Ask a group of bloggers what their number one goal is and I can almost guarantee that, “Increase Pageviews.”, will be in the top 3 if not in the first spot. It doesn’t matter if some blogger tells you to stop looking at your stats or that income is not tied to pageviews, if you are anything like me, you just can’t help defining at least a part of your blog success on how many visitors you get per month.
When I first started blogging, I was so green and naive. I just wrote for the sake of writing. I am almost envious of those days. The words seemed to flow easier and I wasn’t very concerned about how many people read my stuff. And then I found out that some bloggers out there blogged about blogging. Oh boy. That was it. From then on I was focused on what I should and shouldn’t do. I took course after course after course.
And the experts all spouted the same advice:
Content is king. Find a niche. Brand yourself. Be consistent. Define your reader. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I followed all of the “successful” bloggers and still, nothing was moving the needle for me.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been on the brink of quitting. But I just can’t stop because I love blogging. I love bloggers. And I love being able to share my thoughts, use my creative side and help others excel at blogging and realize their dreams too.
That said, it has taken me a few years and a few blogs under my belt to realize what really works for me. So if you are a new blogger, please do not get discouraged. There is a lot of trial and error involved in blogging and running an online business. My tips will hopefully clear your mind, focus your efforts and let your true self shine through. Because ultimately, that is what will make you a success, no matter how you define it.
Want to see how I am doing now? Check out this income report.
Let’s begin with everything you need to stop doing…
Stop reading, researching, taking courses, watching free webinars, listening to podcasts, etc.
Seriously. There comes a time when you need to sh*t or get off the pot. You know what you need to do. Stop wasting so much time doing other stuff when the only thing you need to do is concentrate on your blog. No more lists until you start scratching things off the multiple lists I know you have already created. Trust your gut. Go with it.
This by no means that you should stop educating yourself about your niche or blogging. But you know if you have been over-consuming data. You know if you have been using the excuse that you need to learn this or that before you do anything or take a step forward. You know when it is fear holding you back, not lack of knowledge. You just need to take a leap. Trust me, there is nothing like the education you receive from experience.
Stop comparing yourself, your success, your blog, your audience to anyone else.
You can enjoy, maybe even envy someone else’s success but do not get out the ruler and measure yourself against another. Nothing zaps your creativity and motivation more than comparing yourself to others.
Especially when you do not know their complete journey. Comparison is a dream killer.
Stop mimicking another bloggers’ style, voice or path.
Just like in high school, sometimes you just want to fit in. That is normal. But when you start to copy someone else either literally, which can get you into legal doo doo, or stylistically, you lose what makes you unique and special. It is really hard to put on a constant facade and your readers will see you as insincere or worse, a copycat, non-original.
Stop over supporting everyone else.
It is really great to be supportive but there is such a thing as being over-supportive. I used to be the biggest cheerleader for everyone else. I commented. I shared. I attended free workshops and webinars. All to support my fellow bloggers, which isn’t all bad. What was bad was that I neglected my own work. I used the support as a crutch. Recognize when you are procrastinating and putting off your own work. Find a balance.
Stop over promoting yourself.
Nobody likes to have your stuff in their face all the time. If every connection you make, online or in real life, is all about you, you will turn people off. Relax. Make real connections by listening. Share good advice and your knowledge and you won’t have to toot your own horn because the people you helped will do it for you.
Stop trying to do everything and to be everywhere.
I know that bloggers wear many hats. We have to be editors and web designers. Social media managers and marketing gurus. Content creators and researchers. But sooner or later you realize you can’t do it all…well.
Concentrate on what works for you. Don’t spread yourself thin trying to be on every platform. Decide what tasks can get be let go or hire out/barter with another blogger for the things you need help with.
Stop being in a rush.
I know it is ironic saying that in a post about accumulating 60,000 pageviews in 3 months but remember, this is not my first blog. With my first blog, I had 3,000 total pageviews in the first 6 months. Steady growth, no matter how small, should be your goal until you have mastered what works for you. Then you can set your sights on the moon.
Stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
I don’t know how many times I have seen bloggers force themselves to do something that doesn’t fit their vision or comfort zone because either everyone else is doing it or they heard some blogging genius tell them that they must do it to succeed.
First of all, let me be clear. No two bloggers will ever follow the same path to success. Ever. So, what works for one blogger, may not work for you. Especially if it doesn’t feel right to you.
- If you don’t want to do video, don’t.
- If you don’t want to sell products or do webinars, don’t.
- If you don’t believe in email lists or pop-ups or ads on your site, don’t have them.
This does not mean you shouldn’t stretch yourself and try new things. By all means, try. But you know when something doesn’t sit well in your gut.
You may have to find your own way to success but that is what makes blogging so great. You do not have to be like everyone else and in fact, people like you more if you are different and don’t follow the crowd.
Now that you know what I stopped doing, here is a list of what I did do.
How I Got Over 60,000 Pageviews In My First 3 Months
- Decided what I wanted for me and my blog.
- Found my voice.
- Created a social media strategy.
- Kept track of my stats.
- Started a bullet journal.
- Created a winning pinning strategy with Tailwind.
- Joined and created my own Tailwind Tribes.
- Created a supportive Facebook group.
- Created a plan to increase pageviews when not online.
- Learned how to be productive when not feeling creative.
If you take anything away from this post, I hope it is this. Every blogger will have a unique path to success and you may only reach yours through months, maybe years, of trial and error. Do not feel discouraged. Be proud of what you do and who you are. Keep putting out brilliant content and eventually, pageviews will come.
Need to make some extra cash? I have made thousands of dollars with my blog. You can too!
Do you want to start a blog that you have total control over, that you can monetize and that makes you look uber professional? You can start a new blog with my easy to follow step by step guide.
Such good advice! I’ve recently pinpointed that the biggest reasons I’m not doing so well with my blog is that I’m over-educating which leads to not churning out content. Thanks for confirming my suspicion! haha!
It happens to me quite often and I have to say to myself, just stop! Work on your own content for awhile.
I love your list! I’ve been blogging for about 2 months now and I love it but I’m struggling to balance it with my 9-5. Hoping to write more posts in 2018 🙂
You need to schedule and make a plan how you will be more consistent. Look up articles on batch posting. That may work for you.
Great information. I have found that your first priority in blogging is to fully enjoy what you are doing. Try to get as much traffic as is possible but don’t obsess over the numbers. My very short life as a blogger has given me a platform to do greater things than if I didn’t have a blog.
Good for you! I am glad you are enjoying it.
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for reading!
Wow, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said here. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading!
Hey Elena, Great post thanks. I am going to stop doing the Stop Doing List today!! Jill x
Great messages within this post Elena. This deserves a pin and a retweet!
Some of that advice is sound for other areas of life, particularly the one about realising that you’ve learned enough and should really go and do it.
For sure! Like losing weight. You know what you should eat, just do it!
This was such an informative post, with some brilliant advice. I am guilty of doing many of the things you mentioned I shouldn’t! I will concentrate on what I SHOULD be doing! 🙂
Thank you for reading and I hope you stay on track!
Thank you Elena, 🙂
One of the worst things I’ve ever done to myself is compare myself to others. When I can let that go, I am so much happier! And I chug along, with slow, steady growth. Supporting others, but pulling back when it interferes with writing time, learning something new but not being obsessed with doing things ‘right’ all the time, using social media but trying to keep a life going so I don’t live online. It’s a tough balancing act, and needs constant attention. Except when you give yourself a much needed break – both physical and mental! You are so wise, my friend.
I so agree with this…less reading and more doing is what I need to do now. (I allow myself to do this a bit while having coffee, though). It really should be “just in time training” and I need to remind myself of that more.
June is going to be a very productive month for me as I’m very determined to make a step change.
Just recently told myself, “Melissa STOP with the researching and webinars!” I have put so much energy recently into those things that I have lost site on what I need to focus on! Thanks for sharing the real stuff that actually helps!
You are very welcome. Focus on what is important and remember that blogging is supposed to be fun!
I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It is the most authentic I’ve read and really resonated with me! I feel capable and like I can actually achieve my goals.
Great post! I’ve actually read several of your posts after stumbling upon your blog tonight. Your authenticity is refreshing. I just launched my blog last month and can’t help but feel discouraged occasionally. This was a much needed boost! Thank you and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.
Thank you so much April. I hope you find my posts encouraging even though this particular one seems more like a rant. Good luck with your blog and don’t give up.
Thank you for this post. I am awful with comparing myself to other bloggers. I always worry that I am doing it wrong.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to blogging. Please do not feel that way.
Thanks for the advice and inspiration. I have had my instructional cooking blog for almost six years now and I am finally ready to get serious about promoting it. I will check out your courses as well as the blogger’s support group.
Six years makes you a seasoned blogger! lol I am so glad you stuck it out and I hope you find something to help you grow with my courses and group.
I found myself looking in the mirror with a quite a few of these points Elena. Over supporting everyone else, spreading myself too thin. The list goes on. Thank you for sharing this great advice!
Bloggers are so hard on themselves and put their own needs at the bottom of their to do lists. I am glad you found some inspiration here and hopefully you will find some more time and energy in every day as a result.
Oh my goodness. Thank you for actual refreshing advice! I read this post twice and just zeroed in on the important message I really needed to hear. “Don’t do it”.
I am guilty of having played “follow-the-leader” when I first launched my site. Trying way too many things at once, but I slammed to a halt when it seemed like everyone was saying “e-courses, webinars, videos, and podcasts”. I wanted to make art, not courses and videos, and I’ve doubted myself every day for not doing what is supposed to be “right”.
Thank you for reminding me that everyone gets there a different way. You have a great site with truly helpful (and inspiring) tips!
I love reading comments like this! Yes! Do it your way. I hate it when blogger’s stifle their creative side because they feel they must follow a certain way to do things. It makes you feel yucky and no one should be made to feel that way. I am so glad you found inspiration here.
I am so glad I found you. Can’t wait to go thru all your old post. I am on my second blog I wanted to make the old one more user friendly and shorten the name. One thing I did do, I wish I hadn’t was move all my content from the old to the new. Look forward to learning new things here.
Have a great day,
Thank you so much for visiting Connie. Don’t worry about past mistakes. Just keep your eyes looking forward.
All sounds sensible to me. I definitely found I was trying way to hard to read everyone and comment everywhere and honestly, it got overwhelming and felt forced. I spent hours a day reading and commenting all over the place and at the end of the day had nothing to show for myself. So I backed off and kind of stopped reading everything because I just couldn’t keep up and it was keeping me from doing my own work. Very few ever read me regardless of what I try so perhaps it’s time to bow out or reboot.
Forced. What a great word. It does feel that way sometimes and how is that helpful to anyone then. I am glad you stepped back and have learned to focus on yourself and your blog. I think you have paid your dues and deserve to read and share when inspired, not because you feel you have to.
I love all your “don’t bother with this” points! There are so many posts out there on what to do to be successful and most of them direct you to the latest $$$$ webinar etc. I blog for the love of it and I’ve tried a lot of things and thrown most of them in the bin along the way. My strategy now is to have fun and to connect with people. It’s not even about views any more, it’s about friendship and having a tribe and not letting it all become a chore. And funnily enough I get plenty of views without busting my butt putting myself in everyone’s face 🙂
You are definitely an inspiration to new bloggers. You are proof that you don’t have to follow the pack to be successful and get views.
Awesome what not to do list.
I really needed to read this. Great advice!!
Do what you love. Who knew? I’ve rarely seen it expressed better, and I’ve pinned, g plussed, tweeted and shared on Facebook. (And now I am wondering what Tailwind is….)
I have a post coming, stay tuned! lol
It is a kick ass FB group…thats for sure. I’ll check out some of your tribes on tailwind. I haven’t been taking much advantage of that. The trick, as always, is finding balance between yourself and others, your work and play, etc. It sounds like you are in a great place right now!
Balance is definitely key. But so is having great bloggers like you in my inner circle.
Reblogged this on I Will Not Live in Vain and commented:
Looks like some sound advice – mostly what I’d consider common sense, but at the same time worth sharing 🙂
Thanks so much Elena! I am taking on board everything you have said, and will be implementing it asap. I’ve enjoyed just blogging so far, but now I want to get serious. With your help I’m looking forward to moving on.
Good luck lovely! Thank you for visiting.
You killed that my lovely! Congrats on your success – I agree with EVERYTHING you said
Of course you do. You have to. lol
These are wise words, my friend! Do what you love! It’s rather a relief to just be creative and not worry about all the other “stuff.” Tomorrow my post is launching a radical idea related to photography. I will be interested to hear what you think about it. Congrats on 60K page views! I’m just happy to have almost 400 followers in the last four months since I moved back to WP dot com.
You are so great about creating a community, I am not surprised you were able to gain followers so quickly. I look forward to your posts about photography. They are awesome!
Aww, thanks, Elena! I appreciate that!