Should I start a blog?
I am glad you’re reading this because before you start investing time, effort and money to venture on the blogging industry, you need to answer the question.
In my lessons, we will use the blog as the main platform. Why blog? Why not YouTube or Facebook?
It’s because if we build a blog, we own it. We can decide what we want to put in it.
There are no rules or restrictions. Our viewers, readers, followers, and all the efforts we have invested will not be wasted should the free platform, like a social media channel or a free blog, suddenly close down.
When you build your own blog, it will only shut down if you choose to and not because you got kicked out or banned for violating any of the platform’s rules.
Having your own blog also gives you the freedom to monetize it in the future in different ways, not just through affiliate marketing.
If you want to switch on your Ads (Google AdSense, MediaVine, and the likes), you can choose to, should you be qualified.
You also have the option to accept paid posts or sponsored reviews should companies want to collaborate with you in the future.
You can even start selling your own products and courses on your site. The limits are in your hands because you own the platform.
Here are some of the misconceptions about blogging.
Misconception #1: You Have To Be A Writer
A lot of people are intimidated to start blogging because “they cannot write.” I have heard that so many times.
“I cannot write!”
“I am not good in English.”
And so on…
But the truth is, blogging is just “communicating.” You are talking to your readers as if you are talking to a friend.
If it helps, imagine answering a question asked by a friend. Record your voice while you answer the question. When you are done talking, playback your recording and then write it down. It's as simple as that.
Some people have a hard time communicating, to begin with. But with practice, one can improve communication skills.
I am not a writer myself. But I love to talk to people. That’s how I come to like blogging.
English is not my native language, but I am not scared to make grammatical errors. I just keep on writing (communicating).
A free (with an option for paid) program like Grammarly can help you correct your sentence constructions as well as spelling and grammatical errors.
When it comes to blogging, it's not all about "texts." If you are not confident writing, you can produce other types of contents.
You can make videos (real footages) or motion graphics. There are a lot of (one-time payment) affordable tools that can help you create animations from scratch!
Upload these videos to YouTube (make sure it has transcriptions) and embed the video to your blog so you can do a proper on-page SEO (more about this in next lessons).
There are tons of images and templates for all types of your visual needs. You can use the free images and graphic elements to layout and do motion graphic videos and upload the video to Pinterest.
Since Pinterest is strict with regards to affiliate links (more about this in a separate lesson), you need to funnel your audience to your blog (using the images/videos you created).
All the money-making processes will happen inside your blog.
If you are active on Facebook, you can create FB videos using Canva, too. Do the "entertainment" part in Facebook and funnel the audience from your Facebook to your blog, where you can have your affiliate links.
Years ago, Facebook is not strict with affiliate links. Nowadays, they screen affiliate links as "dangerous links" so if you share your affiliate links to Facebook directly, you can be blocked from the platform and labelled as a spammer. All your hardwork can go down to the drain.
If you are a social person, you can even explore Instagram. Use Canva templates and graphics to help build your following in Instagram. There is no way to have a clickable link in your Instagram posts (at least as of writing/updating this), so you really have to funnel them in to your website, which you are allowed to put in your Instagram profile (and it's clickable).
Misconception #2: You Just Need To Keep Writing To Earn Good Money
You have probably heard that “content is king.” That’s true. In your first six months to one year of blogging, you have to publish quality contents at least three times a week consistently. If you can produce contents every day for the first six months, you can start to see results faster. But content creation is just one side of the story.
Content is king, but SEO is the Queen. You need to learn SEO.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process wherein you try to rank on page 1 of search engines.
But what’s the big deal if you achieve page 1 or position 1 in Google for example?
Every day, people use search engines to look for information. They type keywords (separate lesson) in the search box. If you have useful information about what they are looking for, you can end up on top search results.
Depending on the type of content they end up consuming, their visit can yield different results. They can be repeat visitors if you get their trust or they can subscribe to your e-mail list to keep in touch. They can also purchase from affiliate links on your site, and you can get a commission from that.
However, some sites do not really provide good contents. Their information might be incomplete, or the quality of their content might just be “so-so.” But how did they end up on top? SEO.
Back in the days, people can get away with "shady" SEO practices, fooling search engines and therefore ranking on top. But not anymore. Google and other search engines has been improving over time and really checking and screening each and every content available on the web.
If you can provide value, do a proper on-page SEO (separate lesson) and earn Google (and other search engine's) trust, there's no way they will not notice and reward you with a Page 1 ranking.
Don’t be intimidated by the term. It is simple to do, and I have a separate free lesson for that.
Misconception #3: Everything Is Free
Blogging for fun is forever free. Blogging to earn extra money can be free, too. But blogging to yield a full-time income costs money.
Domain name and hosting - the basic cost. Here are the possible expenses of blogging as you expand your blogging “business.”
Misconception #4: It’s A Passive Income
A passive income comes to you without you being actively involved in the job.
Blogging is never a passive income.
After reaching your desired monthly income from your blog, you still need to add content or update once in a while to keep your site fresh.
You have to reply to the comments of your readers to make your site active and to show that you care about their questions (and to help them with your answers).
You have to improve your existing articles as you learn SEO so that each and every blog post can potentially make money.
You need to improve your site design in the long run so that it becomes visitor-friendly.
You need to explore social media marketing to supplement your “organic visitors” (or the visitors that come from search engines).
It’s never-ending learning and “taking action” jobs.
The good news is, it CAN become semi-passive. You have to MIX your content to have evergreen topics (separate lesson) so that your content only becomes 50% obsolete over time. You need to avoid producing 100% contents that easily becomes out-of-date.
You need to learn the art of outsourcing once you have the money to “run your business.” A lot of hardcore bloggers can probably afford to outsource 100% of the job involved. But it is always good to be involved. They know better, and that’s why they are still engaged in their businesses.
Misconception #5: It’s An Easy Job
Blogging is only easy when you enjoy what you are doing. You need to unlearn whatever misconception you have about making money from it and start from the basics.
You need to have an open mind that what you are building is a “business” and that you need to invest your time, your mind, heart, and some money to get your desired return of investment.
“Garbage in, garbage out.” You reap what you sow.
It can take sleepless nights when you are just starting out, but as you learn the art of doing it, you’ll be able to manage efficiently.
If blogging sounds so “difficult,” why am I still doing it?
First, I see blogging as a "job." Starting this blog means “partially” leaving my job with my firsttimeparentguide.com blog. There’s also a possibility that I will totally “abandon” my Airbnb blog.
The good news is, whatever articles I have written for those blogs are mine. They can still rank in search engines, get clicks, and still earn even without actively maintaining and writing for them.
If they don't get rankings anymore (yes, my rankings drastically dropped because I didn't produce evergreen topics to begin with), I can update them (if I have time) and get the rankings back to earn the same way again.
As I build new blogs in the future, the same concept applies. I write, get rankings, earn money.
I had a total of 5 fulltime day jobs in my almost 12 years in the post-production industry. I made thousands of videos and graphics in those 12 years. I do not own any of those contents. They belong to the companies I worked for. Imagine what I can do with 12 years worth of contents if only I knew SEO before.
I have left the industry since mid-2016. No matter how hardworking I was in the past, I don’t earn money from my past employers anymore. When you resign from a company or get laid-off, that’s the end of your income. But not with blogging.
You don’t need to compete with thousands of job applicants. You hire yourself. You teach yourself how to do things. You get proper education. You dictate how long you will work in a day. You take a break whenever you want. You get paid vacation leaves for as long as you want.
But you have to work hard when starting out because you will reap the consequences of your actions or inactions. You should often produce contents in the beginning.
When money starts to come, you rest/outsource. Then you can repeat the process with a new blog. Some people don’t even need a second blog.
I am getting tired of writing for my firsttimeparentguide.com blog.
1. It's not an evergreen niche to begin with.
2. I haven't even finished comparing the top 50 in Amazon, but the rankings are changed again and some products become already "obsolete."
3.It's only profitable when products I review are still available, and on the "best selling" category.
4. While you can take a break for almost a year, once new models are introduced in the market, you are back to square 1.
I could have just sold it in Flippa when it was still priced for $25,000. Now, I cannot even sell it for $1,000. Visitors dropped from 25,000 visitors down to 5,000 visitors a month. That's directly proportional to my earnings from that blog, which can now only yield around $300 to $500 a month (100% passive).
The good news is, I know how to "resurrect it."
I am not quitting it. I am merely taking a break from it. And starting this blog seems like a productive way to take a break since I do not need to do research most of the time anymore.
In closing, I’d love to share this message from Ira Glass…
So, is blogging for you?
I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Until Next Post,