It just sounds wonderful, right? Being able to quit your job because you made so much money blogging. Unfortunately, there are but a few bloggers who can actually do this.
Now, I’m an aspiring blogger myself. I would very much like this to bring me income, but without a lot of hard work and patience, that will not be possible.
The bigger bloggers who are very successful, all have courses and checklists and things to help aspiring bloggers take their first steps. I’ve used those courses to set up my own blog. I did research for days before even thinking of a blog name. I wrote down every little piece of information that I could find and tried to stick to it as I was creating my blog.
But some things were unforeseen. I had not expected it to be so complicated or time-consuming. The other bloggers made it seem so easy!
Here’s my list of things that caught me off guard when I was creating my blog:
1. How expensive hosting is
I had no idea. I thought that I could pay per month and that I’ll eventually be able to make more than that amount. It turns out that you need to pay at least 1 year upfront with most companies (if you want to pay per month, the price can easily be double). Aside from hosting, you still need to register your domain and pay for security on your site. There’s also an option to hide your personal information from the public (which also costs extra) – I don’t know about you, but I don’t want strangers on the internet to know where I live.
It can easily cost you $100 to get your blog up and running.
2. You need to be tech-savvy (or willing to learn)
There’s really no way around it. No matter how many plugins and apps you use, somewhere you will have to do some fiddling with code or DNS records.
I’ve got some experience with coding and websites, but there were times where I just had to take a break from reading so many help-posts. Luckily, the customer support at Siteground is awesome! Even though I managed to break my blog a few days ago, they managed to find the problem and fix it within a few minutes.
If you want to start a blog and you don’t know where to start or what to do, I suggest using Siteground to register your domain (that’s like the name and address of your blog) and build your blog. They offer a bunch of free services to new users, like a free SSL and a free website transfer (if you’re moving over from another hosting company). They have 24/7 customer service and a really user-friendly platform. The above link is an affiliate link, which means I will make some commission once you’ve made a purchase.
Luckily, there are many blog posts and helping articles out there to help you on your journey of creating a blog.
3. The amount of time you need to invest
Starting a blog isn’t something you can quickly do on a Sunday afternoon when you’re bored. It takes hours, days even, to set up and create your blog to your liking.
Of course, it depends on how serious you’re taking your blog. Maybe you’re just doing it for fun and you’ve got a free blog with Blogger or WordPress. But having a self-hosted blog with custom themes and a bunch of plugins to enhance your experience, can take forever to set up.
That’s why you should really do a lot of extensive research before diving into this madness. Make sure you haven’t missed something that can make a crucial difference.
Before I started That Blue Flower, I spent nearly a week browsing other blogger’s blogging courses and their blogging posts. I wrote everything down – even things I could only start doing once my blog had lots of page views.
I also spent time creating social media accounts and writing blog posts before my blog was even created. Crazy, right?
4. How often you should post
A lot of bloggers talk about posting twice or even twice a week. Those bloggers get so much traffic each day that they don’t have to worry about posting every day.
For the first week of my blog, I posted every day. My page views were not bad. I got some comments and overall things were looking good. The second week, I lost three days because my best friend was staying with me. I nearly got no views during those three days, because I didn’t have time to write or promote my blog on Pinterest or Facebook.
Once I started posting and promoting again, my page views went back up.
As a new blogger, you need to keep your audience interested. If you disappear for a few days, they will too.
I would suggest writing a lot of content before your blog goes up. It will be easier for you to keep up your posting once life starts getting in the way.
5. You need to have a mailing list
Just kidding! EVERY blogger who blogs about blogging (wow) has this on their top ten things you need for your blog. What they forget to mention, is that it’s really hard to get people to give up their email addresses. Sure, you can use freebies all you want, but the fact is, if you’re not getting traffic from people who will want to read your blog over the long term, you’re not getting any email subs.
I will explain this. I’m on a bunch of Facebook groups where I promote my posts and other social media accounts. Everyone in the group helps each other out by commenting and viewing your posts, but these people will not necessarily subscribe to your newsletter. They barely have time to post on their own blog, much less for reading your weekly best posts.
The problem is getting the ball rolling through Pinterest or other sources where your traffic will be organic. You need to find a way to attract the right kind of people to your blog. People who will click and give their emails to support you.
6. Ten thousand accounts
Seriously. I think I’ve opened more accounts in the last 3 weeks than in my entire internet lifetime. It’s crazy. Luckily I opened a Gmail account exclusively for my other accounts related to my blog, so I’m not spamming my Outlook inbox. I now have an email linked to my blog domain for enquiries and business-related emails. Smart, right?
I did this by accident and I’m so glad I did.
Another thing. Passwords. How to keep track of them all? Well, I use Dashlane. They are a secure password protecting company that allows you to keep all your passwords securely locked away. They will also fill in your forms automatically (a huge help with all these accounts I had to create) and generate strong passwords for you and store them automatically. I cannot describe how much time and effort I’ve saved by using this service!
7. Adsense is picky
It’s so hard to get approved for Adsense these days. You can’t expect to start your blog and start earning ad money within a few weeks. That’s why I’ve chosen to post more frequently so Google has more content to look through when analyzing my account.
Affiliates are much easier to get to, but there are a few that you need larger page view numbers for.
I only recently managed to get approved for AdSense. It was a long road, but it paid off!
8. So many services, so expensive
Successful bloggers use a lot of services to make their blogging lives easier. They recommend it to new bloggers who look at their income reports with stars in their eyes. Unfortunately, most of these services will cost you a pretty penny. And there are so many of them! If you have a lot of money starting out, it can be really beneficial to make use of all those services to propel your blog forward.
I hope that you’re a little more prepared for your blogging journey. It’s not all bad, I promise.
There are so many rewards in blogging. Awesome comments and getting to watch your views grow. It’s really worth all the time and effort.
Tell me about your own blogging journey in the comments below.