Let's Talk For A Minute
If there's one common theme that permeates through the blogosphere, it's the reality that success in blogging doesn't come easy. The robust, hard as nails truth that isn't always so widely accepted by those interested in jumping in is that if you're going to blog, do it because within every fiber of your being you truly have a desire to do so. A desire to blog no matter what it takes and not because you've got monetarily motivated aspirations.
I heard a great comment on a TED Talk not long ago... People don't buy what you do. They buy "why" you do it.
So why do you blog ? Why do you want to ? Why are you willing to make it a business even when you may not see any money right away ? Why would anyone want to read what you write ?
I heard another quote in a video on Youtube and unfortunately the name of the video eludes me for now, but in the video one of the things that stood out to me was when the following statement was made: When you want success as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful.
I'm not here insinuating or implying that people don't want to be successful. I am however saying that as an individual that may be considering blogging or may be one that is already doing it, giving some serious thought to the work that is involved is relevant and important food for thought.
Blogging is serious business...
The Number 10
Pete Cashmore, the CEO of Mashable.. a blog that covers topics focused on social media, business, technology, entertainment and more was founded in 2005. At that time, Pete was a mere 19 years of age. His net worth was valued at 95 million dollars in 2012. It didn't take him long before he was earning over $3000 (represented in US dollars) a month in ad revenue in the early days of his blog.
Without question Mashable is a wildly successful blog that has been in existence for at the time of constructing this blog post nearly 10 years now. The reason for highlighting this isn't to say, hey look at how much money you could make too. The bigger picture is thinking about where your blog could be in 10 years from now. While you might not see the same success as Mr. Cashmore, blogging is about the marathon and not the sprint.
Consider something as simple as where you were 10 years ago. What did you know then in comparison to what you know now ? What is your perspective now as opposed to what it was nearly a decade ago ? How many things do you do differently now as a direct result of the experiences you've had and the people you've met in the past 10 years ? Consistent effort applied in a span of ten years is a lot of time for good things to happen.
Do you have a 5 year plan ? Do you have a 10 year plan ? What's your plan for your blog ? This may be that one thing that separates the serious bloggers from the rest of those that are simply making it a hobby and treating it that way too.
If It Were Easy, We Wouldn't Be Talking About It
As the adage goes, "Nothing worth having ever comes easy". The very same can be said about blogging and experiencing the level of success that you're after.
Smashing Magazine.. a blog that was started in 2009 by Vitaly Friedman has become the most popular blog in web development and web design. This is a blog specifically for website designers and reportedly according to World Money.. Vitaly earns in the neighborhood of $150,000 to $190,000 per month from the Smashing Magazine blog. Not bad for a blog that was started a mere 5 years ago.
Lets be real, 2009 wasn't that long ago. It wasn't for him and it surely isn't for anyone else. With that said, no amount of success is achieved in a day and even though it took him five years to cultivate the success he's realized, I'm sure he would agree that even if it had taken him longer to do it, it still would have been worth all the time and energy invested to make it happen.
Listen To Motivation From Successful People
Another motivational piece of advice... If you can outlast pain and outlast discomfort.. on the other side of it is success. Hard work is uncomfortable. Investing hours and hours and hours into something without seeing success in sight leads to re-evaluating whether it's truly worth it or not. If there's one thing that we should all know by now is that... there are no shortcuts to success.
While this video is a football video, I'm sharing it because of the "message".. A message about effort and focus from Ray Lewis. Watch the whole video in it's entirety.
The influencers, the brands, the people that we look at that mean something to us in blogging are where they are because of their focus, their effort and their work. Bloggers like Gina Trapani of Lifehacker, Jake Dobkins of Gothamist and Michael Arrington of TechCrunch amassed their success through days, months and years of doing this over and over and over again. Making a decision to take "one" thing that mattered and immerse themselves within it and little decisions everyday led to a product that means a lot to many people. We are all admirers and benefactors of their perseverance and the doorways they've created for anyone else looking to do the same.
It didn't happen to any one of these people in one day and as they've demonstrated patience in blogging, it is an important lesson to learn and emulate. Patience is that singular quality that seems to elude so many that fall short of success in this so don't focus on the millions of visitors per month or the thousands of dollars one "could" possibly make. Pay attention to the things that you can control.. write as often as you can, blog with your audience in mind and remember it's doing all the small things that could lead to something better that will be meaningful in helping you along the way.
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