Recently I posed an article about the 5 mistakes every blogger will make at some point.
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For the most part, they were all fairly minor mistakes, in part because they are so common, but they are all also mistakes that one’s handling of could prove far more damaging than the error itself.
Still, I wouldn’t call any of them fatal or even blog-changing errors, just trials that every blogger has to go through at some point. But that raises the question, what are some of the bigger mistakes one can make?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I’ve made my share and some were quite costly. So, in an effort to help warn others, especially new bloggers, of the pitfalls that loom, here are my top five blogging blunders since I started about six years ago.
5. Not Focusing on Titles
When I first started blogging, I didn’t focus very heavily on the titles of my post and often wrote them as an afterthought. That unfortunately came back to haunt me as I learned quickly that not only are titles the most commonly read part of a post, but the only part many people read.
My very first social media exposure was a very hostile Slashdot based not upon what was in the post, but what was said in the title, which was much more divisive (albeit accidentally).
After a day of having my site shuttered by an angry mob and dozens of letters accusing me of things I did not say or mean, I realized I needed to spend more time with titles and give them considerably more attention.
4. Hosting is Important Too
Speaking of that incident, it also showed me that hosting is incredibly important for a site, not only affecting your site’s speed but also it’s ability to take a hit from a traffic spike.
Though cheap shared hosting accounts might be fine for some sites, if you want it to grow you need to invest in your hosting and get a VPS or a dedicated server as soon as you are ready.
Otherwise, you will likely find yourself as I did, with a ton of social media traffic coming to your site and nothing there to greet them, the biggest waste of marketing effort imaginable.
3. Poor Business Model Choice
Early in my site’s history, I explored a variety of advertising schemes to try and earn at leaset a little bit of money from the site. However, even when the traffic was there, the CTR was low and the keywords were terrible, making it so that I was earning only pennies per (rare) click.
The experiments, as limited as they were, didn’t go over well with my audience either and never generated more than a few dollars per month in revenue. I eventually abandoned them and realized that the most valuable thing I could offer is my expertise. Slowly, I began dipping my toe into consulting, the approach I still take today.
It’s important to be realistic about what’s valuable on your site and how you can best earn money from that, I lost at least a year of good revenue generation with the site because I kept trying plans that were never going to work.
2. Not Listening to Reader Suggestions
In the early days of Plagiarism Today, i had a very specific picture of what I wanted the site to be like and the topics I wanted to cover. As I began to build readers, they requested I talk about different issues or add features to the site, such as a stock letters section. I ignored them initially because of a combination of bad advice and the fact it didn’t mesh with my vision of the site.
However, eventually I realized I was being too limiting and decided to see if I could make it work. After branching out a little bit, following my reader’s suggestions, I found that the site began to grow very rapidly, exceeding my expectations.
Still, I wonder how much larger it would be today if I had started out with the right mindset and listened to at least some of the better ideas my readers had, even if they were against my personal vision.
1. Picking a Bad Domain
I admit it openly, “Plagiarism Today” is a bad domain. Hard to spell, hard to say, too long and too specific (see above). It was a terrible choice for the site and one I regret. However, after over five years, it’s the one I’m stuck with too. That’s the reason I put it at the top (or bottom) of my list.
Changing it now would probably be more work and more drawback than its worth, but it was a lesson learned nonetheless. I jumped on “Copybyte” for my consulting firm and have been much more careful about domains since then.
In the meantime though, I get to spell the domain for everyone I give it to, even those who know how to spell “plagiarism” don’t trust themselves to do so when writing it down.
Obviously, I’ve made a lot more mistakes than this but these are some of the errors I consider to be the most damaging and the ones others would be best served to avoid.
Fortunately, all of the above errors can be easily dodged if one is looking out for them, which is exactly why I post this list.
After all, the goal of this post isn’t just self abuse, but rather, to help others not fall into the same traps I did and maybe not waste some of the time I did in my early years.
1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged
Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.
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Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.
I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.
Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.
How am I so prolific?
I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.
You Are Human
Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.
A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality
Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.
Why this Mindset Prospers
I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:
- trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
- obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
- panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations
All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.
Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.
Develop an abundance mindset.
See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.
5 Lessons Learned from Publishing 700 Posts on Blogging Tips
We have hit 700 posts on Blogging Tips together, guys.
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Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing these posts.
I took a few mini vacations from writing but published 1 guest post daily on this rocking site for many months on end. Helping you has been fun, freeing and fulfilling. Here is to the next 700 blog posts.
I learned a few clear blogging lessons during this guest posting run. Rather than call myself “The Cal Ripken of Guest Posting” – feel free to use that – I reckon we’ll dive into the success tips.
1: Avoid Setting Goals
I never could have written 700 posts if I TRIED to write 700 posts. Sounds quite impossible. But holding an intent to help people blog goaded me to show up daily, for writing and publishing. Blogging is simple but highly uncomfortable sometimes. Focus on the process, not goals or outcomes, to have fun helping people, to detach from outcomes and to become highly prolific.
2: Follow Your Fun
I have fun blogging about blogging. I make room for fun daily. 700 posts later, I am just getting started.
Follow your fun. Make work, the reward. All else will feel like extra, meaning post frequency and traffic and profits feel like no big deal if you blog mainly to have fun helping people. Fun-loving bloggers keep on creating and connecting their way to greatness. Everybody else struggles, getting bogged down, struggling and quitting because they do not enjoy the ride.
3: Spot Reader Problems
Writing and publishing 700 posts on a single blog – I published 1,400 plus posts on Blogging From Paradise in addition to hundreds of guest posts on other blogs – requires you to be skilled at spotting reader problems. Blog post = problem solved. Expand your awareness. Instead of running around rough shod all day long, devote time and energy to identifying common problems suffered by your readers. Nailing down problems supplies you with an endless flow of blog post ideas, helping you become prolific.
Moss Clement does a sensational job in this regard, which makes him incredibly prolific.
4: Brand Yourself Clearly
Zac Johnson recently noted how much he loved my travel photos. Folks have been enjoying my eBooks and paperbacks, sales increasing no doubt because I brand my paperbacks and eBooks freely through images I use on Blogging Tips
Never ignore opportunities to brand yourself and your blog clearly.
Many years ago I rarely if ever worked my travel photos into my guest posts on this blog. These days, every featured image consists of travel photos of me, or, travel photos of my paperback, sitting in some exotic location like here in Ortahisar, Turkey.
Be you. Brand you. Brand yourself clearly to boost sales and to increase your blogging success.
5: Nudge Out of Your Comfort Zone
I do feel pretty good but tired now. At 1:45 PM Turkey time. I have worked for about 3 hours, have walked the dogs for 2 hours and feel ready for a nap, after the rare late night out, being up until 2:30 AM last night. But I nudge out of my comfort zone to write and publish this guest post. Do you believe I felt comfortable writing and publishing 700 guest posts on one blog alone over the prior 3 years? Of course not.
Success unfolds exponentially outside of your comfort zone.
All traffic, profits, comments, social shares and heck, any success, expands quickly as you nudge out of your comfort zone daily. Many days, I feared I’d not have enough time to write and publish a post on Blogging Tips. 1 short week ago I spent nearly 20 hours offline, as I traveled from Oman to Turkey during my birthday. I still managed to write a Blogging Tips post on waking the following day; all about doing fun, freeing but sometimes uncomfortable things to accelerate your blogging success.
Adopt this mindset: 1 day at a time, and 1 moment at a time. Seemingly jaw-dropping feats unfold 1 moment at a time.
3 Gateway Activities Leading to Increased Blogging Income
Most bloggers crave a blogging income boost.
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Some bloggers have yet to make a penny. Other bloggers want to take it up a few levels from their current full time income.
Foolishly, most bloggers focus their attention and energy on an income stream itself to increase blogging income. Can an advertisement make money? No. Ads are inanimate objects. Ads cannot do anything. Skilled bloggers who publish helpful content and build strong bonds make money through ads, but the ads themselves, are completely worthless.
Stop focusing on trying to make money via a specific income stream itself. People obsess over Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and other ways to make money, for increased blogging income, never realizing that the blogger makes the money, not the income stream. Stop obsessing over income and focus on simple, generous activities that lead the way to increased blogging profits. Think of a bridge, linking you to greater blogging profits. You cross the bridge through your commitment to these activities.
Specific gateway activities lead to blogging income. If you want to make more money through blogging, focus on these 3 strategies.
1: Comment Genuinely on Blogs
I commented genuinely on Blogging Tips for weeks. Zac invited me to guest post on this blog. I published nearly 700 guest posts here, boosting my blogging profits through this rocking guest posting gig. Blog commenting served as the gateway activity that bridged me to my increased blogging income. I did not get paid to comment, but genuine comments opened the door for guest posting, and guest posting increased my blogging profits.
Publish genuine, personalized comments on top blogs from your niche. Make friends. Observe how opportunities for prospering multiply around you, through both blog commenting and the bonds you build via this gateway activity.
2: Promote other Bloggers on Your Blog
Guys; this is such an easy gateway activity for boosting your blogging profits. Promote other bloggers on your blog. Look for nothing in return. Be generous. Be genuine. Be helpful.
Photo break; here I am enjoying lunch the other day in Turkey.
How it works: promote other bloggers on your blog via a link and mention. Over time, and through persistent promotion, some of these bloggers befriend you. Blogging buddies:
- promote you
- endorse you
- purchase your products
- hire you
all leading to increased blogging profits.
This is by far the easiest gateway activity for profiting IF you generously, patiently, persistently and genuinely promote other bloggers on your blog, expecting nothing in return.
If you are a travel blogger, promote The Roaming Renegades today. This duo publishes helpful content and engages freely via social media.
3: Practice Writing
Weird, right? Writing is the #1 skill for increasing your blogging income, yet few bloggers practice writing offline, only writing when publishing posts. Bad idea. Advertisers, prospective customers and potential clients need to see that you write skillfully before paying for advertising or investing in your products and services.
Write persistently offline to shine online. Write 500 to 1000 words daily in a Word document. Practice your writing to engage in a critical gateway activity guaranteed to increase your blogging income. Plus, you will stand out from the masses of bloggers who never practice writing offline.
Blogging is simple but sometimes, uncomfortable. See the journey through by focusing on these core activities. Income does not increase by trying to boost your blogging income through channels, forcing cash out of these streams. Blogging income increases for generous, skilled, committed bloggers who give much of their attention and energy to these core, gateway activities.
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