So I can’t claim any astonishing success like the Huffington Post, Perez Hilton, or Mashable. But I did run a past blog that garnered 6,600 visits per month and more than 700 subscribers.
And if I’d have kept working on it, it would have grown even more. It probably wouldn’t have made millions like those big names, but suffice it to say, it could have done quite well (and did in some respects).
So, what really makes me angry is how some very experienced and successful bloggers make it sound like a cinch to get your blog to the top.
…If you just follow their system (which surprisingly you have to pay for), they say, you can create an ultra-successful blog.
I don’t think that’s the case at all.
Here are some of the blogging lies I hear, and the harsh reality of blogging:
1. Anyone Can Do It
If anyone could start a successful blog, then we’d have thousands of blogging millionaires, right? Have you ever watched the show “Mad Money,” hosted by Jim Cramer?
He gives stock investing tips you’re supposed to follow to get super rich from the stock market. A joke article by The Onion had a headline that once read something like “Man Who Watches Mad Money Becomes Billionaire.”
Needless to say, that didn’t happen. And I think it’s the same case with blogging. The reality, in my opinion, is only a lucky few can be the big winners.
2. Promote on Social Media, Do Organic SEO, and You’ll Get a Big Audience
They tend to recommend the same old cookie-cutter tactics. If you just promote yourself on enough A-list blogs, get active on social media, and build some links, your blog will explode with growth.
The truth is that it takes long hours and hard work to get your blog growing. These guys like Jon Morrow, Darren Rowse, and Brian Clark put in 60+ hours worth of work every week into their blogs. And that doesn’t include the support staff they have helping them do all the work!
3. You’re Going to Make Serious Money
You might…and you might not. You certainly can, but remember that blogging is a business just like anything else. Not all businesses succeed.
Personally, I made a couple thousand bucks from a past blog, but I didn’t try to make money off of it all that much. The cash I have received is helpful though.
If you want to turn a blog into something that generates $4,000 – $6,000 per month though, you’re going to have to work very hard.
4. It Doesn’t Take That Long to Get There
Now some of these bloggers claim to show very fast success – just months or so. And it’s true. But in many cases they already had connections with other powerful people, so they could get the word out right away.
That cuts out a lot of time that it normally takes to grow your blog. With SEO Moz, which was grown from scratch, Rand Fishkin spent 80 hours per week working on the blog. It took him 2 years to get any real traction going, and he hit a debt ceiling of $500,000 before it finally got going in the right direction.
Now that’s not a typical story, but you get the point: blog success is tough to come by.
Pro bloggers make it sound “so easy that anyone can do it” because they have something to sell you…people only buy those things which make life easier, and not those which tell them the truth.
The Truth about Blogging
If you’re looking to make money off blogging, just don’t be looking for a fast dollar. And, keep in mind that most blogs never make more than a few hundred bucks each year.
I’m not trying to discourage you from pursuing your dreams (I’m all for that), but it’s important that you know what you’re getting into and to have realistic expectations if you choose to take the leap.
If you are going to blog to create a business, the safest way to do it is to have a part-time or full-time job going, and then doing the blogging on the side.
How do you succeed with blogging?
The best thing to do is to have either a unique idea, or an incredibly unique perspective on a given subject. SEO Moz, Mashable, Huffington Post, Copyblogger…they all have very unique perspectives, or at least they were unique at the time they were founded.
If you’re thinking about starting an internet marketing blog, good luck…there’s only about a million of those out there. It’s better to come up with a totally original idea.
And even when you have that idea, it could take 2-3 years or so before it really gets traction. Hard to hear, I know, but better to know the truth than to think you’re going to get rich overnight and then get hit by reality.
Why my Blog Doesn’t Have that Much Traffic
With my copywriting and SEO blog, I only get around 100 hits or so per month, and I’m totally fine with that. The whole point of my website is to convert copywriting clients that I contact by cold-call or e-mail.
Plus, to be honest, there are successful copywriters out there with 10+ years of experience, so I can’t really compete with them all that well at this point.
Plus, it’s not all that differentiated…yet. It’s just kind of another copywriting blog, with a little bit about SEO, although it does have some pretty good examples of what works and why that you don’t find on other blogs.
But for now, the blog is enough to justify to clients that I know what I’m doing and can help them with their copywriting needs too.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and keep blogging your butt off and good things will happen!
Got a question? Let me know in the comments below:
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