This post will not win any awards for profundity and it runs the risk of being deflating (I don’t mean it to, so read to the end). Still, I think it’s worth saying because it is such a common misconception among new bloggers. We gotta be real here.
Here’s the thing. If you want to start a blog with the intent to make significant income (more than coffee money), you must be in it for the long haul. Not weeks or months, but I’d say at least a year, or more likely years.
Sure, there are exceptions to any rule and some niches lend themselves to making money quicker than others (deal blogs, but if you are going to dive into that niche, prepare yourself for HUGE amounts of work and HUGE competition—you’ve gotta love it).
For most of us, blogging is a long term commitment. Most of the people I know who are making a great part-time income have been at it for at least a year. Anyone who is making a full-time income as a blogger has been at it for years.
I’m not sure why so many people think blogging has quick monetary returns. For most of us, it absolutely does not.
If you need cash fast because you lost your job and have no savings, or are trying to fund an adoption within a few months (I’ve gotten emails saying both), starting a blog today will likely leave you frustrated and disappointed. Really, if you need a good chunk of cash within the next few months, I would highly recommend you explore other income generating avenues first. Blog on the side, yes, but get your income flowing quickly with something else.
I do not mean to be the bearer of bad news. Nor have I ever intended to give the impression that blogging is an excellent opportunity to make cash quickly. Can you make money blogging? Absolutely. Lots and lots of people are doing so. (My main income streams are listed on my Tools page.) But most of us have been working at it steadily for a very long time.
Seasoned Bloggers, Similar Stories
I’ve had conversations with others who’ve been blogging a long time. We’ve all gotten emails from people who felt discouraged that their blogs were not making money “like other blogs.”
First of all, be careful when you make assumptions about how much other bloggers make. That’s my first piece of advice. Unless you know for sure, don’t assume anything. And don’t get me started about the comparing thing (like I did here and here)!
But those issues aside, when I get emails from bloggers who are discouraged, 7 times out of 10, when asked how old their blog is, they tell me it’s a few months old. My friends!! If you’re making anything after a few months, I’d say that’s great!
Start a blog. Yes! Absolutely. The world is changing. Anyone who wants to write a book, have a resume, start a business, etc., should have a home base online. It’s just the way things are going in the world today. The wonderful thing about a blog is that it’s relatively easy to set up and low cost.
But, while you do, keep your day job (or find a new one) while you build your blog on the side. Blog your passion. Carve out regular time each day to focus on a few simple tasks (mostly writing great content!!) and look for general, upward trends over long periods of time. It’s possible you might have huge success right away which would be great (and tell the rest of us so we can copy you), but if not, know that you are completely normal and most of us have walked the very same path.
Blogging is work! Fun work, but work nonetheless.