This is a guest post from Darlene. Darlene created BlogBoldly.com to help bloggers, just like you, create successful online businesses. If you’re tired of doing it alone, (and you’re serious about your biz) join her free 20-Day Blog to Profit Course.
Let’s face it. Blogging (at first) looks easy.
In the beginning, you probably thought, “I’ll set up my website/blog, start writing, and sit back while the money pours in.”
But now, the honeymoon’s over. You’ve been working on your blog for quite some time, and still haven’t made a cent. Or, not nearly what you anticipated you’d be making by now.
Trust me, I’ve been there. In my first few years of online business.. for all the time I put into it, I was lucky to make 50 cents an hour. You think I’m kidding.
My guess is that you’re making at least a couple of the common mistakes that I made in the beginning.. the same ones most beginner bloggers make.
Here’s the good part: These mistakes are easy enough to fix once you know what they are!
Newbie Mistake Number One:
Not Treating Your Blog Like a Business
My friend’s daughter loves the “mommy’ blogs with the pretty pictures and yummy recipes. So she decided to start her own mommy blog. She quickly realized that those gorgeous sites she admired took a lot of work! But, she didn’t want to post regularly or do keyword research or strategic social networking, or any of the tasks necessary to get her blog on track for success.
She just wanted to go online, whenever the mood struck, and write about her hubby and kids and dogs. Which was fine as long as she didn’t care about making money.
But if YOU want your blog to be a business (that brings in cash) you have to treat it like one. That means doing tasks you might not like, because you need to. It means learning, applying, working consistently on your website while everyone else is playing.
Before I run half of you off, let me say this. If you will put in the work today, you can play all you want tomorrow. Because typically the majority of the work is done in the beginning as you’re getting your site ready for profit.. and then you go into what I call “maintenance mode.” That’s when you’re pulling in profits and only working 2-7 hours per week.. or less.
Newbie Mistake Number Two:
This is a hot one for me because I hate to see new bloggers get sucked into the outrageous claims made online. I don’t care what business model someone is promoting, it’s going to take time and effort before it produces income.
A friend of mine who is very successful in corporate America, decided she wanted an online business. She signed up for a course on ‘platform building’ where once you built your platform, you could promote any service/products you wanted and make money. But the program was so comprehensive that it would take one person working 40+ hours a week for a whole year before it would work. She thought it could be done in 2 weeks because they sold it that way. Thousands of dollars later she abandoned the program because she never intended to spend that kind of time on a new business.
Pick a simple business model. Know that you will put time, sweat and tears into it before it generates income but don’t believe the hype about making thousands of dollars overnight because it’s not going to happen.
Newbie Mistake Number Three:
Biting off More Than You Can Chew
Don’t try and do too much! Listen, I am all for thinking and doing big. Absolutely. But nothing begets success like success.
So, I would much prefer you pick a simple plan. Work it. Make money, and then start growing it bigger.
Here’s what a lot of new bloggers do. They get excited about a great idea and they want to do everything. They love pets so they want to be the next PetSmart. Or football so they want a blog on football. Or recipes because they love to cook. Noooo!
It’s too much. Too big. Too broad. Too hard to make money.
You’ve probably heard the expression “niche down.” I highly recommend you do this.
Let’s take the cooking scenario. OK, you’ve got it down to the recipe part of cooking. Good. You’ve niched it down. Now let’s do it some more. Vegetarian recipes. Vegetarian recipes that are good for packed lunches. There you go! If you are a vegetarian and you like to pack your lunch or your families lunch, are you going to bookmark a general recipe site? Or even a vegetarian website? No, you’re going to frequent the one that has all kinds of fab veggie recipes specifically designed for “on the go.” And that is how your readers think, too!
The other part of “Biting off More Than You Can Chew” is to try and do too much with your site and not doing any of it well. Too many categories, offers.. too many social media outlets.
Again, keep it simple.
Here’s an example. Start with three categories and two killer offers your readers will love. I suggest a newsletter offer to entice them to sign up, plus one offer people can buy. For the categories, write awesome content in those areas once a week. Branch out into more as you go along.
Then pick one (or two at the most) social platform that you love. Say it’s Twitter. Build up your Twitter community so you are interacting and building community. Get known there, then start a YouTube campaign (or whatever you like.)
Do you see what’s happening here? This is a doable plan. You will not get so overwhelmed that you throw up your hands in surrender before you make any money.
What’s so awesome about creating an online business is that it’s a level playing field. We all have the same opportunity to make our business a success. ~ darlene