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3 Common Reasons Why Blogging Isn’t Working for You (And How To Fix It)

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on April 15, 2015.]

3-common-reasons-why-your-blog-isnt-working-and-how-to-fix-itThere are certain patterns successful bloggers follow to get the results they want, and while it is true we could figure out and model their formula, you must define success on your own terms!

Are you getting enough out of your blog?

  • traffic?
  • comments?
  • subscribers?
  • conversions?
  • click-throughs?
  • shares?
  • exposure for your brand?

You get to define enough on your own terms, too, and avoid falling in the trap of comparing yourself and your blog or your content to someone else’s.

Whether you are here because you want to get more out of your blog and you feel like blogging isn’t working for you or you’re simply curious to learn three common reasons why blogging doesn’t work for others, I wrote this post with you in mind because these pitfalls are preventable and reminders never hurt.

Reason #1 Bloggers Fail: Lack of Strategy

One of my favorite sayings of all time is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Maybe it's because with all the hats I wear, I need this constant reminder. You want to have a solid strategy in place for your blog . . . and I don’t mean perfect: done is better than perfect!

Any strategy will do because even if you start out with a “bad” strategy, you can learn and tweak, correcting your course while in motion. One thing must be true, though: your strategy must align with your biggest goals, your top passions, and your main priorities so that it is sustainable and you can develop the self-motivation to refuel along the journey.

Reason #2 Bloggers Fail:  Content Needs Focus

There is so much amazing content out there like blog posts, videos (vlogs), and articles, and there is only so much time in the day . . . not to mention, attention spans are getting shorter by the second.

In order to stand out, we must create original, valuable, well-written content that is focused on addressing specific issues, questions, and concerns of a very select niche and organized in three or five categories that we can use to guide our posting calendar and create balanced content in all the areas we specialize in.

This sounds really simple, yet I can see many people struggling with picking a niche, narrowing down topics, or choosing an overall theme. I tend to work with creative types, and structure is something they mostly resist. I once had a coaching client who hated the words “outline,” “intro,” or “template” because they caused her stress and made her feel confined.

Believe it or not, structure provides freedom! As you define your objectives and match your content to your chosen reader persona, you will create more, help more people, and see more results.

Reason #3 Bloggers Fail:  Poor (or No) Promotion

“Build it, and they will come . . .”

Umm . . . not really! A successful blogger is a marketer and is proactive in the marketing process. Remember my 5 stages to marketing:

Contact > Conversation > Connection > Community > Conversion

Getting the word out about your blog doesn’t happen overnight and requires daily actions to make progress toward the goal, according to plan (see reason #1).

 

Now you know that to achieve the results you want out of your blog, you must:

  1. Design a road-map that defines where you’re going and how you will get there.
  2. Define your ideal audience intimately and focus on providing relevant solutions.
  3. Determine the daily actions you will take to achieve your dream – and do it!

I look forward to your feedback. Would you be willing to share some of your blogging goals and the actions you are using to achieve them?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.

21 Ways To Skyrocket Your Blogging Success

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on February 5, 2015.]

21-ways-to-skyrocket-your-blogging-successDo you ever have a challenge with people in your life who fail to see blogging as a career, as a business, as a profession to be taken seriously? It’s almost as if they would have to become bloggers to understand it… or reap the rewards of our success, of course.

That’s where it gets tricky… It is my humble opinion that if you are enjoying yourself and achieving what you want out of it, then you are successful. Society has its rules, but I live in my own world where I create my own terms.

However, if you have ambitious goals to rock your blog, want to take it just a bit further, or just love yourself a little challenge, you can explore these 21 ways to skyrocket your blogging success and… of course, choose what works for you!

 

  1. Create an editorial calendar to plan your blog posts. Whether you use a paper calendar, a Google Doc, or a more sophisticated tool like CoSchedule, what will most help you succeed is your commitment, consistency, and quality content. A bit of structure didn’t kill anybody… that I know of, anyway.
  2. The first rule of writing is knowing, understanding, and writing for your audience. The best way to get to know them is to engage with them and ASK them! Brian Clark, the founder and CEO at Copyblogger, says, “It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead—but it pays off.” (Plus, this way you’ll never run out of content that resonates with them!)
  3. Blogging is a business, and every business needs a marketing plan. A marketing plan is simply a document that outlines the why, what, how, where, and when of your marketing, as well as how you’re going to make money doing it (as little or as much as you wish to make).
  4. Make your brand consistent!  Use the same bio, photo, username, and brand colors throughout all your social media channels and your overall online and offline presence. Tools like NameChk help you select a username that is available everywhere you want to be, and with Canva you can design all your graphics mostly at no cost. Trust is the mother of loyalty. You can quote me on that!
  5.  Mari Smith once said, “Content is king, but engagement is queen… and she rules the house!” Neglecting existing readers is one of the top mistakes bloggers can make. When you provide value, attention, and answers to your existing audience, they will help you grow your blog.
  6. Be yourself, be authentic, be transparent! You want to make sure your voice, your values, and your personality shine through all that you do. At the end of the day, people don’t follow your blog—they follow YOU. You don’t “have to be,” “are supposed to be,” or “should be” anything other than you because in your uniqueness lies your greatness.
  7. Make sure your blog posts are easy to share. Plugins like Pin It, Share This, Click To Tweet, and others are really helpful. I recommend that you add a clear call to action at the end of your blog posts: a simple “please share” or asking a question, you will see an increase in your engagement, conversion, and traffic.
  8. Update your About Page and make sure it tells your visitors why they should stick around, subscribe, and read more.
  9. Focus on building an e-mail list. Do you have a free gift for e-mail subscribers? Do you send them a newsletter? How do you keep them engaged? You need a list that you would own – even if all social platforms start charging or disappear over night. It’s also a way to stay in contact, alerting your audience when new content is available.
  10. Say NO more often!  Learn to be selective when working with brands and avoid brands, products, and services that are not in alignment with your priorities or overall vision. Less is more, and when you say no to what you’re not passionate about, you will have time, energy, and space for that which is ideal for you when it shows up.
  11. Pick a niche… you don’t have to be too serious about it nor does it have to feel like you are excluding the entire world but your “reader persona”… if you’re thinking “yeah right,” watch the video Why You Need A Niche and let me know what you think!
  12. Don’t work for free! As a blogger, your work is valuable, your time is valuable, your energy is valuable, and anyone who asks for you to invest any of it in their brand must be willing to invest in yours… in YOU. When you post sponsored content, you are acting as a media company and deserve pay. Copywriters make money, Graphic Designers make money, Photographers make money, Web Developers make money, Social Media Managers make money, Recipe and Craft Developers make money…  You are worth investing in, and you have the right to politely decline any non-paid work that comes your way.
  13. I encourage you to start speaking. Start by creating a speaking tab on your blog or website and choose a speaking topic. You can find many opportunities to speak at Meetup.com, and you can read my post about exactly how to design your speaker one sheet so you can get ideas on how to promote yourself as a speaker.
  14. As a blogger, making friends with Marketing is a great idea. Marketing is NOT advertising. I broke the marketing process into 5 stages: Contact, Conversation, Connection, Community, and Conversion.  Be intentional as to how you are going to go through this process with your readers, the brands you want to work with, and the media.
  15. Add a Media Page on your blog. Journalists, editors, and researchers are always looking for someone to feature or interview. Having a press-friendly page helps reporters choose you as a source so they can showcase you, your blog, and your expertise.  Here’s a sample of my media page (make sure you scroll all the way down so you can see everything I have on there).
  16. Besides being ready for media opportunities, you can also be proactive in seeking media coverage by signing up to websites that match you up with reporters at absolutely no charge. Some of my favorites are HARO, PitchRate, and RadioGuestList.com.  I have used these sites to get myself and my clients on radio, TV, and national magazines. They work!
  17. Assess your blogging often: what’s the core mission of your blog? Is it evolving? How many categories do you use? How often do you post? Is it consistent? Which posts are most popular? Do you have any plugins installed that may be slowing your site down? Test your contact forms and opt-in box… Is everything is working properly? Looking at our blogs with a critical eye every once in a while is a healthy practice to keep things fresh and moving forward.
  18. Have you ever thought about publishing a book? Becoming an author is the easiest way to gain authority in your field. If you can blog, you can publish a book. As a matter of fact, I have helped many entrepreneurs publish their books, and their number one objection was that they didn’t want to write it. You already have content! You can start outlining your first book by choosing your top 7 to 12 blog posts within a category, organizing them onto a table of contents using a word editor, and adding an intro and an author bio.
  19. Visibility matters when you’re building a brand. Guerrilla Marketing, a practice in which I am a certified Master Trainer, offers 200 weapons (tools you can use) to market yourself for free or very low cost. I put together a list so you can choose some of those to start gaining more exposure. Here’s that list.
  20. Do you constantly track your Analytics? I suggest to pick a day of the week to go through your blog posts and use these four words to evaluate yourself:  worked well | do differently. The first step to success is awareness. I always say that progress is success, and when you are constantly finding ways to improve, even if you make very minor changes, you will find your way to success!
  21. Forget perfectionism! Perfectionism is the enemy of greatness. Your blog does not have to be or seem perfect… and neither do you. You don’t have to follow everyone’s advice (especially when some of it is conflicting), or get all the steps right. Just do what resonates with you. Meet yourself where you are, just as you would your best friend… after all, you must be your best friend!

 

I admit this is a long list… but a long journey starts with the first step. What is ONE thing that resonates with you from the list?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.