I get a lot of readers asking me how to start a blog for beginners, how to make money blogging, and how to really establish themselves online, but I think it’s important to realize if blogging is the right choice for you BEFORE you get excited about something, start and then fail miserably.
The truth is that most bloggers don’t make $10,000/month within a year. Some may make $1,000, yet others make no money.
It’s really not about money at all.
And I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong. They want a quick buck. They want fast success and to make millions online.
The reason they want to start a blog is…for money.
In our society, it’s so money-hungry. Yes, you want to be paid for your time blogging, because honestly, it is hard work, but it’s not ABOUT that. Which leads me to point #1 of my 11 best tips below.
You Shouldn’t Start a Blog If…
1) Your main focus or goal is money.
It should be about people. Helping people. Helping them solve THEIR problems. In any business I’ve been in, I’ve never seen that money-hungry person win. There’s a certain point in blogging, where you WILL come face to face with a decision: your readers or money. A few months ago, I deleted more than 20 ads off my site. It was a $2,600/month income loss.
Why did I do that?
For you. Ads are annoying period. The company I was with, just wanted my whole site to be all about ads…money. So….after lots of prayer, I quit. I’d rather look in the mirror with integrity than earn a shiny new penny. I’m NOT saying ads are bad or wrong or that the company I was with was bad. I’m saying that for me, in my particular case, according to my conscience, I felt it came down to a choice…my readers or money. And I made my choice based on that.
2) You’re not willing to invest money into your blog.
Blogging costs money, period. It’s very cheap to get set up (here’s a post on how to start a successful blog for less than $350), far cheaper than most other start ups, but it DOES cost money. I do not believe that a person can make money without spending it. In fact, those that invest more money, succeed more. I’ve seen that time and time again in every business model for the last 18 years that I’ve been making money from home.
Why? Because they are more invested emotionally into their business. It’s pretty clear that we spend our time and money on what’s important to us. So, if a person isn’t willing to invest money into their blog, it connotes the idea that it’s just not as important to them as it should be, and if that’s the case, they can’t succeed. It has to be a passion, a desire, a willingness to work your blog.
3) You’re not willing to invest time into your blog.
Blogging requires time. If you want to start a profitable, money-making blog (not a hobby blog) and you don’t have at least 20 hours a week to work on the blog, I’m not sure it is right for you. Yes, you *may be able to* make it work on less hours than that, but not to the full capacity that it should. Meaning, you’ll burn out long before you see any good paychecks. The paychecks that you say, “WOW, this WAS worth it!”
I put in 80+ hours into my blog for the first 21ish months of starting my blog. That’s a LOT of hours. Now, I work about 20-40 hours a week, but I will ALWAYS want to work it that much because I’m passionate about blogging. My own personal why is important to me. I’m bound and determined to change the world and nothing is going to stop me. There may be setbacks, sure, but this is God’s plan for me, and nothing will thwart His plan.
4) You’re not passionate about blogging
If you don’t wake up every morning excited to blog, it may not be for you. You have to love what you do because, as with ANYTHING you do, there are times you want to give up. You want to quit and throw in the towel. It happens to me, even to this day! Someone will say something mean about me that’s NOT true and I have no defense other than to call upon my track record the past two years, which they either don’t know or don’t care.
There are attacks, trolls, and just plain bullies out there who want to destroy everyone who is successful, sometimes, out of pure jealousy, sometimes out of feeling incompetent themselves, and sometimes, just feeling justified to tear you down. You’re not going to be able to get through those times UNLESS you love what you do. Unless you see the VALUE in what you do.
Every month, this blog reaches over 10 MILLION people in some way or another. If I quit, I stop all that God has already done and all that He WILL do in the future. I stop being a voice for Him and His love online. I stop my calling, my passion, my voice. I was literally born to do this. I know where I’m going and I KNOW…this is JUST the beginning of where God is taking me! You have to have passion…or you won’t make it long term, because the path is harder than you think, and there’s always some sort of hurdle you have to jump.
Is it worth it? Absolutely!
5) You hate writing
Sometimes writing is hard, but you have to love doing it. Because you will do it A LOT. Blogging is writing. If you’re not good at writing, it’s okay, you can learn, but you must like it. It’s something you will do every single day as long as you blog. Whether you’re writing a post, an ebook, or something else, you are writing….every day.
6) You can’t be honest
There are so many different questions you’ll get asked, and at different times of your blogging career. Your answers will change over time undoubtedly, but the past doesn’t change. If you are not committed 500% to being honest in everything you do, you WILL get caught in a trap of lies and lose your credibility.
You have to be completely honest at all times as best as you can. Yes, memory fails. Yes, you’re not always going to remember every small detail and yes, you will forget some things. But the pattern of your blogging career absolutely must be in honesty. Because trust is your biggest asset as a blogger. Kill that and you kill your dream of ever making it.
7) You think you’ll fail
Listen, self-sabotage is real. I know…because I deal with it…ALL. THE. TIME. When I’m doing especially well, I self sabotage myself and this blog and I’m constantly having to pay attention to my attitudes and actions. Think about it, I went from being homeless to making $23,000/month currently. It’s no small feat and it’s not just the finances you have to adjust to, it’s the emotions and the mentality of it all.
In my head, I don’t see myself as that homeless girl anymore, but I surely don’t see myself as that girl making 6 figures either. When you go from one extreme to the other, there are issues that arise up inside of you that you have to deal with. My main issue that I always watch out for is that I don’t want to become a prideful jerk. Thinking that I’M the one that made my success, when I know full well it was God and all of you. Yes, I work hard, but I’m not doing this all alone.
Henry Ford says it best, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” What we believe is what spills out of us. Our hearts define our actions!
8) You can’t be genuine
I don’t really know how the blogging world was 2 years ago; all I know is how it is now, and how it is now is deeply personal. The more I am genuine and transparent, the more people flock to me like Seagulls to French Fries.
If you’re a blogger and you don’t want to be personal, if you don’t want to share, if you want to hold things back, you’re going to have a hard time making it. Your audience WANTS to know YOU. Readers may come to your blog for a post or to learn something quick, but they come BACK for you. Whether or not they can relate to you, whether or not they like you, whether or not you “get” them.
You can’t sit up high and lofty; you have to be down-to-Earth and with them in the muck and mess of their trials. You have to be on the same level as them, helping them, leading them, loving them.
Being genuine and transparent is what I feel makes me most successful. In my newsletters, I get extremely personal, more personal than I get on the blog because I know those are my loyal fans. The more personal I am, the more vulnerable, humble, and transparent I am, the more emails I get saying that they can relate. And that’s awesome. The day you send out one email and a hundred people email you and say they can relate. That’s what blogging is about, right there!
9) You don’t have anything useful to say
When I first started blogging, it had to be within my first 6 months, I read an article of how to get more traffic and the “expert” was saying how she goes around on Pinterest every day and puts all the ideas she finds in her secret boards and then uses that material for her own posts. She went into more depth about how she would read several articles and paste them together. She called herself a recycler. Recycling content made for great traffic she said.
I cannot even tell you, even as a new blogger, how appalled I was at her attitude. Blogging isn’t about recycling other people’s content. It’s not about spitting out a bunch of stuff that’s already out there plastered everywhere. Yes, it’s hard to be different and unique, sure, but that’s not how we do it.
Our blogs are a reflection of us. You have to be a leader, not a copier or dare I say, plagiarizer! If you don’t have anything useful to say, if you don’t have anything that is a different or unique idea, then blogging may not be for you. Because there are enough copy-cats online, the world doesn’t need one more. The world needs your UNIQUE and fresh ideas. The world needs you to be different. To be a square peg in a round-peg-filled-world. If you’re just going to be a round peg….what’s the point?
10) You don’t want to get along with others
Okay, I admit, there are jerk bloggers out there and I’ve had my fair share of meeting them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get along with people and be polite no matter what. You have to have a balance. You can’t sit there all day and work with others either, lest you ignore your own blog. It’s definitely a balance. Your attitude has to be right: simply helping others.
I’m not saying that you just want to be nice to other bloggers to get something in return, either. Please let me be perfectly clear. Again, your attitude has to be right. But the point of the matter is, that you WILL be working with other bloggers in your niche, and you must always act accordingly. Be helpful, serve others, be friendly, and polite. Keep your nose clean and above all, stay OUT of gossip and negative speech.
If there’s nothing else I can ever teach you, it must be that.
There are Facebook groups FULL of bloggers with evil tongues and bad attitudes. We all know who they are and we all steer clear of them. Don’t be one of those bloggers! Don’t be a Negative Nelly. Be a Positive Paul! Spread encouragement, not back-biting.
Something to also note here, is that you need to be polite to even the rude and mean readers. For this blog, I have a great system set up where it deletes that stuff. Comments are manually approved, so the only people possibly seeing the rude comments would be me, and I’ve gotten super good at using my delete button. I don’t even read them in full if they are mean. There’s no point.
You can tell if a person is bitter by their speech. It seeps through their words. But even when you get those comments, and you will, don’t let them get to you. Everyone has an opinion and it’s not always going to line up with yours and that’s okay! They are not the right reader for you, so don’t waste your energy fighting them when you could be serving the ones who love you! Simply delete the comments or be super polite when responding.
11) You’re a perfectionist
I have to admit, this one is really hard for me. I’m a perfectionist through and through. But there came a point in my blog where I came face to face with a decision…spend the extra 10 hours a week to make my site 100% perfect OR spend those 10 hours serving you. I chose to serve you. Yes, the blog has errors. Yes, my eBooks may have something wrong here or there, but my intention is to be as good as I possibly can be. If I am doing that, and I make a mistake, it’s okay.
It really used to bother me that I’d find an error on my site, until I saw several errors on a site that I just adored and who was, at the time, MUCH more popular than I. It was at that time, I realized that I’ll never BE perfect and that trying to be something I’m not, will just suck away my life. There are more important things to focus on that trying to get every jot and tittle 100% accurate.
That’s not to say I’m lazy. I go to great lengths to get everything right, but even still, I’m going to mess up and make a mistake here or there. As long as I am doing my absolute best, I find no fault in myself. You have to get to a point of giving yourself grace.
If you want to see more reasons if blogging is right for you, you’ll want to check out my post, 47 Reasons to Start a Blog.
Decided you want to start a blog?
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