The REAL Reason Why Most Bloggers Fail (& What You Can Do to Succeed)
Let’s first start with some facts:
According to a survey by LifeHacker, the majority of bloggers make less than $3.50 per day from their blog. That’s a little over $100 per month.
Definitely not a full-time income—unless you live in a box beneath an underpass.
I don’t know about you, but I like living in a comfy house.
This $3.50 per day is a far cry from the thousands of dollars per month made by your favorite bloggers.
Of course, you’ve read an income report (or two or three because, let’s keep it real, reading income reports should be classified as an addiction).
Sure, these income reports are inspiring.
But they’re also making you wonder: Why am I making no money? Is there something wrong with me?
The Origins of Blogging
To answer these questions, let’s take a break for a minute to discuss what blogging is.
Blogging (back in the olden days of the 90s) originally stood for web logging. Regular people like you and me started creating these blogs to share personal stories.
Naturally, interest in blogs from consumers gave birth to monetization strategies. People began finding ways to make money from the people coming to their blog.
The journey for the OGs of personal blogging was something like this:
“I want to write about a topic and blogging is a cool way to do that; I’m going to devote a lot of energy into this because I love it and I’ll see where it takes me.”
“Wow, A LOT of people have an interest in what I’m writing.”
“Let me double down on this and put ads on my site and research the type of stuff these readers want to buy.”
“Oh snap, they’re buying my products, buying from my affiliates, and clicking on my ads.”
“Oh snap, I’m making more money than my day job; I’m quitting!”
“I’m a BOSS!”
That’s the organic evolution of blogging in a nutshell. It’s also the idealistic version, which worked for some people. They loved talking about a topic so they wrote about it, made money, and laughed all the way to the bank.
It’s very tough for this same process to work in today’s blogging climate unless you’re writing something truly remarkable or highly polarizing.
There are millions upon millions of blogs, i.e. lots of competition.
Fast Forward to Present Day
The evolution of blogging brought about a new influx of people joining the blogging game because they saw dollar signs.
There is nothing wrong with this. I also came into the blogging game with the goal of earning income.
But our path looks different. You need to think of blogging as a business from the very beginning.
Now the timeline works something like this:
“I want to earn income from blogging.”
“Let me research and choose a blogging topic that people are interested in and that I know pays well.”
“Traffic is growing a bit, let me study my posts that get the most traffic and write more of those types of posts.”
“Let me ask my audience what they want so I can make sales offers related to what they desire.”
“Let me experiment with income strategies including products, affiliate marketing, etc.”
“I’m staying consistent and slow and steady wins the race.”
This is a very abbreviated timeline, but you get the idea.
Here’s Where Most Bloggers Fail
You’re aware of the obvious reasons that bloggers fail—not writing great content, not being consistent, and writing about stuff that no one cares about.
Here’s another reason: Bloggers get discouraged and fail when they try to leapfrog past steps in the timeline we just talked about above.
They jump straight from starting a blog to attempting income generating strategies without going through the basics.
They get disappointed when it doesn’t work and their blog eventually ends up in the Internet blog graveyard.
From the outside looking in, it seems like this is how blogging works.
It seems like other bloggers create a blog, they throw up a product, and all of a sudden they’re selling hundreds of units per month.
You’re not seeing the months or years of work put into understanding their audience, surveying their audience, and growing a following. (If you need help growing a following, I can teach you how I did it with Pinterest in 3 steps here.)
Sure, there are anomalies who say they’re able to earn hundreds or thousands of dollars within the first few months of blogging.
These special cases are not the rule.
You should (a.) take these claims with a grain of salt, (b.) dig deeper for the whole story, (c.) know that, if true, they put hours upon hours of work in and there could be other factors that gave them a leg up over you.
The Secret to Earning Money Fast
Okay, all of that sounded like bad news. But it’s actually leading up to the good news. There’s something that you may not have noticed about a lot of popular bloggers.
Many started out using their blogs to sell a service like virtual assisting, writing, graphic design, web design, or some sort of consulting.
They worked on their blog and learned about their audience while earning income from this other stream.
I did this as a freelance writer, and it’s worked really well.
I’ve been writing for several years growing my portfolio and increasing my rates while working on my blog. Writing has given me tons of exposure, experience in online marketing, and dinero. In my spare time, I continued to grow my blog using Pinterest.
With this strategy, you slowly move away from freelancing or consulting as the popularity of your blog grows.
Here are a few examples:
Regina of ByRegina—She’s one of my FAV bloggers. She started selling a service (freelance writing and business consulting) before making a bulk of her income from products.
Alexa of Single Moms Income—She started freelance blogging and virtual assisting while building her blog. Now she makes a bulk of her income from affiliates and ads.
Michelle of Making Sense of Cents—Another top blogger! She started freelance writing and managing other blogs before skyrocketing her income with various products and affiliates.
The list goes on.
Freelancing is not as sexy as becoming a top blogger overnight, but it may be a more practical journey.
If you need to make a full-time income in six months because you want to punch your boss in the throat, freelancing is a realistic way to make it happen.
Start at the right starting Line
There are no shortcuts in blogging. You can’t jump to the finish line without going through each step that it takes to get there.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say it: Don’t make a product for your blog just because everyone else seems to be doing it.
If you don’t do research and know what people actually want, there’s a decent chance no one’s going to buy what you’re selling.
And it’s a pain in the ass to create things that you have to beg people to buy. This is coming from someone who’s created multiple products that no one wanted.
It’s a waste of time.
You know what special things happened when I took a step back and listened to people?
I wrote a book that made the Amazon Best-Selling new release list for its category and sold almost 100 copies within the first 7ish days of publishing.
I created a Pinterest training series on how I’ve gone viral on the platform. It’s selling because people wanted to hear my perspective on Pinterest and they asked me to create it.
Often what we should be writing about or doing is right in front of us, but we’re so caught up in what we’re “supposed” to be doing that we miss it.
Listen to your audience, and put one foot in front of the other.
Your people may ask you to create something you’ve never seen done before.
Be different. Experiment.
What do you have to lose?
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