Looking For Instant Gratification From Your Blog? Be Prepared to Wait a Long Time!

You have played that game with the gofer’s head. There are 6 holes and a gofer pops her head out and you need to hit it in the head before it scoots back into the hole. It’s a fun game that provides physical exercise, anger redirection (gofer is your grandmother), and instant gratification.

Instant gratification is a great thing. You perform a action and you receive instant reward. In the gofer game when you bop the head with the soft hammer lights flash and your score increases. Hit head, get reward – this triggers happy things in your brain so you like it and you try to hit another head.

Instant gratification can be used to do amazing things. Some guy in the 1940’s was able to make pigeons play the piano simply by giving the pigeons food every time they pressed the right key on a small piano. They were not playing Chopin but they could play a lot better then me.

Most of our body is designed around gratification. Eat something and if the body enjoys it then your brain will instantly reward you by making it taste good. Food touching your tongue makes you happy so you touch more food to your tongue.

And if you are doing something that biology wants you to be doing, like putting a thing into another thing and moving it around lots then your brain rewards you by making it feel really really good.

The lesson is clear. Biological brains are designed to respond to instant gratification. If you are doing something right then your brain makes you feel happy.

The Problem With Blogs and Their Lack of Instant Gratification

When it comes to blogs there is a problem with instant gratification. The problem is there isn’t any instant gratification – especially when you begin your blog.

You will spend countless hours building your blog. You will pay special attention to every detail. The logo must be just right, a day is spent positioning it into the perfect spot. Wording will be revised and revised. Only after many many adjustments and re- adjustments you publish the blog.

What happens? Nothing. Nobody visits your blog and the few that do could not care less about all your effort. Your perfectly placed logo. Your reference to the rare African dung beetle that took you 2 hours to research. It all goes unnoticed.

What can you do about it? Again – nothing. You dust yourself off with your head a little lower and continue. You think to yourself, maybe the gratification is just not so immediate, maybe it comes in a few weeks.

I have had my blog and website for 2 years and am still waiting for gratification. I have written over 40 great web pages. I have redesigned the layout and design of the website multiple times. I have over 50 well crafted and thought out blog post. I am still waiting for gratification. Still waiting for lights to flash and my score to increase.

Does your blog provide you with the instant gratification you crave? No? Neither does mine.

Even though the internet seems like a fast place, for most bloggers it is tearfully slow place. You design, you write, you try to please and get nothing. No gratification. Is it going to come later? Who knows? Maybe.

If you are expecting instant gratification, or even near instant then forget about your blog – go to the arcade and start bonking gofers on the head.

This post was written by Roman from How This Blog Makes Money


71 thoughts on “Looking For Instant Gratification From Your Blog? Be Prepared to Wait a Long Time!”

  1. d3so says:

    I do experience instant gratification after I finish a goal for my blog such as writting a post or tweaking its design. But in terms of profit the gratification comes later. You just have to persevere.

    1. That is a good way of looking at it. Stick with it long enough and the results will show up.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        I agree with D3so too. Setting milestones can help create gratification along the way. In terms of profit, blogginis a long term game.

        1. Dan Lew says:

          Setting yourself a checklist of some kind is also key!

          1. Christina says:

            Very true indeed. It’s a long-term commitment that provides continuous gratification once you’ve made it on the top.

          2. Very true, but at the same time you must commit yourself the right way and learn as much as you can.

      2. Nathan Lee says:

        I think John Chow is laughing his ass off reading this post and so am I. First of all, the author need a better looking blog. Model after something like Yahoo dot Com or Tycoon Wisdom dot Com.

        Second, I don’t get why people read John Chow blog, but don’t understand. John Chow said he’s technically not a blogger, but an internet marketer that happens to have a blog.

        You think you can keeping on updating your blog daily and get more audience over time? How does this even make sense? You have to promote and bring people and write about a topic that’s in demand.

        Do any of you understand why John Chow’s Alexa rank is under 10,000? Is it because he’s a great writer or sexy?

        No, he got over 50,000 twitter followers, near 5k FaceBook friends, and he knows how to work the social media.

        And guess what. Most of the people that came to this website are not targeted audiences. Did any of you realize that the same old people comments on every single blog post?

        I started my twitter list and have less than 2,000 followers, but I get about 50 to 100 hits every time I tweet a post. Much cheaper and sometime better than Adwords. John have over 50,000 and nearly all of them follow him to get follow back. Some are not even active anymore.

        Instant gratification? What does this mean? Did you mean instant as in within the next few minutes after uploading a blog?

        One thing is for sure, if you just sit and wait around for audience, God can’t help you. And please, if any of you have a friend who is frustrated because he started a blog over 2 years ago and make few dollars, send that special person this post.

        And if you think I’m wrong, tell me I’m wrong, but please also tell me why you’re right. Hope everyone enjoy the long read. This is a post all by itself. LOL.

        1. Well written Nathan – this should have been an article, not just a comment.

          1. Nathan Lee says:

            I also wanted to mention that the domain name is important. My website used to be networkmarketinglearningtools dot Com, but I changed it to Tycoon Wisdom dot Com because the other name is too long and not marketable. Make it easily to remember and type.

          2. Hi Nathan,

            Your post like comment is paternalistic and a bit arrogant. It would seem that nobody except you and perhaps John knows anything.

            I happen to know from John himself where he gets the most traffic from and it’s not what you wrote here.

          3. There is a difference between ‘brandable’, ‘memorable’ and ‘longtail keyword that somebody actually searches for on Google’, something to think about! SY

        2. I think when he’s talking about instant gratification he’s probably saying the satisfaction of earning anything. I know we should encourage people to blog better but this guy’s blogging seems like a joke. Even that 15-year-old kid blogger carl o cab is a lot better of a writer than this guy.

    2. Alex Dumitru says:

      You do have an awful logo, you know 🙂

      1. Jason says:

        You need an About page and a logo Alex! Your just using text for your logo.

        Maybe D3so can show you how to design one.

        1. A logo itself bring our own brand. I don’t have one but I will make a logo for me soon..

  2. I just checked your blog. I’m sure writing this post for John will boost your own blog’s revenue over the $700 mark. Keep at it.

    1. d3so says:

      What a prediction. Makes me want to write a guest post here.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        Man, I agree! How did you come up with this prediction?

        1. Roman’s blog has made over $690 so far so predicting that it’ll make $700 is not exactly that hard. It would make that even without this guest post.

          1. Dan Lew says:

            Cmon Roman, you can do better then that, put some affiliate banners on your site! 🙂

          2. Roman says:

            Dan, I could put some affiliate banners on the site, but how would that help me? Does putting affiliate banners on my site mean that I will make money?

          3. It might do, so why not try it?
            Can it do any harm?

    2. Alex Dumitru says:

      Oh really ? He’s currently at $699 I think :))

      1. Oh wow.. How did he make the value to appear in his website? is it manually added?

  3. Hi Roman,

    Interesting post on biological brains and instant gratification.

    There are aspects of blogging that can bring instant gratification but you have to enjoy them without any tangible rewards from the outside.

    If you like the way your new blog post looks for example you can feel a sense of gratification.

    If you add video to your blog and if you enjoyed editing it and the way it came out you can derive some pleasure out of it.

    Perhaps bloggers need to be a bit crazy in order to enjoy the solitary work but it’s certainly possible to have fun with it.

    Vance

    1. Alex Dumitru says:

      He was talking about other ways of gratification and I think you know it. I am really surprised though that he didn’t manage to earn more than $700 in almost 2 years of blogging. This is less than $40 per month.

      1. Dan Lew says:

        Ok Alex, now it is your turn to beat him, lol! 🙂

      2. Roman says:

        It is also around 1 dollar a day.

        And I am not some country bumpkin who just got off the turnip truck.

        Young, work in IT, minor in English, lots of free time etc. I am as surprised as you that it is taking so long for me to make decent money.

        I will pay you $40 dollars a month to show me how to make more then $40 dollars a month. (First month must be free).

  4. roth ira says:

    To build a successful blog, you have to personalize it with your expertise on your topic. First off, personalize your blog by spitting out your name, your profession, a picture and what you do for a living and what topics interest you the most.

    Then, build returning traffic by making interesting posts on your topic. For instance, if you’re an accountant, you could gather likeminded accountants who want to stay on top of what’s happening in the accounting world and the IFRS and new accounting rules…

    That’s just a starter… Anyone have more ideas, feel free to input!!

    1. Alex Dumitru says:

      There’s a lot more to say and there are enough posts on this blog about it. He neither reads or works enough.

  5. Ivin says:

    Hey John. I’m having a lot of problems with twitter follower. I am now stuck because it doesn’t recognize my twitter name and password.

    1. Nathan Lee says:

      Dude, get out of the rocks because Twitter changed their rules as of August 31, 2010. You can’t unfollow people in mass anymore. Suck, but have to deal with it.

      1. Ivin says:

        So there was no use for me to sign up for another email list clogging up my inbox. Thanks for the heads up Nathan.

  6. Dave says:

    If its a real blog that you are actually paying attention to then stick to a topic that your passionate about and enjoy providing conversation on. Isn’t that what a blog actually is? I get my instant gratification doing paid advertising, blogging is for long term.

  7. Kenneth says:

    2 years? I respectfully submit that you’re doing something wrong then. To me, a blogger has to wear 2 important hats: Blogger and promoter. And you have to promote as hard or even harder than blogging. My 2 cents.

    1. Roman says:

      Most blogs fail, most people quit to early.

      Only a few blogs succeed, only a few blogger keep at it long enough.

  8. Same problem with twitter follower here good post self gratification is worth much more than income to me.

  9. jezza101 says:

    There are a couple of points to make here.

    1. Just because you work hard enough and long enough on a blog it doesn’t mean it will be successful. Always be open to the possability that the idea might just be rubbish! Never give up out of frustration, but know when you are wasting your time!

    2. My first blog got 200,000 hits in month one (back in 2008)! These days it gets 100,000 a month. Why? I launched it at the right time, discussed a newly popular topic well and there was no initial competition. By the time the “big boys” moved in I had enough momentum to keep a share.

    Sometimes, if your site is going to be a hit, it will happen quickly.

    There are no fixed rules people.

    Good luck 🙂

  10. PPC Ian says:

    Great post, many people think blogging equals instant profits. However, it’s very hard work! There are easier ways to make money, in my opinion, but few as rewarding as blogging.

    1. d3so says:

      What easier ways are there? I’m curious.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        I personally have found it higher leverage to do any of the following: Start a corporate career, invest in stocks (public and private), affiliate marketing via static SEO sites, among other things. Blogging is slower to ramp, in my opinion. I guess I wouldn’t say these avenues are easier, just higher leverage in the short run.

        1. Alex Dumitru says:

          It depends on what you do and what you like. For me, blogging has always been the most rewarding, though I’ve also made money from affiliate marketing too.

        2. Jason says:

          I agree with you Ian about static SEO sites being easier to make money with over blogging.

          Especially, creating those sites around long tail keywords!

      2. Caleb says:

        Why not do a bit of all these mentioned or at least as much as you can handle. Heck, it’s still better than working for others!

  11. Acne No More says:

    You have a typo:
    a lot better then me
    I think it is:
    a lot better than me

    ~~Juan~~

    1. Typos happen. It’s good to notice them but there’s no need to be too picky about it..

      1. You are right – I am a compulsive proof reader from a former life but it is pointless mentioning typos in other people’s blogs or articles.

  12. Nauman says:

    Surely I agree with you, a blog gets popularity very slowly.
    The Blogger must keep working on, a time will come when his blog popularity will start to accelerate.

  13. Brian Evans says:

    Succeed be shall those who do not quit.

    1. Jason says:

      Who do not quit and also apply the right strategies!

      You can spend years and years working at something and still not succeed if you are not using the right methods.

      1. Dan Lew says:

        100% Agreed there Jason! These bloggers need to keep learning as well as blogging, not just blog without learning how others are doing it, then once they learn they need to take action!

  14. Caleb says:

    Basically have “patience” which we all know is everyone’s favorite word ❗

  15. Dan Lew says:

    That’s why a lot of bloggers after some time get into affiliate marketing cause at least if they are not getting gratification, they can make some money which is also self satisfying and balances it out! Keep consistent keep your eye on the alexa gauge and concentrate on working it’s the way up!

  16. My first blog is getting some pretty steady traffic, considering its only a couple months old…although a lot of initial time went in.
    Now I am writing an article every week or so, and link building in my spare time. My only problem is, Adsense isn’t doing a damn thing yet…any suggestions?

    1. Roman says:

      Would you expect your new baby boy to be mowing the lawn and washing dishes in the first few months or years?

      No, you have to wait for him to grow. Then the benefits come.

  17. Rey says:

    Is this “guest blogger” of John discouraging me to start a blog? I am suppose to start today after reading John Chow’s tips and techniques yesterday…

    1. If you are looking for instant gratification in the form of money then yes, he’s discouraging you.

      1. Roman says:

        Thank you. That is correct.

        Rev I did you a service. You are less disappointed now then you would of been had you started a blog and discovered 4 months down the road that there is no instant gratification in blogging.

  18. The instant gratification thing is exactly what’s keeping me from improving and keeping my blog updated. I feel like there’s sooo many more things I could spend my time on that an blog that may, or may not, make some money in the future… Guess the only thing is to keep at it and keep your blog updated when ever you have some spare time… Success will come to those that are patient… I guess… 🙂

    1. Ah, yes. “Patience is a Virtue” and “Everything Comes to Those Who Wait” etc.

  19. Roman, you write “I have had my blog and website for 2 years and am still waiting for gratification.” If one of my websites wouldn’t make any money after two years work I would try to change something to change that. No gratification after two years of work is not not having instant gratification, it means something is really wrong with your business. If you do everything right you should at least see a gradual improvement over time, SY

    1. Roman says:

      I would like to agree with you but I cannot.

      I realize that it is taking a long time and it is a struggle to keep going but, most successful blogs in my niche take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to be successful.

      I am not sure why people beleive that you need to be winning by the second year. For me if you are a success within two years then you are lucky. Anything more then two years and you are on the same path as most other successful bloggers.

      1. ‘I am not sure why people beleive that you need to be winning by the second year. ‘ The answer to this is simply – experience! I think I have visited your blog before and exchanged a few comments / emails with you and I stand to it, if your blog / site doesn’t make any profit (= more money in then out) after one year you do something wrong and have to adjust your business model to reality. Looking at your site, what does it offer to the reader, why should they come back? Just to read that you still are not making any money? If you don’t make any money you have either chosen the wrong niche, wrote the wrong content or neglected to build enough backlinks to your site. I think I told you some months ago to concentrate on your travel related site, there is more money in travel then in ‘I don’t make any money online’. Wake up, you have thew right skills to pull this off, you just need the right battle field to win! SY

  20. Interesting post. And yes, starting out blogging can be frustrating. But it pays off in the end, and often you can go from nothing to something in a very short time without having actually done anything different!

  21. Don’t go for money in the first place. You will quit the game even before you scratch the surface. Always start a niche blog which you have a passion. Niche blog. Not just another blog.

    Glory can wait.

  22. In two years you only got 40-50 pages of articles? Are you kidding me. I can come up with with 40-50 well written articles in a month. In 2 years you should learn a lot about blogging. And in 2 years you should’ve learned that 40-50 pages isn’t gonna cut it.

  23. Uh, it’s pretty obvious why you’re not successful.

    First of all, your writing style is amateurish & trite. This post of yours is rife with poorly formed thoughts and, in addition to that, a very childish reference to sex (eg. “put your thing in another thing and move it around” cue Beavis & Butthead laugh) . I am willing to bet that, considering your obsession with instant gratification, you spend most of your time sitting around watching p0rn and tugging on your wee-wee. Disgusting.

    You’re not special. You have no value to offer. You do not possess the much-coveted ‘It Factor’ to be successful. You put in 20% effort, yet you expect 100% returns.
    You’re an embarrassment to the blogging community.

    PS Why does that “Emil List Building” guy keep riding your jock? I’ve noticed that he runs in to defend you, every time somebody types a slight criticism of your post. Pretty gay, if you ask me.

    1. It’s obvious that he has a lot to learn. I’m surprised John let him publish his post on this blog.

    2. Roman says:

      Hello. Can you please tell Satan that I appreciate his criticism. And send my apologies – I did not intend to offend him with my poorly construed allusion to sexual intercourse.

      “You’re an embarrassment to the blogging community.” Come on! That is pushing it a bit too far. I cannot be that bad. Sub par, of lower standing, low grade, that kind of stuff, but “you have no value to offer” is over the top – its extreme, its crazy, it just too wild to believe.

      As for the “Emil List Building” guy, I have never met or talked to him before. But I think he joins John at those Pho meetings so you can find him there and discuss.

    3. Somebody (John / MIchael) should delete / moderate the comment above, it is far from ‘free speech’, it is just plain insulting and primitive! SY

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