With the new year upon us, I wanted to take time to address the topic of blogging. I’ve received questions about it in times past. Because this is the time of year when people often set new goals, I wanted to put my thoughts out there for readers who are interested in blogging, toying with the idea of taking it up this year.
Today I’m going to say what’s on my heart to say. As a woman and friend, as an individual who has been on the blogging road for several years now.
Here are 4 things my experience has taught me, things I want you to know before you dive in!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase one of the items I recommend, the company will give me a small commission, at no extra cost to yourself. For more detail, see my disclaimer page.
You Need a Reason Deeper Than Money
In her bestselling e-book How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, Ruth Soukup lays it out for us, just as it is: “Let me be clear from the beginning that there are far easier and much surer ways to make money than by blogging”(pg 6).
She goes on to say that if she’d put the same time and effort into a) becoming a consultant b). taking up a part time job or c). even starting a small business, she’d probably be better off financially!
Truth is, money comes slow for a beginning blogger! Those who see success usually have a “why” that runs deeper than money.
These individuals often have the intent of helping their audience, offering encouragement, finding solutions for those who are stuck or struggling.
Why are “others” focused bloggers often successful?
If the goal is to help and make a difference in people’s lives, it won’t matter if you have 500, 5,000 or 50,000 followers! The knowledge that you are making a difference will spur you on. And the fact that you are helping others will attract more readers, which then has potential to translate to $$$. It’s as simple as that!
Blogging Is a Skill You Have to Develop
No, my friend. In spite of all the stories you hear, success won’t just fall into your lap. All those claims about moving from 0-100,000 page views in 6 months? There’s more to each story than is being told!
Many times, there’s a significant sum of money involved, sometimes debt and so often, unclaimed previous experience with online marketing, blogging and writing. I could go on a tirade about how frustrated I’ve been by the lack of honesty that so often exists in the blogging/marketing world. But I won’t.
The truth is, it takes time to learn any skill and on average, 10,000 hours of experience to become a professional! While you don’t have to be a professional blogger to make money, you do have to be good before you’ll see substantial traffic (which then opens doors to making $$).
Some people take it slow and steady, blogging (approx) 10 hours a week over the course of 4-6 years. Others enroll in expensive courses and dedicate 40-60 hours per week to their blog (no joke, I actually know people who have) and after 1+ year of work, see “short term success.”
It doesn’t matter who you are! Everyone puts in their time. How quickly you get there depends on how much of youself you are willing to devote to learning.
Remember that blogging isn’t just about writing. Unless you’re ready to hire help, you won’t just be creating new blog posts. You’ll be learning how to manage social media accounts, running the technical side of your blog and may even find yourself trying to soak up marketing strategies. You’ll be learning several new things at once!
Success won’t fall into your lap overnight. You have to create it, through lots of learning, writing, ups, downs and plain old, stick-to-itiveness.
You’ve Gotta Love This Blogging Thing
I hear it over and over from my blogging acquaintances: if you don’t love the blogging process, you’ll probably give up. Why? Because it takes lots of time and effort! And in today’s saturated online market, you can’t just create blog posts; you have to learn how to promote your stuff.
If you don’t have previous experience, the learning curve will be steep. And if you don’t love it, you probably won’t stick with it long enough to see success. That’s just the reality!
Serious About Blogging? Get a Mentor!
Want to create a quality blog with as little pain as possible? Find yourself a mentor! There are many ways to go about blogging in this world and nothing is more confusing than trying to implement 15 different styles and approaches on your little website!
Shoot straight and true. Find an instructor who does what you want to do. If your goal is to create written content, learn from someone who teaches how to create and promote compelling, written content!
The first step might be enrolling in their starter course and joining their blogging facebook group. If that’s too much money upfront, I recommend buying a book that will walk you through the process, step by step. After I set up my blog, I read Ruth Soukup’s How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul. It’s jam-packed and gives you everything you need to know about starting a successful blog! And if you want to carry on, she offers the Elite Blogging Academy course, of which I’ve only ever heard good things.
Even if you have to start small, find someone who knows what they’re doing, then learn and implement their strategies. Buy their material as you can afford it. You won’t regret it!
That’s My Two Cents!
Its been on my mind for a while now, this post. Oh, I know it’s raw, rough and mostly unedited, but I just wanted to get it out there.
Do I know everything there is to know about running and managing a blog? Not by a long shot! But if you asked me what I thought about blogging, if you came to me for advice, if you wondered what I would say or what my experience has taught me…well…now you know!