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Blogging Blunders: I Learned From These 3 Mistakes, So You Don't Have To

Published on 9th March 2019

Let's kick things off with a truth bomb: I used to unapologetically cringe when people referred to me as a "blogger."

My internal monologue would be all: A blogger?That sounds so 90's. I don't have some kind of live journal. The last time I checked, the Huffington Post wasn't just a "blog."

All snottiness aside, these thoughts were somewhat valid. Even just a few years ago, blogging was often still perceived as a "hobby."

Today, it's evolved into a powerful strategy. Businesses and industry leaders maintain blogs to enhance connections with their target audience, gain more customers, and make a measurable impact.

As its professional reputation improves, blogging best practices become more important than ever. 

So if you're ready to get serious about blogging and start bringing in meaningful results, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls.

1. You're not using social media effectively. 

When I first got published on Thought Catalog and Elite Daily back in 2015, I was feeling on top of the world. 

It was really happening - I was officially a published writer.

It also offered some much-needed light at the end of the tunnel, since I was smack dab in the middle of that "what-the-hell-am-I-doing-with-my-life" phase.

I began contributing to these publications regularly for the next two years, and eventually worked my way up to the Huffington Post.

Now that I'm officially done humble-bragging, let's dive into my mistake.

I was active enough on social media to send my friends 50 memes a day, yet somehow incapable of sharing my articles more than once and through multiple avenues. 

As nice as it was to share an article on Facebook and get two likes from my mom and grandma, something had to be done.

Today, my content is primarily pushed out through my own blog and on Thrive Global. When a new article is posted, I now make a conscious effort to promote it heavily.

That means twice on my Instagram feed and several times on my story, along with my Facebook page, personal Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Sounding intimidating, or even a little extra? 

The truth is, it's actually not that  "spammy" or excessive if you're strategic about it. 

Pull a quote from the blog that you're particularly proud of, and make it into a graphic using Canva.

Share excerpts on your Instagram stories, and poll your followers on their opinions and preferences. 

Post links to your new posts in different Facebook communities for bloggers. Here are a few of my favorites to check out:

With the endless algorithm shenanigans interrupting an already over-saturated market, the one-and-done approach isn't going to cut it anymore.

So keep putting yourself out there, and stop worrying about inconveniencing others in the process. 

The truth is, you'll never truly "make it" as a blogger if you can't share your work with confidence. 

2. You're not tapping into your audience's needs. 

Let's be honest - low blog metrics can be seriously discouraging.

Before you conclude that this whole blogging thing is a waste of time, take a pause and ask yourself this important question.

Am I putting a unique spin on something that my readers enjoy and gain value from?

When people asked me about my content, I used to say "I write about millennials." Sometimes, I'd switch it up and say that "I cover millennial culture."

Could that BE more vague? 

The truth is, millennial-centric articles were initially pretty successful in drawing people in. However, it was never meant to last. 

Eventually, I had officially exhausted all angles of mocking modern dating. I needed fresh content with value, offering tangible advice that people genuinely needed. 

Today, I still create content for millennials. My overwhelmingly highest readership is in the 25-34 age range.

I still add that same sarcastic flair, but my articles have more substance. I pay attention to what my followers are talking about, and think about how I can add my two cents. 

Here are a few specific topics I've seen floating around, which have inspired blog posts.  

"I am SO frustrated with the follow-unfollow game. Does anyone have any tips for gaining REAL followers? And don't even get me started on the algorithm. I'm starting to wonder if this whole influencer thing is even worth it, tbh."

This resulted in: Stop Shit-Talking the Algorithm and Start Doing These 4 Things on Instagram

    "I'm working on growing my business on the side, but balancing it with my full-role on top of raising my daughter is exhausting. How do you all avoid burning out?

    This turned into:  Recharging Your Mental Battery: 4 Ways to Beat Burnout 

    "This company DM'd me about a collaboration, and they're asking for my media kit. I don't even know what that is! What kind of stuff should I put in it? 

    This motivated me to write: Working with Brands 101: A Crash Course for Beginner Bloggers & Influencers

    These "hot topics" will garner interest from your readers, because they were already buzzing about them. 

    However, it's crucial that your post offers something that hasn't been hashed out hundreds of times before. 

    I usually go for the "brutally honest yet strangely informative" route, but figure out what works for you and run with it.

    3. You're prioritizing your following over your subscribers. 

    Despite recent crackdowns on "illegitimate followers" and brands placing more emphasis on overall engagement, there's no escaping it: your follower count can get you places

    However, unless you're solely focused on becoming an "Insta celebrity," you might want to stop obsessing.

    When I first started revamping my Instagram to promote my blog, I was overly fixated on growing those numbers. 

    In all honesty, I don't regret it. Considering that I went from 500 to 2,000 followers in 3 months without any sketchiness, I guess that I could have wasted my time in worst ways. 

    Nonetheless, I'm definitely glad that I scaled back my efforts when I did.

    Realistically, about 5% of my 4,000 Instagram followers are actually subscribed to my blog. And I take no offense to that.

    Some people are following me for my bikini pics. Some people aren't blog readers. Some people can't read. 

    In all seriousness, your social media followers won't automatically convert to blog subscribers. And this is the audience that you should really be prioritizing

    When people subscribe to your blog, they're committing to joining your email list. It's a sign that they're invested in your content, and want to be kept in-the-loop. 

    Rather than following you just to get a follow back, your subscribers typically won't have a hidden agenda. They're more likely to trust you, genuinely support you, and buy from you. 

    So instead of working toward an empty "follower goal", start thinking about how you can bring your current followers toward your blog. 

    If you're treating blogging like a "numbers game," it will remain just that. 

    When you master the power of leveraging the connections you already have, the game changes.  



    26 Comments Add a Comment?

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    Christie

    Posted on March 11, 2019, 9:06 a.m.

    I love your post. Very good information for those of us trying to take our blogs to the next level!

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    Jen Ervig

    Posted on March 11, 2019, 2:36 p.m.

    This was valuable! Thank you!

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    Jay

    Posted on March 11, 2019, 5 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I am a newbie and I am quite overwhelmed reading all the information out there about blogging. I need to prioritize my subscribers! Understood!! will definitely work towards that.

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    Joniamac

    Posted on March 12, 2019, 1:29 a.m.

    This was very informative! Great post!

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    Serena

    Posted on March 13, 2019, 3:01 p.m.

    I have committed to blogging this year for my business. I may not blog often, but I’m happy that I’ve stuck to it this far. These are wonderful tips and actively/consistently promoting your blog is something I need to work on.

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    Jumpstart Positivity

    Posted on March 13, 2019, 3:11 p.m.

    Yes, yes, and yes! It's so important to engage with our audience, and also shamelessly promote in a way that still adds value ???? Thanks for sharing your insights on how to blog like a boss! ????

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    Nicole Bertrand

    Posted on March 13, 2019, 4:23 p.m.

    These are such good reminders. I definitely don't think I promote my blog posts enough and I need to focus more on subscribers for sure!

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    Jaimi

    Posted on March 15, 2019, 10:17 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing! Your last point really challenged me! I think I’m committing that “blunder” ???? but so appreciate you pointing that out!!

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    CrazyfitnessGuy

    Posted on March 18, 2019, 1:46 p.m.

    really great post keep up the good work. Really is helpful

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    Under flowery sky

    Posted on March 18, 2019, 2:54 p.m.

    Great tips. I even read your article about Instagram. Thanks so much.

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    BeautyBlissandChaos

    Posted on March 20, 2019, 8:50 p.m.

    Social media is a great tool to promote your blog posts! I agree that sometimes we don't utilize it to the fullest. Two things that I'm working on this year is to promote my blog effectively and to focus on my audience and their needs.


    Great post and thank you for sharing! - Sandy

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    Baby Boomer Super Saver

    Posted on March 21, 2019, 3:42 a.m.

    I love the examples you gave, that was very helpful! I have no problem sharing my blog posts repeatedly, but I've primarily been doing through only one social media outlet. I see room for growth!


    http://www.babyboomersupersaver.com

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    Sarah

    Posted on March 21, 2019, 3:49 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing! I’m just trying to get my blog off the ground and these tips are very helpful!

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    Carrie

    Posted on March 21, 2019, 12:46 p.m.

    Very helpful post! I haven't decided on when and where to share my posts yet, so having concrete numbers is actually very helpful!! :)

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    Jessica

    Posted on March 21, 2019, 4:13 p.m.

    Thank you thank you for sharing this !! ???? I find this to be very helpful information and I love when experienced bloggers do things to help the newbies coming along !


    https://jessierenea.com/7-things-to-remember-on-slow-blog-business-days/

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    John Rieber

    Posted on March 21, 2019, 6:53 p.m.

    Really useful advice for anyone who wants to share stories with lots of people and have a great dialogue with them as well...

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    Jeri

    Posted on March 22, 2019, 10:41 p.m.

    Super helpful and informative!

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    Rhianna

    Posted on March 22, 2019, 10:45 p.m.

    This was such a helpful post! Thank you for sharing your advice! ????


    Rhianna x
    www.tsundokugirl.com

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    Amanda

    Posted on March 22, 2019, 11:24 p.m.

    Thank you for all of this helpful information! I am new to blogging and this is great information!

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    Cynthia

    Posted on March 22, 2019, 11:36 p.m.

    Thanks for the helpful info! Love that you're so real about your experience!

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    Pamela

    Posted on March 23, 2019, 12:32 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing! I always feel bad when I share my blog on my personal social media... Any tips for that? I do have a FB page for my blog but it does not get much whenever I post there.

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    Britt

    Posted on March 23, 2019, 2:25 a.m.

    This is a great post with some really good points. There is much more to blogging than just writing something in an 'online diary' as a hobby, and the image associated with being a blogger is definitely changing, but we need to make sure to change our own thinking at the same time which includes taking our own work seriously.

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    Leah

    Posted on March 23, 2019, 1:49 p.m.

    This was an extremely valuable post. Thank you! I am pinning it to re-read. A lot of this really resonated with me; focusing on my followers instead of the subscribers, not promoting my content enough, but I am not taking it seriously. Even though this is my 'daily job' I have been treating it like a hobby! Thanks so much for this!

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    dani

    Posted on March 23, 2019, 6:10 p.m.

    I love every word of your article.This opened my eye and set my priorities right and straight. I'm shaking my strategy up. =)

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    Kelsey Eggimann

    Posted on March 24, 2019, 4:34 p.m.

    Your post was incredibly interesting but I was wondering how exactly do you get readers interested enough in your writing to subscribe to your blog?

    Permalink

    Reena Kay

    Posted on April 4, 2019, 11:11 a.m.

    i believed that sometimes we are too focus on getting new followers, we forgot the ones closest to us. thanks for the lovely article that provide us a lot of insight

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