If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes into being a blogger or how to become a successful blogger, there’s some things you should know first. Sure, it may seem like all bloggers do is write a few words and publish things on the internet. But actually, it takes a lot of work. Much more work than most people are aware of.
I’ve officially been blogging for 2 years now, and in that time I’ve learned how to become a good writer, how to keep an audience engaged, editing, photography, graphic design, and marketing. Spending hours coming up with creative blog post ideas, planning photo shoots, even recording video clips in some cases is all a regular part of the job. And it’s all worth it.
However, I wish I had someone to give me the real scoop on what it takes to be a successful blogger. It would have saved me a lot of time and money. And prepared me for things like approaching brands and stressful Pinterest algorithm changes. But I can’t rewind the clock.
What I can do instead, is lend a helping hand to anyone who wants to be a blogger in 2020. And no, blogging is not dead in 2020. It’s simply. . .changed. Taken on a new form if you will. And I truly believe that if you want to become a successful blogger in 2020, that’s exactly what you should do. Your voice deserves to be heard.
It doesn’t matter if your topic has already been done before. Everything’s already been done before. Do you know how many blog posts I’ve read that said “How to Become a Blogger?” Way too many to count. But it didn’t matter because everyone had a different experience and a different perspective. And that’s what you have.
So go ahead, start a blog today. But if you want to be a successful blogger, here’s my advice to you. And what you need to know before becoming a successful blogger.
7 Truths You Need to Know Before Becoming a Successful Blogger
(This post may contain affiliate links to products that I truly recommend, at no extra costs to you, if you decide you’re interested in anything mentioned. Feel free to check out the disclosure for more info.)
Starting a Blog Isn’t Free
Sure. You can start a blog for free. But if you want to start a successful blog, it’s going to cost money. Unlike YouTube, Instagram or TikTok, starting a blog on a free blogging platform looks unprofessional. And having a professional looking blog is something that you’ll want to do from day 1. Especially if you plan on working with advertisers or brands. I talk in more detail about how to start a professional blog here.
To start a blog on the right foot you’re going to want to invest in a self hosted domain, paid blog hosting, a blog theme/design, a proper camera, and if you don’t already have one, a computer. Fun fact, I had my blog for 6 months before I bought my own laptop. Before then I was either using my phone or my brother’s computer.
Well, by the time you finish paying for all of this stuff you’ll have spent between $100 – $500 dollars. But don’t let this discourage you. You don’t have to go out and get all of this stuff at one time.
You can get your domain, hosting, and a cheap yet well designed blog theme to start with. And then later invest in a better quality theme. I chose to host my website through Siteground because it’s reliable, the customer service is great and it wasn’t expensive to get my domain and website hosting through them all at the same time.
You can also use the camera on your phone to add images to your blog posts. I still do when I don’t have my DSLR camera around. Work with what you have until you can get what you want.
Getting Noticed Takes Time
When I first started blogging I fell for all of the hype. I watched YouTube videos and read blog posts from successful bloggers who said that they were able to go full time in one or two years. And because I saw that they were able to do it, I thought that I could do it too. Well that wasn’t exactly what happened.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been able to find success since I first started my blog in 2018, and I do make a consistent income, but I am no where near making enough to go full time. You have to be patient when it comes to blogging. There is no such thing as overnight success.
It took me a few months of trial and error to understand how to market my blog properly in order to grow traffic. And then it took even longer for the traffic to come. Although there are bloggers who have been able to turn this into a full time job in less than a year, for most bloggers it took them at least 3 years of being consistent before they felt comfortable quitting their day job.
As for me, I’m in no rush to quit my day job. I love being a blogger, but with the way that blog income ebbs and flows, it’s best to focus building up traffic and engagement for a good foundation before making that leap.
Coming Up With Blog Post Ideas is Hard
Expect to spend hours coming up with blog post ideas. There have been so many times that I’ve sat down to write a blog post and had no clue where to start.
Even though I had a list of blog post ideas none of them seemed good enough. Coming up with new blog posts after writing a post every week for over a year is hard. Especially if you’re not a lifestyle or food blogger.
Now, imagine coming up with new ideas after 4 or 5 years.
If you’re going to start a blog in 2020, choose a niche that is broad enough that you can write new posts for years to come. And always have a list of possible blog post ideas to choose from when you just have no clue what to write about next.
Every time I have a good blog post idea I make sure to write it down immediately. You never know when you’re going to have writers block and need a good idea.
And a pro tip, refreshing and reposting old blog posts that haven’t had much traffic in a while can really help you out when you’ve procrastinated on your writing.
Readers Feel Connected to You
This is something that I really wasn’t expecting, and something that you should get prepared for. When I started blogging, I had the mindset that no one is interested in me, they just want the information and advice that I have to offer them. And for the most part that’s true.
But when I started to put my own personal experiences into my blog posts, women found me to be more relatable. I understood their situations because in a way, I’ve already been through the same struggles that they’re experiencing. And those experiences ended up creating a bond between us even though we’ve never met.
And even though I wasn’t mentally prepared for that to happen, I learned to embrace it. I started this blog to help people. I wanted to be seen as a friend. So I couldn’t complain when I got exactly what I wanted.
I’ve had conversations with so many women around the world wanting to get into fitness. Or wanting workout advice. Or just wanting to talk about their insecurities and how much I’ve inspired them.
I’m not saying all of this to brag or boost my ego. I’m saying this to say that blogging is an amazing tool to grow a community of like minded people. Who all just want to be the best version of themselves. And the community that you’ll create through blogging is something you will always be super proud of.
Blogging Can Be a Lonely Job
I don’t personally know many bloggers. I know of them, and I have bloggers that I really like and enjoy reading their posts. But I have no blog friends. Except my sister who’s a mommy blogger.
And for that reason blogging can get a bit lonely. None of my friends truly understand what I do as a blogger. No one understands the amount of work and time that goes into it.
There have been plenty of times that I’ve chosen to stay in a finish a blog post rather than going out. I’ve taken hundreds of pictures in search of the right one for a brand collaboration. They don’t understand how I’ve made friends in other states because of social media. And it’s hard for them grasp my frustration when things don’t work they way that I want them too.
As much as my family and friends are supportive, they can’t empathize with me, so it’s really just me own my own when it comes to this whole blogging thing.
And that’s okay because it’s taught me to be strong and independent. Being a blogger has given me the confidence to communicate better with new people that I meet and talk about what I do with pride.
However if I could do it all over again, I would start early in trying to make blogging friends. People who understand the struggle you face when Pinterest isn’t working properly and can give advice on how to increase blog traffic.
It can sometimes be easier to explore new territory when you’re not doing it alone.
Companies Care More About Social Media than Blogs
In this new age where videos are everywhere, and you can connect with anyone around the world in a matter of minutes, brands are more interested in video content and social media than blogs.
That’s not to say that you can’t get brand deals as a blogger. You just have to put in more effort towards marketing yourself and what you can offer as a blogger that makes up for your lack of social following.
In my case, I was able to get brand collaborations with only 3,000 followers on Instagram because I had major blog traffic and a good amount of engagement. However it was made clear by multiple brands that turned down a collaboration with me, that they turned me down because of my small social following.
So as a blogger, it’s good to know that blogging is not enough. It’s much better to have engagement on other social media channels as well. This is why I started my YouTube channel.
It’s much better to have a wider reach. Blogging and YouTube works very well together because not everyone wants to sit down and read a blog post. People are too busy or just don’t have the attention span. In that case video content will perform better. Podcasts are also a very good option because people can listen to them at anytime.
Passion is What Will Keep You Going
It doesn’t matter how popular your blog becomes or how long you’ve been doing it, at some point you’re going to feel burnt out. It’s happened to me a couple of times. And each time I’ve taken a break. I like to think of my breaks as mini vacations because I always come back.
The passion that you have for blogging and connecting to people is what’s going to drive you to keep going even when you feel like you aren’t making any progress. Without that passion you won’t even make it the first 6 months.
Too many people start blogs and give up a couple months later because they’re not seeing the progress that they want. The traffic isn’t coming fast enough. Or they aren’t making any money.
The truth is, if you’re passionate about it and putting in the right work, you’ll get views. And the money will come. It may take a year. It may take 5. But there’s no need to put a time limit on it because if it’s something that you truly care about, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes for you to become successful.
Because if it’s meant to happen it will.
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