to making 2017 the banner year for our blog, we’re going to make sure we avoid these mistakes:
Focusing on only one traffic source – Diversify your traffic.
Trying to get traffic from everywhere – Test, revise, move on.
Writing without focus – choose an avatar and a niche.
Trying to do this alone – Join a mastermind group.
(Host Blogger’s Comments: Brendan recommends the MastermindJam Group.)
Commit to tackling one of these mistakes in the comments below. Comments are my oxygen and I read every single one. Let me know what you’re working on. I’d love to help!
Brendan Hufford has started and sold two blog-based businesses. A teacher by trade, he can’t resist sharing teaching others to replicate what he’s done. Writes about SEO for photographers at PhotoMBA.net and personally at BrendanHufford.com.