So, want to hear a sad truth? Most blogs, like most small businesses, don’t die because they had bad content, bad design or even because their authors/creators were on a budget and didn’t have all the fancy shmancy blogging tools out there. Most blogs die from mismanagement. Many of the authors with dead and dying blogs have great resources and they may have amazing blog posts, but they just don’t manage it well.
I want to help the bloggers who are serious about making their blogs succeed. Not the “get rich quick, make it easy for me crowd” if you’re one of those people, you should leave now because having an awesome, profitable, useful blog that your readers adore is lots of hard work. And, it never really stops.
Now that we’ve gotten rid of the slackers, let’s you and me chat first about what kills blogs, so we know how to avoid it in the future, right? No more dead blogs for you and me!
Potentially great blogs typically die for a few reasons, and I wanted to touch on those before we jump into the rest of this week’s series on successful blogging. The first thing we’re going to talk about it how you manage your time as a blogger.
1. Focusing on the 80%
As a blogger, you can spend literally all day every day tweaking, designing, changing, upgrading… and doing “bloggy” stuff. But ultimately you have to keep in mind the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule says that you’ll get 80% of your results from 20% of the work you do. Most people spend their time fixated on creating perfection on their “80% tasks” some of these include:
- trying to fix a particular design element on your blog that doesn’t matter to anyone but you
- creating blog posts just because you have a posting schedule
- Spending copious amounts of time “getting traffic” but not keeping that traffic around (more on that later!)
- Focusing on getting exposure for ads that don’t pay shit
Not so great, right? Instead of focusing on low-priority things, adopt a “good enough” attitude about them. If that one part of your sidebar doesn’t make you happy, don’t spend 5 hours trying to fix it. Let it go until you are making enough money to pay someone else who is tech-savvy enough to fix it efficiently, or remove it altogether. Make it “good enough” while you focus on the important 20%. Here are some 20% tasks:
- setting up email subscriber forms that lead into funnels
- creating email autoresponders (or sequences) that all your current and future subscribers will get
- writing blog posts with amazing calls to action that get email subscribers, or sales
- setting up automatic Pinterest marketing
And actually, that last task leads me right into the next thing most bloggers are doing to kill their blogs.
2. Doing social media wrong
Social media is super hard, am I right? I really hated it for a long time. There are so many things you could be doing that it’s hard to know what you really should be doing with your time. Social media is super important, but the way most failing bloggers do it, it’s a stupid waste of time. Typically, most bloggers do social media one of two ways:
- Spend all their time creating new content, burn out, hate social media, feel like a failure
- Automate everything, look like you don’t care about your audience because you have too many repeated posts, turn potential fans into unfollows, feel like a failure
Obviously, the feeling like a failure, or even worse, being a failure isn’t the end result. So how do you get to a point of balance between your social media being super-fresh and genuine, and automating it so you don’t spend 30 minutes a day for one like on Facebook and possibly a retweet on Twitter? The answer comes in two parts: minimalism and smart automation.
Social media minimalism is something that I found very freeing when I broke up my dead blogs and relaunched them.
3. Blogging just to blog
One of the worst pieces of blogging advice I ever received was that I had to blog a lot, and on a set schedule, to be a successful blogger. That may be nice for bloggers who share deals and don’t have a lot of substance, but the bloggers I know who write epic blog posts that are packed with information, it’s hard to useful content and churn it out that quickly.
The checklist you should use when you write a blog post to make sure it’s an asset to your blog
- Provide clear value to the reader. If you’re sharing about a topic, make sure your “why” to them is very clear. Are you encouraging them? Helping them avoid pitfalls? Make it clear in your title, with your content and then with the resource you offer as an optin. If it isn’t valuable, don’t share it.
- Give them something actionable, don’t just talk about your life – help them solve a problem, encourage them, give them a tool to improve their life in some way
- Be super-high-quality – don’t just slap the same-old generic advice together and call that a blog post. As someone who reads a lot of blogs, trust me: you have to share something useful and if you’re sharing the same tripe everyone else is, you’re just noise on the internet.
- Show your personality! I am a very blunt person, that’s just me. I used to try to be super soft and nice, but that came off as fake, because while I am very nice, I’m also not afraid to knock you over the head with some truth nuggets
4. Attaching to an idea, and ignoring what your audience wants
So let’s say you have a blog post you pour your heart and soul into. It’s got great conent, it’s well-written, it’s got amazing graphics and you did everything right. You send it out into the word and nothing happens. Crickets.
Then you have another blog post with a so-so graphic that you wrote a while back that consistently gets traffic, but you haven’t really done anything with it because it’s just not exciting.
Being a blogger is hard, because sometimes what really resonate with you won’t resonate with your audience. You’ll have a blog post go viral and you sit back and go. “Really?? People care about that that much?” Or the opposite happens, you follow every “viral post checklist” and blogger’s advice and your blog post gets absolutely no interest – that’s hard!!
So, as a blogger who wants to be successful, let me just tell you the secret: it doesn’t matter how much you love it if your audience doesn’t give a rip. All the promotion in the world won’t make your audience care about something that’s just not their thing.
I cannot tell you how important these things are to avoid. I have done all of them, and looking back I wish I had done them better, but ultimately I can’t control that. I can only control the past, but I can make my blogging future better, and yours!
If you have questions about why these things are so detrimental, or general questions about blogging, I would love to talk about them, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you! 🙂