There’s a book titled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey. I’m sure you’re familiar with it by now, and if you’re not then I highly suggest you go to Amazon and get a copy ASAP.
The book is one of the most successful publications ever, with over 15 million copies sold in 38 different language versions. In 2011, Time even decided to feature it on their list of The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books.
But why am I telling you all this?
When going through this awesome thing for the second time, I started thinking about the different ways our habits are made, including the dark side of the force, so to speak.
I mean, we can somewhat identify the 7 habits of the top performers – there’s a load of advice on that, but what about the habits of the not-so effective folks?
Particularly, what are the habits of ineffective bloggers?
After spending some time thinking about all this, I finally have the list, and I’m just about to share it with you. How do I know that those are accurate? Well, let’s just say that I wasn’t always the most effective blogger out there, and I made a lot of mistakes that I’m still learning from, even until today.
1. Too much writing too little promotion
This does sound strange at first, but writing shouldn’t actually be your most time consuming task as a blogger.
And let me tell you, finally realizing this did shake up my small blogging world a bit. The revelation came from a post by Greg Ciotti. Quick quote:
If you only have 50 blog subscribers, what’s a new post going to do for you? […] A hundred hits… if you’re lucky? What’s the point in spending two hours on a blog post for those results? There is no point in doing that, it’s dumb.
Greg has a brutal way of putting things, but it’s hard to disagree with him on that particular case … it really is dumb. Why would you write an article for hours upon hours to then not do anything to get some new eyeballs on it?
A much better investment is to focus on promotion instead, and reduce your writing to even once a month if you have to.
This is exactly what I did with one of my blogs. And it got me from getting next to none social media shares, to getting over 50 on the average (more or less), and even up to 200 for some of the more popular stuff. I didn’t do any overhaul on my content. I just started promoting it like a mad man.
I’d really like for this multitasking myth to end already.
Really, for how much longer people will keep mentioning multitasking as their advantage and even be proud that they can multitask?
Newsflash. Multitasking is worse than smoking weed (actual science proves this). In plain English, what this means is that if you multitask, a stoned person doing just one task at a time will still be more effective than you.
Don’t multitask. Do only one thing at a time, especially when dealing with your blog. If you’re responding to email then respond to email. If you’re writing then write, and so on. No Facebook, no Skype, no distraction.
3. Not generating active income
Everyone’s after passive income. It’s the sexy thing to pursue if you’re a site owner.
And sure, I understand, the concept of waking up and having $X in your PayPal already is a great thing to experience in your life.
But there’s just one downside, building up your passive income streams takes a lot of work. And sometimes, you won’t even see any results for months, if not years.
For that reason, active income is a much more dependable way of making money from a blog. And the best part is that you can start right away.
I’m talking about offering services. Or freelancing, which is what other people like to call it.
Bear with me please, the idea is very simple to execute, although as always, it will require dedication on your part.
As a blogger, you are quite skilled at writing web-optimized and interesting content. You can take this skill and offer freelance blogging services to various businesses that are struggling with it.
Some ideas where to get started:
- Find neglected company blogs in a given niche and offer to revive them with fresh content.
- Reach out to new site owners that have just bought a site through Flippa. It’s highly probable that they will need some content.
- Go to Google and look for SEO agencies in your area. Those firms are in a constant need for content.
Once you have some leads that have expressed initial interest in what you’re offering, you can send your proposals through a tool like Bidsketch, which will help you look like a full-blown pro at this game (it beats plain email by a mile).
4. Paying too much attention to too many things
Sorry to break this to you, but stats don’t matter on a day-to-day basis, really. I know that it’s addictive to go to your Google Analytics every hour, but you have to fight this urge. Same with your MailChimp stats. Same with your social media stats.
Those things only matter in a wider perspective. For instance, what’s your growth month over month? Quarter over quarter? Focus on these instead.
Short-term stats can be a result of many things, but it’s long-term stats that give you an overall view on the general trend going on with your blog.
5. Not getting help
Outsourcing is a touchy topic with many people. Not everyone has the money to spare on this kind of things, and also not everyone has the trust either.
I mean, there are so many things that can go wrong, right? You can get cheated out of your money, the outsourcer’s results can be poor, yada yada yada.
Start small. That’s all.
Get someone to proofread your content. This is good enough for the first step, it’s worth your dollar and you, at least, get this one thing off your to-do list.
Then ask them to write simple descriptions and short posts or social media updates.
Grow with the concept over time and keep delegating more and more.
I can tell you from experience that it really is worth it. And if it’s not working out then you can simply find another, more skilled outsourcer.
6. Not having any backups set up
Not having your backups handled is the biggest tech-related mistake you can ever make. And I’m serious about it.
Imagine you wake up one day and your blog is completely gone. The server has failed, or something. All your posts are gone, all your comments, all the blog files, the design, everything.
What do you do? Sit quietly in a corner with a jar of Nutella and weep – is the right answer.
Well not if you have your backups taken care of.
First of all, handle the backups on your personal computer. Do it through tools like SugarSync or Dropbox (whichever you prefer). Then, get the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin. It will handle daily backups of your whole site and send it to Dropbox for safe-keeping.
7. Not talking to people where they already are
I feel really, really ashamed that I kept constantly making this mistake for probably near to two years of my blogging journey.
The mistake is that I was present nowhere except my blog and my Twitter account.
Being a loner simply doesn’t work if you want to build something.
And just to clarify, sending out a tweet every now and then does not account for anything. You need to be much more active in other places to create your blog’s success.
I’m talking about forums, Facebook groups and other online communities.
The advice is really straightforward and that’s probably why it’s often neglected by many people, but being active in forums does pay off.
It’s drop-dead basic, you post a relevant response or a whole new thread with something interesting in it, and people come to your site through your signature link. That’s all.
It’s simple and it works.
Your time to shine
I guess that the main message I have for you here is that the highly ineffective bloggers are those who spend the majority of their time on their own blogs.
Versus the effective bloggers, who spend most of their time socializing outside of their blogs. This includes promotion tasks, forums, freelancing, etc.
Now it’s over to you. I urge you to take action on this, especially points 1, 2, and 3.
And also, what do you think about the idea? What’s the nasty habit of the ineffective blogger sitting inside you? I know you have one. We all do.