Around a decade ago, many people started moving away from traditional 9-to-5 jobs and gave up the idea of trying to claim the corporate ladder. One of the most popular new career ideas many young adults want to explore is blogging. The recession of 2008 played a prominent role in many people’s decisions to pursue careers like blogging. The pandemic also inspired many people to try to become bloggers, because they wanted to be able to make money without exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus and wanted to avoid driving as much due to gas shortages.
Unfortunately, many bloggers are discovering that this is a harder career to pursue than they thought. One survey found that only 30% of bloggers report that they are successful. This is on par with the success rate of most other businesses. The takeaway is that it is not easier to run a successful blog than any other business.
If you want to maximize your chances of running a profitable blog, you’re going to need to start by understanding why most fail. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that new bloggers make.
Not getting reliable hosting or a good domain
You need a solid foundation for your blog. This entails getting a great hosting plan and a professional domain. You can use a domain brokerage service to find a good domain that can work. You might even be able to buy a pre-owned domain that has quality backlinks to jumpstart your SEO.
Choosing a very competitive niche without the right background
There are many different niches that bloggers can pursue. Some of these niches are going to be a lot more competitive than others. For example, Forex and weight loss blogs have tremendous competition. On the other hand, bloggers in the survival and spirituality niches have much less competition.
All other things being equal, you are going to have an easier time creating a successful blog in a less competitive niche. You don’t necessarily need to avoid competitive niches altogether. However, you should only pursue them if you have the right professional background or training. Even with the right background, you might need a lot more resources to stand out.
If you need help choosing a niche, Darren Rowse of Problogger has a great article that can help.
Neglecting to understand the importance of offsite marketing
Some bloggers create absolutely stellar content. They have highly detailed posts with unique opinions and insightful research that offers tremendous benefits to their readers.
Yet, they get almost no visits to their blog. They can create dozens or even hundreds of blog posts without getting any visibility.
Why would this happen? The problem is that it takes marketing to get attention for your blog. One successful blogger came up with a great analogy once. They pointed out that a great blog without any links from other parts of the Internet is like an island full of diamonds that nobody has discovered. Your blog only offers value to people if they know about it. They will only know about it if you dedicate time to marketing it.
You should invest time promoting your content through social media. You also want to build quality backlinks to your site, which will help boost your SEO.
Lacking a clear monetization strategy
Many bloggers think that if they just start pumping out great content then money will eventually follow. Sadly, that is not how things work.
You are going to need a clearly thought out strategy to make money from your blog. There are a lot of monetization options, including:
Running advertisements from Google ads, Ezoic or other advertising platforms
Promoting affiliate products for Amazon or other brands
Requesting donations from people that like your content
Creating and selling your own informational products
Running sponsored posts for companies that align with the demographic of your blog
The right monetization options might depend on the nature of your site. Some blogs might not qualify for traditional advertising networks, but they might be a perfect fit for affiliate programs. Weight loss and making money at home blogs are excellent for selling informational products. You’ll need to take some time to think about your best monetization strategy before really driving traffic to your blog.
Failing to create regular content
You can’t just post an article every few months and expect that your blog will take off. Successful blogs require regular, fresh content.
Ideally, you should publish a new article at least once a week. It is better if you can create content on a daily basis, but you don’t want to burn yourself out or create lower quality posts.
You might want to start by creating a content schedule for your blog. You can write a number of posts in advance and schedule them through WordPress. Of course, this only works if you are writing a blog with evergreen tips, because you don’t want to publish newsworthy content after it is no longer topical.