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It’s a fresh new year and it’s the perfect time to set those goals to up your blogging game. I know I sure did!
My favorite thing about the new year is reflecting on what I accomplished, what I didn’t accomplish, and what mistakes I made in the previous year.
Setting goals is a great way to grow as a blogger and helps you be on your way to building a profitable online business. And whether you’re new to blogging or you’ve been in the blogging scene for a while, there are always things that are part of our routine + creative process that we can tweak here and there.
Nobody is perfect. We always tend to strive to be better. To improve ourselves as bloggers. And what better time than the new year?
But besides setting goals, it’s important to take a look at our blogging habits and identify which ones are holding you back and keeping you from being a successful blogger. We need to take a step back and see what it is that we’re doing that works and what doesn’t work.
We have to take a look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves if certain things are still working for us.
A lot of the time, we don’t even realize if something is holding us back because we’ve fallen into a routine and created habits out of them. Regardless of whether or not we know if they work. And that’s pretty crazy!
The thing about blogging is that we learn something new all the time. I started my blog back in 2016 and officially became a full-time biz owner in July 2018. And things have definitely changed in that time span. Over time, I definitely made changes, broke habits, and changed my strategies because I learned from my *many* mistakes.
I only wish there was someone there to tell me what I was doing wrong so I could skip straight to the good parts of the journey.
So I decided to put together a list of five bad blogging habits you need to break in 2020 so you can flourish + become a real pro!
Remember: it only takes 21 days to break a habit so let’s freakin’ do this and rock the new year!
1. You keep comparing yourself to others
I know it’s difficult to not keep an eye on what other bloggers are doing, but it’s one of the most significant bad blogging habits you need to break to succeed and be confident on the internet. Comparing yourself to other bloggers will always hold you back. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. It’s the truth.
You will constantly be thinking about how much “better” someone else’s content is or how successful their social media strategy is. And there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to blogging.
Becoming successful means harnessing what makes you unique. What makes you stand out from the crowd.
Just focus on yourself and don’t worry about others. You’ll always find flaws in your own blogging process and skills if you’re always comparing yourself. There is no other blog like yours out there.
There’s nobody else out there like you. So don’t forget that. It’s okay to appreciate other bloggers’ work and it’s okay to feel inspired by them, but don’t beat yourself up about your stats, photos, whatever it is you do just because it is not the same as theirs.
You are not perfect and neither are they! You can’t compare your Chapter One to someone else’s Chapter Ten.
2. You don’t interact with your readers and the blogger community
This is a big no-no. You need to engage with your readers. Don’t ignore their comments and don’t ignore what they’re telling you they want. Your readers are what make your blog possible and is sososo important to let them know they are seen and appreciated. If you’re not even taking the time to write a simple comment back — your audience sees that.
If you want to turn your blog into a full-time biz, sell products, courses, affiliates, whatever you are dreaming of doing it — your readers are what will make that possible. And they want to spend their money and trust someone that is present and is like a friend to them. So just be real, be genuine, and be THERE.
And you need to interact with the blogger community too, not just your readers. Bloggers need to support each other and the best way you can do that is by taking a few minutes to like photos, leave meaningful comments, retweeting them, and buying their products if you can swing it.
We need to support each other and support small biz.
If you are not engaging with your community, why would they want to engage with you?
You can’t just come in and write blog posts and then disappear into thin air. Seriously break this bad habit and make it a priority to check in with your readers + blogger friends. This will help grow your audience and make a tight-knit community around your blog. Lift each other up. Don’t ignore each other.
The best way to stay engaged and present in your readers’ lives is by popping into their inbox! You can do that by starting your very own email list — something that every blogger should have!
3. You’re not properly disclosing
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen bloggers not properly disclosing sponsored posts, affiliate links, etc.
You need to disclose. It’s the law.
If you’re not disclosing, not only is it illegal, but it’s also deceptive to your readers. You need to gain your readers’ trust and if you’re not disclosing properly — you will lose their trust. Bad blogging habits like not disclosing will seriously work against you.
And this goes not just for your blog, but for social media as well. You need to use hashtags like #ad, #gifted, and #sponsored or at least write something in the caption showing that it is a sponsored post or that you received the product for free in exchange for a review. This is true not only for blog posts but for your social media posts as well.
The FTC is cracking down on this and the last thing you want is to be on their bad side. If you’re not sure if something needs to be disclosed, just do it anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Be transparent with your audience, they will appreciate it.
If you’re constantly forgetting to disclose on your blog, you can add a WordPress plugin to do the job for you.
4. You don’t proofread your posts
This bad habit seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised to see how many bloggers out there don’t proofread their posts and misspellings and mistakes often fall through the cracks. Or they lazily proofread it and miss tiny mistakes. It looks sloppy and unprofessional. You might be surprised to think it matters in the blogging world, but it does.
Your writing doesn’t need to be perfect, especially if you’re writing how you speak.
But you do need to spell things correctly at the very least.
So when I say it’s important to proofread your posts, I mean to make sure your grammar and spelling is correct for things that make people say “okay, this is 100% wrong.” I’m not talking about little things like commas.
Not proofreading your posts can confuse your reader if they have no clue what you’re talking about and it can make you lose out on brand opportunities.
I’m super guilty of spellings & grammar mistakes — nobody is perfect! So my favorite way of breaking this habit is by using Grammarly. It proofreads your content for you WHILE you write it. If that’s not easy as heck, then I don’t know what is.
5. You’re not promoting your content
Last but not least, you’re not sharing your content. And if you are, you might be being lazy about it.
Take advantage of every social media platform you have access to: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Use all of them and write engaging, fulfilling captions.
Tell stories and use call-to-actions to get your readers to want to click on your blog post and read it. Be yourself.
If you just publish a blog post and expect people to come find it just because you used a little bit of SEO here and there or you dropped a link somewhere and ran, nobody is going to read your blog. It doesn’t work that way.
Focus on promotion just as much as writing your blog posts — if not more. It is SO crucial to getting new eyes on your website and it helps so much to get the word out about your blog. Pinterest is my favorite way to promote my blog posts and is the #1 source of traffic for me. It’s free to use, so why not?
Be intentional and authentic with your social media strategy and you’ll see the benefits.
Right now is the best time to break these bad blogging habits that are holding you back. If you can kick them to the curb right now when you’re starting the year from scratch, then you can definitely have an amazing year for your blog + biz.
It can be hard to shake off bad blogging habits that you’ve cultivated over the years, but be strong and remind yourself whenever you catch yourself falling prey to one of them. I have personally made every single mistake on this list and made habits out of them. I’ve been just as guilty, but I have learned to refocus my mindset and change my habits over time.
Remind yourself daily and add things to your routine that make it almost impossible to fall back into these bad habits. Install proofreading plugins and extensions, set up a social media calendar, add a signature to your posts that automatically disclose affiliate links & sponsored posts for you, and set aside time once a week to respond to comments + engage with other bloggers.
Do whatever it takes to break these habits and eventually they’ll be a thing of the past for you and you’ll create successful and positive habits moving forward.
It’s 2020 so let’s get ready to rock this year + work twice as hard on our blogging strategies.
What bad blogging habits are you guilty of?