I’ve been around the block (when it comes to blogging that is). I have failed more times than you can imagine. Failure isn’t really the word. It’s only failure if you do not try. My past failures have really been learning experiences and lessons. Before this blog, I had three other blogs that failed miserably.
Don’t get me wrong, one of my failed blogs did make some money before it crashed and burned to the ground. I really should have sold it while I still could but that’s another story for another time. The other two blogs were destined to be failures from the start (now that I have had some time to reflect).
Today I am going to share the reasons why I failed with my past blogging ventures. My hope is that you can learn from my past mistakes and start a successful blog from the get go.
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Reasons I Failed With Three Blogs
I had to come clean and really look at why I failed at blogging in the past. The things I was doing and not doing are what ultimately caused me to fail.
1. I had a negative mindset when I first started my blog and this really derailed my success from the very start. It didn’t matter how hard I worked, my mind was not in the right place.
2. Treating my blog like a hobby was a mistake. Each blog I started was worked on as a hobby. What I should have done was to treat my blog as a business. One of the reasons why bloggers fail is because of this.
3. I did not sprinkle my personality and who I was into my blog. Not letting my personality show was a no no.
4. Lacking focus was the worst thing I did because I was busy starting one too many blogs at once. My brain was scattered and it showed. Saying I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.
5. Publishing mediocre content and expecting people to actually read my blog on the regular is laughable now that I reflect back.
6. Working without a plan and not coming up with blog post ideas led me to procrastinate and not post consistently. It was unfair for me to expect people to read a blog that was being updated at best 2 or 3 times a month!
7. I didn’t build an e-mail list from the start. Forgetting to build an e-mail list was a rookie mistake I kept making over and over.
8. Promoting too many affiliate links on the regular and not telling my readers about these links is something I cringe about when I think about my old blogs.
9. Not knowing how to monetize and make money from my blog was one of the reasons I failed as a blogger.
10. Taking in too much information turned me into an overwhelmed lunatic (just kidding…but no really).
11. I really was not paying attention to where my traffic was coming from. I was just writing articles and not paying attention to who was reading them!
My goal is to continue learning from my past mistakes so that I can turn my blog into a success. (My hope is that you can too)
Failure is only failure if you do not learn from your mistakes. This is why I decided to really go back and take stock of my past mishaps. Blogging is not easy or glamorous as some people might make it look. It’s a lot of hard work. You will hit some roadblocks but do not let that prevent you from pushing forward.
1. Having a Negative Mindset
I came from a place of lack when I stared my first three blogs that eventually failed. I was very unsure of myself and what I was capable of. Always doubting myself I spent time looking at all these successful people online and telling myself that I couldn’t possibly do what they were doing.
The things you tell yourself will affect how successful/not successful you will be as a blogger (and in life).
Thinking that it can’t be done is not the right mindset if you want to succeed at blogging or anything else in your life.
2. Treating My Blog As A Hobby
My top reason for failing at blogging in the past was due to the fact that I treated my blogs as hobbies. I have discovered that the successful bloggers I really admire treat their blogs as businesses.
The bloggers that I see making thousands per month never treat their blogs like hobbies. These bloggers take their blogs very seriously and you can tell just by how many people read their blogs and through their income reports.
If you treat your blog like a hobby, it will stay a hobby (it’s perfectly fine if you want to blog as a hobby by the way). However, since I want my blog to grow and pay like a business, I know that I have to put in the required effort and work.
3. Not Being 100% Authentic
In the past I was so afraid to show people my real personality. I was afraid to show my readers who I really was. My personality did not come through my content. What did I do instead? I stifled my real self and wrote from a very robotic and factual place.
My blog posts were boring to me! I can only imagine that I also came off as boring and robotic to my readers. To my past blog readers, I offer my sincere apologies.
Never be afraid to show your readers the real you. If you’re quirky, let it come through. If you’re fun and carefree, let your funny side show. Life is waaaay too short to pretend to be somebody you are not.
4. No Focus & Consistency
My failed blogs all had one thing in common, a lack of focus and consistency. I was so scattered and took on waaaaaay too many blog topics. This is embarrassing to admit but at one time (around 2011) I started a celebrity gossip blog (hey, it was the ‘thing’ to do at the time).
My focus was on so many areas to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. Because I had no focus and was not regular in posting about which celebrity was doing what and with who,- that blog failed.
Another time I started a personal finance blog and I got to discussing so many areas of personal finance. The blog gained traction but I was also focused on another site and my consistency was not there. Needless to say, I let the domain name expire and I tried to re-register it a few months later. But lo and behold, -someone else snatched up the domain name real fast!
5. Lack of Quality content
My content did not have a point. Okay, let me explain. I used to write articles just to write them and used to focus on things I liked to write about. That is not how you blog! In order to have a successful blog, you need to write about things people are looking for. It’s good to write about what you are interested in, but make sure to research and write quality blog posts that help other people.
If your content does not have a point, you will fail in the long run. Whether this is helping your readers find the best ways to style clothes, make money blogging, build a social following etc. Make sure that your content has a point!
6. Not Having an Editorial Calendar
A lack of planning is a sure way to fail. It’s common sense really. You would be surprised to find out that common sense was not common for me in the past (ha ha of course I’m speaking about blogging here).
I never used to plan out my blog posts. This is a bad idea because poor planning can cause you to not post as often. It’s good to have a list of blog post ideas so that you can plan out your posts. I advise planning out your blog posts a month or two ahead.
Pay attention to upcoming holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. By planning ahead, you can put together blog posts to take advantage of special holidays and even make some money! If you do not plan, you will not win at this blogging thing.
7. Not Building an E-Mail List
The worst mistake I made and kept making in the past was not building an email list. I still regret this and I wish that I could turn back time and right my wrongs. One of my blogs had alot of traffic, but I had no clue how to build an e-mail list.
Instead of building an e-mail list I did nothing. Truth be told, I was so overwhelmed when I tried to setup email marketing that I gave up altogether.
Nowadays I use Convertkit to build my email list it’s easy to setup and use. I find its sophisticated yet simple to setup and not as complicated as most of the other e-mail marketing software that I have tried.
8. Selling and Promoting Too Much
Trying to sell something or promote products every time you publish a blog post or send out an e-mail to your readers is not a good move. People are not stupid and they will see right through the BS.
I have unsubscribed from so many e-mail lists for this one reason. I highly dislike being sold to. Give your readers something that is of value before you try to sell anything.
When I am at the mall and people come up to me selling flat irons, skincare products etc. I usually cringe and walk away. What makes you think it’s any different online!
Do not allow greed to make decisions for you because in the end you will lose trust with your readers. No amount of money is worth your dignity or your reputation.
9. Not Knowing How To Monetize
Blogging is hard work and that’s the truth. It takes alot of time to not only come up with the content, but you also have to market and promote the content. As long as you are giving your readers quality content it only makes sense to make money along the way.
Making money for your efforts is not a bad thing. There are many ways that you can make money as a blogger: Affiliate marketing, media ads, sponsored posts, selling your own product/products etc.
When I failed at blogging, I had no clue how to properly monetize my blog. I just threw out affiliate links and hoped for the best.
In order to make money, you will need to be more organized than I was. But before you even think about making money, make sure that you are being of value and helping your readers first.
10. Too Much Information
Taking in too much information can be very distracting. I got stuck reading through many articles and watching videos wanting to find out how to be the perfect blogger. I should have simply started and learned what I needed to learn on the go.
You will be very overwhelmed if you try and take in too much information. There is alot of it online. Just focus on starting and go from there.
11. Not Paying Attention To Traffic Sources
Knowing where your traffic is coming from is very important. If you are starting a blog today, please make sure to install Google Analytics. I can not stress how important it is to know your audience. Finding out where you traffic is coming from is one of the ways you can find out this information.
With my past blogs, I never really looked at my analytics. Fast forward, with this blog, I make sure to look at my analytic regularly in order to see where my traffic comes from. Google Analytics also helps me to find out who my demographics is, the age, country etc.
In own my personal opinion self awareness is the most important thing. This applies to both life and blogging. Find out what works and what doesn’t work for you so that you can make the necessary changes. But for goodness sakes, try and learn a thing or two from my mistakes! Remember that you will also need promote your blog posts after you hit that publish button. I hardly did this with my past blogs (hmmmm…Maybe that’s one of the reasons I failed).