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Blogging…who would have thought it was this difficult to get started?  I thought about doing a blog for years.  Why not?  I love to write, share stories, travel, eat great food!  The perfect recipe for a great blog, right!?!  Well I am here to tell you, it isn’t all writing, eating, traveling, and raking in the money!  

“Why Blog?”

Why blog? I heard that if you write a quality blog, you could go places and do things that you would never have done without the blog.  You can travel to new and exciting places…for free!  You can eat at nice restaurants, and not pay a dime.  You can make money by writing short articles about things you love!  I love to write, dine at restaurants, travel to new places!  I thought, this is the perfect job for me.  I set out to make it happen!  I searched for, “How to Start a Blog”, and proceeded to read and learn.  I have learned so much since that day!

“Truth is…”

Truth is, the only places I have been so far is my couch, my dining room table, and some local restaurants.  I have had one semi-sponsored post (a discounted meal and a free drink, which I appreciate more than words can express).  I can’t even get my family and friends to subscribe to my blog!  Without the subscribers no one is going to look and me and say, “Hey, look…people like her so we should ask her to do a blog on us…never going to happen!  No one ever told me how hard it would be to get people to subscribe to a blog!  I just thought my writing, passions, and love for what I was doing would make it happen. 

“Want more truth? Probably not…”

Want more truth?  Probably not, but you are getting them anyway!  A blog costs money!  You have to pay for a host site (if you want to monetize your blog), training (I have no idea what I am doing), materials to plan your blog, set up an office, an e-mail service, your theme, your logo, pictures (yes, you have to buy pictures if you don’t have your own), money spent on places to get blogging material, and on and on and on!  I know with any business there is an investment, I just didn’t realize a blog would cost this much just to get it up and running!  I just can’t see the end of the tunnel and I am frustrated.  On a positive note, I am sending out my first round of letters, begging for sponsored post tomorrow!  This is the worst part!

“Begging does not become me!”

Blogging is difficult if you are not an extrovert.  I am definitely and introvert.  Sure to my family and friends I may seem like an outgoing person.  Truth is I have a difficult time with asking for anything! I hate being the center of attention.  I hate that I will have to ask businesses for free services for my blog.  Begging does not become me.  It is hard!  In order to get started with sponsored posts (getting paid to write a post for a product or service), seems easy enough… Ugh!  I just am not that type of person.  I am not wired that way.  I was taught nothing is free in life.  I guess I have to learn I am providing a service for free services/products, not just begging.  I mean, writing a quality blog post isn’t easy!

“Defeat is my middle name!”

Why do I feel defeated? I follow this blogging site, for new bloggers, these new bloggers are constantly posting, “#celebrate – Just launched my blog and I already have a thousand subscribers.  Oh yeah, and a famous magazine wants me to write a blog for them.  Oh yeah, and Disneyland wants me!”.  Okay, a bit exaggerated, but when you read these success stories, it reminds you of where you are…two months after launching and twenty-three subscribers!  I am still in the begging other bloggers, family, and friends to subscribe to my blog. Me, “Can you comment on my social media or share a post/tweet…anything!”.  Again, it goes back to that introverted thing.  Defeat is my middle name, I always feel defeated because I have a hard time putting myself out there in the first place.  This reminds me…have you subscribed to my blog yet?  LOL…no seriously, have you?  I doubt it.  Like I said, at this time I have a whopping twenty-three subscribers…after two months of begging…ugh!

“Constant fear of failure.”

At times, I think about deleting this blog and starting a new one, I can’t afford two blogs and this one is just not working.  After all I have learned in the last month, I may have done some things wrong (okay, most things wrong). I have a constant fear of failure.  This makes me want to go back to the beginning and start over.   Then I think of all the time, energy, money I have already put into this blog, I think about it and realize…no! Just pour more of what I learn into what you have already done!  You can do this!  You got this!  

“…believe it is a business and not just a hobby!”

My Office! My dog is always at my feet wanting me to pet him and play.

Another thing about blogging as a business is getting friends and family to actually believe it is a business and not just a hobby.  The bloggers that I am learning how to blog from (awkward sentence, but too tired to care) are making over a million dollars a year!  I know, they have done this for sixteen years.  I know I have a lot to go to get even $500 a month.  I know I have so much to learn and accomplish.  I know that it will take a while for the pay checks to roll in.  I do truly believe it will happen (even with my frustration, I know it will happen!).  As a business owner, the house may not get clean and I may not get dinner on the table every night.  

“…I have discovered that this will take a huge amount of time…”

Where does the time go?  I spend hours and hours a day working on my blog!  Some people make a lot of money because they have created these amazing classes on how to start a blog and charge bloggers a lot of money to take these classes.  Where do they get the time to create the curriculum?  I am a retired teacher!  I love writing curriculum, it was my forte!  It is 9:45 am and I am still in my pajamas, drinking coffee and blogging.  I haven’t cleaned the house all week, only cooked dinner two nights, and I am neglecting bills, dogs, grandchildren, husband, children, chickens, and life in general.  I am lucky I can work from home, but working from home makes it seem like you aren’t doing anything (to others!  I know I am working).  I am serious about making this a business and I have discovered that this will take a huge amount of time, each day to succeed!

“I love what I am doing!”

I love what I am doing!  I know they say if you want success, you need to enjoy what you are doing, and I do love blogging.  I hope that shows through my posts.  I love writing and I want this to succeed so I can continue to write.  I want people to come to my blog, sit back, relax and enjoy a good story.  I don’t want to scare people away with my advertising.  I know there are fears out there that there will be spam, or too many ads.  In truth, I need the ads to help me stay afloat, but unless you want to click on them, they are just there.  I will only e-mail when I have something important to say!  This is a business, I want it to succeed!  I would never do anything to send away my customers. 

“…the importance of interacting with bloggers…”

Finally, I don’t think people actually realize the importance of interacting with bloggers and what sponsors look for when they are looking to possibly sponsor you as a blogger.  Liking a blogger on social media is great, but sponsors look at the blog site.  Interacting with posts by commenting is huge!  Sponsors don’t necessarily look at how many people have as subscribed, but they definitely look at how many visits, how long you stay, how many clicks you make, which posts you read, how many comments, the quality of the comments.  They look to see if you are buying into the posts and you are being called to action. I spend about 50% of my time on other people’s blogs and social media interacting with their post.  In return, I hope that some of them will come back and reciprocate on my sites.  If you went somewhere from  a blog, or you want to go after a post that helps!  Let the blogger know!  Yes, sponsors also look at social media…are people interacting with the posts?  Sharing, commenting, liking.  It is a game bloggers have to play to get the business sponsors.  I guess it is like any business though, you have to play the game to succeed!

“On a positive note…”

PS – On a positive note, as I was putting the finishing touches on this post, Bluehost (the company that is hosting my site) sent me an e-mail and stated, “I visited and I’m super impressed! I see a lot of potential on your site…”.   I will take each small success as an achievement.  I will then move on to make more successes.  I am so excited!!! Get your favorite drink and join me on my journey (my favorite drink is coffee in the morning and wine at night, with an occasional Grey Goose Martini with Blue Cheese Olives!).  Witte’s World Blog

Look for my next blog – How to Start a Blog!

Join me at Witte’s World Blog

Here are some affiliate links if you are thinking of starting your own blog.  Yes, it is frustrating, but also rewarding.  This is where I started and I am glad I started here:

It’s A Lovely Life – How to Start a Blog

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