If you’re blogging now, and it feels like no one gives a damn about your words, if it feels like an uphill battle you can’t possibly win, then you’ve already given up.
Even if you keep posting content.
Even if you keep reading other blogs and networking.
Because you don’t think it’s worth it. Because you’re scared, disappointed, frustrated, angry. Because you’re going to throw in the towel. Sooner or later.
Well, let’s fix that, shall we?
There’s Nothing Passive About Blogging
Most bloggers throw in the towel the moment they realize how difficult it all is: how much time and effort is required of them to become successful.
The truth is… blogging is easy. Anyone can do it.
But to do it and be successful? To grow an actual audience? To have an impact?
It takes massive action.
Blogging’s not “passive income,” it’s not just writing when you feel inspired, it’s not just commenting once in a while on other blogs.
Lukewarm is no good.
Doing things at 50% is going to ensure you get only a 10% return on your investment.
But It’s Not Impossible Either…
If you believe you can’t, you just won’t.
It’s as simple as that.
While it’s certainly difficult, and I’m just not going to sugarcoat it for you, you can still become massively successful as a blogger.
But first of all, you’ve got to stop lying to yourself.
Stop lying. To yourself. To others. In the comments section of your blog. On other people’s blogs. In your about page. Stop lying.
“I don’t care if people read my stuff or not.”
“I blog for me, myself, and I.”
“All the profitable niches are over saturated.”
“The game is rigged.”
You can’t handle the truth because you keep trying to run away from it.
Impossible is only two letters too long, but, oh boy, how difficult it is to remove those two letters.
Don’t Settle for Average
Average always has an excuse (or several) as to why it’s not great. Great is too busy being humbled by the struggle to even have an opinion about its own greatness.
Most bloggers are afraid. They are afraid they’re not as good as they have to be in order to have the success they want, so they come up with a bunch of excuses.
I know, because I read about them every single day. It’s either some change in algorithms, some change in policy, or the system’s broken, and someone should fix them in order for them to get more readers or earn money.
Yeah, and I’d very much like to be able to levitate, but there’s this thing called the law of gravity, so I can either complain about it or work on building myself a plane.
When faced with external or internal limitations, we often try to brainwash ourselves into thinking that somehow life’s unfair. It’s not. The system is not broken.
It is what it is. You either learn the rules, so you can win at this game, or you don’t, and you lose by default. But no one likes a crybaby, a sour loser.
Or you forfeit, which brings me to my next point…
…if it were easy…
Everybody would be doing it.
Yet, somehow, they don’t.
Most folks who purchase gym memberships never go to the gym more than a few times. That’s such a sure thing that even the pricing of memberships is influenced by it.
Now, let me ask you: how many people do you think give up blogging altogether even after having invested time, energy, and money in their blogs?
Do you want to know the answer?
The vast majority of them.
This is the type of statistic that often makes people want to give up, or just tell themselves that they are either blogging for themselves or blogging about such obscure things that no other human being could ever relate.
Take It One Day at a Time
What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.C.S. Lewis
When asked how he writes so fast, Stephen King said, “One word at a time.”
This is the kind of answer that no one believes in. And the fact that there’s an abundance of related cliches doesn’t help either.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or something like that. The Great Wall of China was built by laying one brick on top of the other.
All cliches. Terrible, terrible cliches that we can’t help but fear and loathe at the same time.
Want to know why?
Because they are so damn true.
Fourteen years ago, when I first started writing, I was sure writing was easy. You should have seen me, getting so excited about my first idea, working day and night on my story.
I knew for sure that I’d be rich and famous and that they’d be making movies after my stories in no time, and I’d become the youngest writer to ever receive a Nobel Prize, and they’d maybe even give me an Academy Award for writing a screenplay or something…
I never got to finish writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, tens of pages of that story somehow got lost, never to be recovered.
The first story I did finish, I published on an Internet forum, and it was unanimously and unceremoniously hated. Not even one person had something nice to say about it. Some guy said I was either fourteen years old or a retard.
Probably I was both.
Maybe there are but two requirements to being successful in life:
- You’re either brave enough to do what needs to be done.
- You’re so dumb that you have not idea what you’re getting yourself into.
But did I quit writing?
Of course not.
I kept writing. One word at a time. One day at a time.
First novel I self-published? Sold two copies of the paperback and two copies of the e-book. It received two reviews, one of which was from a guy who had only bothered to read the blurb.
First blog I started? I quit after three posts and no feedback whatsoever.
I quit writing after this. Not enjoying the success I had expected broke my heart in two.
But during the following months I realized something:
Giving up doesn’t hurt that much. What really, really hurts is to wish on a daily basis that you hadn’t given up.
Every single night I’d struggle to fall asleep. All these ideas would still come to me, begging to be given life, begging to be written down.
What Happens When You Don’t Give Up
In April 2012, I got angry. I was sick and tired of it all: of being lazy, of feeling weak, of always giving up when things were hard, of feeling sick and tired and not doing anything about it.
I decided to give blogging another try. To write and self-publish stories and novels. And to never, ever, ever give up. No matter what.
And I meant it. I swore that I’d much rather starve to death and die writing words that no one even bothered to skim through than live a dreamless life, to wallow in self-pity and regret and this lethargy of feeling tired, barely awake to notice what was right in front of me.
So I wrote every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
I promised myself to never give up, and it may sound easy, but it wasn’t.
Only I know the things I had to eat (or don’t eat), and how I spent 15-16 hours a day working, and the resentment I felt whenever I couldn’t manage to sell a book or product or when I’d pour my heart and soul into a certain blog post only to get a few likes and some generic comments.
The road to success is paved with anger, bitterness, being told “no” over and over again, failure, petty frustrations, the endless grind, more failure, the mind-numbing, graceless task of becoming great, even more failure, pain, all forming a river of blood, sweat, and tears, and then having to swim across it.From an article I wrote some time ago
Eight years. That’s how long it took for me to earn my first money from my writing.
$1.05. Before taxes.
My first month blogging? I barely got 500 visitors in total.
Blogging is not easy, and I am not in the business of telling you that it is or making you believe that all you need are some tools. You can have all the tools you need, but if you do not know how to use them, or if you do not want to use them, or don’t feel like it, or you’re too tired, too stressed, too angry, too lonely to use them, it’s as if you never even had them in the first place.
Most bloggers quit when they realize how difficult it is.
When you feel like giving up, think of the fact that that’s when most folks quit. Do you want to be like them or do you want to succeed?
Do you want your words to mean something to someone? Act like it. Punch the damn keys. Stop complaining that it is hard and do the work.
One word after another. One day after another.
Focus on the struggle. Focus on doing your best today.
Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t whine because it hurts. Just punch the keys, do your best, then go to sleep.
Tomorrow is another day. And you will take care of it when the sun will rise.
Do a bit of blogging every single day. Write, edit, read other blogs, take part in interesting conversations on other people’s blogs, use social media, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, movies, TV shows. Feed your brain with as much information as possible.
It doesn’t sound like magic, I know.
And I know this whole word by word, day by day, brick by brick principle sounds boring, stupid, basic, but it’s the truth.
After all, brick by brick is how they built the Great Wall of China, and you can see that damn thing from freaking space.
Thank you for reading this article!
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