This is my Blogging Backstory. It’s where I share the real deal about the blood, sweat and tears required to build a blog and actually make money from it.
I was slow to come to the money making party, but I think my blogging career path is a lot more common than most Bloggers like to admit. You read a lot about those ‘I made $100K after 6 months blogging’ stories.
And do I believe them? Well, I do believe some of them, but not all of them. Most of us quietly slog our way through this blogging scene, slowly building our business one post, sale and pageview at a time.
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the whole “How to start a blog in 10 minutes and earn thousands of dollars a month while you sleep!” sort of articles that you see out sprinkled all over the internet.
But the thing is, those articles leave out a whole LOT of in between bits – and they do this on purpose, because the truth would chase a lot of people away from going ahead and starting that blog RIGHT now.
Many bloggers earn so much money from hosting sales with their how to start a blog tutorial that they don’t need to do much more on their blog.
But if you want to to really know what it’s going to need to make your blog work. Please keep reading these 7 Truths about Blogging.
Truth #1: Blogging is A LOT OF HARD WORK.
I literally worked while the family slept once I decided to blog full time. I was putting in 40 – 50 hours a week in the beginning. Now, I’ve managed to streamline quite a lot of the work and I’ve got it down to just on 15 hours (not counting the time I spend learning about how to blog).
Setting up a Blog is the easy part (that actually does only take 10 minutes), but actually getting it to make money – that takes work. There is a huge learning curve when you first start out – and it can feel overwhelming. There’s the learning and the writing. A lot of writing. Then there’s the crying and the making of graphics. And remaking of graphics. And Social Media …. and the stats.
It helps to know that you are not alone – all of us are somewhere along the same ‘learning to blog’ path. And it’s not a very straight path. Success doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time.
Don’t believe the BS. Blogging is NOT a get rich quick kind of thing. If that’s what you’re expecting, then you are going to be disappointed. And you will end up quitting. I did. Twice.
Truth #2: You can Make Real Money Blogging
If you are prepared to work at your blogging business (and it is a business), then you will start seeing the results you’re hoping for.
Wouldn’t an extra $1000 a month still feel good a year from now? These are the 5 Things that helped me reach my $1000/month revenue goal.
So what if it takes you 5 years to reach your $5000 a month goal?
It’s still worth it! Just get started and keep working on it.
Related: 7 day Start a Profitable Blog Course
Truth #3: There are a lot of Different Ways to Do this
There is no ‘Right way to blog’. Most days you will be winging it. You wake up every morning to a ton of options. Should you create more content, what should you write about, should you focus on Social Media, What about an email sequence … the list goes on and on. Remember to breathe. And focus on one thing at a time.
Truth #4: You will always be Learning something new
You’re never going to know it all. Most of the time you will be operating in a zone of mild confusion but good enough. That’s OK. Keep investing in good Blogging Courses (by the way, this is the blogging resource that helped me the MOST) and reading other more successful blogs.
Truth #5: To Be Successful at Blogging you will need to love it
Sounds corny? You bet it is. You’re going to spend a hell of a lot of time writing. Rewriting. Struggling. And in the beginning you will NOT be getting paid for it. Not one little red cent. You will NEED to love what you write about to get through these tough early days.
Truth #6: A Blog is not just about Blogging
Yes you will be writing all the flippin’ time. But a blog isn’t just the words you publish. I figure that once you populate your blog with 20 – 30 posts, your writing will only take up about 20% of you time. The rest of the time will be spent doing everything else.
What exactly? Well, there’s keyword research, affiliate marketing, social media promotion, endless emails to send and answer, photos to take and edit, research on posts, constant stat monitoring, improving old content, updating everything, managing and growing the site, graphics, redoing old graphics.
You don’t have to be good at everything. Trust me. I’m not. But good enough is OK in this industry.
Truth #7: You Need Traffic to make Money
Your number one goal when you start blogging is to get that Traffic coming in. You want eyes on your blog. More traffic=more money. And to do that you will have to write about what people want to read. Not all posts will make you money. Your heartfelt story about your bad day isn’t going to cut it. Sure, go ahead and write it for those die hard fans, but spend most of your time writing things that your readers want to read. And share with their friends. That’s where the gold’s at.
My Blogging Backstory.
I started my blog in December 2015. I fell for one of those super convincing ‘Start a Blog in 10 Minutes & Make tons of cash’ kind of posts. I had no idea what I was doing and I literally fumbled my way along. Wasting time, money and falling for every new shiny promise along the way.
I blogged on and off (more off than on) until mid 2016. And then I quit.
I gave up blogging for almost a year, until a few things happened.
- We crashed and burned financially. It was a hard lesson (understatement of the year) and it meant making some really intentional decisions regarding our future (Read more on that here). Making money from my blog became a burning priority.
- I felt guilty calling myself a Stay at home Mom now that all the kids were in school. It was time to get a job or start a business and figure out a way to contribute more money to the home. And blogging is a pretty cheap business to start.
- I really, really wanted to be at home.
Making the Decision to Blog Full Time
This was not an easy decision. Oh no. I doubted what I was doing every single day. I dreaded being asked that question – ‘So, what do you do for a living?”. Ugh.
Crunching the Numbers
I committed to blogging full time in March 2017. My goal was to make enough money to allow me to continue to be a stay at home Mom.
I only needed to supplement our family income by an extra $250 per week to make this work. So my initial blogging goal was to make $1000 per month (read more here on what I did to hit that $1000 target). It seemed like a pie in the sky number at the time and to be honest, I secretly wasn’t sure I could do it. But I did!
It wasn’t smooth sailing. In the early days I considered packing it up all the time and going to finish my study as a teacher, but I desperately wanted to prove to myself that I could succeed in this blogging gig.
It took me a full 15 months to reach $1000 a month on my blog. The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure that I will reach my new $2000 a month goal in the next six months.
Blogging is a lonely job and in the early days (when you just don’t see the traffic, growth – or money) it can be super disheartening (in case you are wondering, there are the things I would do to make money from my blog more quickly if I had to do it all again).
It starts with cents
When you begin blogging, you will start off by earning cents. When I first set up Google Analytics on my site, I was earning 12c a day. Then on a good day you will make $1. Then $2.
Round about the $2 a day mark, my numbers were good enough to apply to to better ad networks. Which meant 8-10 times more revenue instantly! Yay!
After months of work, it was the first time that I believed that I could do this. And it was enough to help me believe in myself to keep going.
It the Blogging Really for Real?
If you are a new Blogger, you’ve most probably asked yourself these two questions –
- Is Blogging even a Real thing?
- Can you actually make money doing it?
YES! I am so happy to finally be able to say that. You can make money from your blog. Some people are making GREAT money from their blog. But you will need to put in a freaking ton of time and effort.
Forget about the ‘Other Bloggers’ who made bank within the first few months after starting their blog. I mean, maybe it works out that way for you. But don’t bank on it. It’s not the story for most Bloggers either. According to the ProBlogger survey of it’s readers:
- 53% of bloggers earn less than $100 per month
- Only 13 % earn over $1000 per month (this is how to get there)
According to Amy Lynn Andrews (who has been blogging for 14 years so she knows her stuff), New bloggers should allow at least 3-6 months to make a decent part-time income and 1-2 years to make a consistent full-time income.
Blogging as a Business
I don’t think Blogging is a Get Rich Quick Scheme. But you can build a solid business.
All it takes is these three basic steps.
- Start a Blog.
- Learn. Learn. And Learn some more. Start with this free 7 Day Beginner Blogging eCourse on Building a profitable Blog and then spend the money on this (the best resource on increasing your traffic EVER)
- Set some Goals and Work your ass off to reach them. You can get the exact (no, it’s not pretty) one page A3 printable I use to track my stats and goals here).
If, after reading this, you’re still expecting to start you blog and retire by next Tuesday, then I’m probably not the Blogger to help you. If, however, you are ready to roll up your sleeves and build a profitable blog for real – then get my step-by-step e-course for Beginners delivered to you over the next 7 Days.