The Truthful, Painful & Essential Lessons about Making It as a Blogger
When I left my comfortable and well paid job at an SEO agency at the age of 19 in pursuit of my unnatural obsession to make a living as a blogger, I thought it would be a walk in the park. I mean, I had just spent the past 3 years relentlessly scanning the internet, learning everything there is to know about blogging and internet marketing.
Surely I was an expert by now? When I found myself broke and homeless a few months later I started to reconsider. Maybe I had rushed into things a bit.
On the bright side, I did learn the essential lessons that every new blogger has to learn: It's not easy. You will struggle. At some points, you will be dangerously close to giving up. Hmm, maybe that's not such a bright side, after all. But, here I am. I struggled. I even gave up at one point. I'm still here, and I have some lessons for you.
Don't Lose Sight
There are a million and one things that a successful blogger has to master. We have to write email auto responders, create compelling opt in boxes, develop presences across social media. Learning these skills is definitely important. Yet, in my obsession to master everything there is to know about creating a popular blog, I had lost sight of the thing that really matters.
If you treat your audience anything short of royalty, you are doing something seriously wrong. It's your audience that will sign up to your email list. It's your audience that will click your affiliate links and earn you a commission. It's your audience that decide to hire you. Your audience decide if you make it as a blogger, you need to respect them.
Instead of asking if your new blog design will make you more money, start asking if that new design will be more appealing to your audience. Create a blog that rewards and fulfils your audiences every need first. The success and sales will come after.
Don't Drop Everything
I don't really know where my sudden decision to drop everything and chase the dream of the internet lifestyle really came from. I probably got it from my mum, Claire Jarrett.
She does have a tendency to pursue multiple business ventures simultaneously. At the moment, she is building multiple websites, including a locksmith training site. She also owned two out of the three internet marketing agencies that I had worked, too.
But I do know one thing. When I got started, if I had a back-up plan; a source of income to keep me tied over during the rocky times, things would have been so much easier.I wouldn't have found myself struggling to pay my flat bill; and I definitely wouldn't have found myself on my Nan's unwelcoming sofa.
Don't immediately quit your day job as soon as you taste success; find time on the evenings to build your blog, until it replaces your income. If you do make it as a blogger, the path you took to get there will be a darn sight more chilled out than my journey.
At the very least, have a backup plan.
Don't Put Profit before Passion
The biggest mistake that a new blogger can make is to blog for profit, and not passion. They base their niche on a subject that they feel will be profitable. Every post they craft is created in an awkward attempt to promote some product to earn an affiliate commission.
The thing is, if you are creating a blog solely based on monetary gain, you will struggle to succeed. The main driving force behind your blog should be your passion for writing, and your passion for your niche. If this isn't the case, your readers will know. It reflects in your writing. The worst thing is that they won't even tell you.
Instead, you and your blog will be completely ignored. Nobody will comment on your posts, nobody will tell you where you are going wrong, and you won't make a cent. Base your blog around your passion. Lead with value, you will be rewarded in the long run. Now go out there. Find your passion. Build your audience.