Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Creating a successful blog isn’t as easy as some experts would like you to believe. There are a lot of gears turning that you need to address. And how you create a successful one often comes down to how you weigh the good vs the bad of having a blog.
Because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Putting your content out there for the world to read can be quite stressful. But the rewards can be equally as grand.
After helping a client quadruple website traffic in less than a year, and we’re talking tens of thousands of visits per month, I created a list of things you need to consider.
Today, I’ll go over some of the best and worst of trying to create a successful blog from scratch.
The Good and Bad of a Successful Blog
Is it possible to create a successful blog today? Yes, but it will take a lot of work. And I know that some experts out there say blogging is dead. I would have to say they are completely wrong, though.
You just need to change tactics for an ever-evolving Internet.
But in the end, how your website performs online revolves around the amount of effort you put in. So, let’s weigh the pros and cons of having a blog.
Pros of Creating a Successful Blog
For many, the pros of building a successful blog easily outweigh the cons. In fact, it’s why I continue to do what I do every day. And you might find a few of your own that are not on this list.
But over the years, these are the 7 most valuable pros of blogging from my perspective.
1. Isn’t as Expensive as You Might Think
For less than $5 per month, you can have your own WordPress blog up within the hour. That’s including the webspace as well as domain name. And choosing the best web host can make the world of difference.
Personally, I prefer to self-host blogs and websites. You have far more control over what you can do and how you can monetize. Free platforms are just so limiting to really build a successful blog depending on your needs and wants.
2. Getting Something Out There with Your Name On It
One of the biggest draws for me is being able to have my name attached to something I create. As a freelance ghostwriter since 2012, only a fraction of the content I’ve written shows my name.
Don’t get me wrong, my clients pay well. But, it’s nice to know that I am getting credit for something I’ve put out in the world.
3. Your Own Virtual “Soapbox”
One benefit of blogging is how it gives anyone a platform to share their thoughts and opinions. It’s not as toxic as social media, and you could build an audience of like-minded individuals.
4. Potential to Help Others
I built WriterSanctuary.com for the sole purpose of journaling my experience while helping others learn how to become freelance writers. It’s also why I created the YouTube channel.
It’s a driving motivator for me, actually. But, you don’t need to focus your blog on simply helping others. It all boils down to who you want to read your posts.
5. Creating an Online Portfolio
Setting up a successful blog gives you the opportunity to show a portfolio of your work. Whether you’re a graphic designer, writer, singer, or gamer, you can easily use the site as part of your resume.
For instance, right now, I am helping my dad set up his site for the sake of showing off his artwork. Then, he can guide traffic to the site and display what he can do for clients.
6. Demonstrating Expertise in a Specific Niche
I guess you could call me an expert in a few things. For example, I’ve created a lot of content surrounding Textbroker. It’s one of the reasons why people visit the site and watch the videos.
Blogging about your expertise not only helps you continue to evolve your skills, but demonstrates to others you know what you’re talking about.
7. Capacity to Make a Decent Income
And lastly, and perhaps the most important to many, a successful blog can generate a good amount of money. In fact, some bloggers have gone on to quit full-time jobs so they can focus more on blog posts.
Of course, this requires a great deal of motivation, determination, and effort.
Cons of Creating a Successful Blog
With the good, often comes the bad. And some of the cons behind setting up a blog can take their toll. This is especially true for new creators who don’t really fathom what blogging entails.
But, as I said before, the pros can easily outweigh the cons for many people.
1. A Lot of Elements to Learn
To really make a successful blog, it takes more than just having a topic to write about today. You’ll have to dive into things like how to create content for SEO, a bit of website design, how to efficiently use your content management system, and more.
Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to learn most of these things. It’s just a bit time-consuming depending on what you want to accomplish.
2. Constantly Fighting Google
One element many experts neglect to tell potential bloggers is how often you have to fight Google. The search engine changes its algorithms for the results page very often, and your site could have its traffic decimated literally overnight.
This happened to me when the health change for “Your-Money-Your-Life” swept through and all but sunk my fitness blog. Inside of five hours, I went from an average of 200+ visitors per day down to 10.
3. Effort Dictates Success
The amount of effort you put into creating a successful blog is directly linked to how well it’ll perform. If you write once per month and don’t really care much about design, speed, or efficiency, it’ll take you longer to reach your traffic or money goals.
You’ll have to commit yourself to quite a bit of time creating content, especially if you want it to be anything of quality. Then, you need to set aside time for marketing the site, revamping older articles, and much more.
4. Lots of Research
One of the reasons why a lot of my articles are in the top 10 of Google search for my client is because of the insane amount of research we do. I pride myself on facts supported by evidence.
And it shows in the traffic growth and engagement of my clients.
So, you need to put in the same amount of research if you want to deliver high-quality and impressive pieces. It’s a good idea to even brush up on topics you already know. You don’t want to be viewed as obsolete.
5. Can Take a Lot of Time
As I mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of time to really build up a sustainable blog. And I’m not just talking about the time it takes for you to write a post.
Things that can easily take up your day include:
- Promoting your site on social media.
- Spending time looking up new topics to cover.
- Analyzing your site’s speed and making it faster.
- Updating older posts to make them current.
- Revamping your site’s design to make it easier for people to use.
- Finding ways to monetize that are relevant to your niche.
- Responding to comments and engaging your audience.
And these are just some of the things I do on a near-daily basis. We’re talking hours, here…not minutes. Especially if you want to surpass competing websites.
6. Sheer Amount of Competition
Even when you niche the blog down to a specific topic, there is always competition on the Internet. You need to find ways that will set you apart from the other, similar websites.
Because anyone who isn’t reading your content, is reading that of someone else. It takes a bit of trial and error to find your groove, but it’s worth it in the long-term.
7. *Needs a Monetary Investment?
So, I put this last drawback of blogging with an asterisk. That’s because investing money is purely dependent on what you’re trying to accomplish. You can drive traffic and get your name out there with a free blog.
But if you’re looking to properly monetize your site and have full control, you’re going to need a bit of money. Even though it’s not all that expensive, some are apprehensive about putting money into something that won’t show a profit in the immediate future.
What Defines a Successful Website?
What will determine if your blog is successful or not is purely up to you. After all, it’s your own goals that you need to meet, not mine.
I know people with free blogs on WordPress.com who view themselves as successful simply because they grew a dedicated audience. These people really don’t care if they’re making money or not.
So, you see, a successful website is in the eye of the beholder.
Some want to make enough money to retire while others just want to share their day. And no one can really tell you that you’re blogging the wrong way as long as you’re getting what you want out of the experience.
Before you set up your site and start blogging like you mean it, ask yourself: “What are my ultimate goals?”
How Much Effort Do You Put Into Your blog?
Blogging is not something you can simply set and forget, especially if you’re looking to make a living. It takes a lot of effort and drive to create something that becomes popular on the Internet.
My blogging advice to you is to make sure you’re ready for what you’re about to dive into. I’ve seen a lot of people give up after a short amount of time because they can’t keep up with working on the website.
Realize that you’re most likely not going to become an overnight success. But, you can achieve your goals if you put in the effort.
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