5 Things You Need To Be Prepared For When Starting A Blog

dukeo.com

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.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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13 Comments (Add one)

  1. Jason

    Hi Ste

    Very good points,I think that as soon as you start putting your content online, you should be ready to accept criticism. Because not all will agree with your opinion – haters will keep on coming :)

    But as a good blogger, we need to learn how to accept criticisms, because criticisms can be very constructive and help you grow.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Jason, to work online, especially as a blogger, you need tough skin. As soon as you reach a certain level of success, you’ll start attracting trolls. You’d better be ready to handle them the proper way

  2. Andi the Minion
    Andi the Minion

    So very true, I am excited by this business but I have to be careful that I do not ‘over egg the pudding’ when I write posts.

    I try to express that people need patience, discipline and hard work to become a success.

    I learned the same valuable lessons, when I was learning internet marketing before I got into blogging I spent a lot of money but got nothing out of it because I didn’t work hard, I wasn’t disciplined and I had no patience.

    I have now and I have a 5 year plan instead of a 5 week one :-)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      A 5 years plan? Wow, I’m impressed.

      1. Andi the Minion
        Andi the Minion

        Ideally I would like shorter but I feel it is better to mentally plan long term so I don’t get disheartened so easily :-)

        1. Sté Kerwer

          Andi, my plan is about 12 months, give or take. But then, I have monthly goals to keep me on track and to see my progress step after step.

  3. Suraj Sodha

    Great points here Ste, all of them very valid and are common things that new business owners/bloggers don’t understand very well.

    I particularly agree with point 5 about it being about much more than just blogging – it should be treated like a business which needs to be marketed and thought through properly.

    Have shared this post on Twitter and my Facebook pages too – nice work!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Exactely Suraj! Starting a blog is not just about installing WordPress and writing a couple articles.

  4. cat
    cat

    Sounds like a lot of work :)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Really?

      1. Cat
        Cat

        No not really, lol. But it does show that there are many things to think about before starting a blog. Then again I guess you could go into it with no prior knowledge and pick things up along the way, but I’m sure it’s best to be prepared.

  5. Karyn
    Karyn

    Very helpful. On target for where I am. Thanks

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Good luck Karyn