THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF UNSEASONED BLOGGERS

I have been blogging for almost 5 years and in that time I have seen more bloggers come and go than I care to mention. The reality of blogging for profit is it’s incredibly difficult. A tiny percentage ever get to the point where they’re making sufficient income to cover their expenditure, never mind getting to the stage where they can upgrade from Ramen Noodles to filet mignon.

Today I wanted to share with you 7 mistakes that I regularly see new bloggers make and that are relatively easy to avoid.

#1
THINKING IT’S GOING TO BE EASY

I really don’t care how many books you have read about 6-figure blogging, what forums you’re a member of, or how good a writer you are, blogging is still phenomenally difficult if you want to make a good income. And it’s only getting harder.

If you set off thinking it’s an easy way to quick cash, unless you are an SEO genius with lots of time on your hands, you’re going to get very frustrated, very quickly.

Of course some people have gone from zero to a highly profitable blog in a matter of a few months. But by the same token quite a few people have run a sub 10 second 100m, but that doesn’t mean you can.

That’s not a reason not to do it, but it is a reason not to quit your day job on a wave of enthusiasm brought on by getting 15 retweets for your second ever blog post.

#2
HAVING THE SAME PLAN AS EVERYBODY ELSE

If you want to spend hours on end running around commenting on every blog under the sun, be my guest. If you want kiss some ‘A’ list booty, be my guest. If you want to spend half your waking day on Twitter or Facebook pimping your material, be my guest.

Just be aware you are one of tens of thousands doing exactly the same thing and it’s unlikely to get you where you want to be. Not that there is anything wrong with doing any of that stuff in moderation (and with a plan), but temper your expectations of the return on your investment.

Having the same plan as everybody else is effectively having no plan at all.

Do different stuff. Do unique stuff. Do stuff that gets people talking about you.

#3
ASKING FOR HELP

I follow everybody back on Twitter that talks to me. I have notifications turned off, but the minute somebody responds to me in any way I follow them back.

That is until I get a DM 10 minutes after I followed them asking me to retweet one of their posts or read their latest ebook. Seriously? We only just met and you want me to help you promote your business, a business that I don’t even know? Sometimes I patiently explain etiquette, sometimes I just unfollow them.

#4
NOT ASKING FOR HELP

Ok, so I know I said asking for help was a mistake, but bear with me here, all will become clear.

I get an e-mail this morning from another Life Coach who’s just starting out asking me if I would mentor him. I said yes. I’ve just finished mentoring another coach and his timing was impeccable.

The thing is I already knew this guy. I considered him somewhat of a friend and I have been interacting with him for well over a year. I can, and do, say no regularly to people I know, but I NEVER begrudge them asking me. Isn’t that what friends are for?

#5
BEING SCARED OF THE COMPETITION

You have to have faith that you’re the best, or at the very least, one of the best, at whatever niche you’re in. I have no problem running guest posts from other Life Coaches or recommending their blogs to clients and potential clients. In fact Nicholas regularly runs guest posts here from people that some may consider competitors.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it really isn’t. Mixing with, getting to know and then helping your peers demonstrates confidence and also builds up trust with your audience because they can see it’s not just about you.

#6
BEING THIN-SKINNED

I wouldn’t recommend you go and read some of my early blog posts, but if you were so inclined you’d notice they all had one thing in common. They were crap.

Writing is a practice and it is something you will get better at the more you do it. When you first start it’s ok to publish some stuff that you’re not sure about.

Firstly, you won’t have too many readers to lose, but more importantly, what readers you do have will then be able to offer feedback. The key to this is if you get criticism to never, ever, take it personally!

Your readers don’t know you and when they respond to a post they are responding to what you’ve written and not YOU. I never ever delete comments criticizing me, in fact I welcome them because that’s how I learn and grow both as a coach and a writer.

Roll with the punches and you’ll learn a lot more quickly than if you get all defensive every time somebody disagrees with something you say.

#7
NOT FOCUSING ON KEYWORDS

If you look at the link back to my site you will see it is under the term Life Coach. That’s because I’m a Life Coach and when Google crawls this site I want it to stop and think “Hmm, this site is telling me that site is about Life Coaching, maybe I should send people looking for a Life Coach there?”

Inbound links are the life blood of successful sites. Why do you think Wikipedia is at the top of almost anything you search for? It’s because millions of other websites link to it and Google knows it will supply answers and therefore it’s highly relevant.

Work out how you want people to find you and focus on that keyword or keyword string. You may have to be a bit creative with this bit in avoiding coming up with search terms that aren’t insanely competitive. Deciding you want to be found under the term ‘Blogger’ aint gonna work, trust me.

Decide on your niche and stick to it. Ruthlessly.