As you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re picturing me sipping a nice tropical drink by the beach while I tap away to glory on a slim and stylish laptop not having a care in the world because money just keeps filling my bank account almost automatically.
This is what I look like right now.
Dark circles, hair – a frizzy rat’s maze, and my table full of coffee cups that I’ve not bothered to carry to the sink because I haven’t taken a break in God knows how long…
Yes, I’m going to go out and say it.
Blogging isn’t glamorous.
At least not in the beginning.
No way, Ma’am.
Starting a blog is really fine and dandy.
Needless to say, that this is hard work.
And although it’s really easy to get carried away with online metrics, you shouldn’t. None of those Bloggers you are envying have had it easy.
They have all started right from the bottom, grinding for long hours before they saw those results.
So, if you’re stuck wondering, whether you should start a blog or not, or have just started a blog and are not seeing results, I want you to take a deep, deep breath and just relax.
It’s normal to feel dejected, scared, anxious or hopeful.
It’s completely normal to not know where your blog is going or to wonder if it will all work out.
I’m not here to bring down your hopes and/or discourage you from blogging. But instead show you a few realistic expectations from starting a blog and growing it from scratch and show you how a few ways you can cope.
Once you understand what to expect along the way, you’ll be better prepared to tackle these little obstacles and blog more effectively.
So, let’s begin with a few harsh truths about blogging.
If you don’t have a blog or are thinking of starting one, I have a free 7 day email course (extremely detailed) that will help you start a blog that makes money on autopilot!
This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to buy my poor dogs food.
1. You need to be a Master in Time Management
Being a blogger is so much more than just typing a post and clicking “Publish.”
Additionally, you will have to plan your blog content in advance, do keyword research, come up with SEO rich headlines that convert like crazy, work on SEO to get organic traffic, constantly update and upgrade your website, network with other bloggers in your niche, keep updating your social media, work on blog promotion and so much more.
It’s like doing several jobs at once.
This requires us as bloggers to spruce up our time management game. Otherwise, we’ll soon find our sanity leaving the door.
Furthermore, I would suggest keeping a blog planner with you at all times. You can make to-do lists in your phone or get yourself an actual blog planner so that your tasks become easier to manage.
You’ll also like: How to plan your blog content a whole year in advance!
2. You need to invest money in the beginning
Most people shy away from this teeny-tiny fact.
I understand how difficult it can be to invest money in something that doesn’t have a clear cut guarantee of doubling your returns if not more.
But as a Blogger who has gone down the cheap route before, I know for a fact that it is crucial to believe in yourself and not cut corners when you are entering this field.
Remember, if you don’t believe in your business, why should anyone else?
Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself and your Blog, and you will get back what you’ve invested more than ten fold.
If you do your research and truly work hard, there is no possible way you can fail.
This I can assure you.
So, don’t pinch pennies for your brand new Blog.
And blogging isn’t expensive if you know exactly what to invest in. I cover the exact cost of operating a Blog in this post right here.
3. You have to make an effort to be fit
Aye, it will feel amazing to work from home.
And contrary to what most people believe – that working from home gives you plenty of time to focus on yourself, it actually works the other way around.
When we work from home, we tend to let go of ourselves. We think, “Why bother? I’m not going to meet anyone anyway.”
This attitude is not healthy. This is a hard truth about blogging to swallow.
You need to look after yourself, both physically and mentally because at the end of the day you are working for you.
This is why, it is so important to create a work schedule and take breaks so that you can return to your work refreshed and mentally recharged.
For instance, when I wake up in the morning, I take my dogs out for a long walk before I have my breakfast and sit down to work.
I take regular breaks after every two hours to either lift weights or run on the treadmill.
Make sure that you stay hydrated and don’t overdose on tea or coffee.
I also do not keep much junk food in the house.
And I’ve stopped snacking completely. I have 3 meals a day and that’s it.
Apart from focusing on fitness, I sometimes switch things up by doing something personal and uplifting – like creating a fun comic (that has nothing to do with business) and posting it on Instagram.
Here are a few fun things you can do to take a break from work:
- Play with your pets
- Watch some tv (not too much)
- Write in your journal
- Drink a smoothie or a refreshing glass of water
- Practice a hobby – like playing the piano or drawing or bird watching
In short, take breaks. Your break can be 10-20 minutes. I suggest taking one after every 2 hours of strenuous work.
And doing this will actually help you become more productive.
You can also get yourself this cute printable little self-care planner that will help you take care of yourself.
4. Battling loneliness will be a regular struggle
Sitting on your laptop for hours and hours on end is not easy.
And you will want to sit indoors all day and not leave the house, but go out.
I can’t tell if I’m recharging or getting an electric shock…
Take a break.
Go on dates, catch late night dinners with your best pals and take care of yourself.
Do not work 24/7. It’s tempting to want to put your all into your work… but if you don’t make time for yourself or step back once in a while to get a new perspective, you could burn yourself out.
I really shouldn’t have worn that much gel today…
Another suggestion is to network with other bloggers and online business people because the harsh truth about blogging is that no one else will understand your situation or your line of work except them.
The best way to do this?
Join a few Facebook Groups (I suggest no more than 3-5) and participate in conversations. Engaging with people in your field of work will help you feel much better about what you do and create better goals in your niche.
5. It’s going to take a while before you see ground-breaking results.
Burst your bubble, didn’t I?
I take too much pleasure doing this…
Ah, but you saw this coming!
I am not one to toot my own horn, but I was really lucky to start making a full-time income within six months. I wasn’t really starting from scratch, because I had already built a name online 2 years before I started this blog.
So, it wasn’t hard for me to stand out and pull in loyal readers.
That being said, had I to start from rock bottom without knowing a single person online, it would have probably taken me 2-3 years to see the same results.
I kid thee not.
So, don’t lose courage if your Blog doesn’t start bringing you a 6 figure income within 2 months.
Hold your horses there, Molly…
It takes time.
And once you start growing, it almost always happens exponentially.
Figuring out what works and what doesn’t, testing out new methods of content marketing, tweaking your content to reduce your bounce rate takes time.
It’s like learning to play the piano.
It doesn’t happen in a day.
And the only difference between a successful blogger and one that isn’t, is the fact that the former was not willing to give up even during their darkest moments.
You may also enjoy:
- How much does it really cost to build and run a blog
- 13 Reasons Why your Blog isn’t Making Money
- The Definitive Guide to Make Money Blogging
6. The research never stops
Whatever niche you decide to blog in, you need to be on top of things always.
This becomes helpful as you write and also when you introduce yourself to others who don’t blog. You should be able to concisely tell anyone you meet what you do.
Just saying, “I’m a blogger, yo.” is not going to take you far.
Instead I say, “I’m a Blogger that teaches young women how to build online businesses that stand out from the norm.”
Aside from this, you will need to constantly research on blogging and business because the rules change every day.
Whether it comes to SEO, traffic and/or content marketing, it’s good to constantly read and familiarize yourself with this line of work.
7. Failure and rejections are to be taken in your stride
You cannot take failures personally. This is what you should know about blogging before you start.
There are days when nothing will go right, or months when you’ll feel like you’re getting nowhere.
This doesn’t mean that you have to quit.
It just means that you have to find another way to make it work, or make modifications in order to grow as a Blogger.
If a Brand you really want to work with doesn’t reply to your collaboration request, don’t lose heart. Try for another and write an even better covering letter.
If a product launch doesn’t make as many sales as you predicted, then modify your emails so that you make more sales next time.
If in 3 months you realize that this niche is wrong for you, you can go back and change your niche.
There is a solution to every single problem.
What I would suggest is to track your growth.
If you don’t, it will be like blogging in the darkness.
The best way to do this?
Draft daily goals, weekly goals and monthly goals. Make Quarterly Business Plans and see how your Blog is growing.
Initially, you can rely on traffic metrics. As your Blog grows, you can start including your income metrics as well.
Tracking your goals will help you understand how far you’ve come each month and what you need to do to grow further.
Additionally, keep a place for all the comments and praises you get. This will be your little box of sunshine that you can hit every time you feel low.
Another harsh truth about blogging is, there will be days when you will feel like quitting.
That’s one of the main disadvantages of working for yourself.
Blogging takes a lot of courage to pursue. It’s not uncharted territory, but it can feel that way when you start your blog.
Starting a blog, choosing a host and picking a theme are super easy to do. You can read this post that gives you a detailed step-by-step plan on starting and growing your blog.
Either way, this post should leave you awfully excited to start or wincing and saying, “Hell, naw!”
This is a good thing because now you’ll know if blogging is your cup of tea or not.
If it’s the former, welcome aboard the Blogging Ship.
My job is done.
Growing your can prove to be difficult as I’ve just mentioned.
However, if you plan your blog content in advance and work consistently every day, you will have no trouble growing in this field.
I want you to remember, that this is not a one-day or one-month thing.
It is a way of life. It is a journey.
And I wish you the best!
Have you been blogging a while? What’s the most harsh truth you’ve discovered about blogging? I’d love to know!
And if you haven’t already signed up, here’s my free 7 day email course that will help you realize what actually goes into a successful blog!