6 Secrets Successful Bloggers Don’t Share
According to Pinterest, anyone can start a blog. Yes! This is very true! Anyone CAN start a blog! But how do you make money blogging is the real question…And it’s not as easy as starting a blog. Here are 6 Secrets Successful Bloggers Don’t Share.
(This post may contain affiliate links. What does that mean to you? Well, if you click on a product and make a purchase, I may receive some compensation at NO charge to you. If you want to read the boring stuff from my full disclosure can be found here.)
If you are serious about starting a blog and want to learn how, read my post How to Start a Blog. I give you step-by-step instructions on how to get your WordPress blog up and running in a matter of minutes. Yes! I said minutes! But remember, this is the easy part. If you are ready to find a host for your blog, I highly recommend Lyrical Host.
In May of 2017, I started casually researching blogging. This research consisted of starting a Pinterest board and pinning as many blogging pins that I could find…all without reading the posts. Is this your type of research?
Blogging was something I secretly considered for quite some time but didn’t know much about.
For almost a year, I kept the desire to blog on the backburner. I’m not sure if it was a lack of confidence or knowledge…maybe a little or a lot of both. Finally in March of 2018 (yes, just a few short months ago), I decided to go full speed ahead and start a blog!
Excited about my decision, I quickly started brainstorming names and ideas–all without knowing exactly what I was jumping into.
I was clueless! Seriously!
What do I write about? How do you even make money blogging? How will I get followers beyond my family and friends? Do I tell my family and friends? Will they think I’m crazy? Do I write in journal form? Who would want to read about my life? Is this really what successful bloggers are doing?
Questions sound familiar? I think many bloggers thought the same things when they started out…so if this is what is going through your mind, you are OK.
I did have a goal though and that was the only thing I was certain of. My goal was to make money blogging!
As with any business (because I wanted to make money, I knew my blog had to be treated as a business in my mind) and anything really, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. To be profitable, I had to learn the right way.
I knew hoping the readers would come wouldn’t work.
So I started following a lot of bloggers and learning as much as I could. I knew there had to be a “special something” from each person I could learn and apply.
Over and over I heard to start your blog about something you have a passion for, start your email list immediately, and join an affiliate program. BAM! This was the secret sauce to make money with your blog!
If that was ALL there was to making money from your blog (and it was truly that easy), everyone would have a six-figure blog and ditch the normal 9-5 grind!
Search the internet, there are literally millions of blogs and only a very small fraction of them are earning an income! It’s sad but true.
Only a fraction of bloggers earns a full-time (or more) income. Why is that?
In this post, I will share the not so pretty truth and some of the secrets successful bloggers don’t share.
1. Blogging takes a lot of work and it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
As I stated earlier, Pinterest is full of “anyone can start a blog” pins and that is very true. Anyone CAN start a blog, but not everyone is cut out to sustain a successful blog!
Running a blog is the same as running a business. My blog IS my business and although I am not at the point of making my previous full-time salary; I am working with that goal in mind.
As with any career, there is a learning curve. To be a blogger, you have to be ready to learn and then you need to learn a lot more and finally you need to learn even more!
I don’t want to scare you off. I only want you to know the truth. To be a successful blogger, it takes hours upon hours of dedicated work. I seem to sit in the same place for too much of my day researching, typing, editing, etc.
Not many of my friends understand why I am giving up so much of my time to something they just don’t comprehend…especially as a source to make money. But as they say, nothing worthwhile comes easy. And to me…blogging is worthwhile.
2. Blogging isn’t all about you.You don't have a blog if you don't have an audience. #bloggingsecrets #blogger #blogging Click To Tweet
And unless you are giving your audience (your readers) quality information that is beneficial to them in some way, they won’t return.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is…are you ready for it…MY blog is NOT about ME! What do I mean by that? Well, unless you know your audience and give them what THEY want, you won’t have traction…meaning you won’t grow.
It’s really funny (at least to me) that I thought my writing would be a hit! I put my heart and soul into each post. I fret over titles and content. I learn something and feel I am giving useful information with every post. Isn’t this what should bring traffic? Not entirely!
Every once in a while, I write what I feel is an amazing post and think “this one is going to go viral.” And guess what? It doesn’t! It is always the posts that I least expect that get the most traction…because it is the choice of my audience, not mine!
Get to know your audience and you will have better results. But how do you do this?
Well, that tidbit about growing your email list is completely true. Grow and use that list!
In your emails, ask questions and have conversations with your readers. Take the time to respond to comments on your posts and social media. The more personable you are, the more you will receive!
Again — ASK QUESTIONS!
As you get to know your audience, you will get a better understanding of what they want. This will help you deliver the information and products that will be the most useful to them.
Remember, your blog is not about you!
As your audience grows so will your blog. That is a big WIN! Once you get on this roll, keep plugging away and give your audience what they are asking for and you will reap the rewards.
Growing your audience (and knowing them) does take time. Be patient and don’t give up. This brings us back to my first point, blogging isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Some want speedy results and will leave when that doesn’t happen. Don’t be someone that buys into the hype that all bloggers only work 4 hours per week and are rolling in the dough!
Think back, we all started somewhere and needed to take the time to grow in life, your career, etc. I know my personal growth took a lot of hard work and determination.
It’s the same with blogging. Sure there are a few “instant” success stories, but these aren’t the norm. Most of your big time bloggers started from the same place as the rest of us…The beginning!
3. The focus struggle is real.
I have never had issues working nor keeping busy at work and avoiding outside distractions. But now no matter how hard I try, something is always vying for my attention. My distraction level is at an all-time high!
A work/life balance is a must if you plan to be a successful blogger! But even more important is the need to focus amongst the multiple distractions of life. Sometimes I even confuse my lack of focus with writer’s block. But when I sit staring at a blank screen, I can count the distractions that have held me back from completing my task.
And let’s not forget to mention the fact that everyone in my life seems to think I have retired and sit idly. Everyone needs a “quick” favor — you know “since you don’t work anymore.”
The lack of focus and the inability to say no to others could very well be the downfall of many blogger’s dreams.
Here are a few tips that I use to stay on track:
- Plan, plan, plan! Plan your day, week, and month. Set your goals so you will always know where you need to be with your work. When I have a deadline (even if it’s self-imposed), I work hard to meet it.
- Make commitments to your readers and yourself. If your readers expect a new post every Monday and Thursday, you will lose credibility if you don’t meet that expectation.
- Blogging is a job, not a hobby! When you keep this in mind, it will help you stay in “work mode.”
- Don’t turn on the TV as background noise. And to add to this, turn off/log out of social media. All of these distractions are like a black hole that will suck you in and waste your day.
- Take short breaks. Set a timer and when it goes off give your mind a break!
- Learn to say NO!
4. Just face it, you are now in a sales career.
If you are shocked by that statement, I want you to take a moment and really think about what you do as a blogger.
What is your goal? Is it to make money with your blog? Yes…Well, then you are a salesperson!
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Blogging is so much more than just creating awesome content. It is also promotions, sales, and marketing.” quote=”Blogging is so much more than just creating awesome content. It is also promotions, sales, and marketing.”]
Now a good question to ask is how to promote products and ultimately make sales without annoying your readers? This goes back to knowing your reader and giving them what they want. But we also have to accept that we will never please everyone.
Finding the perfect balance is different for everyone.
5. Your passion may not translate into a profitable niche.
When you research starting a blog, you will hear over and over to pick a niche you are passionate about. This sounds like great advice because who wants to write and write on a topic they aren’t interested in?
But the truth is not every niche will make you good money…the quit your job, full-time salary you desire.
I am not saying that you can’t make money with your obscure passion. I’m saying that it will be harder and probably substantially less than the more profitable niches.
If your goal is to make money blogging, this is something you really need to carefully think about.
6. Do you personally know other bloggers? Blogging can get lonely for many reasons.
I work from home! YAY! This was and still is my dream!
Yes! I love working from home on my own terms! But I work long hours by myself in a profession few around me understand. I spend my days in front of a computer screen without social interaction (for the most part).
I am fortunate because both of my daughters do some blogging and understand. They give me some of the encouragement and support that I need.
But other than them, I can’t easily meet up with a fellow blogger for coffee to talk shop.
I can’t share the frustration of not being able to properly add code to a picture or format my blog the way I envision. No one understands the excitement I felt when I made $.33 (yes, 33 CENTS) on my first Amazon Affiliates sale.
I am so grateful that I have joined many facebook groups and have built relationships with other bloggers. I strongly suggest this to every blogger.
It is important to be able to share accomplishments with other people who are going through the same highs and lows.
Blogging is a lot of work and bloggers like to focus on their successes more than the secrets successful bloggers don’t share.
The process of creating a blog is hard, frustrating, and makes me want to scream at times. And although I am well versed in the struggles, I wouldn’t trade my choice for any other career.
My only regret is that I didn’t start this journey a year or more ago.
Keep pushing forward my friends and remember you are not alone!
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