Updated on December 17, 2014
If you’re creating a blog for personal reasons — nothing.
If you’re creating a blog to get rich and famous — everything.
When I created my first blog, Discover Garden, I imagined it as a huge success. I envisioned tons of traffic, selling advertising space, hiring writers and then kicking back, soaking it up in a hot tub with my soul mate. Granted, it was a fun project, but the dream was to pay the bills. It didn’t. It never will. I’ve accepted that.
The fact is, almost all blogs fail. I’m referring to blogs created with the hope of generating income. If a blog is marketing a service or a business in the real world, it can be a useful tool. However, a blog generally costs more money and time than will ever be recouped. If you get over the hump of more than 50 visitors per day, you’re doing pretty damn good. But nowhere near good enough.
I shouldn’t be telling you this. I create blogs for a living. The nuts and bolts anyway. I soon learned I was better at building blogs than writing them — and it’s good business.
I think most people start a blog with dreams of blogging stardom. I hear so often, “I need to start a blog.” Truthfully, you don’t. Writing with a pen in your private journal is probably good enough.
There are some bloggers making money hand over fist by blogging about how much money they make blogging. It’s ridiculous. Don’t read that crap. Unsubscribe from their newsletter. Unfollow them on Twitter. They’re not going to help you become a better blogger. They are going to try and sell you a worthless eBook about selling eBooks, and waste your time. There’s no magic solution for creating a successful blog. There’s no such thing as getting rich quick — unless you win the lottery. Like anything else, a great blog takes tons of work, dedication and the ability to write entertaining content like a mo fo! That’s the secret sauce.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t blog. But you shouldn’t blog for the wrong reasons. If you truly have a unique idea with original content about something you love — hey, it might work out! Maybe you can publish a book about stuff white people like. I still blog, obviously, but I don’t expect more than a handful of people to read my blog. Those that do, probably already know this stuff.
If you do start a blog, write because you enjoy it. Don’t install Google Analytics. Don’t install Google AdWords. Don’t start planning out your advertising space. The minute you start down that path, your blog is probably doomed.