Happy Birthday TEALS!
On February 18th 2018 my blog launched. It was famously unknown, just like most other blogs.
Over the time I have met many other people who told me that they were thinking about starting their own blog. It is an alluring idea, isn’t it?
To celebrate my 2nd anniversary I want to share with you some things I have learned about blogging, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Are you considering to start your own blogging business, but aren’t sure yet on how to go about it?
First things first:
- Part 1: I will start with a short reality check, as there are things you should be aware off before you start your own blogging business.
Next you will learn the most important mindsets (that I had to learn the hard way). They are fundamental for any future entrepreneur to run a successful business, whether it is a blog or something else.
- Part 2: I’ll try to cover everything I have learned about ‘How to run a blog sustainably?’ If that’s all you want to see, you can skip to it here.
The truth is:
The beginning is fun, but it can quickly become frustrating!
No traffic showing up because google doesn’t know you and unless you have lots of friends and a big network chances are that Social Media will be slow in bringing on traffic to your website, too.
An incredible amount of people start blogging or other online businesses every day (find a number).
But not everyone makes it.
The first step to make it sustainable therefore is to ask yourself:
‘Am I committed?’
In order to answer this, it is good to start with WHY you are doing it. What is in it for you?
Am I willing to show up every day? To be consistent? – Be careful, it’s easy to say yes, being too positive, especially when you know that life easily distracts you.
I’m not saying: Don’t do this!
But I also don’t want you to waste your money and time.
I want to make sure, that you understand that “quick success“ doesn’t exist (not for most of us).
From everyone I have listened to during my learning journey, I heard that the most important thing is to actually show up every day. It’s easy to get distracted, to postphone it and let things slip.
And that will slow down your success. Depending on your niche, it might also take longer until you get noticed.
Though it really depends on your business model, lots of traffic doesn’t necessarily mean the world, it is more important to get the right traffic.
Which brings me to the next, really important point:
What is in it for the reader?
If your plan is to make money though your blog, than any reader could potentially become your customer.
So yes, you are a potential customer to me, that’s the reality of it.
If you found this article while looking for information or a solution on how to start your own blog, then the potential is a lot higher, compared to a reader that randomly clicked on the post because the reader was procrastinating or getting distracted from whatever he/she originally set out to do.
Makes sense right?
So one reader is just killing time or interested but unaware of what is out there and the other one is highly interested in finding a product or solution to a problem them have.
These people look for value. They need help to find asnwers and if you are not providing good value, they will be gone and no one was helped: Neither you nor the reader.
So wanting and learning how to provide value will be your most important job if you want to run your blog sustainably, even before SEO and Social Media to get that traffic coming onto your website.
If people bounce back right away – google will know and you lose out on rankings too. Because google’s algorhythms are designed to help provide solutions to answers.
Creating a sustainable business means creating value. And eventually it will pay back. But that can take time.
Are you still excited to start your own blogging business?
Are you ready to make a long-term investment until it runs sustainably and pays you back for the time and effort you put in? So are you prepared for all that?
Did you answer all these questions with a confident YES! ?
Then keep reading, to avoid my mistakes and become successful much faster 🙂
Here’s what I can tell you, from what I have learned so far:
If you have made it this far in the post, you have proven that you have a real interest in getting started. (Meaning, you are not the random reader who just happened to stumble upon this page.)
It also means that you are committed to take the time to read and learn and do your research in order to start your own blogging business.
Here is what I learned since I started my blogging business:
1. Value first
During my first year, I created the best content I could create at that time.
While I knew that the content should be interesting and ideally valuable, I failed to emphasize how my failures could help the readers on their own journeys to live more sustainably.
It is only now, that I understand better, how important it is to write for the reader, you, to provide solutions that will help you on your journey. So you need to create value for your readers, not for yourself.
Once you understand that, the whole focus of your business will change: It’s not about you, it’s about your people.
2. Commitment & Perseverance
- My blog is not as well-known as I wish it to be yet, but two years in and I am still here.
Initially, I worked hard to set it up and was high in energy and motivation. But after some time I lost motivation and let life come inbetween and that hurt my blog, i.e. my business.
Yet, I didn’t give up. I came back to it, started to read about how blogging actually can be successful and how important it is to treat blogging as you would treat any other business.
It seemed like I had somehow missed out on a lot of important things when I first started out…
To avoid this mistake keep reading as I know someone who can teach you all the basics so you don’t have to run around in circles like I did.
- I still don’t publish every day, but I haven’t given up, yet.
What I really want is to inspire my readers to take action and make this world a bit better.
By helping you guys, the leaders of tomorrow, to grow in your roles, become better role modells and have a greater impact, I too get closer to my dream of making the world a better place.
If I can earn money doing that, that would be a bonus, but what really matters is that I can fullfill my Why and at the same time provide the value that will move others closer to their goals.
To make it short:
Don’t give up! Show up every day, like you would for work.
Analyze what works – so you understand better what content brought value to your readers. Then provide more value like that.
Focus on the big picture:
- Why are you in for blogging?
- How can you provide value?
- If you also want to make an income: Figure out how you will achieve it.
3. Did you think ‘Yes, I want to earn money through blogging.’? Then run your blog like you would run a business:
Don’t be scared if you don’t know how to run a business yet. I didn’t know that either when I started. Just knowing that is is something you can learn matters.
Most successful businesses start with a vision. That is they start with the end goal in mind.
Just to make sure I’ve said it. Making money is not a goal, it is a side product of running transactions. A vision is what you want to achieve for the people.
The next step, before starting any business is to do your homework:
- Market research,
- Learning relevant skills, getting the right qualifications and certifications
- Creating a business plan (though it is not necessarily needed to have one when you start a blogging business, but it can be helpful to be better organized.)
- Invest in the right technology and services to run operations (smoothly and safely)
“After making all these investments of time and money an entrepreneur has good reasons to show up – every day.”
And so should you, even though you could start a blog literally for free and within a few minutes.
If you consider starting your blog as a real business, not just a hobby, here is what I’ve read about this topic:
Most insiders don’t recommended to go with blogging platforms, as it doesn’t look professional and doesn’t give you the freedom to shape your website as you need it. But that is up to you! So do your research.
On a side note: Don’t forget to create a separate busines account for all the expenses. It will save you a lot of time and nerves when doing your tax declarations. Trust me on that!
4. Start with the end / goal in mind
I on purpose didn’t put this first, as it might scare people away.
But having a purpose and vision for your blog is very important to keep you going.
It will help you find and connect with those like-minded people that will be the readers that will devour your content.
Do you want to learn more about this? I’ve written a few posts about the topic and will post them soon. Because keeping the end in mind is as important for most aspects of life as for starting your own blogging business.
How to run the blogging business as sustainably as possible
I’m really sorry, the post is simply getting too long, so I’ll be writing about how to make things more sustainable next time! Stay tuned! For now, let’s finish off with what we have learned today:
Summary of how to start your own blogging business
- Have a purpose that is greater than ‘making money’ for your blog.
By having a greater vison and mission for your blogging business you will feel more motivated and commited, even when things go slow or life becomes more busy.
- Invest in yourself and your business (and keep doing so).
Then show up every day.
Never give up, change course if you need to, but don’t give up.
- Create real value for your readers. The blog is not for you, it is for your readers.
- Passion /Purpose & Commitment & Value :
These three principles are the real secret to success.
Everything else are techniques and strategies that can be learned. Having capital to invest in your blog is a bonus, but it if passion, commitment and value are missing, it could as well never go off at all.
Now before you leave, I mentioned earlier that I have some recommendations for you which can save you a lot of time:
1. The Blog Simple Framework.
Learning from Paul Scrivens, who runs like 15 blogs or so himself, has helped me make sense of all the concepts out there.
In his free 13-Day Bootcamp (for which you can sign up here), he tells you all about the fundamentals of blogging that you need to know. I can highly recommend it, as it will get you mentally prepared for the blogging world and what it’s really about.
Update! Paul stopped offering his free Bootcamp. He replaced it with a free masterclass video, that you can watch here (affiliate link):
After you take the free course, do your research. Don’t skip on that!
2. The pocket business handbook
This is a free series of really helpful articles on running a blogging business. It helps you focus on the most important things you need to do every day and throughout your content in order to convert.
These articles were also written by Paul Scrivens. I guess the fact that I can recommend 2 free value courses by him speaks for himself.
And to be honest, I haven’t looked further since I stumbled upon Paul on the web: What he says or does just makes that much sense to me 🙂
Once you have found your niche and understood the basics:
Learn how to blog first. Make notes, think about how you want to aproach these concepts and start looking around for the essentials (server, domain, etc. ).
Keep in mind to try t0 understand the big picture of blogging first, trust me, it will save you a lot of time and “Damn, I wish I had known that earlier!” moments.
It will also save you money, as you don’t have a blog sitting there waiting for you to get ready.
Meaning, you could easily write your first 10-15 posts before you ever have a blog. How is that for a real trial to test your real commitment?
You’ll see if you actually like it, without it costing you any money.
And if you do – you will already have content to start with on Day 1.
All this preparation is for you to get ready. It’s like looking at the map before you leave the house, to make sure you know your way.
Once you got the basic concepts on how to run a blog as a business, you can start creating.
3. Create, but don’t reinvent the wheel – Try out Skillshare to enhance your growth curve even more
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to reinvent the wheel.
Luckily, there are a lot of people out there who have went through that work and offer free or low cost courses that will help you to learn faster and save you time and nerves.
I personally love to use skillshare. It’s like a netflix for learning creative skills, how to use certain softwares, marketing and webdesign skills (and so much more).
Just like netflix, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, but it can be cancelled anytime.
The good news are:
Because I love skillshare, I have decided to become an affiliate for with them!
Which means for you, that you can get 2 months for free if you sign up through the link below.
See for yourself how much faster you will progress when you don’t have to reinvent the wheel by figuring it out yourself.
'This is an affiliate link. If you try out skillshare through this link I will be rewarded with a free month of skillshare.
It’s a win-win as we both get to learn more and faster🙂
To make sure you know:
Skillshare will ask you to enter your credit card details! You will not be charged if you cancel before the trial is over, but if you forget to cancel the free trial, you will be charged 14€/ a month until you cancel the subscription. You can cancel on a monthly basis anytime after.
They really offer a lot of value courses for the price.
Plus there is no limit on how many courses you take! And no hidden costs.
But if you can't afford it curently, just get all te value you can get out of these 2 months 🙂
Anyways, I wish you good luck on figuring out if blogging is for you or not. Please let me know if you liked the post and would like to see more content like this.
Thank you and good luck!