Blogging is the evil stepmother you never had (or maybe you did, if you were, for instance…me). Like your stepmom, blogging tells you that you aren’t doing it right and you will never amount to anything. Blogging tells you to look at the other bloggers – they are so much prettier and more talented than you are. The other blogs are more popular too. Everyone likes those other blogs better. See how they visit them, like them, comment on them and share them all over social media?
If blogging is eroding your confidence and shooting down your self-esteem, cheer up! Instead of looking overhead to the well-established blogs floating in the blogosphere, look down my friend. Peer down to the depths of blogging obscurity, where you will spy my fledgling blog. That’s it, you can barely make it out, but you can see it…if you squint.
My blog is small for its age and somewhat developmentally delayed. It’s socially awkward and slightly confused. My blog is trying to spread its wings and burst forth as a blogtastic butterfly, but it’s stuck in a flaccid larval state, emitting minimal signs of life as it struggles to find traction.
Now that you’ve seen mine, let’s take a look at your blog in comparison.
Oh my god! Your blog is so much better than mine!
Wow…but in case you don’t clearly see it, let me spell it out for you:
5 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Better Than Mine
1. My Blog Lacks Purpose
It’s true, it does. My blog had a purpose…for a few weeks, then lost it. Let me explain.
Although I work as a side-hustle real estate investor, my real estate investing has been requiring less and less of my time, as my rental properties inch their way toward being truly passive investments. Likewise, my teenage children are inching their way toward adulthood, and my mom duties seem to be reaching passive status too. With time on my hands, I began looking for a new challenge.
At first I thought I would dust off my real estate broker’s license to start a business helping other investors purchase rental properties. I would earn money the normal way – through commissions. So I started my blog with a purpose:
to drive business to my budding real estate brokerage and to provide me with paying clients
It seemed like a good idea. But no, it did not happen. No one ever contacted me from my blog page (or company website) to represent them as a broker. I quickly came to realize that building a real estate client base would have to happen the old-fashioned way: through local networking, face-to-face interactions and impressing people with my mad sales skills in person.
Once I acknowledged what I needed to do to build a brokerage business, did I turn my attention away from blogging? Did I begin to attend industry meet-ups, volunteer for activities at my local realtor association or find other networking opportunities in my region? No. Not at all. Instead, I dug in and stubbornly buried my head in blogging. I was hooked. I spent hours, days and weeks building my blog, trying out different logos, themes, and platforms, tweaking my content and adding new categories.
During this time of total blogmmersion, I came to realize that I was unlikely to ever earn any money blogging. It would never be a business model for me. I decided, though, that blogging could be fun and creative, like the hobby I never had (yes, I had a stepmom, but no hobby!).
But what would be fun for me to blog about? And, if I was no longer blogging to drive clients to my real estate brokerage by showing off my real estate investing knowledge and experience, what would become my blogging focus?
2. My Blog Lacks Focus
Today I’m blogging about blogging. A few days ago, I blogged about landladies in pop culture. Last week, I wrote about my disappointment with Costco. A few weeks ago, I blogged about the blurred lines between frugality and ethics. And oh yeah, in the midst of all of that I wrote a few more helpful blog posts about real estate investing.
I realized that I don’t want to write about real estate investing all the time, because frankly I’m boring myself. I’ve been living and breathing real estate investing for years. Sometimes I like to enlighten others with my tales of evicting bad tenants, property management snafus or winning property auctions on Hubzu. Other times, I just want to rant about the squared-off shape of my Costco milk jug.
While that may be all well and good for me, my blog certainly lacks focus.
3. My Blog is an SEO Disaster
Because my blog has no focus, my blog is a disaster when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If for some reason you have read this far and you are not a blogger, let me enlighten you about SEO. If you want to create a blog (or any website for that matter), you don’t necessarily need to understand SEO. You can register a website domain, find a domain host, and POOF, you can create a website that can be reached through the internet. But, without SEO, no one will ever reach you, because they won’t know you exist.
For people to know your blog exists, your website needs to be displayed in keyword search results. These keyword search results will vary depending on the search engine utilized. Available search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, DuckDuckGo and several others. But, for better or worse (definitely worse!), the vast majority of internet searches are taking place on Google. And Google is also like your mean stepmother. Google will put you in your place.
Google uses a method (an algorithm) to rank where your blog content should appear in search results. Google’s web crawlers search all internet content being published to look for things like:
- keyword rich content
- lengthy content (word counts higher than 800)
- coherent content structure, with many links between posts
- categories, sub-categories and tags that fit together neatly like a set of Russian nesting dolls
But if instead, your blog is all over the place, like a hot-mess Barbie doll, you have an SEO problem.
Even worse for a new blog than lacking structure, is lacking site traffic (visitors). Google gives high search rankings to sites that already have steady traffic. Because my blog is new, my blog has almost no traffic.
So how on earth can a new blog ever get site traffic, if the blog is new and has no traffic?
Well my friend, this circular constraint can be broken, but it all comes down to social media.
4. My Blog Struggles on Social Media
You can create social media accounts, linking to your blog site, to promote your blog through social media platforms. The familiar social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Quora, …ugggh, enough already. So there are plenty of options, and you can create as many social media accounts as you can handle, posting links to your blog content, hoping that others click on your links and interact with your site.
Because social media is the main way that the blogs begin generating traffic, bloggers spend a staggering amount of time on social media. And believe me, I’ve been trying, but I struggle. It’s no surprise to those who know me, because I was not even using social media prior to starting my blog. Not even Facebook (gasp!).
I tried Facebook twice over the years and the results were similarly horrifying. The first time, I created a profile listing most of my personal information, including the name of my high school. What happened? That very evening, I received a page long message from a high school “friend” telling me that he had been hoping I would turn up on Facebook and looking to reconnect. Ummm, errrrr – account deleted! The second time, I attempted to open my new Facebook account devoid of any personal information. But Facebook doesn’t go for that – it infiltrates your contacts and emails and outs you to the world. And who did Facebook recommend as my top “Friend” suggestion? Evil stepmom of course! Account deleted!
So now I’ve had to drop my privacy concerns and jump into social media with both feet. I still don’t love it. To make the best use of my time on social media, I should be laser-focused on connecting with other personal finance and real estate investing bloggers, but I get easily bored and distracted. My favorite Twitter account is @insomniagirlvit, if that tells you anything.
My Blog Lacks Commitment
If you have heard anything about starting a blog, it’s that you need to be patient. It takes time to build a following and start generating interest in your site. Don’t expect to see big gains until you’ve been blogging for at least a year.
Well, I’m going to tell you a secret right now. I can barely stay interested in anything for a year. That’s probably why I have no hobbies and even a limited number of friends! I get on the learning curve of life, and I try to scale that slope. As I reach toward the top, when it should be getting easier, I hurl myself off the precipice to resume scrounging around in the dirt for the next shiny object.
Thank god for my husband, my kids and (cough, cough) my rental properties. I have committed to those key things through the good and the bad, the thick and the thin, and yes, they are now paying dividends, in waves. But as for hot yoga, ukulele, Spanish lessons, my legal career, my real estate career, actually any career….um, I’m just not that interested.
Will blogging be any different? Will my blogging commitment grow? Will this blog post get so much love that I remain inspired and devote more time to improving my blog? Or will I run away, frustrated and shouting “No Quiero Un Blog en mi Vida Nunca,” and simply move on to the next shiny object?