How Bloggers Can Stay Motivated and Thrive
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When most people need advice about making money as a writer, either as a blogger or book author, they go to a place like Facebook and see what others are saying.
That is the worst thing you can do if you intend to stay motivated and thrive.
I monitor about 100 Facebook pages, and it is mostly an unruly mob offering terrible advice based on their opinions. They are the blind leading the blind.
If you intend to stay motivated and thrive as a blogger, I recommend that you find one or two reliable bloggers with proven skills, and follow their lead. Don’t fall into the trap of following every fad you find. Never follow the mob.
Yes, you should follow trends, but not fads. Also, you want to do experiments with your blog and see what works for you and what doesn’t. Be systematic about it.
Follow a proven plan like the one you have in these six VelocityWritingc blogging steps. Stick with it. You will not see immediate results no matter what plan you use.
Your success and ever-increasing income will be built on these principles, which I will emphasize again later.
PLUS your own tenacity. If there is a secret to thriving as a blogger, that’s it.
There is nothing like seeing your income grow–then after a while to skyrocket–to keep you motivated.
There are six simple steps in the VelocityWriting blogging success plan. If you worked through them step-by-step (1-6), you arrived here. In the previous steps, you learned skills and techniques. This step may be the most important since it deals with your mental attitude. Your mental attitude is what will make or break you.
This success plan has offered a SYSTEMATIC STEP-BY-STEP approach. No one can guarantee your success, but a systematic plan will reduce your chances of failure.
Plenty of Helpful Resources
The six main plan steps have offered a clear action path. The other posts offer supplementary information and are vital to your success.
The other posts support the core steps in the Blogger Track. Many of these posts offer a downloadable PDF file, an exclusive video I created, relevant videos by others, downloadable files, or other resources that will help you achieve your creative and financial goals.
Manage Your Earnings Expectations
How much money can you make as a blogger? That depends on you. But there is money to be made, and that’s for sure. It doesn’t come all at once, of course. It builds over time. You maintain your motivation when you manage your earnings expectations. Unrealistic expectations will defeat you.
The big question is, “How much time before I start earning?” That varies with your niche (blog topic), your investment of time and money, and your enthusiasm. I know of one “blogging school” that costs a lot to join, and they say you’ll earn “pizza money” ($5) in just a few months.
They suggest that it takes 24 months to make serious money. Needless to say, I don’t buy into those fanciful ideas. Their customers make a big deal out of “Pizza Day” when it comes, but they have already spent $449 (at this writing) to join the club, then $199 per year after that. That kind of money will buy a LOT of pizza.
You will have certain blogging expenses. Also, like any business, you’ll tend to plow some of your profits back into your blog to make even more money. But there is no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on many of the “income” or “wealth” clubs to make money as a blogger. I believe it is a waste of your money.
Invest your money in your blog, and don’t give it away to lawyers or entrepreneurs who say they have secrets to sell. You’ll find most of the secrets are common knowledge to those who know where to look for answers.
Using best practices, many hard-working bloggers report they start making at least $1,000 per month within the first 3-5 months. It can rise from there as your expertise grows, and as you gain site visitors.
What is the top? I’m not sure anyone knows. Some ardent bloggers start grossing $200,000 or more per month after just a few years. That’s right—per month. Most such bloggers reach a certain income and no longer want to share their income figures with others, so we never know the maximum they reach.
Keep in mind that there are so many variables that no one is willing to give an income guarantee and offer earnings disclaimers instead. I know there is only one amount of income that I can guarantee. That amount is $0.00. That’s what you’ll earn if you don’t take a calculated risk to make an online income by blogging.
Making Money Blogging is a Process, Not an Event
Don’t expect to make all the money you desire in the first month. That’s magical thinking. Here’s a comparison between magical thinking and reality. Magical thinking will destroy your motivation. There will be growth spurts and times of decline. There will be times of triumph and times of discouragement. The blogging path you will be on is not consistently upward. That would be boring. Expect it to have highs and lows (just like real life), and you’ll never be disappointed as you travel this exciting journey.
For example, there was a time in my life when I thought $50,000 of annual passive income was a good goal. But I didn’t expect $4,200 per month immediately. My first segmented goal was to make $1,250 within three months. I quickly hit that goal, and it was onward and upward from there.
The idea of passive income is important. I’ll be talking about it later in several different contexts. An example: I get income from writing and editing books, mentoring, and doing other things I think are fun. That is active income. I must keep doing it to get more money. Passive income is different. You do the work once, and it continues to generate income. That’s the best kind, in my opinion, because you not only get money, but you get the ultimate command of your time.
Blogging will do that for you. Sure, you write periodic blog posts. But you can write on your own schedule from anywhere. You’ll find yourself falling into a very nice rhythm in your life, and the passive income will be there for you.
The Secret Sauce of Your Success
Let me ask you one question. I hope you don’t think I’m rude by asking. Your entire future rides on the answer. The question is this: “How’s your attitude?”
Is it secure and optimistic? Are you ready to accept new challenges? Are you willing to learn new things? Are you the type of person who perseveres even when the going gets a little tough? If you have these qualities, you have the power within you to succeed.
Let me guarantee that you will meet adversity somewhere along the way. It is likely to unexpectedly leap out of the bushes at you. How will you react in those defining moments? Skills are one thing, and having a “can-do” attitude is another thing. Your primary job is to keep your mind under control, and we need to look at that now.
Two Factors to Know Your Audience
If you visit Facebook groups for writers, you’ll often see inexperienced writers saying, “Write for yourself. You are the only audience that matters.” In my view, that is a myopic outlook, one doomed to failure. That approach seems to make sense in our current age of narcissism, but it makes no sense at all if you intend to reach a particular audience and make money doing it. You must know your audience and write for them. There are two factors to consider in this regard.
The first factor is having a target audience in mind. Do you intend to reach 25-year-old men or 45-year-old women? You’re unlikely to reach both demographics with most blog topics. There is a huge diversity in blogs simply because each is aimed at a particular audience, a niche, which is sometimes called, “a narrow vertical market.” You must decide who you are writing for, and later you must check your demographic statistics to be sure you are reaching that intended group. You will waste your time if you think your blog and posts will “appeal to everyone.”
The second factor is writing in a reader-centric way. That is the opposite of “writing for yourself.” You consider the needs of your reader and write to answer the questions they are asking. You start with the reader’s mindset. and in that frame-of-mind, you can meet specific needs. That is very freeing as a writer. You do not need to guess what might inform or entertain a reader. You know enough about them that your own ego disappears and you can write in a selfless way.
How do you become a reader-centric writer? You identify a certain group of people who are interested in your topic. You get to know a little about individuals either through research or personal contact. You discover what interests or worries them. Many writers form an “avatar” in their mind, a composite of the age, gender, occupation, habits, and lifestyle of an ideal reader. All posts are written with that one person in mind.
When you know your audience and write to meed their needs, you become reader-centric.
It’s Your Mind that Matters
Make a commitment, and then persevere. I’m not being simplistic. That is a secret to success.
Most people dream but never take action. A few start with the best intentions, but they suffocate in self-doubt and excuses before they accomplish anything worthwhile. That’s why you need a good plan and perseverance. That’s how people reach their goals.
Am I saying that the road ahead will be an easy one? Absolutely not. If it were easy, everyone would be using a blog like an ATM machine, and there would be no room in line for you.
An investment is required. It takes a small amount of money and a large amount of dedication. You will have to invest time to become a blogger and be willing to set priorities in your life, as I have said, to gain the kind of financial freedom you seek.
I’ve been working with aspiring writers for three decades. I have learned that “attitude is everything.” If you come to the blogging task with the idea that “This is harder than I expected,” then there will be only one word in your life story. That word is “Doomed.”
Why do I say that? Because everything is too hard when you start, and it takes perseverance to keep at it until it becomes easy. Don’t believe me? Then you have never taught a child to tie his or her shoelaces. It’s frustrating for them in the beginning, but later becomes an almost automatic thing to do. Same with creating value for yourself and others with a blog.
Meaningful Reasons Keep You on Track
If you have clear goals and clear motivation to reach them, then blogging for income is probably right for you. This is especially true if you have any spark of creativity in your soul. And I’d wager that you do because you would not be here if you did not.
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl said something that is a life-changer for many people. He said,
Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
If you want to make money to buy a gold bracelet, then your motivation will not as be as high if you’re going to use the money to pay for an operation to save your child’s life. You need a big “Why” in your life to succeed. Your “Why” can be anything to which you assign great value.
So, the first thing you want to clarify in your own mind is why you want the income that you can earn through blogging.
- Money to live?
- A job you want to escape?
- An expanded lifetime for family, travel, service to humanity?
Your financial goal is an integral part of your purpose. You should have an idea about how much you need to reach your “why” goals. Need $2,500 per month to augment your income? Write that down. Need $5,000 per month to break completely free? Write that down. Have greater dreams that require more monthly income? Write that down.
There is an old saying that, “No wind is favorable to a ship without a port.” You will have some bad starts and need to make costly course corrections if you do not have specific, written goals, both in terms of why you want to jumpstart your life and the amount of money you need to do it.
Define What Motivates You
You also have to assess your motivation level. Do you have a healthy level of motivation? You’ll definitely need strong motivation. Why? Not to keep you going through the carefree days. You’ll need it to see you through the challenging times. I suggest you take a look at this key to perpetual motivation. It will help you overcome major barriers to motivation.
Blogging is work. Fortunately, it is not like digging a ditch or laying bricks or other physically taxing work. Blogging is mind-work. You must keep your mind in peak health to reach your intended goals. A high level of motivation is probably the most essential mind self-management skill any creative person can possess.
The entire process is summed up in four moves:
Have a good enough reason to start in the first place. Banish self-doubt. You can it!
Grab a cup of coffee, a pencil, and notepad, and do some quiet, deep thinking. Settle these things in your mind:
- How would you spend your life if you had a steady passive income to finance it? Would you invest your life in your family, in education, travel, public service, or on some “pet project” that has captured your interest? Where would you live? How would you spend your time other than blogging? Think deeply about this. What is the most interesting and productive life you can imagine for yourself and those whom you love?
- How much money will it take to live that life? Do the calculations. Dream big, but don’t lose sight of reason. Set monthly expectations. Amounts start small and grow over time when things go well. You’ll have expenses and taxes. How will you deal with the money as it comes into your life? What will you buy first? What percentage will you save? How much will you invest in other endeavors or reinvest in your blogging enterprise? Use your notepad to create time/money benchmarks. You’ll revise them later, but this is your starting point.
- How will you react when you have setbacks? What are you willing to sacrifice to gain that money and lifestyle? What thought patterns and habits are you willing to change? How far will you go? Write down what you’re willing to sacrifice to succeed. Everyone sacrifices something.
Write all these things down and put the paper in a safe place. Read it when you become overwhelmed by self-doubt. Read it at various benchmark points. Use it to keep on track and to make corrections if you don’t hit your goals. This is what will keep you motivated.