Just Start Already
I’ve written a lot of blog posts over the past 10 years. I kinda regret that they weren’t all on one blog and instead were all over the place. I imagine if I had been consistently posting on one blog I’d have a huge following by now and would be making stupid money from ads and affiliate links. But I haven’t. And I’m not. But I wanted to give you a taste of what I’ve written over the years.
This does not include the blogs I’ve written as a freelancer for the past 4 years. Or the blogs I’ve written since starting my copywriting job in January 2017. It also does not include the blogs I’ve started and deleted. We were trying to be essential oil distributors and I built and maintained a blog for about a year as part of our marketing efforts. Sadly, that blog was deleted while changing from one host to another. I’ve built blogs as part of my teaching degree and then as a teacher for student resources.
I guess the point of telling you this is that I’ve been doing it for a long time and yet feel totally overwhelmed and not really sure what I’m doing. If you are just starting out, it is perfectly normal to feel like you are drowning. I totally get that, as I still feel that way now.
So let’s cut the shit.
You will never feel ready to start blogging.
You will never be a “good blogger.”
Your blog will never look the way you want it to.
You will never build an audience.
Unless you just start. Today. Start writing.
You may be shaking your head in disagreement, thinking, “dude. I don’t know how to use WordPress. I don’t know how to create a cool home page. I don’t know how to do X.” And you’re right. You don’t. You’re probably comparing the site you built on a free theme with one you found in a similar market. I know I did. And do still. You’re looking at this other site and seeing the sliders on the front page and the header and all the other cool shit you don’t know how to do. You are thinking, “I can’t get started because my blog doesn’t look like theirs.”
STOP. THAT. SHIT. NOW
Without seeing that other site I can almost guarantee that they didn’t build it 100% by themselves. How can I be so sure? Because building a blog is HARD and most people don’t know how to do it. You think I built this blog? I bought a premium theme because I was tired of being the limitations of a free theme. That blog you’re so obsessed with was probably paid for, and I can also guarantee that it isn’t the same blog they started with. It is something they built and changed and that has evolved over the years they’ve been blogging. But yours will never, ever look like theirs unless you start.
That being said, I’m extremely proud of where I am now vs where I started from. It is hard. Even now I find myself getting extremely frustrated and rage quitting when I am trying to make a change or fix a problem that isn’t working. But that’s how I learn. One day, hopefully, I’ll be generating enough income with this blog that I can pay someone to build a kick-ass professional version. And when that day comes, I’ll pay someone else to maintain it because I’ll be doing something else more important. But until then, I’m going to keep writing. My blog will keep evolving. And maybe no one will ever read this and I’ll never be able to pay for a professional site, and that’s ok. I’ll just keep writing.
Why do You Want a Blog, Anyway?
Before you even start down this road, you need to ask yourself why you want to blog in the first place. If it is because you’ve heard of all these people making crazy money from blogging and that sounds fun to you, then you need to reconsider. Everyone has this same idea about blogging, and I’m no different. Not really sure how blogging earned the reputation as being easy, but it is misguided. Blogging has this connotation of not being work. Like vlogging. People are like, you make money just from blogging a couple times a week? That’s it? All you have to do is write some stuff, right? I can totally do that.
You need to be prepared to continue writing and continue researching even if no one ever reads a single post. Because that is most likely what will happen. If you don’t love what you are writing about and are only doing it to try and make money, you will likely fail. Find a very popular blog and look for a “how to blog” post or a “Why I started blogging” post and most of them will tell you the same thing. If you are only writing to try and create an income, you will get tired of it and realize that you don’t love blogging and there are easier ways to make a buck.
In a blog post from Quicksprout about the indelible Seth Godin, they offer his advice when it comes to the why you should or should not blog. Keep in mind, Seth posts a blog EVERY SINGLE WEEK DAY and has for years. The man produces.
Make Blog Posts, Not Money
You would be wrong to think that Seth blogs to make money or promote his other businesses like Squidoo. He resists the idea that he has products or that he is trying to monetize blogging.
He’s okay if it monetizes itself, say through speaking fees or book contracts, but he believes that bloggers should truly blog for the love of it and not the money.
In fact, he thinks people get into trouble when they start to think of their blog as a sales funnel or even a product you can wrap up and sell.
In our digital world where ideas are abundant, creating something that is scarce and worth a price tag is nearly impossible. In other words, the $99 special report is neither special nor a report.
He believes that ubiquity…being everywhere…is a better strategy than trying to create scarcity.
Establish what motivates you to get out of bed
As you might have guessed, he doesn’t believe people should blog to generate a full-time income. If that’s the reason you are blogging, then you don’t have a passion…you have a job.
So you have to ask yourself, “What makes me get out of bed in the morning? What am I passionate about?”
In order to be a successful blogger, you have to decide what you are passionate about. And the other question Seth says you have to ask yourself is this: “How hard are you willing to push?”
Here’s the thing about becoming the best at something…you need to make it small.
It’s a lot easier to become the world’s best infant heart surgeon than it is to become the world’s most famous scientist.
One is a narrow specialization that allows you to get really good at it through repeated practice. The other one is so broad that you will take a lifetime to get good at even some parts of it…and probably not even make it!
This means if you want to be the world’s greatest SEO blogger, then you should focus on an area of SEO like link building.
If you want to become the world’s best entrepreneur, then you need to pick an industry that you can master…like Henry Ford did with cars.
He didn’t say he wanted to be the best in transportation…he said he wanted to be the best in cars.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Why is Blogging Hard?
Blogging is hard. Maybe not physically hard like roofing or being a porn star, but nevertheless, it is hard.
There are a lot of factors that go into a good blog, building an audience, and ultimately monetizing. The hardest? Consistency. Your readers will depend on you and expect consistent content. That may be one post a week or maybe 2, but you should be posting weekly (not like I do, I’m lazy). It is a constant challenge to come up with new ideas, do research, take photos, edit, publish, and post to social media multiple times a week.
But you can do it. I believe in you.