There are so many people out there who attempt to make money blogging, however, the reality of the matter is that most people will fail. I find this disappointing because in actual fact, blogging is quite easy if you do it correctly and you definitely do not need to be above average in any way to be successful in this industry.
I most certainly do not have any official qualifications in IT or computing and before I embarked on this internet marketing journey, I had never run a business in any way, shape or form. I didn’t have a big budget and I didn’t have a mentor.
Every day we see stories of your average ‘Joe Blogs’ making money online with a blog. So what is it that is holding you back?
Most people who would like to start this journey are ready and waiting with all their excuses. They will come up with things like, “I’m not a good writer”, “I don’t know how to do SEO”, or, “I’m not good with computers”.
In my humble opinion, the biggest barriers or challenges facing new bloggers are not technical in nature. Of course, learning all about alt text, and understanding how to make a redirect certainly comes in handy. However, you can and will learn all of this along the way. The core elements of how to make money blogging are pretty basic.
- Choose a niche
- Think about what people are searching for online
- Publish useful articles on those topics
- Monetise your blog traffic
You will not be guaranteed overnight success simply by having knowledge of these key elements. There is a steep learning curve ahead and you will need a strong desire to research and understand what people are searching for online. Furthermore, you will have to learn how to constructively write your articles in such a way that they will be discovered by people searching online.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a nuclear physicist to achieve startling success at this. Most people of average intelligence can figure it out, with time, focus, motivation, dedication and a fantastic work ethic to get things up and running.
As far as I am concerned, the greatest challenges faced in this industry mental challenges rather than anything else.
Main 3 Challenges For New Bloggers (How to Overcome Them)
1. Unrealistic Timelines
You have probably been attracted to blogging by stories of earning crazy, unimaginable incomes. Dream stories about people making $100k/month from their blog. That guy who quit his job after six months of blogging…the stories are endless!
Be extremely cautious, these stories are not typical! These things actually do happen, however, they are few and far between. This is why they are absolutely amazing stories to tell, and incredibly awesome sales pitches for “how to make money online” info products.
The much more common route is to be faced with new challenge after new challenge over a long time period, until finally, you reach your original goals, recognise and understand the power of this industry, and begin to set new (bigger) goals.
So how long are we talking? Well, we’re not talking weeks. If you need cash to pay your bills next month then earning money from your blog will not be the immediate solution. Here is a general timeline I would give for someone who plans on working 2-3 hours per day, publishing articles a few times:
- 3-6 months for initial traffic, 6-12 months for initial sales, 1-2 years for consistent sales and reliable income.
Many people begin to feel doubts very early on and this is largely due to unrealistic timelines for results. This creates a lot of frustration and feelings of inadequacy for people. Feeling like you’re too dumb to make a success of things online is definitely not a good feeling. When you commit to sitting down and writing an article and that horrible feeling of dread like you’re wasting your time starts to creep in… it can be extremely hard to push through for another 2 hours. It takes a lot of work and effort to get an article researched and published. Absolutely nobody likes to waste their time.
The Risk of Wasting Time
Being an entrepreneur and choosing to run your own business requires taking risks. Under normal circumstances, the money you make in business is a result of the risk you take. Therefore, if you’re not prepared to take on any risk, then you really shouldn’t plan to be an entrepreneur or start your own business.
The most exciting part of starting a blog is that the monetary risk is very low. A domain will cost $15. Hosting costs $20/month. You can effectively run your online business for a year for only $500. You will not find any other industry where it is possible to start a six figure business with such a small amount as $500. Blogging offers a unique and amazing opportunity in that respect.
However, creating and building out a profitable blog is not risk-free. The risk you take is your time. It takes time to learn how to build a website and publish articles that rank, you will be investing a lot of time into your business. That is time that you will never get back. That article that took you so long to perfect may not rank, and you have to be accept that. Some of the time that you devote to your website will simply produce zero results in terms of traffic and sales.
However, it’s critical that you don’t see this as a “waste” of your precious time or as a net zero addition to your business. Every tiny bit of learning you do counts!!! If your article doesn’t rank, you need to find out why, and improve on this for next time.
Understanding and accepting the risk of wasting time is huge and is a key mental challenge to overcome in this industry if you want to not only survive, but thrive. Once your business is thriving and you have a budget you can apply to advertising, it would be wise to apply the same logic to money as you have learned to do with time.
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Therefore, my theory is that if I want to grow traffic, money, free time, or whatever, then I will have to take risks. I can’t simply continue to do the same things. I need to let go of the perfect vision that every single minute and every single dollar will be spent as efficiently and perfectly as possible. I do have to risk a loss in order to grow my gains.
Small Daily Habits For Long Term Growth And Avoiding Burnout
Perhaps the most important part of being able to be a success is actually staying the game, putting in the effort and sticking around long enough to see the results of your labor. So many people work like a lunatic for two months and then quit because they don’t see results. Is it any wonder??? Do you really expect to your world to change completely in 2 months. Have some faith and a bit of grit. Stay the distance!!!
Blogging Burnout is real, set sustainable work goals and last the distance.
Earning a six figure sum in six months just is not a realistic expectation. However, six figures in six years? Absolutely!!!
Working flat out on your business for six years probably doesn’t sound that enticing, especially when there are no guarantees that it’s going to be worth it in the end. I’m going to be blunt – that’s the risk you take being an entrepreneur. No entrepreneur has ever been guaranteed success. In order to be a successful blogger, you have to be committed to taking that risk in spite an uncertain future. With risk comes reward.
It is a good idea to ingrain small daily habits into your schedule. Rather than burn out by working like a lunatic for 2 months, I recommend setting a sustainable schedule for a full year and make it part of your life. A good example is to set up a content writing schedule for your blog for the next year. It could look like this:
- Monday – 500 words
- Tuesday – 500 words
- Wednesday – 500 words
- Thursday – 500 words
- Friday – 500 words
- Saturday – 500 words
- Sunday – Edit, Update, Schedule
With a consistent schedule like this you can pace your work. 500 words per day isn’t too much to cope with and if you are able to publish 2x 1500 words per week, then that will amount to 100 articles per year. This is a substantial amount of content and an amazing foundation for a thriving affiliate blog.
Making sure that you embed small daily habits into your routine is so important. It gives you the security of knowing that no matter what else is going on in your life, you will be moving forward in your business every day, no matter how small the steps may be. It will be consistent and you will be moving the needle every single day. Like a penny doubling every day for a month, the compounding interest of your time investment will pay off massively.
2. Low Income Expectations
Blogging and affiliate marketing is such a mystery to the average person and this means that newcomers to the industry don’t really have a great picture of exactly how much potential there is to make money.
Let me be absolutely honest. It is completely insane how much money you can make even if you start with absolutely zero experience. This is an extremely exciting industry to become a part of, and it will continue to grow in the future. You most certainly have not missed your chance to get on board. You are still early on in the game.
Many people set an initial goal of replacing their current income. That’s going to be around about $30k-$60k/year for the average American. The insane part of all of this is that you could potentially be making $30k-$60k per MONTH with just a few years of hard graft (more on this below).
Thinking about figures like $60k/month from blogging is definitely a long term goal. It’s not something that is going to happen overnight or in the next two months. Therefore, I begin to plan in years rather than months. Where do I want my business to be in 5 years? What about 10 years time?
Having a long term goal and a long term mindset is what I advise for running a blog or affiliate marketing business. It eases the high pressure demands that and disappointments that seem to come from the short-term mindset. It is so much less frantic. It is similar to pulling your head out of the sand and actually being able to enjoy the journey and seeing the road clearly ahead of you.
When you set yourself firm goals that have to be adhered to a certain time frame of 2 months, the pressure is really on. You will grind away like a maniac to produce content and hit the deadline and achieve the goal. Then you start all over again. If you fail, you are left dealing with all the negative emotions of failure and you beat yourself up unnecessarily. There really is no point to any of this.
However, when you set yourself longer term goals, you allow yourself time to put everything into perspective and give yourself clarity. You are able to negotiate with yourself on what a sustainable schedule actually looks like in order to reach those goals. Imagine working for 2 hours a day for 10 years. That would add up to 7,200 hours. That’s most definitely enough to class yourself expert or an authority on anything (remember the 10,000 hour rule?), and I for one firmly believe that this is a useful goal to be an expert at making money online.
Making More Than ‘Highly Qualified Professionals’ Online
Making 5-figures a month could seem like an impossible dream right now, however it isn’t. If you look online for blogger income reports you will quickly find that it’s even possible to make six-figure sums in a month. That’s not quite my level yet unfortunately, so I can’t speak from personal experience on that one as to how much work is required to achieve this, however, I know that it’s a possibility for my future.
Never limit yourself to simply replacing your current income. This may be a good goal to have initially, however, literally anything is possible and you should give yourself the opportunity to make everything possible.
Just think, lawyers and doctors study for a decade, then take on further training for a couple years in order to fully qualify. They do all of this before they are able to actually benefit from the time that they have invested.
It is quite possible that these professionals could even be in training for up to two decades before they start making six figure salaries.
You are in a position where you can take advantage of training and take the risk of using your time and dedication to reach that same income level as some of the most highly educated, most intelligent, most skilled people in the world with just a few years of online study in your own home. How inspiring, what an opportunity!
3. Underestimating Your Unique Value
Lack of motivation is the one thing that will kill a new blog dead in the water. So many don’t believe in themselves and feel that they simply don’t have the skills to be successful online or that they don’t have anything to contribute.
Why does anyone care what I have to say?
Low self-esteem is sadly one of the main reasons why people get frustrated, overwhelmed and quit so easily. When people don’t see the value in their blog and what they are offering, then it becomes impossible to last the pace of staying up late publishing articles seems like a complete waste of time.
For me, the most exhilarating thing about blogging and the blogging space is that there’s room for every voice online. This is definitely not a crowded room where only one person can speak at a time and only one person can be heard. Everyone in the world has a voice and had the right and ability to speak. We can all speak at the same time and be heard by those who seek us out to listen. We just have to put ourselves out there. Your voice is unique, regardless of what your opinions are and no matter what niche you have chosen to be an authority in.
Perhaps the best way to look at this is by considering one of your favourite topics and then thinking about a few people who have expert knowledge on that topic. Do these experts share exactly the same opinions all of the time? Do they differ slightly but maybe all have valid points? This explains why we all have a voice and can all have an opinion. The key point being that is that even experts will not always share the same opinion on things.
Now is the perfect time to start an affiliate blog.
Think about the people you know, family and friends, how many bloggers do you personally know? I would expect none. The vast majority of people won’t even know what affiliate marketing is, or how easy it is to make a substantial amount of money blogging. This is by no means not a crowded space.
More and more people are shopping online on a daily basis. Brick and mortar businesses are adapting with the realisation that they won’t survive without selling online. Tools like Shopify are making it increasingly possible for people to participate in the online economy. This is leading to many more businesses that are purely cloud-based popping up every month.
The older generation is getting used is becoming more adept at making online purchases while the younger generation are acquiring their first credit cards.
Online shopping is on an exponential growth trend, and affiliate blogs are in an excellent position to take full advantage of that growth while providing real value to people by publishing amazing content that recommends quality businesses and products.
I’m very excited for the future of blogging and the affiliate marketing industry.