First off, blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. There is nothing quick about blogging. It is time intensive, and can take over every waking hour – if you let it. Successful bloggers (ones that make great incomes) take at least 3 years to see the amount of traffic that advertisers demand to pay top dollar. Three years is a long time if you want instant success, but short if you want to be set for life.
Blogging is not about just getting free swag and perks. If you want free stuff, lavish vacations and lots of perks, go into luxury sales. I did the luxury sales bit and it was great, but it was a slog and soul stealing. Blogging can be the same. The free stuff isn’t free – brands want you to promote a product for them using your hard-won traffic. There are some great perks, but it is not all fun and FedEx boxes. This is a trap I learned early on.
There are a lot of people that will sell you courses, products, tools and stuff on making your blog successful. Take all of these with a grain of salt. If they have not reproduced their strategy on multiple sites, what they are really selling is what worked – for them. What has worked for me is that I treat my blog like a business. I invest in it, have a plan, and track the finances like a hawk.
Everyone has great insight and may have strategies that you hadn’t thought of – but. The but is this.
There is only one way to be a successful blogger:
You have to produce content people are interested in and market it until you are blue in the face.
There are many strategies that will help you achieve that goal, but at the end of the day, it really comes down to producing something people want. Feed the beast, if you will.
Here is why I blog:
- I love to write. I wanted to be a creative writing major. Then I realized writers were not paid extremely well. Unless you are Stephen King. Then you can pretty much own the state of Maine.
- It is great practice for me in my business. I get to try out creative strategies and see if they work. I learn so much about the strategies that are coming out and am able to confidently tell my clients if they work – or don’t. I love to experiment and see what little changes can do to a brand.
- I learn so much. I have learned so much about internet security, Google Analytics, and social media marketing – stuff you can’t learn in a thousand hours of training and book reading. I have hard evidence if something works.
- I get to learn about myself. I am learning to better communicate. I love the written word, and I am able to see how people react to my thoughts and ideas. It isn’t just what you have to say, but how you say it.
- And lastly – it is still a business. It isn’t a get-rich scheme, but it is a long term investment. As with my consulting business, I have to maintain it in order for it to grow and I like the accountability.
If you want to be a blogger, then the first thing you should be doing is deciding the purpose of your blog, why you want to do it, and if you have the time you need to do it properly.
Then, you need to learn everything you can about blogging – how to set up wordpress, what to add to your site to make it function and all of the marketing aspects of blogging. If you plan on outsourcing all of this, you definitely need startup capital.
Once you know what you want to do, start the business planning. How do you plan to make money? What money making programs are you going to join? How will you track your success? Create your business plan.
Then start blogging. Start creating content and sharing it, find your audience. Find your niche. And keep at it. It is a long slog, and can be very rewarding. But if you don’t have a real plan in place and don’t have the basics to help your site grow, you are in a losing proposition.
There are plenty of ways to make money in the blogging world – sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, advertising, and selling products. There is no right way to generate income, but you need to be sure that whatever method you choose is right for your blog and your visitors.
If you want to take the next steps, here are some resources to help you out. They are books I have used (or written!) to help navigate the blogging process and help in setting up a business. Please note the following are affiliate links – they don’t cost you anything extra, but they do generate income for my blog.
To learn more about affiliate marketing – Check out Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body – her book – Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers tells you everything you need to know!
If you need guidance on how to really get blogging going, check out Ruth from Living Well Spending Less – her book Blogging For Profit Without Selling Your Soul is a sound resource to understand the ins and outs.
If you are already in the blogging business and are feeling a bit lost – I am also running a new group program in the coming year – the 6 Week Reset. This is a 6 Week Course starting January 4th and runs to February 13th – just in time for you to fall in love with your business in 2016!