5 Common Blogging Problems (+ their solutions)

I have been performing market research for my blog for over a year now and it has been tremendously helpful in finding out what my audience struggles with the most and in turn how I can help them out by offering my advice.  Every blogger has their own set of problems that may differ from person to person, but in my research, I have found the same 5 problems that constantly come up in my search results. Today I will be sharing these five common #bloggerproblems and my solutions for them.

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1 / Daylight Savings or cloudy days

This is one of the most common problems that I find people posting about.  Either daylight savings time is over and it gets dark at 5:30 pm or it’s a cloudy day (not ideal when taking photos because natural light is preferred).  To these problems, I suggest using a light kit! I stockpile photos on the weekend to use for my blog and Instagram. Since I only have two days to get it done, my first move is to take photos on the day that it’s not supposed to be cloudy.  If both days are projected to be cloudy, I use my light kit. Since I have a small time frame to get my photos taken (within a two hour block when my daughter is napping), I can’t fully rely on the weather because tasks need to get marked off my list, and the tasks don’t care what the weather report is.  A light kit is used for taking photos indoors when you need extra light sources. The bulbs that are used are daylight bulbs so it mimics natural light. Here’s the light kit that I use; it has been such a help in keeping me on track regardless of weather conditions.

Along with using a light kit, you may still need to add a touch of brightness to your images during post photo editing.  Bumping up the brightness in your photo editing program is the second step when you’re taking photos with a light kit. You may also need to adjust the temperature of the photos to make them cooler if your photos have a yellowish tint to them (this can occur when shooting with artificial lighting sometimes).  The brightness and temperature settings are in different locations across editing programs, but they are common so they should be available in all of them.

 

2 / Too tired to blog in the evening

I can totally relate to this.  I work a 9-5 and am on the computer all day. The last thing I want to do in the evening is look at the computer again let alone use my brain again when it’s drained from a days work.  However, sacrifices need to be made, so a compromise is to compose blog posts laying on the couch using voice dictation. At least Google can do the typing for you! Here’s a post all about using voice dictation to create blog posts.

An alternative solution is to dedicate you work breaks and lunches to working on blog posts.  At least this way it's not the end of the day so you should be more alert and have great thoughts to still work with (thoughts that haven't drained from your brain yet due to the 9-5!).

 

3 / Don't know what to blog about

This could be a problem if you haven’t really determined what the purpose of your blog is or if you don’t plan out your content in advance.  If you are blogging on the fly, meaning, you sit down at the computer and try to think of something to post about, you’re doing it all wrong. You should be planning out your content in advance.  You do this by performing market research.  Here are a few ways how:

If it's still difficult to find topics to post about, maybe the niche that you are in isn't the right one for you.  You may need to go back to the drawing board and determine what your area(s) of expertise are and build from there.  This isn’t a bad thing because it may help you discover an area where you can be of better help to a different audience.

 

4 / Too many ideas creating overwhelm

On the other hand, you may have too many ideas for blog posts and get overwhelmed.  This is an awesome boat to be in because this is where planning content in advance comes into play. You may have 25 ideas for blog posts and not know what to do about it.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Seamlessly organize your thoughts using Evernote (here's a post all about this).

  2. Preplan/Schedule your blog posts out by adding them to your editorial calendar (If you have 25 ideas and post weekly, that’s 6 months of blog content, sis!).

Yep, just two things, it’s that simple.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Blog Needs an Editorial Calendar

 

5 / Not posting on schedule

I get so tired of seeing people tweet apologies for not posting in a long time and giving a million and one excuses for it.  Honestly, spare us the details and give us the goods. Life happens and you're not going to post consistently all the time. People know this. So rather than opening a post about why you didn’t post in a long time, just write an amazing post to make up for lost time.  Rather than tweeting about your absence, tweet that you have an awesome post up and share the link.

 

So do you deal with any of these common #bloggerproblems?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

How to use G Suite as a Blogger

I remember when I signed up for my first Gmail account.  I was fascinated with them because they rolled email threads into one message rather than having multiple emails with the same subject on separate lines (hello organization!!).  Little did I know, Google was going to have a huge impact in my life over the coming years.

Fast forward to present day and you will find me using so many Google apps for so many different things.  The G Suite, as it’s so lovingly called, can be a bloggers dream. There are various apps that make up the G Suite, most that I use on the regular.  Today I will be discussing the G Suite and how a blogger can use the products in their blogging processes.

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First a little 101.  The G Suite is comprised of Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites and Hangouts and they are designed to integrate with each other.  For example, if you want to insert a graph from Sheets into a Doc, you can easily do that. Docs and Sheets are similar and compatible with MS Word and MS Excel, so if you know these programs, the Google versions will be a breeze.

The other apps in G Suite may sound familiar and you may even use them currently.  The difference in G Suite from Google’s free apps is that you receive double the storage space in Google Drive than the free accounts, 24/7 tech support and you receive a business email account (you@yourwebsite.com - golden & professional!) with 99.9% guaranteed uptime.  Quite honestly, the business email is the best thing of all to me, so the accompanying G Suite products are an added bonus!


Now that you know a little background, here is how you can use the G Suite successfully as a blogger:

Google Sheets

  1. Organize your tweets to post for the week (bonus points for automatically adding them to Google Calendar so that they post to Twitter based on a scheduled time!).

  2. Store market research results (an automated task can add market research results from Twitter into a Google Sheet. Here’s more info on how to do it)

  3. Store new email subscriber details to automatically add to a ConvertKit email list - I use the Squarespace platform for my website, but there is no direct connection from Squarespace to my email marketing provider, ConvertKit.  As a result, if you use Squarespace’s newsletter or form blocks to collect email addresses, to get them to flow to ConvertKit automatically, a Google Sheet would need to be the bridge between the two.

  4. Social stat tracking- Sheets is a good place to keep a record of your social media numbers so that you can see trends over time.

  5. Graphs- if you are tracking social stats, create a graph so that you can visually understand the trends and know which platforms outperform each other for you.

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Google Docs

  1. Compose blog posts- I always create my blog posts is Google Docs before moving them into my blog editor.  It’s one of the best things that I do to increase productivity. Here’s a post all about using Google Docs for blog posts.

  2. Blogging collaboration- if you are working on a collaboration with another blogger, you can create and share Google Docs so that both parties can view and edit the doc.  My friend and fellow blogger Katrina of Katrina Blair always use Google Docs for our collaboration blog posts and it works so well!

  3. Outline and plan email and online course content- if you create educational material, you can do your planning/brain dumping in a Google Doc.  For example, when I created one of my free email courses, I planned all of the content out and edited it in Docs.

  4. Design free download content- if you offer digital freebies on your website, you can create the freebies in docs.  For example, checklists, worksheets, bulleted tip lists, etc.

Gmail (business email)

  1. Professional email is golden and more...professional.  If you want to work with brands, you need to have a business email address to be taken seriously.

  2. I mean, there’s really nothing else to say about this because that’s the most important reason to use a Gmail business email account.  In fact, here’s a link to try a free 14 day trial of G Suite (just $5 a month after the trial period!  Business email is the main feature of G Suite, but the other apps come along with it for no extra charge!).

Google Calendar

  1. Schedule tweets to post to your social media accounts - if you store your tweets in Google Sheets, you can add them to your calendar to post on auto pilot.

  2. Keep a blogging schedule/editorial calendar- Schedule blogging tasks so you will always know what needs to be done and when.  When scheduling, don’t just list the day that a task should be completed, also schedule the steps that it will take to get there.

  3. Appointments- if Google Calendar is your main calendar app, you can use it for scheduling appointments.  Plenty of programs integrate with Calendar so when you schedule an appointment from a 3rd party source, the event can be automatically added to your calendar.

 

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Google Hangouts

  1. Webinars- if you want to host an informational webinar, you can do this using Google Hangouts.

  2. Private masterclass- You may be selling seats for a live video training, so you can host these with Google as well.

  3. Video calls- this can be a call with a business partner, vendor, brand, etc.  If you want to have a meeting but live in completely different time zones or even just another state, video calls are awesome.  My friend and I try to do a video call (virtual coffee date) monthly to plan out blogging things together.

  4. Coaching calls- if you are a coach, you can have one-on-one coaching calls with your clients. Again, this is great for working across state lines.

  5. Group calls- you can also have group calls in a Google Hangout.  If you offer group coaching, this would be the way to do it.

Google Photos

  1. Brand images- you can access all of your brand images if it’s stored in your Google Photo account.  This makes it easy to access images on the go or when you need them on a whim.

  2. Save a stockpile of photos- these photos can be used for Instagram/social media posting or to create blog post graphics.  They can also be used on slideshows that you create with Google Slides.

Google Forms

  1. Send surveys to your customers- surveys are an important piece of your blog because they give you insight directly from your customers and audience.

  2. Send surveys to your email list- surveys can also be sent to your email list for insight that will help you determine the type of content that they want to keep receiving from you.

  3. Create quizzes- quizzes are a fun tool that are also helpful for marketing because the results can tell you more about your audience and hep you tag them accordingly in your email marketing program.

Google Slides

  1. Webinar slides- if you host webinars, you can create the slides using G Suite.

  2. Pitch deck- if you pitch ideas to brands for collaboration, you can create a pitch deck using Slides.

  3. In-person training/presentation- when meeting with potential clients in person or for in person presentations, Slides can be used to make a professional presentation.

Google Drive (cloud storage)

  1. More of it- G Suite provides 30G of storage opposed to the 15G that are standard on the free version.

  2. Folder for blog/business documents- you can create a folder to store your media kit, contracts and any other documents that you use.

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Now that you know various ways that you can use G Suite, I hope that you start using it more often!  Here’s that link again that will give you 14 days free.  After the trial, G Suite is only $5 per month and SOOOO worth it (especially for that business email account).

So tell me, do you currently use G Suite? If so, how do you use it? Leave a comment below.