The keys to success are knowing your goals, implementing marketing activities, measuring the results, testing different things and making changes where needed. And always be learning along the way.
Here are some things that a lot of bloggers do when their blog is new, but they stop doing after about six months or so.
1. Approving spam comments
The first comments that you get are gold! It’s so exciting that you publish them straight away.
Then you read the comments in more detail. They make no specific reference to your blog. And the messages are quite similar.
“I have been looking for such information consistently and have not before come across a site so explicitly entertaining and useful. I shall bookmark this esteemed and valuable weblog”
“There is a problem with your RSS feed, what tool do you use” (when you don’t even have a RSS feed)
You soon learn how to quickly recognise whether a comment is spam or whether it’s genuine.
2. Following back spam Twitter accounts
Like the first blog comments, when you’re new on Twitter and someone follows you that’s quite exciting, so you be a good Tweep and follow them back straight away, without looking too much at the details of the account.
Then a few more accounts follow you and you look a bit closer to see that that the accounts are quite similar. They are following a lot more people than those following them, all their tweets are exactly the same but sent to different people (and probably include a link that you DO NOT want to click on) and more than likely there is a lot of cleavage in the avatar pic.
You soon learn how to recognise a spam Twitter follower quickly, and stop following them back.
3. Checking your Google Analytics every hour or so
I’m a huge advocate of having Google Analytics, or some other website analytics program installed in your website. This is criticial in order to understand how your website is performing.
When your blog is new, it’s possible that your web traffic will be quite low, so you pay attention to the stats for each and every visitor in terms of how they found your site, how many pages they viewed etc. And you check these stats every hour or so, especially if you’ve just written a new blog post and shared it on Twitter or Facebook.
After the initial rush you realise it’s OK to check your Google Analytics less frequently, looking for trends in the traffic rather than individual behaviour. I check mine Analytics every day or so but you might prefer to look every week or month. It depends how active your marketing is, and how obsessive with Analytics you are 🙂
4. Trying out different Social Sharing plug-ins
If you have a WordPress blog you’ll know that there is a myriad of different plug-ins that you can add to make it easy for people to share your articles on Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc.
When I was new to blogging, every time I visited someone else’s blog and saw a sharing plug-in that I liked I would spend time figuring out what it was called and then try it on my own blogs.
For a while there I changed plug-ins regularly, turned the counter on and off and had different plug-ins at the start and end of posts to see which was used more. Eventually I went back to one of the plug-ins I was using in the beginning!
And now that I think about for a while there I was always on the hunt for the perfect buttons to link to my social media sites, you know the buttons with the “F”, “T”, “L” etc.
I loved finding new and different designs for those buttons.
Then I realised that clear and obvious can be better than cute and quirky.
I’ve stopped all that now. Moved on to new blogging things.
Did you try a lot of social sharing plug-ins too?
5. Taking it personally when someone unsubscribes from your email list
When you start building a list each new subscriber that you get gives you a rush, especially if it’s someone that you don’t know. But likewise, each “unsubscribe” makes you ponder deeply what you did wrong, and how you could have been different in order to keep that person subscribed.
Learn from “unsubscribers” but don’t take it personally.
Some people may have opted in to your list of politeness, or to support you when you told them how excited you were about your new website. But perhaps it’s not really something they are interested in, so with each email campaign they are wondering how long they should wait before unsubscribing.
It is important to treat each subscriber like gold but it’s also natural for people to unsubscribe from lists here and there. You probably do it yourself. If you get a higher than usual amount of unsubscribers that’s the time to be concerned and drill into the details to figure out what you could have done differently. If you list is well targeted and you send emails at the frequency you said you would hopefully that won’t happen.
I asked some blogging friends what things they no longer do now that they’ve been blogging for a while
Caylie from http://www.betterbusinessbetterlife.com.au/
Obsess about every little potential change for months. You learn to just get in a do it.
Tessa from www.tessaneedham.com
Changing WordPress themes compulsively, trying to find one that “just right”.
This Grassroots website has had at least five different designs so Serena and I can put our hand up for that one!
Rochelle from http://mykitchencapers.com/
Actually properly reading my Analytics & realising that person from Timbuktu was only on for 10 secs & bounced so doesn’t count in my stats. Stop expecting peeps to comment on my FB page when I post.
Jan from http://the-artling.com/
Stop thinking about traffic stats as individual people and wondering what they are really interested in.
Tracey from lifechangingyear.com
I no longer care that friends and family don’t comment!
I don’t follow back any random on twitter anymore. My stream was full of junk I’m not interested in so I only follow those whose info I want now.
Nancy from http://womanglow.com.au/
when i first started i posted every day – now it’s once a week
Do you agree with the things that we’ve listed? What other things did you stop doing once you had been blogging for a few months?
Please leave a comment and let us know.