Have you ever thought about blogging for fun or as a side hustle? Here’s what I’ve learned about blogging in the last four years since I started!
This week I’m taking a little break from fitness blogging as I’m feeling a little burnt out.
One of the beautiful things about running a blog is that you can do what you want – when you want to!
Most of my readers know that my reasons for blogging are many, and although I’m a personal trainer, I love to nerd-out on blogging topics.
I tried to avoid “blogging about blogging” but it seems to be something that I just can’t do. Even when I strictly wrote about fitness and my own postpartum journey, people were reaching out to me with their blogging questions.
I have complete strangers reaching out to me on Pinterest, Facebook, and in real life.
And that’s totally okay! I love to talk about blogging.
I do believe that it’s possible to earn a full-time income without blogging about blogging. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that you can write about whatever you want and earn a living – it just takes time.
I personally have so many interests and love to experiment with blog topics, so I’ve had a few different niches. I’ve written on a mom-blog, a frugal-living blog, a homesteading blog, a blog about blogging, and this blog.
The common denominators for me seem to be that I always write for moms, and I can’t avoid talking about blogging.
So – since this isn’t going to go away, I guess I’m just going to keep going! You all seem to keep reading these posts about my blogging journey (and how you can start your own) so I will continue to welcome the break in writing about fitness. So this week I thought I’d reflect on what I’ve learned about blogging thus far. 🙂
Some Bloggers Are In It For Money, Some For Fun, Or Both!
What I’ve learned about blogging can basically boil down to one big thing – it can be whatever you want it to be. You can earn money blogging, but many people start a blog just for fun. I personally started my blogging journey to earn a couple hundred extra dollars per month. Then I realized that it could be more and have continued to work towards that.
But I also really enjoy writing and the fact that blogging helps me be able to stay home with my kids. So for me, blogging has been multi-faceted and I enjoy all of the components. I like connecting with others, sitting down with a cup of coffee and writing, developing products, testing growth strategies, etc.
However, it’s quite the challenge. It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun one! I will be completely honest in saying that I have yet to reach the level of other bloggers earning 4+ monthly figures, but that’s due in part to my own issues.
I have been able to make up to about $900 in one blogging month, but I have yet to surpass that number. I have also never been able to pass 30,000 page views in one month. In the blogging world, these aren’t super impressive numbers.
However, I know exactly why I haven’t broken my own records, and that’s going to be the number one thing on my list of things I’ve learned about blogging. So let’s dive in.
What I’ve Learned About Blogging In The Last 4 Years
1. Consistency Is Everything
I have been super inconsistent and wishy-washy in my blogging history. This blog, Ironwild Fitness, is the one I’ve had the longest. Yet I’ve only had it about 1.5 years. None of my other blogs lasted that long. Plus, with this blog, I have stopped and started many times. I completely took this blog offline maybe three times in it’s short history. I’ve just been confused about what I should focus on and am just now settling down. (Just being honest.)
And let me tell you – every single time I switched blogs or shut one down, I was majorly set back. I would see consistent growth month after month, then shut down and lose it all. I have to climb back up every time, and each time I completely regret quitting in the first place.
I’ve gone from having 30,000 monthly page views to nothing. I’ve from having 15,000 Twitter followers, 16,000 Pinterest followers, 2500 Instagram followers, 300 email subscribers, and 500 Facebook “likes” to NOTHING.
Why? All because I was impatient and frustrated! It’s not something I’m proud of but it has taught me a lot about what works in the world of blog growth and what doesn’t. My ability to replicate certain growth with various strategies really weeds out the “flukes” among proven strategies.
2. Even Though Consistency Is Important, It’s Still Flexible
For a long time I thought that I had to spend every day writing a new post and engaging on social media in order for my blog to continue growing. Now I realize that as long as I’m consistent, it’s okay to publish a new post once a week. I also discovered that I can easily schedule out all of my social media posts so that I don’t have to be posting on Pinterest, FB, Twitter, and Instagram daily. I can plan ahead when I want to take a break, go on vacation, etc.
Using Tailwind has made my life on Pinterest and Instagram so much easier. I also use Buffer for FB and Twitter, so I can batch schedule some things and call it good for several days at a time. I’m glad I figured that out!
3. You Have To Stay On Top of Trends
Every social media platform is constantly changing. That’s bad news for people who like me, are getting most of their website traffic from social media channels. I’ve found that it’s important to stay in the loop about various algorithm and platform changes in order to retain growth.
I remember coming back from my year-long blogging hiatus and feeling soooo confused about the latest Pinterest and Instagram changes. I was trying to use old growth methods and they just weren’t working! Luckily, as long as you keep reading the updates offered by each platform and other bloggers, you can stay on top.
4. You Have To Test Things Constantly
When I say you have to test “things” constantly, it’s a very general statement covering all bloggy things. You need to test your strategies in writing, SEO, social media, page speed, affiliate marketing, web design, email marketing and more. It’s a big job, this whole internet thing.
If I didn’t enjoy business strategy, I probably would have quit entirely by now. Luckily I like the analysis and business side of it all. But – never settle for a strategy. Keep improving or fall behind.
5. It’s Easy To Get Overwhelmed
There are always blog related tasks to be done. You are never done. There are always tweaks. There are always more articles to be written and social media images to be made. ALWAYS.
It’s also so easy to compare your growth and your blogging success to that of others. People love to share their successes, but not everyone shares their struggles as a blogger.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with how much more you “could” be doing. Even now, as I know what’s worth my time and what isn’t, I can get overwhelmed. It’s just part of the blogging game.
6. It’s A Viable Way To Earn
I have looked into literally a hundred other side hustles and careers, and blogging has always stuck out to me. It’s funny because I didn’t believe that someone could actually make money blogging until I made my first $100.
I read a lot of income reports that got me all excited, but until I saw the cash roll in myself, I was skeptical. Now that I’ve had $900 months, let me tell you what you should REALLY be skeptical about – MLMs like Herbalife and BeachBody. 🙂
7. Nothing Comes Without Work
Blogging is an actual job. If you don’t treat it like a business – like your job – you won’t be successful. You need to be strategic and intentional. It’s not a get-rich-quick kind of thing, but the payoff of putting in the hours upfront is so worth it. It’s a small financial investment to start a blog (you can start for under $100) but the big investment you make is really with your time. But for me, the idea of making even $1000/month at home with complete freedom to make my own schedule is so worth it!
8. It Takes Time
I touched on this briefly but I want to reiterate it. Blogging takes time for many reasons. Firstly, there’s a learning curve involved with every aspect. You have to learn how to operate WordPress, create blog-worthy images, write posts that actually get read, grow your social media presence, make conversions that get paid, etc. You also have to rank in search engines to be more likely to be discovered, and that takes time, too. It’s a long game to play – like investing in real estate – but with time it can be one of the biggest payoffs.
9. People Enjoy Honesty Above Everything
One of the best things about blogging is that no matter how many people there are in your niche/market, you are the only YOU. People still love to hear about your unique story – your experiences and expertise, but mostly, your struggles. It’s true, people love to hear about your misfortunes and issues. Not in a bad way though. People want to know that they are not alone if they’ve had similar issues, and they want to know how they might come out on top just like you. In other words, they love relating to you and learning from your personal takeaway.
It’s easy to want to be all business in blogging, but the human connection and honesty are what will help you build your true audience. And let me tell you what – people can pick up on dishonesty right through their screens.
10. Other Bloggers Are Your Friends
Sure, if you become a blogger, you’re going to be in competition with others in your market. But it’s different in the blogging community. Everyone has different things to offer – a unique combination of expertise, passion, education, and experience. It’s different in the blogging world because we get to share about our personal lives while also selling something. It’s not like we’re some brick-and-mortar business where customer interactions are short and they come in with no interest in our personal lives. Most readers and bloggers are looking for some sort of personal connection, and that’s one of the best things about being a blogger!
Plus, if you make friends with other bloggers (which you should), you can enjoy getting to bounce ideas off each other, co-promote one another, and more!
So friends, now you know what I’ve learned about blogging over the last few years! What about you? How long have you been blogging? What is ONE thing you’d like new bloggers to know? Tell me below!