What you can learn from my mistakes
In the beginnning I often wondered what I was doing wrong but as I continued to seek, study and learn I discovered why my blog is failing. So many of us get into this blogging thing as a brand new endeavor with little or no experience and we just need a little help. We are told how others are making all kinds of money and gaining freedom but we are also told it is hard work and not a get rich quick scheme.
I’m Stephen, Onwer and Founder of OBTT and a few other blogs. All of the statements above are true but they are also relative. Take for example “not a get rich quick scheme”. I’m 54 years old and have been working for 40 years, 36 of them fulltime. Guess what? I never got rich doing that… What about you? Relative to that, if I get rich writing a blog and it takes me 5 or 6 years to do so, that is a get rich quick scheme compared to the plan I have been on 4 decades.
Any of this sound familiar to you? If it does stick with me…
I want to tell you about some mistakes I’ve made and try to steer you clear of making the same mistakes and having to wonder “why my blog is failing”.
Most of us get into to this at a time of need and we just want to figure it all out so we can start earning money to take care of whatever that need is. Sure some of you may have gotten into it because you feel like you have something important to say and you want the world to hear it. Others still because you just love to write and it is your chosen form of expression.
If you came to this place out of a desire to write you are at least ahead of any of us that came to it to make money. While it is very possible to accomplish all these things, your mindset and where you are coming from as you start to create and build your blog and business, makes all the difference in the world.
I have to be perfectly honest, my first blog was created out of a desire to share my personal experiences with the world because I was so amazed at the things I was discovering and how my life was changing. However, this particular blog was created out of a desire to make enough money to maintain those two blogs and then to see where I could take it from there.
That, my friends, is mistake number one!
Approaching your blog from an angel of how you can make a buck will then lead you to more mistakes. You’ll sign up for every affiliate program you can find and drowned your audience in ads. You’ll place interuptions marketing pop ups or pop overs. Nobody is surfing the web just looking for a new place to spend money.
You have to come at this with a passion for the work itself, the rigorous daily grind of getting it done and continuing to get it done has to be reward enough for you. You need to have a passion for being a blogger such that “being a blogger” is your reward.
If you are focused on how you can make money you will come across as insincere on the “added value” needed for success. An attitude of service to your audience is required for you to sustain a satisfied audience on your blog.
Think of it like this…
Take a minute and recall a recent conversation when you got a call or email trying to sell you something you never wanted to buy. You ever get those calls? You know the ones where they are telling you everything they can do for you and you’re just thinking, “what are you trying to sell me now?”
What about those calls you get when your very first thought is, “I’m not interested and please take me off your calling list.” Man that stuff bugs the heck out of me, like we don’t all have enough to do already. The call always comes at the worst time, too. My wife sometimes has to remind me, “they are just trying to do their job.”
Please don’t let your blog be like one of those calls…
Don’t get me wrong there is a place for marketing, obviously, but there is also strategy involved that allows you to create something of value without be obnoxiuos.
Create something that will solve a problem for your readers, give something away, invite questions and answer them timely. You have to connect with your audience and you have to give them something of value. No matter how much you love what you are writing and no matter how great your mom or spouse says it is, there is not a huge following just waiting for you to show up. You won’t gain a big following just because you’re a good person.
It’s about adding value for your audience…
That is a Great Segue into Mistake Number 2
I used to think that just because my content was interesting to me and written fairly well, people would just show up. Then I was naive enough to think they would stay a while or they would keep coming back. Sorry to say it is just not simple, it doesn’t work that way.
As mentioned earlier, people aren’t going to become your audience because you deserve it or you’re a great person, probably not even for you being a good writer. Your blog needs a specific personality and needs to be consistantly written from that. OK… your probably asking, “what is that supposed to mean?”
- You have something important to share, a message the world needs to here
- You have something to teach your audience
- You have creativity to share that will inspire
- You are someone people just flock to, charismatic and captivating
Try to hold this focus consistently, writing from a particular personality and see how it goes, you can change it later if it does get results but focus on consistency.
Let’s look at where we are…
I really have a lot I want to share with you about the things I have learned over the years, things that have helped create what my blog is. One thing I have also learned which we can talk more about later is word count or good length for a blog post. I really could go on and on and I have probably made that mistake once or twice, as well.
I think it best to turn this into a short series of posts so I can continue to help you without boring you to death.
You have to make a connection with your audience… DO NOT focus on how it will make money.
You have to create something with “added value” for your audience.
Choose a personality and be consistent… do not think, “If I build it, they will come.
You know I read a post on a very well put together blog last night, kind of, in the middle of constructing this article.
“Some ideas and issues are so big, they can be hard to fully grasp in a single sitting, let alone developing an informed opinion on the matter.
Today, we’re more likely than ever to abandon any topic for which this rings true. More than a day’s worth of learning? Nah, that’s too much time and effort. My Twitter feed is waiting!
Yet those topics that ask more of us… the ones that require us to dig in and be challenged. The ones that require us to rewire our brains slowly, bit-by-bit as we continue to build our knowledge over time.”
I am aware that we all have a lot going on, I am also aware of many of the things Barrett is relating are true for myself sometimes. As a matter fact, until I really started focusing on the right things and doing some deep learning, I was kind of all over the place. Always busy but not always productive.
Take a little time to let this message sink in. Do some additional research on the subjects I bring up and see what you find. Even better share this with some friends on social media and get a conversation going about the stuff I am sharing. At a minimum it is good practice for making connections and depending on what happens with the engagement of others it’s a great example of “added value”.
Ok so that sounds like a homework assignment… lol
Truth be told, you really should give yourself homework assignments but if you don’t like the way that sounds just call it something else. I personally was not great with homework.
I would love to hear you thoughts so drop me a line in the comment section. If you have questions I’ll be more than happy to try to help.
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Stephen OBTT – Your Trusted Source on the Web