Being a blogger means you have the chance to reach thousands or even millions of people from around the world. The problem is that if you want to make blogging a full-time career, there seems to be a gap of knowledge between those that are trying to make it and those that do.
Sure, bloggers like myself do our best to share the knowledge that we’ve attained, but really, that still doesn’t help out a lot of people.
In this post, I want to share some of the blogging secrets that successful bloggers often don’t tell other people.
This post includes affiliate links to products I recommend. You can read my disclosure for more information.
1. Most People Aren’t Cut Out for It
This is the harsh reality of it all. Just because anybody can create a blog, doesn’t mean anybody can create a successful blog (I know some people don’t like hearing that).
Running a full-time blog is the same as running a full-time business. In fact, your blog is your business.
That means in the beginning you can’t sit around and take days or weeks off. If you want to quit your job six months from now, that means for the next six months you need to live and breathe your blog.
Ignore the bloggers that talk about 2 month vacations and only having to work 4 hours a week.
They didn’t start off that way even if their marketing tries to frame it that way. Many of them were fiddling around in the dark trying to figure out how to make all of this work, and then one day it started to click.
What sets them apart from most people is that they kept on driving forward with a purpose and a plan.
You can’t blindly blog and think you’re doing a good job and that at some point traffic will start to come through.
You have to set a goal and figure out a plan that will lead you to that goal. Then you need to stick to that plan.
That means you might miss a few things like that awesome Super Bowl party or the annual 7-day trip your friends take. By no means am I telling you to give up your life, but there is a reason they say entrepreneurs are the only people that work 80 hours a week, so they no longer have to work 40 hours a week.
2. You Don’t Know Your Audience Until You Talk to Your Audience
When I launched my blog here at Beautiful Dawn Designs, I thought that every single blog post I wrote would be a hit.
Well, that wasn’t the case. However, I did have one post gain a lot of traction, and it was the one that I least expected. However, the success of that one post helped me to better understand my audience.
As I get to talk to more and more people in my audience, I gain a better understanding of their problems and how I can help. The clearer the picture you have of your audience the easier things become.
You start to write content that resonates with them. You know what type of products they are willing to buy. You begin to run a business that provides value to the world.
All of this only happens when you start to talk to your audience.
This might mean you have to break out of your introverted shell. I’m an introvert, so I know this isn’t easy, but it’s something you have to do. You don’t have to go door-to-door taking surveys. Start off with email conversations.
A great method that I’ve used for getting to know my audience is asking them to tell me about themselves in the first email I send to them when they sign up for my mailing list.
Not everyone responds, and everyone doesn’t have to for this to be a success. What you want to have are conversations with people that are willing to reach out to you because these are the people that desperately want help in solving a problem.
ConvertKit is my email newsletter provider. They have so many amazing features that continue to help me grow my email list of over 15k subscribers.
3. Less Than 1% of Your Audience Really Matters for Your Business
This one is a tough pill to swallow and something that I still need to wrap my head around, but if you plan on running any other type of revenue model besides ads, then you need to focus on your true fans.
Your true fans are the people that will buy anything that you offer. They are the ones that open your emails and read every single blog post.
If you can make them happy then you have yourself a business.
The problem that many bloggers have is that they believe that everybody in their audience is important, so they try to cater to everybody. What they quickly begin to realize is that while trying to please everyone, they end up pleasing no one.
Let’s say you have a mailing list of 5,000 people. That’s a healthy-sized mailing list, and you should be able to make a decent amount of money with that.
Because your mailing list is filled with people that love to cook, you decide to make a cookbook. You figure that the worst case scenario is that 10% of your mailing list will purchase it.
When you launch the book only 10 people purchase it. If you don’t want to do that math on that, then I can tell you that is 0.2% of your audience.
You figured that just because your audience loves cooking that everyone would want to buy a cookbook. That wasn’t the case.
Instead, let’s go in a different direction. After talking to people in your audience, you realize that many of them don’t understand how to do meal prep for the week. So you create a $99 course on how to plan and meal prep for an entire week.
You launch and just 1% of your audience purchases it, but that 1% just made you $5,000.
Instead of trying to please everyone, you went for the 1% that you knew had a specific problem that they were willing to pay to have solved.
I use the popup form from OptinMonster to grow my email list. OptinMonster has helped me significantly increase my daily email subscribers.
4. Your Passion Might Not Make Money
Whenever you read a blog post about picking a niche, one of the first pieces of advice is to pick a topic that you are passionate about.
This makes sense because who wants to write for years on a topic that they don’t care about?
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that not every niche will make you good money. I’m not talking 5 figures a month. I’m saying that some niches will barely make you a couple hundred a month.
The good news is that most niches can make you a full-time income if you approach them the right way. You just need to take the time to figure out what those niches are.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to blog about, check out my post, Should You Choose a Niche for Your Blog.
The easiest way to figure this out is to talk to people. I know I already talked about talking to your audience, but if you can find an audience of people that are so desperate to solve a problem that they will pay money to have it solved, then you have yourself a profitable niche.
This is why knitting can work as a niche. The knitting community is always looking for new and awesome patterns. They have no problem paying for them.
This is why there are so many blogs out there about blogging. You might think that these are the only types of blogs that make money, but that would be incorrect. These just happen to be the blogs you know about because you are trying to learn about blogging.
Writing in a niche is nothing more than writing about a set of problems that people are having and how you can help them solve those problems.
A fashion blog helps people find the best things to wear. That is a problem people are trying to solve, and if you can help them find the perfect outfit, they will buy that outfit.
Asking what niche you should blog about isn’t the right question. The right question is what is the problem you are going to help someone solve?
Related Post: 5 Real Ways to Earn Money With Your Blog
5. It Can Get Lonely
When I first started my business, I was so happy that I was able to work from home. However, as time went on, I realized that I was a bit lonely.
Not many people talk about the hard work that goes into trying to make this a reality. When I was first growing my business, I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed up until 4 am writing blog posts, making changes to my website, or coding WordPress themes.
You can learn how I became a blog designer by reading my post, My Story: How I Became a Blog Designer.
You can’t share your stress or frustration with people that don’t understand and when it’s time to celebrate they won’t quite understand your joy.
That’s why it is important to build relationships with other bloggers. You need to surround yourself with people going through the same things as you.
To find blogging friends, I recommend joining Facebook groups.
Related Post: 73 Facebook Groups for Bloggers and Business Owners
Blogging Is a Journey
Blogging is more than just finding a niche and writing quality content. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t talk about. It’s much easier to focus on the success of making a blog than it is to talk about the actual process.
Hopefully, I was able to put things into perspective.
So if you know that you want to be a full-time blogger now or in the future, the best time to start is now. You might catch yourself getting caught in a research wormhole because you want to do everything perfectly from the beginning, but that never happens for anybody.
Start writing, start publishing, start promoting, and start interacting with your audience today.
I hope these blogging secrets have helped open your eyes more to the world of blogging as well as inspired you to keep pushing through if blogging is your dream.
For more tips on growing your blog, I recommend you check out Lena’s blog traffic ebook How I Went from 17k to 350k+ Monthly Page Views in 9 Months. I’ve implemented Lena’s tips and techniques and have been able to more than double my traffic.
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