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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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Thanks Justin for this – I think most of us have been there and it really is great to talk about our expectations before, during and after.

    Lending this kind of perspective to new bloggers is important, as with the right expectations of results (and work) I think we’ll have a bigger, better writing community. A community not so savagely profit-hunting, but fun-focussed and talking properly.

    So thanks again and in the spirit of community – I’m following your tweets!

  2. Thank you for the great advice. I couldn’t agree more about blogging being a passion, not work.

    I sometimes spend hours researching, writing, editing, and all the while, I love it. A friend of mine, who doesn’t really understand, keeps telling me to relax, but what I keep trying to tell her is that I am relaxed………………….:)

  3. I can confirm that hard work pays off! A blog post I write in 10 minutes never reaches the hits an entry that takes me a couple of hours to write receives.

    If I didn’t enjoy and love blogging, I think there’s no way to really have success and get positive feedback from readers.

  4. Good points there, I completely agree with journey is everything part. Also at the end of the day, there is no such thing as “destination” in blogging as you have to keep working harder and harder to become even more successful.

  5. Thanks a lot for the advice
    Lovely post :)

    Hard work is essential and distractions must not interfere.

  6. I totally agreed on all the points. The more I blog, the more I become aware I know nothing and I have to work harder. But this is not work and it is enjoyable!

  7. awesome post justin.i especially liked this thing :” Doing What You Love Isn’t Work ” .

    one more thing you could have included is this :
    ” patience is everything in blogging ” .I could see that you had stressed on that point in some lines of your posts but would have been great if you had it as one of the main titles .thanks justin :)

  8. What You become in the journey- Sharing Your Passion on
    a Blog is very necessary for one to be successful and doing
    what one loves, is like what Justin is saying in this Post and Crucial Understanding You’ve shared there.

    Giving value First is the greatest lesson anyone can learn about Building Better Relationships Online. That’s Been our giving attitude even since of First Domain in December 2001. Experience is worth much, Again it’s
    about what You become in the journey.

    Thanks Darren, for sharing Justin with us. God Bless!

  9. Great post Justin. I agree with arshad “patience is everything in blogging” and hard work.

  10. Couldn’t agree more!!!! Especially, doing what you love isn’t work.

    I am now starting to put ads on my website. It really took an effort to start because I was having so much fun posting content.

  11. I think this is an awesome post, but I wish you had discussed what your mentality towards the more technical aspects of blogging was and how it changed, esp. regarding SEO.

  12. Amen! I started my blog nearly a year ago and the transformation in my blogging (and in me personally) has been staggering and really cool.

  13. Blogging definitely takes time in two ways. It takes time on a daily basis to write, market, and maintain a blog. In addition, it takes time for a blog to gain popularity. Those that enter blogging to make a quick buck are usually disappointed. There is money to be made, but it takes a lot of time and patience.

  14. As a new blogger, I can agree with all of these. The journey is a large part of starting a blog. It opens up opportunities that I had never even thought of. Thanks for these thoughts!

  15. I think selecting the right portal application is a big part of success. I have four sites built with DotNetNuke and they don’t get a whole lot of traffic. While wordpress blogs with similar or less content get a lot more traffic.

  16. Hey Justin,wonderful post.I am a beginner and often feel
    impatient at the long journey of blogging.Yes the first year is not only very crucial ,its very frustrating too.And this is the period when tenacity and perseverance pays off.Your post has given me the much needed encouragement to carry on blogging.Thanks for a beautiful post.

  17. I write a food blog and people started telling me they were actually making my recipes. I know it sounds weird, but I wasn’t expecting people to really interact with my blog in that way. I learned it’s important to be consistant with my posts and make sure each recipe is something I can be proud to have others make.

  18. I have learnt a fair bit about branding and marketing as a student. Heck, my blog got me a summer job at India’s largest youth magazine.
    I also find that I am so much in a better position to offering advice to newbie bloggers and website owners alike.

  19. I so agree with number 4 “Doing what you love isn’t work”. I admit, it makes me a little crazy when people tell me to put off the blogging, so as to ease my stress, not understanding that being able to do something I truly enjoy is what keeps me going!

  20. You’ve struck so many chords here, can’t agree with so many of the pointers, eg. wanting to make money as soon as possible and not interacting with other bloggers etc. Great article!

  21. thanks for the very basic pieces of advice. hope to see the how-tos. how to build relationships with people in your niche and how to monetize your blog.

  22. I really liked this article. My blog is only a couple of weeks old and every now and then I ask myself “is it worth it? Am I going to spend the next 6-12 months working on this blog and not see it go anywhere?” Reading this article is good encouragement.

    Thanks!

  23. I have to agree. All five are very good lessons you can learn from blogging.

  24. Thanks to everyone for the feedback! I am glad everyone agrees that these are some important lessons you can learn from blogging.

  25. I think this is a great article – I agree with all 5 points. I especially like #4 “Doing what you love isn’t work” because it is so true. To be honest, I just started my blog and it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and now that I have done it, I find myself spending a lot of time on it. It doesn’t feel like a chore at all, it’s fun.

  26. “The journey is everything!” … if you could have everything you wanted at the snap of a finger, you’d get bored pretty fast and wouldn’t actually learn anything ;)

    Nice post…I might have to riff this one.

  27. That was a post I can fully agree with.
    Good points, Justin!

  28. #5 is definitely my favorite. A lot of new bloggers sit down and decide that it’s all about the cash, but it’s really about the fun of creating great content and interacting with your readers. The cash flow will take care of itself if you play your cards right.

  29. This is a great post and very timely for me as I just started blogging last week.
    I love the challenge of the intense learning required to get things up and running.
    Thanks for your thoughts!!!

  30. I have been following you for a couple of months not (sometimes quietly) and I really admire all that you have done.

    “3. Relationships Are Everything”

    That is a great lesson I learned when I first started blogging. Relationship are defiantly everything.

  31. Great post Justin! I always tell people it is the journey, so make the best of it. This is why you caught my attention right from the start. I am happy to see my own thougts reciprocated here in your well written post. It is so important to remember to help others first, and the rest will naturally follow. Having the confidence to share a part of ourselves is a gift.

    Enjoy! ;o)

    Teri
    ~

  32. To add on point number 5 and Corey Freeman’s comment. I listened to a great audio program by Earl Nightingale called “Lead the Field”, one of the early personal development programmes. One of his examples included: “People expect heat from the fire, without putting any fuel on the fire”.

    We need to develop good solid information on our blogs, in order to feed the needs of our audience.

    The journey is indeed everything, the journey of a 1000 miles starts with the very first step. If we didnt have the journey we wouldn’t grow and learn.

    Building relationships through blogging is a great concept I’ve started developing my own blog and I enjoy to read others comments, and look at their blogs plus see how I can contribute to their blog. They’ve spent the time to look at my blog, it is a good thing to build relationships with like minded people. It is about building a reputuation and caring about your audience. Plus listening to them. One of the most important aspects of communication is listening.

    Give the target audience what they need and want. Sooner or later, the rewards will return to you.

  33. Your article came at the write time for me. I’m in the experimental stage with blogging, so still sorting things out in terms of finding voice, figuring how I could make money with my little niches of words, making time to do quality pieces, and so forth and so on. Thank you very much. :-)

  34. Hmmm, I said “write time.” Maybe, I did mean that. LOL!

  35. Number 3 I think it the best. I never thought that I would meet so many interesting people, and the knowledge I have learned this way is irreplaceable.

  36. #5 is so true. It’s easy to spot those blogs and I just leave shaking my head in disgust! Also some blogs provide useful content but the constant pimping is so annoying. For me, if there is great content I can use (or a great read that is entertaining and/or enjoyable) I’ll find the RSS feed or bookmark the site! You don’t have to annoy me with the hard sell!

  37. It is so difficult to remain patient and observe the journey instead of the destination. This post is a good reminder that anything worth doing takes time, dedication, and persistence.

  38. Blogging is a really easy thing to start but very, very difficult thing to sustain. It’s very discouraging to post, post, and post and see so little traffic. As this article states, you won’t see much traffic for at least six months, and wow, that’s tough.

    Most people quit well before then.

  39. Its difficult to keep up the momentum of a blog when you don’t see instant results. Our recipe blog has been up for about a month now, but now that we’ve building the relationships up and getting search engine traffic we can slowly see the traffic increase.
    Point 4 is especially relevant for me because when initially setting up the blog I’d stay up till the early hours of the morning with very little sleep. Then I thought about it, and realised that in a job I’d never do that. The time just went by without realising what the time was on the clock. You know how you would clock watch waiting for home time. Surely it must be a good thing to want to log-on when you get up in the mornings and “work” on it at the weekends. When its your ‘baby’, you are also more compelled to do a proper job and not cut corners.

    Anyway try a Thai gold bag here:-
    http://radiancerecipes.com

  40. This is a great post Justin. Keep up the good work

    Paul

  41. Denise says: 12/07/2008 at 12:43 pm

    Ah…the Journey; you remind me. I am fairly new to blogging and I must say I appreciate your well written and encouraging post Justin. Also, Thanks for sharing Darren.

  42. I agree with all of those. Never quit!

  43. I’ve been told by some that the idea for my blog is good and it’ll work, but i’ve been told by much MORE people that it’s stupid and will never work. Honestly, I think it all depends on how hard I work on it and how hard I market it. I’m sure there are more than enough people interested in what I’m writing just because it interests me as well. Great post and I think all of those points are really important. Best to realize stuff you’ve outlined early in the game.

  44. Thank you for the good information and the positive atitude.

  45. I agree, its definitely not work to blog :) I spend so much time designing my blog. It was more addicting than anything. This is one area of life where I am definitely enjoying the journey!

  46. Fast money by blogging does not exist.
    Robby, many people will always criticize your work, your blog and even your website, human nature.
    My advice, think hard on your blog topic,
    give it a day or two to sink in. (Personally a week is better)
    Map out your plan
    Start writing an outline for your content
    If after some time you are still excited, go for it
    But you need to commit to investing time in to your project.
    To your success!

  47. Great post. Over time, I’ve come to realize that the interaction and community equity I’ve developed far outweigh any short-term monetary gains.

  48. I am in total agreement with what you mentioned above. Its been only 3 months that I have started my blog. And I am not even getting traffic to count on. I am gaining maturity with time. But I know I have miles to go before I sleep. I would love to have guidance from the blogging community about my topics and the content or for that matter anything. Just have a look and guide me. I am learning to have patience now.

  49. Sometimes newbies are too obsessed with what they observe and find from their surrounding.

    We always find about successful bloggers but not about bloggers that have to go through a really hard life and joourney to post a new articles in his blog.

    That;s the reason why as mentioned in the beginning we always want what successful person get without thinking how do they get n reach there + how many other bloggers that have sacrificed their life for the sake of blogging n helphis reader.

    p/s: In my country, there is one motivational blogger that cycles 20 kilometre (around 12 miles) all the way from his village to the internet cafe in nearby city. It is because he does not ev enough money to have own computer + internet connections.

    With his sweating body, he has to post as fast as possible coz he doesn’t ev enough money.

    The only source of income for him is only through advert which he get only enough to cover the internet cafe;s expenses n buy some books.

    There was one time that he wanted to stop blogging coz he did not enough money to even go to the internet cafe. Fortunately, someone has start campaign for him in one of the forums to help him to continue blogging.

    That’s the true situation. Unfortunately, we always forget about it. We keep impatiently want to be successful in a split second.

    That’s all for my lengthy story….heheheh (n_n)

  50. Great points! I liked the last point. I remember one proverb – AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP..!!

    http://www.tipsblogger.com/2008/10/as-you-sow-so-shall-you-reap.html

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