I love talking to and helping other bloggers, but if there is one thing that drives me nuts, it’s the myths that circulate about what it takes to have success.
Even worse is that it’s rare I see the actual truth stated by other bloggers – that if you work smart and treat your blog like a business then you will have success.
Not maybe, not if you are somehow blessed by the Gods, but if you work smart and treat it like a business.
I’ve never personally come across a blogger who hasn’t reached some level of success when they have really desired it, went 100% in and worked to make that happen.
Note that I am not just saying worked on their blog but worked on making their version of success happen. It’s really easy to work hard at a blog and get nowhere because you are focused on busy work and not what will actually lead to success.
I’m sure there will be some bloggers reading this who think they fall into that category – I dare you to keep reading this article and see if aren’t making one of the mistakes below.
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1. Not working towards your goals
Where I often see blogger going wrong is that they work on what they feel like working on or what others have told them to without any clear connection between the success they seek and the task they are doing.
For example, when I started getting serious about blogging, I went in Facebook groups and gathered this formula for success:
- Go on every social media
- Post a lot everywhere
- Get traffic from this
- Be successful
Then I worked hard on implementing this.
Now, my version of success was earning enough money that we didn’t need to work a lot and my family could have more quality time together.
Can you see there is a total disconnect between my goal and what I was working on?
Doing this lead to me nearly quitting blogging all together as it took me awhile to realise what I was doing wrong.
If this is you, don’t quit! Pick yourself back up, realise your mistake and start only working on tasks that will get you to your goals – and don’t work on anything where you can’t see that clear line.
I talk about how to do this in the 5 Day Goal Setting Challenge which you can access for free here.
2. Not treating your blog as a business
I was surprised recently when I asked in the DNW group who treats their blog as a business and just about everyone said “yes”. Yet at the same time there was a thread in the group about people not wanting to spend anything on their blogs.
While spending money on your blog isn’t the only way to treat your blog as a business, it is an important step.
If you were starting a bricks and mortar business, would you expect to spend nothing on your business?
Of course not. So why do you expect an online business to cost nothing?
I invested everything I made in my first year of being serious about blogging. If you can, you should have a budget.
I have a blog post here about what I recommend you invest in.
3. Not jumping in 100%
I was speaking to a blogging friend the other day and, even though she earns a great side income from her blog, she is still reluctant to jump in fully.
The way she talks about her blog is littered with excuses about how she doesn’t have time, how she could never leave her full-time job, but, at the same time, I know that what she really wants is to blog full-time.
It’s like she hopes it will magically take off and then she can jump in 100%.
But this is just not the way it works.
You need to 100% jump in, 100% back yourself. You need to work on your mindset and know that you can make it work (more about this here).
If you don’t, you’ll self sabotage, you’ll make bad choices and you’ll never really go for those big goals.
I’m not saying you need to leave your life and move to Asia, like we did, I’m saying you need to back yourself and only let yourself feel confident that you can do it.
Stop making excuses.
Trust me, no matter how much you love your current job, when you have your own business that gives you complete freedom and flexibility, you won’t miss it and will wonder why you ever hesitated.
4. Not investing in yourself
I want to scream whenever I read bloggers saying you don’t need a course or a tool because all the answers are on the internet.
There is no greater investment that you can make than in yourself.
Whether that’s with blogging or any other endeavour you want to do in life. Would you expect to excel or even start in another profession without some type of training program?
Blogging isn’t any different.
Have you tried finding all the answers online for your blog in free content? How did it go?
I’m guessing not well.
As someone who has invested well into the five-figures in my own blogging and internet marketing self-education, I 100% could not be where I am today without this assistance.
Things like my keyword SEO tutorial are great, they will help you get traffic and they will help you have success.
However, it’s not the same level of success that you could have through learning and implementing a full SEO strategy. And from combining that with a full affiliate marketing strategy. And so on.
For free, you can find small tricks and small learnings. You can’t find complete solutions.
If you had joined my SEO course, SEO Freedom, a year ago, do you really think you would be in the same position of your blogging journey now or further ahead? Do you think it’s possible you could have easily earned the money back?
I’m sure you would have had no problems getting the $297 investment back, made more on top AND had saved a lot of time trying to work things out for yourself.
5. Making it about you
I’m willing to bet that ego is the biggest reason most bloggers don’t get the success they want.
That’s because they make the blog about them and not about their readers.
Which is ironic as the biggest reason I hear for why people start blogs is to “help people”.
Yet, they only want to write what they want to write, they only want to use social media channels and SEO the way they want to use them.
They dismiss monetisation as selling out and not helping people instead of realising that monetisation only works when you are focused on helping people (and stop focusing on yourself).
Just because you imagine that someone wants to read about a topic because you do, doesn’t mean they do.
If you can’t find keywords for something then people aren’t searching. You mightn’t like the keywords that come up or the types of posts that work well on Facebook or Pinterest, but guess what -they work well because that’s what people want to read.
If your version of success incorporates anything to do with helping people, traffic or income then you need to care about what other people want, not what you want yourself.
6. Surrounding yourself with the wrong bloggers
My initial (terrible) plan above happened because I went into blogging groups filled with amateurs and, for some reason, listened to their advice like somehow it could help me when it hadn’t helped them.
Don’t do that!
Only follow advice from people who have the version of success that you want.
(Hopefully that includes me!)
This doesn’t necessarily mean you become best friends, but only surround yourself with their advice.
It’s also really priceless to form a community of people around you with similar goals and who are all in with making blogging work as well.
When I first got serious about blogging, I was lucky enough to form some great connections with people at a similar stage as me and, guess what? Most of them have reached and exceeded their blogging goals.
Since they were a similar stage, they weren’t so great for advice but they were great for helping me feel like this was all possible and that I could do it.
I don’t speak much to some of them anymore, but I always have a huge smile when I see their success and I hope they feel the same about me.
I highly recommend you find your own blogging friends where you are all set on success. Stay away from negative Nancys.
The Build Blog Freedom community is awesome for this – you get new friends to go through your journey with who are as serious as you as well as me to answer all your questions 🙂
7. Spreading yourself too thin in the belief you need to be everywhere
It’s hard to be everywhere and all it leads to is burn out as you won’t have enough time to be good at anything.
Mastering one platform leads to far more success than being present on many platforms.
Get one form of traffic generation right and one form of monetisation right THEN (and only then) start concentrating on another.
While it is definitely good to diversify and not rely on one method of getting traffic or earning income, until you actually have a great form of traffic or income, you have nothing to diversify.
Concentrate on getting to this point then look at diversifying.
8. Concentrating on writing instead of marketing
While having great content is essential to a successful blog, having great marketing is where you should spend the majority of your time.
Because it doesn’t matter if you have the best content in the world if no one is reading it!
While it can feel like you need to write a certain number of blog posts per week, you really don’t.
In fact, I recommend you don’t write anything without a plan of how you will get it to your target audience.
If you are spending the majority of your time writing then you will struggle to ever have success.
Writing blog posts take a lot of time and, if it’s taking so much time you struggle to focus on learning how to market your posts, it’s time to ease off. Even consider taking a break from writing all together until you learn how to master SEO or some other marketing technique.
I promise you will be glad that you did.
I hope you haven’t just learned from the individual points in this article but also found the common theme.
The biggest mistake is wanting to be a success at blogging but never allowing yourself to go 100% in with everything you do in blogging.
You can build your dream life.
But it doesn’t come from complaining, deciding it’s about luck, hanging around people that reinforce these negative thoughts, being busy with blogging tasks but not being smart or making your blog all about yourself.
It comes from being clear with yourself and others with what you want to achieve, backing yourself 100%, surrounding yourself with positive influences, investing in yourself and your business and not allowing any chance of failure to sneak in.
Your blog will only grow if you get out of your own way.
Start living your dream now.
I would love to help you in your journey and the best way I can do that is in my SEO course, SEO Freedom.
Read the success stories on this page. I would love to add you to it soon 🙂
Want to learn more about SEO? Join my free SEO Boot Camp – How To Get Crazy Amounts Of Blog Traffic Without Spending All Your Time Online. In this 60 minute training, I’ll teach you all the basics of SEO so you can get more traffic to your blog!