Are you thinking of starting your own blog? From what you have been reading, it doesn’t look very hard, does it? You just have to follow any “how to start a blog” post and in less than 30 minutes you will be all set. All is left to do is come up with a good domain name and click on that host link listed in the post. If you post a few times a week and sign-up for affiliates, you should be making money in no time. Sounds pretty easy, you can quit your job and travel the world while still making a lot of money. It may be that simple to start a blog but who said blogging was easy?
Of course, you will hear about amazing success stories in the blogosphere, check out a few in a recent post at Frugal Asian Finance https://frugalasianfinance.com/frugal-bloggers-turned-millionaires-overnight/ .
But those are exceptions, not the rule. For most bloggers, it takes years to get enough traffic to make money. It rarely happens overnight.
Here are some interesting statistics about blogging:
- 6.7M people blog on blogging sites(Source: Blogging.org)
- 12M people blog via social media (Source: blogging.org)
- 2 Million blog posts are published every day
- Facebook has over 2.01 billion monthly active users
- 81% of bloggers never make more than $100 (Survey of 1,000 by blogging.com)
- Only 13% of bloggers make over 1,000 per month (Survey of 1,500 Problogger readers)
- 90 to 95% of bloggers quit within the first 6 months. (Source: Technorati)
I looked for data about average pageviews and visitors for blogs but couldn’t find anything meaningful. If you know where to find some of that data, let me know. It would be very interesting for any new bloggers.
So where does that leave you? Should you start a blog? And will you be able to make money at it? 90 to 95% of bloggers don’t make it past 6 months! Will you?
Well it all depends on your expectations. Let’s see what are some of the top reasons why most bloggers quit:
- The blog isn’t making money. Don’t start a blog thinking you are going to make lots of money quickly (or any money). Honestly, if it wasn’t for the monthly on-line income reports published by my favorite bloggers, I am not sure I would have started a blog in the first place. But now a month later, my expectations have totally changed. I stopped looking for affiliate programs and advertising. I am 100% focused on increasing traffic to my blog. The income part is secondary and will happen once I have a decent amount of visitors to my site. After one month of blogging, I am a lot more appreciative of the work involved in running a blog. Blogging and building an audience is a LOT OF WORK! If you read about successful blogs, just remember, it didn’t happen overnight and they had to put in a lot of hours to get there.
- It is too technical.: Once you sign up with the host, you then have to set up your blog, pick a theme, add plugins, maximize your SEO .Just last week, I was still trying to verify my site for goggle search. It should have been an easy step to perform but I got stuck on uploading a file to my site. The instructions said to “upload the file to my root folder”! I had no clue what a root folder was and how to upload to it! After spending a lot of time googling, I finally figured it out. It wasn’t complicated but it was very frustrating to try to find the answer. This is just one small example, it happens all the time! You will have to learn to work with images. A post gets a lot more attention if it has images. Finding the pictures is pretty easy but getting the right size can be a challenge. I have come up with some pretty cool design with text on images but as soon as I upload them to my blog or Pinterest, half of it usually goes missing! It is very frustrating. I didn’t think posting images could require so much work!
- Lack of visitors/pageviews,.If you think you can start your blog, publish posts and readers will come, think again. There is a lot more to getting traffic than posting good content. That is assuming you do have good content in the first place, not easy to know if you can’t get visitors to read your post and comment (trust me). You need to make sure your site and posts are SEO friendly. There are plugins you can download to help you with SEO, I use Yoast SEO for WordPress and so far it is pretty good. I tried to calculate my SEO score with a free online tools and my score was pretty good but I don’t know if I did right! You also need to verify and link your site to Google, Bing and Yantex (maybe others too?) if you want your site to be indexed. You have to analyse your site stats regularly. How many pageviews did you get? How many visitors? What is your bounce rate? I use Jetpack and Google analytics (two plugins) and still trying to understand all the metrics. If you never had a blog before, it can get overwhelming.
- Posting consistently and on schedule. This is very time-consuming. First you need to come up with good topics for your blog, at least two to three a week, and then you have to write the content. Apparently running out of topic is one of the top reason bloggers quit. Writing a post can be very time-consuming, mostly if you need to do any type of research on your topic.
- Blog via Social media. If you already use most of them, it should be easy. You just need to set up new accounts for your blog. But not everybody is proficient with social media, for the rest of us it can be challenging. I had no experience with any of them so I am starting with Pinterest for now. There is no point in trying to get them all going if I can’t get any of them to work for me. I will tackle social media one media at a time. Remember, you still have to keep up with your blog.
- Not enough time. It is very time-consuming to run a blog, it is at the beginning anyway. If you are still working full-time and have a family to take care of, you may end up just not having the time to do it all.
- Staying motivated. You are not accountable to anybody while you are building your blog and your audience. You could stop posting at any time and nobody will notice. I know there must be a trick to staying motivated and I hope I find it soon!
So before you start a blog, know that you will need a lot of time and patience. It is not that easy at first. You may want to give up early on (I may have already thought about it) but hang in there. Just learn to prioritize, you can’t do it all at once. Things will fall into place eventually (well I hope anyway!) Remember, successful bloggers are working as hard as you are and probably have for a lot longer. Whatever you do, try to keep it fun.
So what do you think? Are you ready to start a blog? If you already have your own blog, does it get easier?