Even though there are around a billion blogs fighting for a piece of the cake today, and maybe thousands or even dozens of thousands of new ones are started every single day, and competition is crazier than ever, there is one piece of good news for new aspiring bloggers – you can still make it… if you’re the right type of person for blogging!
I’ve started several blogs in the last few years. Most of them failed. But the ones that succeeded changed my life forever.
I will probably never have to work for someone else until the rest of my life. I’ve often wondered how much of blogging success has to do with talent and innate capabilities and competencies, or rather, how important are the factors in your life over which you have no control over.
And as friends have been increasingly asking me whether they should start a blog for themselves, I’ve been thinking about how to answer that best based on their personality for quite a while lately.
Here’s how to know whether you will love working on your blog (and probably find success rather easily), or will it be a struggle for you (which still doesn’t mean you will not find success, but it may be harder).
You are patient and able to think and execute long-term
Probably the most important trait in blogging is patience.
This is the hardest thing for the typical millennial or Gen-Z person to hear and accept. In the age of instant gratification and observing people that pretend they own Lamborghinis on Instagram and teenagers allegedly earning millions by investing in Dogecoin, nobody wants to hear that they will have to put in months of hard work, and then even more months of waiting, before they see even a drop of success.
Well, that’s exactly how it works.
You write your fingers off for months.
Then, you wait for those articles to start ranking, and in the meantime, you write some more.
And, yes, you guessed it – success is still not guaranteed. You can still fail to get some meaningful traction, or start getting a lot less traffic than what you hoped for.
It’s all part of the game.
If you’re entrepreneurial enough to take on that risk, then blogging is definitely for you. As usual, I don’t want to make guarantees, but if you are prepared to invest the next 6 months into learning, improving, and writing, I believe the odds are strongly in your favor. SEO simply takes time, and there’s nothing much we can do here.
Plus, if you already know that instant gratification is ruining our society, and that all those Instagram people just rent the Lamborghinis, and that even though some people may make some money in Dogecoin but most will probably burn since the whole thing was started as a joke, then you will know that blogging is one of the most mature and viable online business ideas available, and you will be prepared for all the risks it comes with.
You have a high tolerance for pain, disappointment, and frustration
Most of my entrepreneurial projects have failed. And most of my failed projects ended up not earning me a single cent of profit.
I’m gonna be honest with you here – that part sucked.
Oh, it sucked so bad!
Working tirelessly, for days, months, years, seemingly to no end, and not having anything to show for, while at the same time seeing people happily live their lives, and worst of all, kinda feeling sorry for me and kinda trying to “help” me by suggesting I should look for a job… that wasn’t easy to bear.
Mark Zuckerberg founded a startup while still in college and became the youngest billionaire ever. Elon Musk started 5 impossibly crazy startups, and they all became unseen successes.
The rest of us, well, we will have some weird, failed projects in our history, that will kind of hurt whenever we are reminded of the time we’ve wasted there.
Well, if it would hurt you too much, then blogging may not be for you.
This is hard. I’m serious, blogging is pretty hard, painful, and full of disappointment. Most new bloggers will fail and quit, and the ones that start seeing some success will have to endure so many setbacks and obstacles, that when that finally happens, they may find out they are an entirely different person.
Unless you are prepared for some pain, I wouldn’t recommend blogging.
You enjoy writing, or you are at least intrigued by it
For some of us, this point is kind of obvious. If you enjoy writing, or if you’ve enjoyed it as a kid or in school (which means you will probably still enjoy it), you will have a good time while “working” at the very least.
The importance of that cannot be overstated, because if you find writing enjoyable, you will win even if you don’t win financially in the end, because, well, you will spend a lot of time doing something you enjoy.
Plus, since today the blogging game requires a lot of content (and I mean, a lot!), you are much more likely to win in the long run, since writing will be fun for you, instead of work. Also, you will have to constantly improve your writing skills, which will require even more effort on your part over time.
Now, as you will probably discover yourself, the actual writing is maybe just 40% of the process. Another 40% goes into research (more on that below), and around 20% will go into editing and formatting and all the other non-writing stuff that bloggers do (which, personally, I find it to be the least enjoyable part).
But still, even if you love doing that 40% of the process (which are still the most tangible and the most necessary), you will tend to like the whole process in general.
If you believe you hate writing, I would recommend trying to challenge that notion for yourself a bit. You may be surprised by the result.
For example, until I started blogging, I hadn’t written a word since high school. In fact, I also thought I kinda hated it, it seemed like this useless nerdy skill that only uncool nerds need. But when I started to consider the idea of starting a blog more seriously, I remembered that I actually quite enjoyed writing as a kid. I think my lit teacher wasn’t really good at inspiring me to write (probably did the opposite), and I kinda stopped reading as well, and I started doing other things, so the love started to fade. And then, when I practically forced myself to write my first sentence on my first blog, I remembered – I don’t hate this! In fact, I kinda like it!
So, it’s obviously good for blogging if you like the core skill involved, but even if you don’t, try to take another look at yourself with a fresh perspective, you may be a secret writer at heart.
You enjoy reading or researching
Blogging involves reading as much as writing, and often times even more. Again, it helps if you find such a significant part of the process enjoyable, as it will feel less like work and more like fun, and you will probably do a better job at it.
I strongly recommend having a broad aspect of topics, formats, and authors you draw from. This is hard to explain by drawing a single line from A to B, but reading will most definitely translate into a more profitable blog for you.
While reading and researching on the topics you will blog about are impossible to avoid, I believe that reading unrelated literature strengthens your power to express ideas clearly and build a compelling argument, and that is pure dynamite for your blog (and your life).
But also, researching various aspects of the niche you’re covering will be critical as well. This will be especially important in the case of product reviews and educational articles.
So, research the topics on your keywords and consume as much as you can from the Internet, but also, when you have the time, dust off that old Macbeth book that your dad still keeps for some weird reason.
Also, related to the love for reading is the love for research in general, I would say. For blogging, in the most practical sense today, this can mean something as simple as enjoying Youtube videos. Sure, you can’t just write on your blog what you see on Youtube (it will probably not work), you will have to add your own value to your content and your own perspective, but if you simply enjoy doing the research on a certain topic, that will be as helpful as if you enjoy reading, and more importantly, probably provide value to some audience.
You are a bit on the introverted side
I was hesitant to include this point because I don’t want to discourage extroverts from starting blogs, as they can do an excellent job as well, and in many cases, even a better job.
But still, I believe that introverts have a slight advantage in blogging.
Because blogging is kind of an intimate, private process.
Most of blogging is either thinking, reading, or writing, and all three of those processes are some of the most intimate and solitary activities you can do today.
And while some teamwork and collaboration can be useful, in the end, it’s not really necessary. I’ve done every single blog post in my life 100% by myself. Most of the other independent bloggers I know are the same, and I suspect that most bloggers, in general, operate that way.
Chances are, you will be spending the majority of your blogging time by yourself. And introverts are simply better at spending time by themselves, so it’s only natural that they have an advantage here.