I remember when I started my first blog. It was a disaster, in more ways than one. Looking back, I know it’s because I wasn’t prepared. I’d read one of those hokey blogging guides that makes it sound like anybody can just set up a blog and start making money, and I believed it. Here are five lessons I learned the hard way.
It Takes More Than A Weekend To Start Making Money
Be prepared. Unless you’re extremely lucky you’re not going to make money that fist weekend. You probably won’t make money during your first month. In fact, in most cases it’ll be a good five or six months before you see your first sale, and that’s assuming you do everything right. After that you may still be looking at several more months before you start seeing any kind of consistent, predictable business.
You Have To Learn How To Choose A Market
The first thing everyone tells you is that you should blog about your passion. But what if your passion is knitting, or cupcakes, or taking care of your dog? Do you know how many blogs there are in those niches? !
Be prepared to spend some time learning how to choose a market. If you’re really passionate about knitting, that’s great. You should blog about it. But you need to look at all those other knitting blogs to see what markets they’re addressing and then choose something a little bit different. For example, instead of blogging about knitting in general, you could blog about knitting baby clothes or knitting sweaters.
You Have To Learn About Marketing
You’re also going to have to learn about marketing. People spend four years in college to obtain a degree in marketing, and to assume that all you have to do is set up a blog and start selling stuff is unrealistic. Even more so when you consider the differences between online and offline marketing.
You Have To Learn How The Internet Works
Which brings us to the Internet itself. That guide I followed so many years ago led me to believe that all I had to do was set up a blog and voila! I’d instantly have a money-making business. But the Internet just doesn’t work that way. Be prepared to spend a lot of time learning about how the search engines work, how to optimize your site and your content for search engine visibility, and how people actually use the Internet to search for information.
It’s About So Much More Than Just Your Blog
When I started that first blog I thought, “Man, this is easy!” And it is – if all you’re doing is blogging. Once you get the hang of it you can crank out a blog post in an hour. But there’s so much more to it. Just promoting your blog and building traffic is a full-time job, but if you want to build a long-term sustainable business you have to diversify. You have to create your own products or services, branch out with other blogs and websites, and develop multiple streams of income.
This might sound like five big reasons you should forget about blogging, but they’re not. In reality, starting a blog is just like starting any other business – as long as you’re prepared you’ll be able to handle the obstacles in your path and the decisions you’re going to have to make along the way. The big difference with blogging is you have so many different paths you can choose and they all lead to success.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!