You’ve contemplated about it for a while and finally, you did it! You started your own blog, not just as a hobby but as a serious side hustle. You have so many ideas in mind that you can write about, excited to share your story to the world, and hoping to inspire at least one human being who will stumble upon your blog.
Related post: How to Start a Blog Worth Reading in 60 Days
Without you noticing it, a month has already passed. All the excitement is starting to fade, replaced by determination. When you look back, you realized how much time you spent on writing, networking and marketing. You even feel guilty sometimes when you’re watching TV because at the back of your mind, you know that there’s still so much you need to do.
Even your weekends are spent on your blog. You don’t have to drag yourself out of bed, you just do effortlessly. No matter how much you want to sleep in, your mind is constantly buzzing with new ideas and things to do.
And then it hit you. When successful bloggers say that it’s hard work, it really is. No short cuts and working around it. You do the work and you hustle hard.
If you can relate to everything I just said, then congratulations! You are on your way to making it big and writing your own success story. But before you drive yourself insane and risk being burnt out, here are 5 things that NEW bloggers should avoid doing:
1) Not having monthly goals, daily schedule, and self-imposed deadlines.
Writing, perhaps, is something you love doing and you know that you have a story worth sharing. You know your why and your audience, which is good, but if you don’t have goals to achieve then what’s the purpose of your blog to begin with? Not knowing how many people you want your blog to reach is a recipe for disaster. Without goals, you wouldn’t be able to come up with deadlines and your daily schedule will be a mess.
Everything that you should be doing on a daily basis as well as the self-imposed deadlines should contribute to your monthly goals. You give yourself deadlines and you follow a certain daily schedule because at the end of the month, there should be progress.
And how would you know if you made progress? With goals getting measured of course! At the beginning of each month, you should set a target on the following:
- # of quality content that you need to write
- # of page views
- # of unique visitors
- # of new subscribers
- # of followers on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
As you can see, each goal represents a number because remember, what gets measured, gets done. As you go about your daily schedule, remind yourself of these goals. Determine deadlines for all the content that need to be done, implement social media marketing strategies that will help drive traffic to your blog.
Everything that you do on a daily basis should bring you closer to your monthly goals.
Related post: How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan
2) Sacrificing quality for quantity.
Perhaps you’ve set a goal to write 15 articles for the month and there’s only 10 days left but you’ve only written 7. The normal thing to do is, of course, cram and write the remaining 8 articles before the month ends.
If you see yourself in this situation, please don’t turn into a content machine because by doing so, you are sacrificing quality of your content for quantity. Maybe you’ve spent more time marketing your blog that you didn’t have time to write more, or maybe you felt the need to have some down time to recharge.
I see there’s nothing wrong with that and don’t be too hard on yourself. Why? Because no one knows how hard you work but yourself. [Note: lack of effort can often equate to laziness and laziness, we don’t tolerate.]
If you believe that everything you’ve written are quality content, then consider that as an accomplishment despite falling below the numbers. Give yourself A- for all the effort you made.
Also, I understand that you have a deadline to meet but writing for the sake of meeting that deadline is not a valid reason. If you must, delay for a bit and just hustle twice as hard on the following days. Go for a walk, talk to friends and listen to their stories, read inspiring stories to motivate you, or simply listen to music to get you pumped up.
If you force yourself to write just so you won’t miss a deadline, nothing good will come out of it. You’re not going to be happy with what you’ve written and your readers won’t be happy as well. And thoughts won’t easily flow when you force it.
When you write when you’re inspired and motivated, it will reflect in your writing. And you will find yourself finishing faster than usual because thoughts just flow effortlessly.
Best of all, when you hit publish and read it 10x over, you will be happy with the outcome. That’s a guarantee.
And for the following months, you can re-adjust your goals based on your capabilities. If you see that you can only write about 7-10 in a month, then go with that. Never sacrifice quality over quantity.
3) Spending time perfecting your writing
I am guilty of this. Most of my articles have been revised more than 20 times even after I hit publish. Why? Because every time I re-read my articles, I always find errors. And admittedly, I can be obsessive and compulsive.
I try not to be a perfectionist because it can be very time consuming but I just can’t help it. And because of that, I have lesser time for other important stuff like marketing and networking, which are just as important as writing quality content.
My advice to you — it’s ok to have minor errors so don’t be too hard on yourself. Because despite your efforts to make your writing perfect, people will still find errors. When I read blogs, I make a mental note of the grammar errors (force of habit) but it doesn’t really matter to me. Why? Because it’s the message that made me click and read the article in the first place.
Your sentence structure and grammar knowledge are just secondary because what’s important is how you were able to communicate a clear message to your readers.
4) Not spending time reading and learning.
When you just started blogging, know that you are worse than Jon Snow. You know less than nothing. So I beg you to please spend time reading and learning everything you can about your audience, blogging and marketing. There are millions of resources available online.
Remember, you are competing with hundreds of thousands of bloggers worldwide, so you better be creative and resourceful with your approach. Be passionate about continuous learning.
Read about the successes and failures of successful bloggers. Take an hour a day and read about current events. Read books that will inspire you to be better and do better. Enroll in online courses that will give you an edge in your chosen niche.
Taking the time to continuously learn is an investment in yourself. If there’s one takeaway that you can have from this article, I hope this will be it.
5) Not utilizing all resources available, which makes blogging and marketing a lot easier.
How much time do you spend on Pinterest? On creating graphics for your blog? Did you know that there are ways to minimize the time you spend on these?
Again, if you have spent time learning about blogging and marketing, then you would already know this. With Pinterest, for instance, you can use BoardBooster to automate all the pinning and grow your boards with minimal supervision.
You have no idea how much time I saved by using BoardBooster. I still spend time on Pinterest, of course, but not like before. I now use the time I save to create more article and focus on marketing. [Get your FREE trial today at BoardBooster!]
With creating graphics, on the other hand, Canva is your best tool. I am no graphic artist but I create graphics like a PRO, all made possible by Canva. It’s very user-friendly with thousands of templates and graphics available. And best of all, it’s FREE!
There’s so much about this blogging industry that we have yet to learn. And I say that not just for newbies but to all aspiring bloggers out there. It’s definitely an uphill climb but one thing’s for sure, all efforts will definitely be paid off and it will be worth your while.
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