Once upon a time… I failed at blogging.
I have a fairly diverse background in writing. I was a freelancer for a few ghostwriting agencies, I’ve taken some children’s literature courses, and I’ve written for newspapers and various websites.
I have also failed four blogs miserably.
As I progressed in my writing ventures, I realized the mistakes I made that prevented my sites from succeeding.
Today, I want to share them with you.
1. Don’t join Facebook groups to promote your blog
Don’t get me wrong; you should absolutely join groups that have to do with your blog niche. And promoting yourself on social media is a necessity in our modern world.
However, you will never really build an organic, engaged audience if you are not in it for other people. If you’ve ever Googled “how to write a successful blog”, then you know rule numero uno; choose a vision for your blog that is narrow enough to find interested readers, but wide enough to give you content options.
And through that process, you have to hold on to your genuine love for the people who read what you write. Good customer service is helping someone find what they need out of what you offer. Great customer service is helping someone find what they need- period.
So, back to Facebook groups. Join them. Chime in. But, focus on the relationships. Don’t approach every conversation with the mindset of weaseling your blog or product or mission into it. Just let it occur, and get to know and love the people who may be part of your intended market.
2. Don’t build Rome in a day
I made this mistake four times. I know the key to a successful blog is social media attention, having a well-developed website, and being involved with readers.
However, this does not all have to happen on the same day, or even in the same week. It is highly unlikely that your very first blog post will go viral, so just spend the first few weeks writing drafts and fleshing out your vision for your blog.
The problem with focusing too much on social media in the beginning is that when you finally do attract people to your site, it will be shallow. Plus, you need to develop consistent blogging habits before you will have what it takes to retain followers. Give it a few weeks and then start an Instagram.
3. Don’t ignore your family
Mom blogging has a built-in catch-22: you have to spend time writing, promoting, and brainstorming in order to be successful, but you also have to actually spend time with your family doing the things you blog about.
Don’t make your blog the goal, and then use your family for content to meet that goal. If you’re blogging about family, then your family must be your #1 priority. The rule in business is under-promise, over-deliver. For every cute idea, awesome outing, or adorable moment you write about, make sure there’s two you keep between just you and your family.
If you want to really reach people, you have to be authentic. Extorting Instagram moments from family time will leave your family resenting blog time. That doesn’t end well for your family or your site.
4. Don’t publish posts on impulse
Have you experienced the super-amazing-fantastic blog idea that magically descends on you at 1:00 in the morning? Frantically, you type it out and hit publish because you’re just that sure it’s going to be the one viral post that gets your name out there.
My rule is never, ever, ever publish a post less than 24 hours after finishing it. No matter how perfect it may seem, let it rest. You would be amazed at the typos and wordiness that will jump out at you after you’ve stepped away for a bit. Plus, you almost always come up with a better way to present an idea after you’ve had time to chew on it.
And from a viewership standpoint, you want to make sure you’re publishing during peak hours. When you finish a draft, schedule it for the next day and come back to it a few hours before it’s published.
5. Don’t quit
Consistency, consistency, consistency. It doesn’t matter if you produce great content if you only binge write. Binge writing is selfish. If you truly care about your reader, you will provide quality content on a consistent basis.
This doesn’t mean you should force yourself to write something daily even if it’s terrible. Pick a realistic posting goal, and stick to it. If you find yourself writing in spurts of inspiration, schedule your posts to publish at regular intervals. This way, you can take a break, but you’re still present for your readers.
If you find yourself straying from blogging, you have a decision to make. Revisit your motivation and figure out if this is something you want to recommit to. You can always just start writing again, but you will have some rebuilding to do. Don’t quit just because you haven’t written anything in a few months.
Above all, a successful blog has to be about your readers. Not money, and not yourself. Find the true motivation for your writing, and keep it at the forefront of your vision.
Do you have any don’ts? Comment below!