In this post, I’m going to share some of my best successful blogging tips for new bloggers who are ready to throw in the towel and give up.
Most people start a blog with high hopes. They’ve read all the blog income reports, talked to a few professional bloggers, and discover the potential that blogging offers. Basically, they see the “success stories” and they want the same thing.
I completely understand!
I’ve said many times before that creating a blog was the best decision of my life. I know that sounds cliche, and somewhat dramatic, but it’s true. Over the last 7 years, since I hit publish on that first blog post, my life has completely changed. Back then I worked a soul-crushing state job barely paying my bills. Today, I make well over 6+ figures a year, work for myself, and have the freedom to live life on my terms. It’s a beautiful life and I’m grateful every day.
I wish I could tell you the success of my blog is the result of some “magic formula” or good ole fashion luck – but that wasn’t the case. The first couple years I didn’t even make enough money to cover my Starbucks addiction. The success I’m experiencing today is the result of hard work, many MANY hours, and getting up more times than I was knocked down.
Thousands of new blogs are started every day – maybe more. Unfortunately, most of those blogs won’t make it. Like I said, most people start a blog filled with dreams and aspirations. However, after a couple months of seeing zero return for their efforts they start to realize this “blogging thing” is much harder than anticipated. Some might last a year or longer but only a few will push through and make it to professional blogger.
By no means am I saying this to be discouraging – it’s reality. I belong to many blogging groups and see new bloggers frustrated and throwing in the towel all the time. They feel like they’re doing everything right but despite their best efforts not seeing any results.
I get it, being a new blogger is tough.
However, when I take a look at their blogs, and/or have a conversation with them, I can quickly pinpoint the problems. I’ve learned that if a blog isn’t reaching its full potential there’s a reason for that.
Below are 7 common themes I’ve come across with struggling bloggers along with some blogging wisdom to get you back on track. Therefore, before you quit your blog, I encourage you to consider these 7 successful blogging tips.
Their blogging expectations are unrealistic.
Typically, This is the first issue I come across with new bloggers. Everyone thinks they’re going to make 1000s of dollars a month by simply launching a blog with a good idea and cute logo. Sorry, I wish is was that easy.
Yes, there’s potential to make a lot of money blogging. But, it’s more likely you won’t see any money for at least 6 – 8 months, if not longer. It took me a couple years to see “coffee” money and about 3 years until I was making enough money to pay some bills. I wasn’t able to quit my full-time state job until I was blogging for 4 years – 4 YEARS!
Now I’ll say this, there’s much more blogging information out there now than when I started. So, I do believe it’s possible to make money faster than I did. However, it’s still going to take time AND WORK. Just like any job or business there’s a learning curve. Nobody is simply born with blogging knowledge and it’s not like we get taught blogging and entrepreneurship in high school. This is a new career field and we’re all starting from square one.
You need learn about and put strategies into practice, find your blogging voice, and try new things when something fails – and trust me there will be lots of failures. This takes time and persistence.
Blogging is not like Field of Dreams where you build it and readers show up. Nope. Starting your blog is only the beginning. After that you need to consistently work on creating content, promotion, and building a community.
Don’t sabotage your blog dreams with unrealistic expectations. Remember, a blog is just like any business where it needs room to grow. Nobody is an overnight success.
They have no blog statistics, zero measurable goals, or a plan.
This piggy backs off the first one. I can’t tell you the number of people who get frustrated with their lack of traffic yet when I ask them about their traffic goals, strategies, and statistics they have no clue. They think writing and sharing randomly on social media is enough. It’s not.
One of the first things you should do after starting a blog is set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console – I give a step by step in this post.
Google Analytics will show you exactly how many people are coming to your site, how long they’re staying, where they’re coming from, and what they’re reading. Google Search Console will show you the search terms people are using in google to find your blog. You absolutely need both of these to grow your blog. In fact, I feel pretty confident in saying your blog won’t succeed without them.
Of course, when you first start there won’t be a lot of statistics to pull from but after a couple months you’ll get a feel for what strategies are working, where you should focus your efforts, and what people want to read from you. From there you can plan out traffic and content strategies.
Put together monthly goals, and a plan, using the information found in both of these tools.
For example, if your goal is to increase Pinterest traffic by 20% then list out the Pinterest strategies you plan to focus on that month. Take action and then look at your Google Analytics in a month to see if your traffic increased. Google analytics shows you how much traffic is coming to your blog from Pinterest and what pins drive the most traffic.
Another example, is to look at your top 10 posts in Google Analytics. These are the most popular blog posts on your site (AKA what people want to read). Take a month or so to create more posts on those topics. Give readers what they want. Don’t waste your time writing on topics that nobody wants to read about. Google Analytics takes the guesswork out of that.
On the same note, you can use the information found in Google Search Console to create content based on the terms people are using to find your blog. Personally, I find the information in the Google Search Console super interesting. If I were to ask you “what do you think people type in to find your blog” I bet what you think and what’s actually true is very different.
The information you get with both Google Analytics and Google Search Console is gold. If you’re ready to quit but haven’t harnessed the power of these tools then I recommend putting the breaks on and giving yourself a few more months to set goals, plan, and take action using this information.
Their writing is missing the mark
I hate to be bearer of bad news – but nobody wants to read your journal. Well maybe your mom and a couple nosey relatives. But seriously, I can’t believe the number of people who start a blog, write journal-like posts, and then expect to make money from that. Truly, I don’t mean to be rude but those type of blog posts are not going pay the bills.
If you’re goal is to make money then you need to solve problems. You need to understand what your readers pain points are and provide amazing solutions. Think about what people search google, or Pinterest, for in relation to your topic. That’s what they want.
Also, readers don’t want to be told what to do or shamed for doing something wrong. Instead, they want to learn how to do the right thing. It’s your job, as a blogger, to teach them. Create tutorials or step by step instructions on your topic.
I’m going to give a little more tough love here. Is your writing boring? Do you go ON AND ON with long paragraphs about anything and everything related to your topic? If so, try breaking your blog posts up with lists, shorter paragraphs, subtitles, and/or pictures. People read blogs very differently than they would read a novel. Blog readers want information quick and want to skim.
Last, are your titles enticing? You could have the best content but if your title isn’t grabbing the attention of your reader then it won’t get seen. Remember, your title needs to stand out among the sea of other bloggers sharing similar content.
They aren’t taking Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seriously?
If you’re serious about making money through blogging then you must take search engine optimization seriously. I know it’s easy to glaze over SEO, especially when first starting out, but I can tell you that you’re leaving money on the table by not including SEO into your blog strategy.
In very basic terms SEO is writing a blog post so it shows up in Google searches. So when someone searches for your blog topic you want your blog to show up on the 1st or 2nd pages of a google search.
Currently, 43% of my Organize Yourself Skinny traffic comes from google searches – that’s huge. Also, many of my posts show up on the 1st page. This not only brings in traffic but also a good amount of affiliate income. My second largest traffic generator is Pinterest at 30% which serves as a visual search engine. So, 73% of my traffic depends on search traffic of some sorts. My traffic depends little on Facebook or other social media.
With that said, SEO is a long-term traffic strategy – you’re not going to see immediate results. A post you optimize for Google today might not show results for a few months – or longer. Therefore, you need to have patience. My advice is to go through all your old posts and check them for SEO. Also, keep writing google-friendly posts. Both of these strategies will eventually result in increased traffic and income.
Their images are not Pinterest-friendly.
In my blogging world Google is King and Pinterest is Queen. Pinterest depends a lot on search terms and descriptions but you also need pinterest-friendly images. What does this mean? Currently Pinterest is saying the optimal size for images is 600 x 900. Anything longer will get cut off in the feed. Pins also need to be eye-catching with clear copy on them. Pinterest reads the images, along with the search description, to decide which pins to show. So, basically, a lot more goes into Pinterest besides slapping some images up – there’s a science to successfully pinning.
Pinterest is a huge traffic source for many bloggers, including me, so if your pins are not performing then I recommend changing them up. It’s not uncommon for one picture to do better than another so test out different pin images and copy.
Take a look through Pinterest and see what catches your eye. What pins are you drawn to? What do you click on? Compare those images to yours and see how you can improve.
I use PicMonkey and Canva to create all of my Pinterest Images. I also have a subscription to Haute Stock that I use for beautiful stock images.
Keep in mind, there’s a lot more that goes into Pinterest than just nice images and good descriptions. You need to pin consistently, join group boards, make sure your pins are easy to pin from your blog, and be willing to switch things up if somethings not working. Like I said, Pinterest can be a large source of traffic for a blogger. However, you need to put in the work.
They’re throwing spaghetti at the wall.
You started a blog, possibly took a free “how to blog” email series, and most likely joined a blogging Facebook group. You’re getting a lot of information from everywhere, but do you really know what you’re doing?
Do you know how to make Pinterest images that convert? Do you know about SEO? Do you know how to find the content your readers want? Do you know how to best promote affiliates? Do you know how to create content upgrades and build an email list? Do even know what to do with an email list? What about Facebook?
Can you say you say you feel confident in any or all of these areas? Or are you just throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping at least one noodle sticks?
As you’ve probably found out, there’s a lot that goes into creating a successful blog and it’s a lot of work. Trust me, I wish I could say blogging is easy and you’ll get rich quick, but unfortunately it’s not that way – not even close. There are many layers to a money-making blog.
If you feel overwhelmed with information overload I recommend focusing on one layer at a time. For example, for 2 – 3 weeks focus on building an email list. Maybe take a free email course to get a basic understand and then put into practice what you’ve learn. Sign up for an email service provider (Convertkit is the one I use), create a couple content upgrades and opt-in forms, and write out a welcome series. You can even put together 2-3 weeks of email content and/or ideas. Once you have a handle on email then move onto Pinterest or SEO.
Basically, take it one chunk at a time until you feel confident with what you’re doing. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you try to master everything at once. Not to mention, you can’t give your best effort when your hands are in a bunch of pots.
Of course, at some point you’ll be able to work on different aspects of your blog at once but when you’re trying to get your blog off the ground, of feel overwhelmed, focus on one layer at a time.
Even now, I follow this advice. For example, I’ll take a couple days to work on my email strategy, then I work on blog content, and if I’m working on a big project like an ecourse I block out entire weeks just to focus on that. I never work on more than 2 layers in a day.
They are trying to sell without a community?
I see this a lot with new bloggers. They create an ecourse, ebook, or offer some type of service without having an established community. Here’s the thing, you might be the best at what you do but without a trusting community you’re not going to make sales.
My Organize Yourself Skinny products would’ve never sold if I didn’t take the time to build a loyal community first. In fact, I didn’t offer my first product until my 3rd year of blogging. My ecourse didn’t launch until my 6th year. I’m not saying you need to wait that long to create a product, or offer a service, but it might take longer to make money from it than if you created it prior to building a community.
The point is, don’t quit your blog just because nobody is buying your services. Maybe you need to offer a free email series, or do a weekly video series, so they can get to know you better. You need to build those relationships.
Think about this.
Who do you spend your money on? Have you ever purchased a product or services like the one you sell? Don’t expect people to spend money on something you’re not willing to purchase yourself.
This is the same concept with affiliate marketing. There’s a lot of money to be made with affiliates, but your readers need to trust you. You need to build a community where your readers look to you for advice and opinion.
Trust me, there were many times I wanted to quit blogging. Blogging is hard work with very little return in the beginning. However, I’m thankful everyday I stuck it out, and kept pushing forward, because blogging has completely changed my life.
If creating a profitable blog is a dream of yours I truly believe you can do this. Just take a step back, dust yourself off, make some changes, and keep going!
Creating a blog was the best decision of my life! If you’re interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you step by step start a blog of your own. Take that first step and get your blog started.
Cathy McDonald says
I have an interest in self-publishing… not exactly the same thing as blogging, but my track could end up that way in time. With your e-course, do you consider that a “self-publish?” How did that work for you?
Thanks for your time,