In the blogging and freelance writing world, every person has their own idea of “success”.
For some people, it is that extra $200 a month they get from a Hub Pages account. Other people said their blog was a success when they hit that first consistent $1,500 a month in blog earnings. After 3 months or so they quit their job and switch to blogging full time.
Working professionals aren’t satisfied until their blog is earning them $3,000 monthly just as a start. They are content when their blog covers the basic expenses they are responsible for. Within another year they usually have their spouse free from their job. They then help develop their site or start their own business.
For others, they build their blog and oddly don’t earn a ton from their blog. Instead, they get a direct hookup into freelance service jobs. Many manage Pinterest accounts or freelance blogging jobs. This was what happened to me for a time as I had people requesting work.
For your usual blogger though the goal is simply to have a high traffic site. Some of that traffic hopefully converts into a life-supporting income. They define successful blogging as the point where the blog can keep you financially covered if need be.
My own definition has shifted to the above. Back in 2014, I had the idea to start a blog. I didn’t build that site properly for any real monetization. I just enjoyed writing so I went with it.
Money wasn’t a concern at the time so it was just for fun and to write about things. I met blogging buddies who WERE actual bloggers. After talking with them I became a bit more interested in a site that could actually perform well with bringing in money. My best course of action would have been to start a site from scratch.
I know blogging is the way and answer to most of my life worries. I’ve seen the sort of lives successful bloggers have. My new crop of starter blogs are the new bedrock that I hope I can fall on if something in life doesn’t work well.
The pandemic was what really opened my eyes to things. A lot of people lost their jobs and had no way to pay their expenses. I don’t really want to be that vulnerable. If you are here, maybe you are thinking along similar lines.
Now that I have a child on the way I’m even more determined to get things started. Kids cost money and they require time. How many women are at home right now because the pandemic forced them to quit their jobs due to the children needing to be looked after?
I have been asking my high-earning blogging friends for their insight into how to turn your blog into your safety net. The below is a summary of their thoughts and my thoughts on the matter.
Bloggers Have to be Determined
The bloggers who all managed to quit their job and make their blog their main income all said the same thing. Most new bloggers they see need to have a certain mindset when they start. You have to be ok with investing many hours into your blog knowing that you might not earn anything from it for months.
You might also end up needing to make investments. Not only are you not making money, you are spending money. Your blogging business might be in negative earnings for the first 6 months or the first year depending on your incoming and outgoing.
It isn’t uncommon to get the first few affiliate sales in the first few months or getting your first ad network acceptance. The reality is that most of the bloggers who went serious were spending more than they were making.
Some were buying premium themes, plugins, hiring writers, hiring Pinterest assistants, etc.
They said that it is important to approach blogging like a business and most businesses require the initial upfront investment. Investment isn’t wasted money and even a poor site can still be sold to a person who can manage it well and turn it into a good performing site.
You will see money leaving your bank every month depending on the services you sign up for, realize that one day it will be money coming back.
Bloggers Need to Work and Be Patient
Unless you are a master of marketing it takes a long time to start seeing results. You will be writing and refining your site, you check your analytics and have maybe 10 people or less visiting per day.
You have to be ok with this reality and still put in the work every week. Keep adding and growing your site.
Being new is also tough. You can either get a quick boost by buying a good guide or you have to tough it out and learn things little by little until you get good mastery.
It really helps to seek sources who have already accomplished their blog to be a properly earning blog. Your own journey will progress faster because people who have been in the blogging world a while know more accurate facts and have the numbers to back up their claims.
The only problem is a lot of the courses are pretty expensive. You also aren’t sure which course is the best for the money. This is somewhat why I made this site. I have 3 other sites that are my main projects. I made this site last to help fill a gap.
My own blogging journey has been a mix of learning as I go, learning from pro bloggers directly, and buying courses. My result was that even with guides I’d end up with problems.
I would get recommended a plugin set from one person then find my site speeds would be abysmal. I’d find a second guide specifically about WordPress optimization and the plugins from the old list would be specifically listed on the do not use list with faster and better alternatives.
Even still it helps to buy courses and figure everything else out on your own from scratch. There are also a lot of free resources to take advantage of.
The best advice here is to be patient with yourself, your learning, and your blog.
People don’t usually “fail at blogging” they fail at being patient and fail at giving their blog time to grow.
There is one woman I know who specifically looks for people who are new into their blog with a lot of content posted up. She talks to them and they say they have been blogging for 3-5 months and have 50-80 posts up and no traffic or money coming in.
Then this woman throws them a somewhat lowball offer though appropriate for the site’s current earnings. The blogger is thrilled to be done with their site and get a little money out of it so they accept.
She buys all the site content and either adds them to her own niche sites after some keyword tweaks or she builds an entirely new site from the content she later sells off for double or triple what she bought the content for.
She said that either the site wasn’t niched down properly or the blogger was just impatient and if they had waited that their earnings would probably have been good in a year or two.
Why They Failed
The thing is that for a new site it takes Google a while to figure out what your site is even about. Traffic doesn’t have anything to do with the number of blog posts. It is about content that is well crafted and ranks so you are sent traffic. For this to happen you have to understand the foundational of SEO so articles are ranked on Google.
The thing people fail to mention is it can take months for all of this ranking and traffic to occur. Google has to be able to figure out the content themes of your site and build enough trust with your site where it starts getting shared with others more.
Pinterest used to be an easy way to get fast traffic though that is also not the case these days. It happens or can happen, just it also requires patience assuming your strategy is properly implemented.
Bloggers Need to Invest
Blogging is a business and is probably one of the cheapest businesses you can start for the earning potential it unlocks. You have to invest. First, you need your custom domain which should come around to 8-15 bucks unless you buy a custom one which can range in price according to the seller.
Then you need a good hosting package so you can have your self-hosted blog. You are looking at anything from $3 a month to having to shell out $80 for your first year. Your best choice there is to go with the GrowBig plan on SiteGround.
If you don’t have investment money you are still better off starting with free or cheap options. Just don’t make the mistake of not investing if you do have the money because all that does is slow your progress and earnings.
Even if you seem to do everything right there may be suboptimal results. That is when you need to analyze your strategy. Chances are good you aren’t niched down well or you need to compete on different keywords.
You need to change things up or go to blogger groups and ask for their opinions. Change up how you run your site, persevere.
You have only really failed when you decide to give up. If you keep your cool and stay patient, motivated, and consistent in work, then you will most likely do well.
The summary of all the above is be patient and don’t give up. Think of your blog like a seed for a tree. Trees can take a few years to mature before you get fruit back.