When I started blogging, I had been warned it was “a long game”. I also have enough experience from some past blogs to know it wasn’t going to be easy. (I had a free blog space about knitting once, and I had a paid blog space for a yarn business once that lasted about two months.) Even so, there are a few things that surprised me, or at least were reinforced as the truth.
Nine Things No One Tells You About Blogging
#1. It will take time to get your writing skills flowing again.
I have a Master’s degree and have written my fair share of papers. In undergrad, I took a creative writing class and was a star student, and then I went on to write lots of technical papers and was even published in a professional paper.
So, I assumed I could dive right back into writing and have no issues. So wrong!! Writing is something that gets rusty! It has taken me several months to get back into the groove of writing, and even now, it can be a bit of a struggle. I’m still going back to the original posts I started and rewriting them while being shocked at how bad they were!
Content is king, they say. They are correct, but it’s going to take time to get those training wheels off again when it comes to writing. Practice makes perfect. Set aside time every day to write. You don’t even have to publish it. Write for fifteen minutes a day at minimum, whether it is working on a blog post, writing an email, or just journaling.
If you want to really improve your technical skills, I would suggest Grammarly. You can get a free version that works brilliantly. I am a little addicted to the weekly grammar report I get on my skills each week.
#2. Technology will win most of the time.
I also happen to have a minor in computer information systems. I’ve written code for printers and even written my own computer programs. Once, I built my own computer from scratch! I’m not computer illiterate.
However, since I haven’t worked in that field for 18 years, I have had quite a learning curve. Technology has changed in spades, and I have had to struggle to learn how to work the basics in the blogging world. Even something as little as changing my font size in the WordPress editor has been a challenge!
#3. Blogging won’t make you money instantly.
There is a lot of misleading information out there. You know what I’m talking about — the posts that tell you they made $1000 or more in their 1st or 2nd month of blogging. (For a more accurate income report, check out my fourth month of blogging and how I made a whopping $29.)
Here’s another tidbit: Even when you make money, you won’t have access to it until you reach a threshold. For example, ShareaSale requires a $50 minimum before you can have access to it.
Yes, there might be a few of those magical unicorns out there. Often, however, what those bloggers don’t tell you is that this is not their first blog – it’s likely one of several blogs they own and they already know the business ropes.
You aren’t going to make money overnight. Likely, you won’t even break $100 in your first 6 months. It takes time. It takes education. It takes trial and error.
Related Post: How to Make Money Blogging with Affiliate Marketing
#4. It takes money to make money.
Going back to the idea you won’t make money instantly, you also will need to spend money at first. If you want to be successful, you need to invest in yourself and your blog. I’ve always heard you need to spend money to make money, and I agree with that. I’m not saying to go out and buy a $1000 course. However, there are some more budget-friendly courses that can truly benefit you.
If it weren’t for Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, I’m not sure I would have made my first penny.
I also highly recommend Tracie’s Learn Grow Earn course, and it is more of how to build a successful blog from the start.
These are the two classes I’d recommend to everyone. They are written and presented by bloggers who are both successful and make a LOT of money off their blogs. They are living what they teach. While I am telling you to spend some money, be super careful about where you are spending your money. Not all courses are worth what you pay.
#5. You won’t get instant traffic.
This is another biggie. You need traffic. Lots of traffic. And that’s a slow process. People won’t find you overnight. Building traffic requires patience and effort. Google will take some time to find you, and you will need to spread your efforts in many directions.
Related Post: A Hands-Off Approach to Driving Blog Traffic
Traffic, in my opinion, should just be measured by how it increases for you. Watch for growth each month to stay encouraged. Small growth is still growth.
#6. Time is going to be a limiting factor.
Working full time at another job limits my ability to successfully blog. Maybe you have all the time in the world? However, most people don’t. If they aren’t working at a company, they are often busy working as a parent and a spouse. Sometimes, all of the above. It takes time to write a successful blog post. My posts usually take 1-2 hours, at a minimum. One post requires you to write it, make media (photos/pins), and focus on promotion. Blogging takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.
#7. It’s addicting.
Blogging will become addicting. You will think about it everywhere. At least, I do. Even at an amusement park, I’ll think, “This would make a great blog post”.
Blogging will become a part of you, and who you are. You will start to identify yourself as a “blogger”.
While it is addicting and very enjoyable, be cautious not to forget your other life and identities. Don’t forget you are still a mom or wife. Be cautious not to let blogging become all you are and all you do.
#8. There will be a lot of times you doubt yourself.
There was about a week where I had four visitors a day. Yes, you read that correctly: FOUR. I felt like I was writing some great content, but no one was reading. Several times, I wondered if I should just throw in the towel. Often, I questioned if my material was even worth reading.
There isn’t one blogger I’ve met who hasn’t had moments of doubt. The key is to overcome that feeling and just keep marching ahead. Sometimes, you will feel like you are slogging ahead. Just keep at it.
#9. You will constantly be reinventing yourself.
When you start your blog, you may have a great idea of what you want to be or write about. Over time, you will see what works and what doesn’t. The audience will help you know what resonates with them, and what you are good at writing about! You will also find that you will have a preference of what to write about.
Related Post: Blogging 101 – What’s a Niche?
Reinventing yourself is ok. You will find that you abandon a few of your original topics. For example, I started out with the plans to write about knitting because I’m so passionate about it. Even though I love it, I found I didn’t have a lot to say about it anymore. I’m not cranking out a project once a day, or even once a month. I wrote about knitting twice, and I dropped that subject soon after.
Those are the nine big things I don’t think anyone tells you about blogging!! If you are a blogger, you may be nodding your head in agreement. Is there anything else you wish you would have known when you started blogging?
Have you been thinking about starting a blog? I have an easy step by step guide on setting up a new blog!