4 Lies Pro Bloggers Like to Tell

8553231295_ccd0d778ecSo 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:

Image Credit: http://flic.kr/p/e2PxF6

About Dan Stelter

Dan Stelter is a SEO consultant and freelance copywriter in Chicago who helps businesses make more money from their websites. Learn more about freelance copywriting for the web and SEO consulting by visiting http://www.freelancewriterinchicago.com or reading The Smarter Copywriting & SEO Blog.

Comments

  1. Hi Dan,

    I won’t say that these are lies, instead they’re big fat dreams which force every individual to start his/her blog. But you’re certainly right, before starting your blog you must aware of the reality so that you start with practical approach.

  2. I completed agree with 4 Points mentioned above..
    I am very impressed by 1st points.
    “If anyone could start a successful blog, then we’d have thousands of blogging millionaires, right”
    Its true that some of blogger who work hard only make $$$.Other just regrets when lucky one reveals thier earning by fb post.

  3. I would have to agree, when my friends found out I was a blogger they assumed from all the stories they have heard it is easy to get tons of income and traffic from social media. It takes work and dedication as you post clearly states.

  4. Indeed, I do believe some of these assumptions are correct, but they are inflated. This was an interesting article. I’m sure some people who are listening to Cramer are making money :-)

    The problem however, is that your blog has to be in the right niche and people still have to love you, what you have to say etc. Otherwise they won’t come back, they won’t buy what you promote, won’t click your ads etc.

  5. Hello Dan,
    This is a brilliant post and well researched :)
    Many new bloggers jump into blogging today because they think or because they’ve read it from a “pro blogger’s blog” that making money is just a step in blogging. But after venturing the business, they discover that blogging is not a quick rich scheme game.
    To tell you the truth, blogging is one of the most hard job you’ll ever think of.
    To me, i thinks these so called “pro bloggers” do this because they want to increase their sales :)
    Thanks and do have a good weekend ahead

    • I couldn’t agree more…although I do think that if you use their systems you will have a better chance of success, and you’ll definitely learn some things that would have cost you a lot of time. But you have to remember that success takes lots of long hours and hard work.

      Figure at least a year or two of blogging before you see any decent revenues at all.

      Thanks for reading :)

  6. This is so true! I used to think anyone can do it, but since I have started my own blog, I know different. When people ask me about it, I tell them that it’s hard work and it takes A LOT of time. I had so much to learn and I already owned my own web design company, but that didn’t translate to running a blog like I thought it would. Yes, it’s possible to make serious money, but it takes so much more time than people want to give it. My 2 rules are this:
    1. If you can stay passionate, then you will succeed, but you have to stay passionate for years sometimes before ever seeing any money.
    2. You succeed through helping others. Help others without expecting anything in return and you will eventually succeed in the blogging world.
    Thanks for the article!

  7. Dan, I so agree with you. I’m tired of hearing how you can make six figures by blogging. Shoot, that’s a pipe dream in just about any profession! I blog to help build a current portfolio. It would be nice to earn a living by blogging, but my income will come from clients who sign me on to write for them. That’s where I need to concentrate my marketing efforts. I love the honesty of this post. It’s nice to hear the truth for a change!

  8. Hi Dan,
    These guys have worked so hard to create these systems but they make it feel like their systems are a shortcut they didn’t have. I have read ‘blogging with Johnchow’ It’s no doubt a great course but does not illuminate the hard work and time required to build a successful blog.

    $6,000/m blogging is possible but you have to burn your fingers out ;)

  9. Hello Dan !!!
    However its true that they don’t tell everything to you. But They have spend more and more hours to stand up themselves at this PRO level.
    They have invested and experimented many thing to achieve the goals.
    You will require a lot of time to get success in the career with blogging.
    By the way I enjoyed the post while reading it.
    Thanks

    • Thanks for the reading – even though several people have enjoyed the post here – it’s been one of my lowest performers in terms of comments. Didn’t think that would happen, but the evidence speaks for itself!

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