I’ve read the stories of bloggers who make thousands of dollars and only spend four hours working on their blogs per week. It seems amazing and it probably is, but it misses something really important.
Do you think that those people woke up, started a blog, and were suddenly making $10,000 a month?
No, they put in a ton of effort into their blog.
Just take a look at their sites. You can see the effort in everything that they’ve done. In their blog posts, in the pictures they’ve worked on. You can even see the effort in things you might not even expect. That popup on their site? It might not look like much, but if they’re like me, it probably took them an hour to find the one they loved.
I know, too much time. But hey, time is money.
When we look at blogs, we only see the end result. This is why a lot of new bloggers give up on their websites before they’ve actually had a chance to blossom. They think “well, that guy only works on his blog for four hours a week, so that’s what I’m going to do”. Then they do that for a month, don’t see any results, and then get upset or think they’re doing something wrong.
And that brings me to my first point.
1. It’s Harder Than It Looks
How hard can it be, all you have to is write? Right?
Blogging comes with a learning curve and if you’ve never had any experience with it, it can be rough.
For those of you who are nervous about starting a blog or for those of you that are on the brink of giving up, please don’t feel discouraged. I was in the same place as you a few months ago. Months and months I worked before I ever made $100. But guess what? Eventually that $100 turned into $250 and then into $500. The secret to seeing results is to keep going, especially when it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was struggling for months, but I kept working and somehow it felt like the stars had aligned. Don’t give up!
People who have never owned a blog tend to have a glorified version of what it means to be a blogger. So imagine people’s surprise when they buy a domain and hosting and then figure out that it really isn’t a piece of cake.
I can’t really blame them. I didn’t fully realize how much there was to it until I started this blog myself. We have to learn about:
- how to set up a blog
- how to optimize content SEO
- how to get people to their blog
- how to create quality content, writing and image-wise, that will keep people coming back
- how to connect with other blogger
- and so much more
And then we’ve got to learn about all the random extra stuff because it might be able to help our blog.
When I started, I didn’t expect to have to learn so much. I felt like I had been thrown into a foreign world.
When I decided to start my blog, I already knew how to use create and host websites. But that didn’t scratch the surface of everything that I had to learn.
I didn’t know how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog. I didn’t know what kinds of plugins I needed to make sure that my website had all these cool features. I didn’t know how to write articles that would keep people coming.
Truth be told, I was pretty lost. But like a good search engine, Google was there. It connected me to other bloggers that actually knew what they were doing, bloggers that wrote articles just like the one I’m writing now. I remember reading tons and tons of blogs. And you know what? It really helped.
So, here’s what you can do. Don’t be afraid to learn. It’s the number one way that you’ll grow and develop your blog. Do you think that Einstein knew everything from the moment he was born? No, he learned. Just like us. Let Google or Bing or whatever you use be your friend and find information.
Here are some pages that I recommend you read:
- 5 Stupidly Simple Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Growing
- 44 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog
- Starting a Blog: A Complete Guide for Serious Beginners
They each have their merit in their own ways and they cover different aspects of what it means to be a blogger. I’m partial to the first one, because I wrote it myself. But it comes from the heart. I’ve found that most bloggers can relate to the same mistakes that I’ve made, so it’s a useful tool for assessing whether or not you’re on the right track.
2. You’re Going to Crash and Burn Before You Succeed
It just comes with the territory.
But don’t get discouraged. Failure in blogging is nothing that you can’t overcome. Think of elite athletes. They may stumble and fall, but they always get back up.
Blogging is way less dangerous, so you have no excuse to give up.
Bloggers like to paint this picture that blogging is all rainbows and sunshine. And sometimes it is, but you usually don’t get to this point in the beginning. When you’re starting out, it can be brutal, even.
Why? There’s a lot to learn and I mean a lot.
Naturally, you’re not going to be able to focus on everything that everyone is telling you to so to “make your blog successful”. And that’s going to lead you to crash and burn a few times. It’s not going to feel great. But if you want to run a successful blog, you need to have the power to bounce back and rise from the ashes. You think elite athletes gave up when defeat stared them straight into the face?
Here’s what you can do. Don’t focus on your failures. That never helped anyone. Instead, focus on what you’ve learned from your mistakes. If you can’t do this, you might not be ready blogging. You’re going to need a strong mindset to run a strong business.
3. You Might Feel Like You’re Working For Nothing
You started a new blog. You’re a month in and you’ve written a ton of blog posts. But still, you haven’t make any money and you’ve barely got any traffic.
You think, “Where’s all the people?”
New bloggers tend to underestimate how much they need to do in order to run a successful blog. The truth is that most of them don’t make money for week, or even months, after starting their blogs.
Even I didn’t make money with my blog for a long time. Imagine how I felt.
I poured hours and hours of work into my blog. I learned how to set up my website. I learned how to use Pinterest. I posted one article a week. And still, I wasn’t getting much traffic.
I remember learning how to monetize my blog and making my first penny from Adsense. Boy, it felt amazing. It took me a whole week to make that penny, but three days after that I made two more. And it’s been growing ever since.
How to achieve success. I remember being shocked not too long ago when I made $0.14 in one day. It’s nothing, really, but I was so happy. I had never made that much in a day from my blog and it was definitely an improvement.
My point is that we should celebrate the little victories. The ones like:
- taking the time to write a blog post
- or learning how to use Pinterest
- or launching your own product
If you can’t accept the little victories, then you’re going to be miserable when you don’t see results. And if thinking about your blog makes you upset, you’re not going to be gung-ho about working on it.
Unless you’re willing to put in a ton of effort up front, growth is going to be slow. But hey, it’s better than standing still.
4. Everything is on You
You can pick when you work and how you work. If you don’t want to work, you don’t have to. There’s no one to hold you accountable. It may seem great, but this is a double-edged sword.
If you don’t have the discipline to do everything that you have to do, your blog isn’t going to be as successful as it could be. With freedom, comes responsibility.
What if one day, you’re having a tough week? There’s nothing stopping you from throwing in the towel. There’s nothing stopping you from saying goodbye to all the hard work that you’ve put into your blog.
How to get over it. You’re going to need to be disciplined and to find a balance between fun and working on your blog. You’re going to need to set schedules or else your blog isn’t going to reach it’s full potential. Here are a few articles that may help you with your time management skills:
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Time Management Tips to Hack Productivity
- How to Set a Daily Schedule
- 7 Tips for More Effective Time Management
The pages above list suggestions, but do whatever works best for you.
The social aspect. Another thing that most bloggers don’t talk about is the social aspect of it. The truth is: blogging can get quite lonely. When I spend hours on my computer, I begin to crave human interaction. It sucks, because I want to go out and do things, but I also want to work on my blog.
Luckily, there’s a solution for this.
Going out and working in different places makes it easier. And there’s a good variety of environments that you can work in. Maybe you can work in slightly louder environments. If so, you can go work in cafes. Maybe, like me, you work better in quieter environments, so a library may do you more justice.
5. You Won’t Know Your Audience
Sure, you may be writing for an audience, but that doesn’t mean that those are the people that will come to your blog. You could be writing for young moms, but attract teenage boys.
Another struggle of blogging is that most of your audience won’t help you run your business. Most people will view your page, get what they want (or not) and then leave. Although some will come back, some won’t.
Furthermore, the percentage of people that comment and share on your posts is very small compared to the amount of all the people that view your content. And an even smaller percentage of that is how many people are willing to buy what you have to offer.
The bright side. It sucks that the amount of people that you help doesn’t equal the amount of money that you make, but hey, don’t let this be the thing that discourages you. Instead, be happy that you’re helping people, because that’s what really matters. People aren’t going to love you for how much money you made, they’re going to love you for how you improved their lives.
As always, thanks for reading. Please share this post if you found it useful!