My Blogging Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
As I approach the one year mark of my blog, I can see the many mistakes and improvements I've made along the way. I’m excited to start my second year, but before I do that, I’d like to share three of my biggest mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Mistake 1: Posting Sporadically
I began my blog at a feverish pace, averaging 5 posts a week. But as I settled into my life in Houston, my spare time shrank dramatically and so did my number of posts. I only posted 3 times in April.
Along with how frequently I posted, the times that I posted varied as well. I posted on every day of the week, early in the morning, mid-afternoon and late at night. This variation in posting times is bad for building an audience.
The best way to prevent sporadic posting is to schedule everything. Set aside times each week that you’ll write, edit and share your posts. For example, writing every Saturday morning, editing every Sunday afternoon and posting every Monday at 6 am will provide a sense of consistency to your readers and will keep them coming back for more.
Mistake 2: Inconsistent Content
As I look back through my blog, I see a disappointing amount of inconsistency in my content. I wrote titles in different formats, and I organized posts in a variety of ways. I started several content series that eventually fizzled out, and for some reason, I completely stopped seeking out guest writers.
Changes in content or style aren’t necessarily negative things, but they should be purposefully chosen, not stumbled into.
The best way to prevent inconsistent content is to plan. Instead of starting a series with no end in sight, narrow your scope to a certain number of posts over a specific amount of time. This allows you to test new series without setting yourself up for failure. Write a five-part series. If it doesn’t work well with your audience or you find it doesn’t fit into your writing style, you can easily stop after completing the miniseries, but if turns into a hit, you have the option to write more.
Mistake 3: Ignoring My Archives
I have a basic pattern of sharing my blog posts on social media. After the post goes live, I share on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. After that I Buffer ~5 Twitter posts to go out over the next two days.
This seems to work well, but after this initial round of sharing, I rarely ever share my archive of blog posts. I didn’t realize what I was missing, until I heard Michael Hyatt discuss this on This Is Your Life. Afterward I searched his blog and found this in-depth description of How To Keep Your Posts From Dying in Your Archives. You should definitely take a look.
The basic concept is that continuing to share your best content on a regular basis is helpful to you and your audience. People who missed it before have a chance to benefit from your best work, and resharing drives traffic to your site on days that you don’t have new content to share.
I’m sure these aren’t my only mistakes or my last, but I hope my transparency will help you steer clear of the same pitfalls.
Let me know what you think about these mistakes and solutions in the comments below.