When your favourite blogger makes their success look easy, the truth is far from the perception. The reality of making it as an online blogger is bleak, but completely achievable if you work smart (and hard!).
Amongst the millions of blogs, the majority of them don’t make any money, and I know this intimately because I have owned a few of them. While there are a lot of bloggers who haven’t set out to make money from their blog, I was a writer who desperately wanted to earn a living from my articles.
For a long time, I admired the bloggers who made entrepreneurial living look so easy. However, after years of research, trial and error, and sheer determination, I finally heard people saying that about me. The steps to this kind of success isn’t a secret, not even in the slightest; earning money from a blog takes determination, a clear plan, and a lot of consistency.
Let’s dive into the reality of blogging; in this article, I take you through what it takes to create a successful blog, the reason why you need to do these things on repeat, and the harsh truth of the level of commitment you need.
You need to be the master of a niche
If you want to be a successful blogger, you need one topic that you are extremely passionate about. While you don’t necessarily need to be an expert or qualified in your niche, your passion needs to outweigh anything else.
The best niche for you is one you can produce endless amounts of content for, and that you can speak with confident authority on. A passing interest, or something you once read about, won’t make for good blog content. You need to live and breathe your niche.
You need to be able to blog all the time
Your audience wants quality, well thought out and entertaining content regularly. How regular is regular, I hear you ask? The definitive number is debatable amongst professionals, but when you get started, the more you can offer, the better, and daily if possible.
While most people can’t fathom creating that much content at the start, building up slowly is a wise alternative. I recommend starting with one article per week and increase to two articles per week as soon as you can.
An article a month isn’t enough to keep readers engaged, so if this is all the time you have, stop now. Not only will you feel like you are wasting your time, setting up your website, designing it, and getting excited about it, but you won’t excite your audience either.
You need to sacrifice time
Continuing from my last point, if you only have time to write one article a month, a blog isn’t for you. Don’t waste your time, because it won’t be worth it. You need to establish in advance if you can sustain the writing demands, as well as the marketing and publicising demands too (and yes, we are just about to get to the marketing!)
Don’t compare yourself
Once you begin your blog, and you publish your first article, the temptation to look around at what the competition is up to is very tempting. More than likely you will discover a blog with thousands of readers, posting once a month, and doing a hundred times better than you.
Don’t spend your time comparing yourself to other established blogs who only post once a month, or who have diversified their niche. The reason they have ‘broken the rules’ is that they can, and they don’t need to post as often or stay within their chosen subject. No doubt if you go back to when they first launched, you will discover their daily content and a time when they did nothing else but blog about one thing.
Your need get to social
Every blogger has a social media network, most of them multiple types of accounts. Social media is a blogger’s best friend, and if you aren’t willing to get super social, and start showcasing your content in these places, blogging isn’t for you.
Advertising your articles is important; with the web full of established and emerging blogs launching every single day, you need to tell the world your blog exists. Shout it from the rooftops by advertising your blog on every social media network you have, via word of mouth, and by actively perusing a targeted SEO strategy. You cannot expect success without an audience, and when you begin your blog you need to actively peruse a fan base.
Blog because you love to blog
Do you remember that passion part I mentioned earlier? Well, passion is the biggest part of blogging, outweighing skills, time and experience. You need to have the passion to connect with people, to write articles, to be producing content, and to persevere with the results. It won’t be a success overnight, and you may have to review your approach to ensure your visitors keep returning, but the consistency will pay off.