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Why the Road to Blog Success is Bumpy (and What to Do About It)

This guest post is by Jane of Find All Answers.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does it always happen to me?”

I am sure you have. It always happens. Whenever you have a shiny goal for your business project, or whenever you want to start a new business, you face them—challenges.

They are everywhere just waiting to welcome you. You don’t like them and you wonder why it always happens that you need to take the hard, bumpy road to success.

But wait. It’s not just you. Whoever travels the path to success for the first time faces this. The road is never smooth and it is never as expected.

Why is the road bumpy?

There are so many reasons. But the fact that it is bumpy doesn’t mean that it is bad. And it is also true that you will learn a lot of lessons by traveling down a bumpy road.

Let me discuss some of the causes of a bumpy road.

You are at it for the first time

Usually when it is your first time, it is rough. If you are in a project for a first time, if you are trying a new business idea, taking a new blogging initiative, and so on, you cannot expect a smooth road.

Your expertise, your ability to handle the outcomes, your capability to anticipate and develop alternate plans under pressure—all these factors depend on how well you know the ground. If you are in business for more than two years, you already know what to expect. You already have a Plan B for Issue X.

But if you’re starting a totally new business, say blogging for instance, you neither know Issue X nor Plan B. And there can be so many Xs in the whole process! All these make the road bumpy. You end up running like a headless chicken if you are not prepared for it.

But the road may not be bumpy just because you’re taking it for the first time. There may be another important reason…

You don’t have a plan

You can avoid a bumpy road—or at least anticipate it so that you sustain the least damage—if you have an action plan.

Whatever kind of business you’re in, you absolutely need an action plan. There are so many reasons to devising one, and one is to help you avoid at least some of the potholes in the bumpy road. Having a proper goal and an action plan will save you lot of hardship. This way, you work smarter, not harder.

You don’t learn from your mistakes

Let me make one thing clear. Here, I am not talking about those who start a business or a project without a proper goal or an action plan, then wander through all storms and deserts to get somewhere they never wished for.

Such persons invite the challenges for themselves. They don’t have a goal, so they don’t have a plan either. When they don’t know what exactly they want to achieve, they have not defined their own success.

But there are people who are really prepared for what’s ahead—who know what to achieve and how to achieve. However, since they are starting out in a new business, some unexpected events may occur. When they happen, they tell the individual that they have to learn a lesson.

So let’s say you take Plan A and execute it. With it comes Issue 1, which you never managed to anticipate. So you struggle somehow to manage the chaos, get Issue 1 solved, and get on with Plan A.

Now the next time you execute Plan A for a different purpose in your business, you now need to anticipate Issue 1 and incorporate it into your plan. Not just that, but you also have a solution to Issue 1. The second time, you’ll have learned from your previous execution of Plan A.

If you have failed to learn your lesson (you may be forgetful, negligent, or lazy), then you’ll have to face all the chaos the next time too!

What to do about bumpy roads

Anticipate them

This is a brilliant way to face an issue: expect the worst. You don’t have to be pessimistic or surround yourself and your business with negative thoughts. But always remember that you may have to face something bad, something serious, or something that could drive you totally mad.

If you have a plan, you could easily anticipate that problem.

Be flexible

This is another great thing to do. Face the hurdles, but don’t be hard on yourself. If things didn’t turn out as you planned, you don’t have to panic. Just stay calm and go with the flow.

Adjust yourself and your business to unexpected hard times. You will adapt to the trouble soon. Just don’t develop a comfortable attitude to hard times. If you do so, you will never travel smoothly.

Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors

Of course they don’t! If everything’s perfect from start to end, you won’t get smarter and sharper. You won’t learn skills or attitudes, and you won’t learn about your competition and your capabilities.

You have to have some hard roads in the beginning. These will make you learn skills that are needed to overcome issues. You may learn that you have a tough competitor in you business only after you face an issue.

You might learn what you are capable of only after you have attempted to do something beyond your limits, and failed.

You might learn that you need to develop a particular skill only once you realize that you are unable to develop a major part of your business.

The school of life

My Ph. D. supervisor Aneta Stefanovska used to tell me that life is a school. We learn lessons everyday. We learn all different sorts of lessons, and we always learn. This applies to our business, too.

A bumpy road teaches us a lot. Such a road is not always bad. Sometimes failures in your business are essential in helping you to get smarter and sharper, and preparing you for a tough ride the next time.

When you happen to come across a bumpy road, evaluate. Stay calm, evaluate the causes and see what you can learn from it. Find out ways in which you can take your blog to success along a road that gradually becomes smoother.

Jane writes about Blogging Tips, Relationships and Self Improvement at her blog Find All Answers. She wants to tell you that you absolutely need a blogging action plan.

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Comments

  1. Élan says:

    Thanks for the post! I should really sit down and brainstorm some problems that might occur with my new project and how I might deal with them.

    I am not an experienced business person so although I do plan, my plan isn’t always the best.

  2. James says:

    Awesome to see your post over here Jane :) . One thing that I tell people all the time is to define what success means to them,and not let others tell them what they should or shouldn’t achieve. I have seen people who are happy with a blog that only makes $500/month and others that want a blog that makes a lot more than that.

    Define what your success is and you can achieve it. fail to set those goals and you are just dreaming.

  3. The Sub says:

    Thanks for the advice, I just published my own blog yesterday so I think I’m your direct audience. I’ve worked with other blogs in the past and studied their metrics, so definitely know the ups and downs they go through. But its always a good reminder to anticipate them and learn from them.

  4. Aaron says:

    You might want to add to NEVER QUIT unless absolutely necessary. I did this once, and I regret it so much. My blog suffered massively. I wrote a small list about *when* it’s *forgivable* to quit, but…yeah…don’t quit unless absolutely necessary. Take a break, but never quit. Or that’s how I see it.

  5. I’ve only started blogging since April and my plan right now is just to keep the spirit and diligence of the exercise strong! Might not be a profit generating venture at the moment, but knowing me just keeping my head down and focused on surfing the internet reading up new blogs and news & then doing the required work on my blog is already a success right now… But yes, i will reevaluate tihs plan of mine come Dec.

  6. I believe that is the main reason that people do not like starting something new because it is always bumpy in the beginning. Just like blogging, I didn’t know a thing about blogging but after 8 months of steady doing it I feel totally comfortable relatively speaking of course.

  7. Sam Sabri says:

    The hardest thing at first was sticking to it. Lately I’ve been a lot better about updating regularly and getting good posts out there to other members in my niche. With class of course :)

  8. Mike Avon says:

    Thanks for the post. Indeed it’s a bumpy road, even if a blog is not your first time. I’ve found that some of my blogs are harder to attract visitors than the others. It depends on many things, such as the topics, the frequency of posts, etc.

  9. We continue to search for competitive sites to keep our content fresh.

  10. Thanks for the great post. I will start my own blog on marketing, internet and onine business very soon, but I just want to do it the right way from the first post. ;-) You’re a big help! Thanks again!
    Eric, Belgium

  11. Very encouraging article :) I just loved the line : “Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors” :)
    And you advice is awesome, the biggest thing is that we should learn from our mistakes ! :)

  12. I love what you said about smooth sailing. Indeed! No one has ever learned from everything going smoothly. It’s the obstacles in life that teach us how to high-jump, not the successes.

    I enjoyed your post. I think I’m guilty of some of the points mentioned.

  13. Bumpy roads? I think P.G. Wodehouse (and Shakespeare) said it best -

    “I’m not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare who says that it’s always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.”

  14. Marcie says:

    Great tips on how to handle the bumpy roads of life. We really need to anticipate the bumpy roads and to be flexible. If we can wrap our minds around that and work it, we might be alright.

  15. Thanks Jane, great way of looking at it. Another way to help deal with the bumpy roads is to learn from other bloggers. I fully agree, going down the wrong road, missing our stop, falling asleep behind the wheel. lol Love the analogy.

  16. Hi Jane,

    Super inspiration here!

    The road to success may be rocky but without the rocks you’re on a different road.

    Successful people get used to being uncomfortable. A success becomes used to obstacles, delays, setbacks, and all forms of resistance. You are going places – meaning, becoming successful quickly – when the obstacles increase.

    When the obstacles stop coming, you are either REALLY good at seeing the opportunities in obstacles or you are simply going nowhere of note.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!

    RB

  17. Thank you Jane for this informative post. Just few weeks into my new blog and I’m already on the bumpy road. Things seem achievable at the start, when your motivation is high. But with time, other responsibilities creep in and the obstacles appear bigger and bigger. Not that I didn’t anticipate them, but sometimes you just expect good things to happen to soon.

  18. I do what Seth Godin recommends. Plan, rethink your plans as you go, quit what’s not working, learn from your mistakes, have a think skin, be fair, work hard. :)

  19. I read this last night, and I read this again this time :) and I want to read this again and again. This is super inspiring, not just in my blog but in my whole life. Sometimes I want to run away from the bumpy roads, but now I am again reminded of its value. Bumpy roads make us define what life really is:) It make us stronger, it make us wiser!

    And I just love this line “You might learn what you are capable of only after you have attempted to do something beyond your limits, and failed.”, yes, this is true. You know what, I always told myself that I always set my ‘cup’ not full. I want to learn everyday, everyday for me is learning and fun!

    God bless you Jane :)

  20. Simon says:

    “A bumpy road teaches us a lot. Such a road is not always bad. Sometimes failures in your business are essential in helping you to get smarter and sharper, and preparing you for a tough ride the next time.”

    I got hustled out of my business last year – But what I found was a new burning motivation and desire, not only to reach my goals in life – but also to bring that ****** ***** **** ***** ******** ***** ****** ****** ********** down..

    All the best
    Simon