A blogger’s life sounds fun.
The world’s an oyster for him.
No 9-5 office grind, earn while you’re sleeping, holidaying in exotic places, fast cars, lots of free time to spend with your family.
You are able to reach out to thousands of people from around the world.
You have the immense satisfaction of being able to help them through your blog.
People look up to you and follow every blog post of yours.
You are a source of inspiration and awe for them.
But is it all this rosy for a blogger?
Well, scratch the surface, and you will realise there’s more to it than meets the eye.
There are things that many bloggers don’t share.
Most people cannot create a successful blog
In other words, most people aren’t cut out for blogging. That’s the harsh reality.
Creating a blog is easy.
However, there’s a lot of difference between being able to create a blog and being successful at it.
When a blogger says that anybody can start a blog, it is true. Anybody can start a blog.
But there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.
It takes more than just hard work to be successful in blogging.
You will need loads of patience.
You will need to have great communication skills too.
Success in blogging will depend on too many discrete variables that mastering them will not be easy for many people.
So, if you’re a beginner, it will do you a world of good if you can ignore those loud-talking “experts” who talk about having fun on the beaches with their families while funneling in a steady stream of income through their blogs.
Did they say they need to work only for a few hours in a week on their laptops?
It might be true but did they tell you that they didn’t start off that way?
They aren’t telling you how they used to struggle for hours trying to figure out even the most basic of things.
How they used to grope in the dark while trying to come to terms with the various concepts.
They do not tell you how sloppy they were in the beginning, do they?
They do not say how they missed out on many of their favourite things – movies, fun with friends, parties, and even quality time with their families during the initial days.
They aren’t exactly saying how they had to face even ridicules and sneers then.
So, before you jump on to the blogging bandwagon, it definitely pays to understand that success doesn’t come easy in blogging.
You need to be mentally prepared that you are in it for the long haul.
You also need an honest self-assessment about your ability in other areas – content writing, communication skills, social media engagement and self-promotion skills.
Quality versus quantity
There are people saying that you need not write too many posts for success. Quality over quantity, they say.
Google’s own ranking matrix might be held under wraps but publishing fresh content on a regular basis is definitely one of the important ranking factors.
So, if you’re a beginner, your focus should be on creating content regularly. But in time, as your blog grows and as you gain some experience, you can afford to think in terms of quality over quantity.
For a beginner, it’s good to have quantity. To keep you on your toes always, to maintain your writing habit and to keep the adrenaline running.
A website’s traffic will depend on a lot many factors – keywords, SEO, social engagements and shares, guest posting, etc. but having many v posts on your blog is definitely advantageous.
Having a good volume of content is similar to casting the fishing net wide in the vast Internet ocean.
If you’re having many posts that rank well in search pages, your blog will be found by people who’re looking for topics under different search terms in your niche. Do you get the idea?
You need to reach out to your audience
If you are an introvert, you need to come out of your shell for success in blogging.
Blogging does not end with publishing a content.
It’s not as if you’re done after you publish your content.
If you thought your job is to simply create great content and that it will automatically become popular on its own, well, you cannot be more wrong.
You only grow in authority when you engage with your audience properly.
It helps you understand their problems (and hence, provide them help) better when you talk to them.
As you engage with your audience, you will have a deeper understanding of the people’s problems which only furthers your knowledge of the niche you are in. Things become easier for you.
Your content creation gets sharper and more on target.
This is the reason I say you need to come out of your introverted shell. Easy it might not be for some in the beginning, but with practice, things become easier.
You can start with email conversations with your subscribers. But before that, build up your email list.
You have to initiate the conversation by sending them your introduction mail when they sign up for your mailing list.
Remember, not everybody’s going to respond.
And it’s not necessary that everybody respond for your success.
But when they do respond, make sure that you reach out to them.
Try to understand their needs because these are the people who are desperately seeking help.
Aesthetics do matter
It’s definitely an advantage if you have a good aesthetic sense.
If you think you can offset your website’s bad aesthetics with good blog posts, then you’re wrong.
Of course, content is king but it doesn’t mean you can put up an ugly-looking website and expect people to love it.
Like all things in life, the looks or the visual elements of a website is crucial to halting a visitor to your page.
It is the first impression that forms in the mind of the person within the first few seconds of him landing on your site.
It can be the last impression too.
It is important to understand that the visual elements – logo, theme, colour schemes, layout, header image, header size, font, background colour, favicon, images within the content, pop-up design, etc. are crucial to influencing somebody to stay on the page or abandon it.
Not all niches are profitable
Despite the assurances from the experts, I actually believe that not all niches are profitable.
It’s true that any niche can be monetised but it’s also a fact that if the niche is too specific or narrow, the small audience size will not be able to generate leads or sales for a sustainable business.
Hence, if you’re just starting out, you need to do a thorough research of the various blogging niches and see which one fits you best.
Is it something that you are passionate about?
Is it something that you can talk for hours on end? Remember, you will be creating a huge content volume for the traffic to build up.
Is it something that you’re willing to learn? Because, if you have the intensity and the desire to learn about something, it can well be your niche. For in learning, you will encounter many new ideas and find your own perspectives that might be valuable to the readers.
Having said that, it’s not necessary to follow a so-called “profitable” niche unless you have the thirst for mastering it.
Try to have a balance between your interest and its profitability.
It’s a highly competitive world out there.
Bloggers compete over visibility, page views, followers, clicks, shares, links, leads, and sales.
The fallout of this competition is jealousy. Yes, jealousy – all true and raw.
In the blogging world, it’s almost impossible not to be affected by jealousy, no matter how level-headed you think you are.
The bad thing is that you start comparing yourself with others who are more successful than you.
When you see their amazing content and how people are reacting to it, it can be inspiring. At the same time, it can be demotivating.
You feel you will never be able to measure up to their work.
The worst is when you start feeling you have reached your “best” and that your limitations have been seriously exposed.
This is when the inspiration to continue will wane.
You even contemplate ending your blogging journey then and there.
Well, it’s no use getting jealous. Instead, try to get your own unique angles for all your posts.
Talking of jealousy, remember, it can be the other way round as well.
People can get jealous of you, of your popularity and your success.
Even your close friends can get extremely jealous of your work. Some of them can’t stand your success.
Be prepared for those unpleasant ridicules and touches of sarcasm.
You can even be the target of hate remarks from other bloggers.
It’s all part of the game. You have to take them in your stride.
People expect you to be perfect all the time!
People generally have high expectations from bloggers.
They expect you to create amazing posts every time.
They expect you to say the most amazing things.
You are expected to give the most simple answers to some of the most difficult questions.
These high expectations can either spur you to work harder or can suffocate you.
People always perceive you to be making sales pitches
Some people find it difficult to swallow the fact that you’re earning through your blog.
They are not able to see that you have spent countless hours creating the post.
They do not see that you have invested in a lot of time and money in creating your blog.
For them, the Internet is supposed to be free, and so when you gain something from your articles, some people think it’s not fair.
They even start judging you.
Did you think that blogging as an activity was all bright and sunny?
No, it isn’t.
There are certain dark spots there.
Absolutely not. I just love blogging. I’m continuing on my journey.
I just love the idea that I’m helping people through my posts.
I’m proud of the fact that I own a part of the Internet space and there are people who love it.
I do not need to focus on the bad side only.
It’s an amazing opportunity, and I’m not just ready to give it up yet.