How long does it really take to get results and money from blogging? This is THE most asked question from most bloggers, because everything hinges on that moment when you can say, “Okay, my blog has now hit the tipping point. It is beginning to show enough traffic, subscriber counts and subscriber engagement and has started creating my monetization opportunities.”
Frankly, the way it works is like how I’ve described below (and I’m not the only one who vouches for this, almost every successful blogger validates this).
Consistency is nine-tenths of success, and haphazard, stop-start behavior is nine-tenths of failure!
It all depends on how many high-quality blog posts you can write and publish, consistently. You have to set milestones for the total number of posts you have on your blog – 100, 200, 400, 1000, 10,000 and so on. But it’s not just the quantity of blog posts alone but the “eternal freshness” of your blog.
Writing 15 posts one month, nothing at all the next month, and then trying to publish 40 posts the next month is not really a smart way of doing things. A certain number of blog posts have to be created and published to a set time schedule – like, say, 3 posts per day x 5 times per week … or one post daily … or 10 posts per week … or whatever timetable you want to set and then follow without flaking.
Research clearly shows that as the number of posts on your site increases, and increases with a definite regularity in your publishing schedule, there is a kind of compounding effect on the traction of your blog.
When you have, say 200 posts and you have a certain traction level, you’ll find that when you hit 400 posts the traction is not just twice what it was before, it can be three, four or even ten times more, depending on your particular market and the quality of your content and your audience interest level in your topic of specialization.
What your particular compounding number is will become evident as you continue writing. You will begin to see a definite pattern of traction and growth as you increase the content quantity on your site – and soon you will be able to say to yourself: “Okay, so if I make a minimum of “x” posts per week and keep that steady pace, I’ll double (or quadruple) my total posts in “y” weeks and I can expect my traffic numbers (or subscribers, engagement, or returns) to increase by “z” times for every 100 posts I add.”
There are some people who say “writing less is okay, in fact it’s the smarter thing to do”. But if you double-check when that blogger started writing and how many posts he has written till he got to the point of making money, you’ll see that he has invariably earned the ability to write less than before and still succeed. You’ve seen how hard bikers need to pedal initially for traction, but how less they need to pedal later when they’re already cruising, right?
95% of bloggers give up midway from frustration and sourness. 5% laugh all the way to the bank!
Seriously steady and persevering bloggers who maintain a schedule of at least 15 posts a month (posts of really strong quality, depth and substance) can hope to see some definite breakthroughs towards their goals in the 6-12 month time-span. This is again not just my own experience, but that of many experts who all vouch for this 6-12 month time frame. So you could set that as a benchmark for yourself too.
Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures, has spelt it all out very well for bloggers who want to get a sense of the quantity of work and time frames needed to begin feeling a difference:
How long will it take? If you look at an average of 15 blog posts per month … I know it might not be easy to see, but right between that six and nine month mark, things start to really zoom.
It’s going to feel weird at first. You’re going to just be writing articles. You’re not going to have quite as many responses and comments and subscribers and so on and so forth. But if you just keep at it, keep consistent, keep producing the content, you’ll see that in the six to nine month mark, things start to zoom for you.
What’s the impact of the total number of blog posts (on your blog) … you can kind of see the same thing. It’s about getting to that (milestone) mark, and all of a sudden, you see things just starting to really zoom. Again, it’s kind of the same thing. You’re building a critical mass. You’re building followers, subscribers. People are commenting. You’re getting social signals. You’re learning how to produce better content. But it does take that kind of an effort.
So in the end, be patient. Keep at it. It will pay off.
Marcus Sheridan, CEO of The Sales Lion, reiterates the same idea (but with an important caveat!):
How long will it take? Although there are countless factors that go into this question, I would say the average for most who intelligently blog at least 2-3 times per week, is 6-12 months.
Despite this average though, short term results are absolutely possible too. For example, you could write a blog post today (your first one even) that ranks well for a particular keyword phrase tomorrow, which then leads to a web visitor that same day, who then fills out a form on your website, who then becomes a customer a few days later.
All this being said, really the most important aspect to the question of ‘How long will it take’ comes down to actually getting started and doing something. Unless you start producing content and pushing it out there to the masses, you’ll never know about time, be it short or long term.
But this much is for certain — you need to start. And if you do, and do it well, the rest will fall into place.
No one can disagree with an Arnie Kuenn or a Marcus Sheridan, can they?
3 ways to see hefty returns from your blog … and all these ways are about having the right attitude!
There are three traits that you absolutely need to be develop to blog your way to big money:
Learn to bolster your patience and beat frustration
A big part of blog management, psychologists say, is about managing your self. Your emotional variability and energy surges and dips, caused by the stress of trying to stay optimistic, waiting for results, and not seeing much progress from day to day, can all be extremely distressing – unless you have the ability to manage the inner you as well as the outer expression of you (i.e. your blog).
Among the traits you need most as a blogger is patience. Patience is easy to write about but very, very hard to actively achieve. Bloggers who jump into writing expecting months of patience to pay off in terms of traffic, conversions and customers, will invariably find that they have underestimated the time it takes in reality for their efforts to work.
Here, in blogging, it’s a game of attrition. You can’t survive without almost saintly patience. And beware, if you try to nudge the speed up a bit, by “gently cajoling” any prospective customer, you can set yourself back by another few months of waiting … because you would have destroyed the delicate developing trust by your own itchiness!
One other very important thing … you may not make money fast, but you can at least not spend money faster! You’ll find a lot of bloggers who can’t sit tight with patience while their blogs wait to blossom, let loose their frustrations by becoming “tool buying junkies”. On the other hand, financially-focused bloggers usually decide upfront on how far they will go in spending as they wait for results – and they revise plans maybe once a quarter. Then, come what may, they stick with the financial plans without using “spending” as a way to let out steam.
Train yourself to write a lot by preventing your brain from slipping into an “engine-off” mode … keep the brain “idling” and ready to go at any time
I have read a great writer’s article on how he ensured that he was always ready to write. Even if he had nothing to write about, he would find half-an-hour every morning and evening to write the sentence “I have nothing to write”, over and over again. This is not a silly idea … in fact it’s a profound idea. The whole concept involves keeping your brain-engine in an “idling but ready to move” mode than a “shut-off” mode. As the scientists like to say, a body in a state of rest remains at rest, and a body in a state of motion remains in motion. So if you want to be a prolific writer, the mind can’t afford to be ever allowed to rest or rust. It must be always primed and ready to go, and that happens when it’s given a rev every morning and evening.
Writing for the non-writer is like a car that’s been kept unused for a long time. When you first try to write, you find your mind creaking and groaning and lethargic even to start. Then a few days later, your mind agrees to start but still won’t move much. And then finally, when you almost think you have to get out and give the dratted machine a push, it starts rolling … and then it picks up speed and willingly changes gears, and there comes a day when it’s hard to stop the breakneck speed and press the brakes.
Keep this analogy in mind during the first days of writing, so you don’t feel tempted to give the car (your writing) a frustrated kick every ten minutes! The day will come when you know you too have become a “writer” when life always feels like you’re a speed-driver cruising along on an expressway with no traffic but yourself!
Learn to write for the love of the craft and not for the money.
Bloggers, this is the BIG SECRET to success! You have to love the process more than the results, not just till you get financial results, but even after that for the rest of your blogging life. If there is one “X” factor that succeeds in blogging, it is to love the writing more than the results! The simple truth is that you cannot sustain what you don’t like doing, so blog-writing had better become something you love doing – not just for the money but for the sheer love of blogging itself!
Since I am from India let me share a bit of philosophy here that is magical. There are apparently two goddesses inside all of us, one the Goddess of Knowledge and the other, the Goddess of Money. The secret is to favor the Goddess of Knowledge and ignore the Goddess of Money. The Goddess of Money, being jealous, will rush into your life to get her share of your attention!
Even if you don’t believe in Indian philosophy, you’ll surely see … in a strange way the contrarian law of Nature works here. The less you are focused on results, the faster they come, provided you are doing everything you can to make them happen – except waiting for them! You can’t be motivated only by results, because that sort of motivation never sustains you to “keep on keeping on”. Even if you make some money quickly, the next lot of money needs continued persistence, doesn’t it?
You have to find your “mojo” in the process of creating original, invaluable, top-class content – and pat yourself on the back at the end of the day for a job completed, and a job done with an eye for excellence. Enjoy producing net words and the net worth will follow in the “fullness of time”.
There are lots of blogging-related things to try to get your thrills from … like from content innovation; from gunning for excellence; from meeting the day’s schedules with time to spare; from discovering new levels of talent in yourself and feeling great about it; from sharing and giving to others the knowledge you have, knowing you have made a change in many people’s lives; from learning new skills and feeling your mind grow wider in wonder; and from the sheer dint of grit and willpower you have demonstrated, that even you never knew you had.
All these kinds of “rewards” are never even noticed by one whose eyes can see only “money” … and the one who sees only money, never really sees that money in his bank, alas!
This article is incomplete without your input!
Does this article inspire you to explore becoming a micro-influencer? What’s your take on the topic? Do leave your comments below, so we can all get richer by gaining from your knowledge!