5 Reasons Blogging Might Not Be For You
Blogging can change your life.
For people with the desire and ability, I strongly recommend starting a blog for all kinds of reasons.
I started blogging in 2009 to explore my creativity and share stories about wanting more than money and status out of life.
Ever since I started this blog, amazing things have happened. I’ve made countless awesome new friends, built a business, discovered creativity I didn’t know I had, and have supported myself in a way that lets me travel the world and work from anywhere.
I’ve even received job offers (and politely said “no thanks” to each 🙂 ), business offers, strange and wonderful gifts in the mail and countless emails from readers that lift me up, make me think, and make me thankful every day for being able to share my voice and help people through writing.
When I think back over the amazing changes I’ve gone through over the past three years, blogging is at the center of what has enabled those changes.
I’ve been a fortunate blogger, and many of my friends have as well.
I have watched friends and peers do amazing things with blogging, and I’ve helped hundreds of other people start blogs through my courses and one-on-one consulting.
When I started blogging, I knew no popular bloggers, and I didn’t know anyone who supported themselves through blogging. I now know dozens of people who earn a living through blogging and dozens more who’s lives have changed because of blogging. I count many bloggers among my closest friends.
The benefits of blogging are easy to recognize and praise, but not every blogger will reap these rewards. There are hundreds of millions of blogs in existence, and only a small percentage achieve the goals the blogger starts with.
Why do some blogs become wildly successful while most go unnoticed?
Could you create a successful blog?
Here are 5 truths about blogging you should know before you start.
Building a successful blog takes an incredible amount of work, patience and stamina.
I’ve discovered a common trait among top bloggers I’ve gotten to know like Chris Guillebeau, Leo Babauta, Danielle LaPorte and Ramit Sethi. They deserve all the success they’ve had in blogging because they have worked incredibly hard at it for a long time.
Luck barely played a role for these and all of the other big name bloggers I know. Each of them simply works their ass off every week. They all happen to be brilliant as well, but brilliance takes a back seat to hard work when it comes to blogging.
And here’s the thing: the bar is high for new bloggers. You have to be willing to work as hard as some of these top bloggers if you want a seat at the table.
Smart bloggers realize that hard work is their secret weapon.
Blogging isn’t a quick path to riches.
If you earn any revenue from your blog within the first 6-12 months, you’ll be doing well. If you can support yourself completely within two years of starting your blog, you’ll be doing extremely well.
Forget about making a living within just a few months. I’ve never seen it happen for a new blogger. Building a business around blogging is fun and rewarding and some amazing things are possible, but don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Give yourself a solid 18-36 months to earn a full-time living from blogging. See point #1 above to remind yourself that it will take a lot of work to make it happen. If money is purely your goal, there are quicker paths to it than blogging.
The most successful bloggers are in it for much more than money.
To be a successful blogger, you have to like creating content.
Blogging requires creating a LOT of content.
For most bloggers, this means writing a ton. For some, it might mean creating lots of videos or podcasts or illustrations. In any case, you’ll be producing a lot.
From creating blog posts to responding to comments and emails to posting on social media to creating guest posts for other sites, you’ll be producing 1000s of words every week.
If you don’t like writing or otherwise recording ideas to share with other people, blogging will be nearly impossible for you to do well.
This is a skill you can learn to like, but you have to start with the right mindset. If you’re on the fence about whether you like producing copious amounts of content, make it your goal to figure out a way to make it fun. Find the topics, tone and format that work for you. Don’t feel like you have to do exactly what other bloggers do.
Successful bloggers find a way to fall in love with creating content. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll build a blog that matters.
To be a successful blogger, you have to like helping or entertaining other people, not just about talking yourself.
It’s one thing to like writing because you spend all the time writing about yourself. Blogging requires something more. You have to write for other people.
That’s not to say you can’t write about yourself, but you have to relate those stories about yourself into something other people can learn from or be entertained by.
I’ve known new bloggers who thought they were great writers until they started blogging for an audience. Writing for an audience is much different from journaling or keeping a diary for yourself. The audience (or lack of) will let you know if your writing is as good as you thought. Most of the time, if your writing isn’t well received it means you’re not relating to your audience and providing them with unmistakable value.
To be a great blogger, you have to get good at writing in a relatable way. You have to write for other people.
Building a successful blog requires getting to know other bloggers. You have to make friends and create relationships.
Every successful blogger I know has strong relationships and friendships with other bloggers. You’ll need help (mentoring, support, links, mentions, referrals) from other bloggers if you want to build a blog that matters.
I’ve seen plenty of potentially great bloggers struggle simply because they’re terrified to get out of their shell and meet new people.
Successful bloggers look forward to connecting with other bloggers and know that some of their most rewarding relationships and friendships come from these connections.
If I didn’t scare you off with the points above, maybe it’s time for you to get started blogging.
Just remember, starting a blog is actually easy. Thousands of new blogs are started every day. Anyone can create a blog in 5 minutes, but very few people will create blogs that matter.
Published January, 2012
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