While for some 3 years of blogging is a lot like nothing, for me it feels huge. It was January 2015 when I got started and now it’s time to share things I’ve learned in three years of blogging.
Altogether I’ve blogged for more than 10 years, starting with my very first blog when I was a young teenager with an idea of being a fashion blogger or whatever else was very cool at that time. It was on and off from there until I started therandomp.com – a blog you’re reading right now.
Along with this blog came freelancing and location independent lifestyle. Ever since 2015, I’ve been a freelance graphic designer, blogger and, as I like to say, aspiring freelancer cheerleader. My roles and focus have changed over years but, at this point, working online is just a part of who I am. I’m working on the road, traveling as much as possible and living abroad. It’s been a wild ride!
Blogging is not just a hobby of mine. It isn’t my full-time gig either. But it’s a huge part of my online business plan and I’m loving it all the way.
Before reading this, please remember that each blogger’s journey is different and where it takes depends on many various factors. What I can say tho is that you absolutely can make a business out of a blog and succeed big time.
Things I’ve learned in three years of blogging
LESSON #1: You have to love it to succeed
I mean, this is kind of obvious. But only after blogging for long-term and trying to make a business out of it, I’ve realized that you truly have to stand and fall for this passion if you want to make it work.
First of all, blogging is never easy. It requests your time, creativity, all kinds of investment, both energy-wise and monetary. And it’s not always possible to control your success. With all that, it’s really easy to get discouraged!
And after you skip a week, it’s easy to skip one more… Until weeks turn into months and you suddenly realize you haven’t written a new post or done anything for your blog for just way-too-long.
That’s where passion and love for what you’re doing comes in handy. I mean, if you blog because you WANT to not because you HAVE to, skipping is not an option.
With passion, comes along the inspiration. It’s just so much easier to produce content when you feel the inner urge to get it out there, to figure out even more and better ways to inform your readers, to just give more.
If you’re not feeling the inspiration or motivation, it doesn’t mean that you’re not passionate! But if it’s a long-term rut you’re stuck in, make sure to review your options.With passion, comes along the inspiration. It's just so much easier to produce content when you feel the inner urge to get it out there, to figure out even more and better ways to inform your readers, to just give more. Click To Tweet
LESSON #2: Numbers don’t matter as much
It took me 2 years to get to a consistent readership of hundred people per day. Hundred people per day. I hear some of you laughing out hard. There are people who reach thousands in their first months of blogging. I wasn’t one of them. And, to be honest, I never focused on it either.
It’s also one of the biggest things I’ve learned in three years of blogging: don’t let the numbers limit you!
Through these years I grew a mailing list with more than 10K people, at least. Yes, I’ve changed my email marketing campaigns over time and I’ve both deleted and restructured my list so it’s actually hard to say how many unique subscribers I’ve had. But this number blew my mind, for real!
I’ve also sold tons of my own products, especially e-courses and my services. Some of the people who’ve purchased were my email list subscribers, others – random people from Pinterest, some came from other kinds of marketing. In short, I’ve gathered an amazing audience and I’ve also managed to make blogging a huge part of my income.
Besides that, I’ve managed to grow a great crowd of really loyal followers. With fewer readers, I’ve had the option to get very personal with each email that has come my way, respond to all of the comments and really connect with people. I’ve made some great friends, business partners and more!
Would big audience help you? Well, quite possible! Is it crucial to your success? Hell no! If you’re mindful of your targeting and know your crowd, having a smaller audience can be very valuable and still bring in a decent amount of income.
Here’s the thing. Having a focused audience of hundred people who are interested in your provided information and products is way more valuable than a list of thousand people who rarely give a damn. Easy as that!
LESSON #3: There are things you can’t push
Some things just don’t happen as you please. And it’s alright. There are things you can’t control or push!
For example, blog comments. Even tho I had a successful blog for more than a year, no one was really commenting – at all. I wasn’t participating in any special “comment threads” since it feels a lot like cheating to me. What I was waiting for were organic comments.
And one of the things I’ve learned in three years of blogging is that there are some things you can’t push and can’t expect to happen just because you’ve done something right.
For some, it can take a week. For others, months or years. But the comments will come. And there’s nothing much you can do. Yes, first of all, you have to make it EASY for others to comment, you have to ask questions, and initiate the conversation. But the heck with that. This can give you a comment or two more. Or maybe it’d give you tens and thousands. It – all – depends!
Therefore, my best suggestion is to find the right focus and make sure you’re putting your energy into what really matters.There are some things you can't push in blogging. Therefore, my best suggestion is to find the right focus and make sure you're putting your energy into what really matters. Click To Tweet
LESSON #4: Niching down is not the only path to success
Oh, gosh, let’s talk about this for a moment, shall we?
I’ve spent tons of my time feeling bad about covering just way too many broad topics. I used to write about design and travel destinations. Later on, I added freelancing. I’ve combined freelancing, blogging ideas, travel tips, destination guides. Yes, all of that is somewhat related – or can be – but the blogging world is a twisted place.
Most bloggers truly believe that niching down is what brings them success. If this has happened to you – amazing! But if it’s just not quite working – welcome to the crowd of people who don’t want to, can’t or just won’t niche down.
The reality is this: as long as you’re providing relevant, interesting and consistent content, your blog will be just fine. Whether it’s one topic for a very specific audience or you’re combining clothing and mechanics – it will work, as long as you’re serving your audience.
Yes, many successful blogs are very niche-focused. But it’s not the only way. Sometimes niching down is just easier – you can clearly see who is in your audience and you know what they need.
At the same time, there are bloggers who feel more inspired to write about various topics and who want to share their knowledge in various fields. Why not, as long as you have the urge to write and keep going?!
I’ve found that I’m niching down organically. Right now I know my audience is mostly interested in getting started – creating a business online, building a website, getting passive income rolling in. Which is what I write about. But I haven’t limited myself to these topics only and I really want to serve as many people as possible with all the knowledge and experience I have.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned in three years of blogging. It’s definitely have been a great journey and I’m only looking forward to what comes next.
As I already said – it is possible to turn blogging into a great business or make it a part of it. You can also turn it into a profitable hobby. But it does take time and passion to make it work. Just like anything in life, doesn’t it?
Here are several blogging guides you might find useful:
- Which website creation platform is the best for you?
- The best WordPress themes for bloggers
- How many blog posts to write per week? And other questions answered.