When you first start blogging, opportunities abound. Your chest pounds with excitement as you realize how vast and fluid the blogging world is. Anything can happen.
This can lead to illusions of grandeur really quickly.
Your mind starts to imagine…What if this gets picked up by HuffPo? What if The Today Show gets so tickled by your perspective that they actually fly you in for a segment? You can already imagine the traffic spikes, the free swag from companies seeking to endorse you, the new salary you just built yourself thanks to your ingenuity and wit.
Screw your boss and “The Man;” you do what you want and you do it now.
Just remember not to get sand in your keyboard when you make it big. (morguefile/charmaineswart)
Who doesn’t imagine sticking it to the daily grind? Go off-the-grid, banish the 9-to-5, kick the 40 hour work week to the curb. You can live the freelance life. Maybe you’ll even quit your job and hop tropical paradise to tropical paradise, always writing what’s next with the shoreline in sight.
It seems so simple – create a site, write a few posts, share some stuff, and then go viral. All it takes is one great post that taps into the hive mind, and you’re set.
Except the most common feeling new bloggers experience is most definitely frustration. Throw in a dash of hopeless for good measure, too. Chances are that most bloggers will strike out and walk away within the first month or even week, anyway. Maybe they thought they could sneak by without having to do massive amounts of research in short bursts of time all while trying to juggle an entirely new vocabulary in their mind.
Blogging is difficult and overwhelming, especially for those with little to no past experience, and that builds a wall people tend to avoid by walking away.
But you, you decided you wanted to use your website a launching point. It’s your blog – your moneymaker, or maybe it’s your portfolio for some other line of work like freelance writing, design, or even being a virtual assistant. You need this site, and once you tack it up on the great big billboard in the sky, people will flock…right?
However, that doesn’t mean it’s all hopeless by any means. Just remember to:
1. Be patient. “Successful” bloggers tend to require around two years of regular, continued, persistent effort.
2. Do the time. You have to show up to succeed. If you’re going to be working for so long, you may as well make that work meaningful by working intelligently and with dedication.
3. Expand. Network, socialize, guest blog, run series, host contests, perform giveaways, etc. Do whatever you can to reach out to the world while still offering real, useful content.
4. Explore your creativity. Let your own personality and individuality dictate your choices. People will pay for your voice if you know how to express yourself well.
5. Try again. When you write a brand new post every single day only to find that you have absolutely no traffic or some reader posts a harsh criticism in the comments, just keep going. If you need to, adjust your course and move in a direction your readers want to go, too.
Blogging is an incredibly surreptitious path to take and there are absolutely no guarantees. You need to realize that most websites will probably not turn a profit, at least not on your overall investment of time. Still, your blog stands as a testament to you and your efforts. This alone offers some value as a blogger or freelance worker, which can establish your credentials. Even a failed blog is still more than most people will do; use your initiative to your advantage.