There’re just too many blogs out there already. Take up any niche and you will see that there are thousands (or millions) of bloggers already vying for better visibility online, all jostling for a spot in the first page of Google rankings, all saying almost the same things. Is it too late to start a blog? The blogging world looks like a saturated space. It’s as if every second person is a blogger.
Why do you want to start a blog? Is it because of the lure of the lucre? Do you feel it’s your best bet for earning money for your livelihood? You must have seen or heard of the many stories of people raking in millions of dollars “from the comforts of their home” by simply blogging. Doesn’t look like a big deal at all, does it? Buy a domain name, get it hosted on a web server, install WordPress, publish articles with good keywords and promote your blog to the people through social media and people will start visiting it. And once people start visiting your blog in hordes, monetise it by placing ads or affiliate products and earn a commission. That’s it? Is that all?
Well, the whole idea of making money online is no rocket science. The idea is simple. When a blog is popular, people start visiting it in huge numbers daily and you can exploit this to your advantage by promoting or selling products (your own or someone else’s) and earn a commission. Or else, keep everything on autopilot by placing ads where you earn money when people click on these ads (they don’t have to buy anything even). There are also other ways to monetise it. Like creating tutorials or courses on an activity and selling them at a price.
Many people start a blog because of the seeming ease with which it could create wealth for the blogger. But the fact is, it’s a damn hard work. Very few achieve success in blogging and the Internet is already a big graveyard of blogs that many people started but could not sustain their enthusiasm for long. Why do most beginners find it very difficult to carry on? Let’s see some of them.
It’s Not Easy to Create Good Content Regularly
Consistency is the key to blogging success. While it’s not necessary that you need to be a great writer to succeed in blogging but it’s also true that you need to have a continuous stream of excellent content that people love in order to survive as a blogger. There’s too much competition out there and if you’re just starting out, it will be an uphill task to make yourself heard and stand out from the crowd. Your content creation has to be top-notch. It’s not just excellent writing skill that’s going to do the trick but you need to know what you’re writing. You have to know your stuff.
It’s easy to create a rehashed content but that’s not what the readers are going to love. The people on the Internet are a picky lot and they’re impatient. The ugly truth is nobody cares about you. It’s all about how useful your content is to them. It’s about what you can do for them. Nobody’s going to read your beautifully-crafted laments on the ways of the world or your private musings unless the readers could relate to them and can lift them up from their own life situations.
A blog is on a specific theme or niche, as is called in the blogging parlance. As a blogger, you have to write within your niche and with authority. You have to show the people that you really know the ins-and-outs of the stuff that you’re putting out there. Why would anybody care to even look at your writing when you yourself don’t sound so confident? When you write passionately and with a good deal of authority on the subject, people start looking up to you as someone they can trust. Your posts are shared and discussed in social media circles. That is how you start to build up a reputation for yourself. Remember, it’s a slow process.
It takes long (in terms of years) to build up a good personal brand. And if you’re a beginner blogger, it’s never going to be easy. So, what you will be doing is getting yourself mentally prepared for the long haul and publish good content regularly to solve people’s problems. Needless to say, creating good content continuously is difficult.
READ MORE: “How to Write a Good Sales Copy”
It’s Not Easy to Promote Your Brand
Only creating good content is not enough. You need to promote yourself and your brand to the people to become more visible online. Many bloggers believe that promotion is 80% of the time while 20% of the time is for content creation. That is not far from the truth. If you’re to survive and become a brand to reckon with, then you need to promote your blog. There are many ways to do it and for a beginner to make sense out of the all the information flying around and choose the best channel for promotion is never easy. Paid ads, videos, guest posting, webinars, social media, email marketing, traditional offline ads – there are just many ways to do it. Some are free and some come at a price.
When it comes to brand promotion strategy, there is no one-size-that-fits-all. Some swear by the effectiveness of email marketing and of building up a list. Some swear by Pinterest or Instagram while there are many people who say Facebook is the best. But for an effective promotion, it needs to be a combination of various strategies to cover all grounds. You might encounter conflicting views too. Some say you need to promote yourself from day 1 while there are others who feel you need to have a good body of work on board for the promotion to be effective.
Choosing the option or a combination of different options – it has never been easy. You need to test the options to arrive at a strategy (or a combination of strategies) that works best for you. For many people, this is the most difficult part. In fact, there are many bloggers who after having created a good volume of content succumbed only because they couldn’t promote themselves effectively. Call it a problem of plenty, but for a beginner, to pick the best option is itself a problem.
Difficult to Find Time for People with Office Jobs
There’s so much to do and you have so little time. For people who are working in traditional 9-5 office settings, juggling the time between the office work and on the business website is difficult. There are datelines to meet, presentations to make, and other commitments that take up much of your attention and leaving you with too less a time to work on your blog. You may devise schedules to divide your focus on the two but there are times when they don’t work at all.
When you’re a beginner and just beginning to learn the basics of Internet marketing, certain aspects of the learning require a definite sequence of steps. If your office work gets in the way of the learning, the necessary focus needed for effective learning gets dwindled. You have a protracted learning curve. I’m with my office job and I know how frustrating it is when I cannot dedicate more time on my website. If you do not manage your time properly, the quality of work both in your office and your blog deteriorates. Working for long hours into the night is both physically and mentally taxing and is never good. Because of all these, your content creation gets longer, and you are not able to write posts regularly. You need to learn how to manage your time for the best results.
Distractions and the Shiny Object Syndrome
Blogging is an exhilarating activity. But no blogging journey is smooth. Distractions are bound to happen. Even the established ones get distracted in their journey. As a beginner, we are exposed to so many “claims” of best strategies for website traffic and conversions. Despite our conscious efforts not to get distracted by the “shiny objects”, most of us get ourselves embroiled with an activity that eats into our precious time with no positive results on our blog. I’m by nature very cautious about most money-making claims on the Internet. I have seen many people being caught in scams and duped of their hard-earned money over online products or courses for better blog traffic or revenue. I have become wiser from other people’s experiences but despite my cautious nature, I used to enroll myself for courses and memberships that did nothing positive for me. These distractions not only affected the quality of my work on my site but have been time-wasting too. I deviated from my path and was chasing other activities that had no bearing on the overall output of my work, both in terms of quality and quantity.
You need to be clear about your goals. There’s no harm in experimenting with different strategies. Unless you act and try them out, how will you even find out which strategy or strategies work for you? The problem comes when the reason for your distraction is tied to a strategy or scheme that claims to make you rich quick. There are no short-cuts to success.
Lack of Motivation
When we are beginners, the learning and content creation happens at the same time. In the beginning, there will be many times when you feel like giving it all up. After having spent an insane amount of time in front of the computer, after many sleepless nights and being cut off from your friends, when there’s nothing to show about your online business in terms of sales, leads or traffic, you naturally feel bad. It makes you feel low and demotivated. Your confidence slips. You begin to seriously question yourself whether you have it in you to succeed in the online business. “It takes a long time to see success in Internet marketing” starts sounding hollow.
Most beginners pass through many phases of uncertainty, and it looks like only the toughest survive. Depending on the niche and its competitiveness, it can take a painfully long time to see some semblance of success. Distractions happen in a big way and you are at your most vulnerable state of mind for getting caught in scams and other money-making schemes.
Life Happens to Some of Us
Nothing’s certain in life and it may so happen that despite your enthusiasm and clarity of goals, life may come in the way of your nascent online business. Certain circumstances beyond your control may compel you to abandon your blog before achieving success. I have seen many people get caught in life’s situations that compelled them to give up their blogging journey. Change of location, financial situations, the death of a family member, accidents, job commitments, change of jobs, health conditions – anything can happen that could throw a spanner in the works for your online adventure. They can either bring forced delays in your work or compel you to give up altogether.
Do You Have it in You to Succeed?
The way I see it, the first twelve months for a blogger is crucial if he’s a beginner. It’s a helluva roller-coaster ride and it takes a great resolve and passion in what you’re doing to weather the storm. Many fail and succumb under pressure and the impatience to see results fast. Treat it like a business, they say. But I think, you should treat it as a hobby too and learn to enjoy the scenery on the way. When money is seen as the end the only incentive to carry on, the fun part might be missing. It is a business, no doubt but blogging is also about having fun while doing the hard work. There’s no blog that saw success within the first few days of starting. When you enter the blogging world, give yourself a long rope. Be mentally prepared for the long haul.