Why You Need to Approach Blogging Like a Business (Blogging Is NOT Art)

I recently made a discovery: Quite a few successful bloggers started their now famous blogs after failing at a different business.

Let me give you an example: Uber-blogger Jeff Bullas, who writes one of the most successful marketing blogs in the world. Seven years ago Jeff went through a divorce; his business went bankrupt, and he was 50,000$ in debt.

Then he started blogging. The rest is history.

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Another example? Jon Loomer: Arguably the most advanced Facebook marketer in the world. On his blog, he writes about the most advanced marketing strategies (and especially advertising opportunities) on Facebook. He is well known; his reputation is huge.

Jon didn’t exactly go bankrupt before he went blogging – but he was fired in 2011 and instead of looking for his job he went and set up his own business, Jon Loomer Digital. He needed to succeed, as he needs to provide for a family of five.

One more example would be Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com. Pat’s story is somewhat similar to Jon’s – having been laid off from a well-paid job during the financial crisis he looked at what he could do with his blogging hobby. He turned it into a business – actually many different businesses and is writing about what works and what doesn’t.

What do all these stories have in common?

They all went from failure to success. There are many more examples of the same kind.

What’s the Real Reason for Blogging Success?

Of course being a failure doesn’t automatically qualify for being a success in blogging.

But going through tough times with a business (or a career) is a training for writing a blog. Why?

Because the more you get into trouble with a business the more you begin to focus. You focus on identifying opportunities, revenue streams, cooperations. What your business does on paper becomes secondary and what becomes the most important thing is what can bring your business forward or what can stop the downward spiral.

I can tell you that this is true because I actually do have some experience with this.

This kind of focus is something that is vital to success in blogging.

(This does NOT mean you cannot be successful as a blogger without being a failure before… but you will need to achieve the same kind of focus otherwise.)

Why Do You Need a Special Way to Focus for Blogging Success?

What you need even for the slightest success in blogging are the following virtues:

1. Some form of organization that allows you to publish on a regular basis.

Without being organized you will not publish regularly. You will not find enough topics to write about, not finish your posts in time. You will get distracted – your blog will become something less than a hobby – and it will shine through.

If you don’t really show that you mean business with your blog – how can you expect your readers to take you seriously?

This is something you learn when you are going through tough times – even a little bit of organization can make your life so much easier. For blogging it is mandatory.

2. A willingness to put yourself out thereSome successful bloggers started their famous blogs after failing at a different business. Then they started blogging. Their blogging success is awesome.

When you are going through tough times in your life or in your business there are two different ways you can react. You can fight, or you can give up.

When you decide to fight that also means you go public – you talk to people, you look for solutions. In business you will often start networking – running from event to event, trying to meet people that can help you, want to cooperate with you and will eventually save your business.

This also means that you go through a “I’m here, take me as I am.”-phase, and this can be very helpful in a second life as a blogger.

You simply stop to care about what people might think about your blog posts. Those who like them will return – those who don’t… don’t matter to you.

3. Entrepreneurial thinking… Thinking about how to grow

Everyone who has ever started a business knows: In the beginning it is grow or die. Every business starts at zero. And if you don’t think about growing you will fail.

Blogging is very much the same – if you don’t grow you write for exactly zero people. That is not a blog, that is a diary. If you call this your blog and it doesn’t grow you will sooner or later stop blogging and fail.

Entrepreneurs who start a blog know this by heart.

4. An eye for identifying markets

In the beginning blogging is not so much about making money as it is about identifying a market and writing the right stuff for that market.

Entrepreneurs (ESPECIALLY “failed” entrepreneurs) have a sense for this. They will optimise their writing for the market they have identified until they reach what entrepreneurs call the product-market-fit. The point where growth goes haywire because the market sucks up your product.

And if they made false assumptions: They fail faster (see the recent post by Kim Garst: “The Surprising Secret to Success: Fail Faster!“) and adjust their strategy.

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What if I’m not a Failed Entrepreneur

I didn’t want to say you cannot reach success without ever having failed. I simply noticed a pattern and began to wonder why so many successful bloggers went through failures before they started blogging.

These are just the points that I could easily identify – and I hope that they can help you become more successful as bloggers.

Got anything to add?

This article was proofread and edited by myself with the help of Grammarly. If you are blogging in English and cannot afford a professional editor, Try Grammarly Now! It rocks.

  • http://www.julieinthemaking.com/ Julie in the Making

    I like stories like these they are very motivating that to be successful you have to work hard and that you don’t walk straight into success/money unless you are Paris Hilton LOL. Thanks Jonathon

  • Olushola Otenaike

    I think you are right. Failure has a way of preparing us for blogging especially the initial when you have to work hard and the results were not coming.

  • Olushola Otenaike

    I think you are right. Failure has a way of preparing us for blogging
    especially the initial stage when you have to work hard and the results were
    not coming.

  • http://sharronidol.com Shazzalive

    The thing is that this article appears to approach the matter with the same old approach: Write more, + link more + more SEO + guest-post more = more traffic = a business. The truth is that write more, + link more + more SEO + guest-post more = burnout. If you were a shop and you put all your effort into creating better displays, visiting other shops, and appearing in as many guidebooks as possible, it wouldn’t mean you’d get more business. – You’d be spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

    • http://totalbusinessmakeover.net/ Melissa Remigio

      Shazzalive,

      It’s true. There is a lot of repurposed content swarming around the Internet. Working hard doesn’t equal success, working smart does. I like to think of Seth Godin’s advice to marketing and blogging. Go out and get 1000 superfans, then we should be able to reach our sweet spot.

  • http://totalbusinessmakeover.net/ Melissa Remigio

    I think a lot of people are still hanging on to traditional blogging practices, because that’s is what worked for them, five, ten, years ago. We all know that blogging is no longer about quantity, and the last thing we need is more content. I’ve found that you have to create your own community first. Yes, you need to go out and shake hands and talk to people before you even start to blog. Don’t expect your blog or your business to magically grow, without you getting up and hitting the pavement.

  • Gari Anne Kosanke

    Another reason we entrepreurs make good bloggers is not that we fail at all, but that after awhile we get older and realize our knowledge is worthwhile to people who are just starting out.

  • Robert Corby

    I love the tips given here.But I feel I am still off track. I have been a
    developer for 20+ years but never a blogger. I am not much of a writer.
    After my previous site took a dump do to market changes. I decided to
    move on with a new site and start blogging. If someone could take a look
    and give me some advice that would be wonderful and I will return the
    favor as well. Criticize me please. Here is post on my style of writing,
    is it the right way or the wrong way?
    https://algorithmiclabs.org/search-engine-graffiti/

  • http://hwww.imlauraramos.com Laura Ramos

    I’ve failed a couple of business enterprises as well and became a blogger 2 years ago. My 1st blog had no idea how to start it and just wrote to inspire mindset and what I’ve learned at coaching events. My current blog site has vlogs as that is how I learned and write long blog posts which now I’m planning to not create too much of a long post. I’ve read also in 2016 it’s no longer blogs (that are written long) but blogs that people can interact with, graphics, videos etc… catchy blogs that appeal people not to be bored. This is the transition where I’m heading more vlogs.

  • http://www.heavypen.com/ Ray Wyman Jr

    So incredibly true. I have ghosted for many clients – helped them achieve all of their goals – but never for myself. This year is different. I entered this year with a decision: my blog (plus social media) has purpose and a core. And I’m planning on making the hard investment (in BS&T) to make it happen. Wish me luck.

  • http://cashsurfingnetwork.com Marcus Wahl

    I recovered from some poor business planning and I think it enriched my experience bank. Thanks for the post.

  • Layla James

    I agree with this article. You definitely need to focus and approach it like a business. I started a blog many years ago and failed because I wasn’t focused. It was something I did for fun. I am contemplating writing fiction again. If I ever decide to dip my toes in the blogging world again, it will be with focus and vigor! After I identify and focus on my target audience, of course.

  • hitokirihoshi

    Although I believe I blog for passion and personal missions, you have good points. To be able to reach your goals as a blogger, think and act like a thriving passionate entrepreneur.