Often when reading blogging success stories, it all sounds so easy and straight forward. And it may even be, once you got your experience and can feed on success. But when you are starting out, there are many struggles bloggers have to face.
These struggles are the same for almost any blogger. For one blogger another struggle may be more important than another that is the biggest hurdle for someone else.
But blogging is a struggle when you are starting out. You can make the struggle easier, or conquer them more quickly if you come prepared and learn fast. But struggle you will…
1. Staying motivated
There is so much to do when you are starting out, and there is so much new stuff – and most of the time not very much reward. It is hard to stay focused and keep going when there is not much feedback and visitors to your new blog.
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It helps to know beforehand that this phase simply has to be conquered. If you are starting at zero, with no audience, no content, and no knowledge, you will simply need the time to learn and get everything started.
Plus, you are not alone. New blogs don’t start out as thriving places of engagement. Growth can be slow.
Find fellow bloggers who can relate to your problems and feelings. Shared experiences and small successes can help you to find the motivation you need.
2. Not trying to be perfect
Especially when you are starting out, you want to do everything right. But the problem is, if you aim for too much perfection, you will have a hard time getting things done.
Blogging success is not about being perfect. It is about getting started, learning and getting better.
While you want to create awesome content for your audience, 10 finished posts with flaws are bringing you much closer to success than one post that is going to be perfect – once you get it ready.
Keep in mind that no blogger was born a perfect writer or marketer. Looking back we all think we could have done better with some (or almost all) of our earlier posts.
Plus, the little flaws and rough edges are what makes you you and turns your blog into something personal, engaging and inviting!
3. Getting traffic
A blogger usually writes for an audience. But to find that audience is one of the biggest struggles of them all. The magic word is TRAFFIC.
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There are many ways to get traffic to a new blog, but all of them either involve growing an audience – or paying for it.
All blogs started small and it takes time to build an audience. But you should not wait it out. Get active – in fact, you can grow an audience for your blog long before you start it or at least before you have a significant amount of content on it.
You should be aware that you need an audience and this audience is not going to magically appear out of the blue. In social media, if you understand the processes of a social network you can actively grow your audience. If you curate content, you can start growing an audience right this minute, even without having one piece of content. Growing an audience will, in the beginning, take at least as much time as writing blog posts. There are methods like guest posting and cooperating with other bloggers that will help you get your blog noticed.
4. Staying active on social media
I really hope that you are not saying: I am a blogger, why are you talking about social media now 🙂
Social networks are some of your most important channels to promote your blog for free! But between setting up your blog, writing posts, creating images and learning all the other things about blogging, keeping your social channels active may seem like an (almost) impossible task.
The solution should be to focus on choosing only 1 or 2 social media channels when you are starting out and focus on understanding how to drive traffic to your blog from them.
Tools will help you tremendously to get these channels running with a minimum of time investment – once you understood how the network functions. Automation is not your enemy, instead, it will help you stay active on social media without spending too much time on repetitive and boring tasks. Just use it with care.
5. Staying patient and not giving up
Rewards for the effort of blogging will be small in the beginning. That is not an easy situation. And many bloggers expect too much too early on.
Many bloggers fail because they simply give up too early. While I don’t recommend to sit back and wait it out, success with blogging, social media marketing, and online activities take time.
Again, I strongly advise you to talk to other bloggers. Join Facebook groups on the topic and share your experience. Talking to people who face the same problems can tremendously help to recognize the small improvements and not give up too early.
6. Creating enough content
When you are a new blogger you need a LOT of content. Some people even advise you to not open your blog before you have at least 10 posts ready so that a reader you get to your blog will already find more than one post.
Personally, I think it is enough if you have a clear idea what your first couple of posts are going to be and set yourself a strict schedule for getting them done. But you need to be absolutely aware before you start with blogging, that at least in the beginning one post per month is simply not going to get you anywhere.
To build a blog and audience for it, you need content on the blog. The channels where you can market your new blog for free demand MORE content all the time. You cannot market a blog with one blog post. And if you write one post per month it will take you by far too long to create the necessary content to grow an audience for your blog.
To make content creation easier, here are my tips:
- just start writing, you will get quicker at writing with more experience
- go for easy structures. List posts make creating content easier, or a story with „chapters“ is easier told. And there are other types of posts that will limit your need to writing.
- Read a lot. Read some more.
7. Finding the right niche
This one is tough. It is not only about choosing a niche where you have something to say. You also need to find a niche where there is a considerable and reachable audience.
While you should not go for copying a blog niche from another blog, you should do your research and browse around related niches to find out what others do. Read the comments on related posts, join forums or Facebook groups. And talk to people!
Also, once you think you found your niche, make a list of ideas for blog post. If you can only come up with a couple of ideas for posts, chances are high that you will run out of ideas long before your blog has found an audience and picked up traction.
8. Creating everything around the posts: The blog, images, freebies, signup forms etc.
Many aspiring bloggers think blogging is about writing. But blogging is far more. You need to set up your blog and figure out a ton of technical stuff. You have to choose a design and fill it with life. You need images for each post. You need to network and interact. You have to learn about social media marketing and SEO.
There are tools to help you with a lot of things and many of them are for free. Like Canva for creating beautiful images. And if you get stuck: Ask fellow bloggers how they tackled the problem. Because the chances are high that at least some of your fellow bloggers faced exactly the same problem.
9. Not getting frustrated by over-comparing to others
You read all the stories about bloggers whose traffic exploded, who made a ton of money, who live their dream etc. That can be very frustrating when you struggle to create your 10th post that is going to have 10 readers and your to-do list is getting longer by the day.
The truth is: we all love telling success stories. And they sound perfect when we tell them from the perspective from after getting there. That paints a very unrealistic picture.
In reality, most bloggers start with struggles and have a hard time to create enough content and find an audience for that content. Don’t compare your newbie self to your role models and bloggers of many years. Rather talk to others who are starting out. You can grow together, help each other and keep expectations realistic.
10. Not being overwhelmed by everything that is new
When you are starting out everything is new. Don’t try to solve each and every problem at once. Don’t try to start in every social network, try to conquer one at a time. If you are still struggling with creating blog posts, don’t aim for guest blogging (yet). If you find creating images for social media a challenge, start with creating only one or two for the social networks in which you are active.
Keep in mind: Blogging is a journey, not an arrival. It will take some time to get everything sorted – and you need to give yourself that time.
And always remember: enjoy the ride!
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