Motivation determines your readiness as a pro blogger
Since this article drew you in, I assume that you already blog. That is awesome. You are a better person because of it, even if you’re not making money. Bloggers are among the best friends I have. However, the dream of most bloggers is to become a professional, earning a living from writing.
I have struggled to realize this dream, and learned the path to success. Turning to pro blogging was a pivotal point in my life.
It scared the hell out of me.
I didn’t ask enough of the right questions before I started and stumbled at first as a result. I want you to avoid some frequent pitfalls.
I will share with you essential questions and considerations that will help you decide if you are ready to be a pro blogger. I am excited to assist you in making your decision.
Are you prepared to make blogging a serious business rather than a hobby? If you are committed, you can do this.
I write honestly, with emotion, and I have no agenda – no marketing ploys and nothing to sell. So, upfront, pro blogging is difficult in a nearly saturated market, and your motivation will determine if you succeed. Most fail. Your passion and commitment are what set you apart from those who fail. Your motivation is even more important than your writing skills.
Questions that help you determine your commitment
You can succeed, and I am here to help. You must probe your mind intensely to evaluate your options, and questions are the best way to push your thinking in the right direction. All of the following questions are essential if you are to make an informed decision:
- Why do you want to blog professionally? This is the most important question because your success depends upon your answers. Some valid reasons include: to share, to learn, to teach, to engage a social community, and to help your readers. Motivations that will lead to failure include: to make easy money, to earn massive wealth quickly, to become famous, and to escape your current job. You must love to write for free before you can successfully write to earn money.
- What things are you most passionate about in life, and do others share your passion? You will quickly lose your drive to succeed and persist if you do not care intensely about your topic area or niche. Imagine yourself writing about this topic for 10 years. Will your passion drive you for that length of time? Will you become bored with the topic? Are other people excited about your writing?
- Are you excited about sharing your knowledge and learning to help others?Drawing on your passions, you might feel the need to share your understanding with other people. This is the motivation of a teacher, and your enthusiasm to share must be intense. Also consider how much you know about the topic, and decide whether you are willing to immerse yourself in learning more. Through learning, you can innovate and create more effectively.
- Are you willing to study business and professional blogging intensely, slowly moving from basic to advanced with great patience? Few writers have extensive knowledge of business, marketing, advertising, and sales. In order to succeed as a pro blogger, you must educate yourself because you are starting a small business. The financial aspects of the business are not the most important issues to consider, but they are definitely essential.
- How will you handle blogging failures, and do you have a strong support system? As an entrepreneur, failures will happen, but they are part of the learning experience. You must adapt using the support system of family, friends, and fellow bloggers. Without strong support, you will find failure difficult to overcome.
- Will pro blogging be better for you than what you currently do? Do not quit your job before you start making money blogging, and this can take some time. Most pro bloggers take several years to become profitable, and some even longer. The only exception is if you have enough money saved to get the business underway. Consider whether pro blogging will make you more happy than you currently are.
- How will you design a business model for your blog? A business model is your plan for making money. Bloggers do not normally receive pay unless they are working for a company, so you have to carefully plan with market research to ensure you have a viable strategy. Most pro bloggers work with revenue streams rather than a single source of income. Streams might include: advertising, freelancing, product development (such as ebooks), and consultation.
- How will you fund your blogging until it becomes profitable? One way to accomplish this is keeping your job and blogging on the side until you reach a point where you can quit. Venture capitalists are not likely to take interest in a blog with so many out there. What sources of income can you rely on as you establish your business?
- What will you do to schedule your time? You must treat your blogging as you would any other job, imposing a fairly rigid schedule on yourself. You need time to write and manage the business. This is more complex than you might think when you include things like emails, newsletters, marketing, advertising, commenting on other blogs, establishing a social media presence, and dealing with finances.
- Can you devise a reasonable exit strategy? Despite all your hard work and effort, failure is a possibility you must plan for. How will you decide when it is time to try something else? If the time comes when you can no longer manage life as a pro blogger, what will you do?
The Golden Circle of success establishes priorities
Simon Sinek delivered a TED presentation “How great leaders inspire action,” and the image below was inspired by his research. It demonstrates how great leaders and entrepreneurs frame their businesses by starting with motivations: “Why do this?” Money is not the answer. What is your passion? What do you hope to accomplish? How will you benefit the community? My questions above steered you in this direction because if you nail the reasons “why,” “how” and “what” will follow.
In other words, if you are centered on powerful motivations and reasons for creating the business, they will determine how you set and accomplish goals and what you do to succeed. This is a paradigm shift for most people starting a business because they tend to think first of the product, marketing, and revenue. Without an understanding of why you are in business, you will lack focus, and your business plan will set you up on a hollow foundation. Motivation and purpose are keys to success.
Check out the inspiring TED Talk by Sinek.
Key pro blogging resources will help your planning
The foundation and motivation of your business determines your blogging success. Once you have taken the time to think seriously through these questions, many resources are online to help you transition to a pro blogger. Ensure that you are 100% committed before taking any drastic action. The sources below will be of great value to you in learning the trade from masters:
- ProBlogger. This is my top site for learning how to establish a functional blogging business. The resources in their blog and library are vast and essential. They also offer premium content which is well worth the cost.
- CopyBlogger. This site focuses principally on content marketing which is one of the best tools for making money online. They have essential guides, courses, and blogs.
- ShoutMeLoud. This site provides a wide variety of topics useful to pro bloggers, covering most questions you might have.
- JeffBullas. Jeff Bullas is a master of social media marketing and blogging, and shows you how to combine both to achieve success.
- DailyBlogTips. Just like it sounds, this site gives essential blogging advice and tips.
- JohnChow. John focuses specifically on methods of making money, drawing from his own lucrative experiences.
The best way to find out if pro blogging suits you is to take full advantage of your apprenticeship as an amateur blogger. If you absolutely love it after several years, then, perhaps, you are ready to make a real commitment.
You can accomplish it!
To pro bloggers, please share some expert advice and insights for beginners. To amateur bloggers, what questions or insights do you have?