Get Out of Your Own Way To Blogging Success

  • September 15, 2009 by Guest Writer
  • 20 Comments

Editor’s note: this post was written by Robb Sutton of robbsutton.com. You may have noticed that I’ve posted quite a few articles here recently about blogging. That’s because more than half of you write blogs yourself, and because blogging is an important part of success in most online business these days. Tell me what you think about blogging as a topic in the comments.

the-long-road

During my beginning blogging days, I heard it time and time again.

“Great hobby…maybe it will pay for a couple of bike parts one day.”
“Looks like a lot of work for nothing.”
“Shouldn’t you be spending your time on something else?”

Blogging is an interesting avenue for revenue generation in that most of bloggers fail before they succeed. The low cost of entry coupled with the amount of work that is required to build a successful blog makes for an easy exit as you start to believe what others are beating into your head and abandon the long road to success.

Guess what?

If you get out of your own way by believing in yourself and your ideas, you can see the same success that other successful bloggers on the internet have simply because you did not give up. 99% of bloggers quit before they see the result of their hard work and that is usually right before they were about to make it.

If blogging was a true get rich quick scheme that just put money making on auto pilot…everyone would be installing WordPress today and quitting their day jobs. In reality, blogging is much like any other startup business in that it requires real work to see a real return on your investment (time).

A Reality Check for Aspiring Bloggers

Let me ask you a quick question. If you had to invest $50,000 into your blog before you wrote your first post, would you be taking it more seriously today?

My guess is that your answer would be a solid “yes”. It is your mind and thought processes that is preventing you from taking your blogging career more seriously. It is how you think that keeps you from achieving the success you dream of. Successful bloggers have the mindset and habits of a business owner that has invested his life savings into his idea and to see that same success, you must have that same mindset.

On Free Pursuits, Corbett talks about designing your own life. When it comes to blogging and creating an internet empire you can call your own, you really have to design the life you want by changing the way you think before you set yourself up for failure.

When it boils down to it, this is your one and only life in pursuit of your dreams. Are you going to let your own faulty thinking and the opinions of others stand in the way of your success? Are you going to continually be another statistic on the page or do you want to be the small percentage that sees the light at the end of the tunnel?

Given that question, most people would answer “of course I want to succeed. Are you crazy?!”, but the fact remains that most will fail before they succeed. The ability to push forward and learn from your mistakes to apply that knowledge to the future is what separates you from the could-have-beens.

How Can I Prevent Failure By Changing My Thought Processes?

  • Imagine you just spent $50k to start your idea and treat your idea like it is that valuable. If you are just going to treat your blog or business idea as an afterthought, it will become that in the end.
  • Absorb constructive criticism and ignore the naysayers. It will always be easier to criticize than create, so remember that as you hear others just trying to put you down. On the flip-side, get used to absorbing constructive criticism as it can provide invaluable information that will help you grow your blog faster.
  • Start believing you can instead of thinking you can’t. I hear people all the time that have excuses why they can or can not do something. The only way you really know is through action, so when you feel yourself standing still with excuses, just give your new idea a try. You never know, it could be the one that sends you over the top. If it isn’t, at least you are sticking your head above water when others are not.
  • Never give up. Just when things seem to be at their hardest point, that is when you are about to make it. There are many successful bloggers and business owners in the world that are successful just because their competition gave up and they did not. Be that blogger that does not give up and stands the test of time.
  • Enjoy the ride. Most of all, enjoy what you are doing. If you are not having fun with your blogging, there is no sense in moving forward. Throughout life, you need to enjoy each and every day as if it was your only one.

It all starts with changing the way you think about your blog, life and success. Once you start delivering the correct mindset to yourself, you can find the success of your dreams. It is a long road, but the rewards make the journey worth every second.

What do you think? How does success in blogging compare to success in other things in life? How does your state of mind affect your chances at success? Let us know in the comments!

Robb Sutton blogs about successful blogging and life at robbsutton.com. He also writes about mountain biking at Mountain Biking by 198, where he first made a name for himself by obtaining $100k+ in free review product in just over a year.

photo by Sam Fakhreddine


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Andy Hayes September 15, 2009 at 2:40 am

Totally agree – the most common request I have from consulting clients is “Can I have a blog please.”

Blog with a reason – the right reasons. Otherwise it indeed is just a hobby and a time suck!

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:29 am

Andy…I have people asking me the same question. Normally it is followed by “what should I blog about?”. I don’t know what you should blog about! What are you passionate about?

NomadicNeil September 15, 2009 at 2:47 am

I think the first step is to define what success means to you.

Authentically sharing your point of view with the world and connecting with other people?

Having 10,000 subscribers?

Earning $2000 a month from your blog?

These measures of success do not logically follow from each other, neither are they mutually exclusive.

My personal measure of success is heavily focused on the first example because earning an income from blogging seems to me to be the least efficient way of earning money online.

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

Setting goals and achieving those goals is an aspect of business building that most bloggers fail to accomplish. You are 100% correct in that you need to your success through time and setting new goals as you achieve the goals of the past…that will grow your business and your blog.

Gordie Rogers September 15, 2009 at 3:48 am

To get your mind right in order to succeed in blogging or any other business for that matter, you have to learn more about the power of the human brain. Read a book like “The Answer” by John Assaraf and Murray Smith who share with you some of the latest discoveries of how the mind works and how you cam make it work better for you.

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

I’ll have to check that one out…thanks for the tip.

Tristan Lee September 15, 2009 at 4:39 am

Hey Robb, this is a great post that you here. Thank you. I’m not sure if 99% of the people quit blogging, but I’m sure that most people do. I like how you emphasize that most will fail before they succeed. People can’t just have the mentality that they will start a blog and succeed right away, without realizing they failures will happen.

You say imagine that you spent $50k on your idea and treat it that valuable. There are many other ways like this such as imagining that there’s a boss overlooking your shoulder, imagining that you and a mastermind group of friends are working a big project together, etc. The point is to use one’s imagination to make blogging like it is just that valuable to them. That’s where passion then comes in. Thanks again for this.

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:32 am

Thanks Tristan.

I think a lot of people look at successful bloggers and think “wow…that looks easy!” when in reality…successful bloggers are much like pro sports players. When you are really good at something…it looks really easy. That kind of success does not come over night and it takes a lot of work.

Nate September 15, 2009 at 5:51 am

Great post. I really like the $50k concept. Before I started my current blog, I had failed and quit at two others. It’s funny to think about where I might be right now if I never gave up on those. I won’t be quitting at this one, so we’ll see where it takes me. Like you said, it’s all about mindset. If you can go into your blogging activities with the right one, nobody can stand in your way.

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:33 am

Keep testing! You’ll find one that hits. You never know…the other two could have just given you the knowledge and experience you needed for the 3rd.

John Bardos - JetSetCitizen September 15, 2009 at 7:47 am

Couldn’t agree more Robb.

Every business takes a lot of hard work and blogging is no different. I agree with Nate, the $50 concept is a great way to look at it. If you invest your life’s savings in a brick and mortar business, you are not going to put in a part-time effort and give up after a few months. Yet that is exactly what so many people do with their blogs.

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:34 am

Thanks John.

If you treat it as part time…that’s what it will end up being…

Bob Bessette September 15, 2009 at 10:15 am

Hi Robb,
This is great information for any level of blogger. I am relatively new to this venue and I hear what you are saying about the $50K investment. Novel way to look at it but it certainly makes you stop and think. I also think that you make a great point about people starting a blog and then going so far and then quitting. And that may be right before they were about to get the “traction” that all bloggers are looking for. I sometimes find myself “rushing to blog” so I’ve been trying to calm myself down and convince myself that blogging is a long-term growth opportunity which will take time. Along the way I am trying to “enjoy the ride” and learn from others.
You certainly have a way of inspiring other bloggers and it is always motivating to hear successful bloggers like yourself pushing others to follow their dreams. I don’t care how many times I hear or read “Never give up”, it will never be enough.

Best,
Bob

Robb Sutton September 15, 2009 at 10:36 am

Thanks Bob…the organized attack is an important part of blogging. You don’t have to rush and by taking your time to build a solid foundation…you are really setting yourself up for huge successes in the future and then you can really “enjoy the ride”!

Dan September 15, 2009 at 1:07 pm

You mean I’ve just spent $50k?! Damn. I better get writing :)

Tim L. September 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Great points Robb. I’ve started several blogs over the years, but the one I launched first in 2003 (linked above) is the one that is the most successful. I imagine one of the others will pass it someday, but my point is that I’ve launched each one assuming it would take years before it really paid off. You can amplify and speed up that process a bit if you work on it full time and it’s your main outlet, but patience and persistence beat out a flurry of social media activity and “top-10 whatever” blog posts in the end. Like any “real” business, it takes commitment and passion over a long period to build fans/customers/followers.

David Turnbull September 16, 2009 at 2:37 am

It’s nice to have a motivational post like this every now and then. I’ve struggle with the “Never give up” side of things in the past, but now that I’m blogging about things that I truly care about I can seriously envision myself sharing my thoughts for decades to come (although by then I expect blogs will have evolved into something quite different).

Plus, it also helps to have a friend who’s interested in doing similar things. I’m helping a friend launch a blog soon(ish) and it’s neat to bounce ideas back and forth and keep each other on track.

cudjoe October 27, 2012 at 8:57 am

Ignoring the naysayers is indeed paramount for the success of any business. Thanks very uch for sharing those lovely tips.

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