If you’re a newbie with no prior knowledge of the online business or affiliate marketing, it is obvious that it is going to take some time for your blog to take off.
But years? Does it take that long?
And the insane amount of time you’re going to spend in front of your computer, is it really worth it?
I mean, if you’re able to invest that kind of energy and time in any offline activity, will you not be successful? So, why blogging indeed?
After all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed even if you dedicate yourself on your blog for more than a year.
I have seen people who simply start a blog with the sole agenda of making money because they have heard that they can make a comfortable living by blogging and selling stuff on the Internet.
There are indeed people who rake in millions of dollars every month by blogging and it’s easy to be inspired by their success stories. These people are making a full-time income from their blogs and the interesting thing is they are all common folks like you and me.
But why is it that the failure rate is high in the online business? Why do so many people suffer from burnouts and quit after the initial enthusiasm? What separates the successful from the mediocre bloggers?
Looking at the extremely low success rate, you can infer that blogging is no cakewalk. It is not for everybody.
However, the low capital investment required and coupled with the relative ease with which you can create a WordPress blog, new blogs are added every day in thousands. Out of these, only a few will last even a year, and from the ones that survive the first year, very few blogs would be successful in making any money.
I have seen that there are particular traits common among successful bloggers. These people work extremely hard on their blogs. They are highly motivated and positive. They are dreamers but they also take action. They are all authority in their chosen niche. They all create amazing content. They are quick to adapt to changing trends.
You don’t have to be the greatest writer to succeed in blogging. Many of the successful bloggers are not even great writers. But they are passionate about the topics they write. This shows in their writing.
Anyway, we are here to see why it actually takes a long time to start making money from your blog.
Some are pretty obvious but then if you’re a beginner, then it’s important that you understand why there’s a long gestation period before you start seeing a good volume of traffic on your site.
The purpose of this post is to make you understand that blogging is a serious business and like all businesses, it has separate stages of growth. So, in your early days of blogging, despite doing everything, if the traffic does not happen, you need not be overly anxious. Give yourself and your blog time to grow.
It Takes Time to Learn WordPress and SEO
If you have no previous experience of website-building on the WordPress platform, your early days would be spent on creating your own website. From choosing the domain name to buying it and hosting it on a web server, these are skills that will be new to you. You will learn how to install WordPress from the c-panel and all the DNS settings.
The WordPress admin area is a strange place for all newbies. It’s also a bit scary because there are so many options and you do not anything seriously happening to your site by doing something unknowingly. It takes time for you to actually learn all the features inside the WordPress admin area. And when you do learn them, you might be tempted to try out different themes and menu locations. In time, you might even want to go for a Premium theme. As a beginner, you are bound to make mistakes.
If you ask bloggers, they’ll tell you that theirs is a constantly-evolving blog. There’s always something new to learn and add in their website.
After the initial blog set up and content, there are basic on-page SEO things that you need to learn. When you learn most that there is to learn about WordPress, the SEO part of your activity will keep you engrossed. It’s a huge area in itself and you’ll be learning new things every day.
It Takes Time to Do Good Keyword Research
Keyword research is the core of every content strategy and if you’re to make a mark in blogging, this is something that you’ll be doing almost every day.
After all, your whole strategy centres on making your content visible easily to the audience. People make searches on the Internet for information using typical keywords. You will be creating content based on these keywords so that the search engines pull up your posts when people look for information in a specific area. Even with the advent of the voice-activated search, people still search for information using specific keywords.
As a blogger, it is important that you understand the importance of keywords and how they help in rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). It takes practice to do keywords research effectively. There are keyword tools available that provide you discrete information about the traffic potential – the average searches in a month, the relative competition it faces and other such vital information for each keyword.
Other than this information, these tools also give information about other related keywords for you to look into in the event of your initial keyword having high competition index.
All these take time.
It Takes Time to Figure Out Who Your Target Audience is
Even if you choose to blog on a niche that you feel is the closest to your heart, it is not easy to identify your audience. For every niche, there are sub-niches and it takes time to actually figure out that perfect niche where you can be at your best self.
In the beginning, you are most likely to try to cover different areas in a broad niche. But if you’re not able to create something refreshing, there will be no takers even if you had created your content with a lot of passion.
Trust me, everything has been done to death already in every niche and unless you can provide something unprecedented, something totally new, your blog will remain largely ignored.
One of the prime reasons for the failure of a blog is its inability to target a specific section of the audience. Remember, when you’re targeting everybody, you’re targeting no one.
It takes many months of blogging and disappointments to be able to understand who your target audience should be.
The world’s most popular bloggers have a perfect understanding of what the audience expects from them. But then, it did not happen overnight. It took them days and months of experimentation to figure it out.
It Takes Time to Find the Writing Voice
Most bloggers struggle in the beginning to settle down on a unique writing style or the ‘voice’.
Even if you’re a good writer, you’ll realise that blogging is a different ball game altogether. It is more personal, direct and conversational in style.
The tone is vastly different from a normal article.
In blogging, it is all about connecting with the audience in a manner that they can most relate to.
You will have to speak their language, know their fears, and understand their issues.
It’s like when they read your blog posts, they should feel as if you’re talking to them directly, imploring them to take certain actions so that you could help them. The readers have to trust you for them to do that.
You are expected to have a clear understanding of the needs of your audience. And you will be able to connect with them only when you have definite user personas in your mind when you create your content. You’re able to do this when you have a writing voice that your readers can relate to and are familiar with. You will have to find that unique style in your writing which should be consistent throughout your blog.
It’s not easy for a beginner and it takes months, and sometimes years, to find it.
The social media is an important source of blog traffic. Every blogger knows this.
However, using social media as a means to promote yourself and your business is something that many people are not comfortable with.
There will be times when you will have to force yourself to do that. There are definite ways to use different social media channels and you will have to learn them. You cannot the immense power of the social media for promoting a business.
If you have reservations about using the social media for business, it will take time for you to gain confidence with it.
In today’s world, it is unimaginable for a business to survive without social media.
It takes time and practice to learn good social media practices.
You are expected to master them if you ever hope to make your blog popular.
It Takes Time to be Able to Write Great Product Reviews
Writing product reviews is very different from other types of writing.
Here the intent is to make the reader take action by buying something or signing up for a course.
Apart from covering all the important areas of the product, you are expected to give your own personal experience of it. A review, when you write in a detached manner will mostly fall flat. You will have to provide a glimpse of how you feel about the product and how it fares with other competing products. There’s a definite technique to it.
Product reviews are all about making the reader interested enough to try it out. And if you’re going to simply list down the product’s specifications that any reader could easily look up to in its official promotional materials, you’re not going to make the reader take any action. Your so-called review is devoid of clear intent.
It takes time and a lot of practice (writing many reviews) to be able to come up with your own unique style of writing product reviews.
It Takes Time Learning to Write Great Email Copies
Email marketing is an essential component of blogging. It is an important way to connect with your blog readers. At some point in your blogging journey (some profess to start from day one itself), you are going to learn to create great email campaigns and to continuously engage with your audience.
If you’re a beginner, the concept of email marketing will be alien to you. It can be slightly confusing too. It might even take days to fully understand the rationale behind it.
But email marketing when done incorrectly can be extremely irritating to the receivers (your subscribers). Hence, it is essential to make everything seem less intrusive. It’s a fine line to tread actually because a large number of emails in your subscriber’s inbox could lead to him unsubscribing.
I have seen that most good bloggers are great at writing email copies. They are great at enticing readers into doing what they ask them to.
Writing great email copies is both an art and a skill. It is something you will have to master if ever think of making money online. After all, it is not without reason they say “the money is in the list”.
It takes time and a lot of experimentation to be able to start writing great email copies that convert.
It Takes Time Learning to Create Good Video Content
Like email marketing, videos are a great way to gain conversions.
Whether you like it or not, you will have to learn to create video content for your blog.
Videos give an impression of authority and seriousness about your brand, and people are more likely to trust you if you can embed your own videos within your blog content.
If you check, you will see that the world’s best bloggers, apart from creating valuable posts consistently, also have amazing video content too.
Videos are a great way to connect with your audience and to promote your brand.
There’s a direct correlation between blog traffic and the number of subscribers to your YouTube channel. Meaning, when you are able to create amazing videos to promote your business or your brand, people are more likely to follow you.
It takes a lot of practice and skill to be able to learn to create videos.
Although videos are less done by beginners, you will be doing it anyway someday.
Your blogging will be more complete when you have a good repertoire of video content too.
I have listed the major areas of blogging that need time to grow.
Whether it is the creation of content that provides value to the readers or to find your own writing voice, everything takes time.
Each aspect of blogging has its own growth path and skills that you will need to master.
So, do you now realise what separates the great bloggers from the average ones?
And why they say it takes a long time to make money online by blogging?
A blog passes through different stages and each stage has its own distinct set of challenges and skill sets.
But in keeping up with these challenges, you are also going to thoroughly enjoy the journey.
Keep learning. Don’t quit.
A blog has the potential to make money when there is consistent traffic flowing to it.
It also depends on the niche that you choose and the kind of competition within it.
There’s no niche that’s competition free and when it’s highly competitive, it also indicates its popularity.
Every niche provides many opportunities to take your own slice of the pie.
So, are you mentally prepared for the long haul?
Please do leave your insights below on other relevant points that you think I missed to mention here.