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Four years and dozens of blogs later I share these 7 things I learned about blogging. Wondering how to get your blog off the ground? Wanna know how long it takes to start making real money? Want to know if blogging is really worth it? Keep reading while I share these realizations about blogging.
1. Blogging is Hard
Tired of reading all those blogger income reports sharing this blogger made $40,000 last month effortlessly or that blogger sold 1,000 courses to their readers. The truth is blogging is hard and what may not be revealed is that the $40K took 8 years to get to that point or 1,000 sold courses took 5 years of full time blogging to reach that point.
Blogging has many perks and is very rewarding but it’s not a cake walk.
- SEO research is hard
- Crafting blog posts is hard
- Creating digital products is hard
- Mapping out sales funnels, putting together email campaigns, collaborating with other bloggers, guest posting…its all hard
So, you wanna start a blog?
Do it, but understand that it’s no easy feat and when you feel like giving up, keep, going.
2. Blogging is a Job
This feeds into #1. Blogging can be a full-time job. There are blogging-related things you can do everyday for 8 hours a day all year long.
Secret Pro Tip: Treat it like a job and go a lot further with your blogging career.
3. Your Blog Won’t Become an Overnight Success
It’s impossible for this to happen.
I have scoured the net to find blogging success stories and while I have seen bloggers go zero to $4,000 per month in a few months, no blogger I have seen has gone to a full time income in less than that, and certainly not overnight.
That’s because blogging is hard.
Even if your blog goes viral, you will unlikely to be setup well enough to take that opportunity and turn it into making the most money possible. Just in case you’re wondering, here’s what you should do and what should be in place if your blog ever goes viral:
1. Set up an email campaign
Make sure you have an email popup on your site to collect emails so you can monetize that list in the future. Not sure what provider to choose? We recommend Convertkit. I’ve been a member for years and they make email campaigns super easy and streamlined. You have got to try them out.
2. Make sure your blog is monetized
This means you should have affiliate links and ads in place. With ads alone, a surge of traffic, that results from virality can help you earn thousands of clicks fast. And those clicks translate to money in your pocket, from ad revenue.
3. Have A LOT of articles published
If you have a viral sensation, you have got to know that those visitors are gonna check out your blog. So, it’s critical that you have a lot of content published.
And, these are the three main things you need to fully take advantage of a viral post that may happen on your blog.
4. Investing in Education is Key
Would you rather, feel your way through blogging, gaining experience and learning from your mistakes over a period of say, 4 years.
Or, cut out that time and pay for the opportunity to learn everything you need to succeed, right now?
If you want to make blogging a career and earn money passively, you cut out a lot of time by just paying for expertise.
- Learn how to produce traffic effectively
- Learn how to make money blogging
- Learn all the aspects of what goes into a winning blog post
- Learn how to rank your blog on Google
And it’s ok to pay for this knowledge.
It’s like college.
You are paying for an education.
You don’t have to go to college.
You can learn the trade by hand, take years to educate yourself through experience, lean on others, or you can go to college for 4 years, leave with understanding, knowledge, and experience PLUS, a degree.
Makes sense, right?
So do not be afraid to invest in yourself.
When I first started blogging, I started following this personal finance blogger. She was actually the reason I started blogging in the first place.
Her income reports on Pinterest caught my attention and when I saw she was making $70K per month from blogging online, I knew I wanted to be her when I grew up.
So, I started my blog.
A few months later, I get an email from her (yes, I joined her list) saying she is coming out with a course teaching students how she makes money online with her blog.
I signed up and a few weeks later made $800, in my third month of blogging!
It’s because I invested in my blogging education.
And that $800 I earned was more than 3X the cost of the course so I got my return on investment almost immediately (and in under a month).
This is what I’m talking about.
And, I still do this to this day.
Every month, I invest in my business.
Here are some investments I have made this year:
- Tailwind-for social media posting/automation
- Convertkit-a must for sending emails to my email list
- Siteground-hosting that helps make my blog faster and includes a FREE SSL certificate that shows others that my site is secure and helps me rank on Google
- This computer-I upgraded my laptop this year
- This tablet-super helpful for doing work stuff on the go when I don’t take my computer and for travel
- This vegan snack box-yes, I consider this a business expense. It helps me stay productive and I can write about how much I love it in the content of my blog posts.
- This ebook-ok, I bought this last year but I still refer to it often (it gets updates regularly) and it shows you how to make money with Amazon
- Sendowl-helps me distribute my digital products (like my eguides and ebooks) to my customers
- Teachable-which hosts all my courses
5. It’s Ok to Supplement Your income When Your Blog Earnings Are Down
Blogging income can be very fickle and when traffic sources change, like if your Pinterest account gets suspended, your income can dip and change drastically.
This is where supplemental income comes into play.
You want to diversify your income streams as a blogger:
- Affiliate marketing
- Your own products
Because if your traffic drops by 25% and your affiliate income is down, you can still rely on your sponsorship income to keep you afloat.
Here are some other ways bloggers supplement their income:
- Full-time or part-time job
- Gig work like driving for Uber
- Teaching courses online on Udemy
How do I supplement my blogging income?
I have my hands in many baskets. Usually through freelancing or website flipping.
You can learn more about my website flipping ventures in these interviews:
6. Website Security is Everything
This year was the year that one of my websites got hacked. Eek.
It wasn’t a personal attack on me. Actually one of the WordPress plugins I use got hacked. This hack impacted A TON of bloggers just like me. If I had website security in place, I could have avoided the entire fiasco including the week and a half time lost where my site was down and the $150 price tag to get my site restored. Ouch.
For website security, I recommend Sucuri.
This software has everything you need to help secure your website. There’s a WP plugin too!
7. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
If you are trying to make money or get an instant audience from blogging quickly, you are going to be sorely mistaken, I have to say.
It takes a LONG LONG time to build an audience and start making a consistent part-time or full-time income.
Be patient with this and if you can’t be, look at another side gig or hustle, like:
- Delivering alcohol and/or goods with Postmates
- Grocery shopping and delivering food to others with Instacart
- Taking online surveys
Boom. There ya go. What do you think?
Are you a blogger with some realizations you would like to share? Comment below so we can hear from you.