Anyone can be a blogger, right?
Yes, but most bloggers fail. Nobody reads what they write, they don’t make a penny, and they don’t change the world either.
Do you want to fail?
You can guarantee failure by following any one of these six stumbles:
- Trying to do it alone
- Trying to be all things to all people
- Not bothering to establish a reputation
- Not serving readers
- Not bothering with a product of your own
- Trying to do it all for free
Your will fail will be epic if you follow all six!
Trying to Do it Alone
Many bloggers are introverts, but you still need to network with others. Trying to create a social stir from scratch and without any help is next to impossible.
The only way is to talk with bloggers who are working in related niches. The blogging world works on the Pay-it-Forward principle. When people see you helping others, they will help you. Sometimes the help you get will be from someone you have helped, but often it will be from someone else who saw you being helpful.
Trying to Be All Things to All People
When most bloggers start a website, they aim to appeal to as many readers a possible on the principle that a bigger target audience will lead to more readers.
It doesn’t work like that.
You can be the world to a few people, or nothing to the world.
There is no way you can have massive appeal to everyone on the planet.
You should definitely choose a niche that you enjoy. Blogging is passion.
Not Bothering to Establish a Reputation
You know you are a good person and that you have your readers’ best interests at heart, but that is not enough.
With no reputation in your niche, what you write is just so much graffiti on the underside of your desk. Nobody is ever going even to see it, let alone read it.
You need to grow your reputation as someone who is helpful. Growing your reputation is a lifetime’s work, an ongoing process that cannot be rushed.
Not Serving Readers
If you are blogging to make money, then give up now, and save yourself a lot of heartache.
Long gone are the days when people just whipped out their credit cards at the drop of a hat.
If you don’t solve your readers’ problems, they will find another blogger who can. They will close of your website and never return.
Not Having a Product of Your Own
Were you thinking that a combination of affiliate products and Google ads were going to pay the rent? Nope, that won’t work today.
Adsense earnings for small websites are headed down. This site gives some explanations for that trend, but the essential point is that you need to find an alternative monetization strategy. Ads that encourage your visitors to click away in exchange for earning you a few cents are never going to pay your rent.
Affiliate products sound great to newbies, but there are many reasons why most affiliates never earn a cent. The main factor behind most affiliate marketing failures is a lack of work.
Affiliate marketing means work, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Most sites that promote this way of earning money online pay lip service to the idea that work is required, but none tell you exactly how much effort you are going to have to put in.
To succeed, you need to have your own products. You set the selling price; you design the product to solve a problem your readers have, and you decide on the marketing strategy.
Trying to Do Everything for Free
Yes, you can set up a blog for free, but what credibility are you going to have?
If you will not even lay out $10 or less for your own domain name or $60 a year for proper hosting, then you clearly have no confidence that your venture is going to work. Visitors see that lack of confidence and lose any confidence they had in you. A free blog will always end in something like blog.com, blogspot.com or wordpress.com. It is totally obvious to every visitor that you have so little faith in what you are doing that you won’t even invest in a proper, top-level domain name.
The name you choose will have a large influence on your success, as discussed here, so put a lot of thought into it, rather than rushing to buy the first domain name you think of.
A .com domain name will cost you $10-18 per year. That’s the price of a pizza, and you won’t invest that in your blog? Free blog web addresses are the mark of someone who is less than serious about their website.
You know how important email subscribers are, but you choose to send emails for free using MailChimp. That awful chimp on the end of every email you send tells everyone that you are using a free service.
Seriously, how is anyone expected to take you or your emails seriously with a chimpanzee image at the end of each one?
A high-quality email service like GetResponse does cost a few dollars a month, but if you keep your subscribers’ attention, it should pay for itself.
Yes, you can get your website hosted for free, but you can expect problems.
When you pay for hosting your money does not go straight to the profit line in your chosen host’s annual accounts. It’s not that simple.
Most of your hosting fees are invested in high-speed connections, fast web servers, security and salaries for support staff. If your hosting is free, your hosting company will be depending on advertising income to pay its expenses. If your free host says they will not put ads on your website, you have to wonder where the money to pay for staff and infrastructure is coming from.
In web hosting, just as with email management, you get what you pay for. If you pay nothing, then the service is worth nothing.
Will You Succeed or Fail?
Success or failure depends largely on your attitude. You need to invest for the future, but to keep spending under control at the same time. Whenever you are investing time or money, you need to know the possible and probable returns on that investment (ROI).
Over to You
Have you seen people make these blogging mistakes and stumble? Please share your experience and comment below.