If you think it’s easy to become a well-paid blogger, well, you’re not alone. In fact, according to WordPress.com, 44.5 million new blog posts are published each year.
Oh, yeah, and you’re also up against 13,704,819 new blogs that started in 2013, up 36% from 2010.
But I’m not here to hit you over the head with numbers – let’s do that in another blog, shall we? – I’m here to tell you that bloggers who make a real living from their blogging don’t just sit on a yacht sipping champagne.
Instead, they face these four realities:
Blogging is a business.
Many of us (writers, I mean) will tell you again and again one simple fact; blogging is a business. That means it has to be run like a business, with the bottom line always taking center stage.
A money generating blog starts with a well-researched niche, and then branches out to determine which keywords will resonate with an audience.
After initiating several strategies to generate page views, visitors to the blog, or list building tactics, the blogger can finally share these stats with advertisers. How long do you think that takes?
Long hours, late nights and burn-out
While I can’t tell you exactly how long it takes in your personal niche, to build a list of a 1,000 email subscribers to a normal website, working diligently, the estimate is about a year. Yes, a year.
Are you still going to be interested in your topic of choice in a year? What will you write about? How will you keep interesting your readers?
The other fallacy is that bloggers enjoy a four hour work week. Those who continue to earn a successful living from their blogs (unless they’ve branched out into other revenue streams) work several hours a day to develop relationships with other bloggers and advertisers.
What’s my typical day like?
I spend about six hours writing and an additional four to six hours marketing. I start my day on Facebook, write a few personal blogs, pop over to Linked In for some group engagement, and keep an eye on Twitter.
Once I’m done with the typical rounds, you might find me on Quora answering questions, exploring a new platform someone recommended, or researching more guest posting opportunities.
Sometimes I attend webinars or I’m wrapped up in telephone conferences with potential clients. In other words, it’s work. You know, just like a real job.
And the second I stop the four to six hours of marketing, my sales stop, too.
Blogging for pay isn’t like dear diary
My mom (and yours, too) thinks all my work begins with, “It was a dark and stormy night…” In her head, I spin out tales of woe and wonder. She’s wrong.
Writing for pay is nothing like dear diary posts 20 years ago when blogging began. Instead, blogs have to be written according to a strategic plan, keyworded and photoed just to get them up to snuff.
And then you need to promote them, and get others to promote them. Oh, and I rarely get to write what I want. Instead, blogging for pay can start to feel like homework – homework you have to do every night and day.
Perseverance of a marathoner
So, you have your blog, it’s up and running, you think it might be doing well…but wait, there’s more. There is always more.
Because you have to determine how your blogging will actually earn you an income from the work you do. And then you have to continually replace that income when you lose an advertiser. And then…repeat.
You need the perseverance of a marathoner to keep you game up and running. You’ll have to nurture all the relationships you formed over time and answer tough questions, like why your blog isn’t converting sales leads.
Of course, I don’t want to dissuade you from blogging. If you have a passion for writing, working from home, and training like a prize fighter, you can absolutely earn a living this way. No problemo.
However, you also need to recognize blogging as work. Work that will require you to be disciplined (yes, even on sunny, warm Spring days). And discipline just isn’t for everyone.