Blogging 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Decide to Start Blogging
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So, you’re thinking about blogging. You have some great ideas and feel strongly about a certain topic. And, you want to make some money doing it. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom that wants to supplement your family’s income, or maybe you’re a retiree looking to make some extra money. How hard can it be, right? All you have to do is write some articles on your website, right? And maybe put some ads on there. You can make money that way, right?
Cue the screeching tires.
Weelllllll, blogging isn’t quite that simple. I’ve been blogging for years but got really serious about doing it right about a year ago. If you are really considering blogging, let me fill you in on a few things that I’ve learned.
BLOGGING IS HARD
It really is hard. There is a lot involved in the whole blogging process. From creating and maintaining your site, planning and posting blog content, creating images, to developing free opt-in content, email blasts, social media marketing, affiliate marketing and advertising, and product development. It is a full-time job and is never-ending. If you’re like me and already work a full-time job during the day, you’ll spend every night and most of your weekend working on your blog doing all those things I listed. You will definitely have days when you just don’t feel like it. If you take a day off, you need to either plan for it in advance, or you’ll have to make it up the next day working twice as hard and twice as long. It is exhausting.
YOU’LL STRUGGLE TO FIND YOUR PLACE
Many bloggers, myself included, struggle to find their niche. What they really want to blog about, what they’re passionate about. You may start off doing one thing, then switch to something different several times until you figure out what works best for you. I did the same thing. It takes time to find what the best combination of what you have to offer and people who need it.
IT’S NOT A GET-RICH-QUICK VENTURE
Don’t plan on making a lot of money in a short time period. If you have affiliate ads on your site, you make money only if someone clicks on the ad and purchases. And in order to have that happen, you need a lot of traffic. A LOT. Building up followers takes time. You need to provide content that is of value to them for them to visit your site, and eventually, return to your site. What does “value to them” mean? It means that they have a problem, and you’re offering a solution. That solution may be a simple blog post, a demonstration video, an e-book, an e-course, a digital product, or a physical product. If you want to make some money from those courses, books or products, that would be great, but again, you need site traffic and building up your email marketing list to get your products out takes a fair amount of time.
YOU WILL HAVE MIXED EMOTIONS
When you first start blogging, you tend to be very excited. It’s a new adventure and you’re sure you are going to be a huge success and it’s going to be great! You work yourself to death building your site, adding your content, photos, market yourself, create your opt-in, create your products, and then hear crickets. No one is buying, no one is visiting your site, nothing is happening. So you go from an adrenaline high to depression. It can be defeating and disappointing.
THERE ARE REWARDS THOUGH
Now, let me say despite what I’ve mentioned previously, blogging can be a fantastic thing! If you are a natural writer or a natural teacher, then blogging with e-courses will be successful for you. Or, if you offer a physical product that is perfect for what people in your niche need, then you’ll be a success. You may be an affiliate marketer and are hitting the right products to the right people and have found the right combo.
Blogging can be really rewarding and well worth the time. And, yes, it can be fun! When you connect with your audience and you start receiving feedback and comments on your posts and social media that people are happy with what you’re providing, it can be amazingly rewarding. That feeling is very, very motivating as well!
MY BEST ADVICE
My best advice to you if you are interested in becoming a blogger is: be creative, be tenacious, and above all, be patient. It will work out eventually. Take your time, do lots of research into whatever niche or field you’re interested in. Figure out your target audience and what product or service you can offer that will solve their dilemma. Research marketing practices and techniques and find the best one for your product or service. Just take the time to educate yourself and be as well informed as you possibly can. It will all help you become as successful as possible.
Look, I don’t want to scare you off from blogging. Not at all. I want you to see and know all that is involved in the process so you can make sure that it is really for you. This post is just the start of a series that I’ll be presenting that will guide you through your blogging journey. Stay tuned for “Blogging 101: Everything you Need to Know to Start a Blog”, and that post will include a free checklist!
Until then, let me know in the comments your thoughts…. are you a blogger? If you had the chance, would you do things differently? Would you not blog at all? Have you quit blogging because of all that was involved? Let me know!