The 5 Deadly Sins of Blogging (And How to Avoid Them)
A lot of beginner bloggers do a heavy about of sinning when they first start out…
I’m not saying they’re bad people, it’s just that they are committing nearly all of the deadly sins that bloggers need to look out for.
“But wait, aren’t there 7 deadly sins?”
In the religious context, yes, but as a blogger, there are really only 5 sins you need to worry about…
“What does gluttony have to do with blogging?”
Simply put: when you “consume” too much and don’t create some kind of output, you are being gluttonous.
For bloggers, this comes in the form of information rather than things like food.
The over-consumption of information is dangerous, it leads to someone who is always out on the prowl for the newest trick or tactic, but who has never put them into practice.
This is especially important if you read a lot of “blogging about blogging” blogs (hey, I’m just being brutally honest, as usual).
It’s not that they don’t provide value, it’s that they can get you captivated in the “ooh shiny” mentality, getting caught up in the so called ‘latest and greatest’ when you should be busy implementing a solid foundation of techniques that work, including things like creating great content and writing guest posts to promote that content.
A lot of bloggers are susceptible to this sin, hell, even established bloggers are suspect.
So, what is it about greed that can really hold a blogger back?
First of all, greed often has people putting up invasive advertisements & promoting crappy products, all the while not maintaining a focus on building a thriving audience.
Your readers are not commodities, they can be loyal customers if you treat them well, and brand advocates if you treat them very well.
They are also people, would you want to be treated in misleading ways on another person’s website?
Of course not, so don’t promote filth with an affiliate link just to make a quick buck, and don’t throw up advertisements on your second week blogging: build an audience, build an email list, and treat people with the courtesy that they deserve, there’s much more to blogging than making a quick buck.
This sin is a surefire way to failure.
“My content is so good, I don’t have to promote it, the quality will do the talking!”
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but here’s two things why that won’t work:
- You are probably overrating how good your content is (it’s your “baby”, you’re bound to see it differently)
- There is a ton of great content on the web now, businesses often have content strategists that work on just their blog (like I with my posts on the HelpScout blog)
The overall point: It’s a competitive market; scratch that, a hyper competitive market, in almost every niche!
There are people who are paid to do what you are trying to succeed with, how can you hope to compete?
Great content is now the price of entry, NOT the defining factor for a successful blog.
So, how can you market your content without being a sleazebag?
You’re reading a method right now: write for other blogs in your space, that one should be obvious to you if you aren’t totally new.
You also need to be creating content that’s easy to plug into conversations.
You needn’t be afraid of emailing people about a new piece of yours if it relates to them in some general way, such as if they are in the same industry.
Want to know how I got Neil Patel, a guy with 100,000+ follows, to tweet about my article?
I asked him!
Crazy, ain’t it?
I told him that I had this planned as a guest post for his site, but thought it went with my brand better.
I also (via email, the best social network) asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing the piece if he enjoyed it.
He tweeted it within the hour, he’s a nice dude!
You shouldn’t be badgering the same people every time to you post something new, but reaching out to new folks from time to time will do amazing things for your blog’s promotion, trust me.
Oh man, this one can get a lot of people.
I’ve had people email me about their struggles with their blog, and when I got to visit it, they haven’t posted in 2 months!
That’s an extreme example, and sometimes it’s more insidious: people who are posting regularly, but doing nothing to market their content.
Sometimes, it might even be necessary to have a “1:1” ratio for posts, or an “80:20” ratio for marketing vs. posting.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I’m saying that posting 1 guest post for every post on your blog can be the ideal way to actually build an audience.
I’m also saying that, in some cases, spending upwards of 50, 60, 70, or even 80% of your time marketing your posts can be the way to go.
As a new blog, you should be focusing on creating a unique angle and outstanding content: don’t worry about posting once a day, that’s a load of bull.
Instead, create posts that are worthy of promotion, and spend the next week promoting the hell out of them (and your blog in general) with guest posts, emails, networking, etc.
Sounds goofy, but people far more experienced than me will tell you the same thing.
People like to think great content promotes itself, and that’s true, but in such a crowded place as the internet, who’s going to get the ball rolling?
The answer: you.
I’ve combined the last 3 sings because they all relate to one thing (in my eyes)…
Caring too much about what other’s are doing.
It’s easy to get envious of others reach & audience, lustful of their income, and even angry that you cannot seem to do the same.
But such is business, and such is life.
Everybody has to start from square one in some fashion or another, and worrying about others does nothing for your own projects.
It’s okay to “observe” others; learning from people who’s advice you actually trust is a great way to skip having the same failures as them.
Be wary though: in the world of online marketing, there are some seriously shady characters.
What to be weary of: “Quick” fixes to anything, bizopps that target people who are total beginners in business, software that promises the world, people selling shady SEO techniques, anything that makes a process you know to be a lot of work (like building a successful blog) look easy; if it looks too good to be true, it’s a scam.
Over To You
Do you commit any blogging sins?
How do you plan on “repenting” and getting back to business?
Thanks for reading, I’d love to see you down in the comments! 🙂
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20 Responses to “The 5 Deadly Sins of Blogging (And How to Avoid Them)”
Wish I’m not on my way to hell… “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”Winston Churchill – At least I shall ask for redemption blogging!
Hi Gregory, I have sent a guest post to Daniel two days ago, It’s still unpublished at DBT? He didn’t replied my yet!
Liked your article. When you are starting out it’s very common to commit these mistakes. I have done them too and still continue to do some.
But, the best thing about making these mistakes at an early stage is that you can afford to commit them now as it may not be possible to do them in the future. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and keep on improvising.
Hello, thanks for the tips. They were very helpful and good reminders on the kind of perspective needed for successful blogging:)
What a nice and effective way to talk about the “DON’Ts” in blogging. For me, I am guilty of Gluttony and Greed! However, I am cutting down the reading/absorbing part and focusing more on the action/writing part.
Once again, thanks for sharing this great post.
@Rahul: Exactly. 🙂
I’ve been so guilty of greed in the past. I’ve had great content but I burred it behind products and ads and think I should move the great content forward.
I also agree that just because you have great content you have to get out and promote it. You just can’t write it and step back.
Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio
The way you put is is perfect. Really enjoyed this blog! “Sins” of blogging really prevent raising traffic, so make sure you read them all!
Actually,I am just focusing on My content.I have not do anything to spread my blog.I think this blog is useful and helpful.
Well I think at certain point in time we do commit any of those sins unknowingly. There are many many things that can factor out in terms of those and for me I think its important to be able to realize that we are susceptible to make these mistakes but more importantly that we are willing to learn from it.
That’s what my experience tells me so far.
Hello Gregory, I never heard that blogging also has Sins, but now I am going to be very careful about these sins. But I am sure that I didn’t made these mistakes before but then also I am not getting much traffic.
This is cool! Looking on blog mistakes at a different angle. I find it post funny! But definitely, this is true!
Breckenridge real estate
I think #1 is one of the most important points. Merely re-blogging others’ content isn’t going to gain you quality followers – this goes for Twitter and other social media outlets as well. Unique, relevant content is the most valuable.
This is really cool post, 😀 Cotti ! your really awesome. Every blogger should read this before blogging, Probably we should be clean when we blogging huh …
The biggest sin I commit is sloth. I am actively trying to write a post every single day, and I promote it, but not nearly as well as I should be (I think).
I am the type of person who needs a “promotion to-do list.”
When I create a killer post, and I often do, what are the steps I need to promote it thoroughly? Right now, here is my promotion to-do list:
1. Write a killer post
2. Post it on my Facebook page (122 likes)
3. Post it on my Twitter account (4,000 followers, mostly spammers)
4. Send it to my email list (about 800 subscribers)
5. Send it to people I’ve networked with and ask them to just take a look at it and tell me what they think. (about 10 – 15 people)
6. Post it to StumbleUpon and Digg
That about sums it up.
Sometimes I’ll get people to “retweet” my posts, but that barely has an impact. My Facebook page, believe it or not, brings in more traffic.
I guess I should be writing a guest post for every killer post I write. I do my fair share of guest posting on major sites in my industry, including AquaMagazine.com, but I just started doing that last month or so.
If you have any other techniques for blog promotion, I would love to hear it 🙂
It is quite difficult to identify whether we are doing these mistakes in blogging or not. Every blogger will do these mistakes especially those who have started to blog because somebody else had told him/her that it is easy to earn money blogging. But the fact is such bloggers (although they are not worth calling bloggers) give up easily. Some bloggers (the cream layer) realize the fact that they have been doing mistakes and rectify themselves to continue their journey.
A majority of blogs out there are just “spins” of other blogs (spin as in an article spinning) especially in this field (make money blogging). What they do is read other blogs in the same niche and just rewrite the article in their own blogs. That’s because they want to earn money (greed) and they do not focus much on original content, instead focus on other blogs (lust, as you said). That’s the biggest mistake which is the effect of all the mistakes you have mentioned.
Just wanted to let you know that I loved this post. I’m 100% guilty of over-posting and then not marketing it enough. Thanks for the kick in the pants!!
Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio
These comments added so much worth in this blog post. Thank you everyone for it! I came back to read again and it was very enlightening!
Thanks for the post on the 5 sins of blogging to watch out for. Sin number two comes to mind as I had watched a youtube video on building a niche site where the host showed his one page niche site that simply mirrored a real website closely to show up in google search for that specific keyword. His site offed absolutely no value at all. I know his site is not a blog per-say but I still believe the sins you posted still apply.
I agree to you – indeed. And I add one more sin:
Some or maybe many bloggers (or wanna be one) think they just write a few posts and wooooooom there are hundreds of thousands visitors within a few days. And that they would earn increadiblly much money – right from the start of blogging.
In my opinion that`s why so many blogs are “dying” …
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