Warning: Tangent Ahead
I have a secret life.
Actually it’s not really a ‘secret’ because I’ve not hidden the fact and I have spoken of it a few times at ProBlogger – maybe I should refer to it as my ‘other life’.
It might surprise a few newer readers but for the ten years before I went full time as a blogger I was a paid Minister of Religion (Pastor).
In fact while today I’m not paid as a Minister I still perform the tasks of one in a little church that I run in a voluntary capacity called LivingRoom (which is what my LivingRoom blog is about – among other things). It’s a roll that I am passionate about and enjoy thoroughly.
As part of that job I’m a marriage celebrant. Every now and again someone form LivingRoom (or one of their friends) gives me a call and asks me to marry them – something that I love to do (although it can be a bit nerve wracking).
Weddings tend to happen over our summer – and this year I have six weddings to perform (including taking part in my little sister’s) between now and March. It’s going to be a busy season. Tomorrow is wedding number 1.
Over the past few days I’ve been putting a bit of time into the preparation of tomorrow’s ceremony – getting all the forms together, working on the order of service and preparing a short talk – my ‘words of encouragement’ for the bride and groom – something I include in all my weddings.
Tomorrow in my words of encouragement I’ve decided to talk about ‘intentionality’.
I know the effort that goes into the pulling together of a wedding both as someone who has been married but also as someone who has married many couples and been the photographer at many more (another ‘other life’…). Weddings don’t just happen – there is a lot of thought put into where to get married, what to wear, who to invite, what to eat and drink, who will do speeches, what the flowers are going to be like, who will be the bridesmaids etc etc etc. The day of a wedding takes a lot of time, energy and effort.
My encouragement to the couple tomorrow will be to take the same intentionality, the same time and effort, into the rest of their relationship. Good relationships don’t just happen – they take effort – sometimes they ‘feel’ easy – but in most cases there comes times when one has to choose to put the effort in and love the other person – to make it work….
So what does this have to do with making money from a blog? Have I finally gone to far with my tangents?
Here’s what I found myself reflecting on today as I drove home from the wedding rehearsal….
In a similar way that a relationship with a partner takes intentionality – so too does building a successful blog.
This week I’ve had a number of people approach me in IM conversations asking me to tell them how to make a blog that makes them lots of money without much effort. One person (I hope they’ll forgive me for sharing it) told me that they need an ATM like money making system.
The reality is that profitable blogs don’t just happen any more than great lifelong relationships do. They take a significant investment of time, energy, effort and often money before they become anything approaching sustainable – and even then there are no guarantees.
I think some new bloggers fall into the trap of getting their launch just right with a wonderful design and a few excellent posts but then after the initial buzz dies down they wonder why things are not working – where is the mountain of cash they’d dreamt about?
That’d be like the couple I marry tomorrow putting everything into their big day and then expecting everything in their marriage to work just because it was the ‘perfect day’. Life doesn’t work that way and neither does blogging.
I hope I’m not being a complete grump when new bloggers approach me asking for the ATM blog secret – but I’m increasingly finding myself responding to their enquiries with a few hard questions about how hard they are willing to work before I even begin to talk about some of the ‘how to’ stuff. If I don’t do this I suspect I’m just wasting both their and my time.