Many of you who read this will be the people who are wasting their time blogging. That’s not a typo.
Others will be asking the question is blogging worth it or is blogging a waste of time?
Well yes, for some people and no for most people.
Some blogs make money.
Some blogs get good traffic.
Most don’t however and these end up being the people in Facebook Groups asking is blogging a waste of time and talking about how they’ve spent 6 months blogging but can only get 20 people to their site each month.
I’m going to tell you something right now and I want you to listen because this is important.
The formula for successful old-school blogging is dead simple.
In fact, it’s so simple that many people choose to ignore it because, for one reason or another, they wish to make their lives a lot more complicated.
What is the formula?
Here it is:
Write GREAT content that people WANT and LOVE + Promote that content to the people that NEED it = Successful blog
Some of you might be thinking “no shit, Sherlock.”
Others will roll their eyes because blogging has to be more than this, right?
If successful blogging was broken down into a simple formula then why do so many people fail?
The simple answer is that they don’t follow the formula.
They think they are following the formula but they really aren’t.
When you follow this formula, you create an audience of True Fans (we call them your Hero). They love your posts, they want your opt-in and they sign up for your mailing list. When you make a product, they’ll want to buy it.
What Makes a Blog Successful?
Before getting too far into this, let’s make sure we are on the same page about what exactly makes a blog successful.
At Odd Noodle, we don’t talk about blogs that are fun hobbies that aren’t monetized or that are strictly looking to get some display ads up so that you can make some ad revenue.
Ad revenue can be part of it, but we want you to make real money. Life-changing money.
And that means learning a different perspective on blogging than earning money solely from ad revenue does.
We want you to see your blog as a marketing tool for the offers you are going to create for your audience. Yes, products (like these types of digital products).
As you write blog posts for your audience, you may very well end up with enough pageviews to get into a premium ad network. But we don’t want you to wait around for that magical pageview number to start making money.
We want you to start making money as soon as you can.
Stop Wasting Your Time Blogging
By nature, bloggers are stubborn. I don’t know if it’s in their DNA or something but they just are.
I should know because I was a stubborn blogger for the longest time.
I used to be the blogger who would look at the success of other bloggers and start drooling. Then I would get pissed because I knew these bloggers weren’t smarter than me so there was no reason why they should be making more money than me.
What were they doing right that I wasn’t?
I read all of their content and it was good but it wasn’t anything that I didn’t know so what set them apart?
They catered to their audience.
You might be thinking that every blogger caters to their audience but they really don’t.
It’s About Them
The best bloggers understand that everything that they do is about their audience.
When they write a blog post, if it isn’t solving a specific problem that their audience is facing then the post is a waste of time.
I have dozens of blog posts scattered across my different blogs that have never seen their stats reach 100 pageviews.
It’s not that they are poor pieces of content. In fact, some of them are my favorite pieces of content.
But I wrote them all for me.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t write content for yourself. It’s your blog, do as you please.
But if you want to write content that gets noticed then it better be for your audience.
Which brings me to my next point…
Do You Know Your Audience?
Your audience isn’t your present self. Your audience is the past version of you.
What does this mean? It means that your audience probably isn’t at the same point of their journey as you are in whatever topic you decide to write about.
I tell my blogging students that there are two approaches that you can take to blogging:
- The expert
- The beginner going on a journey
One approach is not better than the other.
The problem is when people want to take the first approach they usually write content that only helps people that are in the same place as them.
If you’re going to start a personal finance blog with a focus on investing, then diving right into bonds and futures isn’t going to work out very well.
You need to start off with the basics of investing because that is where many people in your audience are starting.
But my audience is going to be the advanced investors.
How many advanced people in any niche/subject/topic are spending their time reading blogs? They’re advanced so they are going about their business growing in their own ways.
- The expert
- The beginner going on a journey
You may think that these are two completely different approaches but they really aren’t. They both cater to the beginner. They just write from different perspectives.
But there are already enough beginner blog posts out there…
Maybe they suck or maybe they’re great.
It doesn’t matter.
You need to write your own versions of these posts because people will want to read them. You might be the first blog that someone comes across in your niche. Are you going to have content that they are ready for or are you going to have content that is going to take them two years to build up to?
This site is about how to make money with a blog.
What do you think the most popular post on this site is?
Why is this the most popular post?
Because there are thousands and thousands of people looking to get into blogging but they aren’t sure what niche they should enter.
I can’t tell you how many bloggers suffer from analysis paralysis because they are stuck at step 1.
What should I blog about?
I have a ridiculously awesome post on WordPress SEO that isn’t even in my top 10 most popular posts on this blog.
Because most of my audience isn’t even at the phase where they know what SEO is let alone are concerned about it.
The same thing applies to my guide on affiliate marketing. It’s awesome. It’s helpful. But it’s not taking the world by storm.
Your blogging ego is telling you that you need to write awesome content that nobody has seen before and because of this, you are ignoring the majority of your audience.
If you truly understand your audience then why aren’t you writing for them?
As time goes on you can write about the more advanced topics because then a lot of your audience (your mailing list) will be ready for it.
But if I’m interested in getting started with house plants am I going to go to the blog that teaches me which plants I can grow in my climate or the one that is trying to teach me how to measure the pH value of my soil?
If you are writing for your audience and your blog still isn’t growing then you have two issues that you need to consider. With many bloggers, they suffer from one of these issues or both but they don’t want to believe it.
Their Content Isn’t Good
Look Scrivs, I wrote a blog post on how to start a blog and nobody is going to it. Isn’t that the type of content beginning bloggers will want to read?
Well, yes. People who are looking to get into blogging will be looking at posts talking about how to start a blog but if you read most of these posts they all look the same.
Some go into a bit more detail about how to install WordPress but for the most part, they aren’t very good.
Now, if you were the first person on the planet to create a how to start a blog post then it can be whatever quality you want and it will work out for you but now that isn’t the case.
I wrote a guide on how to start a lifestyle blog and finding a web host and installing WordPress is maybe 7% of the content.
You will know if you’re writing good content because people will let you know when they see it.
If people aren’t raving about your content then you need to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
You might not want to admit this, but chances are your content isn’t good enough yet.
That doesn’t mean it will never be good enough. It just means you need to put in more work.
If you have no idea what you should do then check out How to Write a Powerful Blog Post That Your Audience Loves.
You’re Not Promoting Your Great Content to the Right People
You’ve joined 20 different blogging Facebook Groups and you make sure to share your content on their sharing days but nobody is visiting your site.
You’re promoting your content on Twitter as well.
People say you need to promote to grow a successful blog and that’s what you are doing, promoting.
So what’s the issue?
Well first, your blog is about how to succeed with your 7th marriage so 99% of the people in those blogging Facebook Groups aren’t going to care about it.
(They will love this post though.)
You can’t assume that your audience is everywhere.
Instead of writing a blog and then trying to find the audience for it, I find the audience and then write a blog for them.
So, Is Blogging Worth It?
Many of you over-complicate blogging.
Write GREAT content that people WANT and LOVE + Promote that content to the people that NEED it = Successful Blog
Many of you don’t follow this very basic formula and your blogs end up falling flat. You’re wasting your time because you completely ignore the basics.
You want to do things your way.
You want to be the innovative blogger that nobody else dares to be.
You go on and be innovative. If that helps you sleep at night then I fully support this direction.
However, it’s okay to be the boring blogger who simply gives their audience what they want.
If you want to waste your time then there are a million better things you can do than blogging.
If you’re going to blog and you want it to be successful because you want to make money then you might as well do things the right way.
Yes, Blogging Is Worth It
In our signature program, Full Stack Engines, one of the foundations of business is built around a blog. Why? The answer is quite simple.
In today’s online world the majority of traffic comes from:
- Social media
- Search engines
The problem with social media is that it is temporary. For example, if something blows up on Instagram it will only be big for a couple of days at best.
Then I have to feed the beast again.
I also can’t dive too deep into a topic so that means social media is great for the people at the surface. But what happens when you need a more thoughtful answer like this blog post?
Do I post on TikTok and hope that it’s good enough for you or do I write a well-thought-out blog post like this and know that it can serve people for years to come?
But people don’t want to blog because of how time-consuming they believe it is. It should be time-consuming to create amazing content that serves your audience well.
It should be time-consuming to create content that is helpful.
More importantly, it should be time-consuming to create content that turns readers into customers. That’s why it’s hard to create a successful blog overnight.
When you combine a great blog strategy with a great social media strategy you become unstoppable over the long haul. So if you can see yourself building an online business over the next 2+ years then blogging is most definitely worth it.
And PS check out this post if you want to know all of our best blogging tips.