I have no doubt that you have read many posts on how to start a blog already. There are lots of them out there. Here’s one of my own.
You have the idea for your blog, you might have written some content already and you’re excited to get started on your blogging journey but you can’t help but wonder, is it as easy as it sounds? Will I make as much money from it? How long will it take to be successful?
I wish I could give you a defined answer to each of those questions but everything that happens to your blog is dependent on you and what you define as success.
I’m going to talk to you a little bit about things pro bloggers don’t tell you about blogging, so you can set some realistic goals and expectations.
(This post may contain affiliate links – click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
Blogging costs money
Just like any business, there are going to be costs involved when you set-up and recurring expenses but how much you will need to invest depends totally on you and your individual blog.
If your goal is to make a proper income from your blog, then your expenses will inevitably be higher. You’ll need reliable hosting, your own domain name and a professional design at the very least.
The good thing about blogging as a business, however, is that it’s relatively lost cost compared to other types of businesses. From my own experience, having been a professional photographer for nearly 10 years, blogging is a much cheaper business to run.
Here’s an example of some of my expenses as a blogger:
- SiteGround Hosting & Domain.
- Tailwind for Pinterest.
- Canva for Work (I used the free version for years but now that I have two blogs, it helps to have the extra features).
- Mailerlite (this is free up to 1,000 subscribers, so if you use your email list to help your blog make money, by the time you get to your 1,000 subs you should be making enough to pay for a premium plan).
- SendOwl for selling my digital products.
- My blog designs (these are a one-off payment).
I save money on things like stock photos because I take a lot of my own. Here are some tips if you’d like to do the same.
I also sometimes pay for sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram but only for very specific posts or if I have a new product.
If you only want to blog as a hobby, then you can easily do this for free. No expenses necessary.
Related: Making Money With WordPress.com Vs Self Hosted WordPress
It takes time to see results
Another thing pro bloggers don’t tell you about blogging, is that it takes time to start seeing traffic and to make a decent amount of money.
Blogging isn’t a get rich quick, it’s not easy money by any stretch.
You will have to work hard, write lots of good quality content, learn how to market your blog and there’ll be lots of trial and error while you find the right strategy for you.
So if you’ve just started blogging and you’re getting frustrated by low traffic, not making much money or not ranking highly on Google, just hold on in there. Keep doing your thing and you’ll see it come together.
It can take months to rank on Google, it can take months to get a steady flow of traffic and yes it can also take months to make money.
So hang on in there. You’re doing just fine!
You need to keep it legal
Just like any other business, you need to make sure your blog is legal. I’m not just talking cookie policies, disclaimers, privacy policies, not using copyrighted content etc.
I’m also talking about registering yourself or your blog as a business, paying taxes, doing self assessments. Making sure your doing things by the book.
You might read a lot of income reports from bloggers but sometimes these are inflated and what these people don’t tell you about blogging income, is the percentage of which goes on taxes and expenses.
Don’t get yourself in a hot sticky legal mess. Brush up on your local laws in terms of business registrations and licenses. Make sure your blog is GDPR compliant and keep a percentage of what you earn aside for paying taxes.
Not all niches make money equally
Some blog niches will just make more money than others.
Niches like Finance, Food, Parenting & Travel tend to generate more income.
If your blog is quite an obscure or specific niche, you may not have as much earning potential as you would with a broader audience.
I believe any blog can make money with the right person behind it and with the right marketing but it will be harder to build a platform that enables you to do so if your niche only targets a very small amount of people.
It’s much easier to write amazing content for a subject you are extremely passionate about but not necessarily easier to make an income from it.
It’s not for everybody
What a lot of pro bloggers don’t tell you about blogging, is that not everyone can stick it.
Blogging requires lots of different skills. Writing engaging content, knowing what your audience wants, marketing, selling, running a business.
It might be a “side hustle” for lots of bloggers but it’s a job that requires a variety of skills and lots of hard work nonetheless.
There have been times where I have struggled to keep up with the demands of blogging because I’ve been so busy with my photography business. It’s not just a case of writing a 500 word blog post and hitting publish, you have to consider all the time it takes to make sure your blog posts are optimised for search engines, to create your images for Pinterest, to market your blog, to streamline your blog so it’s running smoothly, to schedule all your social media and to reply to comments, emails etc.
If you consider all this and still think it’s for you, then you are certainly more likely to succeed. Have realistic expectations, small achievable goals and work hard to achieve them.
Related: 40+ Blogging Terms You Should Know As A Beginner
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