This guest post is by Roman of how this website makes money.
After more than two years of blogging, I’m happy to be still around. Most new bloggers do not survive longer then six months.
Because of their lack of experience, new bloggers make assumptions about blogging that are completely wrong. They start blogging with these assumptions and are surprised six months later when their assumptions turn out to be incorrect.
These assumptions—or traps—give the false impression that becoming a successful blogger is easy and fast.
Trap 1: All blogs are successful
As a new blogger, you eagerly learn everything you can about blogging. You Google every question that pops in your head. Clicking on one of the first few results, you land on a blog that answers your question perfectly.
You have lots of questions so you visit lots of blogs. After a while you start to notice something exciting. Every blog you visit looks good, has lots of posts, has lots of comments and has thousands of RSS subscribers and hundreds of retweets for every post. Basically every blog you visit is a success!
This trap is really difficult for most new bloggers to notice. While they’re researching blogging they get the impression that all blogs are successful blogs. But what the new blogger never sees are the thousands of unsuccessful blogs. They never see them because they’re on pages three (or later) in the search results. New bloggers only see the blogs on page one and two of Google. So after a few days of researching blogging via search engines, the new blogger forms the false impression that all blogs are successful.
It is not just the search engines that create this mirage: it’s also the blogs themselves and the blogs they link to. Successful blogs link to other successful blogs. So the new blogger is bouncing around from one blogging success to another thinking, “Wow this is great, look at all these successful blogs—blogging must be easy.”
It doesn’t take the new blogger long to notice this trap. After a few days or weeks struggling to get traffic to their blog they begin to ask, “Why did I think this was going to be easy?”
Trap 2: Success is as easy as following the yellow brick road
When Dorothy landed in Oz she had a problem: she needed to get back home. The munchkins told her that the Wizard would solve her problems. “How do I find the wizard?” she asked. “It’s easy,” they replied, “just follow the yellow brick road.”
The trap for new bloggers is that they believe in a yellow brick road—a path that leads directly to a successful blog. They think that by following a few simple steps, they can achieve success. Write compelling content, have a RSS feed, post often, reply to comments, create backlinks—do all these things, and you will succeed.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
Steps can be laid out describing how to create a blog and suggestions can be made on how to improve a blog, but there is no direct path to success for any blog. There is no system to follow that will result in a successful blog. There is no yellow brick road to success.
There are a lot of products for sale that guarantee you will become a successful blogger. They promise to lay down a road to success—all you need to do it buy it and follow it.
Save your money. Dorothy did not need the yellow brick road or the Wizard to bring her back home. She discovered that she had the power to get home all along. I wasted a lot of time looking for a yellow brick road, hoping that it would lead me directly and quickly to success. Instead of looking for the easy road, my time could have been better spent creating compelling content.
Trap 3: Success comes quickly
The brick-and-mortar world is a lot slower then the Internet. A blog takes five minutes to set up. In twenty minutes, you have your first page of content lined with AdSense ads. If you are really lucky, you can make your first dollar in an hour.
Compare that with opening a fruit stand. First you have to build the structure—preferably with bricks and mortar. Then you need to purchase fruits to stock your stand. Finally you will need a cash register and a sign on the highway directing traffic to the store. It will take weeks before you can sell a single apple.
The trap that new bloggers fall into is thinking that because the Internet works fast, success will come quickly. They expect visitors and revenue to pour into the business just as fast as the blog was built. Then when it doesn’t happen that fast, disappointment sets in.
Do not fall into this trap. Just because it takes five minutes to create a blog, do not expect it to take two days to become successful. The Internet is fast, but when it comes to having a successful blog, brick-and-mortar rules apply.
Imagine spending years getting up early, opening shop, selling a couple fruits and going home. At first there are no profits, and most likely your days end in loss. But with perseverance and hard work, more and more people come to you for their fruit needs. It could take months until word gets around that you have quality fruit and good prices. This is how blogs work, too.
Did you make any assumptions about blogging that turned out to be wrong? Tell us about them in the comments and prevent other bloggers from falling into the same trap.
Roman will be the first to admit that he fell into all three traps. Fortunately, he got away. On his site how this website makes money he proves that success is not just a stroll down the yellow brick road.