Blogging is hard, blogging is really hard. If you are starting your first blog there are a few things you should know up front so that you have the right expectations going in. While some of these items might seem a bit demoralizing, stick at it and work hard. Blogging can be one of the most fun and profitable things you have ever done. I hope that by letting you in on some of these realities, and showing you that everyone faces these challenges, it will encourage you to stick at it longer. Remember, the key to success is to stick at things. Don’t quit after your 3rd post, keep pushing.
1) You will not get instant traffic
We have all seen Field of Dreams right? The Kevin Costner baseball movie? If you haven’t, go and watch it now. One of the recurring messages in the movie is ‘If you build it, they will come’. A lot of us think the same is true with blog posts, if we write it they will come. Well unless you already have a huge blog with a huge following, that just won’t happen. When you hit publish, the reality is the masses won’t descend upon your blog to read your latest master piece. (Don’t worry, this article will help with that).
2) You will get spam comments
You hit the publish button and within a few minutes you get that ping in your email box that someone has commented on your blog post. Full of joy you rush to your site only to find that it’s spam selling the latest consumer drug or get rich quick scheme. How did they find you so quick, you only just hit publish? The reality is there are bots out there sniffing for new blog posts. When they find one they will automatically post spam to it. This will happen within minutes (seconds sometimes) of them finding your new blog post. Delete the spam and move on. Spam happens.
3) You will normally get into the search engines within 24 hours …. on the last page
Search engines have done a good job of picking up on content as soon as it’s published and getting it into their indexes quickly. A few hours after publishing your blog post, you should be able to find it in the search engines. Do a search for your blog name and post title and you should appear in the results. As for getting that delicious search engine traffic, you will have to wait a while. In most cases it will take time for your blog post to gain authority and move up in the rankings.
4) You will feel a little dejected
Maybe …. or maybe you have mastered the art of setting your expectations well. You may already have a good balance with your internal feelings. When I started blogging my emotions would go like this.
– Excited about a new blog post idea
– Enthusiastic during the writing process
– Frustrated with all the little tasks to get the blog post ready (Images, SEO etc)
– Relief and Joy when I hit publish
– Several hours of disappointment as I havn’t made $1m yet from my master piece
– Next day … Excited about a new blog post idea
I call is EEFRSN for short (ok I need to work on that a bit).
This is all natural. Don’t worry, it goes away after time when you better understand the blogging process. Remember, focus on long term vs short term rewards.
5) You will have to hustle to get readers
Writing your blog post is only the beginning of the process. The hard part is the hustle to market your blog and get readers. By rule of thumb I always try to put in at least twice as much time into spreading the word about my blog post as it took me to write it. That’s a smallest amount of time I would recommend to anyone. To get the most benefits of your writing efforts, spend even more time promoting it.
6) You will make a mistake in your writing
I am bad at writing. My spelling sucks and grammer is my mothers, mother (grandma …. get it?). It doesn’t matter if you have a Phd in language and communications. You are going to make a mistake somewhere in your writing. Always re-read your blog before hitting publish and if you can get someone else to read it as well. You can also use some of the cool online tools out there to help you out.
7) The more you write, the better things will get
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your blogging empire. Just know that with every new blog post you are one step closer to getting to your dreams. Keep writing, keep posting and keep promoting and over time you will see things happen.