Having a blog isn’t for everyone.
There, I said it.
If you want to make money blogging, it takes work.
And if you read my post Make Money Blogging |The 8 Key Steps to Building a Blog That’s Virtually Guaranteed To Succeed – then you’ll get a pretty darn good idea of exactly how much work it really takes.
If you haven’t read that post, then before you read this one, I recommend you check it out. Why? Well, if you want to get into blogging, I think it’s super important that you go into it eyes wide open.
And if you’re already blogging, but you’re struggling…which has left you questioning whether a blog is right for you….
I truly believe that anyone can start a blog and make money blogging. BUT…I don’t believe that starting a blog is the right decision for everyone.
And that’s the reason behind this post.
It’s to help YOU decide on whether or not a blog is right for you, at this point in time in your life.
For that, I have put together a series of 10 questions for you to ask yourself. I have also put together a free workbook that you can download to record your answers.
As you go through each of the questions, take the time to really dig deep and think about each one carefully.
Write out your answers as thoroughly and especially as honestly as you can.
Now in case you’re wondering, the reason I am highlighting the word “honestly” is because sometimes, when we really want something, or we think we really want something, we can talk ourselves into it.
Heaven knows I’ve certainly done it more times than I care to count.
I ignored that teensy little feeling of doubt and talked myself into something I thought I really wanted, but wasn’t actually ready for.
And you know what? It always ended the same way.
With regret over the time and energy wasted.
And that’s exactly what I want to help you avoid.
So let’s get started, shall we?
Why Do You Want A Blog?
At first glance, this may seem like a pretty redundant question. After all, don’t most people start blogs because they have something that they want to share with the world?
And don’t a lot of people start a blog because they want to find a way to make money online (or make more money online), and they’ve been told that a blog is the way to do it?
Yes and Yes.
Or at least it is for over 95% of the bloggers I have spoken with personally.
But what if I told you that those aren’t good enough reasons?
Building a successful blog takes work. It’s not enough to just put up a site and start blogging.
If you want to be able to make money with your blog; if you want to build an online business with your blog; or if you want to grow an existing online business – you HAVE to be strategic about it.
You have to spend time thinking, researching, validating, and planning…….well before you ever begin creating content.
Building a successful blog and online business is a journey.
Like every journey, even once your blog is up and running, there are going to be ups and downs.
In the first few years, it may even sometimes feel as though there are more downs than ups.
There will be days, weeks and maybe even months where you’ll feel as though you are working your butt off…..and getting nowhere.
It’s at those times that you need to have a really good reason for starting a blog . A really soul-deep “why”. Because it’s your WHY, and only your WHY that will keep you moving forward.
So dig deep and find that “buried in your heart and soul” WHY.
The WHY that you think about and dream about when you are lying awake at night. The WHY that you may even be kinda scared of voicing out loud – because “what if people think I’m crazy?” and “what if I can’t make it happen?”
That is the WHY that we’re after. Now take some time to really reflect. Then write your answer in your workbook.
Does your WHY mean enough to you that you are willing to do what it takes to build a successful blog?
What do you hope to get out of blogging?
In the last question, you looked at your soul-deep reasons for wanting a blog. In this question, it’s time to get specific. That means putting some numbers to your goals.
Do you want to make money online? Great!
Are you looking for a side-hustle or a full-time gig? How much income exactly would you like to generate each month?
Want to quit your job and become a full-time blogger? Fantastic. When exactly would you like to see this happen?
You have to put numbers beside your dreams. It’s the only way to move your dreams from the realm of “I wish” to “I am planning on.”
It’s your turn. Write out your answers in your workbook.
Are you prepared to write about things that don’t excite you?
Even though blogging has evolved significantly over the years, a lot of people still think of blogs as an online journal of sorts.
A way to share their thoughts, ideas, opinions, experiences, dreams, perspective, insight, knowledge……..
These definitely ARE a part of blogging……but they are what I call the “fun things.” They are what likely drew you towards a blog in the first place.
However, if you are trying to make money blogging…then your blog and the content that you create for your blog can’t just be about you. It can’t just be about what YOU are interested in or passionate about. You can’t only write about what you “feel” like writing about.
The best blogs make their audience feel as though the blog was written for them.
That means that you have to be deliberate and strategic about the content you create. It also means that sometimes you are going to have to write about things that don’t necessarily excite you, but that your audience either wants or needs to know.
Is this something that you are prepared to do? You know the drill…write it in your workbook.
Are you willing to be in the spotlight?
Even though you are sitting behind your computer, in the privacy and comfort of your own home, blogging is actually a very public thing.
With every piece of content that you create, with every interaction you have with your audience you are putting yourself in the spotlight so to speak.
Everything you talk about is “out there” for the world to see – and it’s pretty much there forever.
One of the things that it’s important to know up front, is that when you are online – it’s virtually impossible to keep what you do online “separate” from the rest of your life.
In the online space, more so than anywhere else, people have to like and trust you before they will be willing to buy from you.
Which means that if you want to make money with your blog, you can’t just limit yourself to talking about “business” (ie whatever your niche/topic is).
In order to like and trust you, people need to KNOW you. As in the REAL you. NOT the “I have it all together” social media you.
That doesn’t mean that you have to lay your entire life out there. It also doesn’t mean that you have to share all your deep dark secrets and insecurities. What it does mean is that you have to be prepared to give people a peek into the “real” you and your “real” life? Is this something you are ready to do? Write your answer in your workbook.
How do you handle criticism?
Blogging can be a very rewarding experience – not just financially, but emotionally as well.
Especially when your audience and customers reach out through comments, social media or emails to praise you. To let you know that your content and your products/services are making a difference in their lives.
However, let me be really blunt with you for a minute.
People – especially online – can also be really rude.
It’s as though the “anonymity” of the internet removes all social filters.
People are willing to say things that they would never in a million years say directly to your face.
Although it doesn’t happen often, it definitely does happen.
And when it does, all you can do is ignore it. There is never any point in responding back as it just makes it worse.
So is this something that you can handle? In other words, can you let it slide?
Will you be able to ignore the trolls and the haters and keep yourself from internalizing it or taking it to heart?
Can you brush off criticism and keep going and keep posting without letting it affect what or how you blog?
Can you handle emotional roller coasters?
There is no doubt about it. Being a blogger can sometimes feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster.
One day you’re super productive. You’re in the flow. You are on fire!
The next day everything that can go wrong seems to be going wrong. It feels like everything in your life is conspiring against you.
The school calls and you have to run and pick up your kids…
You are trying to write, and your dog is puking all over your room (true story)…
Your kids are supposed to be napping and instead they are tearing apart their room…
The phone rings…the doorbell rings…a Facebook notification pops up…
Every time you turn around there’s an interruption or a distraction…your day is shot!
Can you get back on the bandwagon the next day?
Do you have a good support network?
Not everyone is going to get your dream. I think most of us realize that and are ok with it. From strangers that is.
But what if it’s your family.
What if it’s your bestie.
What if all the people you care most about think you’re nuts and tell you to get a “real” job?
Can you live with that?
Can you shrug it off and keep pursuing your dream?
Are you willing to go out and connect with people who WILL support you?
Are you a pro-active action taker?
Although it’s not hard to start a blog, it does involve a fair amount of work – especially if it’s your intention to turn that blog into a money-making machine!
Not only that, but there are going to be inevitable struggles and challenges…and the “rewards” – ie. the money….may not come as quickly as you would like.
In order to power through these things, you need to be the kind of person who is a self-starter. You have to have the discipline and the motivation to sit down day after day, week after week, and month after month to work on your blog and your business. To keep on working at it, and trying to figure things out even when it doesn’t seem to be “working.”
So knowing that, and thinking back to other big goals or projects you have tackled in your life – how would you answer this question?
Are you willing to get techy?
By no means do you have to understand HTML, CSS or any of the other gobbledygook associated with websites, but you DO have to be willing to mess with technology.
There are no two ways about it – if you want to start a blog then you are going to have to get techy.
So what exactly does getting “techy” mean?
It means that if you don’t know how to do something you’ll do your best to figure it out. Whether that is set up your blog, write a blog post, sign up for an email service provider, start building an email list, setting up social media platforms to promote your content, etc.
Are you willing to dive in, look for the answers to your questions? Are you willing to ask questions, and learn by doing?
Because if not, the only other way is to be willing to invest in hiring someone.
So take a minute to write out your thoughts around this in your workbook.
Are you willing to invest the time?
If you’re like the countless other bloggers and online entrepreneurs I talk to, then I already know you’re busy.
You’ve got a lot on your plate and a lot of demands on your time.
Ask yourself – do I have enough time in my schedule to work on creating, growing and monetizing my blog – or am I willing to carve out the time?
At the very least, I would encourage you to commit the equivalent of an hour a day to your blog (7 hours a week). If it’s your goal to turn this into a full-time+ income within the next year or two, then I would encourage you to set aside at least 20-25 hours a week.
Just to give you some perspective. I have about 20-25 hours a week to spend on my blog – total. With that amount of time it took 6 months to launch my blog. At launch I had all my pages done: home, about, my story, contact, blogging success page and blog index page; about 7 blog posts written and published (the first seven that you see on my blogging success path page); my primary freebie done and set up into an email funnel; my first product finished.
All things that I recommend you have done when you are ready to launch your blog.
Think of it this way – the more you are willing/able to commit to your blog, the faster you’ll see results.
So go ahead and write down a few days and times in your week that you are willing to commit to your blog, and what you’ll give up to make it happen.
If you haven’t already, download my workbook below. It contains a summary of all the content in this blog post as well as space to write out our answers to the questions I have been asking you.
These are questions that you really NEED to ask yourself BEFORE you rush out and start a blog.
Skip these questions and you risk crashing and burning.
Once you’ve gone through the workbook, I recommend you read the posts on the Blogging Success Path (if you haven’t already). Together, all of these things will help you decide if you’re ready, and if you are, will start to help you lay a solid foundation.
So…now that you’ve come this far, let me know – is a blog right for you? I’d love to know why or why not. Please share in the comments below.