What Probloggers Won’t Tell You – Blogging is Bloody Hard Work!

You’ve got to love the life of these probloggers. They roll out of bed around 9:30am…make a cup of tea…check their bank account…read a few emails…respond to a few comments…choose a guest post…stroll down to the cafe for brunch…check the bank account…record a six-minute video…read a couple of blog posts…check the bank account…go to the gym…pick up the kids from school…write a page for their next eBook…check the stock portfolio…sit down with the family for dinner…write the next newsletter promoting one of their mate’s products…check the bank account…and on it goes…it’s a tough daily grind I’m sure.

Then there’s the REST of us…

…up at 6am to go to a real day job…quickly check your overnight traffic before you leave the house…listen to your favorite blogger’s mp3 on the train or in the car….sneak a peek at your Twitter followers during breaks…spend lunchtime making notes for tonight’s post…check your traffic before you leave the office…rush home to check your stats again…immediately log into the blog hoping there might be a non-spam comment….delete the spam comments…read all the email offers from every problogger you’ve signed up with…watch a training video about long tail keywords….research your niche…find some images…pump out as much unique content as is humanly possible after dinner and before the kids go to bed…put the kids to bed…tweak the post and publish…post some comments on related forums…post some comments on related blogs…look up at the clock…“Oh shit! It’s 10:30pm and I  haven’t eaten dinner yet”…nuke some chicken strips…search for affiliate programs aligned with your niche….wipe your blurring eyes….take one last look at your traffic stats….stumble to bed…dream about the life of a problogger…wake up…and start the whole process again.

The Proof is in the Traffic

If you’re not well known for blogging about sex, gambling, gadgets or making money on the internet, then you’re one of millions of content producers who struggle for readers.  If people aren’t commenting about the circles under your eyes, or your fingertips aren’t bleeding at least once a week, you probably don’t have the traffic you think you deserve.  If your significant other isn’t totally frustrated with the amount of time you spend in front of ‘that stupid computer’, then there’s a good chance you’re simply one, out of 9 million websites, battling for readers attention on the net…and not getting much success.

The reality is blogging for a living is bloody hard work!  It requires a creative tenacity, and capacity to network, which most people simply don’t have.  After spending two years writing a book in my spare time, I discovered my creative tenacity.  This post is part of the networking.

When I started my blog, it was simply going to be a marketing tool for the book.  Now, I’ve been sucked into the blogosphere.  Seven months and 130 posts later, I’ve tasted what this lifestyle might provide, although it hasn’t come without a price.  My book still isn’t finished…but my blog is page one on Google..:)

So why DO these Probloggers lead such great lives, with a freedom of choice most of us only dream about???

Because their fingertips bled for many years before you and I ever heard of them.  They put in the hard yards, fighting in the trenches of content creation warfare…and they won!  Real probloggers don’t live a life like I joked about previously.  Real probloggers run their blog(s) like a business and some actually have staff and office space.  They’ve incorporated and learned to use marketing, legal and accounting professionals to help grow their business.

They use intention to focus on what they want to create…then they take action. Probloggers not only contribute content to the masses, they contribute to the economy by creating jobs and consuming other people’s services.  In addition, they expand the economy by teaching others how to do the same thing.

Can anyone blog?  Yes.  Will everyone who blogs succeed?  No.

Why?  Because most people won’t endure through the early days of blogging.  After a few months of having no readers, receiving no comments and getting no joy from Google, most people give up.  They don’t treat their blog like a business.

Robb, Yaro and Darren invested years of effort to get where they are now.  If you think that in six months you too will have 1000’s of readers and be making a living from your blog…well don’t feel bad if it doesn’t happen.  But keep at it!

To be successful: work on your blog daily…follow the probloggers mentioned in this article…download and study their free eBooks…try out their suggestions…buy their courses…network with other bloggers…test, measure and tweak…but the most important part of blogging is the creation of something worthwhile to read!

What have you written today?

Write On!

This was a guest post by Curtis Chappell. Curtis blogs about taking control of your thoughts and words through an intense process of self-analysis at curtischappell.com/blog/. Chris is working on publishing a book titled ‘Reading Between The Lines, The Hidden Power of Language’ so head over and check it out.

Welding image by Ethnocentrics

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Elie February 10, 2010 - 8:34 am
The timing for this post was great. I was just about to head into the office for my full-time job, checked one of the dozen or so blogs I follow, and decided to read this post now instead of at lunch. I've been blogging for about a year now, have written 168 articles and traded a single guest post. If I was relying on this for money, the $12 in various ads and affiliate products might pay for my coffee for a week. In the 14th month of this, I've been getting a bit discouraged by the fact that my monthly readership is at about 1000 hits - and that's with posting 3 times a week. Yaro is a new suggestion for me - I don't think I've come across his blog before. But the others are quite familiar, part of my daily routine. Hearing about others going through the same struggles is actually encouraging, showing me that perseverance can pay off, and that you can't do it by a set clock. So thanks for posting! I appreciate it.
Robb Sutton February 10, 2010 - 9:42 am
Eli, Sounds like you have the consistency down. Now it is time to look at ways of diversifying your income streams and attracting an audience that is looking to make purchases. Whether that be one of your products or products in your niche. In the sidebar you will see a picture that is titled "Problogging is Dead". Download that free eBook (no opt in required) and it will give you an idea about how bloggers really make money online. Yaro is a good friend and excellent businessman...definitely a must read online.
Elie February 10, 2010 - 11:08 am
I've downloaded and read the eBook - excellent collection! Now I just need to find some time to read it through slowly and apply some of the suggestions in it. My first concern with my blog, at the moment, though, is to keep up the consistency, which I'm finding to be pretty taxing. If I can add some extra content without compromising that, then I will, and ideally, I would want to try to incorporate some of your suggestions into what I'm already doing.
Drezz February 10, 2010 - 9:12 am
People don't seem to realize that a pro blogger is constantly at work, within their own head. Sure, they may be lounging around, and have all the time in the world, and some of them only do 2-4 hours of physical work a day (or even a week). But in their heads, the wheels are constantly spinning. Thinking of ways to network, leverage, optimize, etc. Thinking up ideas for new content, new programs, new books to share with people, campaigns, potential affiliates, advertising, etc. The pro blogger's head doesn't ever really shut off and stop working, even when they're on vacation. Look at Yaro - he took a trip across the globe and still developed his Blog Mastermind training course. So he was sort of working while on holidays, even though the amount of physical work was less than the planning involved. What people need to understand is the amount of work always stays the same - it's just in the way it is distributed - physically and mentally.
Robb Sutton February 10, 2010 - 9:43 am
The same can be said about any business owner really. Employees turn their brain off at 5pm...business owners live their business. It is actually a real struggle to try to turn it off!
DJ Wetzel February 10, 2010 - 9:22 am
Very insightful post. I agree with @Elie, it really can be discouraging to see your traffic increase marginally and still not see any steady income. Once you get all of your friends and family to go visit your blog, you suddenly hit a wall and realize you actually have to work hard to make this work! I guess we just have to keep the picture of that ideal lifestyle in our minds as motivation!
Robb Sutton February 10, 2010 - 9:35 am
Always keep your eye on the end prize! It is a marathon...not a sprint. Trying to ignore instant satisfaction is a hard thing to accomplish, but you get there by celebrating the small victories that lead up to the big payoff.
Aaron Mielke February 10, 2010 - 10:19 am
I had one of those "nodding-my-head-yes" moments to the whole 2nd paragraph! I think this guest poster transported himself to my house and lived a day with me as I struggle as a "beginning blogger". Somebody needs to coin a phrase for us just-starting-out bloggers. Curtis hit the nail on the head here. What I'm finding is I have to focus on staying focused! It is very easy to get lost in the networking aspect or overwhelmed with the design and technical stuff. What it really boils down to is producing great content. Another good tip for "beginning bloggers": celebrate victories, no matter how small they may seem! For example, my wife and I had a toast over the first comment left on my blog. This helps when it seems as though no one is reading your stuff. Fantastic post Curtis!
Robb Sutton February 11, 2010 - 9:11 am
Focus is key. It is really easy to get sidetracked into other non-productive realms...but the focused and planned make it through. Keep celebrating those victories!
anto February 10, 2010 - 1:18 pm
hello i'm antonio from italy this is a right post and i find the rob's blog very interesting...but italy still go slow...
Mike February 10, 2010 - 7:02 pm
This is a great article. It is so hard to continue to work on a blog when it is so easy to lay on the couch. I guess that is why I chose to talk about beer and homebrewing. Two things I love and want to learn more about and meet new people with similar interests. That way, if nothing ever happens, I've extended my social circle, made some friends, and learned some new things. That in itself pays off in some way or another. Thanks again!
Robb Sutton February 11, 2010 - 9:12 am
That network is going to help you out more than you could even imagine in the long haul. Blogging is largely about networking and leveraging each others strengths. I really like what you have going...keep it up.
Ian February 10, 2010 - 7:54 pm
Bleeding fingertips? Really? :p Anyways, thanks for this article. Now I'm certain I'm not the only one who stays up past midnight juggling my blog, my mom's blog, and school/work!
Curtis Chappell February 11, 2010 - 5:42 am
Ian, Cheers for sharing your situation...I checked out your blog and I'm sure Robb's e-book on reviewing products can help you get more free product to demo...check it out if you haven't already... Bleeding fingertips was a great metaphor for working long hours on the blog…getting calloused fingertips like a guitarist is probably more like it… It’s 8pm and I just replied to three forum members inquiries…then posted an announcement about this guest post…now reading through all these awesome comments!...wrote this reply…will next listen to an interview with Brian Clark from copyblogger.com…delete spam comments…checking stats…nice…thanks all Write On!
Robb Sutton February 11, 2010 - 9:03 am
Thanks again for the great guest post Curtis. I could completely resonate with the bleeding finger tips metaphor. I have felt like that A LOT.
Mick Morris February 11, 2010 - 7:23 am
Hi Robb, This is so true in so many endeavors in life... you get out what you put in. It took 20 years to get where I am in my career, and every one of those years had lessons that make me what I am at that endeavor. I've just started blogging (partly as therapy for my brain which IS going 24/7..and needs an outlet.. so at least that part of the equation is taken care of) and planning where I want to be with blogging (it better not take 20 bloody years to get there!) To quote a cliche the only place where success comes before work is the dictionary! Cheers Mick
Robb Sutton February 11, 2010 - 9:01 am
Absolutely. Reward is always based on input.
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