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5 Valuable Lessons You Can Learn From Blogging

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of December 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

This is a guest post by full-time blogger and internet marketer, Justin Wright.

In my quest to become a full-time blogger, I have had many ups and downs along the way. I have tried things that worked and things that have failed miserably. Along the way, I have learned some valuable lessons.

Here are the 5 most valuable lessons I have learned from blogging:

1. The Journey Is Everything

Having a successful blog is something I always wanted to have, but early on I lacked the patience to wait around for it to happen. I had the common mindset of wanting it all now. I wanted to go to sleep one night and wake up with a popular blog the next morning. I wanted money to be rolling in while I slept. I wanted to have a following of a few thousand people and traffic stats beyond my wildest dreams.

Of course that would have been great, but what I did not realize at that time was that I would miss the most important part of all, the journey itself. Just like in life, the beginning and end are nowhere near as important as what we experience and accomplish in between.

The experience of starting a blog and watching yourself progress is something money cannot buy. It is amazing to see yourself become more knowledgeable and proficient as time moves on. You start to learn more and more and progress as a both a writer and a marketer. Just looking back at what my blog looked like 10 months ago compared to now gives me a great sense of accomplishment. My posts have been taken to a whole new level. They are longer, formatted better, and best of all, more useful and entertaining.

So never forget, that the journey of becoming a blogger is more important than the end product.

2. Hard Work Does Pay Off

When it comes to blogging, time is something you need a lot of. Starting a new blog takes a lot of time, commitment, and persistence. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that you are spending all your time and effort working on something that might not take off for 6 months to a year down the road.

Before starting my current blog, I had previously started more than 10 different blogs that never took off. Why? Because I abandoned them way before they ever made any progress. However, now that I have committed myself to a blog and worked hard on a day to day basis, I have seen some great results.

These results have reassured me that that hard work really does pay off, you just have to stick with it long enough to see results.

3. Relationships Are Everything

When I started on my blogging journey, the last thing on my mind was making friends and creating relationships with other bloggers. It’s not that I didn’t want to make friends, it just wasn’t something I had thought of when starting out. I failed to realize early on that besides making money and sharing your voice through blogging, you can also network with people from around the world.

Almost a year later, my mindset has shifted to the point where making friends and networking is one of the most important aspects of my blog. Instead of spending every second working on my own blog, I make sure to go out and leave feedback on other blogs. Not only does it help fellow bloggers out by increasing their comments, it keeps them motivated to keep writing. It helps you meet new people and create a network of friends that all share a similar hobby.

These friends and contacts can help you when you need blog advice, marketing, or a place to stay while traveling (it’s been done).

4. Doing What You Love Isn’t Work

Over the last 10 months, I have spent way more time on my blog than I would have expected. It has basically become a full-time job since I spend my time working on the design, writing content, and promoting it. However, this type of work feels different to me than any past job I have ever had. Why? Because doing what you love isn’t work. It’s a passion. It’s a hobby you enjoy doing regardless of the time or effort it takes. No wonder so many people tell you to do something you love growing up. The reason so many people are disappointed with their jobs is because it isn’t their ideal career.

This important lesson has taught me that regardless of how much money I can make blogging, it is what I am passionate about and enjoy doing. As long as I can make the bare minimum to survive, I will be happy with this choice.

5. Provide First, Reap The Rewards Later

I’ll admit that when I first started blogging two years ago, my main focus was making money as fast as possible. That’s it. I was looking for a easy formula to make money without having a job. The problem with that logic was the fact that I was trying to reap the rewards before providing a service. The lesson I learned from that mistake is that blogging is like any other business. You need to provide value before you can expect to make any money.

When it comes to adding value to your blog, providing valuable content to your readers on a consistent basis is key. Provide useful information that will make them want to come back time and time again. Offer free advice and reports instead of trying to sell them things early on. Create a relationship with your readers and respond to them when they send you emails or leave comments.

By focusing on providing value first, you will no doubt be rewarded for your time and efforts. It takes time, but pays off in the end.

Have you learned any valuable lessons from blogging? What are they?

Justin Wright is a full-time blogger and internet marketer that has a blog about life, travel, and blogging. He also enjoys photography and runs a photoblog.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I have to disagree with one of your affirmations. Hard work pays off, In my life I have found that it does not. You work hard and you are not rewarded for that. Time and time again, this has now been hammered into my brain. Is it right or fair? I say no, but this is the lie I was led to believe, if you work hard, then you’ll be successful, be able to work your way up. This just is not true, so please quit spreading the propoganda of it.
    What does matter is WHO you know, or CONNECTIONS, etc. That is what matters to be successful.
    and I’d like to add that this being Darren’s blog, (whom I kind of admire) that I think he would agree that it’s not just in this crappy life we lead on earth that this is true in, but also in the afterlife, You can’t work your way into heaven, but if you know JESUS, he can get you in.
    I appologize if I sound bad,or whatever, but was reading your article in my pro blogger subscription, and it just hit a bad nerve with me, I can’t tell you the amount of times that hard work on my part was not rewarded, It’s all about Who you know.

  2. Although I haven’t been blogging that long, I have had web sites for over 10 years, and each time I give up too early. Blogging is much more satisfying to me, and offers me the ability to study and learn my chosen niche which is learning and discussing digital photography. I have no lack of fresh content which is what I always lacked when doing website.

  3. I cannot agree more with what you said.

    Your last point couldn’t have been better. In blogging, you won’t make money right away. You have to put in the time, hard work and persistence and finally you will receive your reward.

    Very nice post. :-)

  4. This is an excellent post, thanks a lot , I’m grateful to you.

  5. BlogWorld ’07 introduced me to the generous world of bloggers. I encountered generousity beyond the blog post itself!

    I share myself in that manner with Baby Boomers who are striving to be tech savvy.

  6. That was just what I needed to read. Lately I’ve lost my momentum a bit, but this post really made me think about my long term plans for my blog. I know traffic doesn’t come easily and that persistence is everything, but I find it hard to keep up the posting when I’m not seeing any real results. I guess I’ll keep up posting, after all this is what I love to do and I’m pretty confident that it will ultimately lead to at least some kind of success. At least on a personal level.

  7. Your post brings to mind Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote, “The medium is the message.” I find blogging a fantastic medium that allows for otherwise impossible connections with people of like mind and interest. As an artist who enjoys the process of creating in what ever medium of the moment, Blogging is yet another on-going process that keeps on expanding my enjoyment of that process.

  8. And silently building a saleable as we go along is a nice added bonus.

    Best for continued success.

  9. Justin, great post.

    I started my first & only blog in October and like you initially dreamt about all the money I could make.

    However I knew it was going to be hard & would involve hard work & committment. That is the way life is; you must show committment and dedication to life before she bestows her lavish rewards on you.

    If you are meagre in your efforts; life will be meagre in results.

    My challenge is the fact that I am not too savvy technically & so I focus more on content than tweaking thing s around such as design and SEO etc which will make my blog more searchable and easily noticed.

    However I know the great mantra of blogging is ‘Great Content.’ If one has great content, in time all else will follow.

    How do we get to the stage of great content; patience & dedication!
    Great post.

  10. Hi Justin,

    I had a bit of a lengthy feedback, so I made post on my blog with a link to this. Hope that’s OK.

    But thanks a ton first.

  11. Thanks Justin for the wise words. I’m a blogging “newbe” with patients, but little time in my busy world. To be reminded that a successful blog is like a full time job is a good indicator that I need to schedule time each day to my blog, not wait until the “time is right.” As we busy folk know, it will never be right unless we make it right.

    My passion is helping people find their voice and to share my work is the joy of my life. I too am not a “tekie” so your info was warmly appreciated and accepted!!!

  12. Excellent post, I think for me the “doing what you love is not hard work” lesson applies the most, sometimes when I am working on my blogs or websites I spend more than 13 hours working before I realize how much time has passed, sleep is no longer something I look forward to.

  13. 1. Help other bloggers always.

    2. Find a niche.

    3. Stay positive and upbeat at all times if possible.

    4. Play sometimes and take breaks regularly.

    5. Play hard but work hard.

    6. Perhaps have a blogging buddy, or at least somebody you inspire and they inspire you — somebody who you both bounce ideas off of.

    7. Network.

    8. Find an angle — for instance, don’t just copy other bloggers, perhaps come up with an idea of your own.

    9. Never give up. Switch ideas if warranted — be flexible and change when necessary, but don’t quit — be persistent.

    10. Be open to new ideas — create new ideas.

    11. Be a leader in your field — have self confidence — act like you are somebody and have something to offer!

    12. Read the top blogs in your field.

    13. Read ProBlogger :)

    14. Be involved in Social Media :)

    15. Design your blog carefully. Decide what you REALLY want to have in it.

    16. Thing before you post.

    17. Have a schedule — a book — where you write down when you are going to post which post.

    18. Consider “batching” — for example — writing posts on Monday (3 or 4), doing graphics on Tuesday, social media on Weds, etc…

    19. Believe in yourself. When you are ready to go full time at blogging — do so. And do it RIGHT. If you believe you should use wordpress, use wordpress. Dive into the pool head first! Just try. You will never know if you can, until you try!

    20. Spend time with your family and friends. Isn’t this why you are doing this to a certain extent, to have more time with them?

    21. The journey is Everything!

    22. Growing as a person is so important.

    23. Take along as many people as you can with you! Fellow bloggers, readers, etc.

    24. Help causes whenever you can, you will be happy that you can help others with the money you made, and that you can give back.

    25. You will not be satisfied with your blogging career unless you really define what you want out of it — it will become drudgery to you if you can’t define why it is important to you. Take an hour right now and decide why it is important to you! Now post that on the wall next to your computer and read it every morning. Money is often NOT the most important thing.

    26. Remember, when writing posts, breviaty is often the most important thing!

    27. You can write list posts, right Darren, LOL, wherever you are! ;)

    Krissy :)

  14. All of these are of course true tips from a pro but I think #5 should be #1. From personal experience I think that you should create quality information that really helps people.

    It is easy to get swept up in the money aspect of blogging with dollar signs in your eyes. I did the same think when I first started blogging. Now I gave up on that part for now and I am all about creating content and finding those who need help and try my best to answer their questions.

  15. Like everyone has said, this was a really great post. It’s so easy to get discouraged and I would not still be blogging without my blog buddies cheering me on!

  16. The advise is a bit repetitive but nevertheless they are great reminders for all blogger. I am wondering if blogging will ever be saturated if there are so many blogs out there now. But then, the great ones will always stand out from the crowd right? ( I just wish Adsense would stop showing get-rich-instant schemes, try to ignore them, but honestly sometimes they just make me really impatient and off track. Hey, may be if I spend enough time blogging, I will be immunized from them…hopefully…!)

  17. Nice post – Confucius says “choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” I concur.

    Another important aspect of blogging to me is Giving – my own research has shown when you give out you get back.

    And finally of course pain/perspiration/determination are all part of the process – maybe just maybe Einstein was right work is 1% inspiration 99% perspiration

  18. Hard work really does pay off i have been trying to blogging since 2006 but never been so serious like this, not before i found your site and read your post

  19. I couldn’t agree more with doing this because you love it. Going for the money is tempting. Doing it because you love it is much more satisfying!

  20. Another great post. I’m looking to build a blog as an adjunct (and to help bring traffic to) a new business. You’ve given me some food for thought…

  21. Great article.

    I’m just starting out and, while a lot of what you’ve said is common sense, it really does helps to see it laid out this way.

  22. Justin:

    Solid article. With so many new bloggers every day, here is a great article to set things in perspective.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Internet cluttered up with dying or dead blogs from people that hoped they were going to get rich quickly without putting in much of an effort.

    Being passionate about what you are blogging about makes a world of difference.

  23. Blogging about something you like and have passion about makes the writing much easier, than just trying to come up with some good ideas to write about.

  24. Hey Justin,

    I’m a new blogger and you had written what I have been going through. I believe we just need to work hard and wait patiently for the rewards to come in. Thanks for the article.

    Personal Development Blogger

  25. Thanks for the tips, Justin. It really inspire me more to write and blog. Keep up the good works!

    Best regards

    Rose Cemanes

  26. I have just taken up blogging full time and rewards are slow going. Luckily I am a youtube partner and I can receive funds through that route for now. I do believe that I will reap the rewards further down the line as i have seen developing my youtube audience over the last 2 years.

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