We’ve all been there: your blog is not where you want it to be. You can’t seem to improve your content or traffic, but that may not be the fault of your writing or marketing. Have you struggled with your confidence, your content and monetization?
If so, negative mindsets may be killing your blog. If so, it’s time to take back your blog.
Mindset # 1 – Comparing Your Blog to Others
Solution: Learn from It
Do you compare your blog to others? This dangerous mindset can harm your efforts. Turn it around by examining what makes that blog worthy of your envy. What makes you keep coming back? Are you attracted by the images? The pace of the writing? Design layout?
Once you’ve investigated what you find appealing, figure out how you can emulate those elements with your own authentic content. Don’t plagiarize. Instead, consider what you can learn and use it to inspire change in your own blog.
When I found a blog site that I loved last year, I immediately hired the designer. My new design reflects who I am and gets plenty of compliments.
Mindset # 2 – Checking Your Page Views (or other Stats) Daily
Solution: Strategize Your Marketing
Constantly checking your stats is a sign of insecurity. Remember that metrics such as page views are subject to the whims of trends, algorithms, purchased audiences, and unethical practices and are therefore unreliable.
Additionally, according to Wired, there are metrics that are more meaningful than page views.
However, if your traffic or reach is not meeting your expectations, set a goal and create a marketing plan to attain it. Use your stats to create a baseline for the next month and don’t view your analytics any sooner.
Next, be sure that your blog is set up properly and that you are engaging on social media as well as running a newsletter and/or using video properly.
When I focused more attention on my Facebook page, my engagement increased, as did my visitors. Now, my posts regularly reach 50-90% of my followers with engagement around 10-20%.
Mindset # 3 – Lack of Self Confidence
Solution: Take Stock
You may lack confidence to take risks or apply for campaigns. Combat this self-defeating mindset by examining exactly what isn’t working for your blog. Make a list of what posts or parts of your blog make you cringe.
Create a second list of what you are proud of from your blog – a reader’s appreciation, a client that’s impressed, a friend who LOVES your photos. Now look at those lists. What will it take to get the items on list #1 onto that second list? Set goals with dates for what you need to study, practice or change. In the meanwhile, be proud of what you have accomplished.
After getting big compliments on my writing from a big player in my niche, I not only got a testimonial from her, I asked another client for a raise – and got it! That praise built my confidence in my writing skills.
Mindset # 4 – Negative Thinking in Your Posts
Solution: Be the Solution
Do you always post about how difficult life is or share what makes you angry? It's okay to post problems, but readers want solutions. Additionally, brands are interested in bloggers who want to write about social good, so a positive attitude can build your reputation. Look at your last few negative posts and brainstorm how to turn them around. That will give you fodder for great content.
For example, after years of struggling with angry children in the morning, I realized that it was my negative morning mood that upset them. Taking time to deep breathe before losing my temper changed our routine for the better, and that solution made a useful post for the parents in my audience.
Mindset # 5 – Too Many Reviews/Sponsored Posts
Solution: Prioritize Your Obligations
Attending blogger events can leave you with too many items to review and that can compromise your blog. Remember that you don’t have to blog about free swag, however, if you’ve directly contacted the party for a product, avoiding a review can hurt your reputation. If so, contact the brand and try to postpone the post date.
However, even without a contract, you need to fulfill any sponsored post obligations.
If you can’t get the post out in time, inform the party immediately. Be creative and suggest a time to post that will help their brand stand out or complement an upcoming season. When you do post, be creative and write in line with what you are passionate about. Brands really want to hear about your life, so step outside the box. Finally, once that is done, stop accepting pitches for a while.
I was pitched last winter by a brand I'd like to work with but I had too much on my plate and their post would have been “lost” in the shuffle. Instead, I asked them to contact me the following January, and showed them how their brand could benefit from the post-holiday timeframe.
Mindset # 6 – Too Demotivated to Blog
Solution: Revisit Your Mission
Have you become bored of blogging or struggle to find topics? Before you quit, take a step back. Review the initial purpose for creating your blog. Does it still speak to you? If it does and you’ve strayed from this topic, pick up your editorial calendar and get back on track setting up posts that fit.
However, if you’re not interested in this topic anymore, consider stretching into a related topic that does excite you. Don’t wander too far from your current niche or you may lose your audience. A few years back, I changed my focus on Mom-Blog from parenting to being a “gluten-free mom.” Because I kept my focus on parenting and had already written about feeding your kids and health, I didn’t lose my audience and quickly ranked for that term, attracting a new audience.
Mindset # 7 – Blog Overwhelm
Solution: Organize Your Overwhelm
Have too many ideas, topics and blog commitments? Organize your “overwhelm”. First, write down your blog’s focus, then, list all your content ideas using it as a filter. If your niche is wide (i.e., “parenting”), pare it down to something more targeted.
Next, create a long-term editorial calendar and organize the commitments that fit your blog’s mission as a priority. If you have some that don’t fit, pepper them through your priorities so that you maximize your target SEO.
If you see a pattern of content ideas that deviates from your main topic, use it to create off-blog content, such as:
- Social media commentary
- Broadcast and video segments
- Exclusive newsletter content
This will create a richly seeded and consistent brand across all your channels that is not repetitive. For example, I had several ideas for faith topics in parenting and will be creating a weekly Periscope to discuss those issues, rather than a blog post.
Mindset # 8 – Fear of Monetizing Your Blog
Solution: Start Slowly and Stay True
You'd like to earn money from your blog, but fear you’ll lose traffic. That won’t happen if you stay authentic whether you are writing a review, a sponsored post or a post with affiliate links. Most readers today understand that blogs come with some kind of advertising and loyal readers will stay if you keep offering quality content.
When monetizing, start small. Try out one or two affiliate ads on the sidebar, or integrate links into an existing post that performs well. Need more ideas? Here are 23 clever ways to monetize your blog.
For sponsored posts, a common recommendation is that no more than 20% of your posts be sponsored. That guideline can be successfully broken, but the key is to target your market and keep to your mission.
My two most successful non-giveaway posts were sponsored, and continue to perform years later, proving that high quality, useful content does not lose value because it’s sponsored.
These steps can conquer those mindsets that are killing your blog and allow you to create a brand that attracts readers and brings you success.