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11 Common Problems Bloggers Face and How to Avoid Them

Feeling frustrated? We've been there too. Learn pro tips for beating the most common blogging problems, so you can enjoy writing again.

Caitlin Ward February 21, 2022
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Whether you’re a new blogger or a seasoned professional, chances are you’ve sat at your laptop crying into your coffee at least once. Unfortunately, blogging problems are just part of life when you own a website.

Maybe you’re staring at a blinking cursor, trying to figure out what to write. Or you know what to write, but you can’t stomach the thought of writing one more article on credit cards without losing your mind.

I see you. I feel your pain personally, and I talk about these struggles with affiliate marketers every day. It’s what inspired me to write this post.

This list of common blogging problems comes from personal experience and customer feedback. Every issue on this list is entirely within your control, so we’ll also cover strategies to overcome them.

1. Finding Your Niche and Picking a Direction

Picking a niche is the first hurdle bloggers face. If you don’t know what your site will be about, none of the rest matters.

Here are a couple of strategies to help you with this:

  • Pick a topic you’re so passionate about that you can’t not write about it.
  • Look to see if other sites exist around the same topic. If they do, you’re onto something. If no sites exist around your topic, there’s a reason why. Double-check that you’re not being too specific or choosing a topic that’s not marketable.
  • Are there products you can recommend that will make you money? (Also, make sure these products have affiliate programs.)

Don’t rush this process if your goal is to make a full-time income from your blog. If you’re stuck, it’s worth spending a considerable amount of time choosing your niche.

2. Inspiration and Finding Topics

Once you’ve picked your niche, you have to figure out which articles to write. It’s one of my favorite issues because it’s so easily fixable.

Plenty of sites have come before you, and you can take inspiration from what they’ve written. After all: Good artists copy. Great artists steal.

Start making a list of all the sites you know and love in your niche. If you can’t think of any, head to Google and search for “{your niche} site” or “best {buyable product}”. For example, “grilling site” or “best charcoal grill”. It’s that easy!

Then hop over to Ahrefs and run your shortlist through Site Explorer. For each site, view their Top Pages. See a URL that looks interesting to you? Hit the dropdown arrow beside it and click “Organic Keywords”.

blogging problems using ahrefs top pages

Anything with a Keyword Difficulty (KD) below 20 is a good bet. You can also type those keywords right into Google. The results will show you more URLs to use for inspiration.

Tip: If you don’t have Ahrefs, consider a free research tool like Google Keyword Planner.

3. Motivation and Posting Frequently

Hopefully, you’ve spent hours brainstorming article ideas and have a never-ending list of topics for your articles. Now you actually have to write them on a regular basis.

This blogging problem is the hardest because everyone’s approach is different. I wish I had some super-secret insider tip to give you the shortcut to motivation, but I don’t.

Unfortunately, the shortcut is there’s no shortcut. You just have to do it.

Steps to jumpstart motivation and content creation:

  • Replace “motivation” with “stubborn determination”. You may not be motivated to write today, but you can be determined to write today.
  • Block off a set time every day to write. Whether it’s 30 minutes or 3 hours, make sure you’re prioritizing it.
  • Talk loudly about your goals. Tell your significant other, parents, or cat about how much you’re going to post this year. Ask them to hold you accountable (except for the cat).
  • Identify and refer to yourself as a blogger. Yes, this even applies to your LinkedIn page because you are a blogger. Every time you publish an article, you’re working toward that identity and making it a reality.
  • Write different types of content. Write a mix of lists, reviews, how-tos, and opinion pieces to keep the inspiration going. Monotony breeds boredom.
  • Make the act of writing as easy as possible. Let’s say you want to write first thing in the morning. Before bed, close every tab on your laptop except for a blank Google Doc. Type anything: a title, the first sentence, or a general direction. Then close your laptop. When you wake up, literally all you have to do is open your computer and continue what you started.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits inspired many of these recommendations. I highly recommend buying his book to establish good practices for your blog and your life.

4. Monetization (aka Making Money)

Whether you’re already monetizing your site or are just learning about affiliate marketing, making money from your own blog is a considerable blogging problem. Even if your main focus isn’t selling stuff, who doesn’t want to make money doing something they love?

The good news is this blogging problem doesn’t have to be impossible. There are many ways to make money blogging, and I’ll cover a few of them below.

Affiliate Marketing

With affiliate marketing, you’ll recommend another company’s products for a commission. It’s not automated, but it doesn’t take the Herculean effort of creating your own products.

Whether you’re a beginner blogger or need to monetize years of content, Lasso can help with this.

You can add any affiliate link to the Lasso WordPress plugin, then customize no-code product displays to promote that link. It’s super easy to get started, and you only need to do this once per link.

Once you’ve customized your Display, you just paste it right into your post editor. Then you have a modern call-out box to grab your readers’ attention tastefully. Here’s an example:

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You can also use Keyword Opportunities to search for any word or phrase mentioned on your site. Suppose you have an affiliate link in Lasso that’s relevant to that keyword. You can flip a toggle and turn that text into a monetized link immediately. It’s a great way to take your site to the next level and boost your income with minimal writing.

Display Ads

These are pop-ups and sidebar banners that are relevant to your topic. It’s pretty easy to get started with Google Adsense, and you can automate the process. However, it’s difficult for newbie bloggers to earn meaningful income from ads because you need heavy traffic volume.

blogging problems display ads

It’s also important to note that display ads can slow down your site, and readers can easily avoid them with ad blockers. If you go this route, you’ll want to diversify with other income strategies. (You should diversify regardless of your monetization strategy, anyway.)

Sell Products Relevant to Your Niche

The options here are pretty vast, and content marketing is perfect for this.

You can go full eCommerce mode and create an entire store for your blog. Let’s consider the art niche. You can sell art supplies, paintings, and any number of your creations.

Alternatively, you can create a few high-value items and sell those. Continuing with the art niche, maybe you can write an ebook on charcoal drawing. Or you can teach an online course about different painting techniques.

The best part? You’ll keep the majority of every sale. You’ll have miscellaneous fees depending on how customers pay you and how you list your products, so do your research before you set it live.

5. Treating Your Blog Like a Business

You have to treat your hobby like a business if you want to get paid for your hobby later. Or, as Lasso’s founder Andrew says, “Work like nobody else now, so you can live like nobody else in the future.”

Being business-minded doesn’t mean you have to be devious or dull. It just means you need to be thoughtful.

Tips to turn your personal blog into a business:

  • Write with a business mindset. Consider monetizing and positioning your article in the SERPs before writing it.
  • Open a business bank account. When your blog makes money, it should feed into this account. All your subscriptions and writing expenses should also come out of this account.
  • Track income and expenses. This should tie closely to your bank account. You can use free software like Google Sheets to keep a simple spreadsheet on how much you make and spend. (This will also make tax time much, much more manageable.)
  • Make a publishing schedule. Make a plan and stick to it. Are you going to write one article per week? What specific articles are you going to write for the next six months?
  • Build a team. As your business grows, you’ll need to outsource. What functions will you outsource, and in what order? Are you going to pay freelance writers or virtual assistants? Calculate how much you earn per article and determine a reasonable rate to pay them.

All that aside, take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. Take that walk. Play that game. Or write that post that won’t make you any money but just really inspires you.

Then come back to work more focused because of it. This leads me to:

6. Staying Focused

If you’re having trouble staying focused, I don’t blame you. I even watched this video on working with intense focus while I was writing this because I wasn’t focused. It happens.

The important thing is not to obsess over losing your focus or feel bad about it. Instead, start recognizing when you’ve lost your focus, then actively work towards finding it again. Then your blogging problem becomes a strength.

A good strategy for this is the Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, reserve 25-minute time frames for distraction-free work. For those 25 minutes, it’s just you and whatever you use to write. Then you take a 5-minute break. After that, you’re back to the next 25-minute task.

How to stay focused:

  • Control the noise around you. Put on music that helps you concentrate, or put on noise-canceling headphones.
  • Get everything that’s going to distract you out of the way. Let the dog out, go to the bathroom, check social media, and do whatever you need to do.
  • Outline what you’re going to write before you write your blog post. It’s much easier working from something than nothing.
  • Be open and honest that you need time to focus. It’s 100% okay to ask people for space and time.

Also, take care of yourself. Get some rest and drink plenty of water. Do all the things your mom told you to do when you were younger because it legitimately helps your brain perform better.

7. Growing Traffic and Ranking in the SERPs

You spent all that time perfecting your blog’s content, but nobody’s reading it or finding it in search engines. Not having blog traffic is such a heartbreaking blogging problem.

There’s a bit of a dark art to getting organic traffic. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Step 1: Google the keyword you’re considering, then read competing articles. What are they doing well, what’s missing, and how can you improve it? Can you take a contrarian approach to position your post against the existing articles?

Step 2: Optimize your titles using headline analyzers like Headline Studio by CoSchedule. This way, you’ll stand out in the SERPs.

blogging problems coschedule headline analyzer

Step 3: Once you get that click on Google, make sure you don’t give the reader a reason to bounce. Write 1,800+ word articles when you can. Master internal and external links. Run your article through Grammarly to reduce distracting errors.

Takeaway: Get good. You have to be slightly delusional about being the best. Be ruthless and ensure that every post you write is better than what’s already out there.

8. Engaging Your Audience

Engaging your audience goes hand-in-hand with ranking in the search engines. After all, you can’t have traffic without readers.

But how do you get your audience’s attention?

Make sure you write selfishly from the reader’s point of view. Obsess over your intro to get their attention immediately, or they’ll hit that back button in seconds. Which is a massive, screaming warning to Google that your post is either not good or not relevant to that keyword.

Ask yourself, “What is the reader genuinely searching for with that keyword?” Answer that question in your first subheading, then move to the logical next step. Keep writing in detail until you’ve hit a reasonable conclusion. Then look at your competing articles and Google’s “People Also Ask” to see if there’s anything you missed.

blogging problems google's people also ask

Also, spice up your content both on the micro and macro levels. Add call-outs, Displays, tips, and useful images to reduce bounce rates and boost clicks. Read your post from start to finish to make sure you used a writing style that flows well? Then skim the page to make sure there aren’t huge blocks of text.

9. Budget (or Lack Thereof)

It’s no secret that a new blog will be strapped for cash. You’re going to put in a lot of hours without seeing any return. It’s one of the biggest blogging problems I see with our customers.

The flip side of that is you can run a quality WordPress blog with very little overhead. If you’re way strapped for cash, you can start affiliate marketing with just $3.

Keep things simple and focus on creating content if you’re new to this. There are tons of flashy plugins and pro tools that you will want to try. Gradually scale up your spending once you’re consistently getting enough traffic.

Once you see consistent traffic and commissions, don’t shy away from premium tools just because of the price tag. The cheapest Ahrefs plan is $99/month, but it’s the go-to SEO resource for a reason. Lasso is $29/month, but it’ll save you countless hours of hard work and earn you more than the cost of admission.

Once you can afford premium tools, you’ll be that much closer to scaling your business to the point where $99/month feels like pocket change.

10. Keeping Your Site and Content Up to Date

You may not have felt this if your blog is new, but a serious blogging problem is when you’re site’s getting hit from all angles. Sometimes, Google changes its mind and releases a new update. Other times, that link you referenced two months ago is broken, and that Amazon product you linked to 12 times is now out of stock.

Keeping up is nearly impossible if you’re doing this all by yourself. That’s why tools like Lasso can save you time and spare your sanity.

Remember when Google released their link spam update in July 2021? Specifically, this part:

In general, using affiliate links to monetize a website is fine. We ask sites participating in affiliate programs to qualify these links with rel="sponsored".

We built rel=” sponsored” support and made it retroactive, so customers could easily change their existing links. Yes, it’s a flex, but I’m damn proud of our developers for shipping it to our customers so quickly.

Plus, Lasso will scan your site every day for broken links and out-of-stock Amazon products. All you have to do is click the little notification icon, swap your old link for a new one, and Lasso will update that link site-wide.

blogging problems link alerts

11. Time Management

How do you overcome all the blogging problems on this list and still eat and sleep? You have to prioritize, and you have to be intentional.

Tools like Todoist and Notion are great ways to track, schedule, and document what you need to do.

Todoist

blogging problems todoist

If you haven’t used Todoist before, start there. Think of it like a grocery list or a supercharged to-do list. You can type something like “draft blogging problems outline tomorrow”, and Todoist automatically puts that on your schedule for the next day. It’s super easy to use, it’s free, and it means you don’t have to remember everything on your list.

Notion

blogging problems notion

Next, put every process and thought into a tool like Notion. This way, you only have to figure it out the first time. Then if you take a break and need to remember your writing checklist, it’s right there. Bonus: When you can hire team members, you’ll already have documentation and templates that show them how to do everything.

The more you have on paper (literally or digitally), the less you need to keep in your brain. The more space you have in your brain, the more productive you can be.

Extra Steps

Additionally, consider auditing your workweek. Make a list of everything you do and track three things: Is it beneficial to you? Can it be done only by you? Can it be automated? If it’s not helpful, remove it. If someone else can do it, outsource it when you can. If it’s able to be automated, prioritize getting it automated. You will save so. much. time.

As the last step, make time to read Essentialism. This book will show you what’s important, how to work less, and how to say no to things that aren’t worth your time.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
$13.99

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s not about getting less done. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s about the pursuit of the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

Pros:
  • Will make you more effective.
  • Quick read and highly actionable.
Cons:
  • You have to be open-minded.
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05/21/2022 12:17 am GMT

Blogging Problems That Aren’t Really Problems (+How to Overcome Them Anyway)

While chatting with affiliate marketers, I’ve noticed the tendency to focus on things that don’t matter. It’s understandable, but do a service to yourself and spend as little time on these as you can. They don’t get results.

1. No Comments and No Feedback

No one’s going to give two hoots about what you’re building until you’re already successful. Even then, the vast majority of people won’t care. You need to make peace with this and stop looking at your comments section.

The good news is people who don’t care about you aren’t your audience, and they don’t deserve your time. Eventually, your readership will find you if you’re writing great content planned with tons of research. Write for your audience even if they haven’t found you yet.

When people finally find you, treat them like royalty. Ask what they’d like to see more of and how they discovered you. Any insights they have are worth their weight in gold. Then make sure they subscribe to your email newsletter so they keep reading your posts.

While you’re waiting for those comments on your blog or social media, put up some sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. “You’re a good writer.” “You deserve everything you’re working towards.” “That Tesla will be yours if you just keep trying.” Whatever you want to hear, put it there.

Is it cheesy? Yes, but my husband and I both do this. It works, and your brain will start to believe it.

2. Design

I’ll confess: I’m the worst at this. I want everything to look nice, and I can spend hours working on layout customizations. When I do this, I’m distracting myself from the actual work.

The solution? Pick a fast WordPress theme, make the minimally viable customizations, then focus on writing. As much as it sucks, no one will care what your header or footer looks like if they can’t find your site in the first place.

Tip: A good rule of thumb is if you can’t decide between two options, chances are it doesn’t make a difference.

Any design choices should be obvious, or you should just pick something and move on. Save your time and energy for layout optimization when you’re already making a considerable amount of cash with steady traffic. Then you can A/B the ever-living daylights out of all this, and your results and decisions will be backed by research. Until then, pick something that looks not bad and move on.

3. Link Building and Getting Backlinks

I get it. Backlinks are essential for SEO, and more backlinks bring better rankings in the SERPS.

However, there’s no good way to play the system here. Buying links means spending money. (It’s also against Google’s Guidelines.) And if you’re at the stage where you’re considering buying links, your blog probably isn’t making enough money to spend.

Reaching out for guest posts and link swaps is also exhausting. If you happen to be good at it, you risk diluting your content.

You’re better off spending your time and money creating high-quality content or fixing one of your other blogging problems. Other sites will start linking to you because you have the best information available. As your blog grows, you’ll also get a sickening amount of guest blogging and link swap emails. Look for good options there, then delete the rest.

4. “I Can’t”…

If your problem starts with “I can’t,” then it’s not a problem. There are exceptions to this. But for the most part, “I can’t” means “I won’t.”

Also, “I can’t” is super negative thinking. Practice positive self-thought and reword issues into something you can control. If you’re telling yourself you can’t do it, what incentive do you have to try?

If you’ve made it this far and still feel like you can’t do XYZ, that’s okay. However, you need to accept the limitations this causes and decide if your blog is a priority.

Whatever you decide, I still love you.

You Can Do This

If you’re having any of these blogging problems right now, I promise you’re not alone. I’ve seen too many customers churn because they close their sites, and it breaks my heart every time.

Many of our customers also aren’t running lucrative businesses (yet) and need someone to tell them to keep going.

So this is me encouraging you to keep going. Anyone can run a blog, but there’s a reason everyone doesn’t. Stick with it longer than everyone else, and treat your blog like a business. Then kick back and take a vacation funded by your site’s affiliate commissions.

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