Most people think all they have to do is start a blog and their life will be different right away. Well, that can’t be the furthest away from the truth. I am here to tell you the truth of blogging. While blogging can be fun and exciting, it can also be extremely lonely.
When you look around the web for such phrases as “Passive Income“, “Making Money Blogging”, “Making a Living Blogging”, you have to be careful. There is a whole world out there that says follow these 5 simple steps and you will be on your way to a whole new world. Well let me open your eyes and be frank with you, it doesn’t work like that. If you are looking to start a blog to get free products, well it’s not easy. If you want to make money, it’s not easy. If you are looking to start a blog to share articles with your friends, well it’s not easy. I am not sure the stats, but I am pretty confident most people fail with their blogs because of a variety of reasons.
For me, I started a tool blog back in 2005 and worked my tail off. Back in those days, we didn’t have WordPress. I designed my whole site using Microsoft Frontpage. I didn’t know how to code, but I taught myself. I have to admit that some my success was luck, well maybe a lot.
At that time, the internet or blogging wasn’t huge. I was at a job I hated and just bought a house two years earlier. I was in the process of fixing it up, so when I would go online, I could never find anything regarding power tools. So there was my opportunity, an opportunity I didn’t even at the time. I created a website, posted about 50 pages of content and then would occasionally update it. I didn’t create the website to make money because I didn’t even know I could do that. I made the website because I wanted other people to learn about power tools. About a year later, I got a call on the phone from a company who wanted to advertise with me. That’s when it dawned on my that I could actually make money doing this, not to mention the free tools. Well, that was then and this is now. Things are much different nowadays. Nowadays everyone under the sun has a website and wants to make millions doing it. There is much more competition today than there has every been online. With a low barrier to entry, anyone can start a site. But there is a key from blending in with the rest of the world to standing out and being the shining light. Here are just a couple of things and the truth about blogging.
The Truth of Blogging
Ask Your Self the Most Important Question
Ask yourself this question – Why do you want to blog?
Is it to get free products? Is it to make money? Is it to show off your skills? Is it to educate people? Is it to share stuff with your family?
When you ask yourself this question, don’t answer it right away. Just think about all the different options and scenarios to blogging. Think short term and think long term. Can you picture yourself doing this 5 years down the road? Do you think you will still enjoy it?
For me, while I like writing, it’s not my favorite thing to do. So for me, I started all my blogs because they were hobbies or passions I had and just wanted to share it with the world. In return, I was hoping to create a community where I could learn from others. My blogs are not about money, it’s about passion and learning from others. However with that said, I do earn money from the blogs. But I just look at the income as a bonus. If I was writing strictly for a living and to make money, I think I would be miserable. Blogging would be more of a job instead of a hobby that pays a side income.
Before you begin any journey with blogging, you really have, to be honest with yourself and understand why you are taking a leap towards blogging. Whatever you pick and whatever drives you is fine, but this is something you need to know so you know how and what subject you will be covering.
Start Up Requires Research
The truth of blogging is you need to take time and research. When you start a blog, you need to do a ton of research. Not only do you need to research your topic, but you need to research on how to blog. You need to research about marketing, writing and a ton of other topics. The more you learn before you start, the fewer mistakes you will make during critical times down the road.
Over the years I have made a ton of mistakes, but my biggest mistake was hosting. I tried to go cheap with hosting, I had an article that caught on and instead of getting a ton of traffic, the site went down. Now that is just one small mistake and one that could be fixed, but blogging takes more than just writing.
Remember there is no rush in starting your blog. Draw up some plans, goals and then start your research. If you plan now, your life and blogging career will be so much easier and enjoyable down the road.
Blogging takes a ton of time
Time, time and time. Hopefully, you have a lot of time if you decide to blog. Now if you don’t, don’t let that detract you, it will just take longer to get going. Most people think they can just write a quick article and post it. Once it’s posted, people will come. Well, that is the farthest from the truth.
Blogging is truly like running your own business. You have to be the jack of all trades. Yes, down the road you can have some people help you with various activities, but in the beginning, I would suggest learning and doing as much as possible. This way when you have people perform activities for you, you can give them guidance and make sure they are doing it the right way and your way.
While writing an article may be fun, there is so much more to blogging. You have to understand the whole back in of your website. You have to understand that not all WordPress plugin play nice together. You have to make sure your software is all up to date.
When you write a post, you have to be knowledgeable about the topic. You may have to research the topic. You will have to take or find pictures for the article.
Once you post an article, you will have to be your own cheerleader by letting others know what a great article you wrote and show them how to get there. You will have to market not only your article but yourself. The internet is a big place and you will have to guide people to your front door.
This is only a fraction of what is needed to start blogging. It does take time, but it’s something that can be done. Start planning and come up with a system.
Blogging can be lonely – You will be talking to yourself
“Blogging is lonely. You will be talking to yourself for the first 6 months.”
I really hope you like yourself because you will have to listen to yourself for a long time. I know people say you can get your blog up and running in a day and then on day two you can 50K visitors if you buy their program. Let me tell you this. While some people have been able to get their blog up and running very quickly and also get traffic to their site quickly, for most people it doesn’t happen this way.
Most of the time you will be talking to yourself. Yes, you will get traffic, but how much and how quickly really depends upon you. It depends upon your time you put in. It depends on how aggressive you are or how comfortable you feel.
If you are not getting traffic right away, it doesn’t mean you have to give up. I know a lot of people who just get tired after four months because they aren’t getting 20K people a day. I know some of the ideas are great, but they just get frustrated.
If you are getting frustrated, you have to keep plugging away. Yes, you should look at yourself and material and question it. See if there is an issue with it or what can be done to improve it. But the bottom line, the internet is very big and sometimes it just takes a little bit of traction and a little bit of time before your site catches on.
Don’t give up. Do some research and see what other have done to combat the slow traffic.
Getting out of your comfort zone
This is probably your number one thing you will have to focus on. Some people are very comfortable, while others are not. Don’t be afraid to try new things and fail. You have to get out of your comfort zone and try these new things. Some new ideas and concepts can be great and make your blog expand, but you will never know unless you try.
Don’t be afraid if people are critical to yo and your work. Trust me, it will happen. This happens to me all the time and the only I can do is laugh at it. For our tool blog, we get two types of critical people.
One group of critics tries to be rude and cruel. These are the ones I laugh at and just picture them in their mother’s basement. I know these are the people that would never have the courage to tell me to my face. I do have to admit that some of these trolls do make me laugh. When you run across people like this, don’t ever take it personally and don’t ever let it stop you.
The second type of critical people, I listen to. These are people who have constructive criticism and actually say what we are doing wrong and what we can do to fix things. Sometimes they are great criticisms and other times, I understand where they are coming from, but it just doesn’t fit in with our business model.
While it’s very easy to put up a wall and write these people off, you should take time, listen to them, decide if it applies and always get back to them.
In order to blog, you do have to open up yourself to the world. You have to be prepared for criticism and open to new ideas. This is just the truth of blogging.
This goes back to talking to yourself. Writing and running your blog is a lot like working out. You put a ton of time into the project, but it takes forever to see great results.
If you stick with it, you will see results. While it seems easy and fun, it does take a lot of work. Don’t expect great things to happen overnight. If great things do happen overnight, more power to you, but don’t expect it.
Enjoy the journey, understand it’s a lot of work, understand it takes a lot of time. The bottom line, you get out of it what you put into it.
Remember it’s your blog
In the end, this is your blog and your creation. Write for yourself and your readers first. Take the journey and have some fun. You will meet some great people and have your ups and downs. If you can take verythinging with a grain of salt, learn from your mistakes, realize it’s hard work and takes time, you will achieve great things.
Even if you don’t get 100K people a day, remember this was your creation and if yo only get one person, it’s one more that if you didn’t start your blog.