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Pressures of Blogging (and Is there an EASY Way?)

Nate has posted an article titled The Pressures of Blogging Consistently which outlines four pressures that bloggers face:

  • Pressure #1: Regularly posting articles
  • Pressure #2. Ever-increasing expectations
  • Pressure #3. Catering to a larger audience
  • Pressure #4. Lacking confidence

All very true points and some worthwhile things to ponder before getting into the blogging for money game.

Nate’s post reminds me of a conversation I had with a blogger who IM’d me asking if I would be involved in helping him start up a new blog. When I asked why he’d want to do that he told me that if he could just get me to recommend him as a good blogger that he’d ‘make it’ and be able to earn money from it fast.

I spent the next 15 minutes trying to show the guy that there’s so much more work behind starting a successful blog than just by having another well known blogger link up or even be involved.

What this blogger didn’t seem to get was that successful, money making blogs almost always are the result of daily posting over years. While you might get lucky with a big incoming link to something you’ve written, unless you can back up your linked to post with another of a high quality you’ll loose 99% of the visitors that come your way.

Yes some blogs do seem to be on a fast track as a result of exceptional quality, luck or very smart marketing – but these are the exceptions rather than the rule.

My recommendation to the blogger was that he either take a ‘long term’ and ‘hard work’ view of blogging or that he find a ‘real’ job to help him get the cash he needed. I’m not sure the advice went down that well – sometimes the dollar signs floating in front of our eyes block our view of reality – but it’s a hard truth that needs to be repeated.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Randa Clay says:

    So true… where has the work ethic gone in people? So many people expect big bucks for little or no work. Fortunately, most of these people give up on blogging quickly.

  2. Roberta says:

    I totally agree. I was first told by my boyfriend that if I’m in it for the money, then I’m in it for the wrong reasons. And that’s why I have a day job, because I blog for fun (the $$$ isn’t there yet)…

    A lot of people get into blogging with the mindset that they’re going to be rich overnight, but lose sight of the fact that it takes a lot of hard work and quality content, to make it.

    Great post!

  3. jhay says:

    Indeed it is. First it turns starts out as something fun, a hobby perhaps, Then when a click here and there rakes up a few dollars a week things suddenly bright up and the blogger looses sight of what he started the blog for to begin with.

  4. Jeremy David says:

    That’s brilliant. I remember when I first started blogging my goal was to have a successful blog, and I tried to figure out what I could write about to get myself there. I had it all backwards.

    Now I’m doing the opposite: the slow and steady route. Focusing on my vision and idea for the blog, and not worrying about popularity. Having fun and building relationships is way better than analytics.

  5. Stu says:

    So true, I’m finding I’m only starting to get what I would call reasonable traffic after over a year of consistent posting.

  6. Rick says:

    Unless you write with some passion, you’re going to have a tough time establishing a large readership with your blog. Money should be a secondary bi-product of your blog, not the sole reason you get into blogging in the first place. There are more efficient ways to use your time making money.

  7. Henry T. says:

    This is something I saw this month after 2 months of blogging. I realized it would be a long, arduous process so now I just blog for fun, not for money. I’m still the same person, just a different blogger.

    Is about 70+ people a day “good” for a new tech blog like mine?
    http://www.techcx.blogspot.com

    If it isn’t, I still have a lot of time to build my loyal reader base.
    (Several years until college and summer break right around the corner!)

  8. people are always tryint to find some easy way to the gold. Easy come, easy go, why don’t they learn it? =/

  9. clkl says:

    I think you were very generous with that IM-er.

  10. Chris says:

    What really helped me to be able to create content consistently is to input all bloggable links, subjects, and ideas as soon as they come to mind on a future content list. That way when I’m stuck (and I inevitably am at some times) I simply go down the list until I find something that is usable.

  11. Glen says:

    Anybody that thinks that they can start blogging and make a ton of cash over night is fooling themselves.

  12. Rich Minx says:

    Chris: I’ve started doing that too! It makes writing so much easier because I always have a list of topics at hand.

    I think people expect fast bucks because there are so many ‘fast buck’ stories out there. I’m trying to focus on: content -> promotion -> readership -> revenue (maybe). The interacting is the best part.

  13. Well, I’d say that guest posting here could be translated as a “recommendation” that I am a good blogger. And though I give you tons of credit for helping me along the way Darren, I don’t really think I can say that I can say that all the money I have made is because you’ve ‘recommended’ me!

    Your advice was right on Darren – a blog is really an extension of the person behind it. And the blog will only be successful if that person is willing to do what it takes to make it that way – and it is indeed a lot of work! :D

  14. Chris says:

    Glen:

    Agreed. Monetization for me has been an uphill journey so far and since my blog is in a definite niche market, I’m not sure if it will ever be a huge money maker. However, the financial benefits of blogging aren’t limited to simply making money off clicks and sales. Since I started my blog in late 2005, I’ve seen the size of my teaching studio triple, a marked increase in performing work (I’m a pianist), and increased presence at the conservatory I teach at (I’ll be department head in September).

    Rich, ditto on the benefits of interacting. I’ve increased my social network considerably through comment threads and email from readers.

  15. Wallet Rehab says:

    My god, I wish there was an easy way. Just posting every day can be a challenge, even with forward scheduling. I worry about the quality of my posts a lot. There are days where I just have to suck it up and say to msyelf, “I am not proud of this post, but having it there is better than having none at all.”

  16. Neena says:

    Blogging is hard work! There is so much learn about the technicalities of blogging, and the networking – all of that in addition to creating quality posts – it can consume all of your time. You really need perseverance to make a blog successful.

  17. Hard and consistent work always yield results. You should have patience and passion to achieve success in blogging.

  18. Don says:

    Great article. I especially like your comment Darren somewhere on this blog that it was 18 months before you started seeing real results.
    I’ve been blogging seriously for about 2 weeks and I’ve made $1.86 on my blog through Google Adsense.

    I’m not depressed, elated but knowing there are many elements needing to come together. I feel like I’ve been learning so much each day.

    Thanks for making the truth known . . . there are rewards if you’re willing to persevere.

  19. What a timely post for me, Darren. I’m moving out into the realm of writing my “own” stuff, rather than just the latest news or links or talking about other people’s ideas, so I’ve been doing a ton of thinking about all of this.

    When your goal is readers and return visitors, rather than the search engines, it just makes far more sense to take the long-term view. If you don’t, I think it’s a lot harder to stay committed and be persistent.

  20. Mahala says:

    I think if you really enjoy what you’re writing about, have a passion for it, the rest will take care of itself.

  21. Darren Rowse says:

    Don – stick at it. There are some great rewards and more and more bloggers are seeing them.

    Belle, you’re on the right track and have shown your long term commitment (hoping you don’t give up for many reasons! :-)

    Mahala – I think you’re onto something – passion will often get bloggers through that tough time while a blog’s reaching it’s potential.

  22. Darren, that is so true… it takes a long long time.

    One thing that has been bothering me recently is the number of bloggers “gaming” social media to try and take the fast route. Funny thing is because they are inexperienced their blogs get knocked out after a few thousand visitors anyways…

  23. You could use me as an example:

    I’ve been lucky enough to be a guest blogger here on Problogger, so have been given that ‘golden ticket’ of Darren linking back to my site personally.

    Sure, my traffic spiked for 48 hours, but overall, my traffic comes from SEO and – probably!- good luck. A bit of passion thrown in too.

    Above all, the love of writing could and should be what keeps you ‘in the game’.

  24. Darren Rowse says:

    good example Karen.

    Jeremy – I think it’s a pity too – although I do know a few people who smartly used social media to really give them a launching pad. However they did it realizing that they still had to work their butts off :-)

  25. Pear says:

    Good post Darren. I’m only new to the blogging caper but have been around business in general long enough to know there is no foolproof get rich quick formula. As an old colleague used to say ‘the long way is the short way’

  26. TheAnand says:

    well….easy money is why AGLOCO is getting famous these days!!! lolz…i am still dreaming about that perfect post…one which will get me loads of backlinks…..its plain difficult to write ……more difficult to get it noted and getting people to link it. esp if you have low traffic blog!

  27. Daniel says:

    I don’t see why people have to do a thing just for the money. I do not understand why people are so short-minded and they run for the money instead of doing something that they love.
    Don’t blog because you need money. Blogging is not about making money, is not about taking something. It is about giving. Blogging is about sharing yourself with the world.
    You will have a greater fulfillment when giving, than when you receive something.

  28. Ali says:

    Pressure can become a factor when you’re in any field for the wrong reasons.

    Like the workforce for example, you try to please your boss and do all kinds of things to get that promotion. There’s the pressure to outdo your colleagues and always think one step ahead. But if you are also there for the wrong reason, which is getting that bigger office space, and end up not doing as expected after having got that promotion. Guess what? that door might just slam you on the way out.

  29. Some people blog for fun and a handful of them earn quite a good living by doing so. My advice to blogging hopefuls is to build a name, create a niche, provide a demand, and blog about stuff that you’re most passionate about…revenue will come later on. It would be safe to keep the day job, too — everyone could always use some steady cash flow, right?

  30. Pallab says:

    Fortunately enough I don’t have to deal with Pressure #3.

  31. narcolept says:

    Darren,

    Great post. I was actually going at this same thing yesterday in a post I wrote, however, my point is that the great majority of blogs are started simply to be MFA, and that a large percentage of people writing blogs today simply can’t write, or don’t have the long haul commitment to build any kind of loyal readership. I guess that’s why you’re a problogger though, and I’m not. You got the point across much clearer. I know that I too have to work on my writing to have an effective, well read blog.

  32. Osman says:

    First, thank you for the “add” at my swiki. I’ll leave it to prosper there and will never block it.

    Second, this is a nice advice. I will neither take the habit of making money that way, nor do I want to follow those get rich quick scams.

    To build income online as you said takes lot of work and time that may exceed 4-5 years of building keyword focused content to monetize that stream of knowledge somebody “will” have.

  33. As a new blogger I have decided that for me to be consistent in posting it has to serve a number of purposes. Yes I would love it to drive business to my corporate training company but I’m not sure that will be enough to keep me going.

    I have been a actor/writer for years but what I like about the blog is that it allows me to explore ideas without having to commit to a large project for each one and also lets me explore different skills and writing styles. It keeps my writing fresh.

    And the blog also lets me keep in contact with friends and family and I hope the eclectic focus will not work against reader interest in the long run but will enrich their knowledge of who I am and therefore give some perspective on my POV.

  34. sarbarth says:

    “Pressures of Blogging (and Is there an EASY Way?)”
    Is obviously a great post.
    lots of new blogger as well as regular blogger face this problem each and every day.

    I have posted a article at http://espreson.com/2007/05/09/good-blogging-practice-part-25/
    Here I have described a way how to overcome this type of problem.
    It may help us..

  35. Mike Perry says:

    I wouldn’t consider them as pressures. If anyone does then it means they are becoming too reliant on blogging as a way to make money – and are therefore pressurising themselves.

    Of course to make money, in any business, certain routines and disciplines have to be followed. However once they become ‘pressures’ then maybe it’s time for some re-adjustment or even change of direction.

    Life life, blogging should be enjoyable.

  36. Melissa says:

    I am laughing out loud reading this post. I deal with people like this all the time and I am still not sure what the right words are to get them to understand that quick and fast with no foundation just doesn’t work. Yes, there is the ocassional windfall or beginners luck but if those receiving that windfall have no foundation to put it all on it is nothing but momentary. Blogging is an expereince and an opportunity to learn about people and business. The internet just gives us a bigger audience and more opportunities. What he really didn’t understand is that he was bringing nothing to the table and expecting everything from you. Aargh!

  37. It’s so true, Melissa. The same can be said of investing. People are consistently looking for hot tips to make quick bucks, and failed to see the long-term picture. In investing, you need a solid foundation. A one-hit wonder isn’t getting you anywhere. Worse, you might become over-confident and get slaughtered the next time you roll the dice.

  38. Melissa, maybe there is no need to explain things to those who are obsessed with making money… blogging is not an easy way, and they will learn it themselves in a week or two of running their blog.

  39. Blogging started as a fun way to write about things you enjoy or are interested in. A way to express yourself and communicate with others. It has since then become a means of making money, and in some cases lots of money, but the moment you loose the main motivation behind blogging then 999,999 times out of 1,000,000 you’ll fail.

    I am blogging for fun, and eventually I will expect my blog to make money to a certain degree. At the moment though I’m enjoying developing my internet skills, getting to know other bloggers and learning to express myself on things that interest me.

    If you forget the “Fun” part then, don’t give up the day job and find another hobby.

  40. Matt says:

    Get your money for nothing…

    This post made me think of the Dire Straits song; the only way to get quick money is by winning the lottery and even then you’ll have to spend so much money to get that winning ticket that its not worth it. Seriously at what point did our society decide that you just need to get a ‘break’ to make it big. A little bit of elbow grease and some staying power will get you there but I guess our society has simply become too lazy to do that.

    Darren,

    Maybe you should write a post about how much effort you put into keeping a blog going (your daily routine for example).

  41. Katie Baird says:

    I hadn’t caught up with your latest posts yet, Darren, when I coincidentally ended up writing a related post, that being how this enterprise takes you away from in-person contact with people. It’s a direct result of the OTHER pressures of blogging that Nate talks about, and I foresee that it can have some rough consequences as we all strive to keep the work of blogging in perspective time-wise.

    It’s no different than any other form of self-employment in that it takes hours and hours over the long haul to be successful. However, I suspect that many bloggers have never been self-employed before.

  42. Brad says:

    My blog is still very much a hobby – although one I take seriously and try to treat it more like a job. But I have found that the actual writing of the post only takes up a small portion of the total amount of time I spend “blogging”. Most of my time, when working on my blog, is spent researching posts, trying to find ideas for post, promoting my blog, and the like.

    But as much work as maintaining a blog is, I still LOVE every minute of it!

    Thanks for the great read!

  43. Ruby says:

    Wow, I love this post. I’ve been a regular lurker on your blog, and have recently started my own one on frugal living, happiness and personal development. After just over a week, I’m feeling different types of pressure, and I’m doing a post on that (it’ll be up in a few minutes hopefully). Which is why I especially love this similar but different post!

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