Over the past 10 years I have learnt a lot about blogging. I have opened and closed blogs, had blogs where I thought ‘this is the one!’ before shutting it down mere months or weeks later. This is a two part piece, today I am going to talk about why you shouldn’t be a blogger and tomorrow I will talk about why you should be a blogger. Something for everyone!
Look at it this way – today is your reality check and tomorrow will be about getting you super pumped if you chose to go down the route of being a blogger. Part of the problem with blogging now is that it is so easy to set up a blog and call yourself a blogger. So lets have a look at why that has become such an issue.
There is very little money in just blogging. People who run successful blogs tend to make a good deal of their income from side projects. Books, video content, sponsorships, charging clients for services ect. You can almost look at a blog as the door to greater opportunity, however so many people think they are going to start a blog and be raking in lots of money by the end of year one. Not going to happen in 99.99% of cases.
There are blogs out there which make good money but the chances of that happening to you is slim. The market is saturated, like I said at the start – anyone can do this. Don’t be fooled into thinking that there is going to be a WordPress windfall every time you hit the publish button. Don’t be fooled into thinking that plastering ads all over the place will make you generate money. It won’t happen that way. Blogging has huge benefits but if you are in it for the money and nothing else you may as well not even bother to start.
Blogging takes up time, a lot of time. Putting all the work into an article with high quality content can take hours, podcasting, video, social media content – that all takes time and soon you will see how blogging will take up hours out of the day.
If you want your blog to be a hit then you are going to have to work damn hard at it. People ask me how I got lucky to land a spot on the Irish Tech News team. Luck had nothing to do with it, I hustled hard. I still do hustle hard and I will continue to do so because I love it. You need to make time for blogging, people who tell me they don’t have time to work on their social media strategy all get the same reply from me – sleep less and watch less TV – if you are serious about it then you need to make time to make it happen.
I start really early and finish really late working on new content, social media strategy, networking on communities, researching, meetings, advising clients and then working on a job to pay the bills. Not everyone is going to have that in them, you don’t need to do all the hours I am doing. I chose to do that because I love the work I do and I love creating content but if you want your blog to be a big hit you are going to have to find a minimum of 2 hours per day to focus on it.
Those who don’t have the commitment and don’t have the hustle are more than welcome to try, but most of those blog owners if not all of them will be done by month 4.
Playing The Game
A lot of people will struggle to play the game. I have been blogging for a little over 10 years. A good six of those years were spent blogging to nobody, literally nobody. Not even friends or family had an interest in my blog posts during those six years. Why? Because it takes time. You have to walk that path of blogging to nobody until you start building a community of followers around you.
You think you are just going to jump into blogging and get hundreds or thousands of hits right from the start? Not going to happen. When you are starting out and nobody knows who you are, and I mean nobody, then you will struggle to get 10 hits on your blog posts.
It could be like that for some time before it starts to build. A lot of people just don’t have the heart to see it through and will get fed up of talking while nobody listens. Eventually they stop posting new content and finally they pack it in and call blogging a “stupid and pointless exercise.”
Sometimes the hit count will never grow and you will just have to face up to the fact that the content sucks. I have been there, I have faced that and I came through it – not a lot of people will come through it.
Inability To Be Brave, Do Something Different And Create Value
This is something that almost put me out of blogging just a few years ago, not long before I joined Irish Tech News. I was held back by an inability to create pure 100% value. Even after I joined Irish Tech News I struggled with it for some time and only got it down hard recently. This year I have managed to get into the zone and the content I am pumping out is on fire. How do I know that? Because I can read the data, I study the data and the data has gone through the roof.
If you decide to become a blogger you need to figure out how to provide the best valued content you possible can every single time you hit the publish button. I use my blog to build a brand, to build a library of content and to establish myself in the industry. I know what the goals of my blog are, they are clearly defined and I know what I want to achieve and how I want to achieve it.
Stepping outside the comfort zone of what you are used to and into the whitespace which people have not yet occupied can make all the difference in the long run. That is something I have been doing over the past number of months, that is why I am getting loud about Snapchat, that is why I feel good about the content I am putting out right now.
If there is one big takeaway you need to understand before you start blogging it is that you must always create value.
Should I Go For It Or Not?
If money is your goal, if you think you won’t be able to hustle and put the time and effort into it, if you don’t think you can play the game and if you are unsure whether you will create value then let me save you a lot of time, effort and heartache. Stop right not. Don’t even register your new blog.
If you have doubts over any of this stuff there is a high chance you will be done by month 4. If you have strong heart you might make it to month 8. What makes you be in a place to know all this stuff and preach what we should or should not do? I hear you say.
Over 10 years in blogging. I have done all of it by now and I am going to keep doing it. I’m not preaching to you about what you should do. You are more than welcome to give it a try but everyone needs to have realistic expectations of what the experience will be like because it is far from puppy dogs and fairy tales.
I don’t care much for what other bloggers are doing with their blogs or websites (whatever you want to call it) however I do respect them and I work alongside fantastic content creators, masters of the craft. Ultimately I don’t care what you do with your blogging journey, you have to do you.
However, this piece has been about real shit. It is not just about putting out content, it is about putting out great content. If you just pump out content as much as you can with no value you will lose. If you pump out killer content and provide true value you are going to win.
This has been the more dark one of the two articles I am writing this week about blogging. Tomorrow we will be talking about why you should be a blogger!