I don’t talk much about my first attempt at blogging. Why? Because it was a failure. A complete flop! I pretty much did everything wrong. Thankfully, what I learned from my failed blog has helped me succeed with my current blog. Don’t make these mistakes!
Starting a blog is great for a number of reasons.
One of the main ones (you were thinking it anyway) is to make extra money.
In fact, if you do things right you can make so much money that you end up quitting your job.
On the surface, this whole blogging thing looks pretty easy to do.
You start a blog and then you start writing.
From there, people visit and you make money.
Well, not quite.
Blogging involves a lot of different things and this post isn’t going to cover all of those things.
In fact, this post isn’t going to cover most of those things.
It’s just going to cover one.
One single mistake that most new bloggers make.
Before you learn about the mistake let’s go into the mindset of your audience.
The idea behind any successful business is that people are selfish.
That might seem a bit extreme but it is true. When people are going to hand over money they want to feel as though they are receiving more value than what they are paying for.
You are probably that way, right?
Nobody wants to feel like they are getting ripped off.
No matter what price someone pays for something they want to feel as though they are getting value out of it.
That in itself isn’t selfish.
The selfish part of a blogging audience is that they don’t have to pay for blog content.
However, just because the content is free, that doesn’t mean that people will read it.
Far from it.
In fact, this is the biggest mistake that new bloggers make.
This is a simple question that you should answer before starting your blog.
When you have the idea for a blog you probably say things like this:
What is wrong with these statements?
They are all about you.
Odds are if you are reading this then you are not famous and therefore the majority of your audience isn’t going to care about you.
That sounds harsh, right?
But think about it.
These people don’t know you but they do know that you have promised them a solution to a problem.
They go to your blog because they need something for themselves.
That has nothing to do with you.
They don’t need to learn about you.
They don’t need to read your life story.
They need to read about the solution that will help them fix a problem.
You can’t offer them that if you are blogging for yourself.
There is a silly acronym that gets used often: WIIFM.
What’s in it for me?
That’s the question people ask when they visit your blog.
You might think that because you spent the last 3 hours sharing a personal story about yourself that people will want to read it.
Unfortunately, they won’t because they don’t know what value you offer them.
It’s no different than going on a date and the person only talks about themselves. They can’t stop talking about themselves.
Do you want to see that person again?
In contrast, when you go on a date with someone that shows genuine interest in you, it makes you want to learn more about them.
It’s a trade and it only works when you provide the value first.
This doesn’t mean you can’t blog about your own experiences because you most certainly can.
If you want to bring those into the mix at the beginning then simply integrate those into your blog posts as small snippets.
If you really feel that your audience should get to know you then your mailing list is a perfect opportunity for you to share those things.
That’s when people have already said that they are willing to listen to you.
Use your blog to open the door and other avenues to let them take a peek behind the curtain.
If you really want people to be interested in your blog then you need to provide content that helps them.
Although blogging can be very personal and your blog is your baby, it’s more about sharing your baby with the world so everybody can get something out of it.
Now that you know the importance of blogging for others it’s important to understand how to figure out what your audience wants.
Once you can do that you’ll find that coming up with new blog posts is extremely easy and you get more engagement and more traffic to your posts.
Unfortunately, a lot of bloggers spend months (or years) writing blog posts that nobody in their audience really cares about.
So it’s important to spend time understanding what your audience wants.
One of the easiest ways to get a feel for what your audience wants is by using Pinterest.
Pinterest works well because it’s really just a problem-solving website.
Almost every pin you find on Pinterest revolves around a solution and a problem.
This is great for you because blogging is really about problem-solving.
Your audience starts to read your content because they have a problem and you are promising them a solution.
Just visit Pinterest and look for pins in your niche. You don’t want to search for just any pins. You want pins that have high repin numbers.
The higher the repin numbers the better.
This means that a lot of people found the Pin/post useful which means they were also looking for that specific solution.
Finding these kinds of pins can help you understand what type of content your audience wants.
You might be thinking that if someone else has already written about it why should you?
Because there are over 7 billion people in the world and not everyone is going to visit the same post on another blog. Plus, your post will provide your view of the world which is unique to you.
It’s important to understand that your blog and its content aren’t unique snowflakes.
Everything is a remix but because it is yours and you get to put your twist on things it becomes just a little bit unique.
Not having much luck with Pinterest?
That’s okay because there is another website you can use.
Buzzsumo has a free tier that you can use to input any URL that you want.
Input the URL of a competitor in your niche to see what their most popular posts are.
Another tactic you can use is to visit the comment sections of other blogs and see what types of questions people are asking in comments.
These questions can provide the basis for blog posts and you know they are relevant because people have taken the time to actually ask them.
The reason why the best blog posts are ones that have actionable content is that that is what people are usually looking for.
When they go online and do a search they are searching for something to help them.
A blog post that talks about your 14th birthday and how much fun you had isn’t going to help them out very much.
A blog post that talks about the right type of wood to buy to build a backyard shed is going to be extremely helpful.
If you keep in mind that every post is about your readers then you will find that your blog performs much better.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your blog is about you.
It never was and it never will be.