Blogging Instant Gratification: You’re Doing It Wrong
The Internet is littered with dead blogs, fluttering in the wind, like hamburger wrappers and carry-out bags blowing along the side of the road. Millions of blogs lie abandoned, their owners returning to a J.O.B. and the daily rat race, and it’s all due to inaccurate expectations. These bloggers had all bought into the hype that if they simply threw up a blog they’d instantly be making more money than they ever thought possible. And when that didn’t happen, they thought they were failures, so they quit. Unfortunately, blogging is not about instant gratification. If you’re a blogger who’s ready to quit, read on before you throw in the towel.
As I see it, you really only have 2 small obstacles you need to overcome: Your expectations are unrealistic, and your reaction to failure.
Your expectation that you’d be able to start a blog one weekend and buy a million dollar mansion the next isn’t really your fault. After all, you’ve been taught to believe that when someone in a position of authority promises you something, you can rely on their word. Your mother promised you a cookie if you cleaned your bedroom, your teacher promised you an A if you studied, your boss promised you a raise if you snagged that new client.
And even if the rewards weren’t instantaneous, as long as you knew the terms going into it, you were fine with that – your dad told you to clean the garage and he’d take you on a camping trip next weekend, in July your mom reminded you that if you wanted that new bike for Christmas you’d have to behave.
So it’s not like you always expect instant gratification. It’s only when we don’t get what we expect that we start to feel dissatisfied and discouraged. If your didn’t take you on that camping trip you probably didn’t do quite as good a job the next time he told you to clean the garage. You stopped caring about your work ethic because you didn’t get the expected result.
When you bought into the idea of overnight blogging riches it was because someone whom you perceived to be an authority on making money blogging told you you could expect to achieve those results. That person, or persons, didn’t intentionally set you up for failure, although that’s exactly what he did. He was just trying to sell you something and the easiest way to do that was to lead you to believe he was an authority figure and play on your sense of urgency and your desire for instant gratification.
Had he told you that it might really take 6 months or a year before you’d start to see any income at all, you might not have been so eager to buy whatever it was he was selling. You might have taken your time to do more research and then found a better offer somewhere else. However, if he had told you that, at least your expectations would have been realistic and you might not be feeling so frustrated and discouraged right now. Maybe you wouldn’t be feeling like such a failure.
Now, because you’ve haven’t achieved the results you were expecting, you’re feeling like maybe you made the wrong decision. Maybe you’re not smart enough. Maybe, no matter how hard you work, the blogging gods will never be satisfied and you’ll never get your cookie. Why even bother. You’re a failure. You should quit.
But let’s look at that word ‘Failure’. When you fail at something, that just means you didn’t succeed. It doesn’t mean you’ll never succeed. Thomas Edison failed 9,999 times before he finally succeeded. It wasn’t until he created light bulb number 10,000 that he finally got it right. But he didn’t give up because his expectations were realistic. He didn’t expect to get it right the very first time, and maybe he even had to adjust his expectations along the way. But he knew, no matter how long it took, the cookie would still be there.
He also knew that if he learned even just one little thing from each of his attempts, each failure would bring him one step closer to success.
People talk about instant gratification like it’s some new concept, brought on by video games and working-mother guilt. But it’s not new at all. It’s a basic human instinct. It’s not a bad thing, either, as long as your expectations are realistic. Once you understand that you’ve been mislead, that blogging is not about instant gratification, then you can adjust your expectations and start looking at your failed attempts as steps on your ladder of success.
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