Oh, what a great world we live in!
Technology has advanced to the point where you don’t have to go to an office to work, as you can do it from a laptop anywhere in the world. Not only that, but you can create an online business which provides mostly passive income so that you can live the life you want to live.
There are hundreds – if not thousands – of people who have successfully built blogs which have grown into online businesses that generate tens of thousands of dollars per month. I plan on being part of that list soon 😉
However – and this is important – not everything is as easy as it seems.
There are some negatives which I wish someone had told me before I started my blog. These are hurdles that every blogger and entrepreneur will likely have to face before they eventually “make it”.
Thankfully, I’ve been there and I’ve done that, so I can tell you the 7 things you must know before starting a blog.
7 Things You Need to Know before Starting a Blog
I’ve come up with 7, which I think everyone who is thinking about starting a blog which will eventually generate an income should know.
1. It’s a big time commitment
Sure, you can realistically build and grow a successful blog working only an hour a day.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, but ask yourself this: would you be willing to take 7 hours out of your week to sit down and produce content, manage your blog and market yourself?
I know that some people think it’s as easy as writing a few good articles and you’ll reach blogging stardom. Maybe it used to be this easy when blogging was still a novelty, but it’s not the case anymore.
If you’re blogging for fun that’s OK, but starting a side hustle or taking the leap into a full-time online business is going to require a lot of your time.
2. The psychological aspect is hard!
Before I decided to quit my career in engineering to pursue my online business full-time, I was told that it would be tough. Even with this warning, I didn’t realise just how bloody hard this would be!
At a regular 9-5 job you’ve got a boss who tells you what to do. You don’t have to worry about the state of the company or how much revenue it’s generating. You can just come in, do your job and then go home to enjoy your free time.
When you’ve started an online business, you’re all by yourself – you’re the CEO and owner. You’ll reap the biggest benefits, but you’ll also worry the most.
You must keep your eye on the prize and think long-term.
If you can keep your emotions and fears at bay for long enough, I’m sure you’ll make it 🙂
3. It takes resilience
How do you deal with obstacles and struggles? Do you thrive in difficult situations and strive to overcome them, or do you give up easily and move onto something else?
Blogging is a long game. You need to be committed for years if you want to make it work financially.
Most people quit after 6 months to a year. I’ve totally made up this statistic, but you just have to look at the myriad of dead blogs out there to realise that it’s probably not such a wild statement.
This is how I was doing after 6 months.
During the first few months, you’ll feel a rush every time someone visits your blog and leaves a comment. But, like most things, the thrill of it ends up wearing out.
You’re going to have to be self-motivated and a very resourceful person, because it can be very tough. There are months when you keep doing your best but see no progress.
My advice: Stick with it!
If you do something non-stop for long enough, it’s a matter of time before you succeed.
4. You might feel lonely
This won’t be as much of a problem if you’re only working on your blog for an hour each day after work. However, if you’ve decided to pursue entrepreneurship full-time and want to earn a living online, this one’s a biggie.
Working from home with nobody to talk to during the day can make you feel pretty lonely.
Doing something that people aren’t used to or think is weird can also make you feel like you’re going against the grain. Although most of my friends have been super supportive, some don’t quite get it – mainly because they don’t know how blogs make money.
5. Relationships with other bloggers are vital
To combat the previous point, you should connect with people who are doing the same thing you are. Building friendships with like-minded people will make you feel part of a strong community and could mean the difference between quitting early or succeeding at creating the life of your dreams.
The first thing you should do is to reach out to fellow bloggers in your field. Write comments on their blog posts and they’ll start to notice you!
Now, this is a huge misconception: commenting on other blogs won’t give you much traffic.
Even if it does, it’ll be traffic from bloggers who probably aren’t your ideal audience!
The main point of doing this is to make friends!
These people are the ones who will share your content, let you write guest posts and just lend you a hand when you most need it.
6. Starting a blog is actually pretty easy
If you asked a bunch of people who were interested in blogging why they hadn’t started one yet, I bet I know what the predominant answer would be:
“The technical side is too complicated!”
Here’s the truth: It’s not easy, so you need a good guide. However, once you’ve set up your blog, running WordPress is easy to learn.
Seriously, I started my first blog on Blogger because WordPress intimidated me… BIG MISTAKE.
I ended up transitioning to WordPress within 2 months because it’s way, way more powerful and it’s got the whole “there’s an app for that” that everyone loves about Apple and Android.
Block out 30 minutes of your day and JUST DO IT.
7. You can actually make it into your new career
If you’ve been around this site for a while you’ll know that blogging can turn into a full-blown career where you decide when, where and how to work.
I wish I’d known that years ago because I would’ve started earlier!
There are hundreds of regular people – just like you and me – who have grown online businesses that started as blogs. They are now living the lives they want to live and aren’t tied down to jobs that decide their lives for them.
I’m also getting there myself. I quit my career in engineering and started Escaping to Freedom because I wanted to show people the best way to escape their meaningless 9-5 jobs and actually do something they’re passionate about.
Check out my income reports which I started writing back in March. While I’m not making anything spectacular in terms of money, I have made some. In business, making the first dollar is the most important milestone.
It proves that your business model works!
After that, it’s just a matter of growing and scaling up! 🙂
Now You Know What It’s Like – Start!
Now you know what I think are the top things to know before starting a blog.
If you want to start a blog and grow it into a business that generates some income every month – or even one that becomes your career – you have to know that it’s not gonna be as easy as writing a few words and becoming the next big thing.
Knowing these things before starting a blog – rather than after – could be the difference between quitting after 6 months and sticking with it long enough to find success!
If I’ve managed to convince you to start your own blog, check out my free guide below. You can thank me when you’re making good money with your blog a few months from now 😉