When it comes to blogging 101, everyone has different expectations and the main question I’m asked is; “Should I start a blog?”
Is it too difficult? Will I make any money? Is blogging fun? Will people read my blog? These are all questions I know you want the answers to. It was the same when I started. Before jumping right in and committing, you want to know what it’s really like.
This post will give you some insight. The pros, the cons, and feedback from people who’ve started their blogs in the last few months.
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10 Reasons You Should Start A Blog
Not all of these suggestions will apply to everyone but they should get you thinking about the impact blogging can have.
There’s a lot of people who start a blog to make money and I’ll get to that. I started a blog to make money! If you’re in a hurry you can skip to the section here.
It’s just that there’s so much more blogging has to offer. Blogging is about connecting with people. That’s how it evolved…
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#1 Blogging Helps With Life Changes
I get a lot of emails and messages from readers of this blog. I love receiving them. It’s often an intimate glimpse into another person’s life and why they start a blog.
A common trend is not so much that people want to start a blog to change their lives, but that they want to start a blog because their lives are changing.
See the subtle difference?
The Mom Bloggers
Ever thought about why there are so many Mom bloggers? It’s easy to say they all want to make some extra money. Most people do. But is this the real reason?
Or is it to cope with the over-whelming loss of identity you feel when you suddenly find yourself at home all day with a tiny child. Your friends and colleagues are all at work and have zero interest in your daily routines of feeding and poo.
It’s as if someone’s pulled the plug on your former life overnight.
Blogging is the comfort blanket. A way of making change more bearable, enjoyable even. Opening up a world of opportunity.
This is one of the reasons Allison Saucier-Laney started blogging. She’s the driving force behind Life With Laneys, and a proud Mom who’s made the adventurous move to Spain with her 3 children.
The Empty Nesters
The strong community of mid-life bloggers is impressive. I fall into the recent empty-nester category. I like to kid myself that because I’ve always worked it’s not a big deal – but it is!
But blogging is a huge distraction. It’s an opportunity. I love the way I’m building a community and making new friends.
I think when you’ve lived in one place for a long time, seen your children grow up and then leave, you’re looking for something more. Something to engage and challenge you beyond the circle of friends where you live.
This is where blogging helps.
A new blog is a new beginning and helps you reconnect with yourself. You can start putting yourself first now your children are venturing into the world without you.
This is the big one. The mother of all changes. Stepping from 40+ years of service to nothing with just a gold watch (if you’re lucky) to show for your commitment.
Suddenly realising that you’ve been replaced and it’s as if you never existed at the old firm. You may have a lot of hobbies but it’s not quite the same as engaging in the workplace.
Blogging can fill this void. It’s a way of reaching out to a new community of people who still think you’re relevant. Who appreciate your knowledge and experience, or just find your writing entertaining.
A new start. Blogging to help the transition. Blogging’s not just for Millennial’s…
The Sudden Life Change
I have come across so many successful bloggers who started a blog when they were fired!
The change has happened. The blog is born out of necessity and ends up being the best thing ever!
There’s a lot to be said for getting yourself fired if you want to be successful! (I’m kidding, well maybe…)
It’s certainly true that if you want to make money from a blog, there’s nothing more committing than a sudden job loss. Just saying…
#2 Start A Blog To Learn New Skills
Think blogging is just about writing? Think again. These are some of the skills you’ll need to learn if you want your blog to be successful:
- Hosting your blog, keeping it secure and taking backups (fortunately Bluehost helps with all that).
- Using WordPress – designing the layout of your blog and writing posts with the Gutenberg editor.
- Creating images and graphics to enhance your blog.
- Learning Search Engine Optimisation to get your blog ranking on Google.
- Marketing your blog with Social Media
These are just some of the skills you’re going to learn over the coming months and years. You can add email marketing, content management, sales funnels… and so much more to this list. It just depends what in direction you want to take with your blog.
The good news is you don’t need to learn everything in one go plus there’s lots of help available. Using the best hosting for beginners helps and you can work your way through my step-by-step guide to starting a blog.
The skills you’ll learn through blogging have so many other applications. Use them to nail your dream job or start your own business.
Blogging opens doors. It puts you on the map. You never know who’s going to be reading your blog but the chances are it will be a lot of people.
I have 3000+ people a day reading my lifestyle blog! That’s after just one year.
You’ll hear from people all over the world. From all different backgrounds. All seeking your advice.
Build email lists and Facebook Groups for a network of online contacts and friends. Out of this network will come opportunities… maybe even your dream job!
#4 To Help And Inspire People
Want to inspire people? Have a story to tell that can bring about positive change? Or information and knowledge that can make people’s lives easier?
There’s an amazing UK blog called Debt Camel that helps people solve their financial problems. The owner Sara Williams doesn’t make any money from the blog. It’s her way of helping people get their lives back on track.
Blogging is a terrific way of reaching an audience and doesn’t have to be about making money.
✅ If you want to start a personal blog you can start one for free on Blogger. (I don’t recommend this route for a money-making blog. It’s incredibly hard to build an income on Blogger.) To make money from blogging you’ll need a self-hosted WordPress blog. I recommend Bluehost – it’s best for beginner bloggers).
#5 Become A Better Writer
Now you don’t need to be a star writer to have a blog. I’ve got 4 blogs and I still get pulled up by the grammar critics.
Yet having a blog does help to improve your writing. I may still make spelling mistakes but I’m getting a lot faster at knocking out 1000 words!
You can always use the free version of Grammarly but be warned it’s a real pain having it switched on when you’re writing. Especially when you make as many mistakes as I do! I like to write first and switch it on to check my writing when I’ve finished my post.
#6 Record A Journey
This could be your life story, an actual journey, a big change you went through or an event. It’s how blogging started – as an online diary. Rather than record your thoughts on paper, by writing a blog you’re sharing them with the World.
Blogging may have evolved from those early days where people just wrote about what they did every day but it’s still a legitimate reason for “Should I start a blog”.
People love reading honest accounts of other lives. It helps us realise that a lot of our worries and concerns are shared by others.
Just be a little careful before sharing intimate details online. You may want to change names to protect identities.
#7 To Build A Brand
Blogging can be great for businesses. It’s an excellent way to build a brand, promote your products and connect with your customers.
Read more on my blog One Tiny Biz.
#8 To Help Your Career
There are some fields where it’s almost unthinkable not to have a blog. A blog becomes an online CV.
You’re using it to represent your achievements and capabilities.
Often for scientists, educators, freelancers, a blog is a way of presenting your work. It helps you get noticed and promotes academic discussion.
#9 To Boost Your Confidence
Pressing the publish button on a post is scary the first few times but you get used to it. Before you know it publishing your work becomes routine.
What’s the worst that can happen?
I’ve had a few negative comments but 99% are positive. I think as long as your blog is genuinely trying to be helpful your readers will appreciate your writing.
Quite a few people start blogs to help with anxiety and mental health issues. It can be a platform to work through problems and find the confidence to deal with the real world.
#10 Should I Start A Blog To Make Money?
Sorry to shout! I just have this passionate believe that everyone should start a blog if they want to make some money.
Even if they only post on it a few times a month. It can be sitting there slowly getting more pageviews, climbing up the ranks on Google.
Think of a blog as an investment. The longer you have a blog the easier it is to make money from it. The more authority it has. This means Google starts to show your blog some love.
You have to write the right types of posts to make money from blogging. It’s a completely different mindset to a personal blog.
Here’s an example from one of my students Chris Panteli who’s blog Life Up Swing helps people master their finances. His posts are targeted at attracting readers who’ll be interested in using his budget tracker. Here’s what Chris had to say about my Hatch A Blog ebook.
Chris Panteli Life Upswing
“When I first started my blog I was totally lost. I had no idea what I was doing. Alison’s eBook ‘Hatch a Blog’ is the beginner’s bible to the world of blogging. The sheer amount of actionable detail is just what any new blogger needs. I found an immense amount of value in the ‘traffic’ section. Once you have your blog set up using Alison’s wonderful 7-day guide, you’ll then want people to actually come and read it. Finally, Alison responds to emails! This personal touch really makes you feel like you’re not on your own. Blogging can be quite a lonely journey at times, and she is there every step of the way to offer support. Thanks Alison.”
Some people will tell you it’s hard to make money but I don’t think that’s true if you go about blogging the right way.
It’s definitely hard to make money from a blog like this one with a very competitive subject. Yet if you look at my lifestyle blog Love Life Be Fit, I’m getting tons of traffic just writing about running.
These running posts are evergreen and will be just as relevant in 10 years time.
Writing posts for my lifestyle blog is a blast compared with writing for this one. I get far more traffic for far less effort and I started making money, 12 months after launching my blog, from the ad network Mediavine.
This is my Mediavine income for November.
Not bad hey! Combined with affiliate income from Amazon my blog is now making around $3000 every month.
Yes you have to put in some hard work to get to this level. You need to be prepared to learn a little SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and how to write a post targeting a keyword.
Yet making money like this, after less than two years, has got to be worth it. All with a blog that costs just $100 to set up.
8 Reasons To Not Start A Blog
Okay I’ll calm down a bit now and give you some reasons for NOT starting a blog.
#1 It’s Not A Fast Way To Make Money
If you need money right now it’s not going to help. Social media may be littered with “I made xxxxx in 3 months boasts” but these, even if true, are the exception.
I’m a member of quite a few blogging groups and my experiences with my lifestyle blog are around about the average for someone starting a blog with the intent of making money.
So not fast.
Yet once you crack the code and traffic to your blog starts to take off, it’s surprising how quickly your income grows.
It’s just not going to be a reliable income for the first 12 -24 months. It’s better to start blogging as a side income to your day job.
If you’re intent on blogging full-time and need to start making money quickly, offering services is the way to go.
Use your blog to promote your freelance writing, become a Virtual Assistant for anything from Pinterest to helping out successful bloggers or offer blog design services.
There’s an unlimited number of ways you can use your blog to make money but offering services is the quickest route to a full-time income.
#2 Blogging Can Be Lonely
If you’re used to working in a busy office suddenly working from home can be quite a shock. There’s no chats around the office kettle or invites to after work events.
One solution is to join support networks. Students of my Hatch A Blog ebook can access my private Hatch A Blog FaceBook group. I’m on hand to answer questions and you get to share your success stories with other students!
#3 You Need To Enjoy Writing
Blogging is mainly writing. If you have no love for writing it’s probably not for you.
I know some bloggers outsource the content writing part but most people can’t afford to do this when they’re starting out.
If you hate writing there are still lots of options for making money online. You could start a Podcast! The StudioPress Mai Reach theme comes with a terrific demo site for starting your own podcast.
#4 It’s Hard Work
With blogging you’re putting in a lot of time upfront to make money down the line. I worked really hard on my lifestyle blog for two months when I first set the blog up.
Now it’s earning money through Mediavine I haven’t written any new posts for over a month – yet traffic is still continuing to grow.
I will need to write some new posts soon it’s just that once a blog is established you don’t need to be working on it all the time.
Not everyone is prepared to put in the time to be rewarded later. Set your blog up correctly, write targeted posts and it can still take 12 months to get real results.
#5 You Don’t Need To Be A Nerd But It Helps
There’s a lot of techy stuff to get your head round when you start blogging. If anything to do with computers makes you break out in hives then blogging’s not for you.
#6 You Need To Be Adaptable
When it comes to blogging the goal posts keep moving so it helps to be adaptable. Think back a few years and I’ll bet you didn’t use your phone for absolutely everything!
Increased phone use is one good example of how blogging has changed. Those pretty homepages become almost unnecessary when everyone’s reading your work on a tiny screen. Instead bloggers are adapting to minimalist blogs and fast loading pages.
It helps with blogging to be open minded when it comes to new ideas.
#7 Social Media Can Take Over Your Life
The quickest way to get traffic to a new blog is with social media. You can become obsessed with your chosen platform.
To kick-start all my blogs I’ve used Pinterest. The trick is to pick a social media channel that delivers your ideal follower.
Social media is very time consuming and platforms such as FaceBook or Instagram can feel intrusive and even impact your mental health.
The good news is, if you learn SEO you’re less reliant on social media. These days the vast majority of traffic for all my blogs comes from Google. I’m not a slave to posting on social media every day.
#8 You Need To Be Disciplined
This can work two ways. You need to be disciplined to put in the hours to build your blog and you need to be disciplined enough not to be a workaholic!
I tend to be the latter and I do get a few complaints. You need to have some perspective. Have family times when your phone is off. Limit the times you check your social media and block those constant notifications.
If you find it hard to put in the hours, write out your routine at the beginning of each week and stick to it! Turn off those distractions when your writing your posts.
What’s Blogging Really Like?
When you start a blog it’s all too easy to compare yourself with an established blogger. Please don’t do this!
Comparing yourself with someone who’s been blogging for years is going to leave you disillusioned and miserable. It would be like comparing my Love Life Be Fit blog with Live Strong or Runner’s World.
It’s pointless. These blogs have been established for years. Plus I don’t need their level of income to fund a great lifestyle.
To get an idea of what blogging is like, and to help you answer the question “Should I start a blog?” here’s some feedback from students of Hatch A Blog.
Linda Bennett-Wood Where Woodsie Wanders
“Your hatch a ebook work and 12 month blog are always open on my PC so that I can refer to them as I progress on my blog. I find it imperative in aiding me through all the steps. I never realised there would be so much to learn, but your excellent step-by-step guidance makes it extremely simple to follow. My blog is now published, and I am working through social media marketing and SEO. Oh also Alison is very quick at responding to questions and taking a look at my site to make sure I haven’t left anything out. Thank you Alison”
Sharon Harvey, Tigga and Lottie Happy Greys
Happy Greys is a blog about Tigga and Lottie created by owner Sharon Harvey to help ex-racing greyhounds find homes.
“I initially found Alison and Simply Hatch on Pinterest, and I downloaded her 12 Month Blog Plan. It turns out I’d been doing everything wrong (especially Social Media advertising) and I pretty much started from scratch again. I later enrolled in the Hatch A Blog course and I’m amazed at the thoroughness and genuine care Alison puts into everything. The Facebook group has been really supportive and I’ve learned so much already. For anyone thinking about joining Simply Hatch, I’d definitely recommend it. My blog would not be the same without it.”
Cindy Koeneman Little Garden Girl
Little Garden Girl follows the cooking and gardening adventures of Cindy Koeneman in the American Southwest. Her blog is an eye-catching example of using the free GeneratePress theme. Its a go-to blog for tasty gluten-free recipes.
“I was searching online hoping to learn how to start a blog when I came upon Alison’s YouTube videos. I have a passion for gardening and cooking so I thought blogging would be a great way to share my experiences and recipes. I found Alison’s videos very informative. I had no idea how complex the whole process could be. I visited her site to learn more and enrolled in a couple of her eBooks. They are very well put together and easy to follow. There is written instruction in addition to video instruction so her eBooks accommodate different learning styles. When I got stuck and had questions, Alison was very responsive and helpful. My blog is up and running and I’m learning so much each day.”
Janice Q is currently building her blog Sandy Tropical Heart about the beautiful island where she lives, its culture and recipes. I’m in love with the name of her blog! She writes:
One of the things that attracted me to Simply Hatch was I perceived honesty. In addition, the steps to open a blog were very clear and it has helped me a lot to enter this field.Janice Q Sandy Tropical Heart
✅ Take a look at these beginner blogs. I’m sure they’ll give you an insight into what to expect in your first few months of blogging. Blogging may not be for everyone but it certainly has a lot to offer a diverse mix of backgrounds and interests. If you’re ready to get started I’m here to help with my Hatch A Blog ebook. It’s everything you need to know to start AND grow your blog!
Conclusion – Should I Start A Blog?
I can’t answer this for you but hopefully this post has provided some insight into what it’s really like to start a blog. Blogging may not be for everybody but it offers a whole lot more than purely making money.
If you do want to go down the making money route with your blog there are so many different ways to earn a blogging income from advertising to affiliate marketing to creating printables, ebooks and courses.
The easiest way to make money with a new blog is to use it to promote services. It’s a good way to start monetisation as you build your essential blogging traffic.
Ready to get started? These posts will help:
- How To Start A Blog (The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide)
- Blogging Best Practices
- 115 Trending Blog Topics & Ideas
Frequently Asked Questions
It really depends on your expectations. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time and hard work to make a good income from blogging. Blogging has a lot more to offer than purely making money. It’s a way of communicating, you learn new skills, build influence and it can have a positive impact on your career. It takes 12 – 24 months to make a decent income but in the meantime you can supplement your income by providing services. Avoid blogging if you hate writing or have an aversion to using computers!
Yes if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. If you want to make money you need to understand the difference between a money making blog and a personal blog. Most blogs don’t make any money because they’re not targeted at getting organic traffic from Google. If you write about anything and everything you want don’t expect to have more than a handful of readers. A successful blog is focused on keywords and providing answers to popular queries.
Don’t start a blog if you’re looking for a fast way to make money, you hate writing, technology makes you break out in hives, you hate adapting to the constantly changing demands of the internet and Google, you have no discipline, are afraid of hard work, never use social media and you dislike working on your own.