Blogging Prerequisite: 15 Things You Should Know Before You Start

Steven15 responsesBlogging
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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.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

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  1. Dadblunders

    You are 100% correct on every point you made. I may have a parenting blog but I put the time in to make it successful. I will spend my time in the day taking care of my son and then work late into the night reading, learning and working to make my blog work. I have not be blogging near as long as a lot of the people I socialize with online but almost all of them believe I
    have been doing this for a long time. The reason they “think” that is because I know I don’t know everything and continue to sacrifice my personal time to learn. Is it worth it? I think so, just from the quality of the questions others ask me and the amount of people I have been able to help. Aaron Brinker

    1. Congratulations Aaron, dedication and motivation are some of the keys to blogging success!

  2. Vicki

    Great list–and right on the money! Blogging is no different from running a regular business (which I did for 14+ years until I sold the biz.) The risks are high, the time investment off the charts, and the responsibility daunting. But,as you stated, there is nothing more rewarding — both financially but most importantly from a personal growth perspective — than running your own business (and a blog is a business).

    1. It’s good to hear that you were already able to sell a business in the past. I’m sure you learned a lot from going through this process, and it must be helping you with your blogging ventures.

  3. Michelle C.

    Excellent points! I started blogging for reasons that had nothing to do with business or income goals. In time, these this changed and I did learn these things the hard way.

    1. Thanks for your comment Michelle

  4. Todd Iseri

    Just starting my Hotel Sales and Marketing Pro blog and this article certainly puts the endeavor into perspective.

    1. Good luck with your new blog Todd

  5. Chris Wechner

    Steven, you keep adding great wisdom for us. Compared to you, I’m still such a novice.

    I look forward to the day where I help even half as many people as you do.

    Thank you for continuing to share your wisdom.

    By the way, I can relate to your point about some days are really lonely as a blogger or any online marketer. The independence is great, but you’re right. There really is NOBODY to blame but myself when things don’t go as planned.

    1. Thanks a lot for the support Chris. It took me time to reach the level I’m at now, but no matter how long I’ll be blogging, the most rewarding part is being able to help people.

  6. Paul

    I’ve with people new to blogging that they will give up too easily. If they’re not getting traffic in the first couple of months they will just stop. You need to keep going sometimes it can take years to get a blog off the ground.

    1. Dukeo is 2 years old, and it took a lot of effort to get to that point… I’m not yet satisfied with the results I’m seeing, but I’m not going to get discouraged! Tenacity is very important.

  7. Rafael D Jesus Ferreras Castillo

    Hey I like the headline of this article and i was reading and I liked, is that you’re being sincere and honest, and I like that, I look forward to reading more interesting articles from you and with your permission, I will be sharing it on my blog. God bless you.

    1. Thank you for your nice words Rafael

  8. Larissa

    I just found this by going through my twitter and I must say you’re so right!
    I started blogging a few months ago but I’ve been too distracted and I haven’t really been into the blogging thing.
    Today I started a new blog and I’m really encouraged now, your tips will definitely help!
    Thanks xx

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