If you’re like me, you’ve hit a block or two and started scouring the internet, looking for ways to make ends meet and help set yourself up for a comfortable life.
You’ve come across the same advice I did; start a blog. It’s not hard. Just find a topic and write away.
So why am I bitching about something I am currently doing? Like doing right now, between classes and a real job?
Because I didn’t start a blog to make money. I started a blog to get my thoughts down somewhere outside my head. I started a blog to connect with others and just shout my opinions into the void of the internet.
But why doesn’t blogging work?
- It takes too long to make money. Seriously, with how everyone who is a major blog brags about how easy it is to set up a blog and make money, it’s a sham. You have to have the blog going for literal YEARS before you start seeing income come in from either ad space, or affiliate marketing or sponsored posts. Major bloggers will give some much advice and just tell you to get out there and connect with people, but honestly, the market is so damn saturated right now, that to start making money, you’re going to need a crazy scheme or an infallible theme.
- You have to dump too much money in to start a blog. Depending on where you partner, you have to dump money in at some point, whether to buy to domain, or buy hosting, or buy the theme, or buy a service of some kind to promote yourself. So not only do you not see any returns immediately, you have to invest so much just to start throwing your writing out into the void.
- The market is saturated. No matter what niche you have, what your theme is, how you write; there’s at least 10 other blogs out there doing the same shit. And that’s at least. If you want to write something like a mommy blog, a fitness blog, a fashion blog… Good luck coming up with something original that your audience hasn’t read 20 times already.
- There’s so much you have to do to even be seen as credible in your field. You could have graduated with a master’s from Harvard in financial planning (or whatever) and could be a visionary in your field, but your blog is still going to be competing against Al’s Bargain Finances, who graduated from some online college with an associate’s, but has been running his blog for over 10 years. You could be recognized in real life as an expert in your field, but damn, if your blog just looks wrong or unprofessional or old-fashioned (re: 1990s style with minimal pictures, sloppy color scheme, poor formatting), then you are never going to be taken seriously online.
- It’s an almost full-time job in itself. As much as everyone brags about how easy it is to start a blog, at least the major bloggers won’t sugar coat the time you need to invest. Blogging is almost like it’s own full-time job. Between the actual writing, designing graphics, social media cultivation (sharing, connecting, collaborating), setting up affiliate marketing, setting up Etsy store listing links, performing services advertised on the blog, brainstorming, editing, site editing and modifying, writing sponsored posts, researching topics, researching the market, researching sponsors, researching on behalf of your audience, weeding through the comment sections on posts (spam comments!)…. It’s a full-time plus overtime gig. And you DON’T GET PAID RIGHT AWAY FOR IT!
- You have to learn everything on the fly. You weren’t taught how to code in high school right? I sure as shit wasn’t. So I’ve learning this and that on the fly to set up ads and pop-up forms properly on my site. There’s so much that goes into learning how to set up a blog that you’ll spend so much time on Youtube and Google learning how to just set up your site properly. And while these resources may be free (or nearly free, since you’re probably paying for internet service and your blog already), it still takes a long time to learn and apply. My site doesn’t look like it was designed by a marketing rep, but it still looks better than some of the sites out there. But I did it all myself from a free theme available. I’m still picking up all the bs for SEO and search engine recognition and blah blah blah.
- You’re building a brand on the fly and it’s hurting you right now. All the major bloggers out there started their blogs 3, 5, or even 10 years ago. They’ve had the time to set their blog up and rotate through the topics until they found their niche. If you’re like me, you’re new. Super new. I’m still trying to set up my brand. I’m still trying to find my niche, but that’s what hurting me (and you). I’m constantly changing my theme from month to month, I’m kind of happy with my icon for the time being. But all this change scares people off. It doesn’t spark trust that you know what you’re talking about. That’s why the big blogs don’t change their theme once they find one that works. It’s like if you walk into a store; you’ll be okay walking into your local corner store and will forgive a face-lift or paint change every so often, but if you were to walk into your local Target and saw they were changing the colors every week and changing the logo every week, then you would feel uncomfortable. But as a new blogger, you need to change every month or so to try to find where you fit in the internet void.
- Your niche is too niche. Maybe you know your niche and you know it’s an untapped industry. Great. But think really hard about it. Is it something that is maybe just a little too niche? What do I mean by that? Well, maybe you have a market and you’ve made a few sales here and there on your site or your online store, but is it something that is just a little too specialized and is flying under the radar. Maybe you make hats for dogs without ears. But the people who can buy those products are very small. Maybe you write specifically about the happenings of the homeless community in a particular spot in your city . While you may have great content and can write forever about it, it’s a market that is very, very, small. Eventually, you’re going to run out of people who want to keep reading or buying into your niche.
Maybe you don’t think I know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re in denial that your blog is failing. So let me explain how I know what I know. As of this post (Sept. 2019), I have made absolutely $0 on this site. I have no ad revenue, no services rendered, no affiliate link click-through. I have posted about 100 posts since starting the blog in Jan. 2019. It’s taken almost 10 months since starting the blog to find a niche I can write about, and it’s still a little too niche (I mean, who wants to listen to some girl whine about working in retail and rant about the occult?) I just made an icon and logo-esque picture and I’ll probably going to change it soon. And I put of a follower counter, so you can go to the side bar and see exactly how many people I have following me. As of this post in Sept. 2019, there are 28 followers (29 technically, but it’s me, so I don’t count myself). 28. After 10 months.
So maybe you’re much better than me and can tell me what I’m doing wrong. but honestly, I just want everyone to understand that blogging is not the answer to your financial issues. Blogging is not some golden egg you can tap into and be wildly successful. Blogging is kind of a sham way to ‘make money quick’.
It’s more like ‘make money very, very slowly, while hoping and praying someone will find you relevant and love what you’re doing, all while dumping your money into a pit that may or may not sprout a money tree in the distant future’.