It’s not hard to find successful bloggers these days.
A simple Google search for “successful bloggers” will return you a myriad of blog posts from people who are living it up.
Many will boast about the lifestyle and how much money they make trying to convince you to buy their “secret sauce.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but what most won’t tell you is what it took to get there. As with any business, if it was so easy to replicate why isn’t everyone doing it?
That’s going to be the focus of this article… What aren’t successful full-time bloggers sharing with you.
Let’s get to it!
#1. Blogging is difficult and might not be for you
Don’t expect to start a blog and become an instant success. Overnight successes such as Psy don’t come around often in the blogosphere, so don’t expect it.
Heck, even in his case, he had been around for a while before becoming the so called “King of YouTube.”
In other words, if being a blogger is the career path you decide to take. Be ready to work your behind off if you want to be successful.
To start off, search deep within yourself to find out why you want to become a blogger. Once you have that down, decide if your willing to do a 180 lifestyle change to achieve those goals.
Are you willing to sacrifice blood, sweat, and tears to become a successful blogger? If the answer is NO… Please continue what your doing and save yourself the time.
However, if you’re insistent on making it work no matter what, then continue reading as this will help you along the way.
#2. It takes money
I’ll keep this one short and simple… If you don’t have $100 in your bank account that’s specifically set aside for starting your blog, stop here and go earn that money.
WHAT, isn’t blogging supposed to be free you ask?
Well, blogging can be free if you wish to use platforms such as Medium and Blogger. However, by using those platforms you aren’t in control of your blog, and monetizing it can be hard or impossible as you don’t own anything.
Therefore, you will need money set aside for the following:
- Domain name
- Web Host
Domain name is the name of your blog. For example, I paid $24.54 for bloggingpals.com. I registered it for three years so it comes out to $8.18 per year.
Web Host is where your blog will be parked/stored. I used BlueHost and paid $106.20 for three years. This is paid monthly, so you can opt for a shorter term. I used three years for commitment purposes and to get a better discount.
Education is for gaining knowledge from others. Most of what’s written in books about blogging can be found on the web for free. However, if you’re struggling with a specific aspect, it might be wise to invest in a course that’ll get you over the hump.
Keep in mind that $100 is an arbitrary number. Truth is, you can get your own blog up and running with less than $50 for the first year. The rest depends on how much you’re willing to invest on education.
#3. Being a full-time blogger can be lonely
While everybody is waking up and getting ready to go to work. You’re doing the same to sit in front of a desk by your lonesome.
Not everyone is a socialite, but there’s something about going to work and seeing other people that makes you feel like you’re part of something.
Being a blogger doesn’t have that perk. Most days you’ll be sitting in front of your computer writing excellent articles just like I’m doing now :), sharing your posts, commenting on other people’s blogs, etc.
There’s no sharing stress or displeasure with your boss with co-workers. It’s just you and your computer.
Don’t get me wrong though, as with most things, you’ll get used to it after a while. However, it’s crucial that you find ways to de-stress.
Things I do to avoid feeling lonely:
- Communicate with other bloggers (who better to understand you?)
- Schedule breaks during work hours
- Go out for a walk or read a book when I feel gassed out
- Do some of the work at the library or coffee shop
Personally, I don’t like dull moments, so I try to mix it up a bit for my own sanity.
You might be a bit different, but keep in mind that times will come where you’ll feel lonely and stressed out. Have a system in place to deal with that, and don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers for help as you aren’t the only one whose ever been through that.
#4. You’ll run out of ideas
Before I started this blog, I created a spreadsheet full of blog post titles that I wanted to write about. There were about 60 titles which I thought would be enough to write for most of the year if I kept my goal of 3 posts per week.
However, as I started picking the titles out, I found that only about 15 were interesting enough to write about. Some were duplicates, others were not in sync with what the blog has become, and many were just horrible titles to begin with.
So there I sat wondering how in the world I was going to come up with the 156 blog post ideas needed for my first year of blogging.
That’s just one example, but sometimes you’ll run out of things to write midway through a post or you’ll run out of ideas on what to share on social media.
This is normal and you shouldn’t get frustrated when it happens. I used to, but now I take a step back and do the following:
- Find other blog posts with similar topics
- Take a break, focus on something else for a while, and comeback fresh
- Ask others for ideas
- Turn on some music. Yeah I know silly me, but this tends to work for me
Your way of freshening up and pumping out new ideas might be different then mine, but the point is that these things will happen and you’ll need to find a way past it.
#5. Traffic growth takes time
Please don’t listen to the gazillion blog posts out there raving about going from 0 to 50,000 visitors in a month.
Unless you have built-in connections with some of the top influencers in your niche. That’s not going to happen… And even if you do, it’s not a sure bet.
Traffic growth takes time. In most cases we’re talking about six months or so to start seeing results, especially if search engines are your main source of traffic.
There’s no going around this. You might write a blog post that goes viral or become an instant influencer in your niche, but chances are that you’ll chug along one step at a time just like the rest of us.
Depending on how much effort you’re planning on putting in to become a full-time blogger, give yourself a 6 month window to start seeing significant results from your efforts.
Do enjoy and celebrate the little things along the way such as:
- 1st blog post
- 1st visitor
- 1st email signup
- 1st social share
- 1st comment
- 100 visitors in a month
- 1,000 visitors in a month
You must cross those milestones before reaching your ultimate traffic goals so why not enjoy them?
#6. Having a blog doesn’t mean you’ll make money
Some people believe starting a blog and publishing a few articles on it is all it takes to start generating income.
That’s a good start, but it takes more than that and a lot depends on the route you choose to go with for monetizing your blog.
See below some of the ways bloggers use to monetize their blogs:
- Display ads: I dislike them because it takes away from the user experience and it requires plenty of traffic to make money. However, when done properly it works.
- Selling eBooks and online courses: Requires content creation and a good sales pitch. Works great for bloggers with loyal followers.
- Affiliate Marketing: This entails selling other peoples products. One of my favorites as you can make commissions for recommending your followers products and services that work for you… Don’t sell out and make recommendations based on how much you’re going to make.
- Services: This can be anywhere from website building, to a consultation to discuss your next vacation. Wonderful way of monetizing your blog. Will require time and special skills to provide the services being sold.
How you choose to monetize your blog is up to you. The options are endless, but you must have a plan.
Having a blog and publishing great content is a good start, but it won’t make you money by itself unless you figure out a way to monetize it.
#7. People matter
This one is simple. Without people reading your blog and purchasing whatever you’re selling, you have nothing.
What can you do with nothing? Exactly!
Treat every visitor the same way you’d like to be treated when visiting other’s websites. Teach them about the topic they’re interested in and only recommend products and services that will enhance their lives.
Interact with them through your writing, the comments section, on social media, and anywhere that you can think of. They’re the lifeblood of your blog.
#8. You must be authentic
This is a tricky one because blogging is an arena where you can truly fake it til you make it.
You can boast about owning mansions, visiting places you’ve only seen in pictures, or having the latest Rolls-Royce and for the most part, if done properly, no one will catch your lies.
But what’s the fun it that? How’s boasting about things you’ve never done going to make you feel inside? Probably not great, but I’ll let you answer that to yourself.
Being authentic will differentiate you from all the other bloggers out there.
Regardless of which niche you decide to focus your blog on, there’s probably thousands of others doing the same thing.
Having your own voice will separate you from the average blogger and create the connection with your audience required for becoming a success.
#9. Quality trumps quantity
Writing a bunch of shitty (excuse my french) articles that have no benefits to your readers is a big waste of time.
It’s better to write one quality article per week, then publishing a shitty one each day.
Example: Studies show that articles showing in the top 3 results on Google contain an average of 2,450 words.
Translation: People are looking for content that provide them in-depth information on their topic of interest. Content that’ll teach them, not just touch the surface.
This doesn’t mean you have to write 3,000 words on every topic, but try to provide the most useful information out there on your chosen topic.
Never go for quantity over quality. If you can write a great blog post each day and still have time to run the blog properly then do so. If not, find your happy medium and go for it, but never under any circumstances jeopardize your quality.
#10. Social media is a must
There’s no escaping social media, especially if you’re starting out.
We already established that Google traffic takes time to build, so the quickest way to getting eyeballs on your new blog is through social media.
You might decide to ditch social media once your search engine traffic grows to a certain point. I wouldn’t recommend ditching it all together, but if that’s your thing, i’m not stopping you.
However, you must be active on social media starting out. I recommend focusing on one or two and mastering them before jumping on to other platforms.
Having a presence on multiple social media platforms takes too much time and effort. So much so, that you won’t have time for the blog. Therefore, focus on one and master it before moving on to others.
#11. It’s a business
If you plan on becoming a full-time blogger and generating income from it, then it’s a business and you must run it like one.
That means marketing, sales, staff, security and all that other boring stuff.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep tabs of your expenditures and income for Uncle Sam at the end of the year.
Okay, what did I miss?
As always, these types of lists are a way to get started on the topic.
What other things don’t full-time bloggers tell you about? And what resources do you feel would help people reading this? Feel free to link to your articles in the comments section if you have something relevant.