Blogging Prerequisite: 15 Things You Should Know Before You Start
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The guides and the infomercials and other bloggers all make it sound like working online is this wonderful experience, a stress-free lifestyle where you can work when you want, play when you want and the money just comes pouring in. While I agree that it’s a wonderful experience, if you believe everything else you’ve heard then I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona you might be interested in. Here are 15 things I wish I’d known before I started blogging.
- Not everyone can just sit down and start blogging. If you’ve never done any kind of work online before then you’re going to have a lot to learn. Even the free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger require some knowledge of blogging.
- You will eventually have to spend some money. If you want to make big money online, and by that I mean, if you want to replace the income from your full-time job, then you’re going to have to pay for things like web hosting, email services, software and probably even educational products.
- It’s not as easy as it looks. You don’t just sit down and start blogging and watch the money roll in. You need to learn how the Internet works, what the search engines are looking for, how to drive traffic, how to market and on top of all of that you need to do a lot – a LOT – of writing.
- There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye: That blog looks pretty on the surface but there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes. After you publish a blog post you have to promote it, go out and find new readers, analyze your performance, network with other bloggers, comment on other blogs… It’s not all sunshine and lollipops.
- You’ll have to work long hours. Your blog is a business and any successful business person will tell you that in the beginning you work 24 hours a day if that’s what it takes. And trust me – it will.
- You need to understand business. Have you ever run a business? Do you know anything about time management, organization, statistical analysis, profit and loss, and how to gauge whether an investment is worth it or not?
- You need to stay focused. Blogging looks like a lot of fun. Who wouldn’t want to work online? You can bop over to Facebook and chat with your friends. You can go play WOW whenever you want… Or, you can stay focused and work on your business so you make money. But you can’t do both.
- You have to be willing to learn. Even the top bloggers still have things to learn about working online. Technology and marketing techniques are constantly evolving. You have to be willing to admit you don’t know it all.
- There’s nobody to blame but yourself. This is one of the most difficult aspects of blogging for some people If you’re not reaching your goals, you have no one to blame but yourself.
- You have to be willing to take action. A time will come when you have to make a decision – take a risk and try something new so you can advance your business to the next level, or sit there and never reach your goal. Do the necessary research and stop waffling and take action.
- It’s sometimes a lonely business. Yeah, it’s great being able to work in your jammies but sometimes blogging can be a very lonely business. Then you’re tempted to click over to Facebook, and then you’re distracted, and then you don’t get anything done. Can you deal with working alone?
- You have to be creative. There are already millions of blogs on the Internet. Granted, in the beginning, you’re going to be busy just learning how to blog. But eventually, if you want to compete, you’re going to need to be creative. Or at least be able to hire someone who’s creative.
- You’re going to have to “talk” to people. Some people truly enjoy the solitude of blogging because they just can’t stand being social. That’s fine. But sooner or later you’re going to have to engage with your readers and network with other bloggers and online business owners. Whether you like it or not.
- You’re going to have bad days. Yeah, blogging is fun and exciting, but trust me – there are some days when you just want to go back to bed. Nobody warns you about hackers or hosting companies that crash or email service providers who accidentally delete your list. But it happens. Even in the wonderful world of blogging.
- You’re going to have more really great days! If someone had told me some of these negative things about blogging I might never have started. That’s why I’m telling you, now. And that’s why I’m making this point last. Blogging is hard work – just like any other business – and you’re definitely going to have some ups and downs. But the good days far outnumber the bad and I’ve never regretted my decision. And you won’t either, now that you know what to expect.