If you thought starting a blog will make your financial troubles go away in a month or so, then think again. It’s true that blogging is one of the best ways to make money online.
You enjoy the freedom to work from anywhere and whenever you want. However, there is the ugly side of blogging that no one cares to tell you.
This article isn’t meant to scare you, but at least it’s great if you know what lies ahead before starting your first blog. Besides, knowing the hurdles that await you in the road you intend to thread means you’ll be more prepared.
1. Passion is not everything
I presume you have often heard that you should blog about something you’re passionate about. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news because not every passion will make you a decent income. Some niches cannot even earn you a few hundred bucks a month.
If you’re passionate about something, take your time to find out whether someone would be willing to pay money for it. Almost every niche can make money regardless of how small it might be.
So, do not just start a blog about something you’re passionate about without taking the time to consider how you will monetize your blog. Besides, you wouldn’t want to spend several hours a day working on a blog that will barely make you enough monthly income even after years of investment.
This does not mean you should start a blog based on the monetary gains you will enjoy. That too can be an issue. Check our previous article on blogging mistakes you should avoid.
2. Blogging can get lonely
While blogging gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, you will soon realize how lonely it can get. There are no workmates when it comes to blogging. You will be on a solo journey and you will be alone more than 90% of the time.
Someone who works as an accountant, teacher, trainer, flight attendant, driver, engineer, doctor, nurse, or in another profession will get time to share their work-life experience and the challenges they go through every day with family and friends.
Because most people can connect and relate to those professions.
However, as a blogger, you cannot share your stress, frustration, and challenges with people who barely understand what you do. How do you even start to explain to them why Google updates scare the sh*t out of you and why the latest WordPress update has bugs that affect the execution of your daily tasks.
And when you finally start making decent incomes from blogging, they will find it hard to understand what exactly you’re celebrating about.
That’s why it is important to build lasting relationships with other bloggers. It’s vital to surround yourself with people going through the same things as you or you might contemplate quitting.
3. It will take a lot of your time
If blogging is your side hustle or not a primary source of income, then this might not apply to you. However, anyone who does blogging full-time understands that it’s not the same as the 9 to 5 jobs. They often have to spend more than 10 hours a day to keep their blog growing fast.
You just cannot grow your blog to six-figures by working 2 or 3 hours a day or 2 or 3 days a week. You need to do content planning, create quality content, do content marketing, do outreach, and even partner with other bloggers. All this will need more than an hour or two a day.
If you’re starting a blog, treat it like a mother would do their newborn baby. It deserves full and constant attention until you start making money just like a newborn takes time before taking their first baby steps.
Even after that, you still need to invest a lot of time and money to take your blog to the next level. Success in blogging does not come easy.
ADVICE: Say goodbye to holidays if you’re a new blogger launching your first site.
4. Blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme
Can you show me a blogger who has been blogging for a couple of months and already enjoying a six-figure income? I don’t think you can.
As a newbie blogger, you should know that any successful blogger driving hundreds of thousands of visitors a month to their blog and earning a six-figure income with that one single blog has probably been blogging for at least a year.
If you hear a blogger making insane money in less than a year, then I can assure you that they have had several failed blogs before and finally found the winning formula that enabled them to generate a decent income in just months.
They learned the type of content that works, the best ways to generate blog traffic, and the most lucrative ways to monetize their blog.
It will probably take time to start making good money from your blog. And to do that you will need to spend more than just an hour or two a day or else you will keep saying “I blog for fun” when someone asks you how much income your blog gives you.
5. Treating blogging as a passion is a BIG mistake
If you treat blogging as just a part-time thing that you do because you’re passionate about it, then be ready to be among the 90% of bloggers making less than $1,000 a month from their blogs. I like what one of my favorite bloggers Adam Enfroy says;
Shift from a blogger to a business owner and scale your blog like a startup.
Rather than treating your blog as something out of passion, think of it as a startup and handle it like an entrepreneur would handle their new business venture or startup.
This will keep you grounded and disciplined enough to focus on creating new pieces of content, marketing your blog, or even doing outreach rather than spending countless hours watching movies on Netflix.
6. You’ll contemplate quitting, more than once!!!
Blogging is not a walk in the park. There will be high moments and low moments. There will be a dozen obstacles that seem to conspire against you in something that seems like a quest to make you lose hope with blogging.
During such moments, your resilience and determination to keep going and the desire to come out stronger will be tested.
You will consider quitting not once, not twice, but many times. You will even consider starting a new blog because the one you have now is not generating any income (it might be a genuine concern or you’re just not working hard/smart enough).
There are moments you will even second guess your every action and decision, be it the theme you’re using or even your web hosting service provider.
To get through such tough moments, set daily and weekly targets to keep you grounded. Do not think too much about why your blog is not getting enough traffic after just a few months.
Provided you’re doing everything right and creating quality content consistently, it is only a matter of time before you get to enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
7. Not every post will do well
All successful bloggers can attest to one fact: There is always that one or a few blog posts that did or continue to do well. Most bloggers just don’t understand why.
You might do the best topic research focusing on the ideal topic with the right user intent and traffic generation potential but still won’t rank high enough.
That does not mean you did poor research as a blogger. Sometimes search engines such as Google has a way of making fun of us. The content you thought would rank at the top of the first page rarely generates decent traffic, while the one you thought would generate less traffic can end up being your blog’s traffic cornerstone.
So, do not beat yourself up if it does not work out as you expected. Focus on creating fresh, quality content, and be consistent. Besides, we have seen YouTubers confessing some of their old videos went viral after almost a year for no apparent reason. What makes you think you know everything?
8. Other bloggers will STEAL your content
Although “COPY” might be the ideal word, I choose to use the term “STEAL” because it defines what those bloggers do. You have spent hours or even days doing extensive research and writing the best possible piece of content only for a blogger somewhere to copy your content word by word and use it in their blog.
Some will even copy your Pinterest pins with almost 99% similarity and use it for their article. While it’s good to analyze what works for other bloggers, copying their content and everything they do is really sad. So be prepared for it because you might find yourself having to face off with them.
9. Nasty comments will be your regular dose
Not all bloggers enable comments on their blogs. Some just switch them off for different reasons, among them being to avoid reading the nasty or inappropriate comments.
The truth of the matter is that, in most cases, the comment has less or even nothing to do with you and more to do with the person behind it.
You’ll need to develop a thick skin to deal with regular criticism or their comments will kill your passion for blogging a day at a time. Alternatively, you can choose to disable comments, although I would not recommend that.
Because Google has made it clear that blogs with thriving communities, including healthy, appropriate comments enjoy better Google rankings.
10. Fake gurus still exist
If you’re a new blogger, then beware of the so-called gurus. I have nothing against genuine “gurus”, but I have a bone to pick with those whose sole intention is to milk new bloggers dry because they know they’re desperate to see their blogs succeed. Some of them will sell you fake courses that won’t help you grow your blog.
If you really want to learn how to make money blogging, then there are hundreds of thousands of free resources out there. Use YouTube to learn a lot of things. It will take you a little longer to learn everything but it’s better than getting scammed $500 for a course that won’t help you.
Nonetheless, there are experienced bloggers who sell genuine courses that will help you grow your blog faster and even make a decent income in just a few months. You just need to take a little more time to discern whether the “guru” is genuine and sincere or not.
11. You cannot duplicate someone’s success
Most newbie bloggers who buy courses or join premium webinars do so believing they can replicate the success of the other blogger. The truth, however, is that there’s no magic formula to making it as a blogger.
What works for them might not work for you. You following their blueprint to the latter won’t guarantee you the same success they have enjoyed.
You just need to identify the strategies ideal for your niche because, for example, what works for a weight loss niche blog might not work for a real estate niche blog.
The good news, however, is that there are common strategies that cut across the board for all niches. Identify them and use them to grow your blog.
12. Affiliates recommend almost anything
If I were to make a guess, I would say that more than 70% of bloggers who do affiliate marketing recommend products/services they have never or probably will never use. Some will even claim that they only recommend the products/services they use.
Take your time and go through their blog and you will realize that they recommend more than 100 affiliate products or services. Does it mean they use all of them? Probably not. They only do so because they are affiliates and will get paid a commission for every successful conversion.
So I would recommend you do your own research if you want to be 100% sure about a product or service. There is always a downside to any item they recommend, and will rarely mention it.
13. You’ll need to invest before you earn
There’s nothing for FREE. If you ever hear anyone say you can start a blog for FREE and make good money, RUN for your money. Yes, I just said that.
I better listen to someone who says I have to spend more than $100 to have my blog set up than spend another second listening to someone telling me I can launch a blog for FREE (Unless you wish to use platforms such as Blogger and WordPress.com).
If you wish to make blogging a full-time thing and earn a decent income, then you will need to use premium hosting, premium theme, and pay for marketing services to help you grow your blog’s traffic. None of these comes for FREE. Some have trial periods of 2 weeks or a month, and then you have to pay.
So never think for a second that you can make $10,000 without investing even a penny. Maybe that can happen in another universe but not the one we live in.
The Ugly Side of Blogging No One Speaks About
Well, now you know why blogging is not for the faint-hearted. You will need to spend countless hours creating quality content and invest the right way if you wish to see your blog succeed.
You will also have to deal with the nasty comments, leave alone bloggers who will steal your content every time you publish a new post.
Either way, blogging is lucrative and you can be among the successful bloggers. Choose the right niche, create quality content, be consistent, and learn from your mistakes.