$100,000+ a month.
That’s what I remember seeing on the income report. It’s easy to think that blogging is hard until you see numbers like that.
It was 2016 and I was looking at Pat Flynn’s income reports. He was making 6 figures every single month from his blog.
Let me see what crazy things he is doing…hmm, doesn’t seem to be anything too crazy.
How is he making his money?
Oh, he has an affiliate link for Bluehost. Wow, they sure do pay a lot!
Anyway, I’m sure he’s a special case.
But then I started my blogging journey again (I first started blogging in 2003 and owned one of the first independent blog networks) with two new blogs. One of them was based around health so I went on Pinterest to see what people were doing.
The Pinterest Halo
I hadn’t touched Pinterest before, but my wife loved it and was always showing me things so I figured since I was blogging it would be a good place to check out.
Man, it felt like everyone was blogging and making a ton of money.
I really needed to get in on this action!
I consumed every single income report that I could just so I could fully grasp the ins and outs of blogging.
Unfortunately, the more I read, the more disillusioned I became.
What you read from a lot of blogging experts is all of the same advice. It’s not that the same advice its bad, it’s that the same advice is bad when it’s not helpful to anyone.
But when everyone actually starts doing that you have to wonder if this is what blogging really is.
When Blogging Was Easy
Since 2016, I’ve helped 1000s of bloggers get into premium ad networks such as AdThrive and Mediavine. I used to make over $10,000 a month just from ads.
Blogging wasn’t too bad back in those days, but it’s changed now.
I talk all about that in Blogging Is Dead. Blogging Is Back.
What I want to do in this post is explain to you why Blogging is actually really hard. I’m not doing this to discourage you.
Our goal at Odd Noodle is to help you achieve freedom. You can do that by integrating a blog into your business, but it’s a lot easier to tackle if you have the right expectations.
So let’s get into it.
Blogging Is Hard. Really Fucking Hard.
One of the reasons why blogging is so hard is because on the outside it looks really simple.
You sit down, write some content, publish some content, and then sit back and wait.
And that’s what most people do and they get exactly the results that you’d expect.
They wait and wait and wait and when nothing happens they figure they just aren’t lucky.
But blogging doesn’t require luck.
It requires that you have a plan and you consistently tackle that plan daily.
What is that plan? We’ll tackle that in a bit, but for now, let’s get a better understanding of why blogging is hard.
1. It Requires Consistency and Quality
This is the big one.
If you’re going to succeed at anything then you need to do it consistently and you need to improve over time so the quality gets better.
Since we’re basically best friends here, I’ll let you know that most people don’t want to be consistent for months or years and most don’t really care about improving.
They just see the dollar signs and figure if they kind of show up then they’ll be good.
It doesn’t work that way and let me explain why.
Blogging is about helping people. People have been helping others before you arrived on the scene.
They’ll help people after you leave the scene.
Your showing up doesn’t disrupt anything.
You don’t get to show up and suddenly think that you’re existence means everyone comes to see you.
You have to show up and continue to show up so people get to know you. You have to show up consistently so Google starts to trust you.
You’re starting from 0 while others are at 100 already.
And to get to where they are at is going to take time, patience, consistency, and a whole lot of quality.
2. Others Exist
I kind of mentioned this in the first point, but you aren’t blogging on an island. You aren’t going to be the only one talking about whatever topic you’re talking about.
And if you are then you better make sure there is even an audience for that topic.
Whenever I start a new blog I look at what everyone else is saying and more specifically how they were saying it.
I built a popular blog on blogging because I talked about how blogging wasn’t easy. It was hard.
Back when niches matter I talked about the 7 blog niches that you should consider.
If you want to stand out then don’t sound like everyone else.
Understand that you have a specific Hero that you should be talking to and then make sure that everything you write is for that Hero.
3. Getting Traffic Sucks
This is probably the big one.
In 2018 I had a site that was doing over 3 million page views a month. Another site was doing over 1 million pageviews a month.
And then Pinterest and Google changed their algorithms in the same month.
3,000,000 turned into 20,000 and 1,000,000 turned into 50,000.
I didn’t want to write for those sites anymore after that.
It was too discouraging and that’s why we decided to change our stance on blogging and how to approach it.
Because we didn’t want others to spend all of their time chasing traffic only to have it taken away from them when they woke up one day.
Thankfully, I found a way back into the traffic is fun camp but it wasn’t easy.
4. Building Connections Is Hard
I won’t say that writing is hard.
For some people it is and for some, it isn’t.
I never minded writing. It was freeing to me.
But the problem isn’t writing.
The problem is building a connection with the reader. If you can’t build a connection with the reader then you don’t have a chance of them reading the rest of your content.
If they don’t read the rest of your content then they won’t share that content.
If they don’t feel a connection then they won’t sign up for your mailing list.
Your writing has to be more than just words on the screen. It has to be something that draws the reader in.
And that takes practice.
Lots of it.
If you want to ensure you give yourself the best chance of writing a great blog post then check out our tutorial on How to Write a Blog Post.
5. Ads Are a Lot of Work for Little Reward
If you’re reading this then there is a good chance you’re here because you really want to make blogging work so you can get money with ads.
If that’s the case let me be honest with you.
You’re wasting your time.
You might not want to hear that, but that’s the truth.
It’s still possible to get traffic and make money with ads. We did it in the past with a number of our old blogs.
The problem is how long do you want to wait for not that much reward? You might’ve read how others are making thousands with ads, but when they did start?
This is why I wrote about The Big Blog Scam.
If you don’t want to wait to make money then do what you can to make money on day 1.
We like to focus on online businesses that can make big profits. If you’re going to start a blog doesn’t it make sense that you do as well?
It Doesn’t Have to Take Months to Monetize Your Blog
The sooner you can create your book and get it out, the sooner you have a chance of making money with every single person who visits your blog.
The 12-Hour eBook Method was designed to help you get a book onto your blog in the shortest time possible so you don’t need to wait until you hit 100,000 pageviews before you can start making money.
Bonus Reason: Your Friends and Family Don’t Care
Yep, we are sticking a bonus reason for why blogging is so hard and it’s probably the most important one.
It’s really because your friends and family don’t care that you’re starting a blog. A blog doesn’t sound cool or like it’s a big deal.
It’s why we don’t start blogs. Yes, I’ve said we do in this blog post just to help you stay focused, but the reality is that we start businesses.
Blogging just happens to be a part of that business.
Never let people know you’re starting a blog. If you’re starting a restaurant you don’t let people know you’re starting a marketing agency for bus bench signs.
Blogging is just one aspect of marketing for your business.
It’s great that you blog, but it’s not the business and that’s how you have to treat it.
Blogging Ain’t Easy
If we’re being honest I didn’t want to write this blog post.
I want blogging to be “easy” like it was back in the day, but it isn’t and it’s not fair to paint it as such.
Instead, I’d rather you have the right expectations for what you should do with your blog. I want to help give you the best chance of succeeding possible and that means understanding the difficulties related to blogging.
It also helps you understand if this thing is for you or not.
I think it is, you just gotta put your head down and do the right things.
And if this makes you feel any better, any time we start up a new brand we always start with a blog.