What do you think of when you first hear the term blogger?
Is it a busy entrepreneur? A multi-tasking, constantly-working mama? An intellectual marketer making strategy calls daily?
You most likely think of a person who casually writes about their weekend round-up. Maybe they’re giving their dining recommendations from a recent trip to Tahiti or favorite Pineapple Coconut Quinoa recipe.
The term blogger honestly gets a bit of a bad reputation.
‘Ok, so when are you going to get a real job’ one might ask.
However, blogging is so much more than you see on the website in front of you.
There is a TON of work that goes on behind the scenes that I honestly had no idea about before I started.
The truth is that I want you to know ALL OF THIS before you get started.
I don’t want you to be surprised when you find out these truths the hard way but can’t get out because you’ve already invested too much.
Although once you get through the hard part (which is usually just the beginning), you will be sitting pretty while the paychecks roll in!
So here are the biggest things to know before you get started:
1. There is a LOT of work to be done
The big bloggers make it sound easy, right? Start a simple blog and then retire your husband because you’re a millionaire!
It doesn’t exactly work like that. Although it IS certainly possible for that to happen, it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work.
I’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into my blog and it has paid off so much more than I ever expected.
In the beginning, you will have NO IDEA what you’re doing. You’ll be starting from scratch and learning as you go.
Blogging is so much more than writing. In fact, just the writing is so much more than writing.
In blogging, you’re writing with a specific purpose in mind. You’re aiming to engage with your audience, solve their problem, answer their question, or help them find a solution.
You’re not just writing aimlessly. There is a certain style and tone that you will use on this digital platform.
On top of writing, you will be responsible for:
- designing your website (although you don’t have to know any coding)
- customizing the layout and colors
- creating content that’s engaging and serves a purpose
- marketing and promoting your blog (because it won’t get seen otherwise)
- designing appealing graphics and images
- optimizing your posts to get on Google
- educating yourself on your topic and the blogging world
- creating and/or recommend products and services
- developing strategies to meet your business goals
- becoming a social media wizard
- and so much more!
The first few months will be a lot of work, filled with building up your website and getting enough content on there to not look like you started your blog yesterday.
However, the work does lessen.
Once you start getting comfortable with how much you know, the traffic you’re getting, and the income you’re bringing in, it gets a lot easier.
2. Blogging is a BIG time commitment
As you saw above, there is a ton of work involved. The work can take over a lot of your most precious time.
For instance, if you’re a full-time, working mom, you may end up staying up past midnight to write a post. You may have to craft a social media promotion as you serve your kid’s dinner. You might even have to wake up at 4am on a Saturday morning just to learn a lesson on affiliate marketing.
Most of the time, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Therefore, you must get creative with your planning and productivity while you do have the time.
If that means blogging on your lunch break, on your commute to work, or skipping a friend’s party to finally publish the post you’ve been working on, that’s what you may need to do.
I know most people don’t have the luxury of quitting their jobs before they start making another full-time income, so for a while, you are going to feel like you’re working TWO full-time jobs.
If your goal to start a blog is to stay at home and have more time with your kids, you may have less time with them when you first start.
Squeezing in time to get everything done that you need is definitely a skill, but it’s one that will pay off in the long run.
An important thing to note: Your success in blogging is completely dependent on the time and effort you put into it.
So, if you’re fine with not turning a profit for 3 years, then you don’t need to put in as much time. However, if you want it to grow as fast as possible, plan on spending every waking moment brainstorming, designing, creating, learning, crafting, organizing, planning, and more.
For me, I knew that once I started, I wanted to go all in and make money as fast as I could. This was what grew my blog quickly and allowed me to become successful early on.
3. It may take a while to make money
Sure, there are some bloggers who make thousands in 3 months. But there’s also some that don’t make their first hundred dollars for almost a year.
It’s hard to predict which blogger you’re going to be right off the bat.
However, if you know that you are in a good, popular niche, are committed to being successful, and apply all of the tips and lessons you learn from seasoned bloggers, you will make money.
There’s just no set equation to tell you how long that will be.
Unfortunately, Google and Pinterest are very large dictators on how much traffic you will bring to your site and in the beginning, traffic = money.
There are also many different ways to monetize your blog, so that can be a big indicator of how much you will make.
The fun thing is that once you do start making money and establish your blog, it seems to quickly grow faster and faster from there.
Then, you will be on your way to a more passive income stream where you don’t have to invest as much time into your blog as you once did.
Take a look at this mom who made over $46K a month from her last published income report!! She now works a few hours a week, but she will tell you how hard it was getting started.
4. You need to stay inspired and motivated
There are going to be times that you want to quit.
Anytime you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder, putting a deadline on your desk, or giving you the exact parameters of what is to be done next, it’s hard to stay focused.
For me, it’s like being at the gym. I’m not a big fitness person, but there were times that I pushed myself to go.
Then I got there and ran on the treadmill for 6 minutes and thought, eh, I’d rather be on the couch watching Bravo. So I left.
There was no accountability. No one was watching me work out or making sure I burned the 900 calories during that gym session.
I had many of those days while blogging.
It wasn’t that it was such a hard job, I just got lazy.
And since no one was there telling me to keep going or ensuring that I kept my deadlines and stuck to my goals, I could just stop.
The hardest part about blogging is this:
In the beginning, you won’t see your traffic numbers quadrupling daily. You won’t hear from raving fans about how great you are. And you certainly won’t see your bank account getting any larger.
So you have to push through this early phase of building your blog, business, and brand until you can finally relax a bit.
Thank God I listened to that little voice in my head that said, Keep going. You can blow this up one day.
It has also been helpful to find a community of other bloggers and mompreneurs who share the same feelings. I’ve reached out to them via their blogs or social media and have felt welcomed by all.
Facebook groups are amazing for this type of accountability too.
5. A little success can make all the difference
Celebrating all the little wins is so important when starting a blog or your own business in general.
Any time I felt like quitting because I was bored, having writer’s block, or needed my free time back, I saw a little glimmer of hope.
Whether that was my traffic going up 10 visitors a day, a friendly comment on my blog thanking me for the help, or the .48 cents in affiliate commissions that I received, it helped me to keep going.
It was enough of a spark to make me feel like, wow, I’m really getting there!
That’s why it’s also a great idea to make short term goals for your blogging journey. Then you can celebrate these small accomplishments on the way to the big one.
6. You need to think like a boss and an entrepreneur
So right now, you may not think of a blog as a business. I know I sure didn’t.
When I started the blog, I just thought that I would be a ‘blogger’ and make a little side money so my husband wouldn’t grill me for my Target shopping sprees.
I thought I’d spend time on it here and there when the kids were napping and that it would very slowly evolve into a little bit more.
Little did I know that I became fully committed to treating it like not just a full-time job, but a solo business. I was an entrepreneur managing a business and doing all the things on my own.
That tiny mindset shift from I’ll just make a few extra bucks to we are going to buy our dream home and my husband can retire suddenly pushed me into high gear.
All of a sudden, I was a MOM BOSS.
I OWNED A FREAKING BUSINESS AND I WAS KILLING IT.
That’s how I thought. Seriously, no one could stop me.
It was the best feeling in the world and really gave me the ability to push forward, set higher goals, and achieve them without worry.
7. You can make a TON of money
Ok, I didn’t like all the negative talk up there either. However, I’m glad I got it out in the open so I don’t feel like I’m tricking you into starting a blog without the full disclosure.
The fact is, that once you start a blog, you now have this tiny space on the interwebs that is your home. You can build it however you want and literally the sky is the limit.
You can inform, sell, inspire, showcase, you name it, you can do it.
And the best part about it is that people will pay you for it!!
There are a ton of ways that you can make money online. Once you have an audience and followers, they will be willing to support you too.
Look at this mama who makes over $24K a month from her blog and puts in only 10-15 hours a week! It’s incredible how far you can take this blogging journey.
I used to think those were the rarest cases of stories when I would hear someone making 6-figures blogging, but now I am sold and know that ANYONE who works hard enough can do it.
. . . . .
I really hope I didn’t scare you away from turning your dreams into a reality.
If you make the decision to start a blog, it will be the right one.
Trust me on that.
Your blog can take you on a trip you’ve never even imagined.
So dream big, think positive, and you will succeed.