You feel duped.
After creating your blog, writing content nonstop, taking photographs for your website, you wonder if it was all a waste of time. You followed word-by-word the instructions given by your favourite bloggers on how to create your very own corner of the web.
However, none of it seems to be working. Traffic is barely trickling in, visitors aren’t sharing your posts, and you’re starting to feel the excitement wear off.
It’s not that creating a successful blog is impossible nowadays, it’s just the tactics given by others are outdated. These people have had years of success so they’re busy focusing on their things, rather than teach you their ways of triumph, step by step.
So you no longer feel misguided, let’s take a look at some tactics that are outdated and what you can do in place of them.
Spending All of Your Time Writing
Seems contradicting but it’s the truth. If you spend all of your time writing, who’s going to see your content? That’s not how blogging works.
It’s best to lose the “build it and they will come” mentality. Instead, think of it this way: at least 80% of your time blogging should be devoted to promoting it. 20% should be spent writing.
It’s funny how this works, especially when first starting out. But in the beginning stages, you can apply this tactic. With each new post created, promote it!
Offering No Incentive for Your Newsletter
An inbox is personal to everyone. No one can see what’s inside it and the last thing you want to fill it up with is spam.
When visitors sign up to your newsletter, it’s like they’re inviting you into their home. As a guest, you shouldn’t show up empty handed.
As a housewarming gift, you might give them a vintage gravy boat. As a blogger, you need to offer some kind of incentive so they’ll let you into their home (in this case, their inbox).
You could offer them a highly-detailed post that’s not already on your blog but hits one of their pain points.
Leaving Comments to Gain Traffic
This used to be the way for new bloggers to gain exponential amounts of traffic. They’d read their favourite blogs, leave a comment along with their URL and watch the visitors roll in.
Today, it just doesn’t work the same. Not only is there more competition but half the time, the authors of the posts won’t reply. If they do, it’s not to everyone.
This isn’t to say you can’t comment, you just need to go another way about it. First, only leave thoughtful comments. Saying, “great post, totally agree with #3!” won’t cut it. It sounds generic and like you didn’t take the time to really read the article.
Rather than think of commenting as a way to gain more traffic, think of it as a way to connect with the blogger. Once you begin to comment thoughtful things on a regular basis, you’ll be on their radar. This then opens the lines of communication to then ask for them to share one of your posts or ask for advice.
Relying on Ads to Make You Rich
After blogging for a while, you begin to think of how you can finally turn your love of writing into an actual business. You then research ways to monetize your blog.
What most of them say is that you need to display ads. Every click or buy from that specific ad lands money in your wallet.
While it’s possible to earn money from ads, it should be avoided. For starters, it cheapens the whole look of your site. You’ve worked so hard to have a good looking blog that it shouldn’t be overshadowed by annoying ads.
Not only that but most people don’t pay attention to ads anymore. They don’t want to be sold to all the time, they only want to read your content!
Instead, opt for affiliate marketing. You can incorporate harmless links or widgets to let readers know what you’re loving or what products will enhance their lives. They aren’t in your face like traditional ads.
Focusing on Multiple Social Media Channels
Oh boy, had I known this when I started my first blog, it would’ve saved me a lot of time developing that blog than useless social media profiles. I got the idea that I needed to be on every platform because that’s what I saw other bloggers doing and that’s the advice I saw online.
Do not do what I did. Focusing on multiple social media profiles while running a blog takes a lot of energy. Energy that you don’t need to exert. Instead, pick at least three if you must. Knowing your target audience really helps with this because then you’ll get a better idea of which ones you should be on.
Are they on Pinterest frequently? Or can they be found double-tapping on Instagram? If they prefer a more content-driven platform, Facebook is it. Bite-sized pieces of information are more well-suited for Twitter.
While it’s good to keep your target audience in mind, know what platforms you’ll stick with as well. I created a Twitter for my jewelry business and I ended up deleting it within the same day because it didn’t feel right to me. If I won’t stick to it then I won’t use it for my business.
While blogging is fun in the beginning, it can get a little frustrating once you’re established and haven’t been seeing the results you hoped for. Rather than follow outdated advice to a T, do what you think is best for you, your readers, and your blog.