What I Have Learned As A Blogger

Since November of 2006, I have transitioned from an occasional blogger testing the waters to a part-time blogger focusing more time and energy into blogging. Don’t be fooled, being a “part-time” blogger doesn’t mean you work on your blog an hour or two a day. For me, being a part-time blogger means having two jobs. My day time job and my blogging job. It is not yet my primary means of sustainability; therefore, I can’t say I’m a full-time blogger. If we go by hours, I would consider myself a full-time blogger without a doubt because I easily spend over 8 hours a day working on or researching for my blogs.

I want to share with you some of the lessons I have learned throughout my blogging experience. Some of these should be common sense, yet for some reason people don’t do them or they fear doing them.

Lessons of blogging:

  1. Having a strong work ethic. Success in many areas of life comes from discipline and hard work. Anything worthwhile will require hard work. If blogging for income was easy, then everyone would do it. The truth is, not many people realize the dedication, consistency and determination needed to be successful online. A favorite quote of mine emphasizing this point is: “chance favors the prepared mind”. You prepare and fight to be at the right spot at the right time for the right opportunity to come your way.
  2. Having luck on your side. There are thousands of people out there that are more talented and knowledgeable than I am. But these people aren’t able to make money online. Some of the luck I am talking about is surrounding yourself with the right people and the right opportunities. I think me writing for this blog is part luck. Obviously, John wouldn’t have a random person that hasn’t established themselves writing for him, but there are other people that could have filled in for him.
  3. Be different. I began my first blog with a niche in mind. Not too many people start this way because there are so many uncertainties. You don’t know if people will like your site, what works, what doesn’t work, etc. If you want to build a blog that is a success, then you need to consider how your blog will differentiate itself from the 71 million others out there.
  4. Diversify. Most people have heard of the saying, “don’t put all of your eggs into one basket”. Just like John shows us in his monthly earnings, there is great upside to having multiple income streams. I tend to focus on one or two strong ones before starting more. The same can be said about the amount of blogs you have. While there is some sense in focusing your energy on one great blog, there is some risk involved in this approach. Having 2 or 3 decent blogs with decent income streams can eliminate this risk.
  5. Maintain quality. One of the most important things I have learned is to not spread myself out too thin! Taking diversification to the extreme can be a danger if developing so many blogs that none end up being good enough to develop a readership or income stream.

This post was guest blogged by Jane May. She teaches readers how to create and monetize blogs on Daily Web Ideas.

57 thoughts on “What I Have Learned As A Blogger”

  1. Tyson says:

    Jane May –

    Thanks for the list of what you learned. I am trying to get my blog off the ground and have to remind myself everyday this hard work will someday payoff.


    1. JaneMay says:

      Hopefully you’re doing something that doesn’t make it seem like work early on, otherwise it’ll be a little tough. But yes, reminding yourself why you are blogging will help keep you going.

      1. Jamie Harrop says:

        Work is play. Play is work. 🙂

        I’ve always said that if you’re doing something that seems like hard work, then you obviously don’t enjoy it, so you shouldn’t be doing it.

        A full time blogger is likely to spend 50-60 hours a week (at least) working on their blog. You’re only going to work 60 hours a week if you enjoy what you’re doing. 🙂

        1. Brendan says:

          I spend 60 hours a week working plus the time i spend on my various websites. I certainly do not enjoy those 60 hours a week, but i have to pay the bills.

          My online income is rising slowly but surely though. By the end of the year i should be able to quit my job and focus on my online business. Its a bit easier for me to do than some other people considering im 19 and have no serious monetary obligations (mortage, children, ect).

          1. Jamie Harrop says:

            Sorry Brendan, I should have said that my comment was aimed soley at self employment.

            Being owned by a boss as an employee is a totally different world, and I can understand why many people have to do work they don’t enjoy.

            In the self employment world, there is no reason at all for doing something you don’t enjoy. 🙂

            For what it’s worth, I’m 19 too. I dropped out of college a year early to work full time on my own businesses. It was the best decision I ever made, and I haven’t looked back since. I have never worked for anybody other than myself, and I don’t ever intend to do so. 🙂

        2. Jamie,

          My mentor told me that sometimes finding the people that are as passionate as you is hard to come by. Fortunate enough I would have to identify you as a “Blogger with Passion” right off the hop!

          It will be exciting to follow your success clues

          1. Jamie Harrop says:

            Thanks Stephen.

            My passion lies in being an entrepreneur, and because my blog is going to be discussing that, I guess you could say I’m a very passionate blogger. 🙂

            Hey, I’m launching the blog tomorrow, by the way. Right now I’m just tidying up a few things, and I’m writing a few posts to get started and recording the first vlog. Once that is done, she’s going to fly. 😀

      2. Pop by for a visit and take on my challenge. It’s really about posting your “why” on your blog. It puts it out there and it will compel you to strive and achieve it.

        Jane has some great points here and should be read over and over until you “get it”

        You don’t have to be that great of an online detective when Jane leaves clues like this for you.

    2. Tyson, the key is to keep it consistent. Many bloggers start off posting twice a day and it fizzles out to once per week and they then drop the blog. It’s a lot easier to start small and continue to build – as long as you do something every day to make your blog move forward you will end up ahead of the game. Good luck!

      1. Jamie Harrop says:

        Thanks DIY. I’ve been trying to decide whether to go all out and post a lot of posts at the start of the launch, or to post a batch before launch to build up the content.

        I think your comment just helped me make a decision. One or two posts a day. Steady growth is good growth. 🙂

  2. Jane May,

    Have you considered being paid to blog for others? That is an excellent way to make money.

    I am considering launching a blog as a branding tool for two of my companies. I’ve been reading your articles and you fit our style.

    1. JaneMay says:

      Thanks a lot Hamlet! You’re the 6th person to ask me if I’ll blog for $ this past week. Hadn’t really put that much thought into it…feel free to email me any details.

      But I do have to say, I have little time since I’m managing my other sites…

      1. It’s the busy people that are always the most successful. Time to start working on your systems. Rather than IN them.

        Jane have you read the books by Michael Gerber. The E-Myth?

  3. Sofcore says:

    Here is one more thanking you for the post 😉

    Since my own blog is a work in progress, I certainly appreciate advice from others “who have been there”.

    On a personal note, one thing that I have to always keep in mind is to remember to be patient… I can’t get discouraged simply because things aren’t happening as fast as would like them to be.


    1. Sabrina says:

      I’m right there with you too on the lack of patience, it’s driving me crazy that I can’t seem to get enough people to see how cool my blog is! LOL!

    2. JaneMay says:

      right! Expect them down the road…like months down the road…just be patient and keep it up!

    3. Hi Sofcore – just remember to build those links up to your blog. The faster you get quality links the faster Google will index your site and you can start driving traffic! Good luck!

  4. Mike Zak says:

    Thanks for the post, Jane.

    Although I don’t think you should have called the second point “Having Luck”.

    it’s not Luck you need, it’s the people and opportunities. You can either wait for those people to come, and hope you are lucky, or you can aproach the people, and look for the opportunity. There’s no luck involved here, only how hard you try.

    1. JaneMay says:

      “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

      You prepare yourself to be at the right place at the right time.

      1. “The harder I work, the luckier I get” 😆

  5. With passion for your craft, perseverance, and all the other good stuff that Jane May mentioned, a blog can definitely be as awesome as one would hope.

  6. Good info. Right now I am having a hard time balancing everything out.

    1. It can be a little bit overwhelming, I hear you. Just keep at it and never say die.

    2. Mason says:

      yea same here. balance is so important in everything we do.

  7. Sabrina says:

    What a great blog! I’ve been tempted to start another blog, but if I spend as much time on it as I do the one I have already, they’ll call me a hermit and possibly have me committed! My DH and little man might have a problem with Mom being anti-social and the laundry not getting done. 🙂

    1. “and the laundry not getting done.”
      Your DH may learn a new thing or may create a blog called: “Laundry tips for newbies”

      Here is a few post ideals:

      Hot or Cold: that is the question
      Liquid or powder: The Great debate
      Does your washer can handle 2 or 3 pair of jeans
      Where’s the lint?

      Darn! I should start a third blog. 😀

  8. 4. Diversify:

    I just did that yesterday. I had “Entertainment” posts on my blog but decided to moved them to my new blog 2012movies.net

    3. Be different

    Also done by making a category for movies with a 2012 theme(Mayans end of world). It’s a small thing to make it different. I will still update it with other Entertainment(tv, show, reviews, opinions…) because I won’t have many things to post until then. 😉 It’s not “tech” but it is another subject that I like.

    Rule number 1: Blog about something you know/like

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      That last bit is of paramount importance. John has mentioned this before as well… If you’re not passionate about your blog topic then you’re not going to stay motivated and stick it out for the long haul.

    2. JaneMay says:

      By the looks of things, you’ll have a successful second blog in no time 😉

      1. Thanks 😀

        Also, it let me try new things(WordPress 2.2 with widgets) and theme(not Kubricks this time). I may try plugins there first if in doubt without messing with my main blog. Call it a “backup/test” blog.

        Plus, I like movies.

  9. wine review says:

    Jane, I happened to stumble on to John’s blog a few days before he left for Computex. I was looking forward your guest blogging posts and I’ve not been disappointed. Its obvious that you put substantial thought and research into your posts. This will certainly bring you more readers, it has already convinced me to add you to the short list of blogs I have time to read every day. Great job!

  10. Jamie Harrop says:

    I’ve always found it hard to stick to a particular niche, because all logical thinking says if you focus on a wider market, you’ll bring in more visitors. However, we all know that’s not correct.

    Once I launch my blog, I will have a particular niche in mind and I will be promoting that aspect of the blog when I speak about the blog in the press, but at the same time the content will be just as relevant to people outside that niche as it will be for those within the niche.

    I guess I’ll be going for a somewhat middle ground. Half niche. Half not. 😀 I’m not sure whether that will be a good idea or not, but I guess I’ll find out in due course. I’m a big fan of trial and error and trial and measure. 🙂

  11. shman says:

    Interesting tips, thanks 😎

    Help me to achieve my goal:

      1. On top of long-term goals, it would help to have a few short-term goals as well — should give you some direction and keep you focused on the long-term.

  12. Marc says:

    great post jane thanks for the tips! 😛

  13. Aptly put that even part time blogging can be a consuming venture. So far, I’ve put in way more man hours than the monetary gains I’ve received.

    The hope is that one day, we’ll all be compensated enough to quit our regular 9 to 5s and do this with all intensity and passion.

    1. No hoping. Just planning this year. Think about it daily. Remember. You become what you think about. Go after it! You can do it.

  14. andy says:

    I spend way too much time on my blog already.. I am going to start another blog to diversify but I can’t seem to find the time. 🙂

  15. This just proves that even the seemingly “easy” things in the world can be hard work too at times. Nothing beats doing a job that you love. But whatever it is you choose, whether it be blogging or finding the cure for cancer, you still have to devout your time, energy, and expertise to achieve your goal.

  16. Right now my blog is at the point of getting fairly consistent traffic, which is overall going up roughly 10-15% a month or so. The hardest thing has been getting subscribers, one week it’ll be high and the next week it’ll be low, just isn’t consistent.

    1. Hi Jeremy – one thing I found really helped with increasing my subscriber base was adding the email option. Allow your readers to subscribe by email as well as regular RSS and you’ll grow your base.

      Feedburner offers it as a free option.

      1. What portion of your subscribers use email?

      2. Thanks, I just added that. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  17. shaun says:

    Great tips, I’m not to sure about having luck on your side belongs on the list. If anyone works hard enough I’m don’t think luck can be even considered a factor.

  18. Excellent tips! I’m really enjoying you as a guest blogger. I am just getting my first blog off the ground and have plans for two more. (oh, and ideas for many more, but I don’t want to lose quality!) So right now I’m working on building quality and diversifying. 🙂

    You know what… there are many things that I’ve tried but I think I have the strongest work ethic when it comes to blogs. I hope I see a pay off in 2 or so years (although I’m having fun and don’t mind if I don’t, it’ll be really fantastic if I do).

    1. JaneMay says:

      You have the right mind set…it shouldn’t take two years, but be prepared for the worst (hope for the best).

  19. This is coming from a blog that is exactly like John Chow’s with the same old marketing method.. interesting.

  20. I enjoy being read, when I started my first online travel project in the year 2000, I did not have any monetization, but wrote a lot of articles. If you see even a glimpse of hope and your articles are read, you are enthusiatic, more and more…

  21. Comedy Site says:

    i blog a little thank you for the post it has helped me alot

  22. dotnetnuke says:

    Great tips always welcome.

  23. kelly says:

    thanks for the tips! i will try to use them.


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