Blogging is hard work. I have multiple blogs, and I can legitimately tell you that blogging is hard work. Over the past ten years or so, blogging has been promoted as a great way to build a web presence, build an audience, and reach people.
Blogging is, in fact, one of the best ways to demonstrate expertise, promote a brand, and build your tribe. In fact, blogging is one of the first things I recommend new marketers. It’s very effective and won’t be going away any time soon.
But blogging isn’t all sunshine and roses.
As much as we’d all like it to be a silver bullet – an all-in-one solution for getting our names out there and making money – blogging is hard work. The sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. Blogging is one of my favorite tools for promoting products and services, and I highly recommend you start a blog. However, you need to approach it with the proper mindset, or you’ll fall flat on your face.
Most blogs fail
The harsh but nevertheless real truth is that most blogs end in failure. For one reason or another, they just don’t take off – or if they do, they fizzle out. Traffic drops to little or nothing. Content isn’t well planned out. Bloggers give up.
I wish I could tell you this is only true for a tiny percentage of blogs, and that every blogger is promised a massive paycheck and plenty of traffic. I wish the decision to launch a blog were a sure-fire way for the masses to make job quitting income.
But that wouldn’t be realistic.
Lots of competition
Over the last few years, blogging has become more competitive than ever before. Tools like WordPress have made the blogging not only inexpensive to start but very easy to do long term.
Everybody and his uncle can start a blog about literally anything. That’s great.
But where once only a few strong voices could be heard, there is now a veritable cacophony.
Whether you’re selling your own products and services or nothing at all, you now must contend with a horde of other men and women in your niche competing for your audience.
It’s more difficult than ever to attract and hold an audience. In a room full of shouting people, you need to be even louder to stand out.
It’s not all bad, though. This increased competition means mediocrity is no longer sufficient. Too long has the web been plagued by content that’s “just okay” and not the helpful, valuable content to which people would like to become accustomed.
Increased competition forces those who want to be heard to produce fantastic content instead of being content to live in the swamp of just okay.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme
Can you make money blogging? Absolutely. But you must understand that blogging is not a way to get rich quick.
There’s no shortage of people claiming starting a blog is a sure fire way to make a million bucks and quit your day job.
“Start making $1,000 a month in 8 weeks!” they say.
It sounds great. Sounds awesome, actually. Is it realistic? Not really.
Don’t get me wrong. You can make a lot of money blogging, and sometimes that success is quick, but it’s not the norm.
As I mentioned above, most blogs fail. For one reason or another, they fizzle out. While there are many reasons blogs don’t make it, I believe one is to blame above the rest – at least, it’s near the top.
What is it?
Many bloggers jump into blogging not realizing that blogging is hard work. They’ve been taught they can make a mint writing a few blog posts a week and producing content. So, what do they do? Buy a domain, throw a blog up on the web, start writing as much content as possible expecting instant success… aaaand… When that success doesn’t come quickly, they give up, assuming either they’ve done something wrong or that this blogging thing doesn’t work after all.
It’s sad, really.
What I need you to understand, dear reader, is that blogging does work. It’s a powerful tool for growing your brand, building your email list, attracting clients, and making money. But it is not a get rich quick scheme. Don’t start blogging thinking it will make you rich in 6 months.
Blogging takes dedication and consistency
This is something all bloggers – new, old and prospective – need to hear. I don’t say blogging is hard work just to hear myself… type. Starting, maintaining and growing a blog takes serious dedication.
I think many non-bloggers have this sort of idyllic vision of blogging – as if it’s an easy, passive, sunshine and rainbows land of fun. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are days like that, but more often than not, it’s a nose-to-the-grind hustle.
If I’m not consistent with my posts, and if I let my quality slide, you can bet my audience my audience won’t stick around. They want quality. It’s what they expect, and they won’t be (and shouldn’t be) satisfied with anything else.
I want every email, every blog post, every video, every single piece of content that I produce to be positively helpful, valuable and worth the time investment necessary to interact with it. How could I create content that I myself wouldn’t want to read or watch? Wouldn’t that be hypocritical?
If I told you how many hours a week I spend planning, writing and organizing content, you’d call me crazy. And some of my blogger friends would call me lazy. (Probably rightly so.) This is the reality of anyone serious about making this thing work.
Dear reader, if you want to get into blogging, understand just how much work will be required of you.
Every day, expect to:
- Brainstorm post ideas
- Research keywords
- Write posts
- Rewrite content because your first draft sucked
- Create graphics for posts
- Optimize your content for search engines
- Network with other bloggers and entrepreneurs
- Maintain a social media presence
- Promote your content
- Write email content
- …and more. Of course
All of this needs to be done consistently and done well. Otherwise you’ll fall flat on your face like so many others before you.
Blogging requires planning
…lots of planning. No blog can be successful without fantastic content. What will you write about? What topics will you cover? How in depth will you go?
Now, you could just “wing it.” You’ll figure it out as you go, right?
That’s certainly an option, but not a good one.
See, I’ve been there, done that. I’ve played that game, and it doesn’t work as well as you might hope.
It wasn’t until I started mind mapping my posts and planning out what I wanted to say that I started producing content that people actually loved.
In other words, planning is the antidote to poorly hashed-together content that helps no one.
I have dozens more posts planned at any given time, so I don’t have to sit here scratching my head wondering what to write about next. I simply look at my list and pick something. Sweet.
Blogging is hard work. Do it anyway.
I don’t tell you that blogging is hard work to discourage you. I don’t say what I do to scare you away. After all, I do encourage you to pick a niche and start a blog. However, I want you to understand the work that goes into building and growing a blog.
I’ve seen too many bloggers start blogs with unrealistic expectations, only to give up in a few months when their dreams don’t materialize. I don’t want that to be you.
I firmly believe that blogging is a powerful tool that nearly anyone can wield to make money, build a brand, and grow a business. But so many – SO many – do it wrong, and they get themselves into a world of trouble.
If you tackle blogging with the understanding that blogging is hard work, you’ll be better suited for the ups and downs, the successes and the failures, and you won’t give up like so many do.
I don’t want you to dive in with unrealistic expectations, dear reader, only to find blogging isn’t quite what you thought it was when you started. I’ve seen far too many people give up. Don’t let the next person be you.